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Heart News

Align - Love - Thrive

Our heart team proudly curates a set of teachings, practices and information each month and season to help you live a life of balance, alignment and connection: Yoga! Click through regularly to explore, learn and grow on the path. 

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Dearest sangha,

 

While attending retreat this past November, one of the teachers shared the most beautiful explanation for the concept of "emptiness". Emptiness is not so much nothingness as it is the purest of potential. She said that we can imagine it as a blank canvas, sitting before an inspired painter. Gorgeous, right? With little effort, we can imagine the many possibilities that might appear (and disappear) within that space. From this nothingness of the blank canvas, all of creation may come and all of it may go. Ask yourself, if not emptiness, what could possible have the capacity to hold everything?

 

Today's scientists, confirm the teachings, siting that 99.99% of the universe is just empty - nothingness. Most of this is what they refer to as "dark matter" as it does not reflect, absorb or emit light and hence cannot ever be seen. This may seem bleak at first thought, but greater wisdom within can remind us that, on the contrary, there's really something auspicious about such vastness.

 

The Vedas say that within the nothingness there is an all-pervading unconditioned consciousness that fills it up. This is referenced as "Shiva tattva". Here Shiva, is not a person but the principle (tattva) of this everything and nothingness; the dark matter, from which all of creation manifests and into which all of creation disintegrates, over and over again. Shiva is benevolent, transcendental, innocent, absolute and its energy permeates all of the universe. We cannot be separated from Shiva tattva at anytime because it is the whole of creation. Scriptures say that Shiva is both the world and what is beyond the world. Therefore, we cannot separate the 99.99% from the 00.01%. The emptiness is the unconditioned consciousness that becomes the sacred stuff or space of which all can be created, maintained and destroyed via the 5 building blocks of worldly life or pancha maha bhuta. The black matter is where it all begins, ends, and continues; it is AUM.

 

To be a being in the world, means that your experiences are comprised of these 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) and your life is a specific combination of these elements miraculously coming together and falling apart (from the nothingness of all-pervading consciousness) in the form of sensing or perceiving, thinking and feeling. Each of us, billions of us, are made unique (individuality) due to the endless potentials for these combinations to occur. What exactly makes it possible for these sense perceptions, thoughts and emotions to arise and become a person? What is the light in which these experiences (perceptions, thoughts, feelings) are known? Is there a more fundamental dimension than the temporary coming together of your experiences? Who are you beyond those things? The answers do not arise on a conceptual level but as a direct realization here and now. In the space of meditation, in the quiet that precedes doing and thinking, right here, right now you can sense in yourself the very thing which makes the limitlessness of your life experiences possible, and that is the very being that underlies it all.

 

The subject, or the one who sees, cannot be separated from the object that is seen. They are one. That 00.01% is a brilliant moment of illumination, amidst 99.99% of what remains in a silent presence in the background. That silent presence is accessible to your whole body. This is your truest self, the knowing subject AND that which is known as one.

 

What... can it be that simple!?

 

Yes. It's the most immediate and natural thing to know that in yourself but, somehow in our history, humans have lost it. Optimistically you might say that we are on our way home via “the awakening”. I extend the wish that we may continue to contact the gratitude that comes with regaining something that has been long lost. May we come back more deeply. What was originally, a natural connectedness with being, rootedness in being, now can become a conscious knowing in being.

 

Your motivation for this daily life is to stay connected with that aspect, to more quickly realize it as the essential I am. Practice creates momentum to close the gap of perceived separation slowly, slowly. The silent presence that remains in the background is one with the aspects in the foreground that you interact with in your daily life. In time that which happens in the foreground of your life, 00.01%… doesn't absorb you so completely anymore. You give it what it requires but it does not take up the totality of your consciousness. How wonderful to no longer lose yourself completely or disconnect when you start to think, do, or react. The realization is right there: you are rooted in being which contributes to a new response. The way in which you think, do, experience, undergoes a change and everything you think or do, becomes imbued with a peaceful equanimous energy. 

 

This month we embark on these teachings by studying deeply a sacred mantra which holds the whole of Shiva tattva in one gorgeous vibrational ribbon:

 

Om Namah Shivaya

 

"Om", "Na" earth, "Ma" water, "Shi" fire, "Va" air, "Ya" ether, "Shiva"

 

When there is peace, love and harmony in all of the five elements, then there is bliss and there is joy not just within you, but also around you and the illusion of separation dissolves.

 

Here's to an inspiring month of inter-being.

 

With astounded heart,

Shastri Meg Lucks/ Konchok Dzeden Zangmo

Past Newsies:

February 2023: Om Namah Shivaya

January 2023: Sat Nam

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December 2022: Self-love as Dharma

November 2022: Practice is the Antidote

October 2022: Happiness is the Path

September 2022: Taking Your Seat

August 2022: A Crowded Mind Leaves no Space for a Peaceful Heart

July 2022: Yoga is the Journey of the Self...

June 2022: Practice and All is Coming

May 2022: The Altruistic Intention

April 2022: Being Mudra

March 2022: Receptive Listening

February 2022: There is No Enlightenment Outside of Daily Life

January 2022: The Source of a True Smile is an Awakened Mind

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December 2021: The Practice of Touching the Earth

November 2021: Rejuvenation: Nourish Your Entire Being

October 2021: Contemplative Interbeing

September 2021: The Nobility of Silence

August 2021: Dissolve Your Fixation with Self

July 2021: Let's Linger

June 2021: I am in the Flow of the Universe

May 2021: Lighten Up

April 2021: We Travel the Path in Good Company

March 2021: Om Mani Padme HumM

February 2021: Embodied Dharma

January 2021: "Everything can be a 'that'; everything can be a 'this' " 

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December 2020: I Am a Sanctuary

November 2020: In the One is The All

October 2020: Ready, Set, Rest

September 2020: Attract Beauty Today, Create Tomorrow 

August 2020: Refuge in One and blogging by the sangha

July 2020: Awaken Your Voice 

June 2020: The Spirit of Sangha 

May 2020: Just as You Are 

April 2020: The Next Buddha is Sangha

March 2020: You and I Are Essentially Infinite and blogging bits by Heather Kolvenbach

February 2020: Mudita: Taking Delight in the Happiness of Others and blogging bits by Amy Griebenow

January 2020: I am 

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December 2019: Give the Gift of Presence 

November 2019: We are All Royalty by Roy Grant

October 2019: Rekindle the Heart 

September 2019: Where Your Intention Goes, Energy Flows 

August 2019: Come Home & Be Anywhere 

July 2019: Paradise is Now 

June 2019: Let Peace Be Your Superpower 

May 2019: Play is our Pathway to Possibility 

April 2019: Give Yourself Room to Bloom 

March 2019: Living Your Highest Truth 

February 2019: Out of Love, Our Path Can Lead us to Serve

January 2019: True Belonging is the Spiritual Practice of believing in and belonging to yourself...

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