Life in the physical form is full of pleasure and inevitable pain. This is the great paradox of our existence. We live between the reality of polar experiences.
Often what brings us to the practice of yoga in all its forms is a deep knowing that there is more to life than its highs and lows. We know this deep within our being.
The science of each Yogic tradition reveals a direct experience with the tremendous light of our true nature. As you practice you are able to experience the power of who you are until you never forget it again while living in the world.
There is no Yogic practice that transforms our lives as directly as Bhakti Yoga. The masters of India have for centuries foretold that this is the fastest path towards our awakening.
Bhakti has two main components.
Ordinarily we are wrapped up in our thinking. We probably don’t realise it but our attention is constantly with the narrator in the mind. the endless stream of thoughts that allow us to process our life experiences. “I think therefore i am” and if we give our attention to the thoughts then that is all we will experience.
Something powerful happens when the mind becomes more spacious. When we are not wrapped up in the worries about the future and the regrets of the past the mind becomes clear as a still lake. mantra is a powerful way to experience this ever illusive quiet mind. The vibrations of mantra disperse our thoughts and instead we experience a feeling state. We notice how we feel rather than processing the moment through thinking.
But there is more to the science of mantra. Each Mantra in itself is an expression of consciousness. These sacred vibrations are the sound body of nature, meaning as we chant these sounds our system becomes calibrated to experience the sound of the mantra is expressive of…read that again :) .
Each mantra is expressive of an element of our nature. As we chant these ancient sounds they not only facilitate the state of meditation in the mind but they open the doorway towards glimpsing the joy that is our nature.
This is an experiential practice. You chant the mantra…the mind becomes quiet…you experience an easeful state of being…you begin to feel happy. Not happy because something ‘good happened.’ You just feel content…happy to be alive in this moment. This is what it feels like to be in our most easel, restful state and we have all experienced it spontaneously in our lives.
The practice reveals your innate state of joy and bliss…you remember that this is who you are without constant thinking and worrying.
So the more you chant…the more happy you feel. You remember that you are contentment itself, an ever unfolding experience of contentment is your very nature.
Once you remember this, you can’t forget it again. Living in the physical world, with all its challenges is a gift when we can bring a joyful, full heart to the adventure.
These sacred sounds have a way of connecting us to our own highest frequency. They charge us up so that everything we touch and everyone we meet is uplifted.
This is when we understand devotion. That life is to be experienced and felt. We surrender into the ocean of loving, joyful awareness that is present just under the stream of thinking. Each time it gets easier and easier. That’s what we call true devotion. Surrender into our essence. Feeling the power of our life force.
This is Bhav (feeling) , the second component to the practice. It is a feeling practice. We don’t do the practice in a rigid way. We keep surrendering into the feeling until it fills us and holds us.
This is why Bhakti is falling in love. In love with the magnificence of your own nature. You don’t try to fall in love with someone. You feel the force dawn from within you and you surrender into it…you fall into it.
Bhakti is just like that.
With each day you fall more and more in love with yourself and with life. The practice transforms every area of our lives as it slowly spreads and casts out any darkness in the heart and limitations in our rigid thinking.
Bhakti is often referred to as the Yoga of the heart. You practice falling in love…nothing is sweeter than that.
"Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of love. It isn’t something you join. It's love. It means falling in love. When you fall in love, nobody has to tell you. You know what you feel"