Papyrus

I arrived in Fort Myers last night, and sit here now in my room at the Naples Beach Hotel before going for a walk on the beach. We are here for The Becoming of Us program with Sai Maa and 700 participants from 25 countries. I can attest to the fact that when many of us met in the Atlanta airport for a stopover (several Belgians, several Japanese), the Shakti is flowing within and between us, certainly in and from our hearts.

I have written before about the power of focusing in the heart, being in the heart, living from the heart (e.g., my September 1, 2014 blog called “What’s on your mind? What’s in your heart?”). I am repeating my pitch for this focus, this continued practice, because we are meant to live a heart-centered life experience on planet Earth. More and more scientific findings are confirming the benefits and consequences of this focus for our health on all levels, for healthy relationships, for a healthy planet. HeartMath has led many studies, and continues to, demonstrating the breadth of the heart’s electromagnetic field, 60 times greater than the brain’s, the power of the heart-brain connection, the impact on others of our heart’s and brain’s electromagnetic field.

In a recent webcast (“Awakening the Power of a Heart-Based Science”) Gregg Braden spoke to the heart’s purpose. He cites findings about specialized cells in the heart similar to brain cells (“the little brain in the heart”); how we can harmonize the brain in the heart with the brain in the head to work together (a neural network) to communicate with our bodies and beyond; how the quality of our emotions can influence the conversation between the heart and brain (e.g., appreciation, love, care); about the importance of a Earth-heart relationship where the heart’s energetic field can impact the planet.

You have heard and experienced this before: there are no coincidences. Gregg Braden mentioned during the webcast about a depiction on an Egyptian papyrus piece of art that shows the heart of someone who has died being weighed to see if it is lighter or heavier than a feather. If it is heavier due to the “sins” of the lifetime, then the person cannot pass to other worlds, to the afterlife, and is devoured by Ammit, the man-eating demon. I realized I have the same depiction hanging in my hall and went to look at it. It shows the person being guided along the path from death to afterlife (I was alerted to the “guide” before as this is an important aspect of my life and purpose as a guide/coach). You can see above in the photo of this artwork that the heart is being weighed, and Ammit stands waiting to the right of the scale to see whether there will be a meal or not based on the results. The importance of the heart!

I think many of us can find our own examples of the positive benefits of being in our heart, returning there after spending an inordinate amount of time in our head with our thoughts, especially those related to the past or future.

Here are some tips for spending more time in the heart, practicing a heart focus so our time there becomes more natural and frequent:

  • Focus your breath in the heart, feeling whatever sensations as you do this, what happens in the heart and the rest of the body. Use these physical sensations, feelings, memories, as reminders and ways to return to your heart.
  • Appreciate your breath, the body, loved ones in your life, what you love and value most in your life. Be grateful. Appreciation and gratitude bring you to the heart.
  • Touch your heart at different times of the day to remind yourself to return there. You might even touch your heart and then your heart and create a heart-brain (mind) relationship, using your breath at the same time to reinforce this connection (inhale from heart to brain, exhale from brain to heart).
  • Call upon Maa and/or other Masters or light beings you feel close to, invoking them in your heart with love and devotion. Feel your devotion to whoever or whatever, and offer yourself fully.
  • Go out in nature for a walk or just sit and admire the surroundings outside. Create a loving relationship with nature, which brings you into your heart. Also, appreciate the beauty around you, whatever that may be.
  • Listen to any music you love. For myself, classical music returns me to my heart (also Adele!). Any works of art, whether they be music, dance, film, theater, paintings, etc.
  • Exercise in whatever way you choose, and appreciate the vitality, life force, in your physical form, Be present in your heart as you exercise the body … mindfulness with heart.

Please send me and share other tips for focusing and living in the heart, increasing our heart-centered living.

I leave you with a few quotes from Sai Maa’s recent global address, “The Transfiguration of You” related to the heart. Breathe in your heart as you appreciate these words (vibrations), and notice the effects within you and around you of your state of being:

“The future of each one of you is available to experience life in the heightened frequency or vibration of light. For that you have to go into the depths of your heart, your heart, your precious, magnificent, powerful heart. Raise your frequency to cooperate with the design.”

“… because our heart is the most powerful generator of electromagnetic field. So in that magnetic field we hold that Presence, and when we use our heart we can restore balance with an amazing coherence. Heart, brain, brain, heart. Heart, brain, brain, heart. Then your heart can signal to the brain which then releases the energy, whether negative or positive, the energy in your subtle energy as well as your physical. All the way to the subatomic level.”

“All these waves of light, of love, of powerful energy of pure consciousness are being poured, the acceptance, meaning the non-resistance, the acceptance, the surrender to the heart needs to become a fundamental principle of your every single day life. Every single moment, every single moment.”

 

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I am writing this message the day after Victory Day of Navaratri, which we celebrated together here in Scottsdale and with our San Diego community through Skype. I am continuously heartened by the expansion of our family, whether that be new locations or individuals, or new masters and light beings we learn about and experience. So much is present for us in the spiritual path, whether form or formless.

I just returned from a true example of this expansion: a trip that many of us took to Japan to be in Tokyo with Maa and the Japanese community for Darshan and Mystical Journey, then in Kyoto, Koyasan, and Nara before our return home. You can see many photos on my Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/swamijiauthor.

We are all blessed by the growing numbers of our Japanese community. They are so open, devoted, focused, disciplined, and serve as models of how to offer seva (selfless service). Whether you were present with them during this recent trip, or other visits, or not yet, we are a close family devoted to the spiritual path, our transformation, and service to humanity. Our collective power grows through our combined practice, energetic work, and time spent together.

As was so evident during this recent trip to Japan, masters and deities are waiting to offer us energetic support for our spiritual evolution. These include: Master Kukai (a Buddhist saint and founder 1200 years ago of the Shingon school of Buddhism and Koyasan, a sacred mountaintop site with 117 temples); Amaterasu (a Divine Mother in the Shinto tradition and Goddess of the Sun and Universe); and Fudo Myo-o (a powerful, wrathful Buddhist deity who, like Shiva, transforms what does not serve us). During our time in Japan, Sai Maa initiated us as we recited mantras to these deities.

The relationship and work of Sai Maa and Master Kukai, with these deities, continue as plans move ahead for another October trip to Japan next year, including a 3-day yagya (fire ceremony) on October 21-23 in Muroto city on Shikoku island in the south of Japan, where Master Kukai was born and moved into a state of enlightenment. The site of the yagya (with 108 Indian priests and 27 fire pits) is right next to the grotto where Master Kukai meditated and became enlightened.

In addition to our physical presence in Japan, we can always access the love, compassion and Shakti (energy) of Maa, Kukai, and these deities, whenever we go within, focus, and invoke them with all the love and devotion in our hearts. Such is the power of our spiritual practice and commitment to transform and evolve consciously. For me personally, remembering the presence of these masters, deities, and energies reinforces and enriches my practice and thereby its benefits.

We have available to us the power and energy of our expanding community and our enriched practices. I add to this the presence of daily “miracles” that occur when we are aware, when we decide to pursue opportunities that come to us for our spiritual upliftment. I remember Maa saying that so-called miracles are natural when we are aligned with Self, in a state of being all that we are. I also call this “perfect design”.

Here’s one example. When our bus was maneuvering the many curves on the narrow roads going to Koyasan, overlooking dense trees and rolling hills on the way, I remembered a similar path and experience many years ago as our bus drove through the middle Himalayas going to the ashram of Guruji called Binsar Mahadev. Guruji was the first Guru I met with Maa who was like Maa’s spiritual father. He would not eat unless Maa ate at the same time; he and Maa would walk hand in hand on a dirt path at the ashram, surrounded by very high pine trees. During this trip to Koyasan, two days after our arrival when Maa was speaking to me and several others, Maa mentioned thinking about Guruji which Maa had not done for a long time. I mentioned to Maa about my bus experience, and we realized we were both thinking of Guruji at exactly the same time.

A second example. When I first arrived in Japan, I had the desire to purchase a decorative fan to place on a small table in my home on which I have three statues of Bodhisattvas (enlightened beings who decide to serve humanity to be enlightened). The statues are of a meditating Bodhisattva, of Avalokiteshvara (the Bodhisattva of Compassion who wishes to free humankind from suffering), and of Tara (Bodhisattva and Mother of Liberation).

I looked at a few fans and could not find any until the final day in Koyasan. On my way to the program, I passed a store that had a fan in the window, and I decided to look at it again on my way back after the program before taking the bus to Nara. As it turned out, I was able to rush to the store and found the fan on a back shelf. I purchased it and persuaded the owner to sell me its stand so the fan would stand upright behind the statues.

As I showed the fan to others in our group waiting for luggage to be placed in the busses, one of our guides saw it as she was speaking to two community members (Julianne and John) about the heart sutra. This sutra describes the experience of liberation of Avalokiteshvara as a result of deep meditation. It turns out that the Japanese writing on the fan I purchased is the heart sutra! Also, the final two lines of this sutra is a mantra that Maa taught me years ago in Dharamsala in India, which had come to me to recite to myself on the bus on the way to Koyasan!!!

John and Julianne rode on what we called “bus 1” with English speaking participants, and they had decided to speak to everyone on the bus about the heart sutra and to recite the mantra which I had recited to myself several days earlier. During the second leg of our trip to Nara, they came on our bus (“bus 2” with mainly French speakers) to do the same. I told everyone about “the coincidence” of the fan I purchased, and also spoke of Maa’s and my thinking about Guruji at the same time. I used these examples to demonstrate how miracles, coincidences, are part of a perfect design always available to us, and that this awareness can reinforce our commitment to our practice and to being in alignment.

I share with all of you the mantra from the heart sutra that activates the love and compassion of Avalokiteshvara:

OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SWAHA

Now, as we all reflect upon these miracles, and our expanding family of community members and masters and deities from different traditions, I invite us to feel gratitude for the fact that many of us will be together in Naples in less than two months for “The Becoming of Us”. Even though the becoming of us actually occurs in every moment, we can rejoice that we will create this becoming in physical form together, when we look in each other’s eyes, and appreciate the fact that we have incarnated at the same time to serve each other as the planet moves through this critical time in its evolution.

Please join us at this gathering in Naples, and come to our local Scottsdale bi-weekly Enlightened Living Group meetings. Also, contact me if you have any questions or wish to share about your spiritual path and practice (swamijip@gmail.com).

Japan soul qualities

I’m writing this on Labor Day. This day has significance in the U.S. for a variety of reasons, however this particular day and weekend signifies for me the 21st anniversary of my meeting Sai Maa in this lifetime. I do not associate being with Maa as “labor”, just the opposite. The saying “labor of love” comes to me, yet that doesn’t quite work either, as the vibrations of the words do not go together, even if the meaning is performing a task for pleasure and not reward, or for the benefit to others rather than for materials rewards.

I could go along with, however, that Labor Day is a time to honor the contribution of working people, and in the spiritual path we are people who are Doing The Work!

Since I met Maa, I have been doing the work of transformation and self-realization at deeper and deeper levels. More and more people and communities have joined together in this work. I have recently lived firsthand one bright example of this togetherness during my trip abroad to be with our Japanese community. You can see some photos of this 2-week trip on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/swamijiauthor).

The photo in this post shows different qualities of the soul shared by participants of “Live Your Soul’s Purpose” in Tokyo, as they experienced them within themselves during the program. I cannot translate the words on the whiteboard, however I share below the qualities that I experienced in the Japanese community during my trip. I am increasingly aware that we all share these qualities in common as souls, and we experience them within ourselves to different degrees based upon our awareness and states of being. The reasons I share my experience with you are for you to see what you have in common with the Japanese community, and to appreciate the opportunity we have to be in a global community, to come together to appreciate each other, and to express our souls and do the work. This is true whether we are in Sai Maa’s community or the broader community as global citizens.

As I described to those who attended the Tokyo workshop, or the study groups and subsequent satsangs in three different locations throughout Japan, I experience in the Japanese people some common qualities that facilitate their spiritual growth and personal and collective transformation. These qualities include: an openness to new teachings and experiences; a childlike innocence; a humility which relates to the first two qualities; an ability to move into the heart, which I feel relates to a strong foundation of faith, devotion, surrendering to a greater good; great discipline which serves daily practice and thereby transformation; finally, the ability to take action and produce results.

From my perspective, devotion + discipline accelerate action and manifestation. I offer a major example to illustrate this point, and to inspire you to attend physically or energetically events taking place in Japan in October 15-23, 2016.

Reiko and I spent about 2 ½ days the cities of Muroto and Kochi, on the southern island of Shikoku. We visited there to put into place preliminary plans for community events that will include: a 2-day forum during which Sai Maa and others will speak in Yokohama near Tokyo; a 2-day yagya (fire ceremony) to take place in Muroto, with 108 pundits (priests) coming from India and 21 kundas (fire pits); Darshan and programs in Kochi city.

The aforementioned devotion and discipline, combined with Maa’s Grace and Shakti, led to a multitude of accelerated decisions and actions that I have not experienced before in such a short span of conversations. These include the creation of a Executing Committee, a designated location for the yagya, reservations for meeting halls and hotels, arrangements for transportation, yagya construction and media teams that are taking action, and much more. So much flowed and fell into place in these few days, as everyone was in alignment, devoted and committed to taking action. I wrote earlier about these qualities of the soul, of the Japanese community, and this one example highlights what can come from their expression in daily life.

I share one final example that again points to the power of devotion, of discipline, of all that is offered to us through these and the presence of Masters in our lives.

During our time in Muroto, Reiko and I visited the grotto where Master Kukai moved into a state of enlightenment in about the year 804. Many of you may have read about Master Kukai on Maa’s website, or you can Google to learn more. I share some photos from this time on my Facebook page, and I’ve placed one photo below at the end of this post of the altar in the grotto. Many from our community will attend a program in Koyasan, Japan next month when Sai Maa and Master Kukai will join together energetically to serve us and humanity. This seva is already happening as Reiko and I can attest to through our visit to the grotto. We were literally “stopped in our tracks” several yards before the entrance of the grotto, due to the power of the Shakti moving through us. The two of us walked very slowly into the grotto and stood before the altar where Master Kukai had meditated and looked out of the grotto at the horizon over the water (“Kukai” literally means the meeting of sky and water).

We experienced the energy of Sai Maa and Master Kukai together, very much in the heart, a light, soft movement of waves of energy. I felt deep pulsation in my heart and brain, a harmonious balance or wholeness. Sai Maa and Master Kukai combine the Divine Feminine and Masculine, Shiv-Shakti, and activate this harmony and balance within us and on the planet. I see these two great Masters as orchestrators of our alignment with Self and Source, our unity and oneness in this alignment.

I repeat: the power of devotion and discipline for action and manifestation.

I end with a quote from Sai Maa:

“Devotion is the highest path, is the purest form of love. All Ways devotion; from that everything is granted.”

Kukai grotto

Swamiji celebrate Sai Maa 2

I am writing this in Belgium, the day before Guru Purnima, the celebration of the Guru represented in physical form by a Master such as Sai Maa, and the formless within us as our inner Master or Sadguru. The day after tomorrow is the birthday of Sai Maa that we will celebrate as a global community. This combined blessing of Guru Purnima and birthday is very auspicious as we are gifted intense transformative Shakti (energy) by Sai Maa, and we have the opportunity to devote ourselves to our inner light embodied by the Guru. Thus, I have decided to write now about love and devotion, so that we can all feel our love and contemplate where we each are in the path of devotion.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of teaching with three Brahmacharis (Dayananda, Jayendra Das and Reiko) during Sai Maa’s Journey of Enlightened Awareness held in Barvaux, Belgium. This was a rare occasion to have us together in one location and to offer teachings to those gathered to be with Maa. During the program Maa spoke about the difference between love and devotion, and that although many there loved Maa, several had not moved on to being devoted. I continue here to share what I expressed with the participants in Barvaux about this distinction, while adding some additional points.

When I first met Maa 21 years ago I felt such love I had never felt before in my life. My heart was bursting, a big smile spread across my face. I felt great expansion and joy, although I was not yet aware of energy or the change in my vibration at that time. I experienced love; I felt love in my body, through my senses. As I traveled more with Maa and participated in different programs, I had different experiences, my love continued and my devotion deepened. What do I mean by the latter? I became more and more committed to Maa and Maa’s teachings, to my daily spiritual practice (sadhana), to my spiritual path. As Maa says, I shifted from being on the path to being in the path. This “in-ness” represents devotion, and within this is a progression from trust and faith to inner knowingness and certitude. No more doubt, no more questioning, of Maa, of the teachings, of the path.

I emphasize this progression of the spiritual journey from tasting and experiencing love, moving through questioning and perhaps doubt to trust and faith, and then landing on certitude and unwavering devotion. I would say that complete surrender is found in steadfast devotion, resulting in a union and merging with Maa, Maa’s consciousness. In other words, we arrive at unity with our inner mastery or Guru, our Self, all the power that resides within us. Devotion is this state of being, rather than experiences filled with emotion.

In addition, within devotion is engagement, commitment, active decision making to be with a Master, to participate in certain teachings, to carry out a practice aligned with the Master and/or teachings. Before this devotion comes the enjoyment of experiencing the love of the Master, of loving the Master, of choosing times to be with the Master. Within true devotion is continuity, consistency, persistence, one-pointed focus, without vacillation or ambivalence or resistance. As devotion increases, the mental noise decreases; we move from the mind to the heart.

I can go on and on about devotion. However, rather than reinventing the wheel, and to take advantage of what I wrote earlier in my book In the Path of Light with Maa, here are a few words from that text:

“Be empowered by devotion. Devotion is a wholehearted commitment to someone or something, a commitment without reservation, without hesitation. My devotion to Maa penetrates my heart, and I feel my heart expanding and pulsating when I picture and call upon Maa. I feel deep love that emanates from the core of my heart and being. Yet devotion is beyond feeling; it’s a state that endures and pervades all life experience. It comes from a knowingness of what’s true and right and eternal. Devotion isn’t to be confused with emotion, which comes from personality. Emotion has within it attachment, expectation, and thinking something is missing that we have to find outside ourselves.”

“We just have to keep our eyes and hearts open to what’s constantly here for us. This alertness, this presence to what is, is also very much about devotion. Our devotion activates the Shakti, that divine energy that opens our eyes, raises our life force, and keeps us alert and aligned with the miracles of life. The miracles lead us to be even more devoted, committed, and resolute in our paths.”

“Bhakti. In my opinion, this state of devotion permeates and underlies all spiritual practices. When you’re truly disciplined in carrying out common practices, you’re devoting yourself to your Self, to realizing yourself through the sadhana. In the case of being disciplined in mastering the inner and outer worlds, you’re also devoting yourself to your Self. In both cases, you devote yourself to your guru if you’ve chosen to have an enlightened master in your lives.

There are different kinds of yoga or ways to unite with the Self. Yoga means union or to unify in Sanskrit. A main school is bhakti yoga, or union through devotion. In addition, there’s karma yoga through action, including seva; jnana yoga through knowledge; raja yoga through meditation (dhyana) and balancing mind and emotion; and hatha yoga through physical and energetic purification, including asanas (body positions) and breathing techniques.

I’m a bhakta, which means my main path to self-realization is through devotion. This became obvious to me, although I didn’t know the term at the time, when I met Maa and felt completely devoted at that instant. Maa has said that this path is the fastest. I would add that for me, it’s gotten me through life’s challenges, what we call “opportunities,” because I always come back to Maa. I’m back in the heart of Mother. I’m again the lover, beloved, and love itself through Maa and my devotion to Maa. In this devotion, the guru takes us from darkness to light (“gu” meaning darkness; “ru” meaning light).

Even if you’re not truly a bhakta in the strict sense of the term, you can devote yourself to your true essence. You can express your devotion by persisting in carrying out practices that enable you to realize that which you’re devoted to in your life. Bhakti, this devotion in your sadhana, means you’re offering yourself to the Self, or guru, in all that you do. It also means you’re surrendering. You’re surrendering your ego and personality, your desires and attachments, to that pure divine love within yourself.”

I’d love to hear your perspective about the distinction between love and devotion, and your opinion about where you are in relationship to devotion … to Sai Maa, to a Master, to your spiritual path. You can send me an email (swamijip@gmail.com) or offer a reply in my blog.

I’m being spontaneous and creating in the present moment without an outline or agenda or sense of what will unfold as I type this. My approach goes along with my wish for this to be an exercise for all of us to be present to all that we are and all that is in each moment … NOWISM as Maa says.

Now all together, let’s practice Nowism! I ask you to engage fully in each step below, so that you’re present to who you are and to what is. Notice if you’re in the past or future and come back to the present. Also, know that whatever works now for your to be present, you can use the same practice(s) to be present and aware during your daily life.

  • As you read this sentence take a deep breath through your nose and exhale very slowly through your mouth so you hear your breath. Relax your whole body as you exhale.
  • Do this again two more times.
  • Open your mouth wide and yawn. Move your jaw back and forth and relax your whole mouth and jaw.
  • Breathe slowly and naturally. Move your head slowly to the left and right a few times, stretching and relaxing your neck.
  • Do the same while moving your head forward and back.
  • Move your head in a circle a few times.
  • Relax your shoulders. Move the left one back with your arm to open your chest and heart area. Now move your right shoulder and arm back as you open your chest and heart area.
  • Breathe and relax your stomach, letting it expand to a comfortable position.
  • Open your eyes and be conscious and alert to how your body is sitting, where it’s sitting. Be aware of the entire room you’re in. Notice items in the room as you look around. Take a broad view of the room, taking it all in. Notice the light in the room, where it’s brighter and darker. Be aware of colors and whatever catches your eye.
  • Be present to your other senses. Do you smell anything? What do you hear? Be aware of any taste in your mouth, your saliva, your swallowing. What about touch? What are you touching, what does it feel like?
  • Close your eyes. Breathe. Notice your energy, your vibration. Is it more expanded or contracted? Is it balanced and harmonious, or not? As you breathe and become aware, does your energy or vibration change? How? Is your energy focused in the body or outside or both?
  • Breathe and accept everything about your energy, whatever is happening inside of you. Be present to all of you, accept and let everything be as it is. Say “it’s okay” to yourself and notice what happens.
  • Now breathe and appreciate yourself, whatever comes to you about who you are being right now. Notice what this appreciation feels like. Appreciate your body for enabling your to live your life. Appreciate your breath. Appreciate your heartbeat. Appreciate being alive. Notice how your self-appreciation is affecting you, your breath, your heart, your sensations, your energy.
  • Take a few deep breaths through your nose and just notice whatever comes to you about yourself, your experience, your state.
  • Smile and notice the effect of your smile on who you are being right now.
  • Smile an even bigger smile and see what happens.
  • Now just laugh, whatever kind of laugh comes to you. See what happens to you.
  • Laugh about how silly it is to be reading these words and laughing because I’m writing for you to laugh. Notice what happens.
  • Take a deep breath and stretch your arms out side to side. Now move your arms straight up and stretch your arms straight up.
  • Being present to yourself and everything about you, write me a short email to let me know who and how you are right now. (swamijip@gmail.com).
  • As you write your email, allow each breath and each word you type to establish your state even more in you.
  • Right now, be here! Right now, be here and be there! Right now, be everywhere!

4 murtisHanumanGanapathi Shakti

I just finished reciting mantras and chanting to several statues of Gods and Goddesses in my home, four of which just arrived from Ft. Myers where I was during my visit to Naples two weeks ago (Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Hanuman). I just unpacked them and couldn’t wait to honor their presence and addition to this sacred space that is available for anyone who wishes to visit. By the way, I highly recommend Mogul Interior owned by Era Chandok who devotes herself to filling the store with living and breathing statues (murtis) who are waiting for you to invite them to your homes to share their energies and blessings. I can attest to the power of what they offer.

I decided to write this blog while I’m vibrating with the Shakti activated during my practice, and to encourage you to also spend time devoting yourselves to create states that are available to us all through our practice. Offer yourselves to your favorite deities, masters, light beings, those divine energies and qualities that are instantly energized within you when you breathe, focus, meditate, recite mantras, chant. Put another way, take time to honor yourselves and all of your inner dimensions.

I’ll now take you on a little voyage of my rounds among the deities a few minutes ago. This followed my practice of centering, Anuloma Viloma breathing, guided and silent meditation, Sai Maa Diksha, and Sai Maa Aarti.

First, I sat before my long-time favorite among favorites, Ganapathi Shakti, the large murti of Ganesh with 10 arms and his mother, Parvati/Shakti sitting in his lap. I recited a mantra I offered you in my previous blog:      OM SHRI VALLABOMBA SHAKTI MAHA GANAPATHAYAY NAMAHA. I then recited to the two Vishnu murti the personal mantra given to me by Sai Maa and Maharaji (Sri Satuwa Baba Maharaj) during Guru Diksha at the Kumbha Mela a few years ago. The new statue of Vishnu is called Vishwaroop, and it shows the many forms of Krishna, the entire cosmos, shown by him to Arjuna on the battlefield as described in the Bhagavad Gita.

Next I recited OM NAMAH SHIVAYA to the newly arrived meditating Shiva, who has many serpents and the form of Mata Ganga at the top of his head, as legend says that the Ganges River came to Earth through the hair of Shiva. I followed this with a mantra to Goddess Durga: OM DHUM MAHA DURGAYAY NAMAHA. The new statue of Durga is called Mahishasura Mardini, as it depicts Victory Day of Maha Shivaratri when Goddess Durga slays the demon Mahishasura, representing the victory of the light over the darkness of our ego.

During my visit to Era’s store in Florida she showed me a statue of Hanuman, the monkey God who represents devotion (to Rama and Sita), sacrifice, and strength. Unlike before, I was greatly attracted to this meditating form of Hanuman, and Era and I joined together in deep meditation as we stood before him. In addition to the other three new statues, you can see Hanuman atop a new table in the photos above. I first recited a mantra to Hanuman: OM REENG HREEM MARKATA MARKATAYA SWAHA. Then I played Krishna Das chanting the SHREE HANUMAN CHALISA sloka (prayer) which I highly recommend. I remember when Maa asked the Brahmacharis during a visit to Puttaparthi to chant this sloka, activating our own devotion.

Finally, I chanted OM MANI PADME HUM, the Buddhist mantra of compassion, to three statues of a Boddhisatva (enlightened being), Goddess Tara who takes many loving forms, and Avalokiteshvara (compassion of all the Buddhas).

No matter what form we choose, whatever statue, image, sounds, words, we are devoting ourselves to our own divinity. This devotion moves throughout our heart, expands its electromagnetic field, and raises our vibration because devotion is formed in love that is the highest vibration of all.

Ganesh

This past week Maa offered some of us the opportunity to honor and receive the blessings of Ganesh, Ganapathi, the elephant God and son of Shiva and Parvati. Lord Ganesh is usually described as the God who removes obstacles. I like to refer to him as clearing our path, opening new gateways and freeing us to move through them.

I’ve always been a “Ganesh lover” as Maa said to me years ago. I just counted 13 forms of Ganesh in my home, including a large bronze murti (living statue) that resided for years in my Puttaparthi apartment outside of Sai Baba’s ashram. This murti is a 2-foot Ganesh with 10 arms; he is at his most powerful, because his mother Parvati (Shakti) is sitting in his lap.

I’ve always recited, and am reciting even more now, Ganesh mantras as part of my practice, such as:

OM GAM GLOUM NAMAHA or OM SHRI VALLABOMBA SHAKTI MAHA GANAPATHAYAY NAMAHA (the latter mantra is when Ganesh is at his most powerful). As I am focusing more on bringing Ganesh into my life, allowing his powerful clearing energy to do its work, I am reminded of all the energies, Gods and Goddesses, Masters and light beings, waiting for us to open to them, call upon them to serve us with their different vibrations and qualities.

We can always breathe and imagine – imagination, a gift of God, as Maa says – activating any of these energies within us, since all of these vibrations and attributes are already present and ready to be accessed and used in our daily lives. It just takes our focus, intention, imagination, discipline and practice to benefit from them. Speaking of practice, I just purchased four more statues for my home (Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Hanuman), and I welcome you to come and visit, to practice together by attending quarterly “satsangs” here in Scottsdale.

Now is the time on the planet for us to say “yes” to all that is available within us to transform, heal and evolve. Use these energies, call upon them, focus on them and activate them within you. Manifest through the Law of Attention. Constantly come back to your heart, with your love, gratitude and devotion, and enable your heart’s electromagnetic field (60 times greater than the brain’s) to spread these energies throughout your physical and subtle bodies.

Remember, we’re not the doers, so just open, allow, go with the flow of these higher vibration energies. This includes calling upon your soul with all your heart, making your soul and its light and expression a priority in your life. Your heart and soul. Your breath devoted to the highest within you.

Let Ganesh lead the way and open your path to your Self, to that Truth and Presence residing within. It’s as easy as we make it, since we are the creators of our state of being, and thus the quality of our lives.