There has been a thread of connection within my intentions for the past two weeks. This week is no different, it continues on. This is also a great example of how divine grace continues in a never ending flow of work within each of us, and within the greater community of humanity.
We began weeks ago with commitment, read its full blog HERE:
“When you commit yourself to living an extraordinary life, the universe accepts your deal and silently goes to work challlenging you so that you’re always prepared for bigger challenges – and greater rewards.” -Mike Dillard
Then came strength, read its full blog HERE:
“When we let go of our battles and open our heart to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and the end of spiritual practice.” -Jack Kornfield
Its the beginning and the end because the moment is infinite. There is no true beginning, nor end, only the infinite. Read HERE on your self as the infinite and timeless.
This week I came back to a word that forever sweetly haunts my mind and heart; grace. As I dug a little deeper, I discovered something I hadn’t really identified or made clear before. I realized that what my heart was always coming to was ‘divine grace’. This was different than what my mind was always trying to define, which was grace as elegance of movement, and courteous goodwill.
“Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.” -Wikipedia. Right away, I loved how it used our intention word of ‘strength’.
A lot of people, myself included, until lately, do not realize that early Yogic texts were written inclusively. For example, the word Ishvara. It can mean ‘God’, ‘Supreme Being’, ‘True Self’. And, as Swami Satchidananda points out, in the Upanishads, it also means ‘a collective consciousness’, with the thought that we are all one. I often try to remind others that the ‘divine’ is not something outside of yourself, it IS you. So, with Ishvara Pranidhana, the last of the five niyamas, or observances, we can obtain samadhi by “devotion with total dedication to God[Ishvara].”-Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, 1:23. I love how this becomes inclusive again, because we are inspiring devotion to the collective consciousness, to God, to humanity, to Self. It’s all One.
I specifically chose Ishvara Pranidhana because it also is known as ‘surrender’. Letting go and ‘fixing’ our gaze always to Source/Universe/God/Collective Consciousness/Humanity. As our quote in strength invites, “let go of our battles and open our heart to things as they are”. We release expectations, worries, fear, judgments, and acknowledge what is present now, bringing us into the present moment and opening us up to being present to feel divine grace. We must remember how this divine energy, of you will, has always been present within us, it always will, and it is always working in our favor, holding only the best of intentions for us. Perhaps next week I will use trust as intention; because when we let go, instead of dropping into fear and all the “what if’s”, we can, instead, surrender and turn our inner focuses towards the divine.
Now, here’s something interesting and beautiful. As I continued to read Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras after 1:23 on Ishvara Pranidhana, I rediscovered a wonderful reminder. OM. Also written as AUM. AUM is shown written in the Sanskrit language at the top, inside the circle.
Sutra 1:27 is ‘Tasya Vācakah Pranava’, or as translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda, “The word expressive of Ishvara is the mystic sound OM”. As I read his further explanation into this sutra, I was struck by this next passage, for it so gracefully brought together all that we are speaking to here, within this blog:
“After the verbal sound ends there is still a vibration. That is the unspoken, or anagata, sound which is always in you, even before saying the A and after finishing M. There is always a sound vibration in you that can never be destroyed. You can always listen to that sound if you remain quiet. For that reason it is also called ajapa, or unrepeated. Japa means repetition, but the ajapa is that which need not be repeated; it is always going on within.” To me, this exactly how I imagine divine grace to be, always moving, humming, working within us.
This is why this week, especially, we are beginning and ending with OM; though its not the beginning or the end, lol, get it 😉 !
I was also reminded of one of my all time favorite quotes:
“Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.” ~Krishnamacharya
And, on that note of vibration and sound, please join myself, Amy Soucy, and David Ellenbogen for our “Unplugged: Yoga and Sound Retreat” May 8-10 this year! We are in the last four weeks for the early bird special, so please click HERE to learn more! Click HERE to just go ahead and register! We will do a number of OM’s throughout the retreat, I promise! 😉 This is a true DIGITAL DETOX weekend when you will also have plenty of room for silence, and to hear that infinite source of divine grace vibrating, never-ending, within you!
Breathe and Believe.
P.S. Have you ever heard a yoga teacher say, “Allow yourself to express your fullness within this posture!”? Well, what if, instead, you sense deep within, feeling, in order to allow the power of your divine grace to express itself thru you in the pose? Allow it to reveal itself to you in the posture? Try it the next time you practice. Let me know how it goes….. I am reminded of the Holy Spirit:
AUM is part of the Hindu Holy Trinity: AUM-TAT-SAT, which parallels the Christian Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
AUM (Holy Ghost) is Cosmic Vibration, the Divine Mother
TAT (Son) is the Christ Consciousness, a reflection of the Supreme Spirit in all creation
SAT (Father) is the Vibrationless Spirit beyond creation.
-The above descriptions are from this article, read HERE if you like! 🙂