“We are not here to grow Corn. We are here to grow Gods.”
An Ancient Wisdom Teaching
By Olivia Weil
In my practice I love drawing from all kinds of different wisdom teachings and traditions–the east, the west, and everything in between. Reading, studying, integrating, and then adopting and accepting what works for you, while rejecting and allowing what doesn’t to pass you by. All are permission slips and there are infinite numbers of them, to discover and play with, while finding the ones that work for you is part of this Journey of Remembering in itself.
And so recently I was re-reading and demystifying parts of the Bhagavad Gita (The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita: Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda), which I do with texts from time to time–especially such impactful texts on our times as the Gita–re-reading and re-discovering clues and practices and puzzle pieces to my own Journey of Remembering.
During this session of re-examination and self-enquiry, I was reminded of a practice that is so beautiful I was both grateful to reincorporate this into my own daily practice and so too felt Called to share and offer this to you as well.
In Chapter thirteen, Verse 3:9, the Bhagavad Gita explains;
(3:9) Actions performed for selfish gain are karmically binding. Therefore, O Son of Kunti (that is to say, of dispassion), perform your duty without attachment in a spirit of religious self-offering.
Yogananda then goes on to explain the rite of yagya, a symbolic offering of the ego-self into the sacrificial fire for purification. Yogananda continues by reminding us that “[o]ne who aspires to liberation should do everything in a spirit of self-offering to [the Universe].” That the power of the Universe, or of Spirit, is symbolized by the fire of yagya itself.
Actions performed for selfish gain are karmically binding, and in our day to day lives it can be all too easy to slip back into karmic patterns, or allow thoughts or a feeling that in the end too create more karma for us. Any thought or feeling that is centered in the ego (self-congratulation, for example, self-abasement, any self-justification) is a karmically binding thought or feeling, says Yogananda. So too is any and every desire and attachment.
And so if this resonates with you, we can incorporate a simple, beautiful practice into our every day lives to clear this karmic imprints.
Every night before going to bed, offer every thought and feeling that is centered in the ego, along with every desire and attachment, into the blazing fire of Spirit, of the Universe’s, love.
And so to this end, here is an example of this meditative practice I invite you too to use.
I like to always start with my hands at heart centre, taking a few deep breaths in and out. Coming to the present moment, the Eternal Now, the only moment we really every have. Reaching our hands up towards our heads, reaching up and through our Crown chakras, draping ourselves in timelessness and Infinity and stepping outside of ordinary time into non-linear, non-ordinary time.
Continuing with the breath, begin visualizing a blazing fire in front of you. Allow yourself to feel into the interconnectedness to all sentient beings and the Great Mystery of the Universe around you. With this infinite Source energy flowing through you and permeating every cell of your being, begin thinking about and bringing into your awareness as many thoughts and feelings (as you can) that you had during the day centered in the Ego. These may be thoughts of self-congratulation, self-abasement, any kind of self-justification. So too might they be every desire or attachment you had during the day.
Visualize yourself lovingly cutting loose these desires and attachments–these energetic cords–freeing them and sending them back to their original destinies. As you continue to breathe, imagine you are releasing all that no longer serves you—these desires, attachments, along with any and all thoughts and feelings centered in the Ego—and releasing them to the fire. As you breathe, continue gazing in your mind’s eye as you witness these ego-centered beliefs, thoughts, and feelings fall away, blazing in the fire of the Universe’s love.
Taking three deep breaths in and out, place your hands on your laps with your palms facing up, signaling to the Universe you are ready, willing and able to receive. Visualize these flames now penetrating your entire physical body along with your luminous energy field, combusting any residual negative feelings or desires or attachments. Feel the flaming and blazing fire of the Universe’s love enveloping all parts of you.
Breathing deeply in and and out, return your hands to heart centre and thank the fire for purifying your body-mind-soul complex. Thank this Spiritual rite of the Yagya for all the gifts the sacrificial fire of purification has given you today and always. Ending your session, retrieve your inner Buddha light (that you opened at the beginning of this meditation), retrieving the drapes of timelessness and Infinity, and inviting your refreshed and renewed Self to step back into this space-time reality.
About the author: Olivia Weil plays the roles of a NY lawyer turned shamanic energy medicine practitioner, soul alchemy coach, plant-based nutritionist, and writer. She holds post-graduate certification from Cornell University in plant-based nutrition and was trained traditionally by the Four Winds Society and shamans of the old–the indigenous medicine peoples of the high Andes. She has an international healing practice which combines ancient wisdom with modern science. To connect with her, she can be reached at [email protected]