Working with Spirit: Finding Joy in the Workplace

Our work lives occupy a great deal of our time and energy.  If we can see our work lives not as separate from but an extension and expression of our service and devotion, we will gain energy, inspiration, and will never “go to work” again.  Come discover yogic tools to transform your work and all you do into service.

 

Led by Santosh LaMarche (bio)

Learning to Forget

There’s a funny one-liner that bemoans the effects of aging: “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” Thank goodness for humor. It softens the blow.

Uhh. . . Let’s see now. . . Where was I going with that? . . . Oh, yes. . . As some of us know already, seniors are forced to deal with a hitch that gets hitchier as years go by. Suddenly, at the darnedest times, our Random Access Memory begins to flash “Access Denied.”

Actually, though, the real problem lies in the other direction. Losing our mind is all too rare an event. Doggedly, it clings to us like a magnet made of chatter. As Eckhart Tolle has written in The Power of Nowthe inability to stop thinking has become “a dreadful affliction,” but since almost everyone suffers from it, we take it as normal.

The truth is, nothing comes between us like our very own mental activity. Restlessly, it denies us the experience of oneness with all that is. From moment to moment, wherever we turn, our senses recognize this and that as unrelated to me. Thus, believing that separation exists, we have managed to turn this Garden of Eden into a kind of Marx Brothers asylum.

Because we’ve been given the blessed burden of five physical senses, almost all of our data is gathered from their reports. Analysis ensues. Likes and dislikes arise. And so we careen like pinballs between bumpers of pleasure and pain. For most of us the game goes on and on until we die.

But the greater trouble is deeper than even our sensory involvement. As we slalom through our days, supposedly using our minds to some intelligent purpose, we fail to see that, like double agents, they have been using us, relentlessly feeding us fears and desires that trigger more of the same. Without the means to quiet our barnstorming thoughts—namely through meditation and full engagement in the flow of now—we are fated to fidgety, fickle-brain commotion and the onset of moods.

There’s a poem by the Indian master Thayumanavar that puts the problem in perspective. Included are these lines: “You can ride a lion; You can play with the cobra; You can make vassals of the gods; You can walk on water and live in fire; But control of the mind is better and more difficult.”

The question naturally arises: Why can’t we train our minds to tame the distracting fears and aches that besiege us? The answer: because the mind is the problem! “Imagine a chief of police trying to find an arsonist,” says Tolle, “when the arsonist is the chief of police.”

We are dealing here with the ego, of course, a most unscrupulous opponent. As we become identified with our emotions and thoughts, the force of ego presides over all that we do. It uses the past to define us and the future to distract us.

The trick is to stay in the present, a trick that few can perform. It requires that we refuse to judge whatever the present brings. But as we are able to do this—to observe the moment without shading its character—a transformation takes place that makes it instantly friendlier.

Living in the present is a kind of constructive forgetting. By saying “Yes” to the moment, time and its accretions dissolve, especially those of self-concern. And surprisingly when this occurs, success in matters of worldly endeavor is achieved more easily also.

Forgetting is inevitable, and frankly, it is often a blessing. My father, until he was well into his eighties, had a memory that selected mainly the things that upset him, whether about himself or other people. But as his memory faded, submitting at last to Alzheimer’s disease, he found less and less to disturb his increasing quietude. I like to think that when he died, he had made a peace with himself that only forgetting could accomplish. Or perhaps, hoping for the best, I should say that what he finally remembered was the sweetness and serenity of his ego-obscured soul.

It’s A New Year of Being In the Moment

I am realizing how great it is to start over. It’s a new year thing, right?!
Of course one of my favorite things to do at the beginning of the year is the annual choosing of the new calendar. Spending 10 minutes trying to decide on which one, landscapes or flowers, well, more like 2 hours. A fresh calendar without any markings! Think of all the possibilities.
It feels as though there are many of these types of decisions to make in January. So many of them appearing to be time/schedule sensitive, or related to. Interesting.

FUTURE

As humans we are so bound by time. And to push back, we are constantly trying to manipulate it. If I could just get in one more errand. Have to be there by… Oh just a few more minutes…
[Ever notice how nothing stops time like a good snow storm! Especially if the power goes out. That quiet calm that seems to blanket the world. Creating a fairyland.]

PAST

Doesn’t it feel like time works against us more often then not? As last year truly slipped away with barely a trace. And at 48 years, it’s making me start to wonder, where have they all gone?
There is so much to entertain us in this world. And then some! Pulling us further out. (Trust me, I love a good movie…speaking of which…Star Wars, oh boy!)

Be In The Moment

Living in the moment takes practice. It seems as though it should be easy, and yet, our attention is geared or pushed toward maya. Thus missing an opportunity for a life lesson, or a gift of grace from the Divine.
These lives we have are very much worth living, connected, consciously. Being in the moment is just that, really, living consciously. Using our divinely guided intuitive knowing.
This year feels as though it’s less about pushing one’s self and more about being. Less and less people are making resolutions and exclaiming more about “being easy” or gentle with themselves this year.
And maybe that’s a good thing. Slow down a bit. Take that moment to enjoy the light reflected in the ice. The twinkle diamonds on those leaves. Feel the sunlight on your cheeks. Appreciate the smile of a friend. Offer that smile to a passerby. Time to be.

Be in the moment.

5 Tips to Finding God at the DMV

My hubby described it best. “It’s like being at an Adventure theme park! You spend two hours sitting (or standing), waiting your turn to get to the front of the line. When you finally do, you about jumping up and down with excitement. The “ride,” however, takes no longer then about 2 minutes. Then it’s over. Time to go home.”

That was our adventure at the DMV. Waiting till they called #53. And you guessed it, when we walked in they were only at #18.

So what is one to do when waiting? And waiting? And waiting? Losing patience?

I think that this is the perfect opportunity to practice our path of Self-realization! That’s right, find God!

So 5 tips for finding God at the DMV

1. Relax and feel. It seems that we are almost always “tensing our will,” especially at the DMV! So in this instance I would remind everyone to “relax and feel.” They’re going to get to your number…when they get to your number. Relaxing will allow you a more pleasant state of mind to deal with your DMV issue. It will allow you to feel peace and clarity while waiting for your number to be called.

2. Meditative Silence. Even at the DMV, you can hear AUM! All the sounds and noises can be muffled together to become AUM. Try pulling your consciousness inward and focusing at the Spiritual Eye. Allow the sounds to drift in and out. AUM. It’s possible. Give it a try!

3. People are more important than things. It seems that everyone who goes to the DMV is in a hurry to get it all done. Fast. I think there’s an unwritten rule that “no wait at the DMV shall be less than one-hour, and no more than two!” It happens every time I go. So instead of trying to get it done fast, pushing energy at everyone, getting more frustrated as 15 more minutes go by, try to see all the many human-beings—souls—that are being served at the DMV. They all need their time with the attendants. Practice seeing them, their needs, as being equally as important. Practice surrounding them with Divine Light, enabling them too, to have a good DMV experience.

4. Centering and calming. Getting your buttons pushed is a must at the DMV! It seems like things are clipping along, and then sure enough they are stuck at #51 for like 3-hours! UGH! But remember the rule…no longer then two-hours shall one wait. Taking deep calming yogic breaths into your center is the right thing to do. Feeling that open channel to the Divine that is flowing like a river through you. And all of those around you.

5. Gratitude: Yup! Remember, God gives all thing to us, and situations too. So even that long wait that you have to endure at the DMV is God-given! So offer some gratitude to the people around you, the attendants calling out the numbers and helping those before you.

Use these steps the next time you’re at the DMV. You just might find God while you are sitting waiting. Hey, it’s always worth a try!

Fear Can Be Amazing and Stifling!

It is really amazing, when you stop to think about it. Especially when you are not in the middle of something causing or increasing you state of fear.

Everyday someone is trying to overcome something that induces a state of fear within them. It could be something seemingly small. Or something huge like climbing Everest. Without oxygen. Or the right shoes. No crampons. Lost ice axe.

And what causes fear for one person, may not for another. Obvious stuff I know.

Fear’ll stop you in your tracks!

It can keep you from hearing (seeing, feeling) just about anything. It puts us into the primal response mode: fight or flight. Flight being the more predominant, unless that fear is directly in front of us causing fight-tendencies to take over.

A deep state of fear makes it impossible to rationalize. Our bodies are not designed to think, much less create anything at all, while in fight or flight mode! It’s that old Saber Tooth Tiger chasing you down the freeway situation! (Hmmm should I buy that car in green or blue?)

Face your fears!

Natural disasters cause fear. There is a movement in Oregon to prepare for an “eventual” earthquake. (Though how unfortunate that no one can predict or agree on when it will actually occur!) In this preparation for a natural disaster, it is easy to get caught up in all the bad things that could happen. Get caught up in this state of fear. Generally a negative energy spiral.

A dear friend and I were chatting about disasters and preparedness. She told me that while she was researching preparedness measures, the deeper she got into it, the more depressed she became!

“Face your fears,” is sometimes easier said then done. But done it can be, it is possible, though admittedly can be difficult. So in this case, my friend’s preparing for a potential medium-level natural disaster could mean that were one to hit, she could be more calm knowing that she has prepared.

I say we annex this state of fear!

What about facing in to these issues that cause us fear or maybe a bit of trepidation? (I’ll grant you, preferably after they have passed, though many a hardy soul has been able to do this during an actual crisis!)

For most of us, looking in to our fears will identify lots of those pesky buttons that the universe loves to push. (Sometimes mine feels like a sound studio board that has about, oh, maybe several thousand little red blinky buttons!)

By really opening up our hearts and awareness to what is there. (Yes, they are usually Saints in the making, or already have been made! Don’t forget that Paramhansa Yogananda said, “A saint is a sinner that never gives up!”)

Asking for help from the Divine or our guru is always an excellent tool to aid us in taking that right step. (I know those saints are always calling out to God, whether in joy, laughter, sadness, love.) (Read Asha Praver’s book Loved and Protected)

Master can help us move forward, and away from the fears. Even if one small step. And that my dears is still one more step away from where we were.

Our guru, the Universe, is here to help us. All we need to do is…well…ask!