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 to Do with Difficult Emotions When You Cannot Stop to Tend to Them

Dear readers, today’s post is a follow-up to my blessing on Friday, “May You Be Willing to Do the Work When the Work Shows Up,” in which I wrote about facing your juicy triggers when they arise. That post was oriented towards weekend time, when you have more flexibility to change your plans…

But what do you do when those difficult emotions arise when you have to work or you have an appointment that cannot be rescheduled? I will share a few tips here, and I would love to hear other strategies that work for you…

When you cannot stop to tend to difficult emotions, it is helpful to cultivate the witness consciousness. Harness the observer part of you, and say to yourself, “I see there is a difficult emotion passing through me now.” Take a moment to acknowledge that you do not have time (yet) to address the emotion… Then have your neutral witness part assure the upset part that you will tend to it just as soon as you can…

Another tip is to take short breaks from your obligations in order to have power cries. You know, like a power snack or a power nap, only it is a power cry… Crying, even for a short time, can really help you to let off some steam and to relieve some pressure from those sweet little emotions that you don’t have time (yet) to process… I did this myself many years ago when I was brokenhearted after a relationship ended: during the day at work, I cried hard for 1-2 minutes during each restroom break, and then I returned to my desk smiling…

What do you do when you cannot stop to tend to difficult emotions?

 

Orange tree photo from Free-Photos on Pixabay.

 

 

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!

 

Sunset image by Geralt on Pixabay.

 

 

Love Thy Neighbor

Do you ever feel bothered by your neighbors? If so, perhaps you will be able to relate to my story here…

My intention is to send loving good vibes to my neighbors, even when – no, especially when – they do insensitive things that affect me negatively. However, when their carcinogenic cigarette smoke, toxic lighter fluid fumes, heart-breaking smells of dead animal flesh cooking, and offensive sounds of foul language all waft on the nice breeze across the property line and in through my open window, my best intentions are seriously challenged.

As I close the window, I feel irritation and anger that once again I cannot get fresh air and hear the lovely birdsong. I know that the negative energies arising in me are not healthy for me, and I do believe that energies radiate out to others. But, it is one thing to understand the energetic principles involved, and a whole other thing to be able to practice loving kindness in the moment of feeling triggered.

If you also feel challenged by your neighbors, here are a few practices that can help you to find equanimity, love, and compassion…

At the moment you first feel triggered, pause and witness your emotions with loving attention. Breathe, and cultivate compassion for yourself first. Next, remind yourself that the other person is doing the best they can with the light that they have to see by. They probably are not even aware that their behavior is bothering you. In fact, they might even feel bad if they knew that they were causing you grief.

Try to let go of any judgments you may be feeling towards them. And finally, send them love, compassion, peace, and healing energies. Notice how much better you feel after doing that. Kindness and compassion transform you, and they feel so much better than irritation and anger.

I hope this post was helpful to you.

 

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

 

Orange rose photo by Alexas Fotos on Pixabay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Become the Master of Your Emotions by Focusing on Witness Consciousness

Some people are afraid of their emotions. Are you afraid of your emotions?

When people are afraid of their emotions, it is typically because they fear that the feelings will be too big for them to handle. They fear that the emotions will overwhelm them.

Focusing on Witness Consciousness can help you to become the master of your emotions. If a feeling arises that feels scary, say to yourself, “I am the Witness who is watching this emotion pass through my system.” You are not the emotion, but rather, the emotion is an energy that is passing through you.

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

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

 

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech