Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Seeds of Spiritual Growth # 3 6/15/16 Time to Uplevel our Presence

It's been a difficult week so far with facing yet another senseless and in my view a potentially preventable mass shooting in Orlando. Today and for many days and months to come there will be a massive hole of grief in the hearts of all the family and friends of the victims of this shooting . It's been a brutal reminder of the epidemic of global violence that impacts millions of people daily. For any real shift to happen we have to raise our consciousness up and out of fear and separation and grow beyond our limiting beliefs that solutions are not possible or within our reach.
We need to be proactive in daily deep self care as these times we are navigating are intense and will continue to be. Without a commitment to evolving our higher selves, life can be a brutal experience of pain and sorrow. Before we can authentically serve others, elevate others , inspire others, we have to honor our body temple daily.
Those that have guided us before in perilous times of humanity like Buddha, Ghandi, MLK, Nelson Mendela ,Thich Nhat Hanh, HH Dalai Lama, thousands of ancient and modern Yogi's and teachers that embodied and taught the path of peace and many many more that walk and talk the path of peace in our everyday lives,they have left us with paths and teachings to follow and embody.To learn how to live as optimal human beings, guided by our Spirits of the unity that we are all expressions of.
We are each called upon now in this time to UPLEVEL OUR PRESENCE. It's not enough to just pray for peace as powerful as prayer is, it requires action. Whats required is to expand our hearts not contract them. Whats required is to expand our outreach to those in need, not shrink into self serving behaviors that isolate us from other.Whats required is deep faith that we are all here to elevate each other in our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
SEVA is selfless service to others. Its COMPASSION IN ACTION. We always have a choice when faced with tragedy, shut down and numb out or recommit to hold the faith and promise of healing and resolution to our deepest challenges. What would each day look like if we truly adopted a Compassion in Action commitment to self and others?
Adopt a COMPASSION IN ACTION mantra daily . Start with honoring your own deep needs for support, rest, nourishment and connection to Spirit. Fill your cup as my mother would say. Then share, share and share! Chant the ancient breath mantra SO HUM. Mantras are ancient sound projections that attune our psyches and bodies to our higher selves. Breath is the carrier of Prana, the subtle life force that animates all. Inhale and say the sound SO exhale and say HUM . This translates into I AM . The confirmation of your true self as PRESENCE, Wholeness, Unity Consciousness. It's the vibration of your Soul.
We all have sacred gifts to share. Mine is teaching yoga and wellness. I offer myself in the service of elevating my students well being and the biggest gift one can connect to is to realize we are all Divine Beings of Light and Love . THAT is our TRUTH, our identity. That's what needs daily connection and nurturance so we can in reality " Be the Change We Want to See" as Ghandi so famously quoted.
If I can be of service to anyone in the intention to connect to that truth, please  reach out.Come to a class. Join a community that is holding the vibration of peace, love and compassion.
 I'll be holding a FREE Summer Solstice class on Monday June 20th at 7:30 pm with a crystal bowl sound healing for our hearts. A healthy snack potluck will follow. You are invited!

Many Blessings for Peace to All.
Namaste and Sat Nam
Anne ~ Lakshmi Narayan

Friday, February 5, 2016

Seeds For Spiritual Growth; Blog # 2; 2/6/16 One Key Reason We Struggle In Letting Go Of Who We Think We Are

Seeds for Spiritual Growth:Blog # 2, 2/6/2016
 One Key Reason We Struggle In Letting Go of Who We Think We Are
Whatever  thoughts, memories, emotions or desires that are unsupportive, draining, distracting, repetitive, and maddening neural patterns may be, a shift towards awakening to what we truly are does require us to do something different than the status quo. Analyzing our limited  reactive minds with our limited minds just results in repeating old cycles.
We cannot get to a connection and a direct energetic experience of  our Higher Self through thinking. Does one ever get sick and tired of our stories of discontent and suffering? I know I do. That visceral disdain for our stagnation is Spirit calling out for us to let go of the story that's keeping us small. In order to begin to let go of very engrained patterns and perceptions of ones psyche,there has to be an energy that will catalyze us out of the momentum of our redundant and revisiting thoughts and emotional forms. In the yogic tradition this energy is embodied in practicing a daily sadhana.
The sooner we begin to honor a practice that creates a doorway to commune with our inner life as it is without judgement, rejection or clinging or grasping, the sooner those demoting patterns will begin to loosen their grip on our psyches.
Just bringing the power of stillness and awareness to these projections of the mind with a deep breath is enough to begin to untangle their hold on our consciousness and create a peek a boo moment, a doorway, a sliver, a sacred second of truly experiencing our Beingness and that to me is the beginning of the end of the story of who I " think I am" .
Our Spirit loves ritual and rhythm. A deep breath becomes a meditation and a daily meditation becomes a practice, and a practice opens a pathway and the pathway becomes a portal to our freedom from forgetting what a glorious divine being we've always been from the get go! Our minds cannot fathom the immensity of the truth of what we are, the Love essence that animates the entire universe! Are you ready and willing to take and commit to that first step?
Blessings and Namaste
Anne Townend-Duffey MA E-RYT Director
Opening Lotus Yoga

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy 2016 !Seeds for Spiritual Growth # 1 You Cannot Think Your Way to Your Soul


   Hello All and Happy 2016!

 I took a few months from writing the Seeds for Spiritual Growth blogs last fall to take a deeper step back and inward to commit more time to my daily sadhana or spiritual yoga practice. I also enrolled in a 9 month Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training program at the  Baba Siri Chand Ashram in Millis , MA. which began last Oct and will continue till June 2016.

 It's been 13 years since my last yoga certification training and after 12 years of teaching thousands of hours of Yoga and directing Opening Lotus Yoga, diving into this current training is heaven for me. To be immersed in these potent ancient yogic teachings as taught by Yogi Bhajan at this point in my life and to receive these trainings in such a high vibrational setting as the Baba Siri Chand Ashram is truly a gift. The training has been powerful, challenging, humbling and in a word precious. I feel I am in the perfect place to grow to my next level of spiritual embodiment and shed more powerfully and thoroughly the conditions of my mind that do not serve me and block my  connection to my true Self. The more I grow into my own Truth the more I can serve my dharma, the reason why I'm here in the first place. I'm so excited to be able to bring these Kundalini teachings to the studio in the near future!'

   As an individual who is quick to admit having an addictive mind, love of learning and gaining knowledge and understanding, I find myself in a unique invitation to redefine what it means to really learn from a spiritual perspective and what the difference is between the activity of the mind and intellect and the path to the soul. The key is to move into a space of NOT KNOWING by surrendering any impulse or need to know.

As smart , curious or well versed  as one's intellect may be, you cannot THINK YOUR WAY TO YOUR SOUL!. What shifts in spiritual attunement is this awareness that the energy of your true or higher Self (as opposed to your low self or ego )is a direct  energetic experience through the body. The body in its divine design is an instrument to project your mind and your mind in its divine design is an instrument to project the infinite Source of all that is. 

 The challenge is our minds are so heavily laden with thoughts, memories, feelings and emotions and data that its easy to get lost in the mind  and  believe our minds or egos are the sum total of who and what we are. Nothing could be further from the truth and being  caught in mind is the grand mass hallucination that Albert Einstein point to in his writings. Eastern systems call this illusory experience of the world as MAYA.  What we think is reality is only a projection of our thoughts. 'What we think we become' - Buddha

 In this accelerated time of the digital age, our exposure to information is at warp speed. This access to information is a double edged sword. The plus is we are only a click away from information on anything we can think of. The downside is we cannot often integrate all of this information and lots of it becomes additional mental debris that can cause overload and confusion.

 The new buzz in this era is digital detox. Its now understood that all that exposure to information overload is not good for our nervous systems and health. We need to unplug from screen time daily and nourish that meditative space of stillness which is the ONLY way we can access our True Self as the eternal energy of awareness itself and OPEN TO DIVINE INTUITIVE WISDOM  which is the natural language of our souls.

It's quite the paradox to be living in this Aquarian age where all the former paradigms of duality and separation are crumbling at the edges and eventually will disintegrate as more of us wake up to the next level of our spiritual evolutionary journey , to be an embodied, super illuminated  and conscious  human being. One term for this evolutionary shift is described as moving from homospaiens to homoluminous beings.
 So what does that mean for you and I on the yogic path? It means the importance of committing to your daily, spiritual yoga practice known as sadhana  is critical to anchor us in the stillness of our being on a daily basis and to continue to release and cleanse the daily build up of mental debris that promises to keep accelerating. Daily meditation is becoming a powerful tool for not just destressing but being able to navigate and thrive in our modern culture. Meditation needs to be taught to everyone including children. It will be as necessary for our wellbeing and fundamental health as brushing your teeth daily!

  So my invitation is always, give yourself the gift of meditation. If you do not know how to start , consider taking a course We have a 6 week Course Meditation for Beginners starting Jan. 25,. or investigate the multitude of excellent online meditation sources or books readily available to guide you. Take some yoga classes. Bar none YOGA is the most integrative practice that addresses all aspects of our health, body, mind and spirit and through the thousands of years these sacred teachings have existed and been continuously taught, Yoga is a proven methodology of  cultivating  vibrant health, peace and wellbeing.

 Your two most powerful tools in your transformation from ego- centered to intuitive heart, higher Self- centered is your daily meditation and yoga practice and your willingness to let go of what is blocking you from living as an embodied , conscious, illuminated and loving Being~  
 Begin today~ Be a part of the shift that is being ushered in at this time.  I am deeply honored to support you in that growth!

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 Beyond belief lies knowledge and understanding and beyond knowledge lies wisdom which is                 the innate language of your Soul. You cannot think your way to your soul.

Namaste and Blessings for a Beautiful New Year ~
 Anne Townend-Duffey  MA. E-RYT  Director
Opening Lotus Yoga