Don’t believe anyone who says they’re enlightened.

Don’t believe anyone who says they’re enlightened.

When I was younger, the one thing I yearned for more than anything was to be able to channel my thoughts so that I could experience what Sankara called ‘non duality’ of mind. To gain knowledge in this field I lived as a sanyasin for extended periods in India, lived with the Cofis (a Native American Indian tribe) in the Amazon, took lessons from a Taoist community in China and sat at the feet of some of the world’s greatest spiritual teachers.

On the way I occasionally managed to slide into non duality mode – sometimes for fairly long periods. Then something would happen that made mincemeat of my mind and I was reminded of how easy it was to lose sight of the path.

A beloved teacher once said to me ‘Even a Buddha or Christ would have a great challenge to stay in a permanent state of enlightenment. It is something few human beings achieve.’

Having studied the world of chakras for over thirty years, I now fully understand what my teacher meant, because to stay permanently at the lofty height of enlightenment means that all five lower chakras have to vibrate in synchronised harmony and stay that way 24/7.   Four out of five isn’t enough and look what awaits us to successfully juggle in the lower world of chakras:

In the first chakra (Muladhara/root) which represents the world of Me and I, we are constantly tested to prove how much we like, love, trust and respect ourselves.

In the second chakra (Swadisthana/spleen), we have the world of relationships to keep afloat in loving harmony and are tested on how well we resolve family/partner/friend issues.

In the third chakra (Manipura/solar plexus) we are tested on whether we finish what we start (without falling apart!) and whether we live in equal balance with our spiritual and physical bodies.

In the fourth chakra, (Anahata, heart), we are tested on whether we show every day loving kindness and compassion to all and sundry.

In the fifth chakra, (Vishudda/throat) –it becomes obvious how well we have done in the four lower chakras because this is heard in our voice.  Our test here is to keep our voice harmoniously pitched even when speaking our truth (i.e when constructively criticizing another or sharing angry feelings). We are also expected to refrain from using harmful, hostile words or show any reflection of intolerance or reproach in our eyes.

Assuming, we have managed to juggle these five chakras successfully over a fair period of time, the purified, harmonised energy travels upwards into the sixth chakra (Ajna/third eye). This activates and opens the seventh chakra (Samashara/crown).

You might have thought that once you’d arrived at this ‘halleluyah moment’ it would be easy to keep the chakra wheels turning –  but – NO – the third eye can shut down in a flash at the first sign of arrogance or conceit..

I know we have all experienced glorious days and weeks when we are master jugglers. Then someone insults us, lies, steals from us or treats us unfairly and chakras down the line wobble out of harmony.  It’s frustrating enough that we have to start over but what makes it worse is that the monster that lives inside us (known to the world as EGO), loves nothing more than when we slip from grace because as busy as we are trying to bring our chakra lessons into balance, Ego’s as busy trying to upset the apple cart.  Ego could be described as the bouncer who stands outside each chakra, doing its best not to let us in because if we did reach enlightenment and stay there, Ego would be out of a job.  Every time we sink back into insecurity, become fearful, dislike ourselves or fall apart, ego takes its opportunity to torment us with our weaknesses.  It’s like a pesky leech and the only way to get its clingy suckers off us is to consciously challenge it to stay away every day.Juggler

Every morning I visualise myself drowning ego in a bucket of vinegar and throwing its carcass to the wind.  I then call on ‘higher minds’ assistance to steer me through the day by using an affirmationjuggle like this one: ‘Today I successfully juggle my lower five chakras through any challenges that might await. I approach everything with love, humour and grace and express this through my voice and in my body language.  Thank you higher mind for staying around to prod me if it looks like I’m steering off course’.

Before I go to bed I take my notepad and jot down how well (or not!) I did in each of the five lower chakras and how I intend to better my performance in any chakras that showed weakness the following day.

Some days you’ll find will prove real ‘halleluyah’ days…others will have you jumping up and down on ego’s fat butt!  However, the longer you keep up the above practise, the more glory days you’ll have so give those chakras a spin now to get them started and…

Happy Juggling.

Jaylen Grace is the author of Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment)   jaylengrace.com    @jaylengrace

 

 

How to show gratitude even when you’re not feeling it!

How to show gratitude even when you’re not feeling it!

GratitudeOne of the main keys to open both the heart and the third eye chakras (and keep them open!), is definitely gratitude. Nothing reaches God’s ears faster than a sincere prayer of thanks –especially in times when life is less than perfect! Those of you who’ve read Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment) will know I use Sufi stories that have benefited my spiritual understanding.  Here’s one I love which illustrates the true meaning of gratitude:

 

Jannaid was a mystic who had many followers who travelled with him wherever he went and had become accustomed to his morning, afternoon and evening prayers. Morning, noon and night, they were exactly the same and full of tender emotion, as his voice rang out in gratitude.

 Tears rolling down his cheeks as he bowed repeatedly to the ground, he would say,  ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your compassion, love and gifts to me are so great I have no way of repaying you, but please accept my humble gratitude for all that you do for us each day.’

 The disciples would listen with heartfelt thankfulness, because wherever they wandered they always found shelter and food, and considered Jannaid’s devotion, fitting. However, on one occasion it came to pass that they were travelling through some desert villages . The villagers despised Jannaid and his teachings, and not only wouldn’t they offer them shelter, they wouldn’t even offer them a glass of water.

 The first and second day, when Jannaid began reciting his prayers, the disciples said nothing. They were very thirsty and had been burned by the desert sun, but respectfully held their tongues. By the end of the third day, tummies aching with hunger and with parched, cracked lips, they began to lose patience. It was one thing to pray and show gratitude, when they were being provided for, but thanking the universe so profusely when its ears were closed to their plight, seemed pointless as far as they were concerned.

 So the disciples gathered round Jannaid and spoke their minds, to which Jannaid said. ‘It’s easy to show gratitude when we have all that we’ve asked for, but the proof of true gratitude is whether we still feel it whatever we have, otherwise how can the universe know our offerings are heartfelt and not a symptom of the ego? We must aspire to perfection even when circumstances seem less than perfect, always trusting that God is listening’.

 The disciples sat down to join Jannaid and raised their hands towards heaven as he had done.  From the dusty barrenness it began to rain and the first plump raindrops fell in their palms. Openmouthed, they smiled at Jannaid as he began the evening prayer.  ‘We thank you for your compassion, love and endless mercy.’

 

  Jaylen Grace is the author of Omtopia (The Seven Steps to Enlightenment)  www.jaylengrace.com

 

A powerful technique to release negative ties…

A powerful technique to release negative ties…

VisualiseSwadisthana Exercise (2)    Releasing Negative Ties

 

Bring someone to mind (whether dead or alive) who caused you pain in the past. Such pain that you still havenʼt managed to pull out its roots.

 

Make yourself comfortable in an armchair (or cross legged on the floor) and visualise this person sitting opposite you.  Capture everything about them you can until you can see him/her clearly in your mind.

 

Take a few deep breaths and imagine you are looking into his/her eyes. If this brings tears thatʼs fine. Visualise the person looking back into your eyes and keep this steady gaze going throughout this exercise.

 

Visualise a silver chord coming out of your belly button that is connected to his/her belly button.  Visualise this energetic connection you have both been part of that you now wish to sever.

 

Say to this person ʽI am no longer going to analyse or cry over why our relationship could not have been the one Iʼd wished for but I am ready to release you from my energy field so we can both move on.ʼ

 

Repeat the above a number of times. Each time you do, imagine the person moving further away from you and the silver chord becoming thinner.

 

Say: ʽI wish you well wherever you are and wherever the road takes you. I also wish this for myself and am therefore severing all energetic ties with you.ʼ

 

Imagine this person slowly dissolving before your eyes and the glow from the cord becoming fainter. Continue to repeat the ‘severing all energetic tie’ sentence over until the person sitting in front of you

begins to dissolves.  If there was any violence or abuse in the relationship you had with this person then add ʽI did not deserve the treatment I suffered at your hands but I am letting go to make the rest of my life a happy, worthwhile one.ʼ

 

Mentally see yourself cutting any last threads of the cord that once attached you to them. Keep cutting until the only person and the chord completely disappears and the only person sitting in the room is you.

 

Shake out your hands, making the energetic sound of ‘Foo foo foo foo’. Shake all past negative energy away from you for a full minute.

 

If the energetic ties between you and this other person were particularly strong and painful, it may take more than one session to fully release yourself from your emotions. If this is the case, make it a daily practice for as long as it takes to heal yourself of the past..

 

This was another excerpt from Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment).  Jaylen Grace is also the author of children’s books  Omzak The Space Cat Warrior and Porridge The Two Faced Parrot.  @jaylengrace

 

A Most Unusual Apprenticeship  (Rebirth Holistic Healing)

A Most Unusual Apprenticeship (Rebirth Holistic Healing)

                                                                                                                                      

(Rebirthing is a holistic healing therapy that works with mind, body and soul to cleanse toxic patterns and habits.  It involves a six stage breathing technique known as conscious connected breathing, which helps to unblock suppressed emotions and conditioning)

29404_425835237478048_749618179_n

 

On one of my annual trips to India many years ago, my teacher asked if I wanted to add Rebirthing Therapy to my holistic skills.

 I’d tried a session for myself and the results were phenomenal, so I nodded.

 ‘Good,’ my teacher said. ‘I have just one question before I train you – how do you truly feel about death?’

 ‘Erm.’ I scratched my head, wondering where to start.

 ‘Why not meditate on it?’ he said

 ‘OK,’ I said, uncertain what he wanted me to do. 

 He smiled. ‘Raj will pick you up tomorrow and take you to the Burning Gardens’.

I could feel the hairs on my arms stand up.  The Burning Gardens was where people were cremated! In the West all we saw was a coffin disappear inside an oven. In the East, nothing was left to the imagination.

‘Are you OK with that?’ my teacher asked. 

‘Fine,’ I said, wondering why I couldn’t meditate without the burning flesh element.

‘When you have finished, I would like you to write down your thoughts,’ he added, waving me out of the room.

The following day, rattling towards the crematorium in Raj’s auto, Raj filled me on the philosophy surrounding death in India. A Hindu didn’t fear it because he was taught to love life and death equally. He accepted the changes that came with life, and when he left his body, assuming he’d been a good person, could look forward to reaching Brahmaloka and receiving the gift of enlightenment.

When we passed through the gates into the Burning Gardens, I saw, scattered here and there, what looked like giant chicken coups. They were square wire structures with charred iron grates. The ‘coup’ looming in front of me bustled with people.  I sensed I’d reached my destination.

‘It’s OK. They know you are coming,’ Raj said, giving me a gentle push. 

I stood in front of the deceased, whose only visible parts were his feet and head because he was lying on a grate, encased in wood.  The relatives looked peaceful, and I felt relatively calm until a boy about 12, took a torch and set light to the pyre.  My mind went into overdrive. I had visions of one of the deceased’s limbs coming loose and falling out at my feet.

I pulled myself together and looked around. They were some wet eyes but the expression in them wasn’t fear like mine. It was love, compassion and good will. That got me thinking about what Raj had said about loving life and death equally. It started a process of thought about the importance of bringing this understanding into our everyday lives. Death wasn’t just something we faced when we took our last breath. We faced it, one way or another, for as long as we drew breath. I thought about how we prolonged suffering by holding on, instead of accepting it and moving on.  I thought about death, from the view of how entwined it was with life, and understood why my teacher had chosen this meditation.

That night in my room, rain crashing against the panes with a ferocity common in monsoon months, I thought about people who clipped their wings by refusing to be ‘reborn’ when something ended in their lives. I thought about the stupidity of prolonging suffering when all we had to do was ‘die’ to pain to remove burdens that belonged to the past. Relationships died. Circumstances changed and every change was a form of death.

I thought about people who’d worked like slaves, promising themselves they’d relax when they retired only to drop dead. It was a beautiful thought that they may have ended up in heaven or Brahmaloka, but there was no certainty of that. Since rebirthing had the potential to help people understand how they were killing themselves before their time – and give them the means to throw off the shackles of conditioning (as it had with me), I wanted to teach it more than ever.

The following morning I took my notes to my teacher

He smiled as he read them. ‘I am thinking you’re ready for your training?’

‘Yep, that meditation on death was a winner.’ I said.

 

Jaylen Grace is the author of Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment). She has been a Reiki master for 30 years.      www.jaylengrace.com

How NOT to allow the mind to steal your contentment

How NOT to allow the mind to steal your contentment

Image from visualise.com

 

Some are blessed with feeling contentment without striving for it.  The rest of us usually live through a choppy sea of experience before we get to the point of making contentment a priority in our lives. This usually comes about after we’ve realised that striving to reach the top of our profession, being able to shop in top designer stores or holidaying in Barbados, hasn’t delivered the inner happiness we yearned.

Somewhere in our minds we’d made ourselves believe that material wealth and possessions would provide the key to unlock the door to contentment and of course they can – when the mind is in the right space. A contented person is one who knows how to roll with the waves and never loses sight of finding a blessing in all – Even when the shifting shape of life takes us from living in a mansion to a hut. However, this can only come about when we have dropped the need to ‘impress’ and feel at home with whatever challenges life throws our way.

The only way this can come about is by exploring the core of contentment.  Step one is to love ourselves. Step two is to work on our relationships with others.  Once we have mastered these two requirements, contentment has a collective beauty which brings many things to life. BUT, to feel at peace with whatever life throws at us, we have to oust the ego that sits in judgement of our thoughts and tells us we will only feel contented –

WHEN this or that happens or changes.

There is no when.  There is only now.  Contentment is a moment to moment river of wanting harmony more than anything else.  When nurtured well, this flows into the sea taking discontent with it.       Forever.

Start by looking around at the people you know and drop whatever judgements you have because contentment can never be yours whilst you are picking holes in others or your life situation. Release all judgement from your thoughts. Allow life to change shape without clinging when it’s time to move on.

Allow others to be who they are.

Learn to listen without judging and to talk without judgement in your voice.

Life is a game and good games have no leaders. With the leader gone there is no conflict because …there is nothing to prove.

With nothing to prove contentment moves into our hearts, and we are no longer slaves to the mind’s demands.

Jaylen Grace is the author of Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment)  www.jaylengrace.com

Die to the past every day

Love life for it is a great teacher, but love death also because it is the other side of life.