Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Day Like Any Other Day. Posted on December 31, 2012 by Swamiji

Squirrels aren’t celebrating the ending of a year. The distinctions of calendar, holiday and party-time are all human inventions. The last day of the year is just another day. You got up at the time you chose. You did your morning routine. You have your tasks for the day. At the end of the day, you’ll spend time with other people or make it a quiet evening. There’s nothing that makes it special other than your decision that it is a special day.

Today is a special day. It is the ending of a cycle, a time for you to look at what you have done, where you have been and who you are. As a yogi, it’s an opportunity to look beyond the external markers of success, prestige, accomplishment and other people’s appreciation. It’s an opportunity to look in the mirror — are you more your Self than you were last year at this time?

I’m watching a big piece of construction machinery digging a trench in the dirt outside my window, in a construction zone outside the building where I’m staying while in transit from India to the USA. The machine comes growling through the front gate, huffs and puffs, giving off a lot of smoke and dust, leaving an impressive change in the contours of the earth. Shaktipat is like this – opening up something you didn’t know you had.

Then the “every day” kicks in. The openings you have been graced with must be maintained, even deepened. Your practices throughout the year — your meditations, your readings or the courses you’ve taken, your gift of dakshina — have made incremental changes, day-by-day for 365 days. Who are you now?

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Focusing on the Divine. Posted on December 17, 2012 by Swamiji

Most people have their focus on others, especially at this time of year. Yoga says you must keep your focus on your Self – your own Divine Self. It might sound selfish at first, but it’s really about overflowing with light and love so much that others are benefited.

So how do you keep your focus on your Self without getting caught up in your emotions, reactions, needs and fears? You focus on your Divinity – not on your imperfections and insecurities. It’s a HUGE shift.

Yoga goes a step farther and says you cannot make that shift in yourself unless you’ve got the blessing and support of those who have preceded you on the path. Such a yogi, who knows their own Divinity, is essential if you want to know your own. In fact, that is what Christmas is all about: celebrating the life of a Divine Being, whose life and teachings have endured for thousands of years. Yoga says Divine Humans are always alive on this earth and always available to those who want to know.

I have dedicated my life to that knowing, having had the door opened for me by a Divine Human, Swami Muktananda. In service to Him, I share the teachings and practices that will make the shift in you – that you may be the Divine Human that carries this unto the next generation.

Keep your focus on the Divine, in this holiday season that celebrates the Divine Human.

With love & blessings, Swami Nirmalananda

Sharing Your Bliss OR Looking for Bliss? Posted on December 12, 2012 by Swamiji

Are you busy yet? This time of year keeps everyone running for weeks – all for the sake of joy. ”Joy to the World…” ”We Wish You a Merry Christmas…”

Sharing your joy, the joy that arises from within, is actually bliss, not just joy. It arises from its source – which is your own Self. Are you sharing your bliss or are you looking for bliss?

If you are sharing your joy, you might be looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, planning a wonderful meal to share with others, running errands, visiting people or attending events – all because you are so full of light. The light of consciousness arises within you, and this is the season above all others that recogizes that light and honors it.

If you are looking your joy, you might be looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, planning a wonderful meal to share with others, running errands, visiting people or attending events – all because you want other people to fill you up. The activities are the same, but the motivation is different.

Why are you doing what you are doing in this holiday season? Remember, the word “holiday” means “holy-day.”

with love and blessings, Swamiji

Know Your Own Divinity – in the midst of life. Posted on December 6, 2012 by Swamiji

To know your own Divinity – first in meditation and then in the midst of life – this is the goal. This is completely and totally accessible once you receive Shaktipat. You’re on the way. But there are complexities to the process that can confuse you.

It’s not as simple as knowing your own Inner Self while you are engaged with the World Outside. Outside has two levels – what’s really there and what you think is there, and Inside has two levels – who you really are and who you think you are. It’s the thinking that gets in the way, whether you are looking outside or inside.

Stop thinking! Do more japa.

Om namah shivaaya

Om namah shivaaya

Om namah shivaaya

Om namah shivaaya

Om namah shivaaya

with love & blessings, Swami Nirmalananda

A quiet evening at home. Posted on December 3, 2012 by Swamiji

post Shaktipat retreat, hanging out in the kitchen over a cup of chai…

a yummy stir-fry for dinner with lots of laughter around the table…

playing with the cats – actually, watching the cats watch the human who WANTS them to play…

a sweet Sunday night at the Ashram. Nothing to do except the arati and chant that begins in an hour (or less).

and to say hi to all of you.

with love and blessings,

Swami Nirmalananda