Tag Archives: bhakti

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Enlightenment

When I first got into yoga about twenty years ago, I collected a whole library of spiritual-related books. Through the years and moves, my library thinned. One book that has stuck with me and I have refused to give away is called The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas. Not much of a book really, but more a thin 30 page pamphlet not much longer than Ramana Maharshi’s “I am That.” It was evidently handed out on the streets of San Francisco in 1971 until it was published. It is a backhanded guide to Bhakti Yoga if you will.

The basis is simple: the universe is made out of one type of “stuff” and that “stuff” expands or contracts based on how much we love or withdraw from love. Feeling bad? Just put your love into something. Feeling spaced out and “pourous”? Maybe you are putting too much love into something that is already saturated with love. As I am getting older and more cynical, these types of easy peasey ideas actually break me out of my funk.

The book steers clear of some type of diety or God, but just the act of expanding or contracting your love. If you are of a certain faith, you can apply this to that which you worship. This also works well with relationships, pets and plants. Experiment on your pet. Give your pet as much love as you can in the next five minutes and you will see that this theory holds water. Then try it on humans.

When you practice yoga, you are giving yourself an intense dose of love. Just don’t overdo it or are pushed into getting into some type of Instagram challenge pose.

It seems the world is in a big funk now: political corruption, coronaviruses, homelessness, global warming etc etc. Maybe it is time to start thinking differently. Love is a great tool to change the world and certainly yourself.

 

 

May you have a blessed week

Gayatri

As a mental health worker, I can attest that the transition between the weekend and the work week can be one of the most stressful points of the week for people. Mantras can a powerful tool to direct internal energies toward the devine and away from anxious feelings. Below is a link to the Gayatri Mantra. The Gayatri Mantra is considered to be one of the great boons given to humanity. It is a Vedic hymn from the Rg Veda. It is curious in that it is considered both about the object of devotion, and as an act of devotion itself. If that does not fit into your belief system you can at least enjoy the beautiful singing. This particular version offers deep explanation to each word while the mantra plays.

Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥtát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃbhárgo devásya dhīmahidhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt

The gist of the mantra is that it is a request of the devine to provide us with guidance. Also it asks to enlighten our intellect to make proper decisions and provide spiritual wisdom. Enjoy and have a great week!