Raja Yoga Meditation (Part of the ‘Let’s Meditate’ series)

Raja Yoga Meditation

(Part of the ‘Let’s Meditate’ series)

soul

Raja Yoga Meditation is often called the Royal Yoga. It is known to be the king of all yogas. As one masters this gentle art, one also masters one’s inner kingdom of the five senses.

The word yoga is most often used these days to mean physical postures, but the real meaning of the word yoga is ‘union’, ‘link’ or ‘connection’. In Raja Yoga we are connecting with the higher, or ‘royal’ self.

Most people would probably accept the fact that we are more than just this physical body. There is also a charge to this body that is not the heart or brain, but the soul, the spirit, the eternal being. Without this life force, the body has no value, it perishes.

For some the concept of ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ may be a vague notion. Raja yoga teaches us that the soul is the actor that plays a part through the costume, this body.

As human beings we become increasingly caught up in this physical, material world, it seems that the master has now become a servant; the soul has become a slave to the physical senses. As we travel further down the road of materialism, we have moved further away from our core selves. The soul has been forgotten as we place more and more emphasis on physical appearances and academic, intellectual and material achievements. As we race to compete and accumulate, we have forgotten how to be content, satisfied and happy.

Meditation is not an end in itself: it is simply a method to help us to re-connect with our inner truth, to see beyond the obvious to the truth within, to reawaken the self to our deeper truth, to help us to realise that we are not victims in this world, but that we do have the God-given power within us to create a life of worth and value.

Meditation is our key to the door of our inner world. It is the tool that allows us to see ourselves for what we really are: a pure being made not of blood and bones, but of peace, love, truth. When we remember this it brings us back to our spiritual power. We remember that happiness is our natural state of being.

Face BK 2.jpgMeditation teaches us first of all to accept ourselves; the good and bad. When we know that our core is only good; then it is possible to look at the aspects of ourselves that we may want to change. As a detached observer we can choose to only keep the best of ourselves, and let go of the rest.

And the ultimate proof that meditation works is the transformation that it brings in our everyday lives. We not only become more peaceful and purposeful, we also build up our inner resources, train the muscles of our mind, and therefore are able to deal with difficult situations. We build better relationships, we have more focus and clarity, and the list goes on.

In short, we not only discover ourselves, but we discover the power to live our lives in the best possible way. We may never in our physical lifetime know the limits of this magnificent being we are, but at least we can understand how to harness our potential so that we can once again begin to take control of our lives.

It’s time… to regain our inner kingdom by seeing the self as a master, an eternal being that is the embodiment of all the qualities. Remember who you are and become powerful once again.

 

Share these thoughts! ‘It’s Time…’ is spreading far and wide! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source – ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London

The Gentle Art of Meditation (Part of the ‘Let’s Meditate’ series)

The Gentle Art of Meditation
Part of the ‘Let’s Meditate’ series

 

Yogi Bliss - Mount Abu

 

Meditation is an art, one that can either take us a second or a lifetime to master depending on our will and enthusiasm and practice. It should not be treated as another fashion or fad in our lives – but a necessity. Meditation, for those who practice it daily, is like oxygen for the soul, the breath of life without which the soul cannot survive and thrive spiritually.

There are countless benefits to meditation.  Since the word meditation shares a common root with medicine, it is clear that to meditate means to heal, whether ailments are physical or emotional. Meditation can help to prevent, soothe and calm health issues whether in the body or the emotions. As we get calmer through meditation we can better manage our lives by making better choices. We feel more in control. And as we continue to deepen and empower our meditation ever further our sense of purpose becomes clearer. We are happier and more pleasant to be around, we develop a sense of oneness and connection, and we feel we want to give out to the world from the heart. We come to know and enhance our own strengths, and develop the power to let go of weaknesses. The list of benefits is endless.

Meditation is all about raising our vibration. Did you know that we all vibrate at a certain frequency? It is this frequency that keeps us bonded with, or running away from another person. This frequency is crafted from our thoughts. As we become more trained in creating elevated, benevolent and considerate thoughts we radiate this beautiful energy and like energy returns back to us. This is why, after a wonderful meditation, the whole world and all its people look so beautiful to us and nothing, and no-one is a problem!

Yogi Meditation is about taking a good look inside with the aim of fixing our inner world. A little like returning to an old attic that hasn’t been visited or cleaned for years, we may find old treasures, but we are also sure to find some cobwebs. It is the same for the mind. If we have not spent time with the self, then how can we really know ourselves.

‘Who am I?’ is the multimillion dollar question very few dare to ask themselves. Am I just a set of labels that have been handed down to me, with a few more that I have gained along the way? Or am I something richer and deeper and more everlasting than that? Meditation gives us an enlightened sense of our true self like nothing else can. As I sit with my true self, I become convinced that I am not this mortal coil, but the light that is the life force that makes this body tick.

There is no right and no wrong way to experience meditation. Your experience is totally personal to you and it cannot match that of another. As you sit in meditation, even if it’s just for five minutes, you will feel a slowing down of breath and a shift in consciousness; you will feel more relieved, more serene, more relaxed. These are small successes that will grow with time and practice. Drop by drop you have begun to create a pool of peace within yourself.

With meditation our life slows down but our productivity doesn’t. In fact yogis (meditators) are some of the most occupied and effective people I have seen. Now that they have a dual purpose – that of managing the material world and their spiritual world – they learn the balancing act that allows them to achieve more and better, and yet give the right attention to the things, circumstances, situations and people that need them most.

Yogi Bliss - LotusAs we master this gentle art, we realize that meditation is not just a technique we practice for five minutes a day or once a week, but something uniquely motivating from within that becomes part of our lives. We can be in a state of meditation as we speak, as we eat, jog, play… plus pay our bills!  Our perspective changes as we realize we are spiritual beings living a human existence, not human beings ‘dying’ to be spiritual.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of Raja Yoga Meditation when practiced conscientiously is the transformation that it brings about within us. This meditation at its best can truly help us to transform from the core of our being, from the inside out. Knowledge is like the bricks and meditation is the cement. As we meditate we are constructing the building of our character.

It’s Time… to start exploring the gentle art of meditation.  Open up another world by asking yourself the multimillion dollar question, who am I? And in the silence begin to hear the answers.
Share these thoughts! ‘It’s Time…’ is spreading far and wide! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source – ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London

 

 

How Knowledge Becomes Wisdom

How Knowledge Becomes Wisdom

Never before in the history of mankind has there been so much knowledge and information within our reach, yet very little time to ‘live’ it. We live within a sea of information, yet real wisdom comes in drops. Information is not enough. We need to deeply experience all that we see, hear and speak about in order to really grasp and understand the depths of it. It is only then that knowledge can be useful and become real wisdom; strength and power that no one can refute.

In this information age, wisdom and the authority of experience are no longer valued, because people think they know everything. Google and Wikipedia are their 24hr online gurus. A distraught mother was complaining that her daughter who had recently given birth was taking parenting advice from articles on the Internet rather than from her. The Internet cannot take the place of real life experience or promise enlightenment.

If knowledge and information were sufficient then we would not be seeking the advice of prophets and wise ones. It is perhaps self-evident that it is only when knowledge has been processed and assimilated–digested in full-and become part of one’s life can it be of any real and lasting use to the self and others.

If we do not learn from what we know, we remain in ignorance and the vicious cycles continue. There is no shift in consciousness, in our behavior, or in our attitudes. And we repeat the same patterns, which give us the same outcomes each time. This is why some stay stuck, and others who choose to learn, grow.__3_WORLDS

Living in the fast track means we want immediate results, even in our learning. Yet remember that the tree grows its rings over time and its growth cannot be accelerated, no matter what scientists may tell you. It takes time to reach its stage of maturity, just like a fine and valuable wine. Wisdom comes as a result of trusting the process of life and learning from it.

In true wisdom, there is no fear, only love. No ego, only humility. With love and humility we learn to accept and embrace life with all of its challenges. We realize how much we don’t know, and how much we need to unlearn. Sometimes our fears can prevent us from learning, and fear comes from lack of self-knowledge and inner wisdom. If we are afraid then no matter how clever we may be, we are not learning what life is about.

There is an Indian story of the mouse that found a piece of turmeric and thought he had become a grocer. This can be true for us also. We know a few things and become a ‘jack of all trades, but a master of none’. This attitude that we know it all prevents us from learning more. Just as we surround ourselves with possessions which give us a false sense of security, so too we surround ourselves with useless information to give us a sense of wisdom. But what is real wisdom and how far removed are we from it?

Many may have a high IQ, but it is also important to have a high SQ–spiritual quotient. SQ is about putting spiritual values and common sense into practice in our lives. There are many intelligent people with degrees and titles but little wisdom to accompany them. If there were real intelligence within the self, there would not be bribery, corruption, rape or the like, because these things only work against the culprit in the long run.

There seems to be a huge gap between ‘knowing it’ and ‘being it’. Few professions these days are taken up because of a real passion to serve or give. Many are attracted to the pay packets and prestige that comes with being an engineer, doctor or lawyer, rather than to living out the moral mission statement that accompanies it.

Knowledge is important, but experiencing it is even more important. For example, knowing that I am a being of peace and love is not enough. I need to experience the peace and love and furthermore become the practical form of these qualities, so that others can also experience that from me.

It’s Time… to turn knowledge into wisdom through experience. Let’s take time to reflect how much we know and how much we don’t. With love and humility let’s increase our spiritual IQ. It takes a wise person to understand the depth of wisdom!

 

Share these thoughts! ‘It’s Time…’ is spreading far and wide! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source – ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London

 

Benefit in Everything

Benefit in Everything

Patience by Joachim

How many times have you fretted over the delayed plane or missed train, only to find out later that there was an advantage in doing so?

Believe it or not, there are many people each day, who are grateful that things ‘went wrong’ instead of turning out the way they had anticipated!  Practicing seeing the hidden benefit in every situation allows us to remain stable, feel in control, and most of all, stay happy despite the seemingly adverse situations around us.

If things had gone the way a person had wished, perhaps they would have experienced a severe loss or worse, not be alive today!  Others experience great gain because things did not go as ‘planned’!

There is a story of a man, for example, who was worried about being late for work because his car wouldn’t start, and consequently escaped his office being bombed!  Then, we often hear of incidents such as the person who was caught up in the long queue buying doughnuts for the office staff who was saved from a fatal accident on the highway.  Or the case of the lady who turned left on the highway instead of right, got lost, but in the process met Mr Right, the love of her life!

How many times have we heard such stories but still insist that things should go the way we want them to?  It seems we are not fully aware of the mysterious forces in the universe that are at work.  If we can only trust that right here, right now, is where I am supposed to be and if things are not moving as fast or as slow as I would like them to, then there is a very good reason for it.

We will never know the whole story, or see the bigger picture of what is happening in our life because, for sure, there are many other hidden secrets within all the if’s and but’s of our life.  To say, ‘If only this had happened’ or, ‘I wish it would be like this!’ means to resist the natural flow of the drama.  And, if we would be able to reflect back with a hidden camera, we may just see how many times we have been guided onto a different path, and found fortune in the ‘misfortune’!

The trick to success is to remember this secret during the event and not after the fact.  Afterwards it’s too late, for we have already lost our peace and happiness.  Staying cool and in control in the face of challenge is the inner power that is needed.

Michelle paintingIf we are to live in this unpredictable world, we have to see the benefit in everything happening around us, even if we are suffering a long-term illness.  We can spend our days in misery or see each day as an opportunity to learn and grow.  Those who stay positive in the light of everything and therefore able to remain happy and cheerful will be able to spot the light in the darkness.  Those who are negative will continue to see only loss and more loss!

It’s good to plan.  However, at the same time it’s also good to stay open minded and to embrace the surprises.  Creating the right vision is the key.  Even if things appear to be going wrong we can create a positive mindset which will send out positive signals, which will in turn influence the atmosphere positively.  We become victors instead of victims, and we embrace every opportunity to learn, grow and prosper.

It’s time… to notice there is benefit in everything.  Stay positive, and you will infuse positive energy into your circumstances.  Trust that you are in the right place, right now, wherever you are.  And next time something goes ‘wrong’, look again… the wrong is probably just right!

 

Share these thoughts! ‘It’s Time…’ is spreading far and wide! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source – ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London

All that Glitters is not Gold

All that Glitters is not Gold

power to discern

All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old

 Your answer had not been inscroll’d
Fare you well, your suit is cold.
From ‘The Merchant of Venice’, William Shakespeare

It takes great sensitivity and discernment to be able to see through the many illusions of life.  We chase after many things in life, much as we might chase after water in a desert, only to find that it was a mirage or a hallucination.  How many failed attempts will it take before we realize that all that glitters is not gold?

Unfortunately, everything in today’s world is about image and appearance.  How often have you been deceived into buying fruits or vegetables in a carton – only to find that the large glossy ones at the top are hiding the small rotten ones at the bottom.  It has also been discovered that in some fancy showrooms the original designer bags are displayed in front whilst at the back there is an exact imitation that you will be taking home!  Branded electronic goods are sold in the same way.  Some extra virgin olive oil was recently discovered to be not so virgin after all!  Food presentations are immaculate and perfect on restaurant tables, whilst the kitchen at the back may not be of the same quality.  And how true is it when they label products with the words ‘organic’ and ‘natural’?

The same may be true of people.  ‘Clothes maketh the man’, so they say.  In this material, physical, visual world, more focus is given to how we are on the outside than to how we are on the inside.  It’s a common belief that blondes have more fun(!) and that tall and fair people get more job opportunities.  Yet how many times have we misjudged a book by its cover and lived to regret it?

We also manage to deceive ourselves by continuing to be in denial of ‘our stuff’.  We are so well trained at putting on a good face, even though the inside does not feel quite as good.  The same is also true for others.  This is not to say we should feel the need to display our ‘dirty laundry’ to all, but the point is it’s hard to guess what’s going on inside each one, and we should not judge someone at face value.

Many of our disappointments are not other people or things, but rather our own perception, and our expectations of them.  Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too, is the ‘glitter’.  We need to renew our sense of what is glitter and what is gold.

Shakespeare may quite be right when he described, ‘gilded tombs do worms unfold’.  If we were to look into our ‘gilded tombs’, how many ‘worms’ will we unfold?  How many people and things are we holding onto, thinking and believing they will give us that pleasure we so seek, when instead they give us the pain we so dislike.

Beauty is only skin deep.  When we fail to look beyond the surface in terms of someone’s face and fame, titles and accolades, or wealth and material worth, then very often we can be deceived.  We are looking for one thing and we receive another, very much like buying those big juicy peaches and finding the moldy ones below.

We live in a world of mirrors and mirages.  Although we can never be too sure about anyone or anything these days, the important thing is not to jump to immediate conclusions and even more importantly, not to give our power away to the object of our passion or delusion.  For this we need to develop the power of discernment.

When, through meditation and practiced self-awareness, we connect with our true inner self rather than the ‘creation’ which is the ego self, then we can stay in our own truth and therefore recognize the truth ‘out there’.

It’s time… to pay heed to our old friend Shakespeare.  To be ‘… as wise as bold, young in limbs, in judgment old.’  Learn to acknowledge, with humility, that all that glitters is not gold and you won’t be deceived so easily.  Take some time; learn to develop the power of discernment.  As you recognize the truth within you, the truth out there will become easily apparent.

Share these thoughts! ‘It’s Time…’ is spreading far and wide! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source – ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London

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