<![CDATA[Blue Star Canada - Blog]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:27:06 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[ From the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the teaching of Uddalaka Aruni to his son, Śvetaketu: ]]>Sun, 02 Apr 2017 19:10:03 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/-from-the-chandogya-upanisad-the-teaching-of-uddalaka-aruni-to-his-son-svetaketuAs by knowing one lump of clay, dear one,
We come to know all things made out of clay-
That they differ only in name and form,
While the stuff of which all are made is clay;
As by knowing one gold nugget, dear one,
We come to know all things made out of gold-
That they differ only in name and form,
While the stuff of which all are made is gold:
As by knowing one tool of iron, dear one,
We come to know all things made out of iron-
That they differ only in name and form,
While the stuff of which all are made is iron-
So through spiritual wisdom, dear one,
We come to know that all of life is one.
In the beginning was only Being,
One without a second.
Out of himself he brought forth the cosmos
And entered into everything in it.
There is nothing that does not come from him.
Of everything he is the inmost Self
He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.
You are that, Śvetaketu; you are that.
]]>
<![CDATA[Message From Blue Star Ottawa - Kalyani's passing]]>Sun, 25 Sep 2016 03:29:57 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/message-from-blue-star-ottawa-kalyanis-passing
“Today our dearest Kalyani Lyn Goddard transitioned from our earthly plane to the heavenly, peacefully and in the light. She is very dear to our hearts at the Blue Star for the amazing work she has done at our Ashram in her capacity as missionary and healer. We know she will continue to support us from the divine realm. Our deepest condolences to her family.
 
We bow to you our beloved Kalyani. There was no task too menial for you to do and no task too daunting. Thank you for being the sincere friend you were to all. Our hearts are with you and our prayers as you move on to the other step of your journey. We love you dearly and will remember you always. Your Blue Star Family”

Namaskar,
Today there is an empty chair in the Blue Star Ottawa circle of friends and indeed in the larger circle of the entire Blue Star family as our dear Kalyani has transitioned from the earthly to the heavenly plane.

Our Guru has written a beautiful tribute above.

Blue Star Ottawa will gather tomorrow morning and continue to send our love and energy, supporting our dear sister as her spirit journeys on. It has been a blessing to have her with us this past year and a half. She continued to come out to programs during her treatments and welcome us into her home.  She was an inspiration as she both taught and continued to learn, to be strong and also vulnerable, to laugh, cry and ultimately to be at peace in surrender to the karmic process.

We are one in our love for her, we are with you and you with us.  We will keep you advised of what arrangements are being made.
 
With love,
Blue Star Ottawa
]]>
<![CDATA[Reconnecting to the Blue Star Ashram]]>Mon, 28 Mar 2016 00:25:23 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/-reconnecting-to-the-blue-star-ashram-from-home(A year ago at this time, I would have been at the Blue Star Ashram on the island of Trinidad (www.blue-star.org) for the annual Forty Day Meditation Retreat.  This retreat commemorates the final shift in consciousness Master Sri Vasudeva (Guruji) made during the period of March 25th -May 4th ,1978.  
My time at the ashram last year was a defining moment in my life.  It brought me into a greater sense of being, gave me a new direction and outlook on life.  Most importantly, this time provided me with the greatest measure of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing I have ever experienced.  I was very fortunate to be there, and will always be grateful for being in the home of the Guru.

A year later, I find myself back at home with my family, engaged in the play of karmic relationships, worldly pursuits, and the distractions of being away from the structured ashram discipline which Guruji adapted from the Sree Gurudeva Ashram of Baba Muktananda in India as a young ashram 
sadhak over 40 years ago.  While following my daily practices of meditation and sadhana in my home, I am reminded of a very profound instruction that Guruji gave me during my very first few days at the ashram in 2015.  It followed after my expressing to him the torent of intense emotion I had been experiencing, feeling as though I cannot ‘catch a break’ and get away from the bondage of limited, fearful and negative thinking.  Guruji held my hand and reassuringly responded, ‘Son, know that the ashram is your reality, not the world that you have left.

To this day, I have held those words as a sacred mantra, which always reacquaints me with my ultimate goal in life – to realize my own Divinity and establish my posture firmly in my God­-nature.  Following the Forty Day Retreat in my home has been such a joy as those sacred words Sri Vasudeva blessed me with have been a great reminder and support to me.

The ashram
 IS my reality! In fact I have never left. May the Grace of the 40 days bestow its blessings on us all.
--
​Keshava Das

]]>
<![CDATA[Awareness + Surrendering = Abundance in Every Moment]]>Mon, 21 Mar 2016 02:49:59 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/awareness-surrendering-abundance-in-every-moment It amazes me just how quickly a spiritual being, like myself, can become entranced in the human experience to the point of losing sight of all the possibilities the Universe has opened to us.  I lose sight that I am a spiritual being and that everything I experience is just a play.  My interactions with other beings, emotions, and even my body become overwhelming causing what I call a ‘contraction in consciousness’.  During this contraction, I realized I was placing specific expectations on either a situation and/or person, thereby setting myself up for disappointment.  My awareness was narrowed to only focus on a certain situation and when my expectations were not met, my physical body responded with either headaches, nausea or a lack of appetite.  In certain cases of extreme stress or heartbreak, I’ve suffered with chest pain too.  So how was I able to overcome this contraction in my consciousness?  The first step is to realize that you are in a state of contraction, where your body will always give you signals through pain or even a gut feeling.  The next and final step is to ‘let it go’ or surrender, because that is the key to ultimate liberation in this play. 
Picture
Gut to brain signals.
Surrendering, letting go and going with the flow are all really the same concept.  It comes down to relinquishing control over the situation and allowing the Universe to work through you with no expectations, only love.  Many times, I thought I was doing this whenever I hit a wall in a given situation and I immediately expected results from the Universe.  Little did I know, I was actually resigning to the situation and not truly surrendering.  In other words, I was actually believing that I was powerless and negatively giving in to my circumstances.  My expectations were still in my heart, but my head/ego resigned and had given up in defeat.  Only when I realized what was actually happening and fully relinquished control/attachment from both my ego and heart, the Universe opened up to me.  I was able to feel pure joy in every moment. I found the universe giving me gifts in every little moment.  Once instance, my bus would already be waiting outside the subway station for me when I would have had to wait half an hour before.  My work assignment is manageable and everyone is cooperating with me.  I even found a winning “roll up the rim” slip on the floor for a free coffee.  Although it may not have been a resolution to what initially caused my contraction of consciousness, I felt the Universe was giving me little moments of abundance showing me that everything is working out perfectly and that a resolution is on its way. 
I no longer place limits/attachment to a certain outcome.  I now lovingly accept that the Universe has everything under control and is always working in my best interest.  I simply have faith.  After many years in school, I boiled all of this down to a simple equation:

Awareness of your situation/ being + Surrendering to the Universe = Abundance in every moment

I hope that this little equation can help you as much as it has helped and will continue to help me.
]]>
<![CDATA[A Friday night like no other...]]>Sun, 06 Mar 2016 15:39:57 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/a-friday-night-like-no-otherFridays at Unity Church are like no other Friday nights.  A group of Blue Stars gather to share in unity, love and experience from our week. We boost each other’s spirits, inspire and give hope.  We discuss our problems, celebrate our victories, however small, and simply enjoy the presence of each lovely soul that has been drawn to our space that evening.  We welcome the Masters of the Light, to support our space and worship the inner Guru in each other, and also in ourselves. This week we hear from a long-time participant, Jura Businskas.
​The group has undergone many changes over the years; growing, shrinking, changing hands, and changing formats - but the one true thread has remained: the thread of connectedness and community. 
Jura has been participating in the Friday night meditation circle for approximately 11 years now.  She has stuck with the group through different facilitators and changes to the program format simply because she finds it uplifting and as she says “something is always calling her to come”.  Jura finds that the program of the evening facilitates a meditative experience, because the group starts with a short centering, pranayama (breathing exercises) and gentle yoga stretches, or sometimes qi gong all done to release the stress of the day, to energize for the meditation and renew.
 
Although Jura usually meditates on her own every morning, she finds the group meditations enhanced. 
It’s different with the group energy. It brings to mind the phrase from the Bible – ‘Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.’
The group meditations facilitate a wonderful, co-created space where all the participants can all thrive, and get exactly what is needed – whether it be a dose to the heart or an peace of mind.
 
Jura mentions that another major facet of the evening she enjoys is the group sharing.  The discussion, based on a selected recording of a message and meditation by Sri Vasudeva from his 40 Days Retreats, helps us to strengthen our spiritual practise and allows for a sacred conversation that shows respect for every idea which arises in the group. Each person contributes his or her energy and ideas.  
We share what was important to us [from the message], what reinforcement we’re getting and how we manifest these things in our lives.  It’s very interesting to hear the opinion of others and their challenges. This helps us to deepen and support our relationships with each other.
​In these evenings, we share in each other’s light and love - bringing hope and inspiration.  This group is the perfect setting for healing, for joy, for upliftment.  It is exactly where each person there, needs to be, in that exact moment, receiving exactly what they need. 
I know when I leave and I’m driving home – I might be tired, but I feel lighter, renewed, strengthened and supported. It’s a great way to end the week and start the weekend. My heart is filled with gratitude, I’m very grateful for Friday nights.
Picture
Jura Businskas is a long time member. She brings a wonderfully warm, funny and charming brightness to all to meet her!
]]>
<![CDATA[The Importance of a Daily Spiritual Practice]]>Mon, 22 Feb 2016 04:01:50 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/the-importance-of-a-daily-spiritual-practiceHow we begin our day has a direct effect on how we respond to the experiences of our day.  Many of us have busy schedules, be it work, school, or family, which keep us running on all cylinders for most of the waking hours in the day.  We often forget proper nutrition, exercise and most importantly starting our day with meditation and prayer.

My spiritual teacher, Sri Vasudeva, inspired me over the last year to take a deeper look into the The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali.  In these writings, the great sage had some very direct instructions that illumine the importance of a daily spiritual discipline.  In chapter one of the Yoga Sūtras, Patañjali starts by setting the foundation for the purpose of Yoga in stating “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”. How do we achieve this? Patañjali graciously gives, what I assert as the most important tool for any seeker on the spiritual path: abhyāsa dedicated daily practice.

In chapter 1:12 of the Yoga Sūtras, Patañjali writes, “abhyāsa-vairāgya-ābhyāṁ tan-nirodhaḥ”.  Translated from Sanskrit, this verse states, “The fluctuations of the mind are quieted by dedicated practice and detachment”.  Here, Patañjali Maharishi shows us that we can achieve a quiet mind, open and receptive to Grace and inner guidance, simply by being dedicated to a daily practice and detachment.  The descent of Grace is responsible for spiritual awakening, finding a true Guru (a teacher), and finally enlightenment.  It is through abhyāsa we prepare and purify our inner being and by extension our outer world.  A great example of the benefits of abhyāsa is evident in a successful athlete.  They practice daily, making their lives completely disciplined, until finally achieving victory as the end result. 

Personally, a daily morning practice of meditation, pranayama, and prayer has revolutionized my life.  I find that I am able to handle the stress of my day a lot better.  I am also more cognizant of the Divinity within me and in my world.  The remembrance of this fills my heart with love and gives me motivation to meet any situation with a smile, knowing that it all is held in the Divine.

How important is a daily spiritual practice to you?

How do you feel or what is the experience of your day when you forget to perform your daily practice?

Do you believe that a daily practice of meditation can assist you in managing the stresses of your day?

We would love to read your comments and also learn from your experiences. Please share!

Prem and Shanti,
Keshava Das
]]>
<![CDATA[Patanjali's Yogic Disciplines]]>Tue, 28 Apr 2015 01:52:20 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/patanjalis-yogic-disciplinesDuring the Self Mastery retreat with Sri Vasudeva, we begin this week with the study of integrating spiritual consciousness into daily living.  

The Masters have given us certain clues as to how to deal with that period when we are shaky, uncertain, and unsure.  It is wonderfully outlined in the work of Patanjali.  As a seeker, the very first steps in this path of ashtanga (ashta=eight, anga=limb) yoga is the yama and niyama.  He says first as a seeker you have to learn restraint.  If you don't learn restraint then you are going to be in trouble.  You are not even going to move from where you are.  You are going to stagnate. 

THE YAMAS - restraints
  • Satya (सत्य):  Do not say anything that is false.  Do not mislead others.  Stay on the line of truth as you know it, as your heart believes it.  Be consistent with your awareness and expression of truth. 
  • Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा):  Be non-violent; holistic in thought, word and deed.  It begins with a thought.  When we think negative of others, that's violence!  That can hurt someone!  
  • Asteya (अस्तेय):  Don't steal.  Sometimes we want to take something that we have not earned through our own efforts.  We steal in all kinds of ways.  This creates karmic entitlement as you will be caught in the karma of repayment.  
  • Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः):  Don't be greedy.  Don't be lustful that you want to covet what is another's.  Don't go after things than what is more than enough.  This leads to exploitation and manipulation.  Release this. 
  • Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य):  The most potent energy within you can distract you, the gender energy, the reproductive energy of the second chakra.  Don't get caught up in this.  



NIYAMAS - things we should cultivate
  • Śauca (शौच):  Keep everything about you clean.  You keep the body clean, you keep the mind clean, you keep the space clean.  There is a saying "cleanliness is next to godlinesss".  
  • Santoṣa (संतोष):  Learn to be contented, that's a virtue you should cultivate.  Stay with what is before you. This is what you've earned in the karmic play.  If you are not contented, how can your mind be stable? 
  • Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय):  Always study the teachings, the knowledge that will uplift you.  This means the study of Self.  You can see how we are so caught in academic study and profiteering.  What about study of Self?  No matter what you do, ensure you are always learning about who you are on your journey.  
  • Tapas (तपस्):  The most powerful discipline is the mental one!  The mind must be disciplined.  Awareness must be disciplined. Discipline shouldn't be hard work. Discipline is for protection. Ultimately, discipline should be a joy.  It energizes you, it protects your being; body, mind and spirit. But when it's hard, it's purifying. We call it Tapas. 
  • Īśvarapraṇidhāna (ईश्वर-प्रणिधान):  Let all your actions be devoted to the Supreme. The motive for all your actions be to the Supreme!  This is the most important one!  One must remember at all times, whatever one is doing, is an offering to the Divine. Whatever I am thinking, whatever I am feeling, that's an internal offering to the Divine inside me.  Whatever my hands are engaged in, my feet, it should be devoted to the Divine, to the upliftment of myself and those around me. 

Be very watchful the moment you speak, the moment you think, the moment you act.  Make the yamas and niyamas important.  These are the first steps to integrating spirituality into daily living!  If you are going to get involved in the world, these are restraints, remember them!  

Ashtanga Yoga literally means “eight limbs of yoga.”  These limbs are defined in the the second chapter of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

  1. Yama:  Universal morality; a program of ethical restraints or abstentions
  2. Niyama:  Personal observances and practices that relate to the inner world
  3. Asanas:  Postures both internal and external
  4. Pranayama:  Control of prana or life force often in the beginning using breathing exercises
  5. Pratyahara:  Control of the senses
  6. Dharana:  Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
  7. Dhyana:  Devotion, meditation on the Divine
  8. Samadhi:  Union with the Divine
]]>
<![CDATA[We attract every situation to us.]]>Mon, 09 Feb 2015 19:22:18 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/we-attract-every-situation-to-usWe attract every situation that we are going to face today.  We are the reason for it.  We came here, we are here now, because of a choice we’ve made.  Therefore everything we attract comes from that choice. We are here based on a reasoning as we made that choice.  We made the choice for a reason, a purpose and we are here because of that purpose.  Everything that is going to happen to us is going to happen by the law of cause and effect.  As we sow, so shall we reap, it is said.  So every time you posture, positive, negative, neutral; you are going to have a corresponding response from the Universe in accordance with your posture.  That makes life magnificent.  Life becomes a mirror to show you how you are posturing.  And also how you are seeing.  If your mind is depressed then you see everything in a depressing way.  If you are excited, hopeful, you see everything in that way.  So observe how we colour the experience of life based on our outlook.  Who has the power to change that?  To make a new choice?  To change the outlook?  Who has the power?  We do.  No need to blame the space, because when we do, we really lose the true purpose and meaning of everything.  Observe carefully.  Take responsibility for your choices, for your postures.  Change them accordingly and you will see the response of the environment changing.  No need to point fingers, no need to blame.  Just change self and everything around you will change accordingly.  That’s why Gandhi-ji said, if you want to make a change in the world, you make the change first.  I like that.  I constantly make that change. It doesn't matter who is around me or what they are doing, I stay centered in the space where I want to be and nobody can change that.  So let the day be yours.  Be aware of the choices you are making, be aware of the postures you are having and begin to observe the magic of karma, as you sow so shall you reap.  The moment you see that you are reaping negative things, just change.  Just change your intention, change your postures and begin to observe.  For me that’s absolute beauty; to be aware of your own self, your own postures, your own outlook and how the Universe is responding.  Absolute beauty.  There’s a science behind this: change self, change world.  Have an exciting day everyone.  Namaskar.
* * * * *
Sri Vasudeva]]>
<![CDATA[Today's Morning Meditation with Sri Vasudeva]]>Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:17:28 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/todays-morning-meditation-with-sri-vasudeva“You will observe in this space the tendency of thought to arise. The idea is not to suppress a thought, but to center in the space where thought arises and to not get caught in the limitation of the thought. The moment you give your attention to a thought, you may lose the center of where thought springs... stay in the center and observe how thoughts arise.” - Sri Vasudeva
]]>
<![CDATA[Sri Vasudeva shares . . .]]>Tue, 30 Dec 2014 21:05:42 GMThttp://bluestarcanada.org/blog/sri-vasudeva-sharesThe most beautiful experiences I have had on my journey have been the spiritual ones.  Today I revel in that.  That I can stay in that spiritual state, untouched by everything around me.  That is where my compassion comes from, my kindness.  I want nothing from this world.  I want only to give, that is how I treat with you, only to give.  I give you the most precious part of me, the best of my thoughts, the best of my emotions, the best of my wisdom, the best of my company.  I give it to you continuously and I will give you nothing less.  I pray that you will be inspired to do the same to your world.
]]>