lelemodern said: Lazyyogi, I've transitioned to a more spiritual rather than religious lifestyle in the past few months. But now I find myself missing prayer and less connected to God. I like the practice of yoga and meditation, but how can I incorporate the two? What are your opinions on the subject?

"Love itself is the actual form of God." ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

You are not less connected to God. You are less connected to your previous concept regarding God.

The Individual, the Prayer, the God. They seem as three but they are not separate from one another. 

Who you take yourself to be limits the way you perceive and conceive of God. This then dictates the approach and form prayer takes. 

However, altering any one of these things will alter the other two. Change your perspective on who you are and you will change your perspective on what God is. Change the way you approach prayer and you will change the way you perceive yourself and therefore God. Change the way you approach God and it will change the way you know yourself. 

This is the meaning of spirituality and the practices of devotion (love), meditation (clarity), and karma (mind-body activity/perception). 

Know that whatever form your religious lifestyle took before now, you do not have to reject it. Spirituality is not about saying no to one religious set of beliefs and yes to another. The spiritual way is a sincere endeavor to unlimit daily life in divinity and divinity in daily life. 

Part of the spiritual path is its changefulness. We must not be too attached to whatever forms our path takes along the way. Not only will such attachments impede any actual clarity or compassion but it will also isolate you from other avenues of inspiration. 

Jesus changed my life. So did Buddha and Rumi and Osho and Nisargadatta and many others.

So what would I suggest? Pray! Often. Be creative, sincere, loving, and grateful. That is the way prayer becomes its own answer. 

Daily meditation, sitting in easy stillness with whatever the mind may be doing, will be another helpful practice. It hones the mind’s insight, gives sanity to our emotions, and enacts innumerable other benefits. 

Yoga, meditation, prayer, god, none of them are mutually exclusive. People will always agree or disagree. Some will teach one perspective while others teach another. Don’t believe anyone. Listen to them. Learn from them. Put their teachings to the test. Take what works and follow your insightful inspiration. Yet another useful way daily meditation helps to keep our mind clear of confusion. 

The perception of spiritual/religious contradiction comes from perceptual limits. When you feel as if certain aspects of your spiritual life are in conflict, examine them closely until you find your delusional boundary and level it. 

I shall leave you with a favorite quote of mine by Terence McKenna: “You have to take seriously the notion that understanding the universe is your responsibility, because the only understanding of the universe that will be useful to you is your own understanding.”

Namaste sis :) Much love. 

"The moment you start clinging to things, you have missed the target—you have missed. Because things are not the target, you, your innermost being, is the target—not a beautiful house, but a beautiful you; not much money, but a rich you; not many things, but an open being, available to millions of things."
Osho

"The moment you start clinging to things, you have missed the target—you have missed. Because things are not the target, you, your innermost being, is the target—not a beautiful house, but a beautiful you; not much money, but a rich you; not many things, but an open being, available to millions of things."

Osho

There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.

William S. Burroughs

May the merits and spiritual energies we accrue today be dedicated to the liberation of all sentient beings without exception.

Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.

Pablo Picasso

eldiazenrique said: Is there a way to be conciuos while sleeping? If so, how would it be?

Yes, this is called lucid dreaming. Some people have a knack for it. I knew a kid from high school who lucid dreamed every night. Others have to train. 

I was interested in lucid dreaming as a teenager and I experimented with it again in college. It’s not easy for me and I can count with my fingers the number of lucid dreams I have had.

There are many tricks and approaches to lucid dreaming. It’s a pretty cool thing with which to have an experience. For me, it helped to make clear how consciousness can seem real and solid when in reality it is all just mind. 

A great spiritual blogger who also has a wealth of experience and information when it comes to lucid dreaming is my brother from another mother lazylucid. Definitely hit him up if you are curious to learn more. 

Namaste!

The universe is full of action, but there is no actor. There are numberless persons small and big and very big, who, through identification, imagine themselves as acting, but it does not change the fact that the world of action is one single whole in which all depends on, and affects all. The stars affect us deeply and we affect the stars.

Step back from action to consciousness, leave action to the body and the mind; it is their domain. Remain as pure witness, till even witnessing dissolves in the Supreme.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

in-plain-im-quite-insane said: At some level we are all trying to validate ourselves. "I think therefore I am" along with the desire for control, attention, and ownership. In some way, we all want to prove that we exist. But deciding upon a few reasons is incredibly ineffectient. Instead of exhaustively proving myself, I simply have to realize the truth of it all: I am.

All of the proving, validating, controlling, and desiring arise because of misperceived inherent identity.

The notion of being an individual entity with a beginning and end, soul and fate, success and failure, is the very cause of our suffering. Such a notion of individuality is also false. 

And it is because of the individual’s falseness that we then strive so hard to assert it. We need confidence, we need love, we need the objects of our desire and the causes of our happiness. We need validation. 

In the end, we are attempting to secure something that is ultimately unsecurable. False individuality (ego) is synonymous with insecurity. Because essential eternity is our innermost intimate reality, we will always on one level or another intuit our games of individuality to be a sham. And that is the feeling of insecurity from which we try to escape, validate, or distract ourselves.

The “I am” is a very good clue to follow. It has no location, no beginning, and no absence. You are not identifiable by what you experience, be that a mood, a concept, a sensory perception, a body, or any particular combination of things. Yet the “I am” is still there, so apparent and obvious that it is so often overlooked. 

If you are looking for good guidance and commentary on such an approach, I’d recommend the teachers of Advaita such as Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, Mooji, Adyashanti, Master Nome, Siddharameshwar Maharaj, The Ashtavakra Gita, and Papaji. 

Good stuff!

Namaste my friend. 

He who has a why can endure any how.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Doing laundry and cleaning my rudraksha seed malas. Yogis got chores too, ya know. But soon I’ll be dripping in equal parts swag and sandalwood oil. 

Making stylishly slippery the Trend for Fall 2014. 

The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.

Aleister Crowley

itsamondster said: How do I handle being a social pariah?

A social pariah is defined by the treatment of others. It has nothing to do with you but rather how others perceive you. 

The key is in the word “social.” If there were no society, there would be no possibility of being a social pariah. 

In this respect, there is nothing for you to handle. You are not a social pariah. You are You. 

There are as many perceptions of you as there are people to have them. Due to our belief in objective existence, we often assume that others have the potential to know us better than we can know ourselves. This is because they can see us from the outside.

Such a perspective is the epitome of illusion. Looking to the eyes of strangers to tell you who you are is a no win game. This is why it is important to make self-knowledge a priority. If you don’t bother to know yourself without the context of changeful identities, experiences, and thoughts, then you’ll fall for whatever identity is thrust upon you. 

However, if your question also includes poor treatment at the hands of others, then that’s another matter to address. 

Whatever “reason” a person gives for behaving in a manner so as to degrade or harm others, it is a lie. The only reason is ignorance. If people treat you poorly, it isn’t because you are a social pariah. It is because they have an ignorance in their perceptual mind that obscures true sight. 

If you let such treatment from others get you down, then there will be no end to the burdens this life will thrust on you. If you react in such a way so as to become aggressive and resentful, then you will have a hard time finding happiness. And if you isolate yourself and try to get away from it all, what little peace you may find will still depend on changeful conditions. 

Your best option and opportunity, in my opinion, is to meet this challenge as often as it arises. 

Here are a few oversimplified steps to which to return when necessary:

1. Accept. Instead of wishing or wanting this moment, your circumstances, or the people around you to be different, just say “Okay.” Make the conscious decision to work with what you are being given. 

2. Be still. This follows from acceptance. Let go of the idea that you must do or get rid of something in order for your life/identity to be whole and at ease. Don’t cling to an idea of happiness; don’t push away an idea of suffering. 

3. Breathe. When you are confronted with the harshness of others, first accept and be still. Then breathe. Inhale all of your awful feelings that are arising. Breathe in your pain deeply. Then exhale peace, ease, and love. Not directed toward anyone but simply scattering it thoughtlessly, like burning a stick of incense in the wind and allowing the radiant scent to be carried wherever the wind wills it. 

4. See. Recognize what is happening both in yourself and in the person confronting you. What is making them say the things they are saying? What sort of place are they speaking from? Do they seem sane, happy, and at peace? Or do they seem like they are trying to defend/elevate themselves while attacking/deploring you? Really try to understand not just what is being said and how you feel about it but also the delusion from which the other person is speaking and the confusion at its root. 

5. Forgive. We are not our ignorance. Often we want to punish others for their ignorance because we were once punished, ridiculed, or otherwise shamed for our own ignorance in the past. But who we are and who others are have nothing to do with changeful appearances. Ignorance, despite its profound impact on our sanity and happiness, is merely another changeful appearance. It has no inherent existence or identity. When you can honestly and sincerely forgive the ignorance in others, you will also be willing to do so for your own ignorance now, in the past, and in the future. 

As it is said, “To understand everything is to forgive everything.”

Daily meditation and tonglen practice is essential. Don’t wait for when you feel capable or when it’s “working.” Practice every day regardless of outcome or experience. Only then will you notice the change. If you don’t work at it then neither will the practices and nothing can be said through words that will help you. 

I would also suggest you read and a make a guide of the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron. 

Above all else, you should want to surpass this challenge while still allowing love and inspiration to move your moment. “Winning” a social challenge but losing your love and therefore sanity is nothing but continued suffering. 

Namaste my friend :) Much love

By our stumbling, the world is perfected.

Sri Aurobindo

cardboardcookies said: I just broke things off with my "boyfriend" after realizing our spark had gone out. Now I'm realizing one of the main things keeping me with him was my fear of being alone. How do I deal with my fear, and how can I learn to be by myself happily again? - Thanks

Being alone is a thought. So is being together. 

Loneliness has to do with orienting yourself toward an “other,” be that another person or place or concept. You have the conception of an “other” or several “others” and you then perceive a distance or separation between. 

The mood of that perception is loneliness, fear, anxiety, depression, whatever. 

"Man ordinarily lives in loneliness. To avoid loneliness, he creates all kinds of relationships, friendships, organizations, political parties, religions and what not. But the basic thing is that he is very much afraid of being lonely. Loneliness is a black hole, a darkness, a frightening negative state almost like death … as if you are being swallowed by death itself. To avoid it, you run out and fall into anybody, just to hold somebody’s hand, to feel that you are not lonely…  Nothing hurts more than loneliness.

But the trouble is, any relationship that arises out of the fear of being lonely is not going to be a blissful experience, because the other is also joining you out of fear. You both call it love. You are both deceiving yourself and the other. It is simply fear, and fear can never be the source of love. Only those who love are absolutely fearless; only those who love are able to be alone, joyously, whose need for the other has disappeared, who are sufficient unto themselves…

The day you decide that all these efforts are failures, that your loneliness has remained untouched by all your efforts, that is a great moment of understanding. Then only one thing remains: to see whether loneliness is such a thing that you should be afraid of, or if it is just your nature. Then rather than running out and away, you close your eyes and go in. Suddenly the night is over, and a new dawn … The loneliness transforms into aloneness.

Aloneness is your nature. You were born alone, you will die alone. And you are living alone without understanding it, without being fully aware of it. You misunderstand aloneness as loneliness; it is simply a misunderstanding. You are sufficient unto yourself.”

~ Osho

This is not a case in which you must do away with the fear and find some new way to make yourself happy. This is the moment to let go of your personal preferences and meet the wisdom of what this time in your life is trying to teach you. 

Aloneness, solitude, is the reality of our existence. We are all alone, together. But we are not separate from each other either. If such a truth is to be useful to you, it cannot remain in the realm of belief. You must verify how true it really is for yourself. And the way you are being given to do that is by embracing solitude and discovering what being alone actually is. 

If you cannot be at peace and in touch with love while you are alone, then your relationships will never be able to pass the point of being an attempt to comfort yourself. As Osho states above, there will be no bliss to your relating because there will always be a degree of fear involved. If you fear being alone then you will deludedly cling to and perpetuate a relationship just for the sake of avoiding something of which you are afraid. 

That is the real meaning of samsara, the cycle of suffering. You are acting in one manner because you believe it will bring you the peace and happiness you desire. Yet the very approach you are taking contains the seed of suffering in the future. You are operating under assumptions and conditions that require you to suffer at one point or another as a result. 

If you take this time to face the feelings, wrong perceptions, self-judgments, and other garbage that you have left unrecognized within, then you will emerge from this period with a newfound source of vivacious love. Once you can get in touch with a tender heart while you are alone, you will never know a day without love.

Daily meditation and tonglen practice are two practical techniques to apply as a way to encourage this exploration. I also found the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron to be very helpful as a guide. 

Namaste :) Much love

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.

Alan Watts