Spiritual Living During Uncertainty

As people around the world have been individually and collectively processing the results of our recent (2016) US elections, I have been reflecting on the work of spiritual leaders throughout history.

How is it that the Great Ones saw past the dramas of their immediate time and surroundings?  Internally, how did they move past their anger, deeper to their underlying fears, past fear to their underlying love... and then lovingly act in this world?

Even in sacrificing their lives the Great Ones as Jesus, Gandhi and Yogananda demonstrated the love of God-realization.  Each of those Great Ones had truly overcome fear.

I have heard from many students who are seeking how to process emotions - what do I do with angst... anger... uncertainty... fear - how can I channel my energy constructively?

My response has been:

1) Start the day by choosing what is timeless and beyond the drama of today.  Develop a morning practice of connecting to the Infinite in a personal felt sense way.  Make a small home altar where only God time happens, and do breathing techniques if you don't know what else to do.

2) Clean up your own mess.  Resolve past bad habits.  Become a better listener and listen to the fears of others.  Hold space for others without needing to change their minds.

3)  Choose community involvement around spirituality.

For those of you wanting to have activism, why not get involved in the service missions of a local church or temple?  If "progressive" people can start meaningfully participating in God, more "conservative" people will have a safer place to meet them.

In each of you practicing yoga, I see the potential for the reclamation of the word God from those who use it for fear and division.  I encourage you to move past the reactionary mindset of a modern rationalist - rejecting the ethnocentric religion of your upbrining - and choose God again.  And for those of you confident enough in your own spirituality, consider sharing church time with those whose perspective on religion and God may be more ethnocentric than yours.  I have found it is hard to be angry at someone praying and singing next to me, and that after such activity a magical place opens up between us where there can be mutual interest in how to navigate life on this planet.

Each of us experiences fear and uncertainty about life and death... until through commitment to spiritual life we are no longer afraid.  No matter who had won the recent US presidential election, we would have been collectively facing the same need for coming together in a less fearful way.

Please consider God time as an option.

Blessed week to you - Pierre

Innate Beauty

My Ayurveda teacher Dr. Vasant Lad always emphasized, when doing client first sessions, to see the innate beauty in each person - each person as a unique flower.  Health for that individual is then a unique beauty to be cultivated and ever-improved through gardening - not a generic baseline that is gradually lost.

My Yoga teacher Yogananda said "Every person is innately wonderful; he has only to rid himself of the mask of ego consciousness,"  which is an apt metaphor on this Halloween.

Tomorrow is November, and the beginning of a transition in the school where the collective group of teachers and staff begin making more decisions about the school's direction.

We have several new classes which reflect their desires to share what they love when they love.  Please do attend these classes and offer feedback as to what you enjoyed and what could be improved.  The new schedule is up online here.

Thank you to the 75 of you who filled out the survey about new classes.  Those of you who did not, we are always open to feedback.  

Blessed week to you -

Pierre

Perseverance

This week I celebrate being married with my American family.  (We had our Indian wedding in February.)

My journey to marriage was a long broken road, as Rascal Flatts sings. 

Similarly, it has taken 5 years for our Santosha studio to break even financially, but it has.

I share this for each of you who has a dream and is encountering doubt.

I too often doubted.  How did I make it through?

- I kept good company (including nature)

- I kept a daily practice (meditation, t'ai chi, yoga)

- I asked for help

- I was willing to turn it over to Grace and trusted that how my Dream would manifest was not up to me

- I kept a secret private place inside where my version of God was always alive and with me

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Each of you is a unique flower.  No other like you has ever been nor ever will be.  

That unique beauty that is in you - let it bloom!

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We worked for almost 2 years, doing  30 minutes of construction here and there in between classes.  At long last, we finally painted a couple walls this week!

Blessed week to you -

Pierre

Autumn Balance: Celebrating the Fall

Recently I drove West on 86th street at sunset and witnessed that glowing orb directly in line with the street.  One of the beautiful aspects of Indy's gridlike road system is that, at equinoxes, the sun will rise and set mostly on those gridlines.

Autumn brings the simple changes in self care that involve balancing the dry quality by incorporating more oil (except for larger Earth body types, who naturally enjoy autumn and need no more oil).  Oil on dry skin, medicated oil in the nose (nasya), oil swishing and gargling, and even eating more oil.

If you are not sure which oil to use, come to the Sunday yoga and ayurveda class.  We also offer some of the most amazing Ayurveda bodycare oils on the planet.

Blessed week to you -

Pierre