There is a natural harmony to the universe that brings forth healing and the fulfillment of divine potential. To cooperate with that principle of harmony, we must open our mind beyond what has been and make space for possibility. We allow the mind to sink into the heart.
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MESSAGE FROM YOGACHARYA
As we continue to respond to changes and challenges related to the global pandemic—questions arise:
Where do we go from here?
How do we meet this moment, consciously and creatively?
How do we begin anew with an open heart and an open mind?
I want to highlight one of the essential tools we have to move forward with healing, inspiration, and divine support. That tool is our imagination.
I’ve been listening carefully over this past year and a half. One of the refrains I have heard (not a new one) is that it is not that we do not have, or cannot source, what is needed to meet the challenges we face; it is that we too often suffer from a failure of imagination. Let’s not do that at this juncture.
Using our imagination to see and know beyond what the senses can perceive is a doorway to the Infinite. Not only can we experience the vastness beyond time and space through this portal, but we can (and must) make use of it to cultivate heaven on earth. Here is the first step.
Letting Your Mind Sink into Your Heart
What I mean by “letting our mind sink into our heart” is to let go of clinging to thoughts and instead anchor our attention and awareness in the soul, in our essence of being.
It works like this:
- witness thoughts as they arise and pass away,
- remember your essence.
Paramahansa Yogananda said, “Think about God all the time.” How can we think about that which is beyond thought and sensory experience? God, Ultimate Reality is omnipresent and therefore can never be an object—a thing external to us.
To think about that which is beyond thought, to consider that which is not an object of perception—we must engage our faculty of imagination. Imagining what God is by opening our mind is not the same as the direct experience of God that occurs beyond the mind. Imagining we are Self- and God-realized does not make us enlightened. However, it can be an important and valuable opening to realization.
Often we equate imagination with fantasy, with something that is not real. It can have a negative or “lightweight” connotation. That’s just your imagination! While flights of fantasy and unreality are an aspect of imagination, it can also help us get beyond the limits of our thinking mind—the constraints of the past, boundaries of name and form, and what we already know.
Arriving, Being Present, Seeing, Letting Go
When I arrived at the ashram after being away for over a year, it made my heart soar to be there, to experience the peace and radiant beauty of that place. It’s spring, and the garden is fragrant with beautiful flowers, vibrant with new life and birdsong. I am so grateful for our staff who tended this place and kept its energy pure and bright all of this time.
I looked around and thought there is too much in this space. There is too much furniture, too many things, even (God forbid) too many books! I need more light! I need more space!
So at 8 p.m., I began moving furniture and books out of my office. I could see things clearly that I had not seen before. It reminded me of when I returned from a long period of outreach travel and walked into our temple again. When I walked in, all I could see in front of me was a brick wall. I said, “There’s a brick wall!” Well, of course, there was. At that time, it was the dais wall. It was brick: from floor to ceiling.
When we bought the property, we loved that brick wall. We had spent years moving from rented location to rented location and finally! We had our own “permanent” place, and what better to signify permanence than the solidity of bricks?
But naturally, there came a time when we needed more light. It was time for us as a community to let in more light, to expand our potential, and to begin to imagine possibilities. The physical change was simply a reflection of our inner knowing.
Is it time to let in more light? Now? Is it time?
Before rushing headlong into activity or searching for a new normal, how about opening to a higher possibility? Can we allow ourselves to imagine something greater, more soul-satisfying, and life-enhancing?
Many of you are familiar with my guru, Roy Eugene Davis’ statement—There is a power for good that runs this universe, and we can learn to cooperate with it. Or, later, he would say: There is an enlivening power that runs this universe, and we can learn to cooperate with it.
He was referring to what in Vedic teachings is called Ṛta.
Ṛta means: Truth, Law, Order –from the root meaning “to rise, to tend upward” Grimes’ Sanskrit dictionary says, “It is the working out of Truth in action. It is the eternal Order, cosmic as well as moral.”
The divine order, plan, and purpose in the universe are right now rising and moving forth into expression.
A natural harmony in the universe brings forth healing and the fulfillment of divine potential. To cooperate with that principle of harmony, we must open our minds beyond what has been and make space for possibility.
Make space. Most often, we do that through meditation—we open our hearts and minds to the Infinite. Now I want to suggest that after that experience of stillness, open to imagination and begin to receive, to capture the vision (the divine dream) of life that is waiting for you.
There is a shift of perspective here. We are not trying to imagine the ideal scenario for our lives and our world, not trying to think something up. We are, instead, opening our minds to Ṛta – to the divine possibility that is already rising, already moving forth. It is moving in us—in our hearts and our souls.
This is how to begin.
First, let go of what no longer serves your highest good.
Enter the open field of divine possibility.
Where there were once obstacles and suffering, a path of freedom and the soul’s delight appears.
Cooperate with it.
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I am the wetness of water, the radiance of the moon and the sun, the sound in the air, and the sweet fragrance of earth. I am the brilliance in fire and the life in all beings. —Bhagavad Gita
The Five Auspicious Shrines are sacred portals for healing that connect us to the great web of life, return us to original intimacy, and restore us to wholeness. This soul journey is the one we have been waiting for—a pilgrimage not in the world, or of it, but as it.
Journey with Yogacharya in this lesson series and discover the five elemental and energetic shrines of the earth, the physical body, and the soul’s subtle pathways. Each element—earth, water, fire, air, and space—can teach us how to care for ourselves, one another, and our planetary home.