Monday, January 24, 2011

Om Tara

It is said one day when the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara looked at the misery of the world, tears of great compassion fell from his eyes.

The tears turned into a lotus flower from which appeared Green Tara who said to him, 'Please do not be sad. I will help you liberate all living beings. Although they are countless in number, the power of my vow is also immeasurable.'

Green Tara embodies the feminine aspect of compassion. She is the liberator from karmic obstacles and fears. Her left hand shows the gesture of refuge vows and her right hand the gesture of fearlessness.

NOTE: I clipped the above passage from magazine years ago and taped it to the frame containing the black and white version of the photo here. Dearest writer, please forgive my failure to give you proper credit.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What a Coincidence!

Two of the last three books I listened to in 2010 explore the principles of synchronicity and consciousness. In fact, those books* led me by coincidence to the first book I downloaded from iTunes in 2011 and listened to on my daily commute to corporate America: Super Rich, A Guide to Having It All, by Russell Simmons.

In Super Rich, Russell shares insights into achieving happiness and freedom. Through regular meditation, one achieves a “quiet, peaceful mental state that allows you to be present in life,” Uncle Rush says. He explains how compassion, nonviolence and consciousness enables one to connect with the world and our highest selves.

Russell has been on my list of individuals I respect and admire and would love to meet. Early on 1.11.11, I received an e-mail with the subject line Russell Simmons Says Hey, announcing a book signing to be held three blocks from my home. Must. Go!

Shortly thereafter the idea arose to create Coco Yogini malas of tiny faux pearls and shimmering crystals for Russell’s little girls, also meditators, and present them to him at the event. Must. Give!

On 1.14.11, we met. I introduce myself as the Corporate Yogini (see Being a Business Yogi, p. 91) and tell him his book resonated with me on many levels, as I practice Transcendental Meditation and yoga and am vegetarian.

I also tell Russell that I understand he collects prayer beads, and I have hand knotted strands of prayer beads for his girls to start their collection. He seems genuinely pleased. Then, he graciously sits for a photo with me, as we talk consciousness(!) and ahimsa(!). I am beyond thrilled!

Uncle Rush, I wish you and your radiant Ming Lee and Aoki Lee much peace&love.

Dites moi, SVP, how do you bring consciousness and compassion to the world?

* Highly recommend: Deepak Chopra’s The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence and The Book of Secrets, Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kiss the Sky

Looking up and out into infinity, 300 yards from the south portico of the White House, Washington, DC, at dusk. A sliver of the moon glistens in the third photo.

Dites moi, SVP, when was the last time you looked the Divine directly in the face?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Recalling the Meditation Cave

North of Rishikesh is a small, austere ashram long the Ganges, complete with a meditation cave deep into a Himalayan hillside. Before the visit, I know nothing about the site. Upon arrival I learn an individual meditated in the cave for 40 years.*

Members of our group take turns removing shoes and entering the cave in silence, many to sit in meditation. The dark and narrow passage way opens into a small room with an altar at the far end. Gentle candlelight illuminates the space, which accommodates six to eight people.

I join others in the cave, take my seat, close my eyes and center myself for morning meditation. After a brief period, my mantra naturally arises and repeats, as it has for nearly a year. Suddenly, my mantra is drowned out - overtaken - by the word KARUNA. Shouting, almost, within my mind. KARUNA. KARUNA. Yes, in all caps, bold.

I smile, recognizing karuna as the Sanskrit word for deep compassion and a quality (along with enlightened wisdom) on the bodhisattva’s path.

Am I sensing the meditations of my fellow yogis in the cave? Or a sentiment embedded into the cave over the centuries? Or have I tapped into a greater universal consciousness? I consider it a mystical gift of peace&love from a remarkably beautiful and spiritual place.

* I later learn many saints and sages over thousands of years have meditated is the cave, among them the Hindu sage Vasishtha. It is also sometimes referred to as the "Jesus Cave."