The Effortless Ease of Being

Parvati | The Effortless Ease of Being

Meeting The Moment Without Stress

Fifteen or twenty years ago, I heard someone say that if you are stressed, you are in your ego. At that time, I had no idea if that were true or what a life without stress would look like. But somehow, the words stuck in the recesses of my mind. They have acted as a backdrop to the ongoing spiritual experiment that is my life.

As I have been in the recent process of honouring an unstoppable force moving through my life, a new vibration has begun to reverberate in my cells. I now feel closer than ever to understanding what a life without stress means, and what it looks like to live in effortless ease in every moment, every day.

Through my Hatha Yoga practice and teaching, I have come to know that any form of movement that arises from wanting is one that perpetuates or creates karma. Whether we push into a pose and reach for some elusive sense of externalized perfection, or move out of a pose feeling uneasy or even repulsed by what we felt in it, we are acting from an unyogic, that is, non-unified or divisive, state of mind. This will only generate suffering for ourselves and others. At its heart, Hatha Yoga is not an end in itself, but a powerful alchemical crucible in which we can witness the transformation of our consciousness from wanting to presence, from brokenness to wholeness. Yoga poses are a metaphoric training ground for the positions in which we find ourselves as we go about our lives.

As I continue to explore the full meaning of yogic presence in my life, I have had the great privilege of being able to experience one of the most developed forms of healing available to us on the planet at this time: biodynamic osteopathy. Unlike any other healing modality that I have encountered, osteopathy in the cranial field as developed by Dr. James Jealous speaks to me more naturally than breathing itself. As a performer and composer, I tend to experience the world sonically, so perhaps this description of this healing work is fitting: during a session I feel as though I am an instrument being fine-tuned, while at the same time witnessing the most exquisite symphony, of which I am an integral part.

As I have been making way for the volcanic, unstoppable force to move through my spine with necessary dispassion, I have increased the hours of my daily meditation practice. I also have gone for a biodynamic osteopathy session as I described above. Following the session and supported by the increased hours of meditation, what I am left with is beauty — profound, effortless beauty, simplicity and potency beyond measure.

Each breath we breathe happens in harmony with the universe breathing. It is as if everything that exists is one giant lung. The pumping of our hearts and the shifts in the tissue that makes up our bodies are in sync with the ebb and flow of ocean waves. The synapses in our brains that go off and on to create thoughts are like the sparkles in the stars that light up the night sky, or the auric field that shimmers to make a tree or a flower look so alive. We are literally one with everything that is. This palpable interconnection has never been more present for me.

As I sit in meditation, the unstoppable force fearlessly expands into the potent fullness of being. In that fullness, the sense of “I” hovers as a memory, a flicker in a field of pure possibility, as my true, timeless self expands into the perfect now.

Integrating this presence into my daily life outside of sitting meditation continues to be a process. Faced with a production schedule, due dates, plans and ambitions, I feel the older parts of me attempt to arise and take over. However, such attempts are futile within the quiet potency of this new field of the eternal now. Old ways of being literally feel painful as they constrict and twist the perfection of the moment into what I think I need because a deluded sense of self believes I am other than I am.

Through this, I have come to touch a place of greater balance, where time is an illusion as much as any thought – just a temporal and passing expression of the constructed, divided sense of self. The urgency to take charge, have a fixed plan, set goals, target for what is ahead, are forms of the limited self that is disconnected from the whole.

Within the whole, there is immense room for planning. But this planning is organic, co-creative, in flux and evolving. It floats in the ocean of possibility and is carried by the ebb and flow, the tide and the waves. Both soft and strong as it rests in the supportive body of water, this structure appears separate but is a part of the ocean. It shifts, adjusts, never pushes but evolves.

Just as I know that a flower blooms in spring, there is a trust I now find in my own inherent flower nature, the way I am part of the whole. The flower does not struggle or question its ability to bloom, but effortlessly expresses itself without any sense of separateness from its nature. For me, separation expresses itself mostly in doubt, a moment when my mind starts to question and think it must get busy making the flower, “my” flower-self, bloom. I now know viscerally that there is literally no sense in any such effort. To do so is to only cause myself and others pain. We all act in some form of constriction most of the time. We push through or resist the day, day after day, year after year. Eventually we are left in a pile of unanswered, restless and empty questions, wondering on our deathbed if all the struggle has been worth it.

So what does life look like without struggle? It is rooted in presence in the moment, based on understanding that what is here right now is everything you need. It is expressed as trust in the now, through which you access all the creative support you need to flourish in the world – not by calling out in urgency, but by knowing that the universe’s joy is your joy. Your heart prayers are heard before even you know them. It is manifested through surrender to a force much greater than your limited ego or will. It is shared and enjoyed as love. It is seen in humble unity, where the present is not separate from the past or future, but containing it all and no-thing. Yes, daily challenges arise. But you meet them from the vantage point of wholeness with a natural, unquestionable and effortless confidence that rests in knowing you are already home.

Exercise: Easing Into Life

The way you rise in the morning can set the tone for your day. When you wake up, take a moment to breathe deeply. Feel your body and your aliveness. Get out of bed with presence and awareness. Feel the extraordinary dynamics that take place in your body to move you from a horizontal to sitting position. As your feet touch the ground alongside your bed, take a moment to welcome the connection you have with the ground, your source of physical support as you move throughout the day. Notice the shift in pressure in your feet as you move to standing and imagine that you are growing up from the ground like a tree or flower, opening to the now.

As you go about your day, become aware of tension you may carry in your body. One of the most quick and effective ways to notice when you are in stress is tension. As such, your body is a true ally and teacher in helping you to learn to live with ease. Popular places to hold tension are in the shoulders, the tummy, across the forehead, between the eyebrows or along the jaw.

When you notice tension, do not try to change it. That will only add more tension. Instead, simply notice it is there without any judgment. In this way, you soften to the tension and it effortlessly dissipates. In the softening, an expansion occurs. The energy that once was caught in the tension is now free to move to more creative expressions. Allow such shifts to happen, such as a lowering of the shoulders, a refreshing thought to come to mind, a change in the course of your actions. As you cultivate ease, you will feel more open, rooted and vital. You will meet the fullness of this moment, just as it is.

 

JGP_9231__naturalI post my blog every Sunday with love. If you have enjoyed this, you may wish to listen to my musical works, check out my upcoming book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker, and find out more about me at www.parvati.tv.

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Love,
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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WHAT LIGHT GETS YOU THROUGH YOUR DAY?

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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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