Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Prayer for Light and Wisdom

posted by debramoffitt

The Asatoma is an ancient prayer from India. In Sanskrit, it prays for guidance to grow from darkness to light, to distinguish the real from the unreal, and to be guided from death of the physical to the immortality of the Spirit. This ancient, non-sectarian prayer from the Upanishads is not a prayer for things or food or wealth. It does not ask for a mate, for name and fame, for a new house or car. It is a humble recognition of self-limitations and an invitation to the Divine to bring in Light and wisdom where it is lacking.

The prayer goes like this:

From the unreal lead me to the Real

From the darkness, lead me to the Light

From death, lead me to Immortality.

 

In Sanskrit, the words are:

Asatoma Sadgamaya

Tamasoma Jyotri Gamaya

Myritorma Amritam Gamaya

This prayer seeks out the Truth beneath the ever-changing and shifting reality of the physical world. It aims to connect with the eternal, ever-blissful and peaceful nature that resides within us at the deepest level. According to philosophy, this reality is obscured by the layers of ignorance that we eventually penetrate as we grow through experiences in the physical world.

If you’d like to hear the mantra this is the link: Asatoma Prayer at Awake in the World

I’ve found it soothing and beneficial. It has a softness and a beauty that touches the spirit and expands the heart.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011) She’s a world traveler and longtime student of the world’s oldest spiritual traditions. An instructor at the Sophia Institute, Debra leads workshops on spirituality in the U.S. and Europe, writes for publications around the world. Visit her at: www.awakeintheworld.com and www.debramoffitt.com.

 

Cicadian Cycles: Learning to Accept Divine Timing

posted by debramoffitt

There seems to be an order in the universe, in the movement of the stars and the turning of the earth and the changing of the seasons, and even in the cycle of human life. The cicadas know it. They’ve come out of their thirteen year slumber to gather in large numbers, hum, mate and die. Throughout a number of Southeastern and Midwest states, they’re making their brief appearance. Cicadas with red bug eyes and heavy bodies hum in a droning “Om” from the trees as I walk through the Greenway. The sound is deafening. They’re living their brief lives in a communal chorus of bug song.

I remember them when then appeared one summer when I was in high school. Their shells stuck to tree trunks as they metamorphosed out of their crawly bug phase into the winged, singing creatures that fly around in trees hunting for mates. According to studies they are so well timed that it’s very rare to find any of the thirteen year variety showing up outside of their cycle. If anyone arrives too early or too late, they’ll miss the party. It’s as if Mother Nature has sent out an invitation to all of them and then all know to arrive on time as a way to fulfill their life purpose – and they don’t even have to try. They just know when to emerge.

In life, if we listen deep and trust, this is the way things come together for us too. When I look back at all that I’ve wanted and worked towards, my impatience often left me feeling irritated and wishing that success or money or a mate had come sooner. But any moment sooner would not have been the right time. When the effort is made (and sometimes even if it’s not) things arrive in the appropriate timing. Even the events that have been most painful, like losing a job, my mate and health, have all happened at times and in ways to tell me, “Pay attention. It’s time to grow.”

Do the cicadas speak to you from the wisdom of their waiting? What cycles do you notice in your life?

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011) She’s a world traveler and longtime student of the world’s oldest spiritual traditions. An instructor at the Sophia Institute, Debra leads workshops on spirituality in the U.S. and Europe, writes for publications around the world. Visit her at: www.awakeintheworld.com and www.debramoffitt.com.

From Pieces to Peace: A Simple Daily Practice for Serenity

posted by debramoffitt

Everyone says, “I want peace,” as if it will fall out of the sky and suddenly all will be peaceful. I’ve found that peace requires a lot of effort – at least as much as working in a corporation and probably more. When I worked sixty to eighty hour weeks in international business in Europe, I found that I could take time off, go away for the five week summer vacations and not think about business. But peace is not a part time job. It requires full time attention and practice. One of my many teachers, Sathya Sai Baba, who died recently and the Dalai Lama condoled as a great loss, said, that by eliminating the “I” or ego and getting rid of the wants and desires, peace results. It sound so simple, but simple practices are not necessarily easy.

Doing spiritual practices and consciously diminishing the “I” in activities and reducing desires for things is a 24/7 practice that even extends into dream sleep. It’s hard work. But this kind of work to become more quiet, humble and peaceful is the most important work I feel I will ever do. I don’t get paid for it in dollars. The rewards come in a more serene life where I’m not pulled on a mad, emotional roller coaster of dramas and happiness. Life becomes more even, regular and calm. It doesn’t mean there is no more passion or excitement. But the higher, wiser part of me steps back and looks from deep within and observes without getting caught up in the play. As one inspirational quote goes, “Life is a game, play it.” But don’t get caught up in the game. This is a way to peace.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011) She’s a world traveler and longtime student of the world’s oldest spiritual traditions. An instructor at the Sophia Institute, Debra leads workshops on spirituality in the U.S. and Europe, writes for publications around the world. Visit her at: www.awakeintheworld.com and www.debramoffitt.com.

Behind the Monkey Mind and How to Train It

posted by debramoffitt

Both Buddhist and Hindu teachings address controlling the monkey mind, but this didn’t make much sense until I travelled to India. In Andhra Pradesh monkeys scampered along the roadsides and populated villages. They sat at temples and ate the offerings to Ganesha or Gayatri. When curious visitors offered them cucumbers or bananas, they would grab them, nibble an instant and then move onto a mango that someone else offered. Their ability to focus on anything for more than a brief instant seemed virtually impossible. They were also inclined to mischief. A gang of them climbed up the drain pipes and into windows of rooms at the ashram and dragged out tape players, razors and anything they could find. When they became bored with their finds they would toss them three or four stories to the ground as dismayed onlookers yelled at them to stop.

Monkeys and their ways of living have been metaphors in Asian religions for millennia. They are outer images of how our minds work when we leave them to wander untrained and untamed. Most meditation practices focus on how to tame and train the mind. The mind is viewed as an instrument and we can teach it the way a trainer would teach a monkey to perform. But like teaching a wild monkey, it takes a great deal of effort, patience and perseverance to begin to see results. Often we are so caught up in the mind and its machinations that we think we are the mind. It’s only when we begin to step into the deeper place of meditation that we see it as a tool that we, as the deeper Self, can control. There’s no quick, easy way to achieve a quiet, calm mind. Most wisdom traditions offer ideas and different ways will work for different people. I started with one-minute meditations. I sat in a comfortable chair with my back straight and focused the mind for one minute on a sacred image or a candle flame. Each time my mind would wander. At first I would become angry with it. But that served no purpose. I slowly began to observe it and when I noticed it had wandered off I gently brought it back to the image or the flame. It’s best to treat the mind like a little boy. Don’t expect it to bow to your whims and don’t be harsh. Cajole and urge it back. Encourage it to be present and when it wanders off again, gently bring it back again.

Today observe your mind. Realize that you are not your mind. The mind is a sacred instrument when it is used for sacred purposes. Begin to tame and train your mind by focusing for one minute on some object or flower that you love. Try it and see what happens. How did you do?

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011). She is devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life.  Debra 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 world and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. Find out more at: http://awakeintheworld.com and http://www.debramoffitt.com.

Previous Posts

Discovering You're Enough with a Leap of Perception
If you’re feeling hemmed in and know that there’s much more to you than what you’re currently experiencing but don’t know quite how to access it, then “Leap of Perception,” by Penney Peirce deserves a read. Penney wrote about working with dreams and intuition long before working with eit

posted 10:16:51am Sep. 18, 2013 | read full post »

How Joy Finds Us: Interview with Mark Nepo
The things we need arrive at the right time, and so it has been with Mark Nepo and his work. For those of us on a spiritual path, Mark’s writings possess the power to immediately move us into connection with a subtle and powerful awareness at the deepest, most soulful level. Though Mark Nepo‘s w

posted 9:42:16am Jul. 16, 2013 | read full post »

Hot Rituals to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
Can you feel the excitement in the air? The days are hot and sunny, and summer officially begins this week on June 21st. It’s the longest day and the shortest night in the Northern hemisphere. I love this day. In the South of France it’s celebrated by jumping over bonfires as a way to gain cour

posted 7:27:32am Jun. 20, 2013 | read full post »

When Spirit Moves Us Out of Our Comfort Zone to Grow
Stepping onto the spiritual path isn’t all peace and roses. It pushes us into a place that moves us beyond our usual comfort zone. As we attune to the highest within us and listen to inner guidance, that guidance sometimes pushes us to try new jobs, to stretch into new creative projects, and to so

posted 8:04:01am Jun. 18, 2013 | read full post »

When Life Races By Replace Stress and Anxiety with Gentle Awareness
Even though I’m a seasoned traveler I still get stressed before trips. It’s not big jitters, just a general anxiety about: 1) Did I pack everything? 2) Will my travel connections go smoothly? And 3) What about the unexpected? Movement brings agitation. Sitting in meditation is easiest for me for

posted 5:26:35am May. 28, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.