All posts tagged Surrender

The Effortless Ease of Being

Meeting The Moment Without Stress Fifteen or twenty years ago, I heard someone say that if you are stressed, you are in your ego. At that time, I had no idea if that were true or what a life without stress would look like. But somehow, the words stuck in the recesses of my mind. They have acted as a backdrop to the ongoing spiritual experiment that is my life. As I have been in the recent process of honouring an unstoppable force moving through my life, a new vibration has begun to reverberate in my cells. I now feel closer than ever to understanding what a life without stress means, and what it looks like to live in effortless ease in every moment, every day. Through my Hatha Yoga practice and teaching, I have come to know that any form of movement that arises from wanting is one that perpetuates or creates karma. Whether we push into a pose and reach for some elusive sense of externalized perfection, or move out of a pose feeling uneasy or even repulsed by what we felt in it, we are acting from an unyogic, that is, non-unified or divisive, state of mind. This will only generate suffering for ourselves and others. At its heart, Hatha Yoga is not…

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The Unstoppable Force

I am making room for the unstoppable force. It is not an idea, a vision born of my mind, for that is made of thoughts which are temporal and passing. It is not a passion that churns in my heart, nor a voice that yearns to be heard as it echoes through time. It is not an itch that only wants to be scratched, nor a restless desire that seeks to be fulfilled. It is no longing that swells in my soul as I hope and dream, nor a call that drives my moods and actions. The unstoppable force is that which already is and can be changed by no will of my own. It is now and forever, born and unseen, present and unchanging. It exists through all, yet has no form. To identify with form is to attempt to contain it. It rises through my spine like a volcanic heat that runs through a corridor of dispassion. It is witness to the suffering of the world, at one with the pain, the beauty, the sorrow and the bliss of life and untouched by it all. It asks nothing and is made of no thing. Yet it creates, destroys and sustains all I know and beyond. My passions, thoughts, visions and ideas – all the…

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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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The Yoga of The Will

The Ego’s Will The common use of the word “will” conjures the notion of determination and focus to initiate an action. It is associated with the idea of pushing to get what we want and making extra effort to have things go our way. As such, when we feel that our will has been beaten by others or thwarted by the universe itself, we can often feel like a pile of roadkill pushed off to the side of our life’s path. We can easily find many examples of this ego-driven understanding of the word “will”. It is praised in boardrooms, at schools, in sports, in entertainment – even in yoga classes, as I explore in my new book “Confessions of a Yoga Junkie”. This use of willfulness exists in most areas of life in which we wish to excel. But do we really understand the true meaning of “will” and the value it has along the spiritual path? From Unconscious to Spiritual Awakening When we live unconscious lives, we feel we must make our lives happen. Oblivious to being part of anything beyond our little selves, we imagine that we are the universe. In this limited perspective, our willpower is our tool for survival. It is our identity. The stronger our attachment to that identity, the…

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Notes from the US Tour: A Journey Of Faith

Across the expansive plains of North Dakota, over the majestic mountains of Idaho, carried through the dewy air of Washington and Oregon, then down the sunny California coast, through the red rock of New Mexico, surviving the scorching heat of Oklahoma, Texas and the Carolinas, I now sit under a canopy of droopy tropical trees in Florida listening to the symphony of bugs and birds that chant in July’s steamy sauna-like forest.   Rishi just drove away to look for food for dinner that we can cook on our camping stove, taking with him the van we have called home since the end of May, when we first left Toronto. More than my first US musical tour, this journey has been repeatedly a call to faith, to take bold leaps into the unknown, trust and expand to meet unforeseen possibilities.   During a recent meditation, I saw beneath me a bridge of light. I could not see it with plain sight, but in surrender, in openness, I trust, I saw it there, carrying my every step. Limited cell phone reception, intermittent Internet, bookings that spontaneously dissolve as others magically arise, we are being asked to live right here, right now and engage life fully.   By grace, all those who have come to my shows and…

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Ask Parvati Finale: The Miracle of Nature’s Healing – Part 6: Nature’s Perfect Love

(Continued from “Everything Must Die to Be Reborn”)   We are the planet. When the Earth cries, so do we. When she moves, so do we. We are carried by an inexplicable force that moves through our cells, that animates our souls, that literally keeps us alive.   Nature loves us in a way we cannot comprehend. We cannot comprehend it because it is not of our ego-mind, which knows only to divide and separate. By surrendering to Nature’s intelligence, I was called on the North Pole journey. By surrendering to Nature, I was also healed and experienced what doctors call “a miracle”.   To walk: we take it for granted. But it is a miracle. Through the injury, I saw how even the impulse to move is grace, a force beyond our ego. We think we are the doers, but the “me” does nothing. Grace always is, moving through us, even when we don’t see it. We think ourselves as divided, but we are literally one.   Healing only happens in the state of absolute surrender. When we think “we” are healing, we interfere. There is no doing. Because of the grace of free will, we can be amplifiers or sludge in Nature’s communication pathways. Nature will keep on singing, creating and evolving with or…

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Ask Parvati Finale: The Miracle of Nature’s Healing – Part 4: My Own Personal Tsunami

(Continued from Prayers Are Always Answered (Just Not The Way We May Think))   When the tsunami devastated Japan on March 11, 2011, I was severely hit in my own way. When the earthquake actually shook on the other side of the world, I was sound asleep. However, I woke up that morning having had a turbulent night riddled with nightmares and feeling shaken to my core, yet unsure why I felt this way. I got up to walk down the stairs to my meditation room, to find that my legs were not fully responsive and felt numb. The bones in my pelvis, too, felt thrown out of balance. I was in physical pain, and felt like a mess in my head. Out of nowhere, I felt broken and ill.   Through that morning blur, I pushed into my day to make it to the meetings I had with music executives, as I was in the middle of promoting my music and shows at an international music conference. I went to my appointments, getting in and out of cars by lifting my legs with my hands because for some reason they would not quite work. I figured the strangeness would suddenly pass, just as it had suddenly arrived.   Later that day, a friend of mine…

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Ask Parvati 10: The Power of Letting Go

THE POWER OF LETTING GO May 1, 2011 Dear Parvati, I am a bit type A, tending to take charge of situations. I feel good about how much I can get done even under pressure, but I find that afterwards I feel exhausted, headachey, stressed and grumpy. People suggest to me that I need to learn to let go, but I have a hard time relating to that. I think that if I let go, everything would fall apart and I wouldn’t know where to start again. Yet, for some reason, I keep hearing their words in my mind, to let go. How can I begin to let go of some of the stress and not freak out about not being in control? LEARNING TO LET GO Thank you for your question. It is spring and the force of nature is churning. As the trees sprout leaves and flowers burst into life, we can feel an impulse to get active in an attempt to shed physical and psychological winter weight from our lives. Whether you are a type A personality or not, we can overdo these times of seasonal transition and end up with colds, allergies and other physical symptoms, ways our bodies let us know that we had best slow down and learn to let…

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North Pole Journey: Day Four, Part Four

Day Four: Sunday September 26, 2010 Part Four FROZEN MUSIC VIDEO SHOOT In the wind and -25C weather at the North Pole, Rishi unveils our video camera from beneath its own miniature “snow jacket”, while Sunanda sets up the tripod for the shoot. I take out my props, walk quickly through my routine now on snow, consider my performance flow, and check the lighting. The sun is fading fast but it will have to do. Rishi starts shooting immediately. There is no time to lose. The two pilots told us that we can be on this huge sheet of ice for no more than three hours if we are going to make it back with enough gas and avoid any turns in the unpredictable Arctic weather. That is fine. In this polar cold, batteries don’t last long. Dressed in my gold Natamba costume from head to toe, I position myself on the snowy ice to start my first song of four, when I realize I cannot move my hands. The deep cold has already frozen the acrylic paint on my costume gloves. This means I cannot press “play” on the backing tracks on my iPod, which is attached to me, buried inside my jacket and snuggled in with an additional hot pocket for warmth and battery…

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The Ancient Voice of the Mother

I feel an immense force carrying me. She speaks to me in the quiet spaces between my breaths in an ancient voice I have known forever. I surrendered to Her, years ago, and lifetimes before. The tides are strong, stronger still, unstoppable, eternal. She is everywhere and always. Each day, in my sitting meditation practice, I empty myself more deeply to Her. Then I practice throughout the day, seeing all as Her Grace, pure consciousness arising. As I work through the many layers, seen, unseen and unforeseen for this trip to the North Pole, I practice direct speed of body and open, quiet mind. Through emptiness, there is purification, a total surrender to that which already is and always has been…a vast, expansive perfection. I am not the doer. She is the guide, the life-force and the form through which all occurs. She is the healing we are to facilitate and the body for it. A voice beyond me, of us all, of the Mother, of I AM calls so that we may remember who we are, so that we may return home to the One.