The energy within us is infinite. But our access to that deep and sacred source of energy is often clouded by our own emotions, desires, fears or attachments. It can be difficult to gain access to the realms of possibility when we lose our way or sabotage our own success.
The yogic teachings of tapas, the disciplines and austerities of the ancient mystical practices can provide an access point to our own spiritual energy, our shakti. “Tapas” means to ignite, to burn, to create heat and friction. But it is an inner friction, the unsettling feeling created when we make a different choice, a conscious choice, rather than choosing the same old habit that keeps us stuck in repetitive shakti-diminishing patterns. My guru, Ma Jaya, used to talk about the power, the energy that is created in the moment of hesitation.
For example, you want to eat the cookie. You see the cookie, smell its delicious aroma. With your mouth watering, you know you love the cookie, but you do not love the extra 20 pounds that you have been carrying around. So you hesitate. You stop the moment. You take a deep breath. And then another. And you muster up your courage and make a conscious choice. In this moment of hesitation, you feel a certain kind of energy within. It is born of desire, but what happens when it goes unquenched? This is the friction, the tension of change, and it is astir within you. This energy clearly indicates that you are actually growing in the moment.
It’s a dance of courage and discipline, love and awareness. Tapas awakens within us a form of shakti, of spiritual energy. We long to break through the patterns and habits that bind us. It’s like the soul’s own force trying to break through and move us forward on our spiritual path. We choose to evolve. We choose to lay down the patterns of our past, patterns based in unworthiness or fear. We gather our strength and integrity, our love and our wisdom, and we choose to grow and change and heal. Because even in our own perfection, we long to live from a greater depth of love. Igniting our discipline is not a tool for the ego, it is a form of shakti, of spiritual love. It rises up within us, and if we are listening, watching, meditating, serving, we hear that inner call of the Mother. And we say, “yes”. We say, “thank you”. We grow. We embrace the path of transformation; we walk tall toward our own freedom. And we listen. From the depth of our soul, we listen. For beyond the inner fires of transformation, beyond the growth and inevitable change, the indescribable silence of the soul awaits. So we grow and heal, and ultimately we listen for the silence resonating within. We listen for the Mother’s own footsteps, dancing in the flames of time. We listen and we hear the upsurging of bliss.
Namaste and Love,
Swami Jaya Devi Bhagavati