A simple change of seasons can reveal so much. With an alarming sense of perfect timing, billions of changes around the globe are in motion, and amongst the waves of color and light, we find ourselves a mere instance of a collective soul.
It is my observation that a change of season affords the eyes so much evidence that a higher nature is at work, performing its due diligence and leaving its touch on everything around us in a manner that we can simply acknowledge as beautiful and expect nothing else in return.
I’m sure, then, that it is far from coincidence that the only requirement for Bhakti Yoga is an open and loving heart. It is irrespective of class or climate, and does not require Olympian strength or advanced alien mental faculty. The simple beauty is that anyone can practice Bhakti.
Bhakti Yoga is readily defined as divine worship, yet it is a term which is used to describe something that is beyond the range of linear thinking. It transcends ritual definition as it is both a process and a practice towards self realization – the essence of self.
As a process, we move towards a higher, purer state.
In practice, Bhakti is in everything we do. It is not just limited to the time slot we afford yoga during our day. Through practice, we recondition our mind to our own bundle of truths, both dark and light, and find peace and tranquility with each – our own absolute truth. We can then begin to apply this absolute truth to our relationships with others and other beings around us, including our relationship with a higher nature.
Traditional Bhakti focuses on the Love of God, surrender to the guru and/or to the chosen deity with Devotion.
Contemporary interpretations may be seen as a little more liberal in their practice of Bhakti, and love and devotion may be expressed in a multitude of ways through dance, music, arts, and cuisine.
Each share a common source – a positive feeling in our heart and a connection with the Divine.
From a practical angle, the aim of Bhakti is the merging of consciousness with the divine presence. The different stages of Bhakti transform the mental conditioning. And while there are nine forms of Bhakti, we may only fulfill one requirement in our lifetime. Living one stage fully, we are bound to reach the ninth.
“Through overflowing and indiscriminate, self-less love, breaks the bonds of the ego and experiences the unity of all things.” Bhakti re-calibrates your experience with everyday things, enabling you to stay positive as you move along your spiritual path.
To develop Bhakti, there are processes and practices you can follow to set yourself along a path to a deeper realization of reality and self. Take a look at the nine forms and three practices listed here: http://www.yogapoint.com/articles/Bhakti_yoga.htm and 14 steps here : http://www.mandalayoga.net/index-newsletter-en-bhakti_yoga.html.
Power Cooler Smoothie
~25 grams pea shoots
100 grams silken tofu
1 apple sliced, core removed
¼ cup frozen blue berries
¼ cup frozen raspberries
¼ cup frozen strawberries
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp non fat dry milk
¼ cup water
1 tbsp wheat germ
several ice cubes
Place everything in a blender and blitz into smoothie. Serve immediately.