January 5, 2019
If we could see the future ...
but what am I saying!
Of course we can see our future!
The future will simply be the consequence of who we are in our present; and well, maybe seeing it clearly is impossible, we can surely glimpse certain fundamental features that will be part of it. As you see a plant grow, you can easily tell where it's directing its branches, from where are its roots being nourished and from what direction comes the light. knowing all this is very clear the "future" of the plant. In the yoga tradition, it is clear that the mind acquires the qualities of what it focuses on, therefore, if you want to know your future, look from where is your mind feeding. As Gandhi is quoted on saying:
"Take care of your thoughts,
because they will become your words.
Use your words carefully,
because they will become your acts.
Take care of your actions,
because they will become your habits.
Take care of your habits,
because they will become your destiny. "
The fundamental topic in this subject is the word "focus". By this I mean, "focus" is where your mind tends to be most of the time. What are you passionate about? Where do you tend to go? There you will focus on your creativity, your feelings and actions, and furthermore, from the principle of resonance, what kind of people and circumstances will you attract in 2019.
Now the idea of bringing this up, is not simply with the intention for us to take responsibility for what we have chosen as our focus on 2018, and even less, that we feel guilty or disheartened by our choices. The idea is that we may ..
remember the Power within own being
that we are the determining factor as to where the boat of our life is heading. Obviously, we already know where this conversation takes us ... we have all heard it, it is all about our willpower, our ability to choose the best option and not let ourselves be carried away by our negative habits, addictions, etc, etc., etc. But my approach to this issue is not going to go in that direction Although, the above said is true, often self-effort is not enough to move in the direction of our dreams, we need an ingredient often forgotten in our egocentric culture of today. The ingredient is known by the sages of India since time immemorial, when they met to chant Vedic mantras and connect with the Brahman or Absolute, this ingredient is ...
Please, do not run out of this article, thinking that I am going to expand on a religious sermon! It is not my intention to sell beliefs but rather to invite to a constructive reflection!
Grace simply refers to something that we can all instinctively recognize, and this is that
... there is a harmonious interconnection between all things and beings, and this points to a primordial intelligence.
We can call it a transcendental energy or intelligence or Supreme Consciousness alive in us and in every particle of this universe. This is clearly reflected in the complexity of the structural dynamics of everything in this changing web of life.
The conditioned mind can not free itself. It would be the same as saying that a computer program can rewrite itself in a completely different way than it was designed. In order to get out of our unconscious patterns, out of our mental "box", in order to see what is hidden from our conscious mind, we need a much more subtle light of discernment than common reasoning. That it may reveals to us those unconscious dynamics, and even more, an energy that gives us the strength and inner peace, so that after recognizing the pattern, we may be able to free ourselves from this habit with patience and perseverance. This inner Power capable of doing this, is what in Tantra is known as Kundalini Shakti, the dynamic power that resides in the most essential of the energy that constitutes our body-mind and from where it is said to emerge all Grace.
Meditation is the fundamental practice to open ourselves to this power. To meditate is to put our mind aside, let go of control and let something free and completely spontaneous emerge from within. Using the metaphor of the sacred text of yoga, the Bhagavad Gita: The charioteer needs to release the reins of his horses and give them to his Higher Self or Consciousness so that He-She may lead the cart in the meditative process. As it is said in the Bioneuroemotionpostgraduate course in which I am currently training:
for a behavior change to occur
a change has to happen
deep in our subconscious
And this sub-conscious is the one who is really in charge of the decisions in our life!
In conclusion, in the path of spiritual growth known as yoga, it is said that to advance in practice we have to recognize the two wings of the bird, indispensable for it to fly. The first wing is our effort, the second is Grace. It is necessary for us tu summon our willpower to discipline ourselves and make the daily effort to meditate, open to Grace and let ourself be transformed, inspired and guided by this higher power. This can be a sweet effort, as my spiritual teacher says, perhaps you start by simply beginning the day acknowledging your higher Self, sitting for 5 minutes, breathing consciously, and quieting your mind, over time, you will surely grow in availability and skill. Do not underestimate the power of 5 min made daily with a firm intention to be free!
My wish for you and for me, is that in this 2019 we grow in faith in our Inner Self, that we give ourselves the time to recharge our spiritual "batteries" and "antennas", and thus be able to flow with life from our deepest wisdom and choose wisely, moment by moment, what which will generate the 2019 that we really yearn for.
Here, I leave you with a guided meditation to connect with the infinite sea of Consciousness. It is one of the meditations of Module 2 of the Meditation Course, 2018.
December 1, 2018
A couple of days ago in Tantric Philosophy class we talked about how the spiritual path is about bringing the subtle art of meditation to our daily actions. That is, how to maintain your center, your stability and clarity in the midst of the changing landscape of life. I understand the purpose of my spiritual practice as to be able to experience the intensity of Life and its never ending transformations with deep appreciation for the unique experience it offers, rather than contracting emotionally at every twist and turn because it is not following the script of my choice and losing myself on mental drama and suffering.
How can we keep ourselves in a space of openness and appreciation for life even when our desires are frustrated or when our fears come true?
How can we cultivate a state of Openness, defined as a space of trust, relaxation and even enjoyment in the midst of the constant loss of control that living implies?
In the Tantric text we have been studying, The Recognition Sutras, we talk about learning to maintain an awareness of your inner world as you experience the outside world. Since it is the inner world that really colors your experience of the outside world. That is, what makes us suffer is not so much the external event or phenomenon, but the reaction or interpretation we make of it. Therefore, by keeping ourselves aware of what we are thinking / feeling within, we can begin to manage these unconscious movements of our mind.
This week we committed ourselves to practice, at different times throughout the day, a contemplative look at ourselves.
For example, when we are driving, working or in conversations with friends, ask:
What energy am I projecting at this moment?
How am I relating to my life in this moment? What emotional state am I projecting?
The intention is simply to feel / observe without judgment the state from which we are operating. This part is crucial,not to judge the state in which we are as good or bad, spiritual or mundane, elevated or low. Just feel the state you are in.
You could practice this right now, at the same time you read my words. Direct your gaze within and feel, contemplate in what mood you are, see your body and physical sensations.
What muscles are tense?
How do your inner organs feel?
How are you breathing?
How do you feel in general?
As you do this, you will notice that part of your attention stays invested in reading my words, while another part begins to contemplate your internal panorama, and the mere fact of feeling it begins to transform. Self-regulation of your own nervous system begins to occur spontaneously. Perhaps you notice yourself loosening the muscles of the shoulders, perhaps you relax the abdomen, perhaps you notice that you are sad or feel a pressure in your chest. As you stay in the feeling it unwittingly changes your state. As I recommend in the Meditation Course;
Feel, accept, let it be and trust.
This simple act of bringing part of your attention to the interior in different moments of your everyday life can become a healthy habit, which allows you to recognize and begin to deactivate mental patterns of suffering in which you fall unconsciously throughout the day. The most important aspect of this Tantric practice called Shakti sancochais that of Feeling, free of all judgment, releasing every agenda, with curiosity, with unconditional love. I propose to put it into practice at specific moments of the day, for example,
When driving you come across a red light,
When you are washing the dishes
Every time you have to put your signature on a document.
Choose a moment and try to commit yourself to take this daily break. Just stay between 1 to 5 min. while you continue doing whatever you do. The idea is not to stop what your doing and practice feeling your inner body, but to keep doing what you are doing while bringing your attention to yourself. Sometimes, "bringing attention to yourself" sounds very vague to certain people, so another way to make it more tangible is to bring your attention to the center of your chest, commonly known as the heart chakra.