“I had a dream. In fact, it was on the night I met you. In the dream, there was our world, and the world was dark because there weren’t any robins and the robins represented love. And for the longest time, there was this darkness. And all of a sudden, thousands of robins were set free and they flew down and brought this blinding light of love. And it seemed that love would make any difference, and it did. So, I guess it means that there is trouble until the robins come.”—Blue Velvet (1986)
“Peace is man’s greatest and highest blessing. Man thinks that he can get everything with prosperity; but if he is wanting in peace, then he is the worst possible beggar. We say “peace of mind,” but actually we do not have peace in the mind. By staying in the mind, we can never have even a glimpse of peace. When we want peace, we have to go beyond the realm of the mind. How can we go beyond the mind? It is through our constant aspiration. That aspiration will enable us to collect the mind like a bundle and throw it into the sea of the heart. Then we will see that our mind, vital and physical—our whole existence—will be inundated with inner peace.”—Sri Chinmoy
“The highest meditation is when you do not have any thoughts at all. Right now when we are meditating, we are victims to many thoughts, undivine thoughts, ugly thoughts, evil thoughts. At other times we do a kind of meditation where we get fairly good thoughts, divine thoughts, fulfilling thoughts and illumining thoughts. This is a higher state. But when we are in the Highest, there will be no thoughts, either good or bad. There it is only Light.”—Sri Chinmoy
“The saviors of the world do not come to foster inimical doctrinal divisions; their teachings should not be used toward that end. It is something of a misnomer even to refer to the New Testament as the “Christian” Bible, for it does not belong exclusively to any one sect. Truth is meant for the blessing and upliftment of the entire human race. As the Christ Consciousness is universal, so does Jesus Christ belong to all….”—Paramahansa Yogananda
Paramahansa Yogananda established the Self-Realization Fellowship Ashram Center in Encinitas in 1937. Here, at the Hermitage where he lived for many years, he wrote his Autobiography of a Yogi, widely regarded today as a modern spiritual classic. The Ashram Center and nearby Temple are located on the Pacific Coast, 100 miles south of Los Angeles and 25 miles north of San Diego.
The Hermitage is generally open on Sundays, 2-5 p.m., except in inclement weather. The meditation gardens, which include a small waterfall and koi pond, are open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Sundays.
“Slowly it blossomed, and slowly too it ripened in Siddhartha, the knowledge, the knowing that was actually wisdom, concerning the goal of his long seeking. It was nothing but a readiness of the soul, a capability, a secret art, to think the thought of unity at every moment in life, to be able to feel and inhale unity. Slowly this unfolded within him, streamed back at him from Vasudeva’s aged childlike face: harmony, knowledge of the eternal perfection of the world, the smile, unity.”—Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
some times we are so focused on asana that it becomes easy to forget that yoga is an eight-limbed path. I have been thinking very extensively about ahimsa (non-violence), the foremost of the yamas and certainly the absolute foundation of any true yoga practice - and human being - and how I can embody it more thoroughly in every aspect of my life, how to stand with it in my own truth. beyond the subtle changes & choices we can make, are always making, maybe one solution is a recognition of the bliss inherent in every moment that we live.
tonight’s bliss yoga practice went beyond asana to embrace each one of us with each of its limbs. but especially pranayama! we breathed. we didn’t breathe. the motion of the breath was an ocean, an unfolding - cosmic, miniscule - and the absence of the breath was like a cradling, a welcoming. to let go of the resistance of your body and let the space enfold you. how peace unfolds like a thousand petals at the moment of your surrender—
space enfolds even as it unfolds, always—
and then, all on its own, the awe that is prana gives itself back to you. and you see: we are carried, each of us, each moment of our lives. what but that is love? what bliss!
“Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, we become seekers.”—Peter Matthiessen (via sahasrara-shanti)
“Hot afternoons are real; afternoons are; places, things, thoughts,
feelings are; poetry is;
The world is waiting to be known; Earth, what it has in it!
The past is in it;
All words, feelings, movements, words, bodies, clothes, girls,
trees, stones, things of beauty, books, desires are in it;
and all are to be known;
Afternoons have to do with the whole world;
And the beauty of mind, feeling knowingly the world!
The world of girls’ beautiful faces, bodies and clothes, quiet
afternoons, graceful birds, great words, tearful music,
mind-joying poetry, beautiful livings, loved things, known
things: a to-be-used and known and pleasure-to-be giving
world.”—eli siegel, hot afternoons have been in montana
“I honor the place in you where the entire Universe resides. I honor the place of love, of light, of truth, of peace. I honor the place within you where if you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”—Ram Dass on the meaning of Namaste
“A spiritual person should be a normal person, a sound person. In order to reach God, a spiritual person has to be divinely practical in his day-to-day activities. In divine practicality, we share our inner wealth. We feel the divine motivation behind each action and share the result with others. Spirituality does not negate the outer life. The outer life should be the manifestation of the divine life within us.”—Sri Chinmoy
“Your body, which is part of and depending on this illusory world, is on the other hand the expression of a hidden inner process. You are yourself the many, appearing in various aspects, forms and modes. Each one of them exists in fact to fulfill a particular need. Yours is the give and take of the universe, yours the need, and yet you yourself are the fulfillment that hidden inner process is generated by you.”—
our writing prompt for this coming tuesday: what happens if the sun goes out? we have 8 mins 17 seconds of light left on earth — how would you spend your last eight minutes? my response is after the cut.
this evening rama deva took us out over the ocean into a castle of clouds. the stars glittered on the waves and we - each alone - sat in lotus pose, suspended in space and held up by the sky. of course, without our material bodies actually leaving our mats. he asked us to let our hearts speak to us. my heart’s message to my small self was LOVE IS ALL, which is a reminder I definitely needed today. dear heart: duly noted. in every cell, molecule, and atom of my being— noted.
as novel as that experience was, I was more amazed by the lead-up to it, the way his words would light up each part of our bodies as he named them until they started vibrating in tune and in time with his voice. the way a singing bowl can strike some part of your soul you’ve never even felt before, and how that wakes you up a little more, though your body is asleep. chanting aum once for each chakra until all pulsate with the infinite which is the sound which is the love which is all.
“This world is created by the bliss of God, not by the terror of God. The world is sustained by the bliss that is behind it. Finally, the world will enter into the bliss of God. Even the space itself is a bliss. Suppose there is no space; see how we feel. We get suffocated and all the joy of life vanishes in one second. Breathing is a joy. Spatial expanse is a joy, because the bliss of God is hiddenly manifest in all these manifestations, even in our own selves.”—Swami Krishnananda