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The Power of the Practice

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When we work on ourselves in ways that connect and care for our overall wellbeing, when we get to 'know thyself', and look on ourselves in kind and compassionate ways, the positive effects have the capacity to 'ripple out' to the world.

I continue to be blown away by the healing power of the personal practice. I've experienced this power within my own relationships. With my daily practice, these relationships have transformed from sometimes failing mediocrity to bloom into a field of flowers, each radiating with light. But that's not all...it just keeps getting better. I have seen how this positivity has then rippled out from there and how people in my life have transformed their relationships.

What we are talking about is an energetic practice. We lead and model by example and when we put ourselves out to the world in a positive way, this has an incredibly huge impact. I recently had an experience that blew my previous understanding of the healing power of a daily practice out of the water. We are interconnected and when we come to the world with a calm and grounded energy, so that energy is reflected onto others...and subsequently the people they come into contact with.

This is the power of the practice. A fundamental part of the path, this life-long apprenticeship is cultivating kindness and (self) compassion.

I no longer believe this discipline is optional.

The more we do things that support self-care and compassion whether that be meditation, mindfulness, yoga, gratitude, or connecting with nature, the better off we make this world.

So when people tell me they can't fit it in, that they're too busy (my own ego tells me this everyday)...I say, what's the alternative? Unhappy, stressed, suffering and fatigued. This goes against the very grain of our nature and what is intended for us...to be Happy and at Peace. Why are we fighting this? I believe we have no other alternative but to do things differently and get out of this crazy bubble.

In a previous post, I referenced a statistic about how many people are undergoing personal transformation. At Uplift, I've been blown away by the number of people who, through their transformations, are experiencing the surfacing of deep truths. There are great shifts happening right now and with them come high levels of intensity. I do believe that we are all supported in what we need to do...but it does takes work.

If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.
~ Dalai Lama

This path we are choosing is not an easy one; it takes great courage and I have great admiration for those who do choose it. A big part of the equation to ending suffering is to open our own hearts and connect with the body's innate capacity to heal. I think the most courageous thing we can do in our lifetime is open our hearts to each other, to love and bring life into all of our relationships, including ourselves.

With this great act comes much vulnerability. It is the most tender piece of the work we do. The vulnerability comes out from every cell in the body, a force much larger than we know it in the physical realm. This is being human...and it is this that will have the capacity to elevate and transform our human race.

Dr. David Frawley puts it eloquently,

"healing our relationships is most important for our spiritual growth and wellbeing. Recognize, relate to, and nurture the presence of every moment of love and light in our lives through our relationships. Let this be a day to remind ourselves to make sacred our worldly existence through rituals, nurturing, and communicating the power of graciousness through love, compassion, and caring."

I was delighted to sit in on Deval Premal's Global Meditation (May 13, 2013) to the Gayatri Mantra, one of my favourites and the mother of all mantras.

"Gayatri is a prayer as well as a mantra. As a mantra, it is a set of sounds used by practitioners to realize a higher state of consciousness--a state symbolized by the sun. As a prayer, it petitions God for guidance. 'Direct my mind', it asks.

We all wish that selflessness, love, and humility would characterize our thoughts and actions, but they often slip away. Ego problems are a disturbing complication--anger, fear, and desire cloud our thinking. So we wangle our way through life, hoping all the while to outgrow these limitations.

But within each of us is a natural desire to bare our inner life, exposing it to higher wisdom, and the Gayatri mantra does this for us. It gives us a prayer through which we may address our predicaments in the privacy of our heart, and by so doing it fulfills a deep need. It returns us regularly to our inner aims. And when our actions do not support those aims, the mantra has the capacity to lead us from contrition and remorse to self-acceptance and, finally, forgiveness.

Contained in the prayer is an elaborate exposition of spiritual philosophy. The Gayatri describes the bhargah (the pure solar spirit), who is the essence of Savitri (the divine solar being), who is yet the inner identity of Surya (the sun). The Gayatri as a prayer is a petition to tat (that) which is the infinite light of pure consciousness.

But what really is that consciousness? And what does the Gayatri, as a prayer, have to do with yoga? The Vedas explain that pure consciousness, dwelling in the highest heaven (and thereby pervading all), is also that which dwells in every human being (the Self): 'Now, the light which shines above in heaven--pervading all the spaces, pervading everywhere, both below and in the farthest reaches of the worlds--this indeed is that same light which shines within man'.(Chhandogya Upanishad 3.13.7)

The place from which this light emerges is the heart--a word that connotes the most refined awareness possible. The heart is the place in which we make our decisions and act on our intentions; it is the place where intuition arises and the Self is ultimately realized. Thus in its role as a prayer the Gayatri mantra simultaneously addresses both cosmic consciousness and the finest forces of our own being. It acknowledges that these two aspects of universal consciousness are one."
~Source: Himalayan Institute.

I have been leading a meditation group this year where we've worked with the Gayatri to great success. With all of the good work happening over the world, we're getting there, one step, one breath, and one conscious, kind, compassionate thought a day.

I pray daily, "May All Beings Be At Peace". I hope you will join me and I hope you find peace on this journey. We need this practice, now more than ever.

Through money or power you cannot solve all problems. The problem in the human heart must be solved first.
~ Dalai Lama

If you would like to talk some of this over, join us in meditation, or Uplift your team, write to me. I'd be glad to hear from you.
Love and light,
Paula