This saying, or metaphor, which is the title
for this issue's article, is a saying coined by Yogi Bhajan, the
Master of Kundalini Yoga. He has created many of these points to
ponder. Another one is "Excuses are self abuses". Have you ever
made an excuse when your behavior did not reflect the character
and caliber to carry through and deliver? It is of course human
to make mistakes but can we learn and grow from them?
Yogi Bhajan also gives us seven specific
steps to happiness. He says that without all seven you cannot be
happy! The journey starts with commitment. He says we are meant
to commit. For some of us this is not easy. We may be unsure in
relationships, in our career paths and in what our life destiny
actually is. Yet Yogi Bhajan says that if we cannot withstand
the pressure that comes with commitment, how can the jewel of
our consciousness develop into the diamond it was meant to be?
"I push a person to excellence and nobody
wants to be pushed. The only beauty in the world is duty, done
and delivered. There is no better joy than that" Yogi Bhajan
The other night I chanced upon an Italian
film called "The Last Kiss". It followed four young men around
age thirty on their individual paths and as friends. Three
wanted freedom, finally fleeing in a van to parts unknown,
leaving babies and family businesses in search of a life of
noncommitment. The main character, whose girlfriend was
pregnant, balked from commitment and made one mistake. But he
realized in time that his happiness lay in duty, sacrifice and
the ability to commit. He followed the seven steps only after
learning that devotion was more fulfilling than commotion. He
married, had a beautiful girl and held a responsible creative
job. Sometimes he fantasized about joining his friends….but not
really. He had found happiness, not without it's struggles and
ups and downs, but he had found it.
Maybe you wonder what these seven steps have
to do with yoga. Yoga is a science and a technology that helps
us learn from the inside out and not without honest awareness
and self reflection. As Dharma Mittra, one of my teachers in New
York, was quoted in the April 2004 Yoga Journal " People come to
yoga to have the perfect figure or meditate so they can make
more money at their job but the true purpose of yoga is Self
realization". Yoga is a practice meant to enhance your respect,
grace and trust. Yoga teaches us to deliver the work, to have
honor and never lose our manners. Grace developed as we work to
conquer ourselves is an attribute that helps us attain this Self
are the Seven Steps to Happiness as given by Yogi Bhajan:
will give you CHARACTER, all your facets, flaws and facts
are under control. Yin and yang meet here. There is balance.
It is not you who wins in the end, it is your character.
Are your life habits demoting or promoting this?
will give you DIGNITY, people start liking , trusting and
will give you DIVINITY where people have no duality or fear
will give you GRACE a person of grace is gracious and has
no hidden agendas
gives you THE POWER TO SACRIFICE you can stand pain for
sacrifice will give you HAPPINESS
Another thing Yogi Bhajan teaches is that if you have manners
you have everything
"Let your manners speak for you, let your
deeds prove you, let your deliverance impress you. Every person
has a mission, every mission has a magnitude to deliver and
fulfill the essence of magnitude. When one does it with devotion
and conviction success comes from all sides" Yogi Bhajan
He speaks of an attitude of altitude, which
ultimately is the energy and attitude of grace, which is
associated with the highest physical center in the body, the
Success often has superficial measurements in
our society, such as socal status or income levels. Many of us
feel under-accomplished as we assess our lives. How do we
actually measure success, by other people's standards or by
those set forth in a yoga practice? Success is a smile. Success
is peace of mind. Success is a radiant face, whatever age.
Success is how we treat others.
As another Yoga Master Sivananda wrote to his
student Ram Krishna in a letter dated December 1, 1943: "Think
carefully. Decide correctly. Act faithfully. Speak truthfully.
Live honestly. Work diligently. Talk gently .Behave properly.
You are bound to succeed in any walk of life. You will have
peace of mind. You will have a pure conscience. You will get
inexhaustible spiritual wealth."
Physically poses that allow us to feel our
grace, like mountain pose, tadasana, are important to developing
this feeling from within. The following meditation is especially
effective for this as well.
GRACE OF GOD meditation will give you self
effectiveness. Any woman who does it will find grace in her
behavior. Any man who does it will realize the grace in himself
and thse around him. It may take a little time, but the results
will be positive. This is an ideal way to prepare for sleep.
Lie down on the back, fully relaxing your
face and body, eyes closed. Inhale deeply through the nose, hold
the breath in and repeat silently ten times "I am the Grace of
God". (For men " I am in the Grace of God"). Exhale all the
breath out through the nose and repeat silently the same mantra
ten times. (I use my fingers to keep it straight!..counting on
my fingers, which are relaxed in sivasana, corpse pose). Do this
for a total of five inhalations and five exhalations, making
this a total of one hundred times repeating the mantra.
After the cycle is completed, come sitting
cross legged, eyes still closed. Bring the right wrist resting
on your right knees, palm up and index finger meeting thumb in
gyan mudra(reversed hands for men). The left hand is by the left
shoulder, as if taking an oath, palm flat and facing forward.
Tense only one finger of the left hand at a time, as you repeat
five times aloud " I am the Grace of God". (Start with the
little finger, the pinky). Meditate on the governing energy of
that finger. Concentrate on the particular characteristics you
want to correct. Continue the sequence until you get to and do
the thumb. Afterwards relax as you wish.
are the governing energies of the fingers:
Mercury, power to relate, communicate and make decision
finger- Venus and Sun, physical health and vitality, grace
finger- Saturn, channel emotion to devotion, learn patience
finger- Jupiter, wisdom, expansion and knowledge
note, if GOD seems religious to you, we are taught that it
is the energy of the universe that
or Destroys all
This is a lovely meditation. Grace is a
contained energy that we can all win by developing!! One way
of thinking of grace is non-reactiveness, responsiveness