All posts tagged trickiness

Activism for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker

SHANTI OM: LIVING AND ACTING IN PEACE Part 3: Activism for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker This is the last section of my three-part blog exploring peace. (Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.) I would like to explore what it means to act from peace. The term “spiritual activist” has become a popular term among today’s yogis and more conscious communities. But what does it really mean for a sincere spiritual seeker? Since peacefulness arises from a state of non-attachment and unity, what really is spiritual activism? I had the good fortune of coming across early in my life the teachings of Mildred Lisette Norman, an American non-denominational spiritual teacher and peace activist, who was born in 1908 and died in 1981. In 1953, she adopted the name “Peace Pilgrim” when she decided to walk for peace, which she did across the United States for 28 years. Her only possessions were the clothes on her back and the few items she could fit in her tunic pockets. Her introduction was her “Peace Pilgrim: 25,000 miles on foot for peace” signature on the front and back of her jacket. She had no organizational backing, carried no money and would not ask for food or shelter. When she began her pilgrimage she vowed to “remain a wanderer until…

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Ujjayi Pranayama and Hatha Yoga Practice: From Overheating to Effortless Effort

(Continued from last week’s post) THE PRACTICE OF UJJAYI PRANAYAMA In order to practice ujjayi, a subtle shift takes place in the movement of air-flow, which creates a flowing ocean-like sound. However, too often I have seen an attachment to using this breath create deeper tension in both the physical and energy systems of the practitioner, rather than burning up the ego’s sense of separate self-importance. Aspiring yogis may tend to “manufacture” ujjayi, which creates tension and defeats the purpose of its energetic flow. I have spent a lot of time with students and teachers in yoga sessions undoing a block that is created in the physical and energy body from this type of effortful practice. Effort of any kind requires a certain willpower. But where does this willpower come from? Does it arise from our effortless interconnection with nature? Does is come from our idea of what yoga is? Where are we trying to get to in applying it? If this moment contains all we need to fully realize the oneness of all that is, then any use of wanting to get somewhere else arises from a disconnected state that will only perpetuate more of the same. When practicing Hatha yoga of any kind, we need to cultivate witness consciousness, that is, witnessing the arising…

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Does Ujjayi Breathing Make Your Yoga Practice Victorious?

WHAT IS THE UJJAYI BREATH AND SHOULD I PRACTICE IT? In Hatha Yoga, we practice a series of physical exercises intended to purify the subtle energy channels in our body/being, so that we may one day experience a state of non-dual unity, that is, a oneness with the divine energy that pervades all things. The practice begins with mindful, physical exercises designed to open our body and free energy movement in the body/being. As our energy system awakens and clears, we may be ready to practice pranayama. The literally translation of the Sanskrit word “pranayama” is the “extension” or “drawing out” of prana, that is, of life force. It is a series of breathing exercises geared to broaden and expand our field of awareness, so that we may continue an even subtler purification of the body/being. Through my years of teaching YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, I have noticed that some students and teachers who have come to my classes and workshops tend to use a particular breathing technique known as ujjayi breathing during their practice. Translated as the “victorious” breath, ujjayi is intended to aid in yogic mastery, which ultimately is over the ego and our illusory perception of divisiveness. Some Hatha yoga styles such as Ashtanga and Vinyasa encourage the practice of ujjayi breathing…

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Sacred Sexuality: Beyond Wanting – Part 4: The Body Channel – The Art of Love

(Continued from Wanting Fulfillment or Open to Divine Love) What channel are we choosing to tune into and amplify when we mate? Whatever our state of consciousness at the time of sexual interaction, that consciousness is amplified by the act of sex. If we are wanting, seeking fulfillment and brimming with desire, we will feel satisfied temporarily from our climax, then ultimately feel empty once again and want more. The cycle of wanting then continues.   But if we approach sex from the point of view of the sacred, from a place of mindfulness and a practice of the release of wanting, most guys will say at first that they can’t get it up, and women will not know how to be sexy because they are so used to seducing or playing hard to get. Once the cat and mouse games or prey/predator games fall away, we are left with our naked self, our inner being, raw, vulnerable and real. Ok, you may ask, so what is so sexy about that!? That is when real lovemaking begins.   When we allow ourselves to let go of wanting the other to fill us up, when we let ourselves be real, as we are, another energy comes through our body and being. It will charge our entire being…

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Tantra Yoga: What’s Sex Got To Do With It? – Part 3: The Catch: Tantra’s Sex Appeal and The Need For A Guru

(Continued from Hatha Yoga, Sex Rituals and Tantra’s Shadow)   “Wow,” you may be thinking. “A spiritual path where sex is seen as a path to the divine! Sign me up!” But here’s the catch. Firstly, Tantra as a whole does not support the actual practice of sexual rituals. Only one offshoot branch of Tantra does, and that is a branch not generally condoned as a viable path by Tantrism as a whole due to its inherent spiritual dangers. These dangers are part of the second catch.   Secondly, when a spiritual aspirant begins to look at matter and the body as vehicles for spiritual evolution and personal transformation, he begins to walk the razor’s edge journey to spiritual enlightenment. He must learn to discern between the ego’s tricky wanting and expansive evolution. He must learn to balance the relationship between Nature’s involutionary tendency, that is, the rootedness of being in form, and the evolutionary cosmic play as it unfolds spiritually.   A Tantric aspirant can easily either become overly mired in the pleasures of the physical and lose spiritual expansion, or he can become overly lofty, detached and ungrounded by the spiritual and lose the presence of the physical. Like a gracious balancing act, the Tantric yogi walks an extremely potent path that is both…

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Ask Parvati 12 – Psyched About Being Psychic?

PSYCHED ABOUT BEING PSYCHIC I am often asked how to develop more intuition. Recently I received two questions on that topic. It seems as we embrace spring and clear out the old, making way for the new, people are looking to see more clearly as they make wiser, more inspired decisions. This week, we take a look at learning to navigate in the unseen. Thank you for your questions! Dear Parvati, How can I become more intuitive? I sense things sometimes about myself and about others and sometimes the hits turn out to be right. But other times I’m way off base or it’s just totally blank. I wish I could see more. Can I do meditations to open my third eye or something to become more psychic? Dear Parvati, How do you know when ‘angels’ or other ‘messages’ are coming to you, as opposed to your own thoughts creating them? I find this dilemma to be a bit of a battle for me, which then interferes with ‘faith’. How does one know if they are receiving guidance from an external source rather than creating it themselves? How do you differentiate? Or can you? WE EXIST WITHIN THE WHOLE We exist within a vast, multidimensional whole. I have said that in many other blog posts. What…

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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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North Pole Journey: Back in Toronto, a dream of the Goddess

The morning of September 30, 2010 The morning after I arrive back home from the North Pole, I wake up having had a most potent dream: BEING WITH THE GODDESS I was far north. I had no sense of bearing. I was just very north, looking for my spiritual community. I met the Goddess there in a co-op building with food supplies. When I saw Her, I was surprised and overjoyed but I did not lose my breath or feel an energy rush as I have in the past when seeing Her. Instead, I felt equal. She was open, present, looking at me just as I was looking at Her. She embraced me and told me good job, that She was very pleased. She said I must be careful about feeling not enough. This was an impossibilities trickiness tendency and would wear me down to the point of not being able to do this work. I thought of my health and the need to make sure I remain caring of my own physical needs. Then She let me massage Her feet and adore them for a long time. She spoke to me about my next lessons, that which I am to embody. But it was as though She suddenly spoke in another language. I told Her…

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North Pole Journey: Day Four, Part Three

Day Four: Sunday September 26, 2010 Part Three AT THE NORTH POLE It feels as though we have arrived on the moon. The plane seems even tinier now that we have touched down onto the vast field of pure white, untouched ice and snow. To the East, the wind has carved a few sculpted, hills made of solid ice. The snow extends as far as I can see, far out over the flat, vast ocean that is capped by solid ice, upon which we stand. The pale blue, expansive sky blends with the pale blue tinge of the snow, giving the impression of otherworldly groundlessness and infinite reach in all directions. We are here for two reasons: for me to perform my songs at the top of the world and to do healing work for the planet Earth. Both of these are to help raise awareness of the speed with which the ice now beneath our feet is melting. In just a few years, we will be among the few who were able to stand here. That thought seems hard to believe, as it is now -25C, yet this is unseasonably “warm” weather for this location. We were told that at this time of year, it was dangerous for us to land as the ice is…

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North Pole Journey – Day Three, Part One

Day Three: Saturday September 25, 2010 Part One The Thread of Pure Consciousness I wake up to my second morning in Resolute Bay. It is the day before I leave for the North Pole. I feel inwardly warmed by the memory of meeting the Inuit healers Lisa and Louisa last night. What grace to have such palpable, human confirmation that a subtle thread of healing interconnects us all. How else could these women have known before meeting me that I was coming to the North Pole to do healing work for the Earth? It seems the same energy that sparks their inner healing journey also inspires mine. I feel carried by an invisible force, which affirms the rightness of my decision to follow the intuitive guidance, put my musical tour on hold and come to this icy land. A subtle thread connects us all. I have heard some people compare that force to a river. To me it is the flow of pure love, a continuum of pure consciousness that is in everything. When we are open, ready and willing to listen and release our ego and become receptive to what truly is, we find that thread and it guides us. I have felt its presence often. Following it, life unfolds effortlessly, when faced either with…

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