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 of the body. I understood that even as life takes place in the temporary field of aliveness I was seeing, I am not of it. Resting into this new reality, I became even more fully present. I felt profoundly alive and connected.

Maybe you can relate to what happened next. I think we all have times when moments of openness are soon followed by an inner voice saying, “Wait! Can this be true?”

A pedestrian walked by, and I became self-conscious. I wondered if perhaps I stood out too much in flowing white clothes, carrying a rose, beaming a blissful smile from ear to ear. With this thought, the crystalline inner clarity began to dissipate, and the radiant transparency I saw before me thickened.

“Losing” the A-Ha

It may be tempting to think there is something “wrong” with you when an expansive experience seems to dissipate. But I’ve come to realize that it’s actually just the voice of ego, threatened by interconnection, taking you away from the love and peace you just touched. What if you were to choose patience and presence in those moments and not give in to self-judgment?

That is how I considered the potency of what I had just experienced—both the opening I had, and how quickly I was allowing it to close, just because of my thoughts. What occurred to me was that the light of consciousness is always present within all, if I open to it. I could remain peaceful, as long as I was willing to rest in the knowing of our inherent interconnection. With this, came tremendous power—the power to choose how I would perceive the moment before me.

Ask Yourself This

Each day brings with it a variety of stresses, challenges and joys. In the whirlwind of our lives, we may think we do not have a choice in how we experience what is right before us. But we do. We can close to it, or we can open. We may convince ourselves that peace is too hard to find because of our hectic lives. Yet, what if it was there all along, just waiting for us to tune in to it through the power of perception and our gift of choice?

Next week, as we continue to cultivate inner peace, let’s take a look at why we tend to close to the moment, and how we can welcome and be present for what is instead.

Until then, consider challenging your perceptions through the day, every day this week, by asking yourself the following questions:

• Is what I am seeing truly solid, fixed and unmoving?
• Can I see the moment differently?
• Could there be a light beyond what I see?
• Am I willing to open to it?
• Am I willing to embrace an expansive experience as it comes, without trying to cling to it or judge my state of being?

From my heart to yours,
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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