Lesson 4: Opening to Love and Prosperity: Balancing the Body, Mind & Spirit
At a basic level, everything in the universe is energy and vibration and is interconnected in a continuous, shifting, balancing act whose goal is ideal harmony. It is said that the universe is filled with love, peace, abundance, and contentment. And, we are told by enlightened masters that, in our essence, we are only love. Yet, in our world today, most of us feel disillusioned by what we see and hear and spiritual words seem like distractions with no practical steps that also touch our souls. When you are caught up in confusion and disenchantment, or in too much sensory input, you may loose site of how important it is to find a place of peace, a small island of tranquility, to be your stable ground.
The truth is, when you are stressed out, nothing seems to go the way you really want it to. You feel weary before your day even begins. It’s hard to look forward, to anticipate anything good coming your way when you see your cup as half empty instead of half full. That is why it is so important to commit to yourself, to make a small change, just for the sake of what is possible – fulfillment in love and advancement in your life – and dedicate a small amount of your day just for yourself to dive deep within the self. When you do this, you put the universe on alert that you matter. Doing any spiritual practice adds positive energy to your life and enhances the vibration of attraction for love and fulfillment.
Relying on Joy
At the time of Buddha, there lived an old beggar woman called "Relying on Joy.” She used to watch the kings, princes, and people making offerings to Buddha and his disciples, and there was nothing she would have liked more than to be able to do the same. So she went out begging, but at the end of a whole day all she had was one small coin. She took it to the oil-merchant to try to buy some oil. He told her that she could not possibly buy anything with so little. But when he heard that she wanted it to make an offering to Buddha, he took pity on her and gave her the oil she wanted.
She took it to the monastery, where she lit a lamp. She placed it before Buddha, and made this wish: "I have nothing to offer but this tiny lamp. But through this offering, in the future may I be blessed with the lamp of wisdom. May I free all beings from their darkness. May I purify all their obstructions, and lead them to enlightenment."
That night the oil in all the other lamps went out. But the beggar woman's lamp was still burning at dawn, when Buddha's disciple Maudgalyayana came to collect all the lamps. When he saw that one was still alight, full of oil and with a new wick, he thought, "There's no reason why this lamp should still be burning in the day time," and he tried to blow it out. But it kept on burning. He tried to snuff it out with his fingers, but it stayed alight. He tried to smother it with his robe, but still it burned on.
The Buddha had been watching all along, and said, "Maudgalyayana, do you want to put out that lamp? You cannot. You cannot even move it, let alone put it out. If you were to pour the water from all oceans over this lamp, it still wouldn't go out. The water in all the rivers and the lakes of the world could not extinguish it. Why not? Because this lamp was offered with devotion and with purity of heart and mind. And that motivation has made it of tremendous benefit." When Buddha had said this, the beggar woman approached him, and he made a prophecy that in the future she would become a perfect buddha, called "Light of the Lamp."
So you see, it is your motivation, good or bad, that determines the fruit of your actions.
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In this lesson, you will learn some wonderful techniques that will quiet the mind, relieve your stress, offer you greater ease and focus, and bring you into the present moment, the most powerful place of manifesting your desires. One of these processes is a quick and easy-to-do meditation. Another is a breathing technique called pranayama. These practices will strengthen your nervous system, which will give you stability, and reduce the stress in your mind and body.
Meditation ~ Diving Deep Within
Just as Vastu balances the five elements within your body and your home, gaining the support of nature for all your endeavors, meditation balances the five elements within the body, mind, and spirit. Meditation is the pure art of letting go. It’s a way to remove resistance and stress and is practiced in all cultures around the world. In addition to clarifying your thinking, meditation gathers the energy of grace and abundance into an environment. Below is an abridged version of the video meditation offered in this lesson that you can do after clearing clutter and the blessing ceremony to increase your awareness of the five elements. You can easily learn the steps or listen to this meditative process to bring your awareness to these elements every day in an act of self-love. It’s a wonderful way to begin your day.
Balance the Five Elements of Nature within You
Find a place where you will not be disturbed. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Take a deep breath in and let it go.
Become aware of the earth element in your body. Your flesh and bones are part of the earth element. You come from the earth and return to the earth. The earth element is related to your sense of smell.
Take a deep breath in and let it go.
Become aware of the water element in your body. The body is made up of 70 percent fluids containing salt, the same salt in the waters of the ocean. The water element is associated with your sense of taste.
Take a deep breath and let it go.
Become aware of the warmth in your body. Let this warmth increase your awareness of the fire element and the sun. Without the warmth and light of the sun, there would be no life on earth. The fire element relates to your sense of sight.
Take a deep breath in and let it go.
Become aware that the breath moving in and out of your body is part of the air element. A one-mile radius of air—the same air that you inhale and exhale—surrounds the earth. The air element is related to your sense of touch.
Take a deep breath in and let it go.
Become aware of the space within your mind, the same space in which the planets and stars are embedded. The space element is associated with your sense of hearing.
Take a deep breath in and let it go.
These five elements and the entire world they comprise are food for the senses. Just sit and observe: You are a part of all five elements, a part of all that is.
Finally, bless all people, all animals and all plants and chant: Om Shanti, Om Shanti, Om Shanti (Peace, Peace, Peace).
Note: To listen to the above meditation, please click here>
The Power of Breath
Specific breathing exercises, called pranayama (pra-na-ya-ma), release stress and have an amazing ability to relax your mind so you can be fully in the moment, comfortably and easily. When your mind is relaxed, joy, which is your natural state, arises within you. In that moment, you realize that you feel wonderful. There is a sense that all is right in the world.
The Practice of Alternate Nostril Breathing
To give you an experience of how the breath can influence your mind, here’s a wonderful pranayama called Alternate Nostril Breathing or, in Sanskrit, Nadi Shodhana. This exercise balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain and reduces mental chatter.
Sit with your eyes closed spine erect and shoulders relaxed.
Breathe from the diaphragm in a relaxed fashion keeping the inhalation and exhalation slow and even throughout this breathing exercise.
Use the thumb and the forefinger of the right hand to alternately close each nostril during the exercise.
Begin by closing the right nostril with your right thumb and slowly exhaling and inhaling through the left nostril.
Now close of the left nostril with your right forefinger and slowly exhale and inhale through the right nostril.
Complete the exercise by doing nine repetitions of breathing through the left and right nostril in this fashion.
When complete, relax your hands placing them face up on your knees.
Take a moment and feel the prana, or life force energy, moving through your body.
Slowly, gradually, in your own time, open the eyes.
See Your Cup as Half Full
So often it seems easier to see what you lack in life; it takes effort to focus on appreciating what you already have. Practice this: Believe that all your needs are met, all your desires have been fulfilled. Focus on the feeling within your heart and mind of fullness and nurture the feeling of gratitude that comes forward. To attract lasting love and prosperity, live with a grateful heart. The Bible says that those who have will be given more. It is so very true that those who have gratitude make more room within themselves, within their very nervous systems, to feel and experience an abundant, joyous life. Being grateful in your heart and soul requires a certain amount of humility; you realize you are not alone. As you offer your sense of defeat, frustration, or disappointment to the divine, you make way for something new to unfold. Little by little, gratitude reclaims the sacred space within you, space that was once cluttered with demands and insecurities. Gratitude makes room for the ever-present abundance of the universe to begin moving toward you.
Gratitude also takes you out of the role of the doer. You are not the doer; rather, you are a part of All That Is and All That Is resides within you. This means that you are never alone, whatever you are doing. Let go of the idea that you are unsupported and all alone. If you allow the universe to provide for you according to its own rhythm, you will find your life runs more smoothly, with less stress, and greater opportunity. When you allow the source to provide, you will readily create the life you have always dreamed about.
At this point many people encounter a dilemma: How can I take charge and be responsible for my life, while at the same time allowing the universe to assist me? Finding the balance between these two is a skillful dance in which you stimulate the source and, at the same time, surrender the outcome. If you knew this dance perfectly, you would have all you wanted in every moment. Now is the time to learn this new dance, to take new steps. You can begin right now. Accept the support of nature by allowing a deep sense of gratitude to permeate your being.
You have honored yourself by balancing the five elements within the environment through clutter clearing, clearing for geopathic stress and the blessing ceremony. Now it’s time to honor yourself daily. Make time every day to do the short meditation offered here and nine repetitions of the Alternate Nostril Breathing.
Do this every morning. It will set the tone of your day. If you already have a spiritual practice, include these two practices into your morning routine. These added exercises may be just what you need to get in touch with a deeper aspect of yourself. In the evening before bed, write down in your journal what you’ve noticed that’s different about your day. How do you feel? Are you more relaxed? Less stressed? It’s important to notice the changes...they are beginning to happen.
In the next lesson you’ll be introduced to a powerful technique that focuses the energy to draw a wonderful relationship to you, or enhances an existing one.
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Where is the light of God? It is hidden within everyone. It has to be brought to human awareness.
It is like a house that is wired for electricity,
but if you don’t press the button,
you remain in darkness.
~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi