Living in Spirit

I was traveling back to Indianapolis from a Board meeting in Chicago and I wanted something to read for my short return flight. I perused the magazines and endless array of books, but nothing caught my eye. I went back to this store that had unique items and the first book I saw spoke to me, Living an Inspired Life, by Dr. Wayne Dyer.  

I knew about Dr. Dyer, and have heard of his recent passing. And someone in a training once told me to read one of his books about manifesting your dreams. However, I just had not pursued his writings yet. However, the feeling I had when I saw this book told me that I was destined to read it and it was the right timing to find it. During a meditation retreat years ago, a senior Shambala teacher once told me that there is a concept in Buddhism called tendrelThese are seeds that lead you to the right place, auspicious coincidences, or simply, things coming together in a favorable way. And ever since I've been introduced to this concept as well as opened up to energetic experiences, I've watched my life unfold and these tendrels showing me the way.

I know that I wouldn't have have been drawn to this book had I not began developing a renewed relationship with and understanding of God in the last year or so. And my deepened yoga practice is the reason for this reconnection.

I was raised Catholic, but I feel like I only went through the motions, but never truly embraced it. I am not a practicing Catholic, but I do try to support my family and their commitment to their church. I also love Pope Francis as he is an example of someone living an inspired life. Closer to home, my grandfather was devout in his faith and his actions were truly inspiring. Even though he was scared at the end of his life as his body failed him, he was also at peace because of this strong faith in God. I recently had brunch with some of our teachers at the studio and we all agreed that this strong conviction is why some people are content and others are not. At his funeral, I stepped back into Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church and what struck me was the community that surrounded him through not only love for my grandfather, but their shared faith. I believe this was my first tendrel of reconnection to living in Spirit.

I recently spent six months training in and deepening my personal practice of meditation. We gathered together three times and each time we chanted and sang and meditated together. Our teachers, Jasmine and Dandapani, spoke of God, which I was hesitant to embrace at first. And I still am hesitant when I share the practice of yoga as I believe it takes time to be open to this depending from where someone is coming.

During that time I had some difficult things come up in my life, so I missed a required philosophy weekend as part of my yoga therapy training. However, it was the right set of circumstances because I attended a weekend on Vedanta philosophy with Manoj Chalam and learned more about yogic deities. This is something I would not have signed up for had I not been required to make up this weekend. I left the weekend understanding God better than I ever had before and statues of Green Tara and Ganesh. Manoj shared that I embody their qualities of wanting to bring healing to the world, which represent our Creator, and now I meditate with them to continue to bring those to light within myself. Green Tara sits on my meditation altar and will be a fixture in the new studio. Ganesh is on our registration counter to help bring abundance. This was the second tendrel of reconnection to Spirit.

So, as I continued through my six month meditation training, I felt more open to Jasmine and Dandapani's talk of God and our likeness in his image. During one of Dandapani's guided meditation at home, I felt so complete and even my dog, Ellie, was so blissed out that she wouldn't get up from floor for a while after I left my cushion.  Our final gathering was pure magic, and I could feel God within me the entire weekend. I would return to my hotel room and generate all kinds of plans and ideas for Embarque. On the final day, we sang Hari Om and I felt a well of emotions stirring up inside of me. This was my third tendrel of reconnection to Spirit. It reminded me of singing in church, "Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me..." and I could envision my mother next to me singing when I was a child at mass. However, I've found that I love chanting because I actually can feel my heart singing. It's as if the vibrational qualities of the words fit just right rather than the songs I grew up with singing during mass.

So, with all of these tendrels leading me back to God and reconnecting with my true nature, of course I was drawn to Dr. Wayne Dyer's book in the airport that afternoon. Everything happens in the right time and if we're open to it, we will know it's calling us. I will continue to align my thoughts and actions to live in Spirit as best as I know how. I was hesitant in the beginning and lacking confidence, but now I am certain that founding and growing Embarque is one of the creations of that alignment. And I am grateful for everyone that is a part of its growth. We all can live in Spirit and just have to find our own path to embracing our true nature. 

Hari Om, dear Lord, Sat Nam, Holy name
When I call on the light within, I go home
To listen to the song, click here

Alyssa Pfennig