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