May All Beings Be Happy

As Americans look towards their Thanksgiving, we Canadians just had ours. At our family dinner, I asked my mother whether she felt the world was crazier now than when she was young, or that the underbelly of the human psyche is simply more visible today due to the power of our media. She immediately responded that she feels people are much more on edge and violent today. Her response echoed what a 92-year-old World War 2 British marine vet recently told me when I asked him the same question. He too felt that the world is more intense now, even more so than when he went through the devastating war.

There is no doubt that our world is hurting. We see it in the hateful words that people hurl at each other in person and online, disconnected from compassion and understanding. We see it in the growing number of senseless acts of violence. We see it in the increase in radical groups that seek to kill and destroy. Yet, and this is important, there is also a growing effulgence of luminosity, which I feel when I choose to turn my focus to that which is eternal. There is so much pain, and so much grace, available to us all in this unprecedented time. The choice of which to focus on is up to us. What we choose now affects how we experience this moment, and determines what our future brings.

As I sit in daily meditation practice, I become a neutral witness to whatever may be. I allow myself to receive this moment exactly as it is. In so doing, I can feel my cells and my entire being opening like a flower to a field of utter possibility. The light in that field fuels me and brings with it clarity, effervescence and calling. I feel inspired to inspire, as my heart bursts with a greater sense of interconnection with it all – the dark, the light, the suffering and the freedom from pain.

The growth in global darkness is ours to collectively transcend as one Earth family. We must take heart, remembering that whatever we choose to focus on will grow. We cannot fight hate with hate. Only more hate will come from such a choice.

No amount of figuring out, strategizing, plotting or planning will end violence. We have tried these strategies many times through history. If they worked, we would not now be in a situation that my 92-year-old vet friend calls worse than World War 2. When we come to understand that our true nature is eternal luminosity, we will see that only love, compassion and wisdom will set us free.

Doubters may say that to love is too soft an approach, that it denies the pain and the gravity of the situation we face. But love at times of horror and terror is the clearest and most courageous choice we can make. Our human, knee-jerk reaction is to point fingers, to judge, to valiantly roar into the battlefield. Yet the root of the word courage is “cor”, Latin for heart. To have courage, we must have a heart that sees the fullness of what is with wisdom and compassion and is willing to live rooted in such insight, despite what fear may say.

Founding Parvati.org and dedicating my life’s work in music, yoga and words to establish the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary is one way I live that insight. The polar ice is the world’s air conditioning system that secures global weather and crops. Yet today the Arctic ice is melting, permafrost is thawing and methane is bubbling to the surface – putting all life on Earth at risk. Instead of heeding this alarm signal, companies seek to profit from the loss of ice, moving in to claim natural resources, shipping routes, even cruise ship routes. At the same time, military personnel carry out exercises and continue to assert territory in the Arctic. Establishing MAPS will not only protect the Arctic and compel the global shift to renewables. It brings people and our global leaders together with one common purpose. It sends a powerful message of peace and interconnection to the entire world. For the sake of everyone on Earth, there must be a place on the planet where the guns and ships are silent and the voice of Nature can be heard. Signing and sharing the MAPS petition and getting involved as a volunteer becomes a simple and practical way for people to do something productive with the anxiety they may feel about the future.

Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) is today. As we take a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in the brutality of war, may we remember that the only way to end war for good is when each of us ends the war we inadvertently carry within. May we all remember that our true nature is love. Only love is real.

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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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