All posts tagged judgment

Karma Yoga: Spiritual Pride and Selfless Service

SHANTI OM: Living and Acting in Peace, Part 2 I saw a fabulous post on Facebook today. It read: “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” A beautiful sentiment, to which my friend wisely added: “and they never know who you are.” She, a dedicated karma yogi, continued to write, “Nothing as dangerous as ‘spiritual’ pride!” This made me think about the many shadows along the spiritual path, especially when our spiritual lives inspire us to act in selfless service, or along the path of karma yoga. Our ego is a tricky thing. We ceaselessly – driven by our ego – consciously or unconsciously look for opportunities to feed our wanting self, until we wake up to who we really are. When we become enlightened, that is, when we are permanently established in the reality of divine love, we no longer identify with separateness and no longer maintain a separate sense of self. But until such time, for the sincere spiritual seeker, vigilance is required so that we may witness our ego’s tendency to feed, so that we may choose otherwise. Not that far removed from addicts who believe that a drink of alcohol will solve their problems, our ego habitually fools us into feeling fulfilled…

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Shanti Om: Living and Acting in Peace – Part 2: Karma Yoga: Spiritual Pride and Selfless Service

SHANTI OM: Living and Acting in Peace, Part 2 (Part 1: Is Peace Passive?) I saw a fabulous post on Facebook today. It read: “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” A beautiful sentiment, to which my friend wisely added: “and they never know who you are.” She, a dedicated karma yogi, continued to write, “Nothing as dangerous as ‘spiritual’ pride!” This made me think about the many shadows along the spiritual path, especially when our spiritual lives inspire us to act in selfless service, or along the path of karma yoga. Our ego is a tricky thing. We ceaselessly – driven by our ego – consciously or unconsciously look for opportunities to feed our wanting self, until we wake up to who we really are. When we become enlightened, that is, when we are permanently established in the reality of divine love, we no longer identify with separateness and no longer maintain a separate sense of self. But until such time, for the sincere spiritual seeker, vigilance is required so that we may witness our ego’s tendency to feed, so that we may choose otherwise. Not that far removed from addicts who believe that a drink of alcohol will solve their problems, our ego habitually…

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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 16: Anger As An Ally, Part 4: Anger, What A Pain!

ANGER, WHAT A PAIN! (Continued from The Irony Of Anger) I have a particular soft spot for the short little green guy, the master Jedi knight known as Yoda. (Ok, now you know I am a big time Star Wars and sci-fi fan.) The enlightened teacher skillfully sums up the role anger plays in our demise. He says, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” If we are to learn to meet anger as an ally, we must learn to touch its gems by undoing the painful grip of anger. Anger hurts us when we feel it. Withheld anger causes headaches, ulcers and cancers. Unbridled anger puts ourselves, others and those we love in harm’s way. We have only one healthy option when we feel anger: understand that it is caused by not seeing reality clearly, and committing to seeing a bigger, more accurate picture of what is. In so doing we let go of its seductive grip and we learn to embody the courage of love through compassionate understanding. I love the Longfellow quote: “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” As we learn…

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Ask Parvati 14: The Death of Niceties and Feisties

DEATH OF NICETIES AND FEISTIES THE BIRTH OF FIERCE COMPASSION Dear Parvati, I notice that when I am around other people I tend to go into people pleasing at the expense of myself. I wonder what you have to say about that. DIALING “THEM” DOWN, DIALING ME UP BECOMING AUTHENTIC One of the pivotal quotes that shaped my life growing up was from one of my favorite musical icons, David Bowie. He said something like the worst trick God could play is to make you mediocre. Internalizing my version of his message, my motto became through high school and university that I would rather be an A or an F student than a C student. Living by that belief, I developed two distinct personality traits, a tendency to edit myself to people please with niceties or plow through things with a fiery feistiness. Both extremes were fueled by a drive for what I understood to be “perfection”. The tension that lay between these and the fervour I put into trying to be “perfectly A” or “perfectly F” eventually consumed my health and wellbeing. By the end of high school and into my first year of university, I was exhausted and stressed because I was not being authentically myself. Though it took me completing university and facing…

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Ask Parvati 7 – Cultivating the Sweetness of Humility

Ask Parvati 7 – Cultivating the Sweetness of Humility Dear Parvati, You mentioned in your last entry that a gem of a spiritual seeker will have a warm humility. I try to practice humility, but struggle with a tendency to go straight into self-loathing when I feel that I have done something egotistic. I feel this tendency is not humility. Can you explain a little more about humility and how it is different from beating yourself up? I feel grateful for this question on a topic with which I am very much in process. I am no expert here, so I share some of what I have learned and witnessed so far on my journey. The lessons that have taught me aspects of humility have been among the toughest I have experienced, but also the sweetest. As the hard shell of the coconut cracks to reveal sweet meats, so too the hardness of our ego must dissolve in order to experience the nectar of lasting bliss. Humility is an essential spiritual quality that we must all learn to cultivate if we are to walk the spiritual path. Because of the powerful strength found in the deep softness of humility, this topic is often easily misunderstood. I acknowledge its sweet immensity in wonder and awe. Part of…

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Ask Parvati 6 – Seeing Past the Shimmer: Discernment on the Spiritual Path

Seeing Past the Shimmer: Discernment on the Spiritual Path April 3, 2011 Thank you for all the questions submitted this past week. In this week’s blog, we take a look at the shadow of spiritual seekers. Please send your questions to be picked for next week’s topic to ask@parvatidevi.com by Thursday, April 7. If you have not yet done so, please listen to the meditation for Japan that I recorded recently to support those in need. I am grateful for your help in passing it on. Peace, Parvati Dear Parvati, I have a friend that I find confusing. She is sweet, an active spiritual seeker who volunteers and seems to care for others. But when I am around her, I feel uneasy. When I ask myself why, I feel in my gut that I can’t trust her. She seems spiritually wise, so I find it hard to understand the reaction I have. My gut tells me she is hiding something, like she is not what she seems. How can you tell when a person is truly the light they project or is shining light as a decoy to nasties in their personal basement? The Shadow of the Spiritual Seeker Thank you for this question. When I lived in India for a year where I eventually met…

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Ask Parvati 3: Awakening to Disaster

Awakening to Disaster March 13, 2011 As I write, I am feeling raw and vulnerable. The power of the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami that followed shook me deeply and leaves me focused on prayers for those who were struck by the disasters and for all beings, including our living planet. The questions I received this week were powerful, mirroring the intensity of the natural disaster that also came. The question answered here is in response to dealing with family tragedy. Both this tragedy and the planetary disaster to me are a call to enlightened action and to learn to truly love. (If you would like your question to be in a draw to be answered next Sunday, please send it to me by Thursday, March 17th at ask@parvatidevi.com.) May you feel inspired this week to be the light you are. Parvati Dear Parvati,My husband’s niece was killed by her husband last week, leaving four small children behind. I have always believed that we choose our experiences in this birth, that we choose our birthplace and parents/siblings and, to a certain extent, our death and time of death. Given the horrific way this woman’s life ended, I have a hard time believing that we would actually choose to die in such a way and also leave…

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Ask Parvati 2 – Family Relationships – Breaking Free of Feeling Judged

Family Relationships – Breaking Free of Feeling Judged March 6, 2011 Thank you very much for your comments to my past post and for your submissions this round. If you would like your question to be in a draw to be answered next Sunday, please send it to me by Thursday March 10th at ask@parvatidevi.com. I look forward to hearing from you! Have a super week and enjoy the week’s read. Parvati QUESTION: Dear Parvati, I have been brought up in a very controlling family, with very dogmatic religious beliefs. Even though I am an adult now and have been living on my own for a long time, I still feel this fear of being controlled and judged by them, to the point where I don’t even want to talk to them or visit them anymore. How can I move past that and have a healthy, balanced relationship with them? REPLY: Dear Friend, Thank you for your sincere question. Many, I am sure, can relate. No matter what kind of family we are born into, good, loving, kind, abusive, indifferent, we have an opportunity to grow. At a soul level, deeper then the personality, our family members are very powerful teachers that I believe are perfectly matched for what we need to learn in this life. Whether…

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