Embracing Your Shadow Leads to Happiness & Divine Love (Otta and Prota Yogas)
Namaskar. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to find their way in life to peace, joy, contentment - a feeling of wellbeing. People search in different ways to find this experience. Due to karma, due to samskaras, reactions to past experiences, due to circumstances and struggles in life a sense of wellbeing is hard to come by, and many times, it is when people suffer that they find their deepest truth within them. When life is going your way, when everything is good, there is a tendency for many people to simply begin to enjoy the pleasures of life, thinking that this sense of wellbeing and enjoyment will go on forever, forget to be introspective, forget the process of life and the deeper essence of existence.
Therefore, people can become unconscious, governed by needs and desires, governed by attitudes and beliefs without ever reflecting, without being aware of the limitations of beliefs, attitudes, and constructs of the mind. And it is often when life trips you up, when struggles and difficulties come in the life—when a loved one dies, when you lose your job, when illness is there, when you have been so successful at your work and what you do, that you have reached all of your goals and you have found success—that you realize it isn't enough. When circumstances, either difficult or exceedingly good, bring you to that point where you reflect upon your life and realize there is something missing, something needed. Then you are in a position to make a change in your life. Then you are in a position to transform your existence, to move from one level of ego development and cohesion to another deeper level.
And often that transitional period involves some restructuring. Sometimes when people's lives are restructuring, they don't look so good from the outside. And there may be difficulties and turmoil as you begin to unravel beliefs, unravel constructs, and unravel what has been in your life. You find a new level of integration, a new depth of meaning, a new depth of purpose, a new depth of understanding, a new depth of your relationship to the divine essence of all of existence.
A deeper, vaster understanding comes when you drop down into a deeper level of integration. And when you do this then you become able to connect, to feel your connection to Divine Source. The path to that connection is not always easy and that is why many people in this world avoid even placing their feet upon the path because they fear the shadows within them. They fear to look straight at the darkness, at that which they would rather avoid or pretend doesn't exist. At the temporal nature of their lives, many people want to avoid this frank encounter with themselves and the condition of their lives.
And so, they go from one external activity to another to another to another without taking the time to look within or to connect with essence to find their divine source. But when the circumstances get hard enough, as we have said, or perhaps good enough that there's no place else to go, then people begin to face themselves. And you would not be here tonight if you had not already placed your feet upon this path if you had not already chosen to look within to face the inner demons that arise within you. For all people have them.
All people have the shadow within, the false, the failings, the difficulties, the griefs, the sorrows, the disappointments, the anger, the fears. These are a part of the human experience. And when you are willing to be with your own struggles, with your own personal burdens, and to face the nature of human life, then you become able to settle within and to look even deeper to the divine nature of your own being which lies hidden beneath these shadows that you run from.
When you stop running, when you are with both the joy and the sorrow, then the superficial happiness falls away to give way to deeper happiness. Not the happiness that comes from accomplishing, achieving, or having a good time, but the happiness that comes from the love which is everywhere - from the love that is within you and all around you. The happiness that comes when you can feel connected to that love.
It is not happiness that avoids pain or sorrow, for true happiness is a kind of peace - a peace with yourself that allows you to experience the trials and tribulations of life, the disappointments, the losses, the struggles, the pain. And at the same time always carry within you the joy of your own divine existence and the joy of your cosmic connection to the eternal essence of being.
This happiness is of a deeper nature and it is found when you are willing to be completely authentic with yourself. When you are willing to accept the pain and the shadows of your life with the utmost compassion and accept your shortcomings and faults and failings with loving kindness and total compassion. When you can do this then you open up the possibility of a happiness that is not attached to the ups and downs of life but is connected to the wholeness of your being.
This happiness requires great compassion for your own self, great compassion for your limitations and your struggles, great compassion for your own humanity. Great love for your own self. And when you truly love your self—love your anger, love your fear, love your sorrow, love your struggle with life, love the failings and the faults—then you become able to love others even though they, in their humanness, also have faults and failings. And when this love grows, love for yourself, love for others, you discover there is a love that is all-encompassing. A love that has no limits, no boundaries. A love that always has been and always will be - the Beloved source of that love. A Beloved of such passion, such love, such exquisiteness that the mind cannot even contain the thought of that love for it defies all the boundaries of thought. Expansive, without beginning, without end, that love encompasses everyone, everything, all the beings in the universe.
And when you sink deeper and deeper into love you discover that love which is at the core and heart of everything. You discover the beloved of your heart manifest in the song of a bird, manifest in the gentle breeze against your face, manifest in the eyes of those you love, manifest in your own heart, in your own body, in your own mind - manifest in all the beings of this universe.
Yet beyond any form, this Beloved is everyone. The Beloved of your heart becomes the radiant blossom of the depth of being that surpasses pain and pleasure and brings you true happiness. Nothing but this love, this truth of your own Self, this truth of the Beloved of your heart - that only can bring you deep enduring happiness. This is the secret adventure of human life to find this deep and enduring treasure of the heart. Even the path of knowledge of jnana eventually must come to the heart. The mind alone can never know the truth. Eventually, the spiritual heart must open the love which has no bounds, the truth which always is.
Are there any questions? Questioner: When that shadow gets so strong and sometimes you feel like you can't fight it, what step do you take to make it more subtle? Maetreyii: Acceptance and love. Love unconditional. Even the darkest shadow has the utmost compassion for that moment of pain. And love yourself for you are Divine essence. Carry that knowledge into the darkness and give the love and compassion to the small one who is in pain. Hold that pain in the arms of love. Hold that expression filling the mind in the heart of love with the heart of love. Tell that small one in pain, "I know, I know it hurts. I care. You are cared for. You are loved. You are cared for by the most beloved." Give that love, shower that love everywhere to everyone. Then you become a channel for that grace and love of the most beloved, of the Lord of love. You become the channel for the Lord of love to hold the one in pain, to hold the you that is experiencing the pain until even the pain becomes part of the love. Do you understand?
Questioner: Yes. Maetreyii: At the core of everything there is a white light so bright the mind cannot bear its presence - so brilliant, more brilliant than a thousand suns. A love, a light, a truth, a brilliance that burns everything away. That is your home. That is your Source. And that is your shelter in the darkness. Is there more? Alright, namaskaram. May each of you enjoy the true love from the heart of the universe.