Transformation Is Always Possible

What does the word “magic” mean to you?

One of my keywords for this month of November was Magic, and in my post “Monday Morning Musings from a Living Starbird” I wrote that I was really needing to experience some magic in my life again… What I meant by “magic” was something out of the ordinary that sparks an unusual quality of joy and fascination.

Well, many wonderful things happened this month, such as my younger son Gabe visiting us, and there was a lot to be grateful for… And yet, I still hadn’t experienced anything that felt like magic to me… until a few days ago… I was sitting at my altar singing the daily prayers, and I began crying over a deep grief in my heart… I prayed for help with the sorrow, and right then I looked down at the book I had just finished reading, Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and I felt inspired to ask for guidance through the book.

Do you ever use books as tools for guidance? It is a very simple practice that you can do with any book. Just ask a question, then open to a page and let your eyes naturally fall somewhere on the page. Read that section and contemplate how it might contain some wisdom that relates to your question.

So, when I picked up the book, I asked for guidance with the grief that I fear will never heal… And I opened to this section:

“Sorrow, fear, and depression are like a kind of garbage. But these bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. We can practice so as to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. We should not throw anything out. All we have to do is learn the art of composting, of transforming our garbage into flowers. In the practice of Buddhism, we see that all mental formations — including compassion, love, fear, sorrow, and despair — are organic in nature. We don’t need to be afraid of any of them, because transformation is always possible. With just a smile and mindful breathing, we can start to transform them.”

Finally a bit of magic!

Dear reader, I was so amazed when I read that paragraph! Can you even believe how perfect it was? I was especially fascinated by “transformation is always possible,” because my question was essentially about whether or not the grief could ever heal… In total awe, I said aloud, “Thank you, my Deepest Self, for leading me to seek that guidance.”

Can you feel the magic in this story?

With gratitude and a joyful mind,
Sister Teja

 

Photo of Autumn flowers by Alicja on Pixabay.

 

Transforming Difficult Emotions Through Singing

“The Name repeated with either good or evil intentions, in an angry mood or even while yawning, diffuses joy in all the ten directions.”
~ Tulsidas (1532–1623), Indian poet-saint. (Quote shared by Krishna Das in the jacket cover of his CD, “Greatest Hits of the Kali Yuga.”)

Chanting (singing) has been one of my daily practices for more than fifteen years, and I have been chanting a forty-verse prayer called the Hanuman Chalisa for more than ten years. Each day when I sit down to sing along with a CD by Krishna Das, I acknowledge whatever is present in me in that moment, and then ask for help as needed.

One morning last month I got really triggered by something right before I was going to do my chanting practice. I was in an utterly reactive state, so I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to do the practice, but I sat down anyway, feeling angry and depressed. I said a prayer, asking that my difficult emotions could be transformed into love…

Well, it took the entire forty verses for that transformation to happen! This was the first time I had this experience: I chanted the forty verses in a gruff angry non-singing voice with clenched teeth, and felt like I was possessed. And in fact, I was possessed, by my own toxic angry reaction… After chanting the forty verses that way, as I began the after prayers, suddenly I was singing in my normal singing voice! The healing, transformative power of the chants is so miraculous! I felt so incredibly grateful to be softened into love again.

Sometimes when we get angry we have to do the mental work of searching for the root cause and then consciously transforming and releasing the anger through understanding… But sometimes we can just simply sit and sing, allowing the healing sound vibrations to melt the anger into love and joy.

Can you relate to this experience? Have you ever dissolved anger through singing?

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy.

May our singing diffuse joy in all directions!

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

 

Three Hours Left

Dear readers, the intention of this post is not to induce fear, but rather to impart feelings of awe, appreciation, positivity, connectivity, and rootedness in the priorities dwelling in the ground of your being.

Imagine that we humans discovered that in three hours time, some natural force was going to cause planet Earth to explode and entirely disintegrate.

What were your first thoughts when you read that?

When I imagine that there are only three hours left, my first thoughts go towards trying to grok what would happen to everything and everyone… Where would all of our souls go? What would happen to all the memories and experiences and energies?

All of the stories would just be done. All of the histories, cultures, art, music, inventions, and creations would be gone. It is mind-blowing to even consider the ramifications of such an explosion. All of the mountains, oceans, rivers, deserts, canyons, forests, flowers, birds, butterflies, cows, and bears would be gone. And what would happen next?

After considering all of that, my next thoughts go towards deciding how to spend the last three hours. I decided I would spend the first hour calling loved ones and saying good-byes, and the last two hours praying and chanting (singing sacred mantras). My intention would be to die consciously while feeling connected to the Divine Source. To me, that would be the ultimate Surrender to God. I am not sure what happens to us after we die, but I know that when I am singing spiritual songs, I feel connected with Something Greater, and I feel calmed by that Force from beyond this realm. So, I feel that chanting at the time of death would be a way to die peacefully.

I began chanting as a daily spiritual practice more than fifteen years ago. I usually sing along with CDs by my favorite chant artist, Krishna Das. One day in 2008, I was evaluating my priorities in life, and I suddenly found myself saying out loud, “I want to live inside the chant.” Well, at that time my sons were 8 and 11, and I was busy with many worldly responsibilities, so it was not possible to live inside the chant all the time!

Now I’m in a new nun phase, but still there are many things to do each day beyond chanting. So when I think about my priorities if there were three hours left, versus what is happening in my life now, it makes me wonder if I could somehow commit to chanting more each day… But, then I also think that if you knew you were about to die, and you wanted to die a peaceful, conscious death, then of course you would drop everything and just focus on that. Whereas, if you are still in the midst of full-on living, you can’t just drop everything and do your top passion all the time.

What do you think about all that? What would you do if there were only three hours left, and how would those priorities line up with how you live your daily life now?

I hope this post inspires you to feel awe and appreciation for this sacred planet Earth, as well as rootedness in the priorities dwelling in the ground of your being.

May you feel positively connected to everyone and everything!

 

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

What Kind of Yoga Do You Practice?

When you hear the word yoga, do you think of the physical poses practiced on yoga mats?

Many people only think of yoga as being the asanas, the postures done for health and relaxation, but yoga encompasses much more than just stretching the body. There are actually many ways to practice yoga.

The word yoga means “union” and so the goal of the yogic practices done by a yogi (male) or yogini (female) is to achieve a state of union with divine consciousness. Depending on your beliefs, you may call that consciousness God, Goddess, Divine Love, Nature, the Universe, or many other names. In the yoga tradition it is believed that your deepest self is connected with that divine consciousness, so when you do yogic practices you feel that union inside yourself.

I began spiritual practices on the yogic path more than fifteen years ago, and while I have occasionally attended yoga classes, the physical postures generally do not work for my body. So I have gravitated towards other kinds of yoga. I practice the yoga of the mind, the yoga of the heart, and the yoga of the soul…

Yoga of the mind ~ Since I tend to orient towards mental activities, like reading and writing, this yoga is a good fit for me. I regularly study spiritual teachings and sit daily in meditation.

Yoga of the heart ~ This is my favorite kind of yoga! It is called bhakti yoga, which means the yoga of love and devotion, and the main practice is chanting. The sacred singing opens the heart and the yoga of sound harmonizes the energies. I chant every day! My favorite chant artist is Krishna Das.

Yoga of the soul ~ There are many ways to practice soul yoga, which you will enjoy reading about in my new book coming soon… Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life*… One way is to cultivate the witness consciousness in which you watch yourself closely and learn to not get so caught up in the difficulties of life. Another way is to send healing energies out wherever they are needed, for healing and for peace. Sending love to others connects us with our own deepest selves, which are ultimately pure love energies.

So, what kind of yoga do you practice? What helps you to feel connected with your deepest self?

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed this post.
May your days be happier and happier!

 

*This weekend I did get the new book uploaded and published successfully. Now I am waiting to receive the proof copy, and once I approve it, Reaching for Orange will be available for you to order! (Later I added the ordering links: Reaching for Orange)

 

Sunset image by Geralt on Pixabay.

 

 

The Divine Feminine & Divine Masculine Union is Within

StarFire Teja dedicates this blog to anyone suffering from loneliness, anyone recovering from a broken heart, and anyone longing for a partner. If you are suffering from loneliness and longing, take heart. There is hope for you to heal and to find happiness inside yourself.

All of us, of all sexes, have both feminine and masculine qualities and energies, to varying degrees. Happiness can be found by cultivating the awareness and the understanding that the ultimate union of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine is inside each of us. There are many ways to practice cultivating that understanding.

Each day when I chant (sing) along with the “Prema Chalisa” on the CD “Trust in the Heart” by Krishna Das, when it gets to the end and he sings to Sita~Ram, I place one hand on my heart and the first three fingers of my other hand on my third eye (the ajna chakra, in the center of the forehead, slightly above the eyebrows), and I affirm that both Sita and Rama are in my heart and mind. In the ancient story from India called the Ramayana, Sita is an incarnation of the Divine Feminine and Rama is an incarnation of the Divine Masculine. So while singing to Sita~Ram, I focus on the truth that I am whole and complete inside my own being. It brings me great happiness, and sometimes even bliss, to acknowledge that the Divine Feminine & Divine Masculine Union is within.

You can practice this in your own way, adapting the concept to fit with your religion or other cosmic belief system. Regular spiritual practices can help to re-wire the brain in positive ways. At the beginning of my new book I offer a section called Radiance Rising, which is an extensive list of spiritual practices which will help you to go inside. Once you are there, inside your own being, by whatever method, I pray that you will experience the happiness of the Divine Feminine & Divine Masculine Union within yourself.

To enjoy that list of spiritual practices and to read the magical uplifting story of Sita and Rama, please order my book today:
The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes

May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Image: blue stars frame was created on Facebook.