The Upanishads refer to the spiritual path as the kshurasya dhara, the razor’s edge. It is a potent path, yet one that can be easy to stray from without realizing it, and hard to stay on. The wisdom of a realized master is invaluable for those who seek to undertake this journey.
I feel very blessed by the Grace of a satguru in my life. They say the teacher comes when the student is ready. I stumbled upon and met Mata Amritanandamayi Devi in Kerala, South India in 1993 when I was internally called to go to India to deepen my yoga practice.
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, lovingly known as Amma, or Mother, is the embodiment of unconditional love, the primordial shakti, or divine life force. Her teachings are clear and simple, practically relevant to our busy, modern lives. Her focus on selfless service as a means of God-realization provides straightforward guidelines on spiritual living. She says, “Fill your hearts with love and express it in all you do.”
I would like to dedicate this month’s column to some of Amma’s guidelines for spiritual growth and expansion. They have become points of regular contemplation for me. As with most spiritual truths, there is a profundity in the simplicity found within them. In each of these points, we can find deeper and richer jewels to guide our way along the spiritual path. May they inspire you at least as much as they continue to inspire me.
Wishing you much grace along your path.
May we all swiftly realize our true nature and merge with the divine.
AMMA’S GUIDELINES FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND EXPANSION
When thinking about what to do, consider how each of your actions will be of service to humanity.
Progress is being made when you can maintain evenness of mind in the face of praise and shame, honor and dishonor.
Communication begins when you fully understand the other person’s point of view.
If you cannot speak with love and respect, wait until you can.
When you harm anyone, you harm everyone, especially your own self.
If someone is doing something you find really offensive, check to see whether you are doing something similar to someone else or yourself.
Make an appointment with God each day and hold that as your highest priority.
Practice withdrawing the mind from sense objects.
Balance your life with jnana, karma and bhakti yoga.
Excessive talking increases mental turbulence, drains your energy and drowns the subtle voice of God within.
Read a passage from the Guru’s teachings each day.
Establish a sadhana plan and follow it as sincerely as possible.
Take advantage of the stillness of the early morning hours for meditation and prayer.
Don’t just apologize for hurting someone. Make the firm resolve you will never again do that painful act to anyone.
“The goal in life is God realization. Strive for That!” – Amma
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine. In addition to being an internationally acclaimed Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and performer, she is a yoga teacher and holistic educator. Having studied yoga and meditation since 1987, Parvati developed her own yoga teaching style called YEMTM Yoga as Energy Medicine. Her music, including upcoming singles “I Am Light” and “Yoga in the Nightclub”, brings forward a conscious energy into the pop mainstream. Her book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie” is a road map to a revolutionary life makeover for sincere spiritual seekers.