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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Higher Power, Higher Self

What is the Divine, or a Higher Power? Among other things, these terms are commonly used references to "God" when using the word “God” doesn’t quite fit for a person or group. New Age thought or philosophies, including the Anonymous Recovery programs, may have borrowed these terms from the Hindu religion. Very generally speaking, Higher Power or Divine is thought to be the source of life, the One, Universal Consciousness of which we are all a part.

What I sometimes refer to as Higher Self can be thought of as a holographic fractal or fragment of the Divine or Higher Power. This element of existence might also be referred to as Spirit. This fragment, or Spirit, is the spark or portion of the Divine that enlivens the human vessel. Thus, the Divine is thought to be in every being ever born. The Higher Self, or Spirit is the true essence of the Universe dwelling in every being, the source of all the light and life that gives breath to human existence. While the ego wants to take credit for and control the human experience, human beings are said to exist as an extension of Divine.

I remember as a kid, slicing a worm into three or four segments. Each part continued to function like an independent new worm, apparently separate from the original whole, yet undeniably part of it. The essence of the original worm continued to live in each segment while at the same time each part was now individual, taking off in three different directions. Yet when I pressed two ends of the worm segments together, it could recognize itself and mend the split. In a similar way, the essence of the Divine lives in each of us. We are undeniably part of the whole. In fact, the Divine is the source of our existence. Like the worms, there are no parts without the whole. We are apparently separate, individual and unique, while belonging to one source.

The One can’t know itself alone. When there is just one, there is no reflection, no possibility for “self consciousness”. But when there are segments or parts, we can reflect upon each other, we can relate, communicate, project, compare and discover the Divine in others and be discovered as Divine by others. Embodied fragments, spirits or sparks, the Divine is what gives humans a true motivation for relating and living. It is the Divine’s desire to know itself that has generated the human capacity to be self-conscious . . . aware of ourselves and each other. Parts of the worm; separate yet One.

The body and the physical realm, the world of matter and time/space in which we dwell, are thought to be but a vehicle for the Higher Self. The Higher Self maintains, sustains and manifests our Divine DNA, even when the Ego forgets. It is that unbreakable connection to the Divine in each of us that makes us curious, makes us wonder, and makes us beautiful, just the way we are.

Experiencing the Divine in the Body

When there is interest in a deeper experience of one's Divine nature, meditation and yoga practices offer some guidance and illumination. Such practices have been developed over millennia specifically as a means for assisting those who are ready to turn away from the habits, addictions and distractions of the physical world, and restore their awareness of, and connection to the light, love, and power of the eternal source. Tapping into one's Divine nature, being able to recognize it in the body, helps to reveal the illusions, desires, and attachments that can trap us in unwanted behaviors and relationships. The practice suggested below may be of assistance in gaining a greater ability to recognize limiting, disharmonious, restricting energies and forms.

The Divine Self or Higher Self is always available, always communicating, via the body, the connection we have to Higher Power, illumination, love, and wisdom. The opportunity to draw higher forms, thoughts, feelings, and situations into everyday life exists for everyone. The Higher Self is wise and is always offering a way to live in ever greater alignment with Source.

If, in fact, we are all Divine, then it is not a struggle of willpower to contact the Higher Self. Simply set an intention to be connected to the Divine and turn your attention to your body.

1. Simple Silent Sitting

Silence is a vital factor in this process, as the connection with the Divine Self goes beyond the mind. Find a calm, quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Rid yourself of as many distractions as possible.

Set your intention to be open to experiencing the Divine as it lives through your body.

2. Notice Everything

Notice thought patterns swimming around in your mind. Notice your breath; notice any tension or holding from head to toe. Notice sensations. Hot or cold, dry or wet, fast or slow, hard or soft. Notice emotions: Mad, sad glad, afraid.

Allow your attention to remain on the experiences that are surfacing in your body without trying to change, alter or stop anything. Give your attention fully to what is arising, without trying to alter or transform your experience.

You will have experiences that feel really good. You will have experiences that do not feel good. It's all good!

Again, continue to allow your attention to remain on the experiences that are surfacing in your body without trying to change, alter or stop anything. Give your attention fully to what is arising, without trying to alter or transform your experience.

Notice that as you continue to observe your body, experiences arise and pass away under your attention.

That’s it.

3. Be Receptive

During or after silent sitting, you may receive insight or experience expanded awareness or understanding. You may experience a sense of energy, peace, an inner knowing, an answer, a deeper breath, or many other possibilities. It is also possible that you will not have any response you can feel or identify.

Regardless of what you notice, your intention to be connected with Higher Power imparts some insight, extra energy, or inspiration that will unfold in consciousness as your system is able to receive it.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing this meditation, but a standard 45-minutes is suggested. However, if you are unable to make this work it can be effective to have frequent 3 – 10-minute meditation periods during the day. Even pausing briefly during a busy day to get quiet and ask for energy or guidance is a wonderful way to deepen contact with your Higher Self and link to Higher Power.

Iyengar Yoga Practice

Regular yoga practice allows for maintenance of a clear mental state in service to development of spiritual awareness in everyday life. While practicing yoga, generally in Western culture, isn’t guaranteed to result in a spiritual awakening, the Iyengar approach is an excellent tool that can support and help to sustain your connection with your spiritual self.

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