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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Happy Christmas in July: Treat Yourself to Something Special!

Growing up, I always loved the concept of Christmas in July. We never celebrated it as a holiday, but the idea of it tickled me. I just did a little googling and learned that it began in the southern hemisphere, because it is Winter there in July. Those residents celebrate the official Christmas on December 25th during their Summer, so they decided to also throw Christmas parties in July during the middle of their Winter.

So, perhaps you would like to treat yourself to something special for Christmas in July… Here are a few gift ideas, and if you order any of these products through these links, I will receive happy little commissions…

The Cosmic Cushion Meditation/Yoga Pillow by Sun and Moon Originals. This is the best meditation cushion ever! I have used mine daily for many years, and it is still great. Definitely worth the investment!

The Oracle of Rama (Divination Cards and Booklet by Dr. David Frawley). Over the years I have used many different divination decks, and this one is my current favorite. Ultimately I rely on my own inner guidance, but from time to time I do find it helpful to explore outer perspectives on important threads of my life.

Rosewood Mala by Health and Yoga. A mala is a necklace with 108 beads that is used for repeating mantras, a practice from India that is called mantra japa. At different times in the past I used a couple of different malas, one made of sandalwood beads and another made of rudraksha beads. Recently I decided that it was time for a new mala, since I am in a new nun chapter, so I ordered this rosewood mala. It was supposed to have a sweet rose-like scent, known to calm the nervous system, but unfortunately it does not have that scent. However, I still really like this mala because the beads are very smooth so it is easy to move through them.

Here is a photo of my spiritual altar, in which you can see my burgundy Cosmic Cushion, a few of the divination cards from The Oracle of Rama, and the rosewood mala…

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I describe creating an altar, as well as many practices to do at your altar, in my new book, coming out very soon… Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
May you feel happier and happier!

Happy Christmas in July to All Who Celebrate!

 

Christmas tree image* by monicore on Pixabay.

* If you are viewing this post in an email, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can see the Christmas tree image!

 

Questions That Can Arise When the Hardship is Real

Do you think that life is a “gift”?
Do you feel grateful to be alive?

A few years ago I was helping a client work on her fear of flying, using guided imagery techniques. She was an upper middle class woman with a happy and healthy family, and she felt afraid of dying because she loved her life so much. At the time I was about to begin my seventh year of my decade of hardships, and I could not relate to her fear of dying because I no longer felt attached to my life. After a session with her, I reflected back to happier, easier times, and I remembered a time when a younger me was the one sitting in a therapist’s office working on my own fear of flying…

Many people say we “should” feel grateful to be alive. They say that life is a “gift” to be treasured. Recently I sat with a dying woman who was over one hundred years old. She told me that she was trying to keep alive… and she died the very next night. When she told me that she was trying to keep living, I thought, “Wow, here she is on her deathbed (literally) and she is still hanging on to life.” Once again, I could not relate to how attached she felt to her life.

As I explained in a previous post (“It Is Your Duty To Live”), I would never commit suicide, and I am not depressed. (I get situationally depressed at times, such as during a Fibromyalgia flare-up, but I am not depressed in general.) I love my friends and family dearly, and I enjoy many things in my life. My gratitude lists are quite long. I am basically a happy person, but ten years of hardships have taken away my attachment to life, and have made me question why we are here on this planet.

On Mother’s Day I shared a post (“Something All Eight Billion Humans Have in Common”) about how we were all born from a mother, and one person commented, “Without our consent.”

I usually reply to comments, but that one just stopped me cold. I still can’t think of what to say in response. I am guessing that perhaps that person is not currently thinking that life is a gift to be grateful for. As a parent, it makes me ask questions like, “If my children do not appreciate their lives, am I somehow responsible because I am the one who chose to give them their lives?”

Many spiritual teachers in India talk about how special and precious it is to be born as a human being. I’m thinking maybe that was true four thousand years ago when there were a lot less humans on the planet. Now that there are eight billion of us, how special is it, really?

Perhaps my inquiries are entirely colored by this past decade of hardships. Maybe this next decade will be easier and my views will change again.

I would love to hear your views on all this. Do you feel grateful to be alive? Do you think of life as a gift?

Do you celebrate each sunrise?
Do you feel grateful for each new day?

 

Sunrise photo by Anish Nair on Unsplash

14 Benefits You May Receive from Reading The Tejaswini Ramayana

Imagine if you were suddenly banished to the forest for fourteen years. How would you react?

In the ancient story from India called the Ramayana, the Avatar Rama was suddenly banished to the forest for fourteen years, on the day his father, King Dasaratha, was supposed to crown him as heir to the throne. The human drama that caused the exile, as well as all of the resulting actions, make the Ramayana an exciting read.

To date, there are more than three hundred recorded Ramayanas. You may receive many benefits from reading my new version, The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes, including (but not limited to) the following fourteen benefits:

1. While reading this book, you may experience pleasant sensations, such as tingling, in your body or even around your body, particularly just above the top of your head. These sensations are a sign that you are being spiritually elevated.

2. While reading this book, you may begin to notice positive changes (subtle or dramatic) in your daily life, in terms of your thoughts, words, intentions, and actions. These are also signs that you are being spiritually elevated.

3. By the time you finish reading the Epilogue, you may feel as though you have been elevated to the Highest Love State. When you feel like you love everyone and everything, that is a sign that you are in the Highest Love State.

4. Reading this book can bring about an activation of Cosmic Shakahara StarFire Radiant Healing Consciousness. You may feel the healing warmth in the palms of your hands, which is a sign that healing energies are flowing through you.

5. Reading this book can awaken qualities such as Hope, Inspiration, Innovation, and Creativity. As these beautiful positive energies arise, quite naturally there occurs a reduction of fear, anger, and sadness.

6. Through reading this book, you can experience more trust about life. It will help you to understand how everything happens for a reason, according to a greater plan.

7. Reading this book may help you to accept what is happening in your life, as you experience the book’s heroes facing the challenges of the human condition.

8. Reading this book can help you to come to terms with death – both the deaths of your loved ones, and your own death.

9. Reading this book may help you to face grief and other difficulties – knowing that, like the heroes in the story, you are never alone in your pain. A force greater than you is always with you.

10. Reading this book will give you assurance that there is always hope for redemption – that even the greatest sinners can be forgiven, healed, and loved.

11. The spiritual practices listed at the beginning of the book will help you to keep raising your vibrations while reading this book – and beyond.

12. Reading this book will give you hope that human nature can be elevated – that human beings can heal their brains and remember their divine heritage… and thus overcome their negative habits and low vibrations.

13. Reading this book will give you faith that the Forces of Goodness and Light are stronger than the forces of darkness.

14. Although this book may be shocking to some of the millions who love the traditional Ramayana, in this version some changes were made to the original story in order to elevate the characters and the readers to the Highest Love Vibrations. Remember, anytime you feel like you love everyone and everything, that is when you are in the Highest Love Vibrations!

Please order your copy of this most beneficial book today! Available on Amazon:
The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all who celebrate!

May All Beings Be Happy!

Time of Death is Set at the Time of Birth

Swami Muktananda (spiritual teacher in India, 1908-1982) wrote in his book Does Death Really Exist?:

“It does not come early and it does not come late. The moment of departure is set at the time of birth, and it does not change by even a minute. Death is the one thing in this world that is always on time.”

That resonates with me as truth, and yet it brings up continuous questions. What about situations in which it seems like a person was saved from death by something that happened? For example, what if someone was all ready to commit suicide but then they just “happened” to read my blog article “It Is Your Duty To Live” and they changed their mind and did not commit suicide.

In that instance, was it a miracle that saved them from dying, or was it already pre-determined that they would read that article since it was not yet their set time to die? What do you think?

Are you comfortable thinking about death? Do you feel at peace, knowing that you will die at the right time? Did you know that meditating on death can help you to happy up your life? Contemplating death is a spiritual practice that can help you to live more fully in the present moment.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below, down where it says “Leave a Reply.”

May All Beings Know Deep Peace.

Happy MahaShivaratri
to all who are celebrating
the Hindu festival to honor Lord Shiva.
Om Namah Shivaya!