Monday, May 27, 2013

5 Tips to bring God into your Life

In today's modern and fast-paced world, it is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of responsibilities and the cycle of life. We know that Yoga is a path to feel more connected with God, Divinity and Life. But how does that transmit to every day habits and patterns? How can one connect to the Divinity during the chaos of daily life?

Below are five simple tips to remember Divinity (God) throughout your day:

1. Honor Life (God) first thing in the morning. See your alarm clock as a gentle nudge from God to be present to the Divinity within the moment. Avoid using alarm clocks that sound like they are signaling danger or create an "ugh! not again" thought upon waking. Instead, find a calming alarm that reminds you to wake to the beauty of the day. Upon waking, give thanks for another day, this moment and this life. Take a conscious breath and cultivate a sense of gratitude for life as it is... in that very moment. Then, get up out of bed and begin your day.  :)

2. Honor food and drinks before and during consumption. Many spiritual people pray before meals, honoring the edible morsels from God. Well, let's take this beautiful principle a step further and expand its teachings. Begin to take a moment of gratitude before you consume every drink, morsel, snack, meal... anything. Instead of praying just over the meal, be conscious and grateful for every drink and every bite. By doing this your begin to sense the Oneness within all of life, reduce the power of the ego and develop devotion.

3. Take conscious breaths throughout the day. At various times throughout the day, take a moment to breathe consciously. Gather the rays of the mind and shift your awareness to the present moment. Close your eyes. Take a slow deep inhale through the nose, and slowly exhale through the nose. Slow, deliberate, honoring. Connect to the peace and love that exists within each breath. Open your eyes keeping the same awareness. Then continue your actions feeling more vibrate, connected and peaceful.

4. Prepare meals for God. Everyone loves a good meal and many people know there is something special about mom's cooking. Dedicate your meals not only to you and your family, but also to God. Allow cooking to become your personal meditation. Slowly and with great care, prepare your food. Use simple, natural foods and techniques in preparing meals for the sacred Temple which hosts the Spirit. Honor the process of how the food appears before you now. Consider the entire cycle of each item from birth to consumption - birth, growth, harvest, packaging, transportation, placement, selection, purchase, preparation and finally consumption. See the beauty of your own process until today. Sense the unity in diversity of all who have been a part of the process to make sure you are nourished.

5. Conclude your day in Remembrance. There is something so special about honoring the play of life, Lila lee-la in sanskrit, before you fall asleep. Take a moment to honor the sacredness of being alive. Give gratitude for all that presented itself to you in that day - the good, the bad and the ugly. Embrace it equally, knowing it is all present for your highest spiritual evolution. Let go of everything preparing to rest in the purity and lightness. Know that you are also a part of the Divine Cosmic Play and there is a much brighter, wiser and peaceful Essence that is your very nature. Consciously breathe with awareness of the Eternal Light. Acknowledge the Grace within the moment. This is a very sweet and precious way to fall into the dream realm and enter the beginnings of another day of Divinity.

May you ever be blessed with Grace, Love and Light.

"Thou art Divine, Live up to It."

~ Swami Sivananda
Rishikesh India 1887 - 1963

Monday, May 13, 2013

Know that you are Divine

Upon finishing my morning Sadhana, or spiritual practices, I typically draw a daily inspirational reading from a few of my favorite books. The other day I chose Swami Chidananda's Daily Sadhana book and randomly opened to a page.

The page was titled "Know that you are Divine." It was so inspiring I thought I would share with you a portion of the reading...

"Beloved children of the Divinity! Radiant Rays of the eternal Light Divine! No matter what state of unfoldment you find yourself in, essentially, inwardly, in truth and in fact you are Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, even at this moment. Nothing can rob you of that. In your essential nature you are That. You are eternally linked with that infinite ocean of Joy, Bliss and Wisdom. If you realize That, your whole life blossoms forth into a radiance of love, bliss, happiness, peace and serenity.

Every day try to make it a point of being conscious of what you really are. Make yourself God-centered. Become one with the Existence Principle, which is even in a blade of grass, a speck of dust, a wisp of cloud, and every mode and expression of life.

Verily, you are children of the Divine. You have come here to live like gods, talk like gods, act like gods. Know that you are Divine. Grow day to day into a greater realization of that joyful Awareness. The Divine Life is the sole task of your mortal existence. From Divinity has your being been brought. In Divinity let your life be led. Eternal Divinity is your ultimate destination. Know Thyself and be Divine! Let our life be filled with supreme Fulfillment."

Blessings to you and remember today and always "Thou art Divine, live up to it."

Monday, May 6, 2013

I am God-Intoxicated

On my recent visit at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch in upstate New York, one day I was doing Karma Yoga. As I headed to the marketing computer to do some work on the website, laying on the keyboard was a poem by Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh India, our main Guru. I began reading the poem and quickly realized it was a poem he wrote while fully illumined, fully enlightened. Here is the poem...

I am God-Intoxicated by Swami Sivananda
"I have realized the Atman
Through the grace of the Lord and the Satguru.
I am unattached and free.
All doubts and delusion have vanished.
I am free and ever blissful.
I am free from fear
As I rest in that non-dual state.
Fear is due to duality.
I am God-intoxicated
I am Brahman-intoxicated.
I have attained perfection and freedom.
I live in the Pure Consciousness.
I have won the game of life.
I have won, I have won!"

This left me really contemplating "intoxication." I began investigating intoxicants in general and why our society seems to be bombarded with them. And more than just drugs and alcohol, there are numerous intoxicants that pull us outside of our own personal suffering. I believe that caffeine, gossip, drama, shopping, material wealth, etc can also be intoxicants.

It seems that by our human nature, we seek intoxication in the sense of "loosing ourselves." While we are intoxicated we seem to go beyond the mind, beyond the limitations of our beliefs and enter the world of the unknown, the land of the free... or so it appears.

But really how free are we in that state of temporary intoxication? How conscious are we during intoxication?

It's interesting that someone may be innately shy but give them a few alcoholic drinks they begin dancing with pure abandonment. It's something about intoxicants that gets us hooked. I think this is where addiction comes into play. The person desires to "loose" him/herself in the intoxication, only to realize later that it is a temporary experience. And since that intoxicant provided a temporary opportunity to step out of personal suffering, then we become addicted to the intoxicant and have to have more of it in order to experience the "loosing ourself" aspect again. The problem is, the suffering never ceases to exist.

But what if we actually decided to become God-intoxicated. What if we removed our temporary intoxicants and put our energies into "loosing" ourselves in the peace, love and light of God? How do we even do that? I think its related to another insight I had a a couple months ago with my blog "Living a Spiritual Experience Every Day." Its about how willing are we to experience the Grace of God in this very moment. Beyond the veils of life. Beyond the veils of intoxication. Beyond the veils of suffering.

So I ask you to personally investigate your relationship with intoxication.

Why do you seek intoxication?
What intoxicants do you use in your daily life to "loose" yourself?
Do they provide eternal peace and happiness?
Do they give you the ability to truly be free?
How willing are you to step into a life of being God-intoxicated?

Remember, you are a Divine Being already intoxicated with God's Grace and Peace. Be willing to loose yourself in the abundance of Grace that surrounds you and consumes you in every single moment.

Stop seeking intoxication in an empty well. Search for the infinite well of Love and Light and be one with all that was, all that is and all that will be. That infinite well is only found within you, not in the external world of temporary pleasure.

Seek within and you will be set free.