Recently I have been studying Eastern philosophy and Raja Yoga and been finding ways to incorporate them into my Circles practice. In Raja Yoga you are encouraged to meditate with your eyes open and focus on your third eye (center of forehead). The belief is that if you learn to meditate and focus with your eyes open, you are able to access the spiritual powers I have listed below, at any time or any given moment of need. Through my work I am finding that fewer people are choosing life in the fast lane and more of todays professionals are looking for ways to restore balance, find inner peace and replenish their spiritual power.
Some working environments can be quite toxic and you can easily get swept up by negative emotions and dynamics. Using Circles with the eight spiritual powers I have learned are an effective way of restoring the self, building trust, and strengthening community. When you raise your soul consciousness you become an observer of the drama, not a player in it. This is an essential component of good leadership and a quality necessary for being a skillful Circle keeper. I will be hosting a Circle training on November 17th at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA where I will be teaching participants how to use these powers and Circles in our professional working environments.
The Power to Accommodate
- is represented by the ocean. How did the ocean get this quality? The power to
- Accommodate/Adjust is the ability to expand and accept the present ideas and desires of others.
- Just as the ocean accepts all types of rivers that flow into it, whether polluted or clean, I am able to adjust myself and accommodate all that is happening around me.
- In the context of our relationships, we learn to accommodate or to evict. My simple acknowledgement of your presence is my first gesture of accommodation as I "let" you into my universe.
- The ability to accommodate means accepting and going with some else's flow, working with other's ideas. It means expanding yourself to allow someone else in who may in a clumsy moment, trample all over you.
- The power to accommodate is the ability to adjust to the other person or the situation with the consciousness of creating benefit from each opportunity. If the atmosphere is weak and negative, the power to accommodate is used - 1) to press the right "internal buttons" so as not to be affected by that negativity and 2) taps the wisdom to perceive exactly what the person or situation requires. Example: If the person before us is dying of thirst and we try to give him diamonds or gold, he will not value those as much as a simple glass of water.
- If you resist there is no opportunity to heal and if you think that you know better than the person opposing you, you are feeding the ego and the ego is a lower level defense mechanism.
- Become an observer of the drama and not a player in it.
The Power to Cooperate
- is the ability to give your attention, time, experience and wisdom in the service of others. The picture of forgers lifting a mountain symbolizes the power to cooperate. Real cooperation comes from the deeper spaces of attitude, feelings, thought and vision.
- Simply to see someone's highest qualities of character and not their weakness is an act of cooperation.
- The offering of powerful subtle thoughts towards the success of another is invisible but priceless cooperation.
- The generation and generous sprinkling of good feelings when friend or foe are down is selfless cooperation.
- And a constantly positive attitude regardless of the size of the perceived disaster is the inspiration of uplifting cooperation.
- To accept, acknowledge and appreciate another is to cooperate with their journey, thus providing the fuel of encouragement.
- The ones behind are more important than the ones in the front
The Power to Tolerate
- is the ability not to be affected by external and internal events and to respond to those events positively. The tree represents the power of Tolerance. How is the tree tolerant? The tree can often withstand assaults from both human beings and natural calamities. Like a tree, develop the strength to remain unaffected by external or internal events and respond to them positively.
- The Power of Tolerance is the ability to be undisturbed inside by any event going on around you and within you.
- It's an ability that comes with ease when you are involved and yet detached at the same time. Tolerance is necessary when you fully engage with those situations and people around you and they say and do things, which stimulate buried negative memories and emotions. First, you have to tolerate your own inner reactions and that is only possible when you can consciously disengaged and detached from the thoughts and feelings accompanying your reactions. Remember, you are not your thoughts and feelings, they are your creation.
- When tolerating others, it helps to remind yourself you are simply watching a massive drama going on around you.
- The greatest production in movie history and nothing in the script can disturb you. In fact your role is a vital one. Not only to tolerate and transform your own reactions, but to tolerate the actions of others by accepting their energy and returning a higher quality of energy as you return a blessing in the face of an insult, acceptance in the face of rejection, love in the face of hate. MASTERS ARE TRANSFORMERS.
- In this light frame of mind, I am able to tolerate all types of situations and people to the extent that there is not even the feeling that I have to tolerate something or someone. The question of tolerance of this or that religion doesn't even come up. There is natural comprehension of all.
The Power to Withdraw
- is represented by a tortoise. What does the turtle do when it senses some kind of danger, or when it wants to rest? In the same way that a tortoise goes within its shell in a moment of danger, or just to rest, I am able to retract myself from any situation and remain protected in the "shell of soul consciousness."
- The Power to Withdraw is the ability to disengage from the world around you. It is the first step in restoring calm and fording internal focus to withdraw attention away from everything external. Tortoise is good at this as it pulls its head and arms and legs inside its shell. Can you do these with your senses? To see but not see, to hear but not hear, or to see and hear but not to be influenced or disturbed by what you see and hear.
- It helps if you value periods of solitude and introspection, time to reflect and be quiet. It means leaving your senses behind for a few moments, minutes, may be half an hour in a day. This is also the first step of personal mastery. If you are not the master of your senses and all incoming stimuli, you will be their slave.
- The Power to Withdraw is the ability to detach the mind from the current situation while maintaining full awareness.
- To withdraw in this way allows us to observe the scene with an objective perspective we are in stronger control of our thoughts and behavior and can more astutely understand our emotions because we are looking at the scene as a third party, or as a director would.
- Going within at regular intervals during the day enables me to both accumulate and draw on my stock of inner strength.
The Power to Pack-Up
- is represented by a luggage. What is the symbolism behind this? What is spiritual packing-up? Just like an expert traveler who will carry only what is necessary and useful to enable him to travel light, similarly we must learn the art of packing up all the wasteful thinking about the past, present and future and remain light and positive constantly.
- Once fully inside, you will be met by the second challenge of mastering yourself a racing chattering mind, an analytical intellect with endless queue of questions and gurgling memory, throwing up images and experiences from the past.
- With the ability to go within, I learn how to pack-up all wasteful thinking in one second. How? The power and ability to pack-up is simply the ability to control your mind, your intellect and your memories. At the heart of our consciousness are these three most valuable servants.
- Encourage your mind to take a break, time out for a holiday. Shut down the production line for an hour and rest. Pack-up and come home. Make quietness a luxury and indulge yourself.
- When your intellect, your ever-inquiring, examining, analytical intellect asks you why it should also be quiet, still and patient, help it understand that the understanding it seeks only comes when it listens and observes, not when it questions and searches. Invite it to relax and just watch the movie. And when those trains of thought come racing out of your memory into a newfound quietness just let them come and let them go. Refuse to get on the trains and they will soon slow down and become less frequently.
- And so with the mastering of the faculties of your consciousness restored you can return to your center with total respect and a sense of integrity within yourself. Don't forget - masters are not autocratic tyrants. Real mastery is based on servant leadership. In other words, serve your mind, care for your intellect, respect and value your experiences as if they were your teachers, and they will return the service a hundred fold.
- The Power to Pack-up is the ability to set aside all wasteful thoughts in one second so there is lightness and freedom from burdens and worries. Though there may be many responsibilities, we cease to equate them with worry. By going deep into the self, our preoccupations with limited external activities - of the past, present, or future are "packed-up" for that limited time period, and we experience a new dimension in the form of an unlimited consciousness.
- Speak less, think less.
- To mentally put a full stop to a project even though it is not 100% completed
The Power to Face
- is the ability to confront and resolve external and internal obstacles, tests and challenges with great faith and courage. The picture, which symbolizes the power to face, is death, fire or tidal waves. The spiritual journey home is a return to full awareness of what is true and what is right.
- To have the courage to be honest with one's self and to communicate one's true feelings and desires. Present your feelings without expectations. Speak softly and firmly to the person who opposes your idea.
- Once spoken accept and forget the situation. Do not let the conversation replay in your intellect over and over again. Have no ill feelings towards the person who is opposing you.
- Internal obstacles are old habits of behavior born out of false understanding and wrong beliefs.
- External obstacles are those who would deliberately stand in your path of change - wanting you to stay the same.
- Test come when you meet those who yesterday triggered fear or hate within. Can you face them, walk towards them, see their beauty, their quality however, deeply hidden and respond to that? Horror, terror or simply error will test the strength of your ability to look at them in the face, forgive yourself and move on.
- And challenges: Every moment on this journey home is a challenge, and masters thrive on challenges. There are no problems, only opportunities to learn, grow and help others in the process. There are no such things as failure, only feedback.
- Change and chaos are travelling companions. And there is no other time than the present. The mantra of the master is just facing it, just face right now. Masters know that delay is expensive.
- The power to face gives courage and confidence to deal with any person or situation. This power helps conquer all types of fears, insecurities, and doubts, especially about our own abilities.
The Power to Discriminate
- is the ability to discern the subtle and separate what is true from false. Gems represent the Power to Discriminate or to discern. Discrimination is the art of seeing. Not seeing with the physical eyes, but seeing with the inner eye, the third eye. Seeing what is true and what is false. Today it is possible to create an artificial diamond, which looks and directs light as well as the real thing. To you and me there is no difference. To an experienced and unhurried jeweler, however the subtle flaws are noticed through the eye of experience and knowledge. Spiritual sight is like the jeweler's eye.
- Seeing what is true is only possible when there is an understanding of the laws and principles, which govern the course of human life. It is knowledge of these laws of nature, both physical and spiritual, which restore sight and give you the ability to discriminate.
- Those who have clear intellect have the ability to discern between right and wrong at the appropriate time.
- The power to discriminate helps to distinguish the real truth from the apparent truth, between things of temporary value and those of eternal value, between the superficial and the subtle. This power helps to recognize traps of illusion, however sweetly decorated and enticing.
- Through this power, we see through disguises and acts confidently and wisely. Through meditation, develop the clarity of mind to discern right from wrong, true from false within a second.
The Power to Judge
- is the balancing of wisdom, patience, justice and mercy. The accurate scale represents this power. Real, authentic, accurate judgment has three dimensions.
- (1) Assess a situation so you may be able to check the right response you need to create and express.
- (2) Don't judge people, because no one has that right but you do judge actions. Perhaps for rightness or quality, for ethic or value, because you are an eternal student and seek to continually learn from others. But you have no need to judge any person for you know they are innately good, even though their actions may demonstrate otherwise.
- (3) Judge yourself. Not with the aim to punish, but simply to assess and see that your thoughts, words and actions are consistently of the highest quality and find acceptance from others. The Power to Judge helps assess any situation accurately, with clarity and precision. With a detached impartial state of mind, we can use this power to help discriminate the quality of our thoughts, words and actions and not to be judgmental of others.
- Those who have clear intellect evaluate all sides to the story before they make a decision.
- If we do see someone doing something wrong according to the universal code of conduct, the power to judge can be called upon to help determine if that person perceives he/she is acting wrongly. If so, we can feel mercy and inspire him/her to make the correction through our own example or with accurate and empathetic "coaching". If they perceive the inaccuracy and is making an effort to overcome the weakness, we can feel respect and good wishes for that individual, which would encourage them to gain victory over that weakness.
If peace is our nature why do we resist? Try to bring peace where ever you go and begin to control your mind. All of our actions begin with a thought. The mind has over 60,000 thoughts a day. How many of those are positive? The real war is within us. We cannot change others only ourselves so it is important to link our mind, intellect, and feelings so we are in alignment with the purest of intentions. The quality of purity is at the core of who we are. If we do our "work" the world can only benefit from it.
Thanks for reading!