Always Within Love’s Embrace

Parvati | Always Within Love's Embrace

I have had the great blessing of spending this past week in Detroit with my guru from South India, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, also lovingly known as Amma or Mother. Being in the presence of a fully realized master is indescribable. One who has gone beyond the limitations of the mind cannot be understood with the intellect. But I can share some of the insights from my time with Amma, as I resume my production schedule back in Toronto – new website to launch, music videos to complete, new songs and show to produce….

As I stumble and soar, grow and evolve, release and expand each day throughout my life, I am reminded that I view life through the lens of my perceptions, which are limited and imperfect. I experience life this way because I am still attached to the temporal sense of self that is separate from the whole. Some call this conditional sense of identity “me”, while others call it the ego. I have moments of oneness, of ease and unity beyond this self that feels divided from the whole. In those moments, all simply is. I feel no grasping or pushing, but rooted, vital and expansive within a loving whole. There is no resistance, but an effulgence of possibility and love. Then something occurs and I get triggered back into believing that I am my limited self.

We all tend to feel the compulsion to justify our beliefs, make ourselves feel right or wrong as we creatively draw attention back to our ego, so as to perpetuate the illusionary existence of our separateness. Similar to the drama of one who perceives a benign coiled rope as a menacing snake, we tend to go about our lives with a need to prove, reinforce, and get – all because at a deeply primal level we feel lack. Busily striving to fill ourselves up, we miss the opportunity in each moment to move into stillness. When we are non-reactive and open to what is, we can meet the emptiness we feel with loving presence and see that in fact it is not at all real. Beyond our attachments to illusions, we have been connected to the loving whole all along.

Being part of a world that is fueled by ego-driven desires to overcome a perceived sense of lack, we tend to get swept up in the momentum of wanting and miss seeing our ego in action. It is easy to do so as we engage with people who also have a strong sense of being divided from the whole. When jostled by these interactions, our knee-jerk reaction is to hang on more tightly to our sense of “mine” and attempt to turn whatever is happening into a way to justify our limited perception – so we can feel right or wrong, full or empty – again, divided from the whole. As we unconsciously strive to get our ego’s way, we often inadvertently choose little cheats that enable ourselves to be less than who we are. We may not realize the ways we creatively attempt to justify our ego’s needs through sneakiness, lying, cheating, twisting truth, decoys, diversions, manipulation, control tendencies, etc.

Rarely do we remember that all the while, the divine is watching. There is no-thing that goes unnoticed. No twist or turn to suit our ego ever leads us to happiness and lasting joy. When we continue to choose being less than who we really are, we miss the opportunity to find true fulfillment beyond the illusion of separateness.

In the presence of a satguru – a fully realized master, one who is beyond ego – we are graced with an opportunity to see our ego in action. Out of habit, even when with the guru, we attempt to engage with the world in our usual way – getting our wants fulfilled and perpetuating our limited beliefs so we feel solid and important as “me”. But this time, with no-thing with which to engage in the ego’s dance, we are left face to face with our own limited perceptions. We are graced with an opportunity to witness the ways in which we perpetuate our own suffering. Through presence, we can choose to let go of our self-perpetuated illusions and return to the wholeness that always has been.

Most often when I go up for Amma’s darshan (embrace), my tummy turns to butterflies and I feel a surge of nerves. I have come to see that these nerves are no different from what I feel each time I go on stage to perform. Embracing stage fright has been part of my spiritual practice for years. Thanks to my love for music and performing, I have been given a great opportunity to work through and beyond my fears – which are aptly described as “False Expectations Appearing Real”. With practice and presence, what once was a surge of ungrounded energy has become a means to feel more connected to my audience, this moment and myself. It is in alignment with my purpose to meet my fears through witnessing, so that I eventually move beyond them entirely.

Going to see Amma is a conscious choice to overcome my attachments to my ego and move towards wholeness. Being with Amma asks me to let go of temporal, ego-driven illusions of “me” and embrace my eternal self. Similar to the way I tend to feel increasing anxiety the closer I get to doing a show, my anxiety usually rises as I move up the darshan line and get closer to Amma. As these fears present themselves, I choose to go within and become quiet. What soon becomes clear is that I am terrified because I feel that I am about to die. I have come to understand that in truth, as I meet this moment fully as it is, I do die to become whole. I release holding onto to the “me” that believes itself as separate and therefore must strive for love. Presented with the perfect embodiment of unconditional love through Amma, there is no-thing onto which my ego can grasp – so it dissolves and returns to love.

Amma’s programs are full of people like me who are willing to let go of being attached to their ego’s drama and become whole again. As I move about the darshan hall either before or after my one-on-one encounter with Amma, my interactions with others also provide an opportunity to see my ego in action. My exchanges with Amma teach me how to be present for love in the community of those gathered to receive her embrace. This community then becomes a training ground for how I can embody love in a busy world.

In reality, everything provides us with the opportunity to move beyond the attachments that cause us suffering. Amma says, “There is nothing in this world that hasn’t nourished our growth in one way or another.” When we experience joyful and beautiful things, we are reminded that we can turn towards divine love. When we meet painful things with presence, we are reminded that we are held within divine love. Being in the physical presence of the satguru gives me the chance to see this more clearly because I am shown that love is always embracing me and holding it all.

I come away from my time with Amma with my spiritual battery recharged, so that I may deepen my practice of witnessing my ego in action and have the presence to soften and let it go. Being with Amma is not only home, but reminds me that home is everywhere, as long as I am willing to soften to love, right here, right now. As such, I never truly leave her darshan hall.

May you meet this moment as it is, and remember that you are love, you are loved. You are always within love’s embrace, no matter where you may be, or what you may be doing. Receive it.

Jai Ma!

 

JGP_9231__naturalI post my blog every Sunday with love. If you have enjoyed this, you may wish to listen to my musical works, check out my upcoming book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker, and find out more about me at www.parvati.world.

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Love,
Parvati

 

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What an inspiring read, thank you for this!

My mother asked me today what I get from being with Amma. This blog completely describes it and more. It puts in words the unconditional love I feel and the love and compassion I am learning to become. Thank you Parvati. Jai Ma!

Amma is an truly inspiring being. I feel so lucky that I have her as my spiritual teacher. Great blog article, Parvati!

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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WHAT LIGHT GETS YOU THROUGH YOUR DAY?

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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