I am in my seventh month of writing my Blog and similar to Julie Powell, in the movie Julie and Julia, I am trapped in a sea of passion and insecurities as I try to ascertain my purpose and direction.
In all of this self-analysis I have deduced that my writing has become a reflection of my spiritual journey as a wife and a mother. It has helped me to live in the present more completely and spiritually then ever before. Every nuance, every impressionable expression, every tribute to life is divulged through my writing, helping me to grow as an individual.
As I weave the pieces together I better understand how everything in my life is not circumstantial but a culmination of chosen paths and decisions.
Chaos seems to follow me wherever I go which makes it sometimes difficult to see the paths clearly, and so I practice yoga. Just recently I burst into the door of the unbearably quiet yoga room and hurriedly began my Pranayama Breathing trying not to hyperventilate as the teacher quoted the?Dalai Lama, [su_quote]breathe deep and tap directly into the universe for information on life[/su_quote]
As I went from a completely harassed state to deep breathing, my head filled with negative and rebellious Monkey Chatter. I breathed in and looked up to the heavens trying to breathe the energy from the Universe back into my lungs. Anybody out there? I beckoned. Come out come out wherever you are, still nothing.
My inability to reach a meditative state compelled me to take my yoga to a deeper and more spiritual level. I approached the teacher after class, a beautiful, tranquil young man with clear brown eyes, olive skin and silky jet black hair and asked him if I could have a private conversation with him for a spiritual piece I was writing on my blog. It doesnt help that whenever I mention my blog people look at me as if I have three eyes, not a third eye mind you. He suggested that I attend a four hour seminar called, Anatomy of a Yogi, that was occurring in the yoga studio that afternoon.
Jaylee and Paul Balch
For the sake of my blog and a quest for spirituality, I abandoned my family and went to the seminar. Sitting on the floor with seven other people, four of whom were yoga instructors, I listened to the seminar leaders, a married couple named Jaylee and Paul Balch. Paul had a near-death experience when he was eighteen which compelled him to pursue a greater knowledge of the connection between mind, body and soul. Jaylee, oddly enough, also had a near-death experience a few years ago. She, unlike Paul, had such an incredible experience when she almost died that it was very difficult for her to keep living. In order to heal herself she knew that her mission was now to help others better understand the essence of life. They began by speaking of the chakra system and how it related to the emotional energetics of the twenty-six postures that we practiced in Bikrams yoga.
Time stood still as I sat there listening to two people who were able to take the training that they received from Tibetan and Tao masters, and life learned experiences, and deliver the information to those of us who were ready to receive it.
Jaylee and Paul were incredible people and I absorbed all of what they had to say but what resonated with me the most was the following:
Living with Less Judgment
In order to love and be loved we must try to live in this world with less judgment and expectations of others. It is not easy to let go of our egos and accept and forgive those who hurt us but by trying we are able to reach a higher level of happiness.
Connect with Your Inner Peace
Unless we take a respite from our daily lives it is very difficult to connect with our inner peace. Yoga and meditation help us to rid ourselves of emotions that detrimentally affect our well being. When we breathe into a posture and hold it for twenty-seconds we release energy that can reprogram the patterns of our DNA. The movement of the blood and oxygen in our system also releases trapped negative emotions.
Yoga Helps Us to realize Our Dreams and Goals
Yoga (and meditation) help to allow us to have our own dreams and goals. To give to ourselves so we have something to give back.
Always Question What You Hear
The trained masters warn to not just accept what we are hearing but to always question, to not have expectations of others and to not take on the responsibility of others.
To practice spirituality is a work in progress for most of us. It is a scientific fact that harboring ill feelings will make you sick and possibly kill you. As Jaylee and Paul said, get value out of bad experiences. Glow and become more worthwhile. Start to have a significant presence and offer more to make a difference.
And so, I go on writing about life and as I blog away my journey becomes more and more defined helping me to better understand the chaos in my life and my role as a writer, a mother, a wife and a friend.
I cannot do the seminar justice in one small post but if you would like to read a well written article about it go to: www.oajnet.com/bikrams/newsletters/…/docs/AnatomyOfAYogi.pdf
Still with me? Read more:
TRAINING THE MIND: VERSE 1 WORDS FROM HIS HOLINESS, THE DALAI LAMA
One can see that other sentient beings are, in a sense, the true source of our joy, prosperity, and happiness. Basic joys and comforts of life such as food, shelter, clothing, and companionship are all dependent upon other sentient beings, as is fame and renown. Our feelings of comfort and sense of security are dependent upon other people’s perceptions of us and their affection for us.
It is almost as if human affection is the very basis of our existence. Our life cannot start without affection, and our sustenance, proper growth, and so on all depend on it.
In order to achieve a calm mind, the more you have a sense of caring for others, the deeper your satisfaction will be. I think that the very moment you develop a sense of caring, others appear more positive. This is because of your own attitude. On the other hand, if you reject others, they will appear to you in a negative way.
Another thing that is quite clear to me is that the moment you think only of yourself, the focus of your whole mind narrows, and because of this narrow focus uncomfortable things can appear huge and bring you fear and discomfort and a sense of feeling overwhelmed by misery. The moment you think of others with a sense of caring, however, your mind widens. Within that wider angle, your own problems appear to be of no significance, and this makes a big difference. If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficult situations and problems. With this strength, your problems will seem less significant and bothersome. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm. This is a clear example of how one’s way of thinking can really make a difference.
The thing that we call “mind” is quite peculiar. Sometimes it is very stubborn and very difficult to change. But with continuous effort and with conviction based on reason, our minds are sometimes quite honest. When we really feel that there is some need to change, then our minds can change. Wishing and praying alone will not transform your mind, but with conviction and reason, reason based ultimately on your own experience, you can transform your mind. Time is quite an important factor here, and with time our mental attitudes can certainly change.
FIVE EASY PRINCIPLES FROM SWAMI VISHUNDEVANANDA: THEY ARE A SYNTHESIS OF THE CLASSICAL YOGA TEACHINGS
1. Proper exercise (Asanas) Enhances the flexibility of the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. The asanas improve circulation, massage the internal organs and improve organ function. A flexible and strong spine enhances blood circulation and keeps the body young and powerful.
2. Proper breathing (Pranayama) Connects the body to its battery, the solar plexus, which is an enormous reservoir of energy. Deep, conscious breathing boosts our daily energy reserves ?stress and many diseases (for example, depression) can be alleviated in this way.
3. Proper relaxation (Savasana) If the body and mind are subjected to constant overload, their performance suffers. A few minutes of physical, mental and spiritual relaxation counteract worry and fatigue more effectively than several hours of uneasy sleep.
4. Proper diet (vegetarian) Is one that is simple, natural and health promoting, and can be easily digested and assimilated by the body. It consists of food products that have the most positive effects on the body and mind, while having the fewest negative effects on the environment and on other creatures.
5. Positive thinking and meditation (Vedanta and Dhyana) Are the keys to peace of mind. By controlling the movements of the mind, we can eliminate negative thought patterns and experience deep inner peace.