While at the Anusara Grand Circle, I was reminded of the 6 attributes that define the Universe in the Shiva-Shakti Tantra tradition. Of course, each one had been stated before, but for some reason, this time, they spoke to me in a clear way.
I offered some distillations of my contemplation of these concepts on my facebook. My facebook is where I deposit numerous quotes and musings. It's funny, those distillations, are often all I feel ready to offer the world. Yet, I desire to offer more on this blog for my own rememberance of this incredible last 6 months of my life. Choosing to explicitly *dance with the shakti* has been more transformative than I could ever have imagined.
The attributes of the Universe are often defined in a specific order. But for my purposes, here, I am just offering two. I have been using each week of my teaching yoga to reflect and expand upon these ideas and so I am offering two that I have already been contemplating and embodying in my life and teachings.
First, I would like to repeat my own daily prayer that developed out of the Grand Circle. I feel so blessed to be living life at this sacred moment. Each moment, each breath is an opportunity to live in the depths of your heart. Each moment and each breath offers renewal and re-definition.
May I meet each moment fully with the whole of my being... May I rest in the radiance and splendor of my heart... May I connect deeply with the essence of me, ananda, the joy with no opposite... May I simply BE at this sacred time of my life and create more Shri (beauty) out of the pure desire to express Who I Am...
The first attribute that spoke to me is shri. Shri is translated in a number of ways, but most often is translated as beauty. It also can mean absolute goodness, greatness, possibility, abundance. What I took from the Grand Circle is "Be the Shri you wish to see in the world!"
This attribute is a fact of the Universe. This means that each one of us is also Shri. We can use each moment as an opportunity to explore the Shri in our lives, in our hearts, in our minds, and in all facets of being human. It's not the case that we ignore that which seems "un-shri", but when we expand our vision, our perspective to include everything, we can see it all as Shri. Each challenge or painful moment is an opportunity to define what we really want. They are opportunities to connect deeper to our hearts and to re-define ourselves. These moments are just as rich as the joyful ones.
The wonderful thing about shri is that when we can't see Shri in our lives, we can bring more into our lives actively. We can actively eat beautiful food, listen to beautiful music, explore beautiful connections with other human beings, and connect with the beauty with nature. The possibilities are endless. Shri is right in front of your nose. In fact, it is your nose. For you are also Shri!
Be A Shri-maker! Make more beauty! Sprinkle some of your divine radiance on everything you do and everyone you meet! Take in the divine luster that already exists in all things! Oh how it sparkles with splendor and exquisite delight! ♥
The next attribute is purna. Purna is often translated as fullness. But it is also translated as emptiness. The reason is Purna, when full, may seem like it can't expand, so there's an emptiness quality because it can expand beyond our limited ideas. I take this to mean that purna means infinite. I love the image from math where when we get to infinity, there is always infinity+1. So I think of purna this way.
We view our lives from a place of purna. We are full. We don't have to become anyone, do anything, attain anything. We just are perfect the way we are. We rest in our own full, splendorous hearts. Each moment is exactly as it should be. Everything we need is inside us. Purna can also be translated as "lacking nothing" or "absolute peace." There is a place inside of us that is at absolute peace with the way the world is. This part of ourselves, call it Essence, Self, Soul, Source or whatever behooves you, is content 100% with how things are, as they are. This is the part of us that doesn't have any needs. It is the state of "Being." So purna is an attribute of the Universe, but also an attribute of us.
As we live our lives from this place of purna, we can rest in the knowledge that we can just Be exactly Who We Are. Out of this place, though, our fullness may spill over. We may be content with being infinity, but our of our full-place, we may desire to self-express. Out of this place, we may desire to explore what infinity+1 is. To make more. To offer more. To be artists in our lives and offering the world creative, self-expression. Out of this place, we join the Shakti and manifest more shri, form more. The Universe is infinite in it's expansion and so are we. We enter the flow, the current of grace that holds us and we make more.
I just love that. It is not out of a poverty consciousness that we form relationships or get advanced degrees or earn more money. Out of expression of Who We Really Are, full, expansive, infinite possibility, we offer ourselves and the world our Self-Expression.
The universe is abundant/full (purna). Fact. Take a deep breath and settle into that place that is 100% okay with how things are, just as they are. Notice the fullness in your heart, in your breath, in your body. Allow this fullness to expand your perspective to see shri (beauty) in all things, to see your own abundant, exquisite life! Allow this abundance to spill over into delightful, creative self-expression! ♥
When we take the time to settle into our own unique condensed versions of the Universe, we can experience shri and purna in every moment. This life offers so much richness, so much depth of experience. In this practice of yoga, we are uniting ourselves with the greater Energies. By resting in the splendor of our own hearts, we make this world a more beautiful place.
I believe Gurumayi said it best:
"Entering the heart is like coming into the center of the sun. There is no more you; there is nothing except the irredescent force of that light. When you are in the center of the sun, there is no way to block its light. It streams through you and around you. So by entering your own heart, you make the whole world a better paradise."- Gurumayi ♥
May these teachings serve all being everywhere. Don't take a single breath for granted.