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January 29, 2017

Flying Through Stormy Changes

Paula Whang-Ramos

"Make a space where awareness of the presence of the Divine can enter your consciousness and it will." 
~ Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian

Last weekend, I watched a wildly fierce storm on the ocean as dark skies, huge waves, strong winds, torrential rain, and the thunderous noise of the waves crashed against the shore. I contemplated how we may associate our negative life circumstances with an uncontrollable storm. From this perspective, it is easy to be overwhelmed with the waves of unexpected change, the darkness of the unknown, the thunderous noise of opposing opinions, and the torrential fear that permeates the entire situation.  

And then, I saw the most amazing thing...dwarfed by this incredible storm, were two seagulls courageously flying right through the center of it. Surely they felt the pressure of the wild wind filled rain and the thunderous vibration of the huge crashing waves. And, yet, they remained steadfast and in perfect choreography as they gracefully flew through it together.

These two divine beings reminded me of the presence that is always available to carry and guide us through our own storms of change. This divine power offers flight to elevate our consciousness above the noise of crashing thoughts and opinions. And, like the seagulls, we can gracefully move through turbulent circumstances, as we source our own power from the Source of power. The next time we experience stormy thoughts and turbulent reactions to unexpected or undesired change, may we be like the seagulls, and chose to fly through the storm in divine grace. 

January 22, 2017

The Key to Freedom, Security and Happiness

Paula Whang-Ramos

"The key to freedom, security, and happiness is forged from letting go of self-will. Without that key, much of our energy is spent trying

to get what we want, or avoid what we don’t want. Imagine being free of all that. You are the locksmith."
~ Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian

Aware of my previous years in social activism, someone recently asked me how I would respond to a perceived threat to freedom, security and happiness. I realized that my response remained unchanged from the same plan I've been living for years. To the best of my ability, I continue to be the change I want to see in the world by living and serving in wholeness and peace, even when it scares me.

Effective social activists expect unexpected change. They use it to deepen, not threaten, their commitment; to clarify, not confuse, their intention for action; and to resolve their courage and willingness to envision life beyond the mind's self-serving view of comfort and fear. Like successful social activism, our effective spiritual practice is based on our persistent commitment, intention and courage to live and to serve a greater good in the highest way. 

In this tradition of Kriya Yoga, our spiritual practice reminds us that Wholeness and grace eternally exist even in those situations that scare us. These teachings show us how to directly experience our unshakable freedom, security and happiness, first and foremost, as an inside job, that can wisely inform our overt responses to change. Instead of reacting in fear, we can choose to see these moments as divine invitations to mature our spiritual commitment, intention and courage to guide our thoughts, words and actions for the benefit of all beings. 

January 15, 2017

The Most Effective Prayer

Paula Whang-Ramos

"The most effective prayer we can offer is to pray all the way through the condition until our sense of human lack, limitation, and problems drop away and we simply rest in the divine truth of what is so."
~ Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian

Recently I heard someone ask, "If the divine source of life always holds us in Its eternal wholeness and unshakable peace, if all of our authentic needs are already met, if essential goodness already resides within us, then why do we need to pray?" The source of this question is based on the premise that we pray when we want something. We may feel that something in our lives is lacking or broken or otherwise out of sorts, and we pray for the correction of this undesirable circumstance. From this perspective, if nothing is broken or lacking, then what function does prayer serve for us? From a yogic perspective, we do not pray to change undesirable circumstances, to fulfill an unmet need, or to offer corrective feedback to the Source of Life for errors we believe It has committed in our lives. 

Instead, we pray to change our consciousness. We use prayer to unplug our awareness and attention from the mind's judgment of life circumstances as the cause of our suffering and the source of our happiness and unhappiness. We use prayer to see and experience the divine possibility that exists within and around us right now, even in the presence of the mind's discomfort with the situation. We pray to realign our awareness into this deeper consciousness, to transcend the limited thinking of the mind, and to rest in the divine omniscience of inner peace, truth and clarity waiting to be experienced by us.

January 8, 2017

How Do We Live From Our Highest Good?

Paula Whang-Ramos

"This is how to begin. First, let go of what no longer serves your highest good.
Enter the open field of divine possibility. Where there were once obstacles and suffering, a path of freedom and the soul’s delight appears." 

~ Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian

The new year is a fabulous time for self-refection and setting intentions for living from our highest, greatest good. But, how do we realize our highest good? We must go beyond the limited thinking mind that wants to narrow our focus and to answer the question quickly. Instead, we sink into the soul, and inwardly open into the intuitively revealed limitless paths to joy, peace and clarity that we desire in our lives.

We use our daily meditation practice to learn to quiet the mind so we can hear soul wisdom. We engage in time-tested, effective spiritual practices to help us turn a soul possibility into a way of life in alignment with our highest, greatest good. And we step into the field of divine possibility where our lives become an outward expression of the inner delight of the soul's wholeness, joy, peace and love.

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