What You See Is What You Get. What Are You Choosing to See?

Last week, we were looking at the amazing gift of co-creation. I recently had an experience that reminded me how essential it is that we understand this innate human power—as well as how our perceptions affect it.

I was conversing with a group of friends who are all committed to personal and spiritual growth and the protection of Nature. Yet, the discussion became tense around the topic of co-creation, particularly when someone brought up working with a realized master. Another person in the group did not see how following the direction of a spiritual master could be co-creative. To him, it seemed militant, as though the master was issuing orders for others to obey. Yet, from my experience, the spiritual master we were speaking about was anything but a dictator. The idea was so dissonant with my core that I said the metaphor felt like calling a flower an oppressive leader.

Struck by the disparity in perceptions, I was reminded how what we perceive is always coloured by our personalities and experiences. Because of this, our differing perceptions influence our ability to co-create.

From a spiritual perspective, our perceptions are limited by our attachments to our past and our projections into the future. The way each person responds to a situation is unique. No two siblings, for example, would have had the identical experience of the same two parents. Each one of us is born into this world with tendencies and preconceptions that we then overlay onto how we see each moment.

Upon these perceptions, our sense of self grows. We learn to individuate. We strengthen our divided sense of self, as we believe we must in order to survive. Society supports this understanding of who we are. Our classrooms encourage our opinions and convictions so that we can eventually bring them into our boardrooms to gain money, things and status. But when we act from an inner identification with separateness, the seeming rewards that come our way are temporary and only boost that sense of divisiveness, justifying who we think ourselves to be. Because we are acting from a place of disconnection, we cannot tap into the source of infinite joy to experience lasting bliss. At an unconscious level, we have come to believe the divided sense of self is all we are.

In this belief, we perceive the world through the lens of the impossibilities. Where the positive possibilities are rooted in love, compassion and presence, the impossibilities bring greater tension and struggle. Attached to a sense of “me” and “mine”, we think, act and feel in a way that is disconnected from the love that always is. Consciously or unconsciously, we are deeply lonely and afraid because at our core, we perceive the events of our lives—and perhaps the universe itself—as against us.

Because our ability to co-create is so strongly colored by our perceptions, the statement “what you see is what you get” takes on a whole new meaning. The perception of disconnect from love develops momentum. We consciously or unconsciously try to prove the disconnect real, which furthers it. In our fear, we may feel a reactive need to dominate and control, or to lie down and play the victim. The impossibilities give rise to and perpetuate painful emotions such as judgment, loneliness, guilt and shame. This discord can lead to inner anguish and disease, which in turn lead to external conflict, pollution and scarcity.

This is literally an impossible situation: a lose-lose. As we continue to perceive the moment and all it contains through the lens of the impossibilities, we feed pain in ourselves and in the world, until we understand that there is another way.

That other way is spiritual awakening. It has been with us all along. We have always been one with pure consciousness, unconditional love—we simply have fallen asleep and forgotten. We were one with pure consciousness as we entered form and came into a human body. But as our egos grew, so did a separate sense of “me”. We moved away from feeling one with love, the fabric of all life. We grew into a dual reality of “light and dark”, “me and you”. We came to believe we must cultivate a divided sense of self in order to feel that we have some control over our environment, which we perceived as antagonistic. As such, we amplified a reality of againstness, and deepened that tendency within ourselves. Yet a deeper reality of unity, love and interconnection had been present all along. The positive possibilities always exist, despite any painful reality we may have perceived and chosen.

Last week we looked at the example of a driver, one who chooses either to serve the highest good or to be a destructive force to all he encounters. But an unconscious or intoxicated driver who does not wake up to the reality of his choices will face increasingly serious consequences, from minor crashes to fatal accidents. Everyone understands this entropy. It is the same principle as that of a student who stops doing her homework. After one day, she would have to catch up a little. After a couple of weeks, she would be far behind and only a sincere effort would make catching up possible. Eventually, she would fail the class or get expelled from the school.

If we continue to adamantly insist on living in the impossibilities, the unconditionally loving universe will at first gently, but eventually sternly show us that our choices are causing suffering to all. A traumatic event like a heart attack, job loss or divorce can shake us awake to the reality that we have not been living in alignment with our highest purpose, and therefore not been co-creating in healthy, soulful ways. Our current humanitarian and ecological crises are like this for all of us. They are a fiercely compassionate wake-up call from Mother Nature herself, showing us the painful consequences of our disconnected choices.

When we are faced with frustration or disaster at any level as a result of our distorted perceptions, we eventually ask ourselves, “Is this really all there is?” Then a crack opens in what we thought was reality. We begin to see beyond the divided sense of self that has been limiting our ability to grow. We come to understand that disconnection is the cause of all suffering, not just in ourselves, but in all life.

Once we recognize that the idea of separateness is an illusion rooted in impossibilities, it starts to lose its appeal. Our attachments to divisive thinking diminish. We no longer need to see through this distorted lens, as we know it only brings discord and unhappiness. Now open to a new reality, we take wise and compassionate action, rooted in our true capacity for co-creation. In this, we discover a world of possibilities.

As I considered my situation, I came to understand that the conversation I had with friends became tense because we did not all see co-creation in the same depth and power. When we are no longer limited by the divisive perception of impossibilities, even at a subtle level, the magnificence of true co-creation expands before us.

But I will save exploring that for next week, as this series on co-creation concludes with the powerful ways we can choose to co-create in each moment for a life of extraordinary joy.

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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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