Oneness Bhakti Yoga – a bit of an intro…

Our focus, in Oneness, is to help you awaken to the realization of who we truly are, and support you to begin to truly live your life rather than merely exist as a passive observer, perhaps even feeling the victim, within it.

As Bhagavan says, “The purpose of life is simply to live”—to experience this beautiful reality right now, as it is. You can discover that in fact heaven is here on the Earth right now. Oneness Courses are designed with only this in mind—to help you on this journey.

Oneness Bhakti Yoga are processes that are intended to be (and have been found to be) extremely “to the point” in helping people experience the Oneness with the Divine which creates the breakthroughs in our lives allowing us to shift our perception and experience of life in profoundly loving and joyful ways.

We will be participating in several spiritual practices during the course of the Celebrations on Bhakti Yoga.  These types of practices are found in most spiritual traditions. The processes we are sharing in Oneness Bhakti Yoga are presented as they are taught to us, as Oneness Trainers, based in Indian culture. India has been around, intact, as a continuous culture for thousands of years. It has developed very deep spiritual traditions that are recognized as powerful and effective by other cultures around the world. If you have ever heard of yoga, and ayurveda, then you know how recognized and respected Indian spiritual and health practices are, around the world.

Here are some Sanskrit words you’ll hear us using during the course of a OBY weekend:

Bhakti – Devotion to the Divine

Yoga – Union (Oneness)

Bhajan – Devotional Chanting and Singing

Puja – Showing reverence, as in a ceremony

Paduka – Ancient sandals, considered to represent the feet of the Divine

Sri Murthi – Iconic photographs/ images

Ecstatic  Dance – (I don’t have a Sanskrit word for this, but do want to address this in this email)

Mauna – Spiritual Silence

And here are a few things I want to say about these terms, in the context of one of our Oneness Bhakti Yoga workshops:

Bhakti Yoga is not one process, it is a category of devotional processes which have been found to be exceptionally effective in supporting people in the experience of awakening/ realization.

Bhajans – we will be using chants and songs that have been chosen because of their devotional nature. We invite you to sing and chant at least loud enough for you to hear. If you feel moved to sing and chant more loudly, go for it! These are the songs of your heart to the Divine.

Puja – we will be performing a puja (reverential ceremony) – please bring some petal-y flowers (we will be using the petals of some of the flowers) and fruits or dried fruits or nuts – these will be a part of the puja.

PadukasSri Murthis – spiritual icons used to help us focus our devotion to the Divine.

Ecstatic Dance – I want to say a few words about ecstatic dance. The focus of this practice is to “get out of the mind” & to raise the kundalini (universal life force energy). Dance as is comfortable for your body. Even people who are confined to wheelchairs can dance with their spirit, dance with their imagination, dance with their energy. The invitation, is to please, dance!!

Mauna – In every religion or spiritual practice I have ever learned anything about, there is some kind of spiritual silence that is practiced. So people often can automatically relate to being in spiritual silence; however, in our culture, we are perhaps more used to “a moment of silence.” During these workshops, we are inviting you all to a full day in silence.

Since this type of silence is a little outside of our cultural norm, I just wanted to say a few things about silence (go ahead, laugh – it does seem a bit strange, to need to say a few things about silence!)

In mauna, the focus of being in silence is not just about a verbal quiet; it’s about attending to one’s self, one’s focus; it’s about going within; it’s about releasing the mental chatter, and allowing yourself to simply engage more deeply with your experiences.

When we invite everyone to arrive preparing to be in Mauna, we are asking you to simply be mindful of your focus and intention for the day, and respectful of everyone else’s focus, as well.

We recognize that when you come to our weekend workshop, you may know others who are there, and you may not have seen each other for a while, and may want very much to “catch up.”  Our invitation to you is to be mindful of your heart, to greet each other sincerely and lovingly, as you choose – and to observe quiet and stillness as you do this.

We will tell you, during mauna, if you need to speak to express a need, or an important question or inform people of something of great importance, please do speak (quietly if possible) – being verbally “silent” while trying desperately to get people to understand your gestures is not actually in the spirit of mauna.

We invite you to allow this process of mauna to inform you of how aware we truly are of each other, and of what is in our hearts.

While in mauna, if you want to look into someone’s eyes to express silently from your heart, you may do so, but if that person chooses to remain more inward-focused, and avoids eye contact, please respect that, too. The responsibility lies with the person/s in silence as to how deep are they willing to go into the focus they’re holding without any distress over what the people around them are thinking or might be thinking.

Many times the mind goes into overdrive in the silence, and the mental chatter might flare up. Often it is the discomfort that arises with the increasing thoughts that triggers the visceral drive to “do something!” – and that’s when we might start talking. The invitation in those cases is to allow the thoughts, let them go, invoke the Divine, and be with your experience.

The goal of mauna is to quiet and calm the mind. It is from this quiet that clarity and realization are most readily attained.

And, as you can tell from all that has been shared above, in the course of mauna, you may well find yourself using your voice on some occasions, and communicating on amazing levels, without your voice, on other occasions.

And hopefully, you will have a profound communication with yourself/ the Divine, throughout this occasion.