Feeling Lightness of Heart

I would love to start a complete blog entitled something like,  “Beautiful Things to Make You Feel Good.”

Imagine that:  a whole compilation of beautiful things, ideas, etc., to bring joy into people’s hearts, etc.

Today was a bit of a hard day.  But, there was one thing that made me feel extraordinarily wonderful.

I was listening to something upon first waking up, a kind of audio on the “Insight Timer” app,  and it exhorted me to “… Feel freedom.  Feel a lightness in your heart, a lightness in your body, and know that you are free…”

This incredible idea:  — “A lightness in my heart?”  I thought,  “What on earth does that feel like?”   I could imagine feeling light in my body, but not feeling “lightness” in my heart.    (Maybe warmth of heart… heaviness of heart… but for some reason I could not remember ever feeling “light” of heart)

In any case, I tried then to viscerally feel what it would feel like to feel a lightness in my heart…

And, lo and behold,  what an incredible feeling!  And what an accompanying Memory!  I HAD felt this way before!   

Indeed, it brought me back to when I was in Dharamsala in 2013,  a beautiful town (home of the Dalai Lama, etc.,) in the foothills of the Himalayas (India).

That Lightness of Heart!  That was something I used to feel almost continuously and every day while I was living in India at certain times,  relatively free (studying, not working in a kind of daily grind as a teacher day in, day out).     It brought back that lightness and I felt —  I hoped, I felt, I was sure, that I could get back to there and feel that lightness again.

I hope to be recommitted.  (shall I be committed for writing this post?)    I hope to be recommitted to go back to India and to feel that lightness again.   To get out of the daily grind, and get back to a life of study and writing (more or less) at my own pace.

To be Free (again) is a goal I have.   What a blessing to be reminded, that it is possible to Feel Light of Body and Light at Heart.    Thank you.  

The Most Difficult Thing in your Life, is your Greatest Teacher

The most difficult or aggravating thing or person in your life is also your best teacher. 

For through dealing with this difficulty, you learn and grow the most.

 

This teaching can be found throughout many spiritual traditions, ancient and modern.   I remember reading this from the work of Pema Chodron many years ago.   And just last night I was watching an NVC video with Marshall Rosenberg where he shared the same sentiment.

 

I felt so much relief and good feeling on being reminded of this.  As I had been feeling a lot of anger and frustration around my work (I am a teacher at an academy in Korea) recently….   And it suddenly struck me that I could look at this difficulty from a different perspective:

What a Gift.  What a gift it is to have a tough time here and now.

 

For in going through this difficulty I become stronger.  I also learn about things that I don’t like (through which contrast I can better appreciate what I do like!)    And also, to think of the relief, on getting through this work.   Think of how good it will feel, in future, looking back on this and saying,  “So many things I learned from these experiences….”

What Renunciates and the Law of Attraction have in common: the Art of Allowing

There exists in the world’s spiritual teachings a common theme, which can be found in expressions of this teaching as disparate as (for instance), the renunciate sage Ramana Maharshi, on one hand,  and the modern teachings of “Law of Attraction” such as those voiced by Abraham Hicks, on the other.

 

This is what we might call “the Art of Allowing,”  allowing the intelligence, Source, God, or Self to Work Through Us .  It is “allowing” in the sense that is not so much about doing, but “allowing oneself to be done through“, we might say.

 

It is a surrender to the flow and workings of life.  This does not mean surrender in the sense of giving up, or becoming a mere unintelligent puppet of source, —

but rather in the sense of an intelligent sensitivity to the subtleties of the moment;  and a “going with” the intuitive feel of what is right in that moment.

 

This does not mean that “Do-ers” are not allowing the Self or Source to work through them.  Indeed, often those inspired by Source and allowing it to “work through their hands” as it were, end up being the most active beings of all.

 

For instance, Ramana Maharshi, when some questioned him about what work should be done in national politics (this was in pre-independence India), replied that Gandhi was simply allowing himself as a conduit for the Primordial power of the Self to work through:

“Adhyatma sakti [the primordial power of the Self] is working within him and leading him on. That is enough. What more is necessary?”

Amma’s, Spiritual Progress

Amritapuri Ashram, Kerala

It is the morning, and I find myself sitting in my small shared room, by the window, eating oranges.

My roommate sleeps in nearly every morning, so it is as though I have the room to myself during early mornings like this.

The sun rises over the palm trees, the crows, the circling white-headed bald eagles, and the giant pink buildings materially constituting the ashram.

I hear the buzz of the morning busi-ness.

I wanted to write something but not sure entirely what.

More I just wanted to feel that I have been productive and written a blog post. But in any case, I feel that there is a lot going on here.

I feel that I am “progressing” spiritually, while I am here, whatever that may mean.

[For of course, from an absolute standpoint, there is no progress. But in this material incarnation — sure, definitely we can feel and make sense of progress]

So I feel that a lot is happening here. I am in a way quieting down in the heart, quite often, and deepening in my awareness of the spirit.

I have been repeating a mantra as often as I can:  “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” — this roughly means, “May all beings have peace and happiness.”

I feel a deepening when I repeat this mantra. Also, when I sit close to Amma on the stage during darshan — at those times, there is a great peace that I feel I can tap into, simply by sitting there quietly.

Others must feel the same way — else why would so many beings be crowding onto this stage, just to sit for long intervals, observing a constant line of people coming to be hugged by an Indian mother-saint?

It is truly amazing. Day-in, day-out, this unusual being (Amma), she sits there hugging these people tirelessly. She must log easily 50-60 hours per week doing this (about 14 hours straight per day, 4 days a week), in addition to all of the other work she does. 

But yes, I do feel that I am greatly progressing here. Whatever that enigmatic feeling or concept may mean.

Equanimity: The Great Way is not difficult for those who have No Preferences

Amritapuri Ashram, Kerala

I feel I have been a bit more relaxed and disciplined over the past couple of days.

Part of it, I think, has been thinking a bit on a quote given by Baba Ram Dass from the 3rd Chinese Patriarch of Zen, and his exposition of this quotation.

[This comes in a piece called, “Attachment and Addictions Part 1” — an absolutely incredible question and answer session regarding attachments and addictions. It was formerly on Youtube, but was since taken down. Those very interested I may be able to try to send a copy :)]

This is the famous quote:

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. 
Let go of wanting and avoiding, and everything will be perfectly clear. 
But make the slightest distinction and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
                                          (– 3rd Chinese Patriarch)

This sounds a bit difficult for us at first. Difficult to take on. For those who have no preferences? Let go of wanting and avoiding? Surely this is what we do; this is part of being human….  All of us have some preferences; and do we not spend much of the day (at least in our less enlightened moments), wanting and avoiding?

I liked Ram Dass’s little exposition of this, though. He said, to paraphrase:

This doesn’t mean that you must have no preferences! It just means that you are not so hung up on your preferences. That you are not inextricably attached to your preferences.

It’s like, they say to you: Would you like Chocolate Ice Cream, or Vanilla Ice Cream (Ram Dass pronounces this “Vaniller”)?

“I’ll take Chocolate Ice Cream.” … “Sorry, we only have Vanilla Ice Cream” … “OK — I’ll have Vanilla then.”

This is the attitude Ram Dass suggests the Chinese Patriarch is encouraging us to take.

It is an attitude of — even if we do have preferences — of being flexible, and of being willing to accept with good nature, humour, and still with gratitude, when our preferences are not met.

As I continue to do this more and more during the day, I am continuing to get a small handle on where my attachments are.

Actually, the food analogy was perhaps an extremely useful one for me, as a lot of my hang-ups and irritations relate to food. Particularly when I am in a place (such as here at Amritapuri), where I lack the resources to prepare my own food, and must eat what is served (though I can find a way to be uptight while preparing my own food as well!).

So for instance — oh, the food is too spicy again. I am sweating into my clean shirt…. Argggg… Oh well…. Where in some instances I allow this to irritate and frustrate me, I am trying now to simply “cool out” about it a bit.

Oh, it is “Bhajan day” — dinner will not be served until 8:30 again.  That is not fitting with my schedule (I prefer to eat around 6, to get to bed early and with a minimum of heat in the evening…) But oh well. That is life.

So I have really appreciated in the past few days, continuing to recall this teaching of Equanimity.

Feeling that I simply want to go to the Home Page of my Self, or my Deepest Truth

Do you ever have this feeling? I am on my computer, on the internet, and feel like I just want to go to the Home Page of my SELF.

The Home Page of my Deepest Truth.

Like I just want to go HOME. Wherever or whatever that is.

Not my physical home, but I just want to go to the deepest part of myself. Just want to sit quietly, with myself.

Writing this here just now actually helped me out…

I don’t want to type in: mail.google.com;

I don’t want to type in: facebook.com.  I have already checked my email, and have seen my facebook messages and the latest. And even if I hadn’t, it is not what I want at the moment.

As a friend said to me some time back: when he turned on his computer and logged onto the internet, he tended to type in facebook, and to check his emails.

Why?

He said, “I am not sure why – it is like my fingers are just used to moving around those keys”

“m…a…i…l…. mail.google.com”

“f…a…c… facebook.com” (no need for me even to type in the whole address, thanks to my browser already knowing precisely what I am going for!)

And I seem to have the same experience, quite often.

A concept that really interests me: a page on the internet, that our fingers are accustomed to typing the keys for – which doesn’t take us out of ourselves. Which brings us back to sit quietly with ourselves.

As sometimes that is what we really want (I know sometimes it is what I really want), but don’t quite realize it.

I haven’t yet quite found this page yet.

But maybe I can try and do a service and link to some pages that come close. {update: I just posted two videos; there are many more, similar to this, that might be effective. Peace and love.}

You are Peace, Love, Infinite Joy; You are the Self; Rest in your One-ness! ; )

[These are the first that come to me at the moment. Any other suggestions for reminders of the Self — for pointers back to simply being with Ourselves — are highly welcome. Love.}

Feelings of Joy for No Reason

As I sit here, I just feel so joyful, within my heart, and within my whole body.

There is not a whole lot of material reason for me to feel this joy — not a lot special has happened to me.

I am just hanging out at Amma’s ashram, in the corner of my busy building. My internet stick has started working again. I got to look on facebook and “like” the things of friends and send a few messages.

I have recently found out that I will run out of money, and am currently planning to look for work in South Korea, to work teaching English for a year.

There is still so much I want to do on this particular episode in India (such as go to Mooji satsang coming up in Rishikesh), but it looks like it would not be financially feasible.

I am a great lover of Mooji — feel so happy whenever I watch his videos. He keeps me returning to my Self. To being just basically Who I Am.

But, this is what needs to happen, it looks like. I am excited for the next leg of my journey, when that will be. Sooner rather than later.

I recall the quotation of Emerson, when I think of the fact that I am so glad, while not conscious of really any “special good fortune”…

Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune… I almost fear to think how glad I am…

Having this tremendous gladness — it can come from crossing a bare common… or from walking in the woods, as Emerson goes on to say…

In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. In the woods, is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years.

I feel a bit silly for quoting these now. But in any case, in my case, apparently this gladness came not so much from walking in the woods (though I had a nice walk earlier), but just simply from being here, from comfort, from a bit of internet access, and thinking about old friends and life.

I want also to share this Krishna Das track — Tara’s Mantra — very beautiful, I think listening to this “kindled” the “heart centre” so to speak.

Tara is an important deity in the Indian and Buddhist traditions.
God Bless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJy6_cMJbHw