All posts tagged compassion

How to Choose the Light of Your True Nature, Part 3

Image credit: Amy Dianna (Continued from Part 2) When we apply effort towards what is good for us, we experience the heat of transformation, where our personal will rubs up against our karma, or our tendencies. Such is called tapas in Sanskrit. Through tapas, we burn off the effects of our actions when we make choices that lead us in the direction of our greater good. The heat caused by our efforts can feel uncomfortable. We often think of grace as being a sweet pat on our head by the universe. But for those who are truly willing, everything in life can be seen as grace, even that which feels uncomfortable. When we remember that we are within a loving whole, we meet this moment as it is, without resistance. In that state of receptivity, we understand that our desire for something that does not support our highest purpose, such as a chocolate cake, is fueled by an old pattern, a view of life through an outdated lens that no longer serves our greater good. When we understand that the desire for the cake is just an old habit, it no longer has power over us. We no longer see life as happening “to” us, something to which we are a victim. We see instead that…

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Freedom of Speech in an Interconnected World

Avant tout, nous sommes des âmes: Freedom of Speech in an Interconnected World We are blessed to live in a society where we have the right to read this blog. As I mentioned when I shared the story of a young girl who fled North Korea a few weeks ago, there are nations around our globe where rights that we take for granted are not an option for people like ourselves. Though last week I said I would post part two of “How To Succeed at your New Year’s Resolution”, I will do so next week. Instead, I feel the need to touch upon this week’s brutal murders in Paris of five satirical cartoonists (and seven others). I extend my deep compassion for all those who have and are suffering through this – those grieving the loss of their loved ones and those driven to such violent acts, blinded by hate. The horror of the incident has led me to look more deeply at the power of speech, at our responsibility to use it wisely and at the way we are all connected. At the same time, I have just learned about the devastating tragedy in Nigeria in which Boko Haram, an organization against democracy and education, has killed as many as 2000 people – mostly…

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‘Avant tout, nous sommes des âmes’: Freedom of Speech in an Interconnected World

We are blessed to live in a society where we have the right to read this blog. As I mentioned when I shared the story of a young girl who fled North Korea a few weeks ago, there are nations around our globe where rights that we take for granted are not an option for people like ourselves. Though last week I said I would post part two of “How To Succeed at your New Year’s Resolution”, I will do so next week. Instead, I feel the need to touch upon this week’s brutal murders in Paris of five satirical cartoonists (and seven others). I extend my deep compassion for all those who have and are suffering through this – those grieving the loss of their loved ones and those driven to such violent acts, blinded by hate. The horror of the incident has led me to look more deeply at the power of speech, at our responsibility to use it wisely and at the way we are all connected. At the same time, I have just learned about the devastating tragedy in Nigeria in which Boko Haram, an organization against democracy and education, has killed as many as 2000 people – mostly the elderly, women and children – over a six day rampage. Freedom of…

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Patience and Love for the Earth

Hello friends, It is another cold day in southern Ontario as spring continues to be elusive. But soon, it will be here. Time seems to be moving so quickly this year with all Rishi and I are doing – preparing for the release of two music videos, a surround sound album and show, and more in 2014. Here is a picture from one of the photo shoots we did this week with my talented friends: photographer Eric Benchimol and makeup artist Michelle Flannigan. I am not a huge fan of snow and cold, but I believe that we have the option to practice patience in situations that we may not like. You can read more about the power of patience in one of my past Ask Parvati columns. And any time is a good time to practice compassion for Mother Nature. If she is acting in a manner that seems deranged, we must consider: what is the cause for her suffering? As I have written in the past, our planet is a living organism to which we are all connected. If the planet is stressed, I feel we must ask ourselves in which way we are contributing to that stress. Then we can take action to help reduce any toxic impact we may have. Earth Hour…

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The Power of the Divine Feminine in a Dark Time, Part 4: The Way of Yin

THE WAY OF YIN The Divine Feminine comes in many forms – from the subtle to the overt, from the form to the formless. She is everything that is form and beyond. My song The Birth of Lakshmi illustrates how Lakshmi, the goddess of matter, arises out of the waters of pure consciousness to come into form. The traditional Sanksrit chant Sri Mahishasuramardini Stotram narrates the story of the warrior goddess Durga who draws her sword to slay a demon and keep cosmic balance. The traditional Sanskrit chant 108 Names of Parvati Devi celebrates the goddess in all her various forms. She is everything and nothing. She is eternal and temporal. I called my recent show YIN: Yoga in the Nightclub for a specific reason. Not only is YIN an acronym for Yoga In the Nightclub, but the word also references feminine power. The show celebrates the divine feminine, so this is fitting. YIN: Yoga In the Nightclub celebrates the Divine Feminine in all her aspects, be it the oceanic goddess Lakshmi, the compassionate mother in my song Lokah, or the fierce Parvati and warrior Durga. We tend to think of yin as soft, and in our culture, this is often associated with weakness. But the power of yin is very deep and beyond what we yet understand…

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Reclaiming the Divine Feminine: Feeling Safe as a Woman

RECLAIMING THE DIVINE FEMININE (Continued from The Power of the Divine Feminine in a Dark Time) I had already moved from Montreal in 1989 when the Polytechnique shootings happened. I remember thinking from my Toronto home that it could have been me that was shot and killed that day. I was like those 14 young women, ambitious engineering students who had followed their path to higher education. But unlike them, I had chosen to study at the University of Waterloo. I was in the school of Architecture, which was at that time, and may still be (I honestly don’t know), very much an old boys club. I allowed the energy of that clan to deeply affect the way I felt about myself. Fed up with being a topic of conversation for my long blonde hair and bold attitude, I found myself soon with a shaved head, flirting with the idea of same sex relationships and unconsciously desiring to be more like a man. Needless to say, I became sick every month as an unexplored rage at being was pumping through my body in the form of extremely dysfunctional menstrual cycles. I hated being a woman. For much of my life, being a woman has felt unsafe. I have been subject to two overt physical assaults, one…

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Finding Compassion For Those Who Hate

When you put yourself out there, share your heart and voice with the world, there will inevitably be those who love you, those who hate you and those who just don’t care. Being on the spiritual path, I find this to be an excellent teacher and a perfect ego grinder, because whatever people think of me, it does not matter. Of course, my ego says, I would love everyone to like me. But I have no control over what people think and do, or how people judge. I can only do my best, love as best I can and humbly continue to open to each moment and learn the lessons each one brings. In the end, what matters most is my relationship with the divine, which affects how I treat others and myself. What is essential, lasting and true is that I practice seeing the divine in all, even in those who may not like me. It is hard to understand the motivation of hate, but in essence, we all have the capacity for it. No one is immune to its seduction. When I am lucidly honest with myself, I can openly say that I have felt it rise in me and take me over. I have felt its burn singe my heart. I have fallen…

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It Is Up To Me: Cultivating Self-Love

From Self-Betrayal To Self-Love: Steadiness and Gratitude On The Path Part 3: It Is Up To Me Over the last few weeks, I have been sharing here what I learned when I recently found that I was being unkind to myself. My last post was during the first period of Lent, as Christians prepare for Easter. Today I post this blog entry as we enter into the week of Passover, a Jewish festival that celebrates the miraculous release from slavery. To some extent, we all have parts of ourselves that feel enslaved, whether we are conscious of them or not. It is also a tendency for most of us to want others to free us from these painful places. But as I was reminded in my recent experience, when I saw that I was turning myself black and blue, it is not for anyone else to “save” me, take away my pain or fix my perceived broken bits. I need to face my inner demons just as you do, just as the next person does – on my own, in my own time, in my own way. It is a kind of miracle to realize that we have the ability to free ourselves in this way. By turning on our inner light, we invite grace, transformation…

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Ask Parvati 38: Finding Centre in the Busy Day – Part 3: Seeing Others As A Reflection Of Yourself

I shared in last week’s blog how it is easy to point fingers at others and criticize people for their shortcomings while overlooking our own. How quickly we forget that we too can fly into a rage, call people nasty names, judge, or take our feelings inappropriately out on those around us when hurtful things may be directed our way. We are all imperfect, evolving beings just finding our way through life.   As you move through the day today, practice seeing others as a reflection of yourself. Practice putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. See if you can do this before you may habitually react either by thinking or doing things that are less than divine.   Our ego will try to convince us that what we perceive as outside ourselves has nothing to do with us. But at its root, life is one flow of pure consciousness, arising. We are not separate but in a oneness flow. So see if you can see others as a part of yourself or as a reflection of yourself. Notice that street person who is asking for change and know that you too could be there. And perhaps, in some ways, you are. Perhaps there are parts of yourself that you have abandoned and ways in which…

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Ask Parvati 37: Feeling Under Attack – Part 3: Understanding and Compassion

PART 3: UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION (Continued from “The Big Picture: It’s Not Personal“)   Here are some powerful thoughts I ask you to consider. Find a quiet place and allow yourself to go deeper with these:   “Everyone wants to be loved.”                 Wow.   “Everyone wants to be loved. And everyone fears they will not be loved.”       Think about that.           Think about that some more. Breathe it in. Let it resonate.   “Everyone wants to be loved and everyone fears they will not be.”         Apply that thought to your boss. Think of him that way, just wanting love, fearing he will not be. Think of how you want to feel loved. Perhaps, you two are not that different.       Think of your mother that way, just wanting love, fearing she will not be. Try to feel the fear your mother has, and know you too feel the same. Perhaps, you are not so different. The love you seek is also the love she wants. The fear you have that you won’t find love, is also the very same fear she has.       Think of your friends and other family members that same…

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