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 Bhakti and Karma Yoga
 Is this a bhakti practice?
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Late Bloomer

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2017 :  7:19:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Greetings once again, all.

So over the last week or so that I've been self-pacing (as per this thread), I've found my awareness of (and ability to "allow") intense feelings as they happen has "downgraded" (so to speak). To keep things brief, I'm going to spare you the backstory and just get to my questions:

1. Generally speaking, is it typical to be more "at the mercy" of one's emotions when self-pacing than one has become accustomed to during regular practice? Please note I don't mean unusual surges of emotion, which I actually am not really experiencing too too much of right now, but a reduction in ability to "allow" / "accept" / "sit with" whatever it is I'm feeling in a given moment, instead of getting caught up in it.

2. Does allowing/accepting/sitting with one's emotions count as redirecting emotional energy towards one's ishta as described in lesson 67, or is it another kind of practice unrelated to bhakti? In the event that it matters what the person's ishta is, mine seems to be something to do with Truth.

Edited by - Late Bloomer on Apr 26 2017 10:21:11 PM

Bodhi Tree

USA
2800 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2017 :  11:12:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
All emotion is the power of love. Therefore, even unpleasant emotions are love coming through...sending some kind of message, perceiving a new or familiar sensation, interpreting the flow of life in a way that is meaningful and makes sense. We are only at the mercy of our ourselves, ultimately, and to believe/interpret/judge otherwise is temporary illusion--always self-induced and self-resolved. I mean "self" as soul, Spirit, silence, and ecstasy too.

To accept is part of surrender, but not necessarily the full spectrum of what we call active surrender. For instance, I can mentally and emotionally accept the reality that I'm stuck in a physical body (that's the surrender part) but then I can make creative efforts to move my body with inspiration and purpose (that's the active part).

So if I have to walk 100 meters to my car, I can do that in many ways, yes? I could slouch and walk as if I'm carrying a heavy, invisible load, or I could saunter along with a spring in my step as if the Earth Herself were propelling me forward.

Similarly, if I'm easily favoring the mantra, I could lament about what a boring, repetitive sound it is, or I could use the mantra with a little creativity and sweep through my mind with an attitude of malleability and dynamic change.

To accept is the beginning. To infuse purpose and playfulness into each action is the full stride and fruition of acceptance.

There is nothing more powerful than investing emotional energy in a chosen ideal. That's why I'm here in France at AYP Teacher Training. I accepted the reality that I'm stuck in a body, then I re-interpreted my reality as a double gift and opportunity to become who I envision myself to be. Freedom.

Best wishes, Late Bloomer. You're right on time.
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1016 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2017 :  01:09:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Late Bloomer,

In answer to your questions:

1) I would say - yes. Especially if you self-pacing to zero practice or very little practice. You are not "regenerating" the core Stillness / that space of expansion that allows you to easily sit with emotions.

2)I would say - no. Simply "sitting and allowing" is a passiveness. Re-directing to your Ideal has an element of intention - as explained by Bodhi above. In fact when redirecting the emotional energy to your Ideal, it is a passionate affair, an intense longing for your Ideal, that finally climaxes and cleanses (cathartic). It is followed by an infusion of joy. Of course, the emotion you are re-directing has to be a significant one to get the results I am explaining here. Lesser emotions are re-directed with just an intention. Btw. Both methods work. I personally work better with the latter than the former.


Sey



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Late Bloomer

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2017 :  09:13:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the clarification, both of you. I think I have a better idea of how to proceed. In the past, I did try to include the intention and was sometimes able to feel a cathartic "finale," but it often didn't work.

This was at a point when I didn't have a good handle on stillness yet (or some of those times, perhaps the emotion was too small). I'm still only learning to ease into stillness, but my ability to allow it is certainly greater now than it would have been when last I attempted to *actively redirect* emotional energy.)

Each day I face tests of varying intensity (some are quite intense - I am caring for a parent who is suffering paranoia and hallucinations that cause her to lash out, which tends to further dredge up difficult emotions from childhood). Instead of just getting through each of these events (or other upsets and extremes of emotion) "without incident," I will try again to do more with some of them, as is practical.

(btw I heard about the teacher training, and hope to hear more from you guys about how it's going at some point)

Edited by - Late Bloomer on Apr 27 2017 09:58:51 AM
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Late Bloomer

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2017 :  5:15:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
OK actually, I've realized something. As I said above, there have been times in the past that I've been able to direct emotional energy towards ishta in the way described above. I believe they were related to anger, fear, sadness, or joy (especially the last three). When it works, it seems my fear and sadness are treated the same - I inwardly express it as fear/sadness that I have not gotten closer to the ideal. With joy it is typically a great gratitude to the ideal (often for revealing/clarifying something to me).

But what do you do with extreme shame (an emotion that is inherently directed inward) or disgust (basically the inverse of shame which I wouldn't want to direct at anyone, least of all my highest ideal)? Is the idea supposed to be that the ishta can "take it" and you direct the feelings at it anyway? Or since I seem to be developing an ability to sense the energy of strong emotions both within and around my body, would it work to hold the intention to send that (unlabelled) energy to my ishta somehow, without having to feel disgust toward anything?

I hope that made sense.

Edited by - Late Bloomer on Apr 27 2017 5:24:23 PM
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sunyata

USA
1236 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2017 :  8:37:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Late Bloomer,

Can you tell us more about your practice? Samayama is a wonderful tool for letting go.

If the emotions are really strong, then it's best to self pace.

Awareness cures all. Your daily practice will heal all overtime.

Here is lesson - http://www.aypsite.org/340.html

quote:
Each day I face tests of varying intensity (some are quite intense - I am caring for a parent who is suffering paranoia and hallucinations that cause her to lash out, which tends to further dredge up difficult emotions from childhood). Instead of just getting through each of these events (or other upsets and extremes of emotion) "without incident," I will try again to do more with some of them, as is practical.



Besides sitting practices, what other activities do you engage in (i.e. things that nourish your soul) ?

Also, you can give anything and everything to your Istha. Their compassion and love absorbs all, nothing is off limit.


Edited by - sunyata on Apr 27 2017 8:49:38 PM
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Late Bloomer

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2017 :  3:17:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by sunyata

Can you tell us more about your practice? Samayama is a wonderful tool for letting go.

If the emotions are really strong, then it's best to self pace.


I've only been doing AYP for about 4.5 months. I appear to be sensitive so my regular practice has settled on 10 minutes of Deep Meditation twice daily. Currently I'm self-pacing though; 6-ish minutes of DM only, twice a day. I recently had a thread about what led to my current bout of self pacing (here).

Long story short, recently (see link) I was able to introduce 3 minutes of Spinal Breathing Pranayama before the 10 minute meditations, but then I foolishly raised my meditation time from 10 to 12 minutes and despite additional rest time, I was overloaded within a couple of days. Once I've been stable at 10 minutes again for a while, I intend to add 2 minutes SBP back in (maybe just once a day at first). I'm not going to try to increase my meditation time anymore, at least for now.

The reason I started this thread was that I noticed how suddenly I was much less present with my emotions, was suddenly more resistant to them, and I wasn't having interesting experiences like sometimes noticing (usually smaller) emotions forming before there were even any thoughts to be associated with them. It seemed the self-pacing must have been having that effect.

quote:
Awareness cures all.Here is lesson - http://www.aypsite.org/340.html


Thank you, I hadn't read that lesson yet. That clarifies things a lot more.


quote:
Besides sitting practices, what other activities do you engage in (i.e. things that nourish your soul) ?

Also, you can give anything and everything to your Istha. Their compassion and love absorbs all, nothing is off limit.


I'm not sure what I can say "nourishes (my) soul." I've spent my entire life trying to find something like that. The closest thing is probably the occasional very well-written film or tv show. (I used to enjoy writing once.)

So literally any feeling can be directed toward the ishta then. I think I have tons of spiritual longing, but my ability to take action has seemed severely limited due to a combination of internal factors (my own actions and attitudes, mostly in the past) and external factors (mostly in the present). There is a chance of great change and greater freedom to take action coming soon if a certain change in my external situation arises, but I can't yet know what will happen.

Edited by - Late Bloomer on Apr 28 2017 3:24:32 PM
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sunyata

USA
1236 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2017 :  4:28:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Late Bloomer,

Let's keep sitting practices aside for a minute. I asked about activities that you enjoy because as caregivers we can have the tendency to forget about ourselves. We are constantly holding space for others and patiently allowing, surrendering. When we do not engage in activities that feed our souls then difficult emotions can arise like you have mentioned. This could be one of the reason for overload.

Do you engage in physical exercise of some kind? They help balance emotions/energy. You said you enjoy writing, how often do you carve sometime for yourself to write and be one with the writing.

It's better to add practices slowly. With only 4.5 months of practices, Spinal Breathing may be too much for you. Stick to only deep meditation for few months and see how you feel.

Your bhakti is strong and commendable. Bhakti is this fire, which I have too so I understand. Similar to fire one has to be wise to use it. If not handled correctly, fire can burn and used prudently helps cook food, keep us warm and so on.

As I have mentioned in the last post, all the internal and external factors will start dismantling with consistent practice. Be patient.

You are already engaged in the greatest spiritual practice of all Seva or service to your parent (giving without expectation).

After we go through the initial muck, the beauty of this journey will unfold and you won't be able to stop gushing with Joy.

Much Love
Sunyata




Edited by - sunyata on Apr 28 2017 4:39:47 PM
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Late Bloomer

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2017 :  2:41:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Cleaning (which may or may not be accompanied by music on headphones, singing, and dancing) and running errands seem to be my most appropriate forms of exercise. (I don't drive, I walk or bus even with groceries.)

I have too much personal baggage to sort through before I can think about writing again. For the time being, learning computer programming and how to draw seem to be promising alternatives.

Thank you so much for the encouragement! I hadn't heard of Seva but I often wish for my existence to have been of benefit to the world in some small but significant way. It would be nice to think of what I'm doing now as training for that purpose. Are you a caregiver as well, sunyata?
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sunyata

USA
1236 Posts

Posted - May 01 2017 :  11:50:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Late Bloomer

Cleaning (which may or may not be accompanied by music on headphones, singing, and dancing) and running errands seem to be my most appropriate forms of exercise. (I don't drive, I walk or bus even with groceries.)



Great grounding activities.

Besides, the above activities, try incorporating Asanas. I feel you'll greatly benefit from this. Here is a lesson on AYP starter kit. Asanas are wonderful to open the body, purify, relax and even to balance energy.
http://www.aypsite.org/asana1.html

quote:
I have too much personal baggage to sort through before I can think about writing again.


Have you thought about starting a Journal? It would be wonderful tool to let go and at the same time enjoy your love for writing.

quote:
For the time being, learning computer programming and how to draw seem to be promising alternatives.



Sounds great!

quote:
I hadn't heard of Seva but I often wish for my existence to have been of benefit to the world in some small but significant way. It would be nice to think of what I'm doing now as training for that purpose. Are you a caregiver as well, sunyata?


Yes, every selfless action in Seva and it starts from serving those around us. I'm a mother to two young joyful and energetic boys.





Edited by - sunyata on May 01 2017 2:38:45 PM
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Late Bloomer

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - May 04 2017 :  11:08:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you again, sunyata. I thought the asanas were only available in the book. (I'm still trying to evaluate which AYP books I should get for the time being. Trying those asanas might help me figure that out.) I've been a little sick lately though, so I'm waiting to get better before I try anything new.
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sunyata

USA
1236 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  5:26:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hope you're feeling better, Late Bloomer. FYI, with subscription to AYP plus all AYP ebooks are included. There were scholarships available in the past for plus. You'll have to contact Yogani regarding this.

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