Refreshing AND Deepening

This is a follow-up to the blog I posted on Friday, “StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Prayer: May You Feel Refreshed” in which I wrote about how your intentions and guided imagery regularly need to be refreshed.

Perhaps you’ve already read a blog I posted in January called “Radiance & Darkness” in which I talked about how opposing forces can be simultaneously true. Well, I remembered that after posting the blog on Friday, thus I’m writing this follow-up.

While some prayers and visualizations get stale and need to be refreshed, the opposite is also true! Some prayers and spiritual practices can be done over and over and over, and you go deeper and deeper with them each time. Your deeper mind loves newness, and it also thrives on repetition. Both are true. As you try out the various practices suggested in these blogs, you will know when to let some go, and when to dive deeper into others. When you listen to your inner wisdom you will know when to refresh and when to deepen.

At the beginning of my new book I offer a section called Radiance Rising, which is an extended list of spiritual practices you can do while reading the book and beyond. One of the practices is a forty-verse chant called the Hanuman Chalisa (CD with versions of that chant by Krishna Das: Flow of Grace), and I have been singing that prayer daily for almost ten years. Talk about repetition!

After the section with spiritual practices, I tell the magical story of Rama and Sita, in my fantastical version of the Ramayana. Many people, including myself, study the Ramayana as a spiritual practice. Currently I am studying my own version on Sundays, and it really uplifts me for the following week.

I have been studying this ancient story from India for almost fifteen years, and while reading nearly one dozen versions, I have gone deeper into the meanings and I have also realized many applications to my daily life. When you read this book, you will recognize your own wisdom through the heroes of the tale.

Please order your happy copy on Lulu today:
The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes

Or if you prefer Amazon:
The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes

Please share your experiences with refreshing and deepening in the comments below, down where it says “Leave a Reply.”

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

 

Background image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Get Your Mystic On!

A merry mirth-filled mystic lives inside your heart.

Did you know that a merry mirth-filled mystic lives inside your heart? A mystic is one who directly experiences the Divine. Depending on your religion or other cosmic belief system, you might think of your inner mystic in various ways, such as the Holy Spirit, God, Nature, or the Universe. And, depending on how you process information, you might experience your mystic through any or all of the following ways: visual images, sounds, feelings, or thoughts.

Many people assume that they should “see” guided imagery in their minds, when actually that is only one way to experience a visualization. For example, when I read or hear the following guided imagery, I do not see a visual picture in my mind, but rather I experience the images as feelings. This guided imagery is based on the wisdom of the ancient mystics of India, and it may help you to see or hear or feel your inner mystic.

Guided Imagery to Meet Your Mystic

As you are reading these words, beginning to settle in… to your inner world… and bringing your awareness to your body… just noticing any sensations in your body… and allowing your shoulders to settle down… and allowing relaxation to flow down through your whole body… and now bringing your attention to your heart center… and placing a hand on your heart… breathing love into your heart… imagining that inside your heart is a beautiful flower… a vibrant flower… inhaling the fragrance of this flower…

… and imagining that inside this flower is a bright light… this light is the size of a candle flame… and it is glowing like a billion golden suns… this golden flame is shining so bright that the flower petals are glowing… and that light is radiating out from the center of your flower… out through your heart… and into your whole body… that warm golden light is moving into all of your 37.2 trillion cells…

… focusing on that golden flame in the flower inside your heart… and feeling how that flame is your inner mystic… it is your deepest self… your highest mind… your connection with the Divine… and feeling yourself opening to the love of God (the Holy Spirit, Nature, the Universe)… receiving love from every direction… and sending love out in all directions… and feeling gratitude for this merry, mirth-filled mystic inside your heart… and knowing that you can return to connect with this flame in your heart anytime, anywhere… and returning to the outer world, feeling refreshed and energized…

 

How did it feel to read that? Please share your experience in the comments below.

In addition to simple visualizations like this, you can meet your inner mystic through regular spiritual practices, such as the ones described in the Radiance Rising section at the beginning of my new book, The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes. This book is a new version of a very ancient story from India, called the Ramayana. Millions of people love this magical tale, and many read it regularly as a way to meet their inner mystic. Please order your happy copy today: The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes.

May All Beings Be Elevated to the Highest Love Vibrations!
(When you feel like you love Everyone & Everything, that’s when you are in the Highest Love Vibrations.)

May All Beings Be Happy!

 

 

image Courtesy NASA Goddard

StarFire Teja’s Mission Video

Dear readers, a few days ago I posted a blog with my mission statement in preparation for making a video. Well I made that video today… What I do not have (yet) in terms of high quality production and technical savvy, I pray that I make up for with the goodness of my heart and the sincerity of my intentions.

 

StarFire Teja’s Mission Video

 

May You Be Blessed By the Forces of Goodness.
May your February be Fabulous!

In Fabulous February I’ll be posting blog articles here
on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Happy Up by choosing to be happy!

 

 

Background image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

StarFire Teja’s Three Super Simple Spiritual Practices

The following practices are so simple that you can do them throughout the day: when you are waiting at a stoplight or waiting in line somewhere, or when you are using the toilet or washing your hands. It helps if you decide in advance when you are going to do these practices. For example, you might plan to do the first practice each time you have to wait and the second practice every time you wash your hands. You could also decide to do them when you are lying in bed, right before you fall asleep at night, or when you first wake up in the morning.

Super Simple Spiritual Practices You Can Do Throughout the Day:

1. Choose to be happy. ~ This one I keep repeating because it is so important. We really can choose to be happy. Per the Upanishads (a collection of wisdom by the ancient mystics of India), the mind is the means to happiness. We really can decide to be happy. This doesn’t usually happen immediately, but if you regularly tell yourself that you are choosing to be happy, then over time it will become true for you. So to apply this in your daily life, try this: every time you have to stop at a red light (or some other time you have to wait), think to yourself, “I am choosing to be happy.”

2. Mantras, affirmations, blessings. ~ Take some time to write out a few phrases that you want to focus on throughout the day, and then decide when you will think them to yourself. For example, you might decide that you want to silently bless each person you meet, so you could write a blessing, such as “May your life be blessed with goodness” and then throughout the day, as you meet people, you could silently think towards them, “May your life be blessed with goodness.” For another example, if you are feeling some depression, you might write an affirmation such as, “Every day in every way I am feeling better and better,” and then you could intend to think that affirmation to yourself each time you wash your hands (or some similar activity).

3. Cultivate a celebratory mindset. ~ Most people enjoy celebrations. When we celebrate our birthdays and other holidays it is as if we go out of ordinary time and into magical time. For this reason we look forward to celebrations and then feel a bit deflated when they’re over. So why not cultivate a celebratory mindset on a regular basis? Throughout the day, at previously decided times, think to yourself, “What can I celebrate about myself or my life in this moment?” Whatever comes to you, take a few seconds to visualize it surrounded by bright balloons, banners, and colorful lights. Remember that 1980 song “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang? That oldie-but-goodie sparks joy for sure! Enjoy it here: Celebrate Good Times, C’mon!

May All Beings Be Happy!
May Your Life Be Blessed With Goodness.

Review of When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals

Did you know that animals have rich emotional lives? This book, When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals, written by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy, is based on scientific studies and anecdotal field notes of biologists and many others who work with animals, and it is mind-blowing to learn the spectrum of emotions felt by other animals.

This book is as much about human emotions as it is about the emotions of other non-human species. The authors write, “One of the most common emotions humans feel in the presence of another species is awe. The ability of a hawk to soar, of a seal to race through the waves is marvelous, humbling.” I could relate to that and you probably can too. Many people feel exhilaration when a flock of wild geese flies across the sky, making their amazing honking sounds.

Quite a number of species are reviewed in this fascinating book. In the section on elephants I learned that in India it is widely believed that elephants weep emotional tears. Then in the conclusion, Masson states this about animals: “They are individuals and members of groups, with elaborate histories that take place in a concrete world, and involve a large number of complex emotional states. They feel throughout their lives, just as we do.” And he quotes Jeremy Bentham’s written words from 1789: “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”

Also in the conclusion, Masson writes, “No one assumes the pig wants to die. It would avoid slaughter if it could. It feels the desire to live and the pain of its sorrow in being killed just as humans do; the only difference is that it cannot say so in words. The crying of the pigs being slaughtered is horrible. People report that they sound like human screams. The pigs are communicating their terrible fear.” And this: “We do know what the cow wants: the cow wants to live. The cow does not wish to sacrifice itself for any reason. That a cow will willingly offer itself as food is a fable.”

I highly recommend this book if you would like to learn more about the emotional lives of animals as well as the emotional lives of humans. It is a very interesting scholarly read.

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

 

StarFire Teja’s Book is now on Amazon!
Amazon Author Page here: Teja Shankara