I remember the first time I heard about the cycle of birth and death, known as samsara in Indian philosophy. For those of you unfamiliar, it means that we as humans are destine to death and rebirth of life in the material world, bound by our samskaras (cellular manifested energy created through the false perception of ego, attachment, aversion, fear, ignorance) and vasanas. Liberation is bestowed once we have transcended our samskaras and vasanas, our limited thinking, and entered into a state of pure consciousness, becoming one with the Infinite.
Being the type ‘A’ person that I am, I set about working through all my samskaras and vasanas so I did not have to repeat the hard lessons learned in this lifetime. I was trying to clean my mind, body and spirit of all ignorance, false perceptions, etc.
And, the discipline of the practice will definitely clean your spiritual house – for sure! But the very nature of samskaras, and especially vasanas, is that they remain hidden from us. These bondage tendencies are clever slippery buggers. They have been holding on or running away for a long, long, long time.
So, my real work is the movement toward God. It is not about eradicating the negative aspects of myself. If I get rid of any piece of self, negative or positive, I am not whole. This journey is about the movement toward the luminous light of divine grace (the distinguished, honorable, elegant, free unmerited favor of loving energy that lifts us from the depths of human suffering into the blessings of ever-present life).
For me, this is awareness practices that begin with prayer, gratitude and mindfulness of thought
activity, pranayama (breath work), and meditation. Yes, I also move and purify my body with asana
(postures), exercise, walks in nature and play. Then – rinse and repeat!
As these practices begin to take root, the beautiful flowers of the yamas and niyamas blossom and grow. Their beauty and aroma surround me in a new level of consciousness, and the weeds of samskaras and vasanas lose their foothold. This is how I choose to live. I am sharing in the hopes of helping you. What do you choose?
If you choose to move toward the light, here is a simple practice for you to begin:
Step 1: practice 3 acts of deliberate thoughtful consideration (loving kindness) to 3 different people today. Hold a door open for someone; offer a true compliment or kind word to someone who looks like they need it; tell someone how grateful you are for them; or cook a meal, make a cup of tea or buy someone a cup of coffee. Any conscious act of kindness will do.
Step 2: practice 3 acts of kindness toward yourself. Take time for a brief walk in the middle of the day; get your nails done; massage your feet with oil; soak in a long hot bath; look in the mirror and find all the wonderful things about you and tell them to yourself; or thank your body for all that it does for you.
Give and Receive: that is how the flow of energy in the universe works – through understanding, acceptance, compassion and love. And most of all, ENJOY!
Have a blessed day…