Saturday, March 15, 2014

Checking in....



O Divine Mother, I Am Thine,
For Thou Art Eternally Mine

     I lay garlands of my devotion, strung with many-hued flowers 
of lofty inspiration, at Thy lotus feet.
     I beheld Thee dancing in the twinkling stars. I glimpsed Thy
scintillating magic in the aurora borealis. I heard the dance of
Thy beating feet in crashing ocean waves as they rushed toward
earth's shores. I marveled at Thy leaps and pirouettes portraying,
on the great stage of time, evolution's fantastic upward sweep. And
I thrill to see, everywhere, excitement and activity in Thy great
drama of all life.
     Alas, Divine Mother! I have yet to behold Thy bliss-faced
 peeping from behind what I now know to be only veils! The thick
clouds of outward appearances are offset by little, teasing hints of
Thy smile, reflected in my breeze-rippled, flickering thoughts.
     How long I have yearned to behold Thee! My yearning burns
with a million tongues of flame. They leap high, and light the vast
firmament of my consciousness. The force that holds together the 
planets binds together also into a heavy ball the burden of my 
self-recognition, holding me to earth. Yet the twinkling stars of my
soul-aspiration spin high overhead, and form a mighty whirlwind
which draws me upward. Their light beams down upon me, 
banishing my shadows of ignorance and dissolving, one by one, all
the crusted limitations that cover my soul. Light transforms the gray
pebbles of my desires into shining crystals reflecting Thy joy.
     By my light of concentrated aspiration, all falseness has been
consumed. Ah, but, Divine Mother, where art Thou? A great void
around me mocked my very yearning.
     "Why?" I asked. And my tears fell--dewdrops of shining light 
from my firmament above. Then at last Thy sweet voice came, 
tender with compassion; I heard Thee say: "Thy very light by which
thou seekest Me is, already, Myself! Thou hast sought Me else-
where than in thyself; yet I am thou! Thou art I! There can never
be aught but thine own Self. I come to thee through thyself.
Worship me as separate, if you like, but know who I am: thy very
own Self! O eternally beloved child, we are one!"
     Mother, how can I thank Thee! I will ever be Thine, for Thou
art eternally mine. Still, I love to behold Thee through my window
of self-understanding as if dancing outside me also; to see Thee
smiling with tantalizing sweetness! Yet I know the dance takes 
place, in truth, only here in my heart. 

~Paramahansa Yogananda


    So sorry I have not been around these last few months. Family concerns and various health issues and, well, life in general has keep me very busy as of late. I hope to be blogging more often as I miss it greatly:) I hope all is well for my fellow kindred spirits out there. Goddess Bless Always!

Jai Maa,
Nirvani

Monday, October 7, 2013

You are Goddess




I just love this quote from Osho! Every woman is a Goddess whether she believes herself to be or not. No two women are alike. We are all different and unique in our own beautiful way. Many of you have still to tap into the amazing Divine potential within. Yes you have divine potential. You are like the budding rose waiting to blossom or the lotus waiting to flower into a thousand petals. Like a flower that has yet to open you have many layers to yourself that are hidden. Part of your divine mission in life is to open yourself completely to all that life has in store for you. Stop doubting yourself, and surrender.

It does not matter how old you are, it is never too late to discover your true nature. The key to discovery is learning to love yourself first, without validation from another human being. No one need validate what already exists within you. You are Goddess!

Look at yourself in the mirror every single day, several times a day, and repeat, “I am Goddess! I am love!” I chant a sanskrit mantra every single day ‘aham prema’ I am Divine Love! Say it, believe it!


Jai Maa,
Nirvani

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Letting Go...

   


Today, I am really struggling to keep myself together. My youngest son Benjamin, who has always been my baby boy is leaving home next Thursday for good. He will be heading to Navy Basic Training where he will follow in his father's footsteps. On one side, I am so very proud of him and excited for all the new changes that are taking place for him, but on the other side I am truly struggling with letting him go. I know that I have no choice in the matter and even if I did would I stand in the way of my own child's progress just to ease my own suffering? Resoundingly no! Every mother must face these bittersweet moments and I am no different.
   
  Deep in my heart, I know this is just as much a growing experience for me as it is for him. Change is the guiding factor in this thing called life. It is the catalyst for all spiritual growth. If everything stayed the same there would be no challenge and thus we would all become stagnant. I must now cut the apron strings, and allow my son to spread his wings and fly...yes he may hit some turbulence along the way, but the moments of struggle will be what molds and shapes him into the man he is meant to become.
   
 As his mother I will send him out into the world with a Mother's blessing and my tears upon his cheek...for it is through those tears that he will always find his way back home and will never doubt that he is loved. May the Goddess bless his every step along the way and may she bless me to endure the pain of letting go.


Om shanti shanti shanti,
Nirvani

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Surrendering vs. Submitting



This morning I had one of my many moments of clarity and I thought I might try to convey it to you in a way that you can best understand my thoughts. I was thinking about how human beings have the need to submit to the desires of the flesh, whether they be sex or alcohol or any other addictive behavior. I once read somewhere that every extreme behavior is just a manifestation of the soul trying to find its way back to Source/God/Goddess/Universe/Love. The mind is incapable of understanding what we truly are beyond the body and senses; this is why the mind must be surpassed to find our true essence. The mind/ego likes to act out in its never-ending thirst for thrills.

Everything we engage in, even the most extreme unhealthy behavior is a part of our spiritual evolution, whether we are aware of it or not. When we indulge in unhealthy activities, the mind/ego is appeased for a short time, until the longing comes back and we continue to indulge due to the impossibility of permanent satisfaction. We will never find satisfaction in the behavior, and we mistake submission for surrender. Submitting is giving in to the desire and allowing the desire to take control of the body. Surrendering is letting go of the control of the mind/ego to make decisions for us and letting the intuitive heart guide our actions.

Once we become aware of what is controlling us and accept responsibility for our actions we are then in a place of real spiritual growth. Just the mere self-confession is a step forward on the path of surrendering. We can then see more clearly that everything is Shiva/God nature, including the dark and lustful passions within us. In the past, I would beat myself up for the less savory tendencies that would consume me at times, pushing them further into my psyche, repressing them for a time, until the desire became so great that I would submit to the will of the mind/ego. This would happen over and over again.

I can’t say that I have already learned to surrender completely. I would be lying to myself if I did. Surrendering to Love is no easy process. As flowery as that might sound, surrendering to Love is just another way of surrendering to the Source. The mind/ego will keep us in a constant loop until we eventually stop submitting to its will. Knowing this now, I have developed a much deeper compassion for the addictive behavior in myself and others. I am less critical of others now and have learned that part of surrendering is not just loving others, but most of all loving myself just as I am, addictions and all.



Om, Aham prema...
Nirvani

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Connectedness...


Good Morning!

       A few days ago I began a sadhana on the beach. I needed some inspiration not only for meditation but as a poetess as well. Each day for the next week I will spend an hour in the morning sitting on the beach meditating and contemplating. Of course I will have pencil and paper in hand to jot down any inspiring thoughts that should come my way. Yesterday after my return home this little piece of brevity came to me. 
  
      While meditating, I became aware of how the waves rolling up on the shore and then back out to sea 
sounded much like our breath while inhaling and exhaling. As I sat with my eyes closed noticing how my breath rolled back and forth in time with the waves, I also became acutely aware of the silence in between each crash of wave. For just a hair's breath did it occur and yet I was drawn to it. At the onset of meditation I was keenly aware of not only the waves but the sounds of laughter from nearby children playing in the water, an airplane preparing for departure off in the distance and the sound of birds. At first these sounds seemed separate and distinct, but after a while it was as if they were happening inside me, or me inside them. As if I had become one with the sound and I was no longer just me, but I was the wave, the children.

     “Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but must always participate in the swell of the ocean, so we can never experience life by ourselves, but must always share the experience of life that takes place all around us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

 This experience showed me, on a deeper level, how truly connected we are with everything around us.

Jai Maa,
Nirvani


Monday, July 22, 2013

My Journey into Hinduism

   

 For several years now I have identified myself as a believer in Sanatan Dharma. Sometimes I feel comfortable referring to myself as a Hindu, and yet other times I feel quite uncomfortable. I'll explain why shortly. Embracing the Hindu philosophy has been quite simple for me really. The moment I began reading The Upanishads something awoke inside of me. I had this incredible moment, or moments I should say, of absolute clarity that what I was reading was truth, and it made complete sense. I was giddy with excitement about it for days. I read The Upanishads every night to my husband before bed. I'll always cherish those first moments of discovery with him.
   
      As any convert to a new religion knows, I was quite overwhelmed in the beginning. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding Hinduism. My mind was flooded with the immense history and rich culture that comprises the oldest religion in the world. There were many times when I thought to myself, 'What are you doing? This is madness, you are not from India, you have nothing in common with this religion and these people!' I would put my books away for a while and go about my daily life pretending that I was not seeking anything, that I was content with my life the way it was. This would only last maybe a week or two at a time until I was once again drawn back to my spiritual seeking.

    I grew up from childhood until I was the age of 40 as a Latter Day Saint, or Mormon. My religious upbringing has had a great deal of influence on the spiritually inclined woman I am today and I am very grateful for that. Leaving the Mormon religion was not easy for me. I had grown to be quite devout and unquestioning of my faith. But over the years I had become increasingly dissatisfied with it and the self-guilt was at times unbearable. My husband, who was himself a convert to Mormonism, had already lost faith in the church philosophy long before we left, he chose not to tell me his true feelings about it as he did not want to let me down. This is all I will say about our departure from the Mormon religion since I want to focus my thoughts here on my views as a Western convert to Hinduism.

    The reason I have struggled with calling myself a Hindu is the mere fact of not quite knowing where I fit into the Hindu structure. I have never been through a formal conversion and embarrassingly enough have only attended one temple in all this time I have been studying. I live in Hawaii and the only temple that I know of on Oahu is an ISKCON temple. My husband and I had a lovely visit there, but I have not returned. Mainly, because I do not identify myself as Vaishnav. I know that there is a great deal of controversy around the ISKCON movement. Having looked into this particular sect of Hinduism, it just did not resonate with me.

    Over the years I continued to read and study. I began a meditation practice that included japa mantra. I found I enjoyed chanting immensely. Oftentimes I would come away from my practice with intense feelings of bliss that would last for several days. Although I had fully accepted Hindu philosophy, I still was unsure of what sect I should follow and would never quite commit myself to any one sect in particular. I was very drawn toward the teachings of Spiritual Masters such as Paramahansa Yogananda and Vivekananda. I think mainly for the reason that both of these men had come to the West and were adept in teaching Westerners. I felt comfortable with them as a Westerner. I have studied the full works of both of these men and love them deeply.

      Over the last year in particular, I have begun to finally narrow down my own spiritual path in Hinduism. I feel a great pull toward the Divine Feminine aspect of God. This may very well be because of having been raised in a deeply patriarchal spiritual community and culture. It has been so refreshing for me to see God as the mother aspect, such as Maa Durga and Maa Kali. Although it was strange at first, it now feels so right. Through some very unusual, rather synchronistic events over the last year I have been lead to study the teachings of Kashmiri Shaivism and it resonates with me deeply. I have decided to focus my worship on this particular sect of Hinduism.

     I am a Hindu-by-choice. I like that term. If you think of the countless people born and raised in a given religion, many of them practice half-heartedly or not at all by the time they are adults. People who seek and embrace a spiritual path on their own tend to be very devout in their practice. When something is just given to you you tend to take it for granted, but when you earn it on your own with much effort it tends to be very precious to you. I am fully convinced that I was led to the dharma. It found me. The Universe willed it. I like to think that I procured some pretty good karma to have been led to this path. I could not turn my back on it now if I tried, it would haunt me forever. I now do not see Sanatan Dharma as a particular culture or birthright. It is for all humankind. For a while I thought it was necessary for me to embrace another culture to be called Hindu, but now I know that that is wrong. I can be who I am, love my own heritage and still be a Hindu in my heart.

    I am still fine tuning my own ritual practice. I may not be following every ritual custom perfectly, but I am working on it. I study voraciously and plan to attend the Hindu Monastery Himalayan Academy on Kauai within the next year and hope to call this my home temple. I am also studying Ayurvedic medicine, while working to incorporate it into my lifestyle. I practice vegetarianism. The day I found Hinduism, was the day I opened a Pandora's Box. Life has never been the same for me. I feel in my heart that I am on a spiritual journey back home and it is only through the dharmic path of yoga that I will get there. I have had very little face to face contact with other Hindus and I greatly look forward to the day that I will have that opportunity. For the time being, I rely greatly on my online Hindu family. I have met some amazing Hindus from around the world. I hope one day to be able to travel to India, and experience that magical land. I owe so much to the great sages who have left a wealth of sacred writings for us in the modern age.

My heart belongs to Shiva,

Om Shanti,
Nirvani

   

    

Monday, July 1, 2013

Shiva's Wild Woman


(artwork: Roger Williamson Art)

Shiva's Wild Woman


I am femininity embodied,
Deity made flesh, perfection
Embedded in flaw.
Un-submissive feminist,
Freedom-fighting,
Barefoot mama on a mission
To strengthen the sisterhood of souls.
The androgynous love, pouring
From my cosmic yoni
Paints the world in supernatural perceptions.
To one I am femme fatale,
Dangerously sacrilegious, ego-stripping
Mata Hari-esque.
To another, the primordial paradox,
The unsolvable puzzle. 
To my Self, the constant
Creator and destroyer
Dancing my way 
Through the universe.
Some call me 
Shiva's wild woman.

Nirvani Teasley, 2013