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Heart Sutra: Hidden Meaning Of the Sacred Text

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Heart Sutra, also known as The Essence of Wisdom is a popular sutra in Mahayana Buddhism. Recited daily by many Buddhist practitioners, this is the shortest of the Perfection of Wisdom texts. Heart Sutra practice opens the connection between the understanding of emptiness and the five stages of the path to enlightenment. In this article, we will share with you this beautiful sutra and its hidden meaning.

The Essence of The Heart Sutra

The Sutra basically describes the teachings of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who in this context represents the virtue of wisdom.

Avalokiteshvara refers to Shariputra, who in the Sutra represents the early Buddhist school of “perfect wisdom”. The bodhisattva especially emphasizes that “form is emptiness, and emptiness is form” and declares the skandhas to be equally empty.

After this, Avalokiteshvara talks about some of the most important Buddhist dogmas and explains that they are simple explanations of reality, but not reality itself, and therefore are not truth in the highest sense of this concept. In other words, a Buddhist cannot rely on words or traditional dogmas of teaching. The bodhisattva, as an archetypal Buddhist, relies on the perfection of wisdom, which perceives things as they really are, that is, perceives reality directly.

This perfect wisdom is centered in the mantra of the heart Sutra, also called Mahamantra:

गते गते पारगते पारसंगते बोधि स्वाहा

GATE GATE PARA GATE PARA SAM GATE BODHI SVAHA

Which can be translated as “gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, svaha“.

Which means complete liberation from illusions and welcomes enlightenment.

The peculiarity of this Sutra is that the teaching does not come from the mouth of the Buddha himself (which is traditional for all sutras); instead, the Buddha only confirms the correctness of Sri Avalokitesvara’s conclusions regarding Prajnaparamita.

The Translation of the Heart Sutra

Heart Sutra Image

There are multiple translations of the Heart sutra. Here is the most common version.

Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, meditating deeply on Perfection of Wisdom, saw clearly that the five aspects of human existence are empty, and so released himself from suffering.  Answering the monk Sariputra, he said this:

Body is nothing more than emptiness,
emptiness is nothing more than body.
The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.

The other four aspects of human existence —
feeling, thought, will, and consciousness —
are likewise nothing more than emptiness,
and emptiness nothing more than they.

All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing is pure, nothing is stained,
nothing increases and nothing decreases.

So, in emptiness, there is no body,
no feeling, no thought,
no will, no consciousness.
There are no eyes, no ears,
no nose, no tongue,
no body, no mind.
There is no seeing, no hearing,
no smelling, no tasting,
no touching, no imagining.
There is nothing seen, nor heard,
nor smelled, nor tasted,
nor touched, nor imagined.

There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no end to suffering, no path to follow.
There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.

The Bodhisattvas rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and so with no delusions,
they feel no fear,
and have Nirvana here and now.

All the Buddhas,
past, present, and future,
rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and live in full enlightenment.

The Perfection of Wisdom is the greatest mantra.
It is the clearest mantra,
the highest mantra,
the mantra that removes all suffering.

This is truth that cannot be doubted.
Say it so:

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!

The Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore

Thich Nhat Hanh Sutra Image

Let us also share with you the new Heart Sutra translation by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Avalokiteshvara while practicing deeply with the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore, suddenly discovered that all of the five Skandhas are equally empty, and with this realization, he overcame all Ill-being.

“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is Emptiness
and Emptiness itself is this Body.
This Body is not other than Emptiness
and Emptiness is not other than this Body.
The same is true of Feelings,
Perceptions, Mental Formations,
and Consciousness.

“Listen Sariputra,
all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;
their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death,
no Being no Non-being,
no Defilement no Purity,
no Increasing no Decreasing.

“That is why in Emptiness,
Body, Feelings, Perceptions,
Mental Formations and Consciousness
are not separate self entities.

The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena
which are the six Sense Organs,
the six Sense Objects,
and the six Consciousnesses
are also not separate self entities.

The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
and their Extinction
are also not separate self entities.
Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
the End of Ill-being, the Path,
insight and attainment,
are also not separate self entities.

Whoever can see this
no longer needs anything to attain.

Bodhisattvas who practice
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
see no more obstacles in their mind,
and because there
are no more obstacles in their mind,
they can overcome all fear,
destroy all wrong perceptions
and realize Perfect Nirvana.

“All Buddhas in the past, present and future
by practicing
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
are all capable of attaining
Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.

“Therefore Sariputra,
it should be known that
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
is a Great Mantra,
the most illuminating mantra,
the highest mantra,
a mantra beyond compare,
the True Wisdom that has the power
to put an end to all kinds of suffering.
Therefore let us proclaim
a mantra to praise
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!

Hidden Meaning of the Heart Sutra

Now let’s dive deeper into understanding the hidden meaning of the Heart Sutra.

Let’s take a closer look at the mantra that is found at the end of the Heart Sutra.

GATE GATE PARA GATE PARA SAM GATE BODHI SVAHA

Gate means gone.

Paragate signifies gone to the further shore and is a stock Sanskrit expression used by Buddhists and Jains to refer to arahants. (The word para signifies the bank of a river opposite to the one on which one is presently standing).

Parasamgate signifies completely gone to the further shore. (The syllable sam means: altogether, thoroughly, or completely.)

The syllable bodhi is a feminine noun that signifies awakening, knowledge, and enlightenment.

The syllable svaha is an indeclinable part of Vedic Sanskrit. It is said to be the name of the wife of Agni, the god of fire. This syllable is used at the end of a chanting that accompanies a burnt offering made at a Vedic sacrifice (rather as “amen” is used at the end of a prayer in Christian liturgy). This syllable cannot really be translated since it is a performative word.

We can read the first “GATE” or “gone” as an incentive to enter the path of accumulating merit, and the second “GATE” or “gone” as a way to prepare the mind for a deep perception of emptiness.

Gone to the further shore” refers to the path of seeing reality, the direct perception of emptiness. One who attains this vision becomes Arya, or “noble.”

The words “completely gone to the further shore” indicate the path of meditation in which the practitioner through constant practice becomes familiar with emptiness on a deeper level.

The last words of this mantra “Bodhi Svaha” are an incentive to take root in the soil of enlightenment, that is, to enter the final Nirvana.

Stages of enlightenment image

There are five stages of the path to enlightenment:

  1. accumulation;
  2. preparation;
  3. vision;
  4. meditation;
  5. no further learning.

These five stages can be connected with various fragments of the main text of the Heart Sutra.

Four-part representation of emptiness at the beginning of the Sutra:

“Body is nothing more than emptiness,
emptiness is nothing more than body.
The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.”

is a way of practicing emptiness in the first two stages – accumulation and preparation.

The emptiness of the eight aspects of phenomena, expressed in the words:

All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing is pure, nothing is stained,
nothing increases and nothing decreases.

is the realization of emptiness at the stage of vision.

The words:

There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no end to suffering, no path to follow.
There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.

indicate the method of practicing emptiness at the stage of meditation.

The words in the next section:

The Bodhisattvas rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and so with no delusions,
they feel no fear,
and have Nirvana here and now.

indicate the practice of emptiness of the last of the ten levels of bodhisattva, where he resides in a state of meditative concentration.

The actual transition from one stage to another takes place while you are in a state of meditative balance.

At the initial stage, when the practitioner goes through the path of accumulation, his understanding of emptiness is primarily intellectual. Practitioners with a sharp mind can reach a sufficiently deep understanding of emptiness before generating the altruistic attitude of bodhichitta. Those who are less inclined to intellectual thinking, first develop the intention to free all living beings from suffering.

In any case, a deep understanding of emptiness has a powerful effect on all other practices, enhancing and complimenting them. It can lead to a powerful renunciation, which is the desire to free oneself from the sufferings of the cycle of being, as well as to become the basis of strong and all-encompassing compassion.

In the accumulation stage, awareness of voidness is mainly the result of learning, reflection, and intellectual understanding. Through meditation on what has been learned, the practitioner further deepens his understanding until eventually, he attains full clarity of penetrating vision.

From this moment, the preparation stage begins. Here the understanding of emptiness is no longer purely intellectual or conceptual, but rather has the character of an experience, although it is not yet a direct comprehension of it.

In the preparation stage, the understanding of emptiness becomes more and more deep, subtle, and clear. The use of conceptual thinking in meditation is gradually fading into the background.

When all the dual perception of subject and object, conditional reality and self-existence is eliminated, the practitioner enters the path of vision. At this stage, there is no division into subject and object. Subjective perception and its object merge into one, and meditation is carried out in the direct perception of emptiness.

As this direct experience of emptiness deepens, the practitioner steadily counteracts the various obscurations that occur during the stage of meditation or assimilation by passing through the so-called seven levels of contamination.

In a Nutshell

Dalai Lama Sutra Image

According to Dalai Lama XIV interpretation, the stages work like this:

Accumulation refers to realizing emptiness as an intellectual exercise.

Preparation represents actually experiencing emptiness, but indirectly. Here one progressively sees emptiness while concepts gradually recede.

The path of Vision is attained when dualistic perceptions of subject and object are removed, and where emptiness becomes unmediated and direct.

During the stage of meditation, one progresses through subtle “imprints” of mental afflictions, eventually eradicating them.

This finally leads to full Buddhahood, or the stage of No More Learning.

The Bottom Line

First, it may seem very difficult to understand Heart Sutra. Therefore, it is recommended to meditate on it. By meditating on the Heart Sutra, you will, again and again, enter deeply the mysteries of these sacred words. And by making the Mahamantra your daily practice you will see that you’re observing your life experience from a higher perspective.

Personal Development

Divine Masculine Awakening: Achieving Balance Through Spiritual Maturity

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Divine Masculine Awakening Image

We all have divine masculine and divine feminine archetypal energies. The divine masculine is direct and represents the giving nature. In contrast, the divine feminine is cyclical, expressing a receiving nature. When working together, these two energies dance to form a spiral similar to yin and yang or SO and CHA. Indeed, the dualistic nature of the universe exists because of these two opposite energies. Think of day and night, hot and cold, light and dark, yin and yang, and so on.

Anyone seeking spiritual maturity must nurture, honor, and balance the masculine and feminine energies. When these energies come into harmony and balance with one another, they begin to express divine qualities. Though they exist in everyone, women awaken their divine feminine nature more often, and men are encouraged to activate their divine masculine energies. Here, the individual proactively embraces a healthy way of expressing the side they wish to cultivate. For example, a man can seek to learn all of life’s lessons about masculinity.

So, this guide will focus on divine masculine energy. More so, we will define it, identify signs of its awakening, and share tips on how to awaken the divine masculine energy within you.

What is ‘Divine Masculine’?

The divine masculine is an energy of expansion. It refers to focused strength and action in a manner that is in harmony with beauty and wholeness. This energy is not gender-sensitive, hence, manifests in both men and women. It is believed that the divine masculine energy is connected to the left side of the brain.

What are the Signs of Divine Masculine Awakening?

Signs of Divine Masculine Awakening Image

When you awaken your divine masculine, the following things happen: –

#1: You Develop Great Confidence

Divine masculine awakening provokes healthy confidence and belief in your actions, not to be mistaken for arrogance. It stems from having that diving masculine energy within, giving the person confidence to face any task because they know they are guided by spirit. You no longer see hurdles as stumbling blocks but as stepping stones to success.

#2: You Become Loyal and Trustworthy

When your divine masculine awakens, it brings out commitment, understanding, and faithfulness in you. It places value on the bond you share with your partner. Since it believes in the revered union of love and the boundaries necessary for the relationship to flourish, your loyalty and self-control come naturally.

Faithfulness becomes your way of living rather than an imposed behavior. Hence, when a man who labels himself as a womanizer starts to show loyalty and trust toward their long-time partner, it is a clear sign of the divine masculine awakening in them.

#3: You Become Protective

While masculine energy drives us to protect what we like, divine masculine energy drives us to protect the innocent and righteous path of life. Hence, you feel drawn to show unconditional love towards everything and everyone in your care. That way, your spouse, child, sibling, parent, friend, or colleague feels safe and protected when close to you. And, the energy will attract more people to you, for they feel safe with you.

#4: You Practice Self Care

Anyone undergoing a diving masculine awakening owns their actions. This energy helps you identify your needs. In turn, you get proactive with self-care routines as you work towards your happiness. Likewise, you are in control of your actions. Hence, you know when to exert your divine masculine power to help others.

#5: Show Responsibility

The divine masculine energy makes you responsible enough not to be a victim of those that need rescuing. More so, when you make a mistake, this energy gives you the courage to reflect and acknowledge your wrongdoing. Anyone whose divine masculine is awake sees the blame game as a waste of energy.

#6: You Are More Active

Does your comfort zone seem not comforting anymore? If you are the kind of person who felt content and seemed to settle in their career, relationships, or studies, a divine masculine awakening will push you from a passive to an active lifestyle.

Now, you find it automatic to take the initiative to go out and pursue new and higher goals. And when you rest, it is only to review and strategize your next course of action. The healthy confidence you have assures you that you can reach your goals as long as you never give up on them.

5 Ways to Awaken Your Divine

increased intuitive abilities image

Are you seeking to awaken the divine masculine within you? Here are 5 ways to do so: –

#1: Heal Your Father

Do you have any grudge or unresolved issues with your father, grandfather, or any other father figure? It could be anger or hatred you have for the trauma, abuse, or neglect you went through as a child. Or, it could be a sense of betrayal when your father figure gave you up for adoption. Whatever the source, strive to let go and make peace, even if this father figure is no longer alive.

#2: Heal Your Sexuality

If your sexuality revolves around seeking instant gratification or body pleasures, you need to change this perspective. By learning everything about the relationship between sexuality and divine masculinity, you will discover that your sexuality can be a great source of creativity and inspiration. Hence, you can create whatever you want from a powerful perspective. Start by reading more about the sacredness of sex and how you can practice what you learn.

#3: Physical Movement

Divine masculine awakening requires you to be a person on the move. For example, you can take part in martial arts to build your physical and mental power. Or, enroll at the gym. Your divine masculine energy gets outlet through these physical activities.

#4: Care for Others

As mentioned earlier, divine masculine energy has a giving nature. It wants to serve and share with others. Therefore, to awaken it, find a course that is bigger than you. Share your skills with those who need them.

#5: Lead a Purposeful Life

Embark on a soul-seeking journey to figure out your purpose in life. Ask deep soul questions about your existence, where you come from, and why you are here today. By doing so, you learn to live truthfully without fear of taking risks. Hence, your divine masculine energy will follow that direction to fulfill your life purpose.

Conclusion

The divine masculine and divine feminine energies work together in a balanced way to create a powerful dynamic in our lives. However, you must awaken them. We hope this guide helped you understand better what divine masculine energy is and how to awaken it. May it help you attain spiritual maturity and balance in life.

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Spirituality

Must-Have Crystals For Spiritual Work & Their Transcendental Properties

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must-have crystals image

For thousands of years, crystals have been used in spiritual practices, healing sessions, and shamanic rituals. The use of crystals dates all the way back 6,000 years ago to the ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia. Since then, crystals have been used in different forms, rituals, and practices in countless ancient cultures such as in China, Rome, Greece, Egypt, and South America. In this article, I will share with you 8 must-have crystals for your spiritual work and their transcendental properties.

But first, let’s take a look at the science behind crystals.

The Science Behind Crystals

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” ~ Albert Einstein

It has been scientifically proven that matter is 99.999999999999% empty space. And what makes up this empty space is energy. Therefore, it won’t be a mistake to say that energy is everything, and everything is energy. You, everything around you – the furniture, the phone you’re holding, and the crystals are vibrating energy.

Each of us has our own unique vibrational frequency. People with higher vibrations radiate love and kindness, peace and compassion, whereas people with lower vibrations experience more low-vibe emotions like fear, anger, jealousy, or anxiety.

Whatever frequency we are at, as humans, our vibrations are very unstable and can be easily affected by our environment, other people, social media, the news, traffic, the weather, our own memories, etc.

Crystals, on the other hand, have a very stable energy frequency due to the fact that they were made up of a fixed, regularly repeating, perfect geometric pattern of molecules. Therefore, they are able to maintain their perfect stability of the Earth element. This is the opposite quality to our constantly changing, non-stable human nature.

While the healing properties of crystals have not yet been proven, we do know that crystals radiate a unique electrical charge known as piezoelectricity. Piezoelectricity is an electrical charge that is emitted from crystals once they are pressed or cut.

Scientific research has been able to demonstrate that synthetic crystals can actually store data. This could explain why certain crystals have specific qualities.

8 Must-Have Crystals For Your Spiritual Work

Now, let me share with you the 8 must-have crystals that can help you in your spiritual practices and inner work. You can program these crystals with your intentions, meditate with them, use them for opening up vibrational doorways, supporting your spiritual rituals, and strengthening your prayers. If you are not involved in deep spiritual work yet, you can let these crystals serve you as mindfulness totems. Whatever way you choose to use your crystals, they will surely enrich your spiritual journey.

Here is my list of the must-have crystals:

#1: Spirit Quartz

Spirit Quartz Image

Spirit Quartz is a crystal of harmony and alignment. Its crystals are like high-frequency little beings who attract the spirit realm and put out positive energy into our environment. Its resonance is spiritually uplifting, radiating high-vibrational energy in all directions, and is a perfect ally in aligning the aura, chakras, meridians, and the physical body, as well as carrying the gifts of Spirit out into the world.

Spirit Quartz is a stone of non-duality. It perfectly blends and balances the energies of male and female, yin and yang, and enhances all metaphysical abilities.

Here are the properties of Spirit Quartz:
  • provides protection from harm while awake and during dreaming and astral projection;
  • activates the Crown chakra;
  • helps to channel your desires toward higher frequency goals;
  • facilitates the transition between different brainwave states, heightening awareness and psychic perception, and encourages insightful dreams;
  • helps remove fear;
  • assists in ascension process;
  • activates the Lightbody;
  • provides multi-directional spiritual and cellular healing;
  • helps in reframing the past, and to realign the etheric blueprint for the present life.

#2: Aura Quartz

Aura Quartz Image

This crystal utilizes the ancient powers of alchemy and synergy. This crystal is an extremely powerful healing and energy amplifier. It absorbs, stores, releases, and regulates the energies of the body. Enhanced by precious metals, Aura Quartz becomes a high-vibrational healing stone. It carries a high level of Life Force, cleansing and enhancing the organs, stimulating the immune and energy systems, and bringing the body into balance.

Aura Quartz is the crystal of spiritual elevation, remarkable for its powers of guidance and expansion of the soul.

Properties of Aqua Quartz include:
  • provides serenity and peace during meditation;
  • deepens one’s attunement to the Divine and opens gateways to the angelic realm;
  • assists in remembering lessons from past incarnations;
  • expands the awareness of one’s spiritual purpose for this lifetime;
  • protects during spiritual journeying;
  • assists in conscious channeling and all types of inter-dimensional communications.

#3: Azurite

Azurite Crystal Image

This dark-blue stone has been guiding souls to enlightenment since the earliest civilizations began. Its rich vibrancy resonates with the exact frequency of the Third Eye chakra. To the Atlantians and the early Egyptians, Azurite was a most potent psychic stone. It was called the Stone of Heaven by the ancient Chinese who believed it to open celestial gateways. For the Mayans, Azurite inspired the mystical self and facilitated the transfer of wisdom and knowledge via thought.

Azurite is definitely one of the must-have crystals that will assist you on your spiritual journey due to its transcendental properties.

Properties of Azurite:
  • clears away tension and confusion and opens the mind to new perspectives;
  • stimulates the intellect;
  • awakens the development of psychic and intuitive abilities;
  • brings inner vision into alignment with spiritual guidance;
  • assists in entering a meditative or channeling state;
  • enables out-of-body journeys to take place safely;
  • assists in exploring past or alternate lives;
  • clears the Throat Chakra;
  • inspires the search for truth in one’s personal reality by challenging the examination and letting go of old programmed belief systems;
  • expands one’s awareness to a deeper understanding of life.

#4: Moqui Marbles (Boji Stones)

Moqui Marbles Image

Moqui Marbles are also known as “Shaman Stones.” They come in three varieties: male, female, and androgynous. The word “Moqui” comes from the Hopi word that means “dear departed ones.” It is believed that spirits of the dead would play with these “marbles” at night and leave them in the morning to send messages to those that were living.

Properties of Moqui Stones:
  • stimulates psychic abilities;
  • promotes grounding and centering;
  • helps to connect with earth energies;
  • clears the energy field;
  • balances male and female energies;
  • helps to connect with animal spirit guides.

#5: Cacoxenite

Cacoxenite Image

Known as the Stone of Ascension, this beautiful stone is believed to raise the spiritual awareness of the human race and to provide a loving and ethereal connection between all of the universe. It encourages a conscious awareness of the significance of random events to guide us on the right path, and in sensing the essence of the Creator in the beauty of nature and the kindness of people. Its vibration assists in surrendering personal will to Divine Will, making it easier to receive the guidance and assistance needed to move forward on one’s spiritual path.

Properties of Cacoxenite:
  • initiates a higher level of creativity;
  • clears the Third Eye and Crown Chakras of conventional thought and limitations;
  • brings new ideas and innovations to humanity;
  • enlightens spiritual awareness through meditation and dreamwork;
  • relays the message that everyone carries a Divine spark and may connect with the Creator, as well as one’s guides, guardian spirits, and other higher powers, at any time to receive healing and guidance;
  • unites collective consciousness in ceremony or ritual gatherings, for world meditations and planetary alignments, and in connecting with the Universal Life Force to draw in energy for Earth’s healing.

#6: Nuummite

Must-Have Crystals Nuummite Image

Did you know that Nuummite is one of the oldest stones on our planet? Mined only in Greenland, this powerful stone was formed from a volcanic eruption around 3.8 billion years ago! This is a rare and sought-after stone as it is very limited in quantity. Many esoteric collectors see Nuummite as a highly valuable stone.

Nuummite is often called the “Sorcerer’s Stone” or “Magician’s Stone”. It’s very powerful and one of the must-have crystals for many esotericists and spiritual seekers.

Properties of Nuummite:
  • strengthens one’s energy field;
  • enhances personal power;
  • aids shamanic journeying and soul retrieval;
  • helps to access unconscious layers of the mind;
  • promotes spiritual grounding.

#7: Moldavite

Moldavite Must-Have Crystal Image

This is one of the most powerful stones you will ever touch! Moldavite carries an intense frequency, a fusion of earthly and extraterrestrial energies. Holding this stone for the first time often produces a sensation of heat, felt first in the hand, then progressively throughout the body. In some cases, the Anahata chakra is activated, experienced as a pounding pulse, followed by sweating or flushing of the face, and an emotional release that may range from laughter to tears.

This mysterious green stone is star-born, formed from nature’s violent meteoric impact with Mother Earth. It was formed around 15 million years ago when a meteorite entered our universe and crashed near a Czechoslovakian river. Etched by force and flame as it fell from the heavens Moldavite returned to the earth’s surface transformed, a glass of amazing delicacy and grace ready to serve humankind. It is believed that Moldavite was sent to Earth for spiritual awakening, transformation, and spiritual evolution.

Properties of Moldavite:
  • facilitates a strong, clear, and direct connection between one’s consciousness and the Universal Source;
  • activates and strengthens Anahata chakra (Heart center);
  • helps to connect with Ascended Masters and cosmic messengers;
  • increases occurrences of synchronicity;
  • draws into the Earth plane those thought patterns and light vibrations that are most beneficial for ascension and illumination;
  • promotes rapid inner transformation;
  • creates an energy of spiritual protection;
  • raises one’s vibrations;
  • grounds Light for the healing of the Earth;
  • provides an understanding of the essential unity of all life and our responsibility to see our planet as a whole being in need of love and compassion;
  • connects one to higher consciousness.

#8: Lemurian Quartz

Lemurian Quartz Crystal Image

Lemurian Quartz is one of the must-have crystals to assist your spiritual development. Lemurian crystals originated much earlier than the existence of the Lemurian civilization, although it left its light prints on them. These crystals grew in conditions when the bowels of the Earth were still clean – when there was no oil and poisonous ores inside them. These crystals served as repositories of Memory. People could fill these crystals with the memories of the most beautiful events, just as we fill albums with photographs. It was believed that there was a seed of the Creator in each of these crystals.

Some people believe that these crystals can sing because music lives in their Chiaroscuro. Many people who have psychic abilities claim that when working with these crystals, they can hear a wonderful baritone, performing an Aria, which later gives way to the magical music of distant stars and planets.

Properties of Lemurian Quartz:
  • promotes lucid dreaming;
  • aids spiritual awakening;
  • helps to develop telepathic abilities;
  • amplifies prayers, wishes, and intentions;
  • helps to access higher states of consciousness;
  • promotes energy healing;
  • connects one to hidden knowledge within oneself;
  • promotes past lives regression;
  • removes energetic blockages from all chakras;
  • awakens one’s connection to wholeness;
  • helps to astral project easily and safely;
  • connects with the Higher Self, the angelic spheres, and spiritual guides;
  • restores the integrity of the aura;
  • helps to heal past traumas;
  • aids inner child healing.

The Bottom Line

There are many beautiful and powerful crystals and stones that you can use for your spiritual work. These eight are the must-have crystals that I believe can help to take one’s personal spiritual evolution to the next level. Use these stones for your spiritual practices, meditations, rituals, or as amulets that you wear. Don’t forget to regularly cleanse and charge your crystals to keep their energy strong.

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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

Dopamine happiness hormone image

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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