The world is an ashram

2:00 pm

Twilight in Edinburgh

The best part of maintaining an awareness yoga practice is that everything becomes a sadhana, a conscious practice of personal evolution. I just showered, groomed, and dressed in preparation for my work event in one hour with colleagues and clients. I noted how, with awareness-consciousness, even the smallest detail became a practice towards perfection and mastery – even trimming my beard. I noted that there was no vanity in the action. But, rather, a considerate focus on simply respecting myself, and respecting my colleagues and clients. Certainly my employer doesn’t want a slovenly slob to show up for representation. And my client, who may likely be a tad insecure since this is her first company event with us, wants to feel assured that the very best representative of my company is escorting her for the afternoon and evening’s events. In other words, our actions require a perspective of service. Seva. This is what I learned decades ago in the ashram with Baba Muktananda. 

I recall, when I was 19, being in that ashram and noting how it was an encapsulated embodiment of the entire world due to the presence of yoga students from every country on the planet. Today, while standing outside of my hotel here in Miami, the thought came to mind “The world is the ashram.” This is true. The lesson to learn in an ashram are the life skills you take away with you to apply in your daily life after you leave. The situation in this modern age is practicing awareness where you are, with what you got, and whomever you are with. All are reflections of the divine, of the conscious order of creation. God dwells in everyone equally, without discrimination. 

By seeing this connection within yourself, you can witness that divine soul part of another individual. Moreover, by practicing awareness yourself, you witness their soul enlivening in your company, and pushing its way forward into the consciousness of the other. Recall the meaning of the word Yoga – Union. By connecting within yourself, you facilitate and serve humanity through proximity of the others around you. An old prayer we chanted in the ashram used to say “kindle my heart’s flame with thine.” By practicing awareness, you innately become a light in the wilderness for others who are transmigrating through this existence with you. Their soul not only recognizes the awakened flame of the holy spirit within you, but reaches out toward the life, like a hungry moth proceeding toward flame. Each person’s soul yearns to reconnect. It’s our modus operandi. 

As I write this, I’m experience love spontaneously welling up in my heart. I don’t know why other than the simple joy I glean from writing these perceptions from the path. I suppose the love is arising from a sense of gratitude I am experiencing from finding my way back to the path of inner connection. It has been my personal life’s motive since childhood. I always desired to have a deep relationship with God. I am more moved to learn, that, after 50 years of seeking, I find that God has been desiring a deep relationship with me. It’s the best sort of love affair because there is no adultery or cheating involved. My heart is overwhelmed with emotion now, as if each word I write is acknowledged by something deep within me that is simultaneously grateful that I have at long last awakened. I can give God a rest now. LOL. He/She/It can now enjoy a vacation. The best part of that, is, God gets to enjoy that vacation through me. For here I am in Miami for another night, and tomorrow we sail for Haiti and Jamaica. God is pleased to experience its own joy through me. 

Now it is time for me to descend to the lobby to join my colleagues and clients for our work venture. And again – it’s a beautiful thing – work, too, becomes an opportunity to practice sadhana, to do seva – service – to others, my family (though earning money), and experience the divine in a curiously unique manner. Baba used to call this the play of consciousness, the dance of Shiva. He was most definitely correct. 

Love you all. Talk to you later. Peace.

PS: One last thought: Since I’ve enrolled in an 8 year Sadhana, EVERYTHING I do for the next 8 years will be a sadhana, a yoga practice. It’s a wonderful life. I can’t thank Bhagavan and Amma enough for inviting me to join them on this excursion. It’s a great gift, my graduate course in yoga. So far, things are looking up and I am witnessing this magic unfolding of everything I’ve ever read or heard about the experience of the inner journey. This is good stuff, and I’m loving it.