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“You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.” ~ Doug Floyd

The Power of the “Now” of New Beginnings

By Marla Meenakshi Joy, CMT, CYT, ST

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With the end of 2011 and the dawn of the powerful year of 2012 there is energy and strength in the fullness of a time ending and a new one beginning.

Patanjali, the great sage of the Yoga Sutras, begins his first phrase with the Sanskrit word “atha”, which means “now”. He says that now, at this auspicious moment in time of transition, “yoga anushaasanam”, the teachings of yoga will be explained. Many other great scriptures in the yoga tradition utilize the Sanskrit word “atha”, as with the mantra “om” at the beginning or end of any spiritual teaching. The Sublime Baba Hari Dass says ” the word “atha” invokes a blessing merely by it’s pronunciation”.

We feel the blessings of grace when the sense of the past and the future have dissolved and our consciousness is resting in the “kshana”, the infinite moment. This is also referred to by Patanjali as “the samaadhi state”, the eight limb of Ashtanga Yoga.

It is in those moments, that we have all experienced at one time or another, that our sense of something greater than ourselves peeks through the veil that is normally covering our eyes, and allows us to see life, just as it is.

The auspiciousness of a time in transition suggests an ending of a certain phase and the beginning of a time of more introspection as fall and winter unravel themselves. Some of us are blessed to live in a climate with four different seasons, and rightly so, as yogins, celebrate that diversity and embrace what each of the textures of these seasons offer to us, on a spiritual level. It is more challenging to do this if we are always desiring “something else”. We wish for it to be warmer out when it is cold, we want it to be cooler when it is hot, and this goes on and on.

The Sufis have a beautiful saying, “The Sufi is the son of time present”. If we allow the timelessness of “being” to unfold from within, our perceptions can be transformed and our consciousness illuminated with the joy of the moment at hand or the”time present”. Please join me in this moment, as you read this, to bring in the next moment, and the one after that, and on and on with the mantra “om shaantih shaantih shaantih….to a beautiful day, every day springing forward to the auspiciousness of each new life occurence, and to all that life brings to us all in the following days and eternal moments …om shaantih shaantih shaantih.

Marla Meenakshi Joy first traveled to India in 1988 to study meditation and the philosophy of the Vedas at the International Meditation Institute in the Himalayas. She is a Certified Meditation and Yoga Philosophy teacher as well as a Certified Shiatsu Therapist. She currently teaches Meditation, Yoga philosophy, Sanskrit, Chanting, Restorative and Ashtanga Yoga, and Swaha vinyasa yoga privately and in yoga studios in Canada, the U.S., the U.K.,and Asia, as well as leading Kirtan with her band SWAHA. She has produced 4 CD’s of Sanskrit chanting which are widely available. You can contact her at

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