The Bird who watches the bird eating the fruits

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes. The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more.” ~ The Upanishads: Breath of Eternal Life, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester.

The ancient sages and mystics of India said the same thing that Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within.” One way to connect with the Divine inside you is to practice cultivating the Witness.

Cultivating the Witness Consciousness means attuning with the Bird who is watching the bird eating the fruits, which is to say aligning with your deepest self and observing all of your thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. Creating and nurturing this connection, between your deeper witnessing mind and your surface acting mind, can help you to feel more peaceful, loving, and kind towards yourself. The Bird who is watching the bird is like a compassionate friend who is always with you, showing you the truth of how things are with neutrality and wisdom.

Cultivating the Witness is a practice you can do anytime, anywhere by just simply stating the observable facts to yourself. For example, if you are waiting in line at the grocery store, you can witness your thoughts and feelings, and then think to yourself, “Some impatience and irritability are passing through me.” Once you witness what’s happening, then you can work with it skillfully by deciding to focus on gratitude, or to say a prayer, or to send blessings for goodness to all of the other people waiting in line. In this way, your deeper observer self can help your cranky surface self to transmute the frustration into loving kindness. So, cultivating the Witness is a great tool for working with difficult emotions.

In the tree of your life, can you see the Bird who is watching the bird eating the fruits? Do you take time to nourish a loving connection between these two birds?

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Photo of birds and blossoms by Zane Lee on Unsplash.

 

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Guided Imagery for Shifting Negative Thoughts

Here comes the Sunshine Train!

How often do you witness negative thoughts going through your mind? Are you aware of what triggers negative thoughts for you? How quickly do you shift negative thoughts into positive thoughts?

Last night a simple little thing happened that set off a chain of negative thoughts in my mind. Because I have established a long pattern of cultivating the witness, I watched those thoughts quickly spiraling deeper into negativities, and I thought, “Wow, that’s a really dark train!”

I laughed to myself, thinking that yes indeed, that “train of thoughts” was very black and heading into a dark black tunnel… and that’s when I thought, “Good-bye dark train… Here comes the Sunshine Train!” Spontaneously I visualized a cheerful train filled with Sunlight… and I imagined that God was driving the Sunshine Train, and all I had to do was surrender and take my happy seat… then I mused that my small self had been driving the dark train, but on the Sunshine Train, my higher self could just relax and trust that all is heading in the right direction!

You can use this visualization anytime you notice a negative train of thoughts beginning to chug through your mind… Simply banish the dark train into a black tunnel… and get on the Sunshine Train! You can visualize your Sunshine Train to be however you like… paint it in your favorite colors… decorate it in your personal style… and notice who is driving your Sunshine Train… and is there any music playing on your happy train? Is coffee being served?

I hope this funny little visualization helps you to shift your negative trains of thought into positive trains of thought! This is yet one more way to help Happy Up your life! Choo, choo!! 🙂

And remember… Shift Happens!

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“Shift Happens” Hubble image credit: NASA/ESA/Andrew C. Fabian

Train Sunset Photo by Rene Rauschenberger on Pixabay

Tree Meditation for Driving Madness

Crazy driving is not just for California anymore. Have you noticed an increase in aggressive driving where you live?

I am astounded by all of the speeding, running of red lights, and angry behaviors that I notice in other drivers. I have never understood getting so angry at a stranger who paused when the red light turned green. Perhaps she was distracted by something, or maybe her husband just died.

As I shared in my last post, “3 Ways to Transmute Anger into its Highest Vibrations,” anger can be detrimental to your health… So, if you drive often and you regularly get angry while driving, you are putting yourself at risk for many stress-related diseases. Starting now, commit to decreasing the anger that you feel when driving.

When you are driving, if you begin to feel angry, first cultivate the witness. Say to yourself, “some anger is passing through my system.” That will help you to bring some distance between yourself and the angry energy.

Next, visualize a tree. Choose a tree that is rather large and has a firm, sturdy trunk. See that tree in your mind’s eye, and think about how calm and strong that tree is… Also contemplate how patient and forgiving the tree is… Even if you cut down part of that tree, the rest of the tree will still give you shade… And no matter how badly you behave, that tree will still let you walk under it or sit against its trunk.

As you continue driving along, be strong and calm like your tree. Be patient and forgiving with the other drivers. When they make mistakes, think to yourself, “I wonder what kind of day he’s having? I wonder if he’s upset about something?” Cultivate these kind of compassionate thoughts as you drive.

There is rarely (if ever) a reason to get so angry driving that you raise your cortisol and put your health at risk. So… slow down, breathe, and do your tree meditation!

I hope this article was helpful to you or to someone you love.

May All Drivers Be Calm!
May All Drivers Be Healthy!

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Transmute Anger into its Highest Vibrations

Anger is a Fire Energy that can be extremely destructive in its lowest vibrations, but it can be very beneficial when it is transmuted into its highest vibrations.

The lowest vibrations of anger include rage, yelling at others, being abusive to others, foul language, and slamming doors or breaking objects.

Many spiritual teachers caution against anger because it is so damaging to the person who is angry and to the people around the person. When someone gets very angry it releases the stress hormone cortisol, which then pulses through the body for up to eight hours. If cortisol is released often, in the long-term it can cause many stress-related diseases.

Anger is also harmful on emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Some saints in India have even advised drinking very cold water or eating sweets to calm anger as soon as possible.

However, even though anger can be very detrimental to your health, you need not be afraid of it. All emotions are just different kinds of energies passing through your system. It is not healthy to repress emotions, because then they get stuck in the tissues of your muscles.

So, when you feel anger arise, first cultivate the witness. Watch the anger and understand what caused it. Next, remember that anger is a Fire Energy, and in its highest vibrations it can be very useful.

The highest vibrations of anger include assertiveness, action, clarity, and creativity. Here are 3 ways to transmute anger into these high vibrations:

1. Get pro-active. Take assertive action.

2. Get inspired. Get creative.

3. Practice a visualization with guided imagery.

To illustrate the first 2 ways, I will share a personal story that happened to me one day last week. On that particular day, I was feeling irritation and anger, oh my! After making a list of everything that was upsetting me, I asked for help in softening. I asked the Divine to help me soften and surrender into the humility vibration. I set an intention to bow to what is.

Later that afternoon I went out on my walk in the neighborhood, and at first all I could think about was everything I felt angry about. I thought, “Wow, I am feeling really snarkley.”

Funny aside: later I googled the word “snarkley” and found out that even though more than one thousand people have googled “snarkley” it is not actually a word, not even in Scrabble. The approved word is “snarky” which means crabby, grouchy, cranky, or irritable.

Anyhow, when I set out on my walk it was very cloudy and gloomy, but then, just as I was really getting into indulging my snarky mood, the Sun came out! My anger instantly went high vibe. I could feel the anger transmuting into assertiveness and action, and I thought, “Forget soften and surrender… I’m all about my keywords for the month of May: Possibility, Pro-activity, and Prosperity.”

As my vibration went higher I felt super inspired and I received a download for a blog post (my previous article, “Which Tribe Do You Belong To?”). When I got home I felt inspired to put on some jewelry and I took this photo of myself. In that high vibe state I wrote that post about the blue love beings.

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So, remembering your goals, taking action, and doing something creative can all really help to shift your anger up into higher vibes. (And some sunshine is often good for uplifting the mood as well!)

For the third way, take some time to sit quietly with your eyes closed and watch your natural breathing. Then read the following visualization out loud. After reading the guided imagery, close your eyes again, and notice your thoughts and feelings. Feel free to share your experiences with me, either down in the comments below, or in a private message via the Contact tab up in the top right corner of this website.

 

Visualization with guided imagery to transmute anger into its highest vibrations:

Beginning to settle in… and beginning to settle down… letting go of the outer world for a while… and bringing your awareness to your breathing… noticing the in-breath… and noticing the out-breath… relaxing your shoulders… relaxing your mind… drifting down, into your inner world…

… and bringing your awareness to your heart and belly centers… placing one hand on your heart… and the other hand on your belly… and just noticing any sensations in your heart and belly… breathing in… and breathing out… and imagining the warm rays of the Sun shining into your mind… and allowing that warmth to spread down through your whole body… effortless relaxation moving all the way down to your feet and toes… 

… and just letting your hands relax down… and bringing your awareness to your emotions… noticing how you are feeling… allowing the feelings… allowing the energies… just watching the feelings… and following them to their roots… like the roots of a tree… spreading down into the Earth…

… and drifting down to the center of the Deep Earth… seeing the bright ball of hot iron glowing in the center… and allowing that light to illuminate your mind… reminding you of who you truly are… deep in your center… receiving the gift of clarity from that incredible light…

… bringing that clarity with you… back up through the surface of the Earth… reaching up towards the sunlight… like the green branches of a tree… growing… stretching towards the light… eager for what nourishes them… absorbing the sunlight into all of your 37.2 trillion cells… and taking a deep breath in… and releasing the breath… anchoring this experience…

… and when you feel ready, moving your fingers and toes, and stretching… coming back to the outer world… feeling calm, refreshed, and ready for what is next in your life…

 

I hope that this article was helpful to you or to someone you love.

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

 

Fire photo by Maxim Tajer on Unsplash.

 

“I can’t wait until…”

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I can’t wait until…” ?

How often do you think that you can’t wait until something is over, or you can’t wait until something arrives, or you can’t wait until that next fun event happens?

Is the path before you clear, or is it filled with uncertainty?

Sometimes pondering the questions is even more helpful than knowing the answers.

The wise ones teach that happiness is found in the present moment… and yet, it seems to be our human nature to ruminate about or to relish things in the past, and to worry about or to look forward to things in the future.

When you cultivate the witness consciousness, you simply watch your thoughts, and whether or not they are in the past, present, or future, you just love yourself for being human, and you accept your thoughts just as they are.

Those feelings of self-love and self-acceptance bring happiness.
Can you feel that now?

 

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

 

Tulip Fields image from Public Domain Pictures