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The Beauty of the Path

I seek to become a kinder person.  Oddly enough, I found I could not do it by force.  I simply cannot force myself to experience loving-kindness.  It is only when I remove the obstacles of loving-kindness that it seems to grow naturally.  It is as if maitrī (Sanskrit for loving-kindness) were a seed that has always existed within me were ready to grow at the first glimpse of the sun...at the first drop of water if only I would let it reach the seed.  And so it has started to happen.  I attended a spiritual center with a friend last year.  One of the messages taught there was that God is not judging you.  Your spirit a flame of God...the same fire as God.  God sees only God's Self as myself.  God will never judge nor condemn me.  I had heard such a message before, but apparently it was only then that my heart was ready to receive this message.  It allowed me to sit in meditation in the presence of the Divine Love and allow myself to be loved without shame nor remorse clouding the way.  The rain of Divine Loving-Kindness corresponded to the same in me.  I loved myself, clearing the way to loving others.  I saw past my mistakes to that of the Divine in me, allowing me to see the Divine in you.

One other teaching that hit home, revolutionized my practice as a Maitrī Yogi - Ram Dass has a quote that says to treat every person as if they were God in drag.  This has allowed me to step back at times of stress with co-workers and see God in them.   My heart swells with love, compassion, and understanding that I no longer feel the need to be right, but to love and practice deep listening to what the other person is saying.  Without the need for defense, we can discuss honestly with caring whatever issues are at hand.  There is no sides taken, no battle lines drawn...only friends having a conversation.

These two things have become the hallmarks in my practice.  In my meditation I have three mantras I work with.   One in Sanskrit and two in my native English.   The first is "Om Aham Brahmasmi" which roughly translates, I am Divine, I am the Divine Reality.   It serves to remind me that I too am God in drag.  That God sees me only though the lens of love...for God is love.  Love is the source of existence and I am an aspect of that Love in my own unique manifestation.   Another mantra I use comes from the Sufi Poet Rumi, "I love You, I love Myself.  I love Myself.  I love You."   I practice that in meditation as well as mentally when experiencing time with others.   I see God in them and myself...we are One.     The third mantra I use is "God is here."  I use this in meditation as well as mentally repeat it through my day....as a reminder that God is everywhere, in all of nature, in every person, in myself...even in politicians that I may have a hard time loving or seeing God in.  My path is a mixture of the Bhakti, Karma, and Jnana Yogas.... I call it Maitrī (Loving-kindness) Yoga.  It is my path.  I do not know if it is or ever will be anyone else's path, but it is my dharma in which I seek God realization.

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