Monday Morning Musings on Light

 

“The light that shines above the heavens and above this world, the light that shines in the highest world, beyond which there are no others — that is the light that shines in the hearts of men.”

~ The Upanishads: The Wisdom of the Hindu Mystics, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester.

 

Dear readers,

One of the common threads throughout most spiritual teachings is a focus on Light… Teresa of Avila wrote (in The Book of My Life, translated by Mirabai Starr), “When the soul looks into this divine Sun, its brightness dazzles her… The brightness of the sun seems tarnished in comparison with this light… Next to the divine light, the light of the sun looks dull.”

The mystics of ancient India spoke of the spiritual light as being one with the light in the Sun, and Jesus also spoke about light, advising his followers to let their light shine…

In his fascinating book, Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters, John E. Mack, M.D., relates aspects of light described by the experiencers, such as: “this blue beam coming from the depths of the universe… seeing light in the form of beams, balls, sparks, or simply a flood filling the space or surrounding them… a flash of bright blue light… she meditated… and experienced internally the presence of bright blue light… After a time her experience with the light “wasn’t just in meditation. It was there all the time.””

Mack writes, “in both quantum physics and consciousness studies, light is in some way absolutely fundamental…”

In reading Mack’s book, I felt particularly amazed by the experiences of Carlos Diaz: He saw the ship floating over his head. He said it was made of millions of small dots of light… the craft appeared to be inside a cave that was lined with stalactites and stalagmites…” He said, “There was something strange about the illumination… It was everywhere, but I couldn’t find a source. It seemed to arise from the rocks themselves.” In the cave… he saw seven spheres of light… which seemed, like the ship itself, to be made of compressed yellow light… from the ship he can see the jungle, where he sees the light surrounding and radiating from each living thing… About the light that he sees, he says, “Not many of us can see it… but most of us can feel it.”

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The above photo of a glowing fiery orange craft was taken by Carlos Diaz. It appears on many sites, including in this story: “The Carlos Diaz Experiences.”

The young boy in the film, The Blue Butterfly, could also see light emanating from every plant and creature in the jungle. It seems that the ability to see such light arises with heightened sensitivity and awareness.

I have known people who could see light, like auras, around people, or like halos, above people’s heads.

I have only occasionally seen a tiny blue light, called the bindu, and sometimes in meditation I’ve seen a violet light inside my third eye (ajna chakra)… I am grateful for those small experiences, but oh my gosh, I *really* want to see the bright light described by Saint Teresa, and by so many others, throughout time!

What about you, have you seen any forms of Light?

May the goodness of the Highest Light activate in the minds and hearts of our human tribe!

With faith in the Light that I hope to see,
StarFire Teja

 

 

Image of Lord Shiva found online; creator unknown.

 

Be A Happy Person

 

“Mind is the means to happiness.”

~ the Upanishads, a collection of wisdom by the ancient mystics of India.

 

Dear readers,

In a Q&A video with Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh, someone asked, “What can I do to help others?” He answered, “Be a happy person.”

Our happiness helps others, just like our peace helps others.

That answer may sound too simplistic, but it is actually quite complex and profound, because, for most humans, it is not easy to be happy.

Being happy is a choice and a commitment and a practice. We choose happiness, and then we have to keep making choices that create and maintain that happiness. It’s an ongoing, moment by moment process, with plenty of pitfalls into un-happy zones.

Being happy has been challenging throughout human existence, but perhaps it is more difficult now than ever before.

Knowing that my happiness helps others inspires me to keep happy-ing up, again and again. Over the years I have learned many tools for happy-ing up, which I recently compiled in a book: Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. In the Practices section I explain the term “Happy-ing-Up” as follows:

“Happy-ing Up is not the same as putting on a fake smiley face. When you do practices to Happy Up, you actually shift your state UP to a feeling of happiness. So it is not an act of “fake it till you make it,” but rather, it is an act of elevating yourself to a higher vibration in which you truly do feel happy. Sometimes that happy state only lasts for a few minutes, and that is okay. Simply keep practicing and happy-ing yourself up again and again.”

And, beyond helping others, being happy helps boost your body’s immune system, which is an especially good thing during a virus pandemic!

I hope this post is helpful to you or to someone you love.

May the happiness centers activate in the human minds!

May all beings be free of suffering.
May all beings be happy.

With happy vibes,
StarFire Teja

 

 

Photo by Bradley Howington on Unsplash.

 

The Mind Needs to Be Worked With First

To open the heart, first calm and happy the mind.

Some people say that first you have to open the heart, but after many years of studying this, I have come to understand that the mind needs to be worked with first, and then the heart naturally opens.

The human species has reached a state in which the human mind has become quite dense. Many people’s minds are tangled up by the anxieties and traumas of this fast-paced world. So, sitting and focusing on opening the heart may feel soothing temporarily, but it won’t be lasting unless the mind is calmed first.

When you work with your mind, calming it down and happy-ing it up, then your heart opens naturally, and you can relax into the sweetness in your heart.

Choosing to be happy is the first practice listed in my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. Here is that practice:

Choosing to be happy ~ You 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. You really can decide to be happy. This doesn’t necessarily 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: anytime you have to wait in line or at a red light, think to yourself, “I am choosing to be happy.”

Focusing on calming your mind down, and also happy-ing it up, will open your heart, and then you will feel overwhelming love for everything and everyone!

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

If you haven’t already, please read my previous post, “23 Possible Benefits You May Gain Through Reading Reaching for Orange.”

TheMindNeedsToBeWorkedWithFirst_ReachingForOrange_StarFireTeja

 

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.

 

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.