All posts tagged compassion

Ask Parvati 37: Feeling Under Attack – Part 2: The Big Picture/ It’s Not Personal

(Continued from “The Power of Patience“)   We tend to take people’s bad moods, emotional reactions, judgment, criticism and attacks personally. Of course, toxic energy directed towards us hurts. But it does not have to.There is tremendous power in not taking things personally. In doing so, we peel away the dramatic story that masks the moment to reveal deeper truths. When we let go of taking things personally, we ultimately see that everyone is wounded, everyone needs love and everyone is doing the best they can at any given moment.   Hurtful exchange and nasty comments usually happen so quick, that we hardly know what really has gone on. When we practice patience and take a bit of breathing room from a volatile situation, we can slow down the tape of our reactive mind and see the subtler pathway of our knee-jerk reactions. We can move our awareness inward and ask ourselves, “What buttons of mine did this person push? What did I feel? Why did I react like that? What about this did I find hurtful? Is there something else I could see that am not seeing?”   It is my belief that most people are just trying to get through their day with, likely, a whole lot of mental fog, swirling unhappiness and unresolved…

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Ask Parvati 37: Feeling Under Attack – Part 1: The Power of Patience

Dear Parvati, I am having difficulty managing angry feelings toward one of my supervisors. He criticized me harshly during a presentation I was giving in front of a crowd. I know that it was meant to be personal. What made me even more angry than the slag was that I couldn’t fight back or defend myself in that moment. I felt powerless, and I had to swallow the anger that came up. I have been fuming over it for days. In my less angry moments, I absolutely recognize my role in this conflict and the attachments and distorted boundaries that I helped to build, which have led to this. I also know that what feels rooted, vital and expansive is if I were able to let go of these attachments, and with that, the anger and hurt. But my ego is still fuming, and I can’t “get over it”. I also feel some anxiety about having to work with him again, which I will have to do regularly. Help! I think I need to re-build boundaries that were violated, but I feel so vulnerable right now. No doubt this kind of attack brings up feelings of being attacked by my mother when I was a child and feeling powerless and afraid. My question relates to handling these…

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Ask Parvati 35: The Gift in Gossip – Part 3: Gossip Hurts

GOSSIP HURTS (Continued from Cultivating Compassion) At the core of the practice of satya (truthfulness) is non-gossip. Non-gossip is also part of the five Buddhist precepts, rules by which to live. These precepts are analogous to the yogic Yamas and Niyamas and to the Ten Commandments. They are: 1. Do not kill (including non-harming, the absence of violence) 2. Do not steal (including taking that which is not rightfully yours) 3. Do not lie (including name calling and gossip) 4. Do not misuse sex (including adultery, harassment, exploitation; for renunciates, this means celibacy) 5. Do not consume intoxicants (including drugs, alcohol; for some this can even mean do not engage in mind-numbing activities such as movies and TV) Gossip is idle talk or rumours, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. Gossip is prolific in our society, something we often take for granted. In extreme cases, it is considered a trustworthy source of information. It seems gossip is practiced when we do not feel “enough”. It comes from scarcity. It is not an expression of abundance, plenty, joy and fulfillment. We all have the capacity to gossip about what “they” did “over there”, because that makes us feel temporarily better than “them”. But we only do that for the temporary fix of feeling “better”,…

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Ask Parvati 35: The Gift in Gossip – Part 2: Cultivating Compassion

CULTIVATING COMPASSION: WE ALL SIN (Continued from Honesty and Truthfulness)   You ask, “How do we practice satya when we encounter gossip – particularly if the gossip is taking place among people we respect, or even among people who claim to be practicing yogis?”   I finally saw the 1982 movie Gandhi last night. It was incredible. I was impressed by one of the things that the character Gandhi said in this regard. He said he could not act violently against anyone who was acting unrighteously, because he too had faults. Instead, he chose to humbly stand up to what he felt was right through an active resistance to partaking in that which was unrighteous. Very importantly, standing up to unrighteousness started within his own self. He held himself up to the same standards that he inspired the world to live by.   All of us, unless you are a fully realized being, have vasanas (negative tendencies). No one is “free from sin”, so to speak. No one has the right to judge or criticize anyone, because likely they too likely possess the very traits (to some degree or another) that they tend to criticize.   As I said last week, to me, the foundation of yoga practice is humility. Spiritual evolution seems to start there.…

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Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications – Part 4, Letting Go Of Wounds

PART FOUR: LETTING GO OF WOUNDS (Continued from Transcending Anger and Low Self-Esteem) Question: How can I heal past relationships wounds and let go to start living my life?  My answer: Everything in life has a cycle. There are seasons for flowers and season for snow. Everything plays a part of the greater whole. There is a time in our healing process for anger and a time for grief. Then there is a time for forgiveness. Only when you have had the humility to be honest with your feelings and see your part in the situation, only when you can see yourself in the other person and cultivate understanding, will you be able to let go. Letting go happens when you feel ready. When you become tired of holding on to the anger and hurt, you will let go. The other person, the situation, nothing but yourself is holding on to the hurt and anger. No one is choosing that, other than you. You cannot blame anyone. There are no victims here. When you feel you have had enough of ultimately hurting yourself and creating the feeling of hurt, will you let go. There is no judgement in what I say. It is totally natural to feel dark, painful emotions. Everything has its place and season.…

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Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications – Part 3, Transcending Anger And Low Self-Esteem

  PART THREE: TRANSCENDING ANGER AND LOW SELF-ESTEEM (Continued from Faith and the Unfaithful) Question: How can I transcend anger, lack of confidence and self esteem when I know it’s the ego playing tricks in my mind?  My answer: The process of transcending anger, lack of confidence and low self-esteem are a slow and deep process. Lifetimes slow. If his Holiness the Dalai Lama says he has transcended anger, well there is hope for us all. Yet we must remember that he is in a state of Buddha Mind. So it takes a lot of time and practice! My experience tells me that learning to meet life with humility is a very powerful tool to cultivate self-esteem and self-confidence. When we are willing to learn from our mistakes and painful situations, we begin to see life as a gift, as a supportive process, rather than something “happening to me”. We then feel we have choice, and the ability to create a life we love. If we are willing to admit our own faults and shortcomings, we can feel more compassionate for the shortcomings of others as well. It is natural to feel angry when someone hurts us. But it is a reactive reflex, like you would get if you stepped on a lion’s paw. Anger is…

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Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food – Part 3: The Source of Creativity – Ego or Selflessness

PART 3: THE SOURCE OF CREATIVITY: EGO OR SELFLESSNESS (Continued from The Power of Intention) Some people create art through pain and tension. Some thrive on tight deadlines and panic. Others need relaxed quiet in which to create. Though I can meet a painful situation and create, I tend to use the creative force to move through the pain towards expansion. Though some artists rest in pain and seem to need it to create, pain to me is passing. At best, it is a catalyst to propel me towards healing. It is not an end in itself.When I wrote the song for 9/11, the pain I witnessed and the compassion I felt cracked open a well of goodness and interconnection. I could have written about injustice and anger, but more sincerely for me, more powerful for me was the call to rest in the field of interconnection. I have written angry songs, judgmental songs, indignant songs, sad songs and happy songs, but if they do not come from a place of sincerity and honesty, they never make it past my song book and into a recording. I am very picky that way. For me, art is a spiritual practice, a way to challenge my ego and grind it down, so that it dissolves back to the…

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Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions – Part 5: The Rise and Fall of Emotions

PART 5: THE RISE AND FALL OF EMOTIONS (Continued from Body, Mind, Emotion And Compassion) “The single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.” – Eckhart Tolle Learning to witness is essential as we learn to let go of our identification with our ego and our emotions. On the journey towards enlightenment, we will experience periods when the mind is still and pure. In this state, we can witness and watch life from a place of spacious presence. Life arises. We witness. We are part of life, also dancing, yet still, watching the dance. This space between thoughts is where truth lies. In this, is the eternal, the reality of existence, the enlightened presence. As we learn to meditate and evolve, we learn to find more space between our thoughts and emotions, so that the grip of our mind softens and…

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Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions – Part 2: Enlightenment Now

PART 2: ENLIGHTENMENT NOW (Continued from What Is Enlightenment?) “Self-realization is the knowing – in body, mind and soul – that we are one with the omnipresence of God; that we do not have to pray that it come to us, that we are not merely near it at all times, but that God’s omnipresence is our omnipresence; that we are just as much a part of Him now as we ever will be. All we have to do is improve our knowing.” – Paramahamsa Yogananda It is my understanding from my meditation practice, and from guidance from great teachers, that our state of unity with the One already exists, but we, for the most part, cannot see it because we are so busy, so caught up with our mind. This is why great masters tell us, it already is, that we can rest into the perfection of the now. We on the other hand are used to identifying with our mind, to feeling that our ego is in control. We do not allow ourselves to trust and to let go. It is a bit like we are so focused on a tiny speck of cloud, thinking that it is the entire world, we miss the vastness of the sky and the infinite expanse of the…

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Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions – Part 1: What Is Enlightenment?

ENLIGHTENMENT AND EMOTIONS Dear Parvati, When a person is enlightened do they still respond to human emotions the same way that, lets say, the average person would? PART 1: WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT? Thank you for this question. It is an important question in that there are many misconceptions about enlightenment, mostly because most of us are not yet fully enlightened. If we are lucky, we may have glimpses. But enlightenment is something most of us actually know very little about from personal experience. They say that only the enlightened can recognize an enlightened being. So not yet being fully realized myself, I can only imagine what the end “goal” would be and how a fully realized being would respond to emotions. I have a sense based on what I have experienced and through learning from great masters. Due to this, I feel it appropriate to talk about emotions and enlightenment in this blog referring to the body of experience that I can offer and in drawing upon to wisdom of the great masters that guide our way. Unlike book learning, wisdom that comes from experience resonates in complete understanding through our entire being. There have been periods in my life of blissful flow and oneness, but not in a permanent way. I also experience states of…

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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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Rishi Deva, CEO, Kupid's Play Records
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+1 416 805 9894 | pranada@kupidsplay.com

Let me know how yoga and YEM have touched your life. You can send a link to a video by you if you would like. Comments may be shared on my website if you check the "permission to share" box.
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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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