Finding Compassion For Those Who Hate

When you put yourself out there, share your heart and voice with the world, there will inevitably be those who love you, those who hate you and those who just don’t care. Being on the spiritual path, I find this to be an excellent teacher and a perfect ego grinder, because whatever people think of me, it does not matter. Of course, my ego says, I would love everyone to like me. But I have no control over what people think and do, or how people judge. I can only do my best, love as best I can and humbly continue to open to each moment and learn the lessons each one brings. In the end, what matters most is my relationship with the divine, which affects how I treat others and myself. What is essential, lasting and true is that I practice seeing the divine in all, even in those who may not like me.

It is hard to understand the motivation of hate, but in essence, we all have the capacity for it. No one is immune to its seduction. When I am lucidly honest with myself, I can openly say that I have felt it rise in me and take me over. I have felt its burn singe my heart. I have fallen into the indulging thrill and delusional self-importance that it conveniently provides. I have felt pumped up, important and proud through it. And I have also felt immensely alone and in pain because of it.

It is hard when we fall out with someone we once called a friend. It is extra hard to see someone close turn into someone who expresses hatred toward us. Hopefully, we do our best to understand each other, talk about the misunderstandings, heal, make amends and return to love. But without both parties being willing to return to a place of humility, little healing can take place. Walls are built, misunderstandings grow and pain festers. Whether friends or strangers, people who do not like us are still our valuable teachers. They teach us what Amma asks us to embody: “Progress is being made when you can retain evenness of mind in the face of praise and shame, honor and dishonor.”

I recall an encounter that reminds me of this. As I watched spiteful venom come my way from people I had considered friends, I had to take pause and witness the propulsion of pain. I noticed that I did not feel hatred towards them. After I worked through my initial shock and hurt at meeting this kind of dark energy, I found myself watching others hold onto their pain as they seemed to wish it upon others. I noticed that ultimately, it seemed they just wanted to feel loved, but were going about it in an upside-down manner. They were indirectly asking for love through hate, which simultaneously was pushing love away.

In that moment, I understood their suffering. By holding onto and identifying with their pain, the people they were hurting most was themselves. Amma says, “When you harm anyone, you harm everyone, especially your own self.” It was clear they were just in pain, and no amount of painful thoughts from me projected their way was going to help them, or me. I did not want to add more pain to the fabulous job they were already doing to themselves.

Amma advises, “Communication begins when you fully understand the other person’s point of view.” What was the other people’s point of view? They were hurting and felt I was the source of that hurt. No apology was helping, no reaching out was received, no healing was of interest. They seemed attached to feeling “right”, hard done by, and wanted to hold onto their sense of hurt. With one party unwilling, there could be no discussion. So their pain continued. But I did not need to hold on. So I walked away and still wish them well. Amma says, “If you cannot speak with love and respect, wait until you can.” In the case of haters, the best option is silence.

The exchange was ultimately a gift, another piece along my path. Whether I am at the top of the electronic charts (where I now have been for many weeks, thank you for your generous support!) or whether people love or hate me, I cannot rest my happiness on other’s opinions. My job is to love, understand and serve each moment as best I can with a sense of receptivity to what it brings.

The deeper gift in that exchange for me is found in Amma’s wise words: “If someone is doing something that you find really offensive, check to see whether you are doing something similar to someone else or to yourself.” People who direct ill will our way can be divine mirrors to ways we may be relating to others or ourselves. In my case, I was reminded of how hard I am on myself, which I have been in the midst of seeing more clearly these past months. I don’t always speak to myself with kindness. I don’t always treat myself with love. I don’t always offer myself compassionate understanding. I can allow my self-confidence to be undermined by an old habit of self-doubt. Through that exchange, further contents of my psyche were stirred for me to see and ultimately release. So thank you, even to those who hate me, because you bring me back to the divine and teach me to love.

This day opens with a clear intention to continue to practice feeling ok being me, regardless of what others think. Because ultimately, I will only love others as well as I love myself. Amma says, “Don’t just apologize for hurting someone; make the firm resolve that you will never again do that painful act to anyone.” So my sincere prayer is to continue to learn to care for, befriend, honour, love and be gentle with myself. May I have a rich relationship with the divine and may this inform a loving relationship with self and all beings.

When my grandmother was on her deathbed, I asked her what was the meaning of life. She said to me so wisely: “It is all about being yourself. It is so simple, most people miss it.” I can miss it, get caught up in thinking I “should” be/do/think/act in some other way than what feels most relaxed and myself. My true nature is love. So I learn to relax more deeply into trusting that divine truth. I go continue to allow it to flower within me and simply be, no second-guessing. Trust the arising.

The divine love that Amma shows us is within us all. It is our true nature. The rest is just temporary clouds passing through the pure and vast sky. Sometimes the clouds are dark thunderclouds, like when we meet the energy of hatred. But that has no real lasting power. Pain is perpetuated when we hold on and won’t come back to the reality that our true nature is love. I cannot make someone who is attached to pain treat me with love and respect. But I can love and respect myself and learn to treat everyone that way, without condition. That will bring me the joy and lasting happiness I seek and create the best offering I can bring to the world.

May we all know our divine nature and love!

Jai Ma,

Parvati

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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