All posts in Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary

Inner Peace Is Not An Escape From the World. It’s How You Become More Present Than Ever.

A popular phrase, “Take me away”, is the title of more songs than I can count. This phrase is even used to sell bubble bath! It seems as though faced with the stress and suffering in our world, we all desire to escape to an idealistic place. Yet, I have found that inner peace does not happen through escape. Instead, it is here and now, waiting for us to touch it in this very moment. Before I traveled to the North Pole and just after I finished my university degree, I had the great privilege of living for a year in India. In the online video series “Our Superpower”, I have been sharing teasers for my upcoming book about how you can co-create with nature for an amazing life. One of my recent posts was about how I traveled to India to deepen my understanding of nature. I was looking to find greater connection with myself, others and the world through yoga and meditation. Finding Myself However, I soon discovered that no physical distance could remove me from my self. I had brought all the intensity of my stressed-out-college-student, new-to-the-workplace attitude with me. Inescapably, I approached my yoga and meditation practice with the same driven determination to reach excellence as I had brought to everything else…

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The Radiant, Expansive Peace You Seek is Already Within You

When we touch inner peace, we enter into luminous and boundless space within us. This beautiful experience is not one that our limited ego-minds can truly grasp nor our words describe. Instead, we meet that expanse in the wordless compassion of our hearts when we are open, ready and willing. Because language is limited, the words that point the way there can seem paradoxical at times. For example, it is common to think that peace is something to build. Yet as we cultivate inner peace, we are not really building anything, but discovering what is inherent within us as our true nature. We are coming into harmony with our self and our environment in order to experience the perfection of the moment. And as any musician can tell you, harmonizing is not a process of building, but of attunement. When people wish to connect with each other and reduce conflict, we often use the term “peace building”. I wonder if that is accurate. Would not “reconnecting with love” be more honest? We feel uneasy, even attacked, when we do not feel loved. We feel unloved when we are disconnected from source, from the universe, from the divine. To discover peace, we need to connect with loving presence. When we turn towards the reality of love and…

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Reconnect With the Inner Peace and Harmony That Have Been Waiting All Along to Inspire Your Decisions and Your Life

These days, I am immersed in completing the creative content for MAPS. As singer, songwriter, composer, arranger and producer, I am faced with hundreds of decisions every day. Knowing the state of the world, as Arctic ice melts at a rate of 14,000 tons per second, each day I consciously choose to be maximally effective. From experience, I know that I am in a peak state when I work in co-creation with nature, that is, when I become inwardly still so that my will is in harmony with the universe. Then I can hear guidance from nature. Rather than feeling alone in a studio trying to conquer sounds, composing feels more like taking dictation from the universe. I am immersed in a creative workshop, surrounded by vibrant energies and compassionate intelligence that totally support my highest purpose and deepest joy. In each moment, we are called to harmonize two seemingly different rhythms: that of our human desire, and that of the natural world. In the purest sense, they are one and the same. We experience their synchronicity when we choose to let go of the idea that we are separate and choose instead to live in partnership with the natural world of which we are an integral part. As physical, sentient, spiritual beings, we are inescapably…

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What a Busy NYC Morning Can Teach You About A-Ha Moments and Inner Peace

Last time I was in New York City, I had an experience that taught me about finding inner peace, no matter where I may be. I had traveled to the city center to go to—of all things—a meditation retreat. After a beautiful few days of practicing inner stillness and presence, I vividly remember the midday in July that I stepped out of the cocoon-like intimacy I had just experienced, back into the bustling city. Rather than concrete and steel, the cityscape looked luminous, as though everything was made of light. As I looked up at Manhattan’s textured skyline, it seemed to shimmer. The world looked vibrant and alive, and at the same time, not at all real. As I paused to breathe it all in, I sensed I might be glimpsing through what the ancient yogic sages referred to as maya, the veil-like illusion of life from which we must all awaken to fully realize our divine Self. It was not that it looked two-dimensional. Instead, it seemed to be a fully formed space in which we live, through which our lives unfold–but that is temporary and without lasting substance. The A-Ha Moment As I walked into this effervescent field of light, I could feel that though I am living in my body, I am not…

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Why Nature Shows the Way Past Despair

As I write this post, both the Amazon rainforest and the Arctic are burning at a devastating rate. Since we were just looking last week at presence in this online workshop, these tragic events provide us an opportunity to practice it. Presence can shed compassionate light on tender, even painful questions, such as, why there is suffering in the world. It illuminates the possibility of another way. It helps us connect with the immensity of our capacity to love, serve, and feel at one with the wisdom of Nature. In the light of presence and in the spirit of learning from Nature, we can ask ourselves, why are the Arctic and Amazon ablaze? Why are crops failing and species going extinct in such alarming numbers today? And why do so many people seem to turn an apathetic blind eye to it all? I believe that the answer lies in understanding the power of our interconnection with the planet that gives us life. The Earth is a complex living organism with intelligence beyond what we can truly understand. Feverish today, she is like a person with a raging temperature, building internal heat to shake off an infection. It is as if the planet is trying to shake off the weight we put on her: the physical toxins…

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How to Stay Present For What’s Going On With the World

Being on the front lines for a global peace initiative in the form of MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, means that I regularly confront painful news. For example, devastating fires have been burning this summer in the overheating Arctic. Right now, more than two million people in Zimbabwe, and a million people in Kenya, are facing life-threatening food shortages. Typhoon Lekima has recently caused catastrophic damage in China. Deadly flooding has struck south India for the second year in a row. Meanwhile, all over the world, families are trying to put the pieces of their lives back together in the wake of violence like random mass shootings and deliberate war. I am sometimes asked how I face this and remain present and inspired to create GEM: Global Education for MAPS. What is presence? I experience presence when I’m not resisting the moment. That is, when I am welcoming it fully as it is. I may dislike it. Or I may love it. But both of those reactions come and go like colours that I overlay on what is before me. When I am present, my heart is open, my mind is calm and clear, and I am of maximal service to all beings within the whole. That’s because when I am present, I remember that…

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Peace of Mind for Peace in the World

Peace, Meditation, and Inner Sanctuary In the morning, as I sit in meditation, I am a witness to the world awakening, and watch my own self open to a field of possibilities. My mind may wander to what I will have for breakfast or what lies in my workday ahead. But with practice, I do now experience periods of deep inner peace. This kind of inner sanctuary is essential to me as I face, like we all do, a lot of questions and demands throughout the day. For me, they come mostly through my work as a touring musical artist and composer, as the founder and CEO of an international charity working to create MAPS, the world’s largest peace sanctuary, and in my personal life as a wife, sister, aunt and friend. Last week, we concluded with a couple of exercises on how to become more present. I suggested ways you could implement them into your daily routine. How did it go for you? Are you finding that you can give yourself more internal space, ease and peace? If you had moments of, “I don’t know what I’m feeling right now,” that’s natural. It’s as though we’re at the gym, building a new “awareness” muscle. Presence and inner peace develop with time and practice. I also…

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How to Find Peace – Starting with This Moment

Peace that Passes All Understanding When I first heard the words “peace that passes all understanding” as a child, it was as though it subtly planted the seeds of peace within my heart. Through many years tending to that garden, I have come to experience moments of profound peace. The phrase pointed me to the truth that such peace is always available to us, when we are willing to look deeper, become still and go within. As we explored last week, to live in peace is to live free from fear of violence, conflict or hostility. In peaceful living, we don’t feel any sense of “against-ness” towards anyone or anything, including ourselves. We feel whole, unified with all that is. This is because we are rooted in our inherent interconnection with life itself. Established in inner peace, we realize that any notion of against-ness is a passing illusion, one created by our ego that only knows to separate and divide. We will look at this understanding of ego, and how it is an obstacle to inner peace, in more depth in the coming weeks. How to Find Peace How do we experience that timeless, expanded state beyond our ego’s grasp? We each will have our personal answers on how to find peace. For me, as a…

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What does Peace Mean?

Peace is as vast as the universe, as broad as the sky, as exquisite as the most precious flower and as deep as the roaring oceans. In this way, how can we really define it? When I was a child, I heard that having a spiritually connected life meant finding the “peace that passes understanding.” That phrase has always stayed with me. How could we ever understand peace with our limited mind or through the lens of our ego or finite will, when it rests in, and is a gift from, the infinite?   Yet just as the light of the sun will reflect in every pool of water and show itself to us, we will see evidence of those whose hearts, minds and souls are ignited by peace. Moments of peace may make themselves known to us through the sparkle in a child’s eye, the knowing smile of a silver-haired senior, the joy of a frolicking puppy, or the activist who sits quietly yet resolutely in an endangered tree. As we continue to move through our “Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary” workshop, I’d like you to consider what peace means to you. What is your definition of peace? I would love to hear your thoughts.   What World Peace Means and Why Inner Peace is Essential   It…

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Inspiring Quotes on Peace

Hello! Welcome back to my new workshop on Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary. I have just had the privilege of a grace-filled retreat with a realized master, one of the great beings on the planet today. Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, affectionately known as Amma (Mother) and the “Hugging Saint”, came from humble beginnings in a south Indian fishing village. Though she only has a fourth-grade formal education, she has become the inspiring leader of a vast network of global charities, providing food, shelter, education and medical care to countless people around the world. She tours North America every year, sharing insights on a life of compassion and selfless service, and embracing everyone who comes her way with indescribable unconditional love. She is able to do all this because she lives in a state of unshakable inner peace. Under Amma’s guidance, I have the opportunity to deepen my meditation and practice selfless service, which are the foundation of my life, every day. I cultivate peace of mind and peaceful living by learning from spiritual leaders who set beautiful examples of compassion to inspire global change, through internal awareness and personal responsibility. We are moving through a challenging time in the world today. The need for peace has never been so apparent. At the same time, we are blessed…

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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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Let me know how yoga and YEM have touched your life. You can send a link to a video by you if you would like. Comments may be shared on my website if you check the "permission to share" box.
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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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