Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Embracing Death: Changing an Old Dress

posted by debramoffitt

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Teilhard de Chardin

Identifying with the body sows insecurity and fear. Realizing our divine, eternal nature of Love, peace and joy brings a deep sense of calm. Associating one’s self with the body is common. When we are young, we imagine the body will live forever. For many people aging engenders anxiety and insecurities. Appearance is so important that the inner being is ignored. When we go deep and realize the body is like an old dress that will be changed at the end of this short life span  we begin to feel liberated from fear and recognize our true nature as infinite, spiritual beings. If we have not learned all the lessons we will come back in a new dress.

We only have the body to use for a short time. It is a precious gift where we can realize our divine nature. It is a precious temple of the eternal spark of the divine — our soul.  When we leave the body behind, we do not die. Only the body goes. It returns to the earth. The organic material is recycled into something else as it enters back into nature. For a moment today, practice going deeper and identifying with the Spirit, the Self, the Soul or whatever you choose to call the part of us that continues to thrive and grow even after the body ceases.

In India I have heard people repeat, “I am atma,” – meaning the divine spark in Sanskrit. In our culture it might be more appropriate to repeat, “I am Love.” Love is a delightful Divine Energy. Love is energy that lives forever. By recalling our true nature of peace and love, we are free to be immortal beings in a mortal coil. For today, remember your divine nature and associate yourself with the Infinite and Eternal.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Light the Inner Lamp of Wisdom with a Divine Name

posted by debramoffitt

Meditation practices are only a first step on the spiritual path. One must light the lamp of inner wisdom and march on, clear and unobstructed. In India the jyothi or inner light is the light of wisdom. Ignorance is often associated with darkness, and lighting an inner lamp to dispel this darkness means bringing in a divine name or meditating on a form that is filled with light.

The ancient practice of namasmarana or remembering the name of the divine is a powerful way to anchor the mind and help it to find calm. This practice is easy. Find the name and form of the divine that most speaks to your heart. Begin to repeat the name and focus the mind on it for several minutes. Using a mala or rosary beads can help to maintain the focus. If the mind wanders from the name — it may be Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Mary, Wanka Tanka or some other that you Love — settle on the form. When it moves away from the form, gently bring it back to the name. By doing this practice the mind and the whole being takes on the divine qualities of the One it associates with.

This ancient practice has been used by many traditions around the world. It’s a wonderful tool to help focus and overcome anxiety, fear and worry. What name and form will you choose?

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and internationally. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years learning meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online athttp://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Silent Days: A Practice to Keep Quiet While the World Chatters On

posted by debramoffitt

“I know the secret of silence,” Indian saint, Mahatma Gandhi wrote. In the silence the mind comes to rest and all of the pieces come home like bees to the hive. The senses gather themselves together and the fragments of our self return home to become whole. Silent practices or vows have long been staples in religious communities. Monasteries and convents may practice partial or total silence. But it’s also possible to make it a practice in daily life.

Choose an hour, half a day, an entire day or even a week and stay silent. It may require some up-front explanation to family, friends and colleagues, and you may need to make a badge to let cashiers and airport attendants know what you’re up to. But like fasting from food, fasting from speech is a profound way of self-observation. In the silence we become receptive and listen more. It’s easy to recognize the difference between being in constant output and production mode and moving into a space of silent receptivity. In this quiet space miracles can and do happen. It creates wonderful opportunities for self-discovery.

Choosing to not speak is a first step to silencing the mind. It also conserves energy and brings about a totally new perspective on the world and the people we encounter. Will you give yourself the gift of a period of silence? It will be an opportunity to discover who your truly are beneath the chatter.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

The Power of Impermanence: Finding Comfort in Change

posted by debramoffitt

“Life is a joy between two pains.” – Sai Baba

When times are tough, it seems they will last an eternity. We get so caught up in the worry and anxiety that it’s hard to see beyond to the better times up ahead. But those who have an anchor in spiritual life find it easier to pull themselves up, face the challenges and grow beyond them. In ancient times, a devotee of Buddha felt great anxiety at the Buddha’s imminent departure from his village. “I cannot bear life without you here,” he wept. “What will I do? I will be drawn into the extremes of suffering and joy and I will not be at peace.” The Buddha wrote some wise words on a paper. “When you are pulled by life into the extremes of joy or the lows of pain and worry, read this,” he said handing the man the paper. The man opened the note. It read, “This will not last.”

Though many of us dread change, it’s often a comfort to know that whatever we are doing right now will change. Whatever our life condition is in the present moment, it will transform. Absolutely nothing in this life remains unchanged. By anchoring to the divine essence beneath the shifting plays of life and remembering the words of wisdom, “This will not last,” we may move into a deeper, broader perspective.

With effort and a concentrated focus on spiritual life and doing the right thing as dictated by our conscience, the life situation will improve. It may not move in the direction we expect, but it will not ever be stagnant. Things can change for the better or for worse. Take comfort in knowing that you are working to do your best – and do it. Never expect the world to conform to your desires. The only sure way to weather the turbulent ups and downs is to remain focused on the Divine that is above you, below you, all around you and in you.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

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