a lesson from bees

(gathering the nectar of spiritual practice)

marie-andrée bureau, www.mabureau.com

A large group is chanting OM and the sound coming from the room is sweet and harmonious. It reminds me of the hum of bees as they search for nectar, how ecstatic they get with their buzzing when they find and enter the open flowers. Some of them go from flower to flower, intent on getting the nectar; some fly off to tell other bees where the nourishment is.

Many people are now searching for the nectar of spiritual awareness in these confusing times. Where do we get spiritual nourishment? There are many spiritual practices, many approaches to the Divine that are simple, nourishing and powerful. The first spiritual practice I was introduced to was the Divine Light Invocation. This is an ancient standing meditation that helps you visualize Divine Light, and get in touch with an endless source of spiritual nourishment.

I remember the first time I did the practice with my friend, who had just learned it at a yoga class. She was very excited. She had collected the nectar of Light and brought it back to me. I experienced lightness and openness the first time I did it with her. It was comforting and challenging and I wanted to find out more about it. Light is a powerful symbol, if we think of how even the smallest light will light up a dark room, stars from millions of miles away shine brightly in the night sky, and how we are dependent on the sunlight for this life on Earth to exist. On a dark cloudy day, people can feel depressed; on a sunny day, spirits are lifted.

Yet Light is such a subtle, intangible substance. It is an image used to describe the indescribable essence of who we are. It is also a universal symbol representing a greater Divine power. It is a source both within us and outside of us. Light is ephemeral, yet we can see it, feel it; some people even describe being able to taste it, smell it and hear it – all our senses can be attuned to it.

The practice of visualizing Light is very powerful and creates a feeling of oneness. Light has the ability to make changes on all levels of our being – physically, mentally and spiritually. You can begin to brighten your mind space and your outlook. Light brings changes to thought patterns and can also change the atmosphere around you.

If you are in pain – emotional, mental or physical – concentrate on bringing the healing power of Divine Light to your body or your concern. Your Light-full attention encourages healthy thoughts. Negativity can be removed and lead to healing. The Light can also be sent to those in need in little misunderstandings or in disasters.

Just as flowers are so generous with their nectar, the Light is abundant and always available to you. Once we establish a connection with the Light we can be receptive to its nourishment and generous with it, too. We bring this generosity to the people we live and work with, taking the nectar we receive from the practices and translating it into our lives. These conscious interactions are the places where practice comes to life.

If you visualize the Light once a day, you will begin to notice a change in your life. Write down your observations and your feelings. Your reflections will show the subtle changes and give you space to absorb the Light experiences. Then you have a record of how you are sustained by the Light.

In my last article, issue 27, I gave instructions for a simple visualization on the Light. Here we take the next step, feeling the Light and using the Divine Light Mantra as an affirmation.

Sitting in a meditation posture, aware of your spine and focused on the space between your eyebrows, bring your breath to an even rhythm. Use your imagination to see a brilliant white light showering around you and the Light flowing into your body through the top of your head. Concentrate on feeling the warm glow of Light suffuse your entire body, outside as well as inside.

I am created by Divine Light.
I am sustained by Divine Light.
I am protected by Divine Light.
I am surrounded by Divine Light.
I am ever growing into Divine Light.

Every cell of this, my physical body, is filled with Divine Light. Every level of consciousness is illumined with Divine Light. Divine Light penetrates every single cell of my being, every level of consciousness. I am one with the Light.

When you are meeting with friends, family or co-workers, mentally do this visualization and see them surrounded by brilliant white light, and keep the Light flowing around each person.
Swami Radhananda is president and spiritual director of Yasodhara Ashram in British Columbia, Canada.

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