The Buddha Spotlight – Monette Chilson

Namaste y’all!!

The Buddha Spotlight introduces you to author of Sophia Rising, and yogini, Monette Chilson!!

Goddess Mena Love: Can you give a brief synopsis of your book, Sophia Rising?

 Monette Chilson: Sophia Rising is a guide for those wanting to let their yoga inform their faith (and vice versa). I use a combination of research—from both yogic and theological sources—along with my own experience as a long-term practitioner to help readers explore the unique ways practice and spirit intersect in their own lives. Part of that process involves an exploration of the feminine aspects of God that have been suppressed in nearly every religious tradition.

 

Goddess Mena Love: As of lately, there’s been a new rise of strong feminine energy and feminine movement. In the future, do you think feminine energy will be recognized as more of a balance to masculine energy in our society?

Monette: I certainly hope so, Mena! A significant portion of Sophia Rising is dedicated to helping people begin to recognize the void that’s left when feminine energy is left untapped. Sometimes people want to skip over embracing the sacred feminine and go right to an ungendered view of divinity. My feeling is that to achieve true balance, we must spend some time exploring God’s feminine nature to bring the exclusively male view of God we’ve been presented with into perspective. We can’t change the fact that divinity has been masculinized for the past two thousand or so years, but we can begin to see the divine—and our power to reflect it—in a different light.

 

Goddess Mena Love: What’s your perspective of the duality of God?

Monette: Big question! This really gets to the heart of my book which is an encouragement to stop setting up false and unnecessary barriers between yoga and spirituality—or on a macro level between body and soul. Too many devoted yogis feel deep down that their practice conflicts with their faith. This belief is rooted in a perspective on God that is deeply dualistic—that is to say deeply  divided (God is this but not that), deeply defined (God is this but definitely not that), and deeply knowable (God is not a mystery because I know exactly who “He” is). My hope is that people will begin to venture away from who they’ve been told God is and find out for themselves.

Goddess Mena Love: Yoga is a great peace enhancing activity to religiously practice, why do you think people of different religious practices can’t get over yoga’s beneficial spiritual growth to go along with the principles of their faith?

Monette: I think misinformation combined with the different terminology of yoga and religion keeps many people from seeing how compatible their faith and yoga practice really are. In my book, I break down yoga’s eight limbs in ways that bridge the two worlds, especially for those from a Christian background. A classic example of how word choice can create a road block is yoga’s eighth limb, samadhi, which has been translated in terms including bliss, ecstasy, enlightenment, liberation and union with the divine. Some or all of these phrases might seem foreign to someone from a traditional Western religious tradition. But when we look beyond word choice to true meaning, the idea of samadhi, as well as practices to help   cultivate it, can be openly embraced by people of all religions to  experience “a peace that surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians     4:7)

Goddess Mena Love: Your personal goddess/feminine deity you connect with is Sophia, while on your spiritual path, are there any other goddess/feminine deities you connect with? Why?

 Monette: Discovering Sophia a decade or so ago was a revelation to me. I always knew that I connected with God in feminine form. I just didn’t know that there was a name for her within my faith tradition. I am also greatly inspired by Mary Magdalene, though less as a deity than as a women in whose footsteps I’d like to follow. Her relationship with Jesus is enigmatic, and the fact that her reputation survived so many attempts to ruin it, a testament to   her strength and goodness. In many ways, the Church’s treatment of Mary Magdalene mirrors its general suppression of women. One female icon from Jewish mythology that I’d like to spend more time getting to know is Lilith, who was purported to be Adam’s first wife, created from the same earth as him rather than from his rib. I find this legend and the strong female archetype it creates fascinating.

 

Goddess Mena Love: Any advice for those who have trouble implementing yoga with their religious practice?

Monette: Yes! Don’t take anyone else criticism of your spiritual practices to heart. Instead, look into the compatibility of your faith and yoga  practice yourself. Look at all eight limbs of yoga and draw your own conclusions. I walk through the limbs in my book and make connections between religious pillars and yogic ones. The ethical foundation of yoga—the yama and the niyama—are made up of specific precepts that are all found within the Ten Commandments, as well as in the Quran and within Buddhist philosophy. This coalescence reaffirms to me that spiritual paths really do share the same divine destination.

 

Goddess Mena Love: Share one of your life lessons that you’ve learned from your yoga practice (relating real life to the yoga mat).

Monette: One of the most important lessons yoga has taught me is patience.  The real pay-off in yoga comes from waiting and not forcing. From breathing through instead of barreling through. People think that this patience is a natural attribute of us yoga devotees, but I actually think many of us (including me) are drawn to yoga because we lack patience. Indeed, we are in desperate need of it. On our mat, we slowly re-teach our bodies about the beauty of mindful movement and of being gentle with ourselves. As I’ve experienced  success with this foreign way of being in my practice, I’ve become more willing to test drive my new-found patience off the mat.

 

Goddess Mena Love: In your book, Sophia Rising, you speak about humility and not being the most flexible in the class because of an injury. What advice can you give to yogis of all levels that may feel insecure within their personal yoga practice?

Monette: Insecurity on the mat comes from the same source as it does off the mat. Anytime we look outside of ourselves for validation, we set ourselves up for failure. There will always be someone smarter, richer or better looking than us. And that’s OK! We truly never know what’s going on behind others’ stellar veneers. Smart, rich, and good looking does not ensure happiness. The key to feeling secure is to focus on the practice rather than the result—in life and in yoga. Don’t shy away from creating your own home practice because you’re afraid it won’t be perfect. Just show up on your mat—even for 15 minutes—and listen to what your body’s saying to you.

 

Goddess Mena Love: When I practice yoga, I notice the slower I move into each asana, the more I feel aware of my body and the spiritual connection I have with God because I am focusing on the flow of my breath integrated with the thought that my asanas speak like prayers. Can you relate?

Monette: Absolutely! That is one reason I enjoy my home practice. I probably don’t push myself as hard physically when I practice at home, but I am more in touch with the spiritual side of my yoga because I am moving at my own pace, establishing that rhythm of breath and body that begins to feel sacred. When we can trust ourselves enough to create a living, breathing prayer with our bodies, we recapture the holistic expression that we often miss out on in the more cerebral Christian tradition.

 

Goddess Mena Love: Can you share a personal discovery you’ve found by keeping a gratitude journal?

 Monette: Ironically, I have found that the very things that I cite most often in my gratitude journal can irritate me if I am not in a particularly spiritually sound place. For example, I see “my children’s singing” pop up often on my gratitude list, but if I am feeling ungrounded or inpatient, that same singing may grate on my nerves. That paradox shows very clearly that my attitude makes         all the difference in my   experience of the world around me. It really drives home the truth behind the Greek philosopher Epictetus’ proclamation that it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. We really do have a lot of power to change our perception of reality.

 

Goddess Mena Love: I really like that your book, Sophia Rising, bridges the gap between yoga and Christianity. How has the Christian community supported you and your book?

 Monette: I have been pleasantly surprised by the positive reception my book has received in Christian circles. I was prepared for a bit of   backlash since I tackled two different taboos—yoga as an expression of faith and the recognition of God’s feminine form —but, honestly, I haven’t received any criticism from within  Christian circles. I have had Christian groups decide that the book was too progressive for their book clubs, and I’ve modified my language to use more familiar, non-Sanskrit terms for some          audiences, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive. My own church, Chapelwood United Methodist Church, has been extremely supportive, carrying my book in its store and inviting me to sign books and lead talks on several occasions [Thank you,    Christian Washington & Kris Jodon!]. The definitive stamp of approval for me came when I was notified that Sophia Rising had    been awarded the Illumination Book Awards’ gold medal (spirituality category) for the year’s best new titles written and     published with a Christian worldview. That designation made me feel truly supported and embraced by the Christian literary   community, something I wasn’t sure I’d find with this book’s publication.

Sophia Rising has also opened doors that revealed the true breadth and depth of Christian community, allowing me to speak at venues like the Wild Goose Festival where cross-dressing reverends lead worship alongside some of the most recognizable names in progressive Christianity. In places like this, I find so many people longing to bridge the illusory rifts that separate God from all the ho-hum parts of daily life. We all know God is in the details as well as the grandeur. Helping Christians connect those dots in ways that transcend the intellect has been one of the most joyous parts of this journey.

 

Goddess Mena Love: When did you fall in LOVE with yoga?

Monette: When I was 25, I “won” a package of yoga classes in a silent auction  at a charity event. I remember thinking that I might have committed a professional faux pax by outbidding a city council member I was supposed to be wooing in my role as PR manager. But I didn’t care. Something in me wanted to try yoga that badly! I remember walking into the studio the first time and feeling, paradoxically, like  I was coming home in a setting that was unlike any I’d ever experienced. For you long-time Houstonians, this was the Yoga Institute on Alabama back in the mid-nineties when Lex Gillan owned it—old school yoga. I was enchanted by the words, the smells, the zafus (meditation cushions) and, of course, the intense physicality of it all.

 

Goddess Mena Love: Finish this statement. Yoga gives me access to…….

Monette: Yoga gives me access to the me that exists underneath all my self-created busyness.

 

 Goddess Mena Love: What’s in your playlist right now?

 Monette: I don’t have a playlist! Can I change this to, “What’s in your book stack right now?”

I am finishing Meg Wolitzer’s exquisitely insightful novel, The Interestings. Up next are two review copies I just received in the     mail—When God Was a Little Girl by David Weiss and A Woman Called God by Peter Wilkes.

 

Goddess Mena Love: What’s your favorite quote?

 Monette: “If you judge people, you have no time to LOVE them.” – Mother Theresa

 

Goddess Mena Love: Do you have any advice for people who are just starting out on their path of awakening?

Monette: Definitely! I think when it comes to spiritual awakening, we are all beginners in the sense that each of us is continually beginning again. There is no graduation ceremony; no advanced degree in spiritual mastery. It helps to picture spiritual awakening as a process, not a destination. It is a way of being present in each moment life hands us—whether it’s beautiful, heart-wrenching or somewhere in between, as is usually the case. We begin to awaken by not running away or escaping. By accepting that we will not arrive at a blissful place of peace everyday. By showing up and surrendering to what is—just like we do on our mats. Of course, the act of living mindfully will bring us more peace, but that can’t be the goal. It is simply a lovely by-product.

© Copyright 2014 – Goddess Mena Love. All Rights Reserved

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16 Seconds To Bliss….Let’s Get It!!

 

I really enjoyed my interview with Davidji so much, that I realized that I don’t have to create this big ass space and make my meditation practice to be some theatrical type of thing! All it takes is 16 seconds of bliss, of clarity!!

I found out just recently that I am a crisis meditator. That’s not good for me, not good for my spirit, not good for my progression, and my light doesn’t shine as bright (to me) when I allow myself to be drained by environment. It is when I’m consistently practicing my spiritual activities that I gain the highest clarity. It is when I’m consistently practicing my spiritual activities that I enjoy being the center of my attention (self-LOVE). It is when I’m consistently practicing my spiritual activities that I am being the best version of myself.

Sure, we all GROW through shit, and that shit can be tough to get through. I’m preaching to myself, too, when I say this, “Stay focused, stay focused on everything you want, stay focused on  being the best version of you!”

Throughout out the day, I’m really going to work on taking more time to LOVE my self, by taking 16 seconds to bliss! Let’s get it in!

Oh, and for all who may be interested, the 21-Day Meditation experience begins on 8/11/14, who’s with me?

© Copyright 2014 – Goddess Mena Love. All Rights Reserved

The Buddha Spotlight – Davidji Pt. 1

Namaste y’all!!

The Buddha Spotlight introduces you to meditation expert, Davidji!

Goddess Mena Love: Why should we all meditate?

 Davidji: Well Goddess, most people are crisis meditators. They have an interruption in their flow of life, a disappointment, or some kind of issue, and suddenly they sit down and say “I’m gonna meditate, now”. It’s sort of like brushing your teeth. If you only brushed your teeth when the dentist said you had a cavity, it would be too late and you would have no teeth left. That’s why having a consistent daily meditation practice, even if it’s for short amounts, is so much more powerful.

 

Goddess Mena Love: I am so GROWING through that right now! I’m not a quick-tempered person, but in certain situations I have very low tolerance for ignorance. I have a sharp tongue, so if you say something to me that crosses the boundary of my ego, I will tell you off with no restraints! Lately, I feel like certain people in my life know that I’m working on myself, the ignorance and attitude from others is coming so hard, as if it’s being done on purpose.

Davidji: That’s what meditation brings us, AWARENESS.

Goddess Mena Love: Yes!

Davidji: It doesn’t make you not be a jerk, but it makes you recognize, “ Oh, I was a jerk”, and the more you recognize that “Oh, I was a jerk”, the more you’ll want to shift that behavior.

Goddess Mena Love: That’s exactly what’s going on!

Davidji: Let me share something with you. I talk about this a lot in my workshops, I call it, your winning formula. So, your little sharp tongue , and mine too because I’m from Queens, but your sharp tongue, your attitude, the way you swagger, what you’ve brought, THAT, has got you to this point. That was your winning formula. That’s what allowed you to thrive, to step up, to bring yourself into this world, to not be stepped on, to really hold your own, and to teach others in your circle. It was a great strength, but, you know what? It’s not going to serve you from this point forward. So, you need to take that contact lens out and go, “Oh, that’s my winning formula”. There’s some things in there that could save me, because I AM quick-witted, I AM pretty smart, I AM pretty savvy, I DO have a good sense of humor, I DO know when someone is stepping on me. We need to dust that all off and figure out what are better ways to do it. The winning formula that got you here, is not going to move you forward. It’s going to get you to the next level.

If you can get your way, if you can accomplish what you’re trying to, without stepping on someone, without making someone feel pain, the key is to find your grace point. Find that way where you can get all those things, but you don’t have to kill everyone and break all those ankles in the process. Meditation is a powerful tool to doing that.

Goddess Mena Love: Why?

Davidji: Because most people on the planet are living either in the flight or fight, or this emotional flight or fight, where people get very defensive about stuff because they’re always trying to protect their emotional turf. Meditation acts as the pattern interrupted in that normal condition response that’s been going on for 10,000 years. The more you meditate, every single day, for 20-30 minutes, some of that stuff would ease. It would ease because when we meditate the exact opposite thing happens to our physiology. Instead of our breath being rapid, it slows down automatically. The next amazing thing that happens is we perspire less, because the body is not feeling threatened. The perspiration threshold goes up and we sweat less. Our bodies says, “let’s nourish our growth hormone, let’s nourish our sex hormone, let’s nourish our immune system. We don’t need that other cortisol, adrenaline, and glucagon, let’s just suppress that.”

And then, your body says, “ let’s let the blood flow more easily”. This is the exact physiological opposite to whatever happened.

 

Meditators have this third gear, does it make us perfect all the time, NO! Deepak Chopra’s yelled at me! The Dalai Lama lost his temper, he’s written about it in books. What we have to recognize is that the more we meditate, the more our physiology shifts, and the more our conditioned response of, “what did you say about me?”, lessens! Someone will then say something to you and the first thought in your head will be, “You know what? I am such a goddess, I can’t even imagine what their issue is that they’re having a problem with me. They must be in pain, I’ll go give them a hug!” Rather than snapping at them, you instantly have compassion for them. You think to yourself, “Wow, they must have been so damaged or wounded as a child, to feel so less than, and for them to reach out to me and try to push me down lower than them, they must be so low for me to get pushed down below them. I can only have LOVE and compassion for them”.

Now, you don’t just magically become that, but if you show up and meditate everyday, NOT A CRISIS MEDITATOR, we clear away a lot of that defensiveness. One of my favorite books is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s basically about four steps in living your life,

Being impeccable with your word

Don’t take anything personal

Don’t make assumptions

Always do our best

 

That thing about not taking things personally, you have to realize that if I’m commenting about you, it’s not a comment about you, it’s a comment about me. If I asked you, “where’ d you get those earrings?” that’s all about me, it has nothing to do with where you got them. I’m noticing something, and I’m commenting on it. Let’s stop giving such attention and such importance to everybody else’s comments. It’s all tough here, in the age of social media, where people who shouldn’t be allowed to speak, have platforms to announce to the world to attack and say mean things to people, and put all this negativity out in the world. That’s why it’s so great to have someone like you to come down and bring positivity. Your job isn’t to shut down every nasty blog, your job is to flow the LOVE. Just like your job isn’t to just snap at somebody, your job is to feel LOVE inside you.

 

We need to live with our soul and lead with our heart.

 

Goddess Mena Love: Do you have a good meditation technique for beginners or people who may need help restarting their meditation practice?

Davidji: I have a technique that I use and introduced to people in the military, law enforcement, business people, and yogis. I call it 16 Seconds. When I’m teaching yogis, I call it 16 Seconds to Ananda. Ananda means bliss in Sanskrit. For businessmen and women, I call it, 16 Seconds to Clarity. When I’m sitting with people from the military, I call it Tactical Breathing. We always have to use the language for the people, so that they can get the best understanding.

 

Let’s try 16 Seconds now.

 

Think about something or someone that’s irritated you.

Envision that something or someone in your mind’s eye.

You may begin to get a little irritated.

The only thing that’s required for this thing to work is that as you breathe, you have to watch your breath.

Keep that something or someone in your mind’s eye.

Think about how what happened, has pissed you off.

Close your eyes.

Through your nostrils, take a long slow deep breath in, and feel it going down into your belly.

Watch that breath.

Observe it.

Witness that breath as it sits in your stomach.

Now allow that breath to come out of you,

and watch it as it moves into your chest,

your throat,

to your sinuses,

out through your nostrils,

 just keep watching it and observing it.

Watch your breath as it flows out and dissipates into the air.

When it feels comfortable, slowly open your eyes, and breathe normally.

That was 16 seconds.

Notice that when you watched your breath as you held it in, as you breathed out and watched it dissipate, you weren’t thinking of that person you just envisioned in your head. For 16 seconds, you introduced a pattern to interrupt. Remember, you were pretty pissed at that person. Right now, you may be even pissed off at them where that irritation is still in there. We know that for those 16 seconds, you were not in the past, you were not in the future, you were living in the present moment.

16 seconds, do that four times, that’s a minute; if you do that 20 times, that’s five minutes. It’s such an easy way for us to practice when we are feeling less than, or angry, spiteful, or pissed off. We can actually take this break.

Here’s what happened when we took that break, we mirrored what happens to our physiology when we meditated. So, for those 16 seconds we were totally present, not in the future or past, not thinking about stuff that happened or projecting stuff that we’re going to do. We slowed our breathing, we suppressed adrenaline, cortisol and glucagon, we elevated our growth hormone, sex hormone,  our immune system, and our platelets became more fluid and sticky.

Now that we’ve done it, you know that everyone on the planet has 16 seconds, even the busiest people like Oprah has 16 seconds. The question is, “what are we choosing to do with our time?”

You can teach that 16 seconds to a 5yr old – 95yr old. It doesn’t matter what they do for a living, where they are, where their job is, none of that matters.

 

Goddess Mena Love: What about those high-powered people?

 Davidji: Well high-powered people have a lot of fire, a lot of pitta, and that pitta creates a little craziness sometimes. Of course, when that fires is burning out, they can lash out and scorch a lot of people. After the fact, they regret their behavior. We can help ourselves, because it’s all conditioning. I have a technique called, Reaching for S.O.D.A.

First you have to identify your emotional tail. Like you, I’m also prone to striking out, lashing out, and shooting some flames out of my fingers.

 S.O.D.A. is based on the fact that we all have this emotional tail. It’s like an emotional tip off that no ones else sees, but we see it. Usually we have about five seconds until we go off. For me, when I start to get irritated, when someone pushes my button, I feel it in the middle of my chest. No one else can see it, no one else can feel it. No ripping off my shirt, no red cheeks, no extra perspiration, I just feel a little flame. The more irritated I am, the more it starts to move up. From experience, I know that as it starts to move up, if that heat crosses my jaw line, I will scorch the village! So, I have five seconds before I blow, five seconds before I’m snarky, five seconds before I’m sarcastic, rude, mean, or violent with my words. In those five seconds, the second I feel my emotional tail, I reach for S.O.D.A.

What’s your emotional tail? What’s the first thing you feel before you lash back?

 

Goddess Mena Love: I feel that anger in the gut.

Davidji: Ok, you feel that! And sometimes it can be an emptiness, like you’re gonna throw up. Sometimes it can feel like a sharp pain, like someone just stuck a knife in your belly.

 Goddess Mena Love: It’s a knot.

Davidji: Ok, it’s a knot in your belly, perfect. The moment you start to feel that knot, you have five seconds before you go off, that’s when you reach for S.O.D.A.

 S – STOP, and in that moment, I say to myself, STOP.

O – OBSERVE, I float up above the two of us, until I’m high enough that I’m just looking down at two children of God. Sometimes, I need to get to the roof of the house. Sometimes, I need to get to the top of the empire state building. Sometimes, I need to get on top of the moon! But at a certain point, I look down and say, “You know what? We’re just two children of God”.

D – DETACH, You need a physical separation and an energetic separation. So, if you’re with someone that’s made you angry, step back about five to six inches and take a deep breath in. Feel that breath, take that breath in and feel it come down into your core. This also works if you’re on the phone with someone, if you’re texting someone, and you’ve just read something that’s about to take you over the edge, if you just read an email that’s made you angry, there needs to be a physical space, as well as an energetic space between me and the irritant.

A – AWAKEN, to your most divine self. Awaken to the best version of you. What would the Goddess do in this moment? What would the best version of me do? Because the best version of me sees the bigger picture. The best version of me isn’t trying to win a fight right now in this moment. The best version of me is trying to LOVE somebody. The best version of me is trying to grow and not have stuff impact me. How’s the best version of me, in this moment, responding to life? The best version of me is the child of God, the best version of me has divine essence flowing in me. Really LOVE yourself in this moment.

 S.O.D.A. is a great technique and gives you about five to ten seconds to just step away from the emotional charge of that moment. When there is a lot less emotional turbulence, your button isn’t pushed as much. S.O.D.A. allows us to see things without the feeling of hurt, wounding, or pain. For someone like me, who used to scorch the village consistently, I’ve said to myself, “I don’t want that to be what people think about me. I don’t want that to be how I flow through the world.” I want people to say, “That Davidji has such grace”. But, I need to be graceful if I’m going to be on the other side of that.

16 Seconds and S.O.D.A. has really, truly transform the way I respond to life, to the world, and to the people in my life. They’re not gonna change instantly, they’re gonna be waiting for that explosion for a couple of weeks or months, but if you’re consistent, at a certain point they’re gonna say, “you’re a lot more fun to be around”.

 

Goddess Mena Love: I really have to do this. I feel like I’m calm for the most part, and sometimes the person I usually have issues with, will do things to me on purpose to get that “bitchy” reaction. There are times when I’m like “forget this” and I want to be mad, I want to be angry, and I want him to feel that emotion.

 Davidji: You’re self-fulfilling a prophecy! Here’s what you’re doing. “Here’s my button, this is my button” And then, when they push your button, you’re like, “You pushed my button”. Well, you were holding your button out to be pushed! We can’t hold out the button and expect someone to not push it! We need to move that button to the side and know that button doesn’t serve us any longer. We need to retrain ourselves that when someone pushes the button, the first thing we do is smile, almost laugh, and say, “ Was I holding that button out there that far? Was it so easy for you to push that one?”  That’s a powerful shift that we all can make. We all have the power to start right now.

 

 

© Copyright 2014 – Goddess Mena Love. All Rights Reserved

The Buddha Spotlight – Davidji Pt. 2

 

Goddess Mena Love: What was the turning point for you to get started on your existing spiritual routine or practice?

Davidji: The thing that really launched me to reconnect to these teachings and to explore myself more deeply was pain. I was in deep emotional pain and spiritual pain after 9/11. I worked in the world trade center for a period of time and for some reason when that happened, I had a very deep, profound sense of loss inside me, and a loss of purpose. I questioned myself, “why am I here? Why do I belong on this planet?”

I think that pain can be a very strong motivator. We can either use pain to lay like a lump and curl up under the covers, and I did that for awhile, or we can use the pain to get busy. I believe for each one of us, that when a door closes on us, when someone breaks up with us, when someone fires us, when someone reneges on us, when someone betrays us, we can either use that as an excuse to why we can’t do stuff or we can use it as a motivator.

I remember in the wake of 9/11, I was walking through downtown New York City, passing cardboard boxes full of people, and a guy reached out of one of those cardboard boxes, grabbed my pant leg, looked deep into my eyes and said, “What’s gonna be on your tombstone?” That was too much for me, that was way too reflective, that was just too intense! I wandered around wondering if that was God speaking to me through that homeless man. All I knew then, was that I needed to get busy. I started exploring , and did my own version of Eat, Pray, LOVE, went to India without the eating and the LOVE, just sort of praying, in search of the guru. After six months, I realized that the guru rests inside. The answer to every question we could ever ask ourselves rests inside. We have to just be willing to quiet ourselves down so we can hear the whispers of God.

 

Goddess Mena Love: What do you say about people who say that the whispers are more of a schizophrenic type of thing?

Davidji: Ok. Here’s what I know, I know this, you know this, everybody knows this, the person who’s bashing the whispers, they know that deep within, beneath these clothes, beneath this flesh, beneath these bones, beneath these organs, beneath all this stuff, rests our spirit, our soul. When all this stuff drifts away, we’ll return to something . This is just a physical casing that’s holding our soul. We all know this. How in the world can we hear what that soul has to say, unless we get really quiet. I like to say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening.

I would ask that person, who says, “that’s schizophrenia”, don’t you pray to God? Do you speak to some divine being? Do you believe in the anything bigger than you? If they don’t, I pretty much stop having that conversation with them, and it’s ok for them to think whatever they want. But, if they believe in a higher power, if they believe in source , spirit, the universe, Jesus Christ, or some God, then they’ve spoken to that God in some way. They don’t have to get on the end of their bed and pray at night, but they’ve spoken to this God at some point. Why do they expect to listen to what that God says back to them, unless they quiet down. Now, a lot of people wonder if it’s just their ego or God talking, get more quiet.

Get more quiet, and you’ll know.

 I can say to myself right now, “ Hmmm, you should have a double chocolate magnum pop”. I know that wasn’t God talking. I know that’s me, that’s not schizophrenia,.

 

Goddess Mena Love: Who is that? Your ego?

Davidji: Yes, that’s my ego. That’s my sense of self. My ego is all the stuff I claim and own. My ego is the preference in how I like to wear my hair. My ego is the thing that says who I voted for. My ego is the thing that says what I care about or what I don’t care about. My ego wants to make sure I let everyone know that I care about this or don’t care about that. My ego is my identity on this planet earth, while I’m in this flesh casing, and it has needs of the body, the mind, the heart, and the soul.

 

 

Goddess Mena Love: I’m still learning the difference between hearing ego vs spirit speaking to me. Are we supposed to be shutting down ego really hard? Is ego the devil on the one side of your shoulder?

Davidji: It’s so brilliant that you asked that! I talk about that a lot in my book, Secrets in Meditation. A lot of people say, “Kill the ego”. The ego is your sense of self, why would you kill that? What we want to do is understand it. Understand why it’s so important for me to want to defend this point of view.

Think about that.

Understand myself just a little bit better because I am in this world, I am moving around to this flesh world, this physical realm. We don’t want to stop the ego, we want to evolve the ego. Let’s understand our ourselves better.

 

Goddess Mena Love: How important is it to change your diet while living a more spiritual life?

Davidji: There is some foods that aggravate and irritate us. We can live an Ayurvedic lifestyle, we can become vegetarians, we can only eat seafood, we can all become vegans. I think diet really comes down to what makes you comfortable. What are you comfortable doing? I developed this concept called The Five Realms. The physical, the emotional, the material, the relationship, and the spiritual. The Five Realms gives us clarity. Take one thing in each realm, everyday to work on ourselves.

Physical – Have one less bowl of ice-cream, take an extra mile walk, workout

Emotional – How do I want to respond? How do I want to show up? Practice on not being so defensive or not taking things too personal.

Material – I’m gonna stop saying I don’t have the money to do this because I don’t have the money. I’m gonna truly go deeper into that process and know that there’s nothing that I can’t have! What do I really want? What am I spending my money on? Money is just a sign of abundance consciousness or property consciousness. Where are you gonna be in that flow?

Relationships – We can do four things with relationships. We can give birth to relationships, repair relationships, shift relationships, or end relationships. Pick one relationship, and actually do something with it. If it’s a relationship that’s eating and gnawing at you, you’re either gonna have to take it to the next level or end it. You shouldn’t want to be tortured by your relationships, you should want them to be full of LOVE and strength.

Spirituality – What’s a spiritual practice that I can do? Say Namaste silently to everyone I meet today. Try 16 Seconds of Bliss. Maybe it’s having greater compassion for someone I’ve been pretty mean to. Maybe it’s reaching and forgiving someone.

 

 

 

Goddess Mena Love: What’s your meditation destination?

Davidji: I go to Davidji.com, of course!! When I meditate, I usually just follow my breath. I’m in the universal heart space. I’m in the Anahata, the heart chakra of the universe when I meditate. I start off by saying a few things to myself, do some heart opening exercises, I ask a few questions, and then I let all of that go, and just start following my breath in and out. I’m not on an island, a mountain, somewhere in my backyard, I’m truly in my heart, or in the giant heart of the universe.

 

 

Goddess Mena Love: I always hear about people having these magical things showing up for them while in meditation. I want to feel that every time I meditate, and I don’t. I’ve gotten answers before, but I’ve not felt that magnitude of bliss that everyone speaks about.

Davidji: You had it for those 16 seconds when we were meditating, you were in a peaceful, tranquil space. If you try to find that tranquility, you’re not going to get it. That’s working too hard, instead of surrendering. Meditation is total surrender. Any other aspect of it is not surrendering, it’s activity.

So, if you’re like, “ C’mon, I want to flow in the gap. C’mon, I want happiness, peace and light. C’mon, I want I want to float through the sky”, that’s a lot of conversation!

What I found is that the more you surrender, the more you have pretty cool moments. What I would like to stress is that the magnificence of meditation happens after you open your eyes and you’re back here with the rest of us. The magnificent “a-ha” moment will come in the moment when your man says something to you that would normally push your button and instead you’ll say, “He’s a pretty sweet guy”. That’s the “a-ha” moment! Sitting in the dark with your eyes close doesn’t matter and doesn’t serve anyone on the planet, it’s when you open up. Do the practice, and live those answers.

 

Goddess Mena Love: And the best way for beginners to start their meditation practice would be 16 Seconds of Bliss?

 Davidji: Yes, 16 Seconds, and I would say to repeat four times. You don’t have to sit on the floor with your legs crossed or on a meditation pillow, you can, but you don’t have to. Do find a comfortable chair, and not the chair you sit in when you watch tv. The technique that I’ve developed is RPM (Rise, Pee, Meditate). If you can rise, pee, mediate, everything else that you touch throughout the rest of the day has a little bit of stillness and silence. Start with 16 Seconds a bunch of times throughout the day, while you’re stuck in traffic, before going into a meeting, waiting in line, on the phone, or anytime you’re feeling anxiety. On the next week, add a minute to the 16 seconds as a formal meditation, that’s 1:16. The week after that add another minute, that’s 2:16. If you can just incrementally add a minute, once you hit the 20 week mark of the year, before the ear is halfway through, you have a 20 minute easy practice. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all about comfort, giving yourself permission to surrender, and the opportunity to back things up and slow things down.

 

Goddess Mena Love: What’s in your playlist right now?

 Davidji: It’s funny you asked! Well, I just released my cd, Journey to Infinity, which originally was an ayurvedic opera, and now it’s a spiritual song cycle. You can find it on Davidji.com. I wrote this opera and merged with the sound healers from Canada, Sacred Fire, and we created 16 tracks that have binaural beats flowed into the music. So, you’re sitting there and suddenly your brain waves turn into theta waves, we’ve got guitar, drumming, chanting, and it moves you through the five elements of Ayurveda, Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. If you’re a little fiery, you would not put on the fiery tracks. You would put on the soothing , cooling water tracks, that would help you bring down your fire. Journey to Infinity is now available online as an mp3 download or you can buy the cd at Davidji.com. It’s a 90 minute cd set, so you can just put it on and no matter what age you are, you will transform from it.

Journey to Infinity is number one on my playlist. I’ve also got Arianne Grande, who’s a student of mine. I’m a fan, to a certain extent of Iggy Azelia. I also LOVE Metallica and everything in between.

 

Goddess Mena Love: That’s awesome!

Are there any natural fragrances that will enhance my meditation experience? Currently, I’m hooked on Lavender, Nag Champa, and Sandalwood.

Davidji: One thing that’s great is if you only use a certain scent when you meditate, every time you light that scent, it will chill you down. The most relaxing and pitta balancing fire soothing aromas are two of what you have, Sandalwood and Lavender. Sandalwood is very soothing and calming. Lavender is awesome, good for relaxing, especially for people who have a hard time sleeping. Citrus flavors are also very balancing. The aromas of lemon or orange are very soothing and relaxing. Vanilla is very relaxing. Rose is another relaxing fragrance. If you pass a rose, stop and take a long deep breath, it calms your emotional state and your physical body.

 

Goddess Mena Love: Do you have any advice for people who are just starting out on this path of awakening?

 Davidji: Yes, I do. First of all, remember there’s 8 billion people on the planet, so there’s 8 billion different styles of everything. Next, whatever you think you’re doing, you’re not doing it wrong. So if you’re like, “Awww, I haven’t seen the Budhha yet! I’m not having those blissed out experiences, it must be the wrong hand mudra or maybe I’m not sitting right!”, just relax and surrender more and more, you’re doing it right.

Give yourself permission and start slow. Don’t try to knock out 30 minutes of meditation the first time, because then you will think you can’t do it. Start small, with 16 Seconds and build on that. Everyone should remember that we transform the world by transforming ourselves. There’s a lot of stuff out here that we disagree with, there’s a lot of stuff out there that we can be militant about and very activist about. So, rather than telling people on how they should live their lives, or what they should, how they should do it, let’s work on us. If we’re more LOVE, everything in our life will flow more LOVE. If I’m hitting you over the head and telling you to be more LOVING, then clearly I’m not displaying that LOVE. It always starts from the heart. Everyone should be more gentle on themselves, more self-forgiving, self-compassionate, and self-giving, because we’re the source of everything that flows out of us. If that’s filled with LOVE, then we’re going to flow LOVE. If that’s filled with self-doubt, then we’re going to flow that doubt. Fill your heart, and your world will flow magically.

 

Here’s my little commercial, everyone should adopt their next pet, because there’s a million dogs out there being euthanized every month, 50,000 a week in Florida alone.

***Peaches joined us in our conversation, she meditates every day, too!***

 

Goddess Mena Love: Thank you so much! Blessings to you! Namaste!

Davidji: Thank you! Thanks for taking the time and inviting me! Namaste!

 

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