In An Orange Swirl

 

“In an orange swirl, astronomers say humanity has its first look at the birth of a planet…”

~ headline on nbcnews.com on May 20th, 2020

 
Dear readers,

I find this image very fascinating and somehow hopeful… New planets are birthing!

What can we birth anew here on our sacred planet Earth?

I hope you enjoy this image* as much as I do!

With hope-sparks and love-spirals,
StarFire Teja

 
* “This image shows the disc around the young AB Aurigae star, where ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has spotted signs of planet birth. Close to the centre of the image, in the inner region of the disc, we see the ‘twist’ (in very bright yellow) that scientists believe marks the spot where a planet is forming. This twist lies at about the same distance from the AB Aurigae star as Neptune from the Sun.”

Image credit: ESO/Boccaletti et al.

 

Why Orange?

Dear readers,

In response to the title of my book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, some have asked, “Why Orange?” So in this post I will share the section from the beginning of the book in which I answer that question…

Why Orange?

The color Orange represents Happiness, Joy, Enthusiasm, Warmth, Fire, Sun, Heat, Sunshine, Creativity, Courage, Vibrancy, Playfulness, Cheerfulness, Encouragement, Optimism, Radiance, Confidence, Success, Fun, and Fascination.

On the Hindu Yoga Path, Orange symbolizes the Fire of Renunciation, the Orange Fire that burns all the external desires, attachments, and expectations that cause suffering. Once those external causes burn, the internal happiness is experienced.

When you were born into your earthly body, you began experiencing desires and attachments right away, and pretty soon you became identified with your body and all of the sensations, thoughts, and feelings that arise in your body-mind. Those desires, attachments, and identifications have caused your cycles of joy and sorrow… all those waves of happiness and misery…

Consciously deciding to renounce those external causes of suffering does not mean you have to leave the worldly life and become a hermit in the woods. Rather, it means that you intend for those external causes to burn in the Orange Fire of Awareness, so that you can enjoy the Happy Orange place inside your own being.

I have been doing daily spiritual practices for more than fifteen years, and those practices have helped me tremendously with my own growth, healing, and happiness. I feel passionate about sharing do-able spiritual practices with you, because I want to help you to also heal yourself and to find your own happy place inside.

I grew up Catholic, then I practiced Judaism for ten years, while also studying other religions, and then at age thirty-three I found the Raja Yoga Path, which includes meditation, chanting (singing sacred mantras), studying spiritual teachings, and serving others. I have always loved religion and ritual, and I respect all religions and other cosmic belief systems. The practices in this book are for you to incorporate into your own individual spiritual path.

During a particularly dark and difficult time in my life, I visited a beautiful ashram (spiritual center), and the daily practices there re-kindled my inner happiness and took me to a new level of self-love and healing. It is my deepest wish that this book will take you to a new level of healing and help you to happy up your life.

Every day we are all reaching: reaching for a cup of coffee, reaching for a snack, reaching to hug someone, reaching out to a friend or neighbor in need, and so on. Most of our reaching is reaching outside of ourselves.

Reaching for Orange is reaching *inside*: doing practices that burn the external causes of misery and take us to that Happy State inside our own beings.

The ancient sages of India taught the same thing that Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within.” That Divine Source of healing energies is inside of you already, so take a little time each day to connect with your inner being. May the practices, visualizations, and blessings in this book help you to reach your Happy Orange place inside!

 

So, that is why Orange!

With hopes for your happiness,
StarFire Teja

 

 

Background image of the Sun courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

 

I Want to Warn Others!

Dear readers,

It is with a certain degree of agony that I am writing this post. If you have experienced the death of a parent, then perhaps you can relate to my anguish…

If you have not yet experienced the death of a parent, I want to warn you! But what can I say to prepare you? All I can do is share my story and hope that it may be helpful to some people who read it…

My Dad died four months ago today, and it is truly the worst thing that has ever happened to me. At fifty years old, I thought I had experienced a lot of grief already in my life, but now I see that the griefs over unions-with-earthguys-gone-bad and the griefs over my health and financial issues were nothing compared with the grief over losing my Dad…

The pain is just terrible! But, in the days following his death, I received an overwhelming amount of comments and private messages from friends on Facebook, and that helped me so much. I printed out all of those helpful words, and I read them again and again as I sobbed. One friend, who had lost her father the year before, wrote, “There is nothing like it; It is cellular.” I could so relate, because I felt the pain in all of my cells, fibers, and bones!

Another friend, who also lost her father, shared that she didn’t realize how unbelievable the territory was. She wrote, “We can’t know until we arrive at it, that’s for sure.”

I cried so much during the first couple of months, while I continued doing all of my spiritual practices each day. Gradually I gained more inner strength and stopped crying so much, but still, every evening when it gets dark my “witching hour” begins and the questions and answers replay in my mind as they have hundreds of times before… The journey through disbelief, trauma, and shock is rocky, but hopefully I’m steadily working my way towards acceptance, healing, and peace…

One friend said that we don’t ever really get over the grief when a parent dies, but rather, it just becomes a familiar part of us… That idea brings me a strange comfort.

Fortunately I am by nature a grateful person, and I have a strong base of happiness in me… So, even during these terribly painful months, I have been able to create happy moments each day.

When the time comes for you to experience the death of a parent, I hope you will also be able to access the inner resources you need in order to love yourself through the pain.

With grief and gratitude in equal portions,
StarFire Teja

 

Radical Election Reform for the United States 2020

 

“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

~ from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

 

Dear readers,

Even though I was a Political Science major, my path since university graduation has primarily been focused on Spirituality & Health, and I pretty much stopped following politics after the surreal time of November 2016 when I realized that I could no longer trust any sources of news… So I don’t usually write about politics, but this post came to me as a “download” during sitting meditation so I feel called to share it…

Due to the virus pandemic, large gatherings are cancelled for the Summer and probably the Fall… So how is the United States going to safely have a presidential election in November?

Given the eerie global crisis, here are my suggestions for election reform ~

~ The presidential candidates can each have a website, and they can each send out emails. Only online campaigning; no touring the country. Also no campaign donations are allowed. Instead, donations will go to help people who are struggling financially and to help people who are starving.

~ END the Electoral College. The vote will be by the people, so that each individual person will truly have a voice.

~ All citizens in all states will vote by mail, like the state of Oregon has done successfully for years.

Some may say that these suggestions are impossible, but six months ago they would have also said that it would be impossible for some little protein molecules to shut down the world… But as it turns out, that wasn’t impossible.

With my Grandpa Spiv’s fire in my blood,
StarFire Teja

 

Donkey and Elephant Image from Postcard Collection, West Palm Beach, Florida, 1954… Wild Animal Compound at McKee Jungle Garden… I hope that the political leaders of the future will recognize that all of the animals, fish, birds, and bees are living, feeling beings who should not be killed for food and who should not be kept on displays such as this!

 

Which Leaders Are Shining Now?

 

“We should pray unceasingly for those who give us light. What would we do without them during these tempestuous times when so many troubles buffet our society? If some of our leaders have gone bad, the good people shine even more brightly.”

~ Saint Teresa of Avila (around 1560!), in The Book of My Life translated by Mirabai Starr.

 

Dear readers,

The leaders of organizations, businesses, schools, and countries should be of the highest moral caliber. They should do their work while living in the highest vibrations of compassion, love, truth, purity, and humility. They should exude goodness and kindness. They should be people who everyone wants to emulate.

In short, leaders should be sophisticated, refined, intelligent, loving, and emotionally mature.

Looking around our world during this virus pandemic, which leaders are shining now?

With my mind on sunshine,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by Billy Huynh on Unsplash.