The question, “Can we see God” reminds me of how many students and clients of mine have wanted to literally know how they can see Him and also how they can hear Him. I think that if you don't know what you're looking for you may spend a lot of time searching out images in the sky or waiting to hear a thunderous voice coming down to bring light. So many questions we have about our own existence and what we are supposed to do with our lives, as well as wanting to know how to lighten the dark path some of us find ourselves on as if we alone were born with blinders and all the rest of the seekers have a clear path to God’s voice and visions! Well, this is not so, we all can see God and we all can hear him, but some of us just don't know how to do so. The answer that no one wants to know is that it happens every day, to all of you!
If I personally answer this question the answer may seem more confusing than to begin the journey within yourselves. The answer they say is within us all. What I’ve realized by being on this path for most of my life is that many of the answers that we’re searching for about God point back to the quality of emotions in our heart and how our heart is expressing itself.
The heart is like a hub for many of our attachments. While it’s the center from which we can express so much beauty, it’s also the place where we store things like resentments, grudges, and the meannesses that separate us from ourselves and others.
Perhaps we do not know how to love, and the idea of it is confused with emotions and reactions rather than the ability to love as God does, which is Divine. How many times do we practice “mercenary” love or conditional love? In other words, I love you, but only if you continue to do this for me or act this way. How many times do we stop the flow of giving to the people we know and like?
A lot of the time our love is confusing because our hearts become muddied by selfish desires, attachments, and meanness like greed, jealousy, etc.
So how can we see God… how can we perceive or even express this omnipresent, unconditional love that exists… when our hearts aren’t open to receiving it? The question “can we see God” is a question of the purity of our hearts. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure of heart. For they shall see God.”
Our ability to purify our heart is the difference between seeing God daily, once a month, or once a year- and it’s really a matter of a few inches (from the Heart Chakra to the Spiritual eye). The same energy that can stay stagnant in these whirlpools of suffering, is the same energy that can create our liberation. Energy is energy. It’s simply directional; it’s about the direction in which energy is flowing that determines whether we can see God or not.
The beauty of yoga is that it's practical. Even if you don’t identify with a particular lineage of Yoga as your path, you can probably appreciate these universal principles.
1. Practice the Yamas and Niyamas
You can think of these as the dos and don’ts of right living. They were prescribed to us by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. The Yamas are Ahimsa (non-violence), Asteya (non-stealing), Satya (truthfulness), Aparigraha (non-possessiveness), and Brahmacharya(celibacy or fidelity).
The Niyamas are Saucha (purity or cleanliness), Santosha (contentment), tapas (self-discipline), Svadhyaya (self-reflection), and Ishvara Pranidhana(surrender to a higher power). If you practiced just one of these yamas for any period of time, it’s likely you would notice the difference in the quality of your emotions and the state of your heart. 2. Focus At The Spiritual Eye
Another tool is to literally aid the energy of the heart to rise up the spine by focusing on the spiritual eye. A lot of people are concerned about the chakras, but you can take care of many of them by learning to keep your focus on the spiritual eye. Because the spiritual eye is like a magnet, it will naturally coax the energy from the lower chakras. That’s why we emphasize keeping your gaze uplifted during meditation, but it’s also something you can practice throughout the day - whether you’re in conversation or writing a blog.
3. Practice meditation… with devotion
Most people reading this probably meditate. But it's helpful to remember that we should practice all of our techniques with full confidence that they work. Even more importantly, embrace an attitude of loving devotion. Meditation like mathematics if done properly and with full awareness cannot fail. Practice meditation expecting (even demanding!) to see God, to feel His presence.
“Today my mind has dived deep in thee. If I find not, I will not blame thy sea, I will find fault with my diving.”
If you’re not feeling uplifted or peaceful after your meditation, talk to someone who has been on the path a little longer. If you have a spiritual community that you are part of or a yoga group perhaps reach out to some of them to see if their experience may help you. You are also welcome to join our weekly meditation classes here at Raja Yogini.
It’s important to honor the human experience; purifying the heart isn’t for the faint of heart! Renunciation in this new age requires us to be samadhi-affirming, not world-negating. Yes, you can still enjoy the things of this world; we are still in a body! But start to affirm that what you really want, above everything else, is to see God in everything and in everyone all the time.
I believe that with sincerity and effort of the heart, we can and we will see God. Divine Mother will show us the way.
Hari Om Tat Sat