Dear Friends,

Tough Love. It seems like a contradiction. When I think of tough, I tend to think resistant, hard to chew, hurtful, flinty, stubborn, unyielding. How is this like love? Love is embracing, protective, forgiving, like a mother’s love. Lately, I’m tuning into a new definition of tough, one that maybe looks more like the kind of love that God gives us, as Yogananda describes.

I’m sometimes taken aback by some of the ways Yogananda has taught us about God’s reality. About the casualties of war: Yogananda tells us God “eats souls” — an unsentimental image of His creation subsumed en masse back into Him through death. About injustices in life: These are the repercussions of previous choices and actions in this and other incarnations, as patterns stored in the chakras, attracting those experiences which help us learn our lessons. About reincarnation: It is a “troublesome experience” and “a painful continuation of this dream delusion.” About this planet: We don’t come to this earth for every lifetime, because the overall vibration is low enough that we “would find out too soon.” In other words, our suffering would be such that we’d quickly tire of physical life, realizing this world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, thus hastening our spiritual evolution toward freedom from incarnation.

This is all rather head-scratching. Isn’t God our Father and our Mother? Doesn’t He love us enough to want us happily re-ensconced in the heavenly nest as quickly as possible? Yogananda wanted to shake us out of the delusion that a safe and easy life is the only kind of “good” life. We cannot grow without having adventures of passing through suffering. In this way, God’s love is tough and tender. He knows we are ultimately safe on our journey to Oneness, whatever happens during incarnations.

We get the chance to practice this tough love with our own children and those we work closely with. We get to see what happens if we are always too soft, always too hard, endeavoring to get it just right for that other person to shine, and us, too.

Through meditation, we can mitigate some of the hard knocks that might otherwise be in store for us. Stilling body and mind, what’s left is soul-awareness, where we stock up our inner warehouse with sackfuls of intuition, wisdom, calmness, and joy. We react to circumstances with less suffering and more detachment, more empowerment. Tough love is the willing discipline to go for the life we want.

So, this is what has been pinging around in my head — maybe the eclipse has given me a message! What messages are coming through for you? Looking forward to having you join us for our gathering this and every Sunday, and we will “knock heads together” so to speak. Let us dive deep under the crashing waves!

Where: Be Well Yoga Studio
1906 W. Koenig Lane
Austin, TX 78756

When: Sundays 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

What: Energization, affirmations, chanting, meditation, healing prayers

Details: Park behind the house. Look for the driveway between Be Well Yoga and Bare Body Day Spa to park in back. It’s OK to park behind 1908 as well and walk through the gate. Take the outside staircase up to the deck to enter the yoga studio. Bathrooms can be accessed through the downstairs back door. Suggested love offering $10 for rent. Venmo: @Kim-Pradhan or cash, check, or Zelle works as well.

Afterwards: Optional brunch at Brentwood Social House, walking distance down Koenig Lane.

Joy is within us,
for Ananda Austin,

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