One who intuits inaction in action, and action in inaction is wise amongst humankind. This person has an awakened consciousness while engaged in the world. ~ Bhagavad Gita 4.18
Non-attachment is natural to the extent we have experienced that we are not our mind or body. This is the benefit of a profound awakening. However, even for those of us who have not had that kind of permanently liberating experience, the path of freedom can still be practiced.
I currently see this understanding as a harmonious participation with the flow of the universe. In this participation all tension is released around controlling one’s life. That is replaced by courageously allowing the universe to support one’s life. Then one can act with freedom. That is inaction in action. Then we can confidently stay with our highest awareness throughout our interaction in the world.
Our mind can be a useful tool when we learn how to drive it instead of having our mind drive us.
Dharma is a Sanskrit word that has become common in the English language. It has many meanings in the context of different beliefs. In one context, dharma is what one is designed to be on the most essential level. It is the predilection to bring value in a certain way.
Dharma is effortless. It is not something that we think we’re supposed to do. For instance, some souls are very creative and bring beauty to the universe. Some souls like structure. They are innovative and bring new ideas to the universe. Some souls shine the light. They walk into the darkness and shine the light by teaching and example.
Many of us have gone through many lives trying to be of service in the world, but have been distracted by circumstance. Eventually, we become earnest and honest with ourselves, and participate with how the universe flows to offer real value regardless of our particular circumstance.
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making darkness conscious. ~ Carl Jung
Unless we are willing to bring to awareness, acknowledge and clear the hidden and projected aspects of ourselves, we will block ourselves from a deeper and richer awareness.
Whatever we recognize in others is an aspect of ourselves; both the good and the bad. It is helpful to contemplate owning these projections while relaxing the tensions in the body and allowing all this to be okay. Everything is okay. There are certainly some beings that are much more evolved than others, and that happens with self-acceptance and openness.
Sometimes we may have an unconscious deep loathing for ourselves for our past actions which we have blocked out and repressed. Techniques that allow us to bring up and release unconscious emotions are valuable to open to a deeper and balanced awareness.
Accepting the light and dark nature of ourselves allows us to see the full spectrum of life. This openness and equanimity leads to a clear and balanced perspective. We can accept the unpleasant and unavoidable circumstances in life with the serendipitous and fortunate circumstances in life.
The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. ~ Unknown
We all need some level of confidence to be able to recognize and follow our own path. Many of us are pulled by the direction and ideas coming from other people about what we should do in life. This limits our potential.
When we are able to clear all the shoulds in our life, we can confidently follow what we know is best. In most cases our mental dialog is actually with the energy of other people. When we clear the foreign energy coming from those influential in our life, our mind will be quite silent. We will then be able to make clear decisions and follow our intuition.
Many of us have to acknowledge and clear the beliefs that prevent us from recognizing and following our own voice. How much are we open to trust and engage in the joy of following our own path? Real progress can be made one step at a time. As we step into new terrain, we may only know what is our next step. Eventually we become okay with uncertainty and develop confidence in ourselves.
Indications that you on the right path are calmness, serenity, gentleness, poise, openness, and grace.
Monks, be islands unto yourselves, be your own refuge, having no other; let the Dhamma be an island and a refuge to you, having no other. ~ Attadiipaa Sutta
This is a profound statement of autonomy. Autonomy is the ability to operate with freedom from our beliefs and conditioning. When we’re autonomous, we are fully collected in clear awareness. Our consciousness is not scattered. Here are some beliefs, thoughts and habits the lead us to become scattered:
- Clinging to the past
- Worrying about the future
- Trying to control that over which we have no control
- Believing we need something or someone to feel happy or complete
- Judgments we have about ourselves and others
- Resistance to the way things are
- Dependence on others’ approval
By exercising a calm mindfulness to consistently clear these beliefs, thoughts and habits we will find our autonomy. When we decide to always accept what is, we develop a sense of self sufficiency, contentedness and calm.
When we are autonomous, we have the clarity to make wise decisions and the energy to accomplish great things. Autonomy is the confidence to stand on our own two feet. It means accepting and being comfortable with ourselves on all levels.
Our communication in relationships tends to challenge our autonomy. Therefore we can develop a great level of autonomy when we attentively choose to communicate as a person who doesn’t need something. This will allow us to be open, vulnerable, calm and contented in our communication.
Mantra meditation can be a tool used to practice mental discipline to bring about a calm and collected mind. Mantra meditation is great way to get started on a meditation practice. It can even have beneficial effects on our health.
As a caveat please note that there are many claims about certain mantras and corresponding rituals that fall into the realm of superstition. Many people have experienced a temporary altered state of consciousness by engaging in chanting for extended periods of time. Experiencing an altered state of consciousness does not directly lead to personality development or awakening.
With that said, the Gayatri mantra is a highly revered mantra coming from the ancient Vedic tradition of India. This mantra first appears in a hymn of the Rigveda (3.62.10). This predates the rise of Brahmanism.
There is the belief that only those born into the Hindu Brahmin caste have the privilege to chant and benefit from this mantra. However, the implicit understanding is that those who are dedicated to understand and follow truth will benefit from this mantra.
This mantra is considered to be not different from the divine entity that forms the content of the mantra, and thus it is considered sacred. The best and recommended times to recite this mantra are at sunrise, noon and sunset. Devotees of this mantra recite this mantra at least ten times at those junctures of the day. I find this mantra to be invigorating. It helps me to come into a collected state after my mind becomes scattered or my energy is low.
ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः ।
भ॒र्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि ।
धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt
There are many translations of this mantra. Understanding Sanskrit grammar and the possible variations of the word translations helps to intuit a meaning. Here is my current translation:
Let us meditate upon the Divine as the ceaseless life-light energy that is illuminating the three worlds, and uplifts our understanding.
Here is a post on youtube with a clear and exact pronunciation chanted 108 times. Even without knowing the meaning, we can be uplifted by the devout gravity of sacredness of this chant.
Our thoughts and emotions effect the world around us, and are reflected back in our experience. Everything is interconnected. Our experience is a reflection of our vibration.
Generosity is open-hearted magnanimity. It supports joy, freedom and prosperity. It can be expressed in many ways. One of the simplest and biggest ways to be generous is to smile and lighten up. This has a profound effect on our life and the world around us. Especially those who see and feel our example.
This is easy to test in a public place around complete strangers:
- Sit down, close your eyes, frown and radiate bad feelings of fear, blame and anger.
- Now look around and see the cold frowning people around you.
- Close your eyes, smile, relax and radiate joy for 5-10 minutes.
- Now look around and see the happy people around you.
Currency is the flow of giving and receiving. Prosperity is allowing yourself to be abundantly generous, and allowing yourself to abundantly receive. Currency as money is only a symbol of this prosperity.
Generosity supports a calm and balanced mind where we can release our habitual tendencies toward judgment, pain, fear and shame. This opens us up to awaken to a deeper awareness.
When we are in a vibration of generosity we can see how we can add value to the world. By following that inspiration we can start to offer true value to the world. This will lead to our prosperity and happiness. Sometimes we are discouraged to follow our inspiration due to our past memories of disappointment. By recognizing and clearing those beliefs, we will recognize new opportunities that we had formerly ignored.
The more that we contribute to a positive shift in life, the more we experience confidence in being supported by the universe.