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.

 

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.