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Brahmacharya: How Abstaining From Sex Benefits Your Spiritual Evolution

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What Is Brahmacharya Image

The word Brahmacharya has several meanings. It literally means “conduct consistent with Brahman” or “on the path of Brahman”. This is the way of life through which you understand Brahman (God) when you cultivate the purity of thoughts, words, and actions.

In Yoga, Hinduism, and Buddhism it often refers to a lifestyle characterized by sexual continence or abstinence. However, Brahmacharya is somewhat different from the English term “celibacy,” which means non-indulgence in sexual activity. Brahmacharya has a deeper meaning where you do not only control your instincts but more importantly – your mind throughout ascetic means. By practicing Brahmacharya, you increase your life span, strength, radiance, vigor, wisdom, virtue, and devotion to the Truth. Moreover, Brahmacharya is the basis for acquiring immortality.

In this article, I will share with you what Brahmacharya is, why it’s so important for your spiritual practice, what its benefits are, and how to practice it.

What Is Brahmacharya?

The word Brahmacharya consists of two Sanskrit roots:

  • Brahman, which means “ultimate unchanging reality”, “absolute consciousness”.
  • Charya, which means “occupation with, engaging, proceeding, behavior, conduct, to follow, moving in, going after”.

Hence, Brahmacharya can be translated as “conduct consistent with Brahman” or “on the path of Brahman”.

This concept usually includes cleanliness, ahimsa, studies, simple living, meditation, and restraints on certain foods (eating only Sattvic food), intoxicants, and sexual behavior which is no sex and no masturbation.

Brahmacarya is one of the five yamas. It is a form of self-restraint. For a married practitioner, it means marital fidelity, and for a single practitioner, it means celibacy. As stated in Shandilya Upanishad (chapter 1), Brahmacharya is “refraining from sexual intercourse in all places and in all states in mind, speech or body”.

Yogic Celibacy

Yogic Celibacy Image

Now let’s take a closer look at Brahmacharya from the yogic celibacy perspective.

The term celibacy comes from the Latin word “cælibatus” meaning “unmarried”.

Many spiritual traditions see celibacy as the foundation of morality, the gate of liberation, and the path to eternal bliss. Absolute celibacy is an essential condition of the divine life, or higher spiritual life. Many believe that celibacy is the path that leads to Nirvana.

Celibacy means controlling not only your sexual instincts, but also controlling all your feelings, thoughts, words, and actions. This is the key to all the realms of divine bliss. The path to eternal peace begins with celibacy.

Celibacy has two aspects: physical and mental. Physical celibacy is about controlling your body, whereas mental celibacy is about controlling your mind (lustful thoughts do not arise in the mind or even in your dreams when you’re sleeping).

8 Traps Of Lust

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It’s not just sex that prevents you from following the celibacy path but also other actions, thoughts, and desires that keep you trapped in lust. Different spiritual traditions warn about many different mental traps your consciousness can fall into. Here are the 8 most common traps of lust that anyone following a spiritual path should be wary of:

  1. Sexual objectification – seeing a person solely as an object of sexual desire;
  2. Flirting or coquetry;
  3. Lustful thoughts;
  4. A strong desire to perform sexual intercourse;
  5. Sexual fantasies or dreams;
  6. Sexual suggestiveness – visual, verbal, written, or behavioral material or action with sexual undertones implying sexual intent in order to provoke sexual arousal;
  7. Sexual acts based on lower instincts.

It is believed that only those who completely free themselves from all these traps can consider that they observe true celibacy.

The Importance Of Saving Sexual Fluids

Whereas western research on sexual healing doesn’t emphasize the importance of retaining and recirculating sexual fluids, the Eastern systems make a vital distinction. According to Vedic science, one drop of semen is equal to sixty drops of blood in the energy it bestows on the body.

Semen is rich in easily absorbable nutrients and energy that can revitalise mind and body. It’s a treasure house of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, hormones, proteins, irons, enzymes and other vital nutritional substances including calcium, albumin, lecithin, phosphorus and nucleoproteins. It’s been scientifically proven that a weak nervous system, depleted energy and brain function were connected to excessive seed loss.

A New York Times report reiterated “creating sperm is far more difficult than scientists imagined, demanding a diversion of resources that otherwise might go into assuring a male’s long-term health.”

Taoist works claim excessive semen loss causes premature aging, loss of eyesight, damage to the nervous system, poor digestion, muscular weakness, and loss of energy.

It’s not just humans but all species tend to deplete their energy after expelling reproductive fluids. Even plants have greater longevity if they are kept from going to seed. This energy loss explains why many athletes including Mohammed Ali abstained from intercourse before competing, so they’d have reserve strength and energy to compete.

Women are more fortunate than men as they naturally tend to retain their vital fluids since their reproductive organs are internal and they have a yin receptive nature whereas men loose it easily. The fact that women live an average six years longer than men can be explained by their receptive nature and the ability not to waste their vitality as easy as men do.

Benefits Of Brahmacharya

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  1. Alchemical transmutation of base sexual energies into spiritual vigor. According to Ayurveda, semen was considered to be a vital elixir that housed important subtle energies. Ejaculation was said to lead to loss of power, energy, concentration, and even spiritual merit. And conserving it through Brahmacharya was said to help develop rich stores of Ojas, thereby building vitality, character, and health.
  2. Developing control over mind, body, and speech.
  3. Developing the ability to remain stable no matter what life challenges are faced and deal with the situation at hand.
  4. Concentration and grasping power increase.
  5. Will power increase.
  6. Gaining the ability to follow through on vows and commitments.
  7. Immunity increase. Since the energy reserves of your body are much higher now so your body will find it easier to deal with illnesses.
  8. The increase of physical, mental, and intellectual strength.
  9. Gaining the ability to understand the bliss of the Self completely.
  10. The decrease in anger, pride, deceit, and greed.
  11. Eyesight improvement.
  12. It’ll become hard for you to get scared. In a dangerous situation, you’ll be aware of the risk but you will also be able to deal with it calmly instead of panicking and worsening the situation.
  13. Memory increase – you will find it easier to remember things and even dreams that you had a long time ago.
  14. Your mind will become much sharper.
  15. Intuition boost.
  16. Vigor and confidence increase.
  17. Your body will naturally become more supple and flexible.
  18. Gaining freedom from earthly distractions so you can devote yourself more fully to spiritual transcendence.
  19. Overcoming duality and gaining a profound sense of relationship and intimacy with all beings, not just a select few.
  20. Transformation of our most primitive instinctual energies into a deeper, brighter vitality that promises good health, great courage, incredible stamina, and very long life.

Brahmacharya practice renovates the system or constitution, rebuilds the cells and tissues, energizes digestion, and gives the power to face the difficulties in the daily battle of life. A true celibate possesses tremendous energy, a clear brain, gigantic will-power, bold understanding, and retentive memory.

How To Practice Brahmacharya?

Here are some tips on how you can start practicing Brahmacharya.

#1: Perceive people as divine beings

Adi Shakti Mantra Image

The key philosophy that will help you to take your lower desires under control is perceiving all people as divine beings.

If women are the object of your lust then learn to see the Divine mother in each of them. When you start seeing the Divine mother in a woman, you won’t be able to project lower instinctive desires on her. All you will feel is pure divine love.

If men are the object of your sexual desires, then, similarly, learn to see God in each of them. The interaction with a man should be based on the expression of pure love, not seduction.

#2: Check your social media

Analyze your behavior and the signals you’re sending to people. Check your social media profile. Maybe you will notice that some of the pictures on your Instagram are sending a double message. What is it for? Attention for masking low self-esteem? Be honest with yourself. You see, sexual energy is sacred and when it gets expressed in a form of sexy photos or videos, it loses its divinity. This goes against the main brahmacharya principle.

#3: Wake up during Brahma Muhurta

how to practice brahmacharya image

The literal translation of Brahma Muhurta is ‘the hour of Brahma‘ or ‘Creator’s Hour‘.

Brahma Muhurta is a 48-minute period that begins 1 hour 36 minutes before sunrise and ends 48 minutes before sunrise.

The interaction of our planet’s energy with the energies of the Sun and the Moon creates certain physiological changes in the human system at this time. Medical science has even found that the waste material in your body, such as urine, for example, has certain qualities at that time which it does not have at any other time of the day.

Your entire body is immersed in a certain conducive atmosphere. The melatonin level is increased, which boosts the pineal gland’s activity. Therefore it is so beneficial to use this time consciously.

Brahma Muhurta time is ideal for spiritual practices, such as yoga, meditation, spiritual studies, etc. Serious spiritual practitioners all over the world, get up at this time to devote themselves to prayer and meditation.

Performing spiritual practices during Brahma Muhurta time alone will solve more than 90% of the difficulties you may face in the Brahmacharya practice.

Most people find Brahmacharya so hard because they sleep during Brahma Muhurta while all of nature is supporting the awakening of Sushumna, raising up of kundalini and hence, a natural, fast-paced evolution of our awareness.

#4: Practice brahmacharya on mental level

Whenever lustful thoughts manifest, perform some thoughtless awareness technique or 5-10 rounds of Maha Bandha or 3-5 min of Sarvangasana. This will transform the excess energy of lust into intellectual energy by pulling up the nerve currents up the spine towards brain centers, thus giving you more mental powers of thinking, concentration, and memory.

#5: Give you energy creative expression

Sexual energy is a powerful creative power. If not used for procreation, it can be used for creative expression. It doesn’t mean you should express the lower vibrational lustful desires in your art. Just do what you love but let it pass the “divinity” filter first. For doing this, follow tip #1.

#6: Fasting

As you may already know, fasting is an excellent tool to cleanse your body, physically and energetically. Fasting helps to raise your vibration on a level where lust cannot reach. It will help you to see your desires more clearly and realize that their satisfaction doesn’t serve your highest good.

#7: “Detox” your mind

How to practice celibacy image

Think about how lustful thoughts and seductive behavior were implanted into human minds. TV, social media, magazines, etc. made people believe that seduction and sexual objectification lead to success and power. Mass media wants us to sell our sexual energy in any possible form (sexy pictures, erotic videos, flirting, seductive dances, sexual music, etc.) in exchange for success and fame. And we obediently do it without question: “Why?”.

Sexual energy is our most sacred part – the gate to bliss and immortality. And whoever is governing our planet is aware of it. To keep us away from bliss and true freedom, they make us do whatever is most self-destructive for us. When we get so destructed by external reality, we can’t even see what we’re doing and for what. Of course, we get something in exchange – attention, fame, success, promotion, career, etc. But isn’t it too big of a price?

Therefore, it’s so important to start seeing things for what they are. Wherever your sexual energy is used in a demonstrative way – watch out – you could be used as an energy source for some purpose that doesn’t serve you! Don’t let them fool you. You don’t need to publicly demonstrate your sexuality just to prove that you are not ashamed of your body and you are free. This is the most common tool that is used to keep a human mind in the trap of sexual slavery.

Once you let go of these toxic beliefs, you will never waste your sexual energy on meaningless acts of seduction, flirting, or random hookups.

#8: Immerse yourself into spirituality

This will inspire you and intensify your motivation. Only a fully motivated person succeeds in maintaining Brahmacharya.

Try to spend 20 min every day in the morning on spiritual reading. For example, 10 min on brahmacharya and 10 min on meditation and self-realization topics. You can use sacred scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Patanjali Yoga-Sutra, and life-stories of great sages. Sacred texts are a perfect source of “spiritual food” for our minds that provide daily soul-elevating thoughts as much as our bodies need daily the material food for its nutrition needs.

#9: Daily meditations

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Meditation and brahmacharya are two wings of spiritual growth. With more growth of brahmacharya practice, meditative experiences become deeper. With deeper meditative experiences, the mind starts remaining in the state of brahmacharya more naturally and much longer.

Conclusion

When contemplating the idea of taking up the practice of brahmacharya, it’s important to remember to avoid any extremes in hopes of progressing more quickly in your development.

The Middle Path, as described in Buddhism, is a good philosophy to practice such that you do not fall into the trap of escaping one’s life journey by polarizing too deeply into sensual pleasures or entering too quickly into extreme asceticism.

The path of spiritual development and ascension is a journey of raising one’s consciousness or awareness up the vibrational scale of reality until one reaches nirvana. Your actions, thoughts, ideas, and behaviors all determine the center of gravity in which your consciousness holds, anchoring you to your current level of reality that exists within that vibrational scale.

Try to truthfully assess your current state of consciousness and what negative thoughts and behaviors you have that might be adversely holding your consciousness back from ascending higher up along the vibrational scale. Ask yourself, “Is this thought or action in alignment with the highest expression and divine will of God?” If not, what changes must be made in your personality such that you are more aligned?

Instead of trying to do everything at once, select one or two initial negative behaviors or thought patterns, you would like to transmute into a positive. By applying the principles of brahmacharya you will be surprised how quickly you are able to change your thoughts, behaviors, and life!

Main picture credit: https://www.instagram.com/hitesh_desai_11/

Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Spirituality

Ishvara Pranidhana: The Art Of Living For a Higher Purpose

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Spiritual Bypassing Image

Are you one of those who sincerely turn to the path of knowledge of spiritual truths, the search for the meaning of life, the comprehension of the essence of being? Do you seek to understand the nature of your Soul and your true purpose? Then you are one of those spiritual wonderers who is able to see the world beyond the material limitations of the physical world and strive to live your life for a higher purpose. In this article, I want to introduce you to Ishvara Pranidhana which means attunement to the supreme consciousness. The practice of this Divine principle will help you to plant in your heart the highest degree of piety through which the mind comes to Samadhi.

Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a collection of 196 Sanskrit sutras on the theory and practice of yoga. It describes the goals of yoga and the principles of techniques needed to achieve them.

The two first stages that the Sutras describe are the principles of Yama and Niyama.

Yama is a set of ethical norms that teach us to communicate with others in the right way.

There are five Yamas:

  1. Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Nonviolence, non-harming other living beings.
  2. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood.
  3. Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing.
  4. Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): chastity, marital fidelity, or sexual restraint.
  5. Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice, non-possessiveness.

Niyama is the step of forming self-discipline and uplifting spirituality.

Five Niyamas are:

  1. Saucha (शौच): purity, clearness of mind, speech, and body.
  2. Santosha (सन्तोष): contentment, acceptance of others, and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self.
  3. Tapas (तपस): austerity, self-discipline, persistent meditation, perseverance.
  4. Svadhyaya (स्वाध्याय): the study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches, and actions.
  5. Ishvara Pranidhana (ईश्वरप्रणिधान): contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), attunement to the supreme consciousness.

All these principles are interdependent. If you break one of the Yamas or Niyamas, you are bound to break the others. And if you improve in the practice of one principle, then the practice of other yamas and niyamas will also be improved.

For example, if you violate Satya by allowing yourself to lie, you will not be able to practice Ahimsa. Or, if you do not observe the principle of Saucha and pollute your body and mind, it will be difficult for you to practice Brahmacharya.

What Is Ishvara Pranidhana?

What Is Ishvara Pranidhana Image

Ishvara Pranidhana is the fifth niyama described Patanjali which means the contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), or attunement to the supreme consciousness.

Ishvara is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “supreme, God, the Absolute Brahman, True Self, or Unchanging Reality”. Pranidhana means “dedication, devotion, or surrender”.

In the Upanishads, the word Isvara means “a state of collective consciousness”. In this sense, there isn’t a Godlike figure we are supposed to worship or devote our actions to, rather ‘God’ represents a state of collective consciousness, and therefore represents all of us too.

Thus, the fifth niyama teaches us to surrender to God or Higher self, meaning, cultivating a deep and trusting relationship with the universe and making each action an offering to something bigger than us.

A person who practices Ishvara Pranidhana, dedicates the merits of his actions to the Supreme, and coordinates every step he takes (all actions, thoughts, words) with the expediency for the benefit of spiritual development. He is not looking for personal gain, his actions are pure and sincere.

Thus, when we are talking about the practice of Ishvara Pranidhana, we mean our complete surrender to God (our own higher self). If we can dedicate our lives to serving the God that dwells within everything and everyone, we will move beyond all feelings of separateness and free ourselves from the dualistic mindset. If we can say without reservation, “I give You myself: my body, my mind, and my heart, to serve the Highest Good of all,” then we will be freed from the stress, anxiety, self-doubt, as well as from negative karma.

The Idea Of Surrendering

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In our modern society, the feelings of separateness and disconnection prevail. Ego and pride are people’s main motivators, and being strong and domineering over others are the main qualities of successful people. Most of us silently accepted that this is how life goes and there is nothing we can do about it. Our egos made us believe that we, human beings, are somehow in control of the universe. Therefore, the very idea of surrendering seems like something negative, as it implies a sort of weakness or defeat.

Our minds were programmed since ancient times that surrender means losing. This belief comes from military terminology where surrender means the opposition to the victory. And it makes sense since the very nature of any war or competition is built on duality. For us, human beings, it’s normal to see surrender as something bad because our minds are stuck in the duality and it’s hard to see something beyond these limited paradigms.

In spirituality, however, we don’t limit our beliefs with “right or wrong” labels. Instead, we are learning to see the hidden meanings of everything by overcoming the dualistic mindset. Thus, victory is attained as we willingly surrender our limited idea of who we are (i.e. our name, our jobs, our problems, etc.) and create the space needed to feel our true Self, our Divine Spark which is limitless.

Surrender requires self-discipline, trust, and faith. Ultimately it will take far more effort to cling to the smallness of the ego than it will surrender the Higher self.

Applying the Practice of Isvara Pranidhana to Life

#1: Examine your path

Isvara Pranidhana Definition Image

Start with introspection. Ask yourself what you are guided by in your life when you choose the path that you follow throughout your earthly incarnation. After all, intentions are the main criterion that reflects the sincerity of your actions, words, and thoughts.

Examine your path, the purpose you live for. Are your intentions dictated by ego, prestige, greed, or pride?

Think about your strongest motivation in life. Are you motivated by selfish motives? Or, is every action you do aim at improving this world, creating good, bringing light and love, joy and warmth to this world? Answer these questions honestly. What do you live for? A sincere answer to this question will clarify for you the meaning of your existence and direct you to the true path of life.

#2: Practice letting go and non-attachment

Letting go of the fruits of our actions and non-attachment are a focal point of the Bhagavad Gita

If we’ve put a lot of effort into something, we often get attached to a result of our actions. Questions like: “Will they like me?”, “What if I’m not good enough?”, “Will my project be successful?” are perfect examples of attachments to a result. All this worrying about things we have no control over is the main cause of our suffering.

Instead of worrying and focusing on the result, concentrate on the process and the idea of service – meaning, dedication of the process of doing to God. In this case, you’ll be fully engaged in the action without thinking about what might or might not happen.

The practice of surrendering requires us to acknowledge that we can do our very best in each situation, but we can’t really do any more than that. Realizing this simple truth essentially allows us to fully engage and be present in what we’re doing, bringing all our energy to the present moment and experiencing it fully just for what it is.

Such attitude to the process helps us to develop trust and faith that are essential for our spiritual development.

You can do the same action with or without God. However, when you’re doing it without God (guided by ego) you’re facing all kinds of challenges, obstacles, worries, and suffering. But when you’re acting with God (focusing on offering your action to the Divine), you know that any outcome is beneficial because this is what God wants. This approach gives you satisfaction with any result – because you have your trust and faith that whatever happens as a result of your actions is for the highest good for all.

#3: Stay open

Awakening during Brahma Muhurta hour image

In our daily life, Isvara Pranishana can be also seen as an opening up to what isThat is, instead of fighting against life’s twists and turns, you are remaining open to experiencing life as it unfolds.  

When we are remaining fixed and rigid in our conditioned patterns, habits, and limitations, we are doomed to a limited life. Whereas surrendering has an expansive nature that boosts your development. Surrendering is hugely challenging because it means transcending the ego, and the ego will do everything it can to stay in control over your mind.

Worries, conditioning, judgments, and perceptions are the “hooks” that the ego pulls us by. Without those “hooks” the ego would not exist. Therefore, it tries desperately to cling on when we work on quietening it.

Surrendering requires trust in the Universe and the courage to express ourselves for who we are, as we are. Each time we choose to surrender, we move closer to freedom. 

Conclusion

When we see ourselves as a part of one whole, we are no longer in the illusion of separation (duality). This leads to the emergence of healthy altruism towards all living beings and a sincere desire to share the divine light of our hearts, which becomes possible due to the disclosure of this light in our souls. When we observe the principle of Ishvara Pranidhana we become free from egoistic motivations in our behavior and in our activities.

  

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Spirituality

Divine Union: Achieving the Ultimate Freedom From Enmeshed Reality

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If I had to choose one neurosis that we all hold as a collective, it would be the understanding of ourselves as separate from source. Throughout history and until the current moment humanity is known for enduring strife and challenges that have led to profound cognitive distortions. The idea that we are separate from the ever-unfolding creative energy that exists in all the universe has become an embodied reality.

How Did This Neurosis Unfold?

Whether it is due to an orchestrated amnesia or the seeds of ignorance, we have all been vulnerable to a false power that is the influence of the mind; the very thing that breeds separation, illusion, and fear.

Throughout history – religious, scientific, industrial, and social movements have all moved beyond the natural and organic. This has been coined as evolution, however, without the heart leading the way it has undoubtedly altered our ability to perceive ourselves as part of the whole.

What we understand instead is a system that keeps our minds in shackles and tension under the illusion of security and control. The neurosis that something is unquestionably wrong with us, society, our world as we know it plagues us in a way that we seldom recognize. The need to fix, improve, calculate, and just push towards a better something has kept us in perpetual unease. Our need to avoid discomfort and suffering has irrevocably separated us from the grace of divine order.

“The fear of experiencing that which we judge wrong keeps us from experiencing the love that truly does protect us from all things.”

We do not feel safe, held, or supported, and as the Samsara wheel churns, many fall further and further away from the tree of life. Instead of experiencing the self as part of a vast and organic whole, the tendency is to reside in a deep unconscious state where the appeal for a false sense of control has become prominent. The fear of experiencing that which we judge wrong keeps us from experiencing the love that truly does protect us from all things.

There is fixed enmeshment with this man-made reality that profoundly disconnects all from the truth and from the vibration that is unconditional love, which indeed emanates from in every sparkle of an eye, every speck of sand, every Tsunami and every other materialized construct within the infinite universes that exist.

What Happened to Faith?

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Faith is a word that has lost its true context – it is now loosely understood as believing in or trusting that an outside force may or may not meet one’s intended desire. This notion of faith is a diluted interpretation of the vitality in which the word truly resides.

Faith, as it has revealed itself to me, is the actual embodiment of union and it is not limited to the concepts of the mind nor is it something to be manipulated by demand. Faith speaks of an enlightened expression of the union with the source of all that is.

“There is truly an emancipation held for all by the mathematical perfection that are the universes. Suffering breeds from not feeling worthy of this and being attached to that which we believe is our identity and yet is not our true nature.”

The term, enlightenment in this prose refers to a conscious awareness of the small self as well as the Self that is attuned to the love that is the whole. The paradox itself is hard to grasp- it defies all things defined in the polarity in which we believe ourselves to exist, and it challenges the fixed status quo. However, this conundrum is the very place where we can find peace from the endless chatter that speaks of unrest in the mind, in the body, and most importantly in the self.

There is truly an emancipation held for all by the mathematical perfection that are the universes. Suffering breeds from not feeling worthy of this and being attached to that which we believe is our identity and yet is not our true nature. We were born beyond the endless constraints of logic and calculated manipulation and still we walk in those very shackles forgetting ourselves as boundless and infinite creative expression- this of course superseding even death.

We stopped trusting our intuitive nature and instead allowed our minds to become masters. Still, the field beyond right and wrong as our beloved lover and poet, Rumi would say; truly does exist.

Divine Union Is Not In the External

Divine Union Experience Image

Divine union is not a choice but an absolute truth that can only be experienced through the liberation of the small self. It is not about attracting the ideal quantum partner nor is it in the glory of a manifested desire. It means transcending the alleged separation and surrendering to the simplicity of being.

Freedom comes from allowing ourselves to embody our union with the divine as paint on a canvas would trust the strokes of its artist. There is a masterpiece that we are all part of and yet because of universal free will, we continue to lose sight of it.

Divine union is within every breath we take, we need only provide the space for it to bloom the way a flower unfolds in the Spring; petal by petal, not worried about the contours of its shape. She simply becomes its full radiance with focused intention allotted to her by her very existence, and the most subtle of expressions that derive from her simply being. Its vibrancy trusts; it does not fear decay, nor does it try to manipulate the direction or the speed at which it will flourish. Without knowing she embraces the pure fluid state that by default is all of existence; mankind included.

“Freedom comes from allowing ourselves to embody our union with the divine as paint on a canvas would trust the strokes of its artist.”

Re-union Is Definite

gates of heaven image

The labyrinth that our egos journey through paves the way for remembrance. All paths lead home as the slogan goes. There is no bypassing the organic process from our forgetting to the collective unraveling of our true essence. The enigma brings forth a rise in consciousness where we can feel into that which lies beyond the veils of our manifested reality. With the shift of the ages, we now have additional support through the more expansive access to higher dimensional frequencies that supersede the matrix consciousness.

There is a light pouring in from the cosmos that is summoning us from our sleep state. It is bringing great awareness to the depths of the collective complex of perceived abandonment. The gates of heaven are now truly accessible to all – the journey there is within. In the stillness of the mind and emptiness of the small self, the subtle whispers of conscious awareness ripple through and beloved to ourselves we become.

“The gates of heaven are now truly accessible to all – the journey there is within.”

The Bottom Line

I like to remind my clients of how fortunate they are to have incarnated at this time. Although they may perceive me with questioning eyes at such a statement while they are still deeply enmeshed with their severance; there is something that stirs in them. It is then that the invitation to remembrance becomes alive.

If they choose to answer they are ignited to explore the alchemy that is life from a higher perspective; one that doesn’t undermine the organic process that is life but instead highlights the beauty in the complexity of its nature and the absolute safety of its colorful landscape.

The heart is the gateway – we need only seek in that direction and recall that it is not a pragmatic excursion. Remembrance transcends the confines of the logical mind and calls forth the frequency that has and will always permeate above all – love.

About Ishtar

Ishtar is a psychotherapist (LCSW) who earned her masters’ degree from New York University in 2006. She is also a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga instructor; licensed in 2013 at Goldenbridge, New York City. Prior to this training, in 2008 she experienced what she coins as divine remembrance and has spent the last 13 years in service to others as a wayshower in the ascension process. As a Christed pillar of light embodying the solar crystalline frequencies; she carries the codes of gnosis and sacred transformation. Ishtar is a Rose priestess of cosmic lineage and holds a multidimensional awareness that guides clients from all walks of life into divine union. Currently, she resides with her daughter Ixchel Inanna in the city New York and remains committed to activating divine remembrance through a myriad of sacred tools.  ​

About Luminous Magik

Luminous Magik practice focuses on traditional integrative psychotherapy infused with an array of healing modalities intuitively tailored to your specific needs. The sessions can include Kundalini yoga and Meditation, Energetic Alignments, Light Language, Shadow Work, Ancestral Clearing, Womb Activations & Cosmic Coding. For more information, visit Ishtar’s website luminousmagik.com.

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Spirituality

Dark Night of the Soul: The Signs and Counter Measures

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Dark Night of the Soul Image

Picture this: You have the dream job that you always wanted. Your mortgage payments on your dream home are up to date. And, you just proposed to the partner of your dreams. It is such a time that you should feel content, if not excited for your accomplishments, right? But, why are you losing interest in pursuing more goals? Why the unexplained sadness, confusion, or a sudden loss of focus? Chances are you going through the Dark Night of the Soul.

What Is It?

The Dark Night of the Soul refers to a transitional stage when we undergo a ‘spiritual depression’ before getting an intense perception of life. It involves letting go of our past perceptions of our careers, relationships, and belief systems and replacing them with a life appreciation that leads to spiritual growth. This letting-go process can be painful, therefore, triggering sadness or feelings of getting lost. Hence, despite doing well in your career or social circles, a state of despair or suffering in humanity can leave you feeling sad when you should be happy.

The Origin

The term “Dark Night of the Soul” was first used in the poem of St. John of the Cross, depicting trials or purgation that the Roman Catholic followers go through before attaining a Divine union or illumination. In this poem, only one light lights the soul as it goes through the night. This light is what leads the soul towards Divine union.

The Symptoms of the Dark Night of the Soul

Symptoms of the Dark Night of the Soul Image

Everyone on a spiritual journey undergoes the Dark Night of the Soul before achieving spiritual enlightenment. However, we all experience it differently. And, unless you know what is happening, this transitional period can be confusing and scary. Here are 5 key signs that you could be going through the Dark Night of the Soul:

#1: Bouts of Sadness

The Dark Night of the Soul is a crisis in faith that can trigger a spiritual depression characterized by sadness. Think of persons with immense Christian faith like Elijah, Jeremiah, and David. History documents show how these spiritual leaders struggled with anxiety, depression, and failure (Psalm 51, 1 Kings 19, Jeremiah 20). Likewise, Mother Teresa is said to have dark night experiences that lasted for close to 50 years. 

#2: Feeling Powerless or Hopeless About Your Current Situation

Anyone undergoing the dark night experiences becomes overly aware of their incompleteness and imperfection to God.  You feel an overwhelming confusion. It is a discomfort that comes with a lot of hopelessness.

For example, the death of a loved one may remind you of how fragile life is, triggering a sense of powerlessness and sadness. Yet, unlike depression that brings about suicidal thoughts, or resentment towards God, the pain in dark night experiences is for a purpose. Hence, the loss of pleasure towards things of God is only temporary.

#3: You Desire to Connect with People

Are you active on social media, or lead a public life where you enjoy impressing the masses? A dark night experience may evoke a desire to connect with your followers or audience. For, this spiritual transformation process causes you to question everything that you once thought was true. Hence, your mind tries to derive meaning in all your interactions with others, letting go of interest that is no longer serving your audience.

#4: Lack of Interest in Your Passion

Often, a spiritual crisis leaves us listless and with no motivation to do the things we once enjoyed. In turn, we isolate ourselves with our friends and loved ones, sinking deeper into depression.

#5: Longing for “Home”

If you feel frustrated and conflict to the extent of getting homesickness for an imaginary place you want to call home, it is a clear sign of a dark night experience. See, the spiritual trials make us long for normalcy that we associate with our loved ones of the home environment. It is a natural response to any life transition that comes with a feeling of loss and a need to adjust to the new norm.

Overcoming the Dark Night of the Soul

Overcoming Spiritual Depression Image

If you are going through spiritual depression, here are some tips to make this experience bearable: –

  • Maintain a journal of your dark night experiences.  This approach helps you see what triggers the sadness, emptiness, and anxiety. More so, it will give you the insight necessary to assist another person going through a similar experience.
  • Understand how your subconscious mind works. Knowing your thought process helps you anticipate and avoid an emotional breakdown. Plus, it will give you a chance to identify any areas in your life that bring about cognitive dissonance.
  • Let go of your fears, feelings, and old beliefs. Instead, be open to the present moment.
  • Embrace the dark night experiences with a positive attitude. The experience is only temporary, and the result is a profound perception of self.
  • Enrich your soul. Here, taking part in yoga sessions, forest baths, reading motivational books, or listening to sleep meditation provides an outlet for the anguish you feel inside.
  • Practice living in the present. Remember, sadness, hopelessness, or anxiety comes about when we have regrets or conflicts about our past thoughts.
  • Stay active. A regular brisk walk can help wade off thoughts of depression and loss of interest in our passion. Likewise, if you know you enjoy camping or traveling, start by making a campfire in your backyard.
  • Find support. Spending time with friends and family can uplift your mood.

Conclusion

Meister Eckhart the great philosopher, once said, “We rarely find people who achieve great things without first going astray.” Indeed, this is the essence of the Dark Night of the Soul. It is a spiritual disconnection that leads us to a deeper understanding of our soul and who we are. Only, these dark night experiences may trigger an overwhelming sadness, insatiable cravings, or lack of interest in what you once enjoyed. Learn to identify the symptoms of dark night experiences to embrace them positively. More so, differentiate them from symptoms of clinical depression or chemical imbalances so that you may seek appropriate help.

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