In his book, Aum The Melody of Love, Joseph Bharat Cornell states “Aum is God’s consciousness vibrating throughout creation. It is the bridge that unites Nature and Spirit, human and cosmic consciousness. Holy Aum is the stream of God’s consciousness into which the soul merges to discover its own highest nature.”

These thrilling words give us a very clear direction to finding happiness in our lives. Through practicing Aum, both in meditation and in our daily life, we attune ourselves to the cosmic consciousness that pervades every atom of the universe.

Paramhansa Yogananda once said, “The path to God is not a circus. The important thing is that we change ourselves.” That change may take many lifetimes, but if we are already searching earnestly, we are almost there! Almost is relative with eternity, but still, here we are: searching, meditating, serving with fellow devotees, doing our best to make the inward changes that will not only bring us happiness, but also bring happiness to the world around us.

Practicing the presence of God, using the mantra Aum, or inwardly chanting can be a tall order in the hubbub of modern life. We have careers to pay the bills, families to raise, social obligations to tend to. There are some simple steps that can help us stay on the right track.

It begins with being aware of our own reactive processes. When we begin with daily meditation, we can go deep enough to feel what it is like to be relaxed in our own Self. This becomes our personal gold standard as we move throughout our day. 

The most important thing to remember is to stay aware and acknowledge what’s happening within us. If we start to feel tense, irritable, or defensive we know “God has left the building.” The more basic part of our brain, and the body’s physiology to stress has taken over. Two primary feelings that initiate the fight or flight response are fear and anger.

Nayaswami Devarshi, in his book Kriya Yoga: Spiritual Awakening for the New Age, gives a great practice for transforming our reactivity by consciously using our awareness and willpower. At the first sign of tension start practicing using a mantra, like Aum. Offer up all that negative energy to God, at the point between the eyebrows.  Over time, every time you start to get tense you can practice this technique. Challenges become opportunities for deepening our relationship with God and Guru!

I once found myself tied up under water with my surf board line. I struggled for some time but realized “this might be it.” I chanted Aum Guru and relaxed, and as soon as I did so the line relaxed around me and I floated to the surface with a gasp for air, but no harm came to me. This is a perfect metaphor for life. When we get ourselves all tied up in knots we just need to remember “who’s in charge.” Relax in God and life’s lessons will carry us ever closer to our Oneness in Spirit.

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