Spiritual people tend to completely devalue the mind and the intellect when it comes to talking about spiritual concepts and when explaining themselves and their ideas to others. You often hear things like, “Can’t you just feel the love?” Or, “Don’t think about it. Just feel it.” I am guilty of this too.

But today, I’m arguing the opposite and I’m saying that the mind is an important tool in your spiritual journey.

inspirations app by paramahamsa vishwananda

Source: Inspirations App by Bhakti Marga

The mind and the intellect are invaluable tools to understanding spirituality, to articulate it for yourself and to communicate it to others.

What good is love if you can’t give it? What good is an idea about love, about God and about life if you can’t articulate yourself and share that idea with another person?

In the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Krishna says that there are many forms of yoga that lead you to your ultimate aim in life, to God, like Ashtanga Yoga (the eight limbs of yoga), Jnana Yoga (the yoga of knowledge) and Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion to God). Of all of these, He says that Bhakti Yoga is the easiest and most direct path that gets you to your destination.

krishna vishwaswaroop kurukshetra

Image source: Tumblr

I think that there is a reason He mentions these three forms of yoga in this specific order. On the soul’s journey, as it incarnates through many lives, it first masters Ashtanga yoga, then Jnana Yoga and then evolves to Bhakti Yoga. Only after mastering Jnana, and the intellectually understanding why we are here and what’s the purpose of life, can we experience Bhakti and devotion to God.

Bhakti is complex. Anyone who has been in love knows how complex it is. For example, when Facebook first launched so many years ago, one of the options for your status was “It’s complicated” alongside “Single” and “In a relationship”.

Love is complicated.

It is handy to have a good intellectual understanding of life and love to be able to endure the complexity of Divine Love and Bhakti, as sweet as it is. Don’t you think?

I’m not saying we should throw your feelings out the window and become super analytical of everything. What I’m saying is that let’s use the mind, turning it inwards. Let’s use the mind in service of something higher. Let’s use the mind to unlock the heart.

With my love,

Ritu

This post is not intended to scare you but it is useful insight if you are on a spiritual path.

When you start walking on the spiritual path, and truly commit to it, your best friend will leave you. Your boyfriend will leave you. Your mom will show disappointment in you. Your dad will pick fights with you.

This will happen because you are changing and so are they, and both parties are changing in opposite directions.

It is not anyone’s fault so don’t blame her when your best friend walks away. She’s not doing it because she’s trying to hurt you. In fact, she is probably very hurt by you.

Resist trying too hard to patch wounded feelings; in yourself and in her.

Trying to comfort each other will not help the situation. 

It will feel more like rubbing salt in the wound.

The spiritual path is a lonely one.

the spiritual path is a lonely one quote

When you go looking for your Self, unfortunately, you don’t get to bring someone along with you.

Once you have found your Self however, you get to bring that to others, fully. And when you bring your full Self to others, you can give and give and give because you will never run out.

Don’t be sour even when they leave you.

Don’t be sour when your outreach is greeted with coldness. Be patient and most of all, allow for that distance to be there because in that distance, you will find space.

And at this time, what you both need more than anything else, is space.

Paramahamsa Vishwananda, my Guru, gave two incredible Darshans in London in April, 2016. I got such a huge blessing of being able to attend both events.

As you know, I live in Toronto now. You may also know that I used to live in London. My spiritual family is in London since that’s the place where I had my first awakening. It was so nice to be able to be back there for Darshan with Guruji.

paramahamsa vishwananda london darshan 2016

Interested in receiving Darshan from Paramahamsa Vishwananda? Check out the official event calendar of Bhakti Marga here.

Some more pics from my trip below.

paramahamsa vishwananda london darshan 2016 1

That’s me in the blue sari.

paramahamsa vishwananda london darshan 2016 2

That me behind Guruji! I got to assist with the event.

on my way to london to see guruji 1

At Toronto airport, on my way!

on my way to london to see guruji-vishwananda london darshan

Arriving in Leyton. Never thought I’d be back here so soon.

london leyton darshan

My friend Lisa outside the Darshan hall

paramahamsa vishwananda london darshan 2

Guruji giving Darshan to a fellow Canadian.

Vishwananda london darshan 1

Shirdi Sai Baba’s blessings.


 

 

3 Essential Tips for Meditation

  • By:

You want to meditate but every time you sit down to meditate, your mind starts going a hundred miles an hour and you get more stressed out that you were before you even started!

In this video, I talk about three essential meditation tips that will help you to calm your mind and get through the meditation you want to do.

Meditation is a hot new thing to do now, but it’s been around for thousands of years. This is not something new but just like thick eyebrows and hipster moustaches, it is coming back into fashion. And this is a good thing!

The world needs meditation.

Why? Because when people meditate, the consciousness of the entire community around that person rises. When enough people meditate, a blanket effect is created on the entire population and everyone benefits. The planet, Mother Earth also benefits because meditation is healing for our environment as well as our brain and our body.

If you are trying to meditate and your brain just won’t shut up, here are three things you can try out.

Three meditation tips to calm your brain down

I’m a meditation teacher and I teach Atma Kriya Yoga meditation and also Simply Meditation. I’ve also been meditating almost every single day for that last three years. For someone who has the discipline of a lazy cat, that’s a big deal. When you try to meditate daily for such a long time, you get to experience all the resistance that comes up during meditation. 

For someone who has the discipline of a lazy cat, that’s a big deal. When you’ve been trying to meditate daily for such a long period of time, you would have experienced all the resistance that comes up to meditation. 

I’m simply sharing the top three things that have helped me to meditate regularly throughout all this time.

Be a little bit stubborn when it comes to meditation

The first thing to try if your mind just won’t shut up when you try to meditate is to sit there and be stubborn about it. Don’t let yourself give up and get up. Just try to get through five minutes, no matter what comes up.

If you give in to the loud chatter in your brain, then you won’t get anywhere.

But, this comes with the absolutely essential second part, which is to be gentle and kind to yourself.

Meditation is about being kind to yourself

If you are willing to give it a try and be stubborn enough to sit through at least five minutes of meditation a day, it is absolutely necessary to be gentle on yourself as well.

This means, not being mean to yourself, not saying mean things to yourself in your head and being patient and loving to yourself just for trying.

Love meditation and meditate for love

Finally, the third tip I have is to incorporate LOVE into your meditation. This is the key to meditation.

An easy way to do this is to think of a loving memory, a memory in which you experienced unconditional love. Once you have that, start your meditation.

I hope these tips help you to have a regular meditation practice, no matter how loud your mind gets when you try to meditate. 

But before you go off and get into your zone, I want to hear from you. What is the biggest challenge for you when you try to meditate? It could be anything, like maybe someone in the house is distracting you, or you just can’t get comfortable or something else throws you off. 

I want to know! So put in the comments below the biggest challenge you have when you try to meditate.

And check out my free 5 day meditation course here.

FREE meditation course

Hope to see you in there!

Love,

Ritu

Knowledge VS Feelings

  • By:

What good is knowledge when it will die when you die?

A feeling, on the other hand, is felt fully in the moment. In fact, it comes back again and again and you can relive that feeling endlessly.

Can you relive knowledge? The very moment you acquire it, it becomes old.

So what is the point?

Drown yourself in the feeling.

Love is eternal.

Inspired by my Guruji, Sri Swami Vishwananda and a story he shared here.

Atma Kriya Yoga in Detroit

  • By:

Atma Kriya Yoga was taught for the first time in Detroit, in partnership with True Nature. It was an amazing weekend workshop, which felt more like a retreat.

atma kriya yoga in detroit 5

For two days, we were completely immersed in a loving energy, that was much more than any of us expected.

For two days, we were enveloped in support, from each other and from the Universe and really swimming in devotion!

atma kriya yoga in detroit 1 atma kriya yoga in detroit 6 atma kriya yoga in detroit 4

I’d like to thank Chris Grant, from True Nature for making this possible and for everyone who came from far and wide to experience the Love that is within Atma Kriya Yoga.

atma kriya yoga in detroit 3 atma kriya yoga in detroit 7

Jai Gurudev!

Love,

Ritu

atma kriya yoga in detroit 2

 

 

The very first OM Chanting circle ever held in Mississauga was on January 31, 2016. It was at a beautiful yoga studio on Financial Drive, called YogaVision.

It was the largest OM Chanting I’ve ever organized on my own and I went through a roller coaster of emotions in the planning process and in the lead up to it.

At first, there was the inspiration and insight! This is when I got the idea to approach the owner of the studio, who I had met a few months prior via my friend Leyla Razeghi and ask her to collaborate. She must have sensed my enthusiasm, because she agreed.

OM Chanting in Mississauga - registration

That’s my mom registering herself for the event at YogaVision!

The second stage was unstoppable drive! At this stage, I thought I could take on the world and get 60 people in the circle. It was childlike enthusiasm and looking back, it was an essential part of the process. It was during this stage that I did a lot of marketing for the event like telling my friends personally, creating Facebook events, putting up ads on Facebook and other social media.

Who wants a personal handwritten invitation to the upcoming #omchanting and #atmakriyayoga events in #Toronto? Holla at your girl. 😜

A photo posted by Ananga Manjari Dasi (@anangamanjaridasi) on

My handwritten invites to a select few people.

The third stage was the strategy stage. At this point, I was thinking long term. At this point, the event became bigger than itself. It became a step in a long road to spread OM Chanting even further and to spreading Atma Kriya Yoga, of which OM Chanting is a small part.

I wanted to invite all the participants of this OM Chanting circle to an upcoming Atma Kriya Yoga course that I was teaching in Toronto. To create an attractive invitation, I made goodie bags and filled them with a chocolate and a personal invitation to the course.

OM Chanting in Mississauga - AKY Offer

The goodie bags and invitations for the Atma Kriya Yoga course in Toronto.

The fourth stage was nervousness and this hit me the day of the OM Chanting. I felt less confident and I felt like I was overstepping my co-host at the yoga studio. This lead me to play small, not take up the full authority I should have as the leader of this circle.

Looking back, I wish I hadn’t doubted myself. I wish I had been fully there, in my full capability as a confident teacher and speaker instead of playing small. This would surely have created an even richer experience for the 34 participants of the OM Chanting.

OM Chanting in Mississauga 1 OM Chanting in Mississauga 2

The fifth stage was relief. It came at the end of the chanting and I let myself relax after it was done. It was a great time for socializing and answering questions and I did my best to do so and represent OM Chanting, Atma Kriya Yoga, Bhakti Marga and my Guruji, Sri Swami Vishwanda as best as I could.

OM Chanting in Mississauga 3

Many people were receptive to it and asked lots of questions. Some might have preferred that I share information only about OM Chanting and not about its roots within Bhakti Marga or its origins from Sri Swami Vishwananda, but I don’t believe I had any other option. I had to speak from the heart and I did.

OM Chanting in Mississauga 4

I wish to thank every single person who came along to experience OM Chanting circle in Mississauga for bringing your amazing energy and smiling faces to the event. I’d like to thank Salimah, the owner of YogaVision for making this incredible experience possible.

OM Chanting in Mississauga 5 OM Chanting in Mississauga 6 OM Chanting in Mississauga 7 OM Chanting in Mississauga 8 OM Chanting in Mississauga 10

And finally, I hope to see some of you in the future at another OM Chanting event or in an upcoming meditation class with me!

Love,

Ritu

If you’ve ever wondered how to stop cheating on your boyfriend, then you’re not alone. And you’re not a bad person even if you have cheating tendencies. The real cause might be something much deeper than just wanting to cheat.

Maybe you’ve been in a relationship but then someone else came into your life and you started thinking about them a little more than you honestly should be, then be careful! You might have cheating tendencies! But don’t worry. There is hope.

So… cheating. It’s a touchy subject. People don’t want to admit that they are cheaters. But let’s be honest, we are human beings. We have these tendencies within us and they are natural, but that does not mean we have to fall into this trap that our human nature has predisposed us to. Just because we have an instinct, does NOT mean we have to indulge it.

The Three Types of Cheating

There are 3 types of cheating that I will talk about today. 1. Cheating on your partner. 2. Cheating on yourself. 3. Cheating on your spiritual path.

How To Stop Cheating On Your Partner

First let’s talk about cheating on your partner. I’ve been in the place of being cheated on and being the cheater, at least emotionally, and neither spot is a good place to be. It’s pretty awful. If you are in a relationship and you feel like you want to cheat, here’s the number one thing you need to do.

DISTANCE.

DISTANCE YOURSELF

Start to create distance between the guy or girl you are feeling attracted to or falling in love with. Just stop hanging out! Stop texting. Stop Tweeting at him. Stop liking his posts on Facebook. Just stop sending these signals!

Now the chances are that he is feeling something towards you too so he’s going to keep sending those “Likes” your way, and those Tweets, and those texts.

It doesn’t matter.

Your only job at this stage is to create DISTANCE. It’s the ONLY thing that will save you from the disgrace you will feel from cheating.

NEVER MISS ANOTHER POST! GET FREE UPDATES DIRECTLY IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for the newsletter

How To Stop Cheating On Yourself

The second type of cheating I want to talk about is cheating on yourself. Huh? How can you cheat on yourself?

Here’s what it looks like.

Do you prioritize others over yourself? Do you neglect your self-care and chase after others in your head? Do you spend hours thinking about work, other people, gossip, whatever instead of giving yourself what you really need?

What you really need might be that trip to the salon, or to the gym to your favourite fitness class or sitting your ass down on your meditation pillow and meditating. Giving your mind a break! And giving yourself some love.

Cheating on yourself is when you KNOW you need one thing but you purposely do something else.

How to stop cheating on yourself?

The answer is Love and dedication.

Dedicate that time when you take care of yourself to someone else. Dedicate it to someone you love so much that by being in a better place yourself, you are more able to serve that person.

So, out of love for that person, you lovingly take care of yourself as well.

Dedicate it to the one you love

For example, if you’ve been going crazy in your head thinking about work and bitchy girlfriends or grumpy people at work that you have neglected taking care of yourself. Your hair looks like a mess and your nails are chipped.

But let’s say you have a boyfriend who you love so much and being in a good place mentally and emotionally makes you a more pleasant partner and makes you stronger to take care him and your relationship. So out of your love for him and out of love for your relationship, you take yourself to the salon, you get your hair done and your nails done, you elevate your own mood and you are a bundle of joy when you hang out with your man instead of being a mess.

In short, to stop cheating on yourself, take care of yourself.

How To Stop Cheating On Your Spiritual Path

The third kind of cheating I want to talk about is on your spiritual path and on your Guru. If you find yourself that you are hopping around from one spiritual path to another, from one meditation style to another and from one spiritual teacher to another, then your cheating tendencies in your others areas of life, like in your romantic relationships and on yourself will affect your spiritual path as well.

If you are not used to 100% commitment, loyalty and faithfulness towards a relationship and towards yourself, then it’s natural that you will have the same tendency towards spirituality.

How to stop cheating on your spiritual path is actually inclusion and not exclusion. It is actually about staying openminded instead of closing yourself off to others.

But most importantly, it is trusting in your heart and trusting in your experiences.

Trust & leap of faith

If you have ever felt something, if you have been moved into changing through an experience, then trust that. Trust that what you felt is real. And when you find something that feels so real, hang onto it! Be loyal! Be faithful. Be kind.

Practice distance from the next shiny object that comes your way and tries to distract you. Take care of yourself so that you are better capable of serving on your spiritual path.

Cheating Is Normal, But…

Cheating is one of those things that are a part of our human nature. But I know you are a good person, you have a good heart and underneath everything, you are so pure. And you can stop cheating. I believe in you.

Lots of love,

Ritu

NEVER MISS ANOTHER POST! GET FREE UPDATES DIRECTLY IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for the newsletter

If you’ve kept up with my secret little updates on Instagram, you might know that I have a new name now. It is Ananga Manjari Dasi! That’s my spiritual name given to me by my Guru, Sri Swami Vishwananda.

That name inspired me to make this vlog on service because “Dasi” means service.

How do you define service? How important is it to you to be of service to others? Do you think that it is something that’s needed in your workplace? How can you improve your situation with service?

I’d love to know, so comment below and let me know!

Love,

Ritu