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Bhavana, Devotion as Love

Bhavana is a Sanskrit word for devotion to the higher, in other words, to God. Bhav or Bhava is a feeling or a vibe. When love is directed to something higher it is called devotion. To love God is to experience complete Bliss! We can practice this by inhaling God and Exhaling God. Oneness is love, Complete Union is what we seek. Love is measured by the identification expressed by sacrifice. But is it really sacrifice? Do we truly need to renounce sense objects to feel this love?

Attachment= I + want. Desire. We can learn to live without attachment and yet be still fully engaged in the world we live in. We can live fully in life without having to sacrifice or renounce objects of our senses. We can live fully when we offer everything to God, in a continuous un-interrupted loving service. One of the many ways to practice this continuous, loving devotion to the Lord, is by singing or chanting, Bhajans. Similar to mantras which are repeated seed sounds, Bhajans are the unbroken expression of devotion. Bhakti is the emotion behind our intentions. We must truly feel the love and completeness we wish to manifest in our lives. We MUST feel it! The heart sends a magnetic signal to the mind which is electric. The electro-magnetism taps into both sides of the brain alternatively with the heart.

It is known as body-talk. When we feel a sense of lack, we must talk to the area of our body that is physically feeling this lack and send only love and support there. We must affirm this with talk of the present, not future or past tenses. The subconscious mind knows only the present tense! Feel what you choose to experience! Our own healing, heals those around us.

We can practice this by writing our own affirmation down in the present tense on an index card and read this affirmation to ourselves aloud daily. It’s like repeating a Bhajan, or chant to invoke that which we direct our minds to. For example, instead of saying “I have no money for a vacation.” Say, “Oh Lord, I am ready for a vacation!” Then the money will come for it!

The mind will drift in 5 directions:
1. The Observed=What we see
2. Mistaken Assumptions=Projection
3. Barren Imagery=Fantasy, seeing things that are not there
4. Toward Sleep=Drifts into oblivion
5. Remembrance=Of things seen, heard or dreamt of

These aspects of mind will either increase or decrease our spiritual growth. We must continue on the path of Liberation and Knowledge if we are to direct our minds to the Higher. Knowledge is the renunciation of false thoughts and beliefs. Devotion is the knowledge of abundance and Grace. We must FEEL IT! To know is to make it a reality!

A Bhajan we can chant would be a Prayer to Lord Shiva: Kapura Gauram Karunavataram Samsara Saram Bhujagendra Haram Sada Vasantam Hridayarvinde Bhavam Bhavani Sahitam Namami

The translation: Pure like white camphor, the incarnation of compassion, The essence of existence, whose necklace is the king of serpents, Always dwelling in the lotus of the heart, To Shiva and Parvati I bow.

It is a collective prayer to show us the path to complete liberation. Camphor is a white waxy substance found in the wood of a camphor laurel tree. It is burned in ceremonies on an alter to represent the burning or dissolution of the human ego. With the practice of devotion and loving service, the ego is “burned” and what remains is pure essence of Self. When we realize our true nature, we live from the heart which is the gateway to the soul. We find balance with in ourselves which is represented by Shiva/Shakti (which is another name for Parvati. Shiva represents the sacred masculine within us and Shakti, the Divine feminine. Combined these two aspects of being represent union. We cultivate direction in the mind and of the heart with devotion which creates this union.

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