Om Dhyow Shantir
Vishve Devah Shantir
Shantir Eva Shantih
Sa Ma Shantir Edhi
May the heavens be peaceful. May the space between the sun, moon and stars be peaceful. May the earth be tranquil. May the waters be calm. May all herbs be heathy and peaceful. May all the vegetable kingdom nourish and be peaceful. May the elements and all luminous forces be peaceful. May our body, mind and soul be calm and joyful. May everything be at peace and may this peace be real. May peace and harmony flourish through all.
The more I teach the more aligned I feel to the basic teaching of exquisite existence. You may ask what that means? The more I live, the more I realize, it is learning how to be an embodied Spirit in human form. We speak of it all the time, we as in spiritual seekers, teachers and students of all kinds, but how do we embody Spirit. Every new theme that intuitive arises in my existence is to teach me how to live as Spirit but without restriction or criticism. I believe living a human existence embodied as Spirit feels more accepting of oneself in our human desire to make money, have things and build a strong foundation for ourselves and our families. When we commit to a human experience existing as Spirit it can be tough. We feel like we need to figure things out or control things, which cause lots of human problems. We are so attached to what everything looks like or how easy it should be. All the teachings I focus on for the month are what help me become embodied. To remember that I am worthy for life to love and support me.
As are you.
Is this shit mine?
Life is so full and all of our own personal problems seem to be bigger than each other’s. All the individual suffering we go through seems to be bigger than the bigger problems that groups of people, other cultures, countries have. I am trying to learn that whatever I am feeling in the moment, that feels too big to carry, I am feeling for the world. Maybe what you are feeling is some unprocessed energy, emotion or experience from your past you have not yet processed. Maybe it has something to do with the present tense, a situation that is building tension and you are not addressing it fully.
If the practice of yoga teaches us that we are all connected wouldn’t it be possible that what you are feeling or processing is not even your own? There is collective angry, scarcity, doubt, fear and sadness in the world. There is an extreme excess of it. Maybe there is more of that energy than that of acceptance, surrender, joy, intimacy, playfulness, fun? I believe that it is possible to feel the collective suffering of the whole. Not just when you are in close proximity to it, but that it is saturated and everywhere. What you pick up on doesn’t have to be yours.
Whether it is yours or not you don’t have to know. You don’t have to know where it came from or why. All you have to know is that it is arising to be healed. How do you heal it? By not judging it or over analyzing it. By feeling it completely until it dissolves your need to know. Until your ego character dissolves into opening your heart to heal yourself for the world and the world for yourself. Keep in mind that this is not some righteous act like or I am that caring, or spiritual, I am going to heal all and I am the shit for this. Learning to bless everything is an act of appreciating beauty.
Matt Kahn taught me this teaching. As he is an empath and intuitive. This also goes back to the Tibetan Buddhist meditation technique of tonglen (giving and taking or sending and receiving), or maitri, (the practice of compassion or kindness).
Yoga is the practice of present moment awareness
Yoga is on the spot medicine. A in the moment opportunity for healing. It is not for those who are faint of heart. It is for those who are courageous and willing. Who look at their own shit honestly and are willingly to heal from it and to heal it for all. What happens when you align to Spirit and healing? Beauty emerges. Your attention, and intention seek beauty. It is a on the spot treatment for the suffering in human form. Seek beauty. What does that for you? Nature, poetry, human contact, giving to another, heartfelt conversation. These are some of mine. What is yours? Definition of beauty: a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
One of my favorite beauty practices
This one of my favorite poets John O Donahue speaking on beauty:
Beauty isn't all about just nice loveliness, like. Beauty is about more rounded, substantial becoming. So I think beauty, in that sense, is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth, and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life.
What you encounter, recognize or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach. Many of the ancient cultures practiced careful rituals of approach. An encounter of depth and spirit was preceded by careful preparation.
When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.”
Definition asking God’s protection and favor.
Pema Chödrön teaches us “sending and taking,” an ancient Buddhist practice to awaken compassion. With each in-breath, we take in others’ pain. With each out-breath, we send them relief.
Tonglen practice, also known as “taking and sending,” reverses our usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure. In tonglen practice, we visualize taking in the pain of others with every in-breath and sending out whatever will benefit them on the out-breath. In the process, we become liberated from age- old patterns of selfishness. We begin to feel love for both ourselves and others; we begin to take care of ourselves and others.
Tonglen awakens our compassion and introduces us to a far bigger view of reality. It introduces us to the unlimited spaciousness of shunyata (emptiness). By doing the practice, we begin to connect with the open dimension of our being.
Tonglen can be done for those who are ill, those who are dying or have died, or those who are in pain of any kind. It can be done as a formal meditation practice or right on the spot at any time. If we are out walking and we see someone in pain, we can breathe in that person’s pain and send out relief to them.
Breathe in for all of us and breathe out for all of us. Use what seems like poison as medicine.
Usually, we look away when we see someone suffering. Their pain brings up our fear or anger; it brings up our resistance and confusion. So we can also do tonglen for all the people just like ourselves—all those who wish to be compassionate but instead are afraid, who wish to be brave but instead are cowardly. Rather than beating ourselves up, we can use our personal stuckness as a stepping stone to understanding what people are up against all over the world. Breathe in for all of us and breathe out for all of us. Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.
When you do tonglen as a formal meditation practice, it has four stages:
1. Flash on Bodhichitta
Rest your mind for a second or two in a state of openness or stillness. This stage is traditionally called flashing on absolute bodhichitta, awakened heart-mind, or opening to basic spaciousness and clarity.
2. Begin the Visualization
Work with texture. Breathe in feelings of heat, darkness, and heaviness—a sense of claustrophobia—and breathe out feelings of coolness, brightness, and light—a sense of freshness. Breathe in completely, taking in negative energy through all the pores of your body. When you breathe out, radiate positive energy completely, through all the pores of your body. Do this until your visualization is synchronized with your in- and out-breaths.
3. Focus on a Personal Situation
Focus on any painful situation that’s real to you. Traditionally you begin by doing tonglen for someone you care about and wish to help. However, if you are stuck, you can do the practice for the pain you are feeling yourself, and simultaneously for all those who feel the same kind of suffering. For instance, if you are feeling inadequate, breathe that in for yourself and all the others in the same boat and send out confidence, adequacy, and relief in any form you wish.
4. Expand Your Compassion
Finally, make the taking in and sending out bigger. If you are doing tonglen for someone you love, extend it out to all those who are in the same situation. If you are doing tonglen for someone you see on television or on the street, do it for all the others in the same boat. Make it bigger than just that one person. You can do tonglen for people you consider to be your enemies—those who hurt you or hurt others. Do tonglen for them, thinking of them as having the same confusion and stuckness as your friend or yourself. Breathe in their pain and send them relief.
Tonglen can extend infinitely. As you do the practice, your compassion naturally expands over time, and so does your realization that things are not as solid as you thought, which is a glimpse of emptiness. As you do this practice, gradually at your own pace, you will be surprised to find yourself more and more able to be there for others, even in what used to seem like impossible situations.
This can be used as a mediation practice or an on the spot medicine. Whenever you feel energy, emotion deeply, feel it for everyone. Whether its anger or joy. Stop when it arises, when you are in it and feel it. Breath it in and breath it out and then give it away. Feel it for maybe someone you know love, then for who you don’t know or don’t like, or for everyone collective.
Use as a seated practice or in the moment when you are judging, hating, cursing.
Insert person’s name below, in the you portion. Or say they. Try six rounds.
- First: You
- Second: A respected person/someone who has deeply cared for you
- Third: A friend or family member
- Fourth: Someone neutral
- Fifth: Someone you dislike
- Sixth: All beings. Expand the feelings you've generated thus far to all beings in the world.
Taking this as the basis for the meditation, here are the instructions for practicing loving-kindness meditation:
- Hold an image of the person in your mind. Make this image as clear as possible and feel your connection with the person.
- Generate feelings of love. Chant/say your mantra to yourself or picture beautiful imagery.
- Imagine sending those feelings of love to the person. Let those feelings swell as high as they will go.
- Imagine transferring those feelings of love to the next person. From you to someone you respect/who cared for you, then to a friend/family member, then to someone neutral, then to someone you dislike, and finally to all beings.
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be at ease.
May they be well. May they be happy.
May they be healthy. May they be at peace.
May they be free from pain and suffering.