Good People - this week’s dose of The Truth Prescription comes from Ellen Grace O’Brian. Ellen is the Spiritual Director of the Center of Spiritual Enlightenment in San Jose, California. She’s a Yogacharya, which is another name for master yoga instructor, who’s been teaching Kriya Yoga for 30 years.
Ellen is the host of a weekly podcast, The Yoga Hour: Living the Eternal Way and an author. She’s been featured in many publications and is the author of The Jewel of Abundance: Finding Prosperity through the Ancient Wisdom of Yoga.
She is also the founder of Carry the Vision, an organization that brings meditation and spiritual instruction to children in schools and prisons.
Host: Dr. Seku Gathers
Guest: Ellen Grace O’Brian
Ellen Grace O'Brian - Website
Center for Spiritual Enlightenment - Website
Carry the Vision - Website
The Yoga Hour: Living the Eternal Way - Podcast
Autobiography of a Yogi - Paramahansa Yogananda, Book
Personal Truth - Ellen goes back to the beginning of her spiritual journey. She was in her late 20s, married with children, working and had a home - having, what some would call the “perfect on paper life.” She began to notice that she was very unhappy and it wasn’t anything that she could pinpoint, just a feeling that something was missing. That feeling sent her on a journey of seeking. While trying to find that missing thing, she realized that she was disconnected from the truth of herself. She found that she was missing the connection from the truth of herself, her soul and spirit.
She discovered the truth of her spiritual being is that she’s here to live a spiritual life, to thrive and fulfill her potential.
Professional Truth - Once Ellen discovered Kriya Yoga, a path of yoga for self and God realization, she was led into a service role. Ellen became an instrument to create space that allows others to find their teaching and truth. That became her path of transformation and eradicated any that ideas she had about her own lack; self doubt had to go in order for that work to thrive.
Ellen said “life itself is always moving in the direction of thriving, prospering and fulfilling its purpose. There’s a vast creative energy of life and when we sign up to that, we have to be willing to thrive and grow.” Surrender and Willingness became her professional truth.
Ellen lives us a brief overview of Kriya Yoga. She breaks it down with the definition of yoga meaning, “union or oneness, to bind back.” She says yoga is bringing your attention and awareness to awake to everything that you are.
Kriya is defined as generic term meaning “action.” Combined, Kriya Yoga means those actions that are supportive of and conducive to the higher states of consciousness.
Illusion of Separateness - Ellen describes this as a painful process. When life feels as if it’s a burden, when we feel suffering and are in a constant state of worry - those feeling become indicators that we’re in that space, an ego state of mind. The ego mind occurs when there’s an individual identify created that sees itself as being separate from the source. That is in opposition to understanding yourself as an expression of the larger truth of that life’s connected to everyone and everything. Ellen says a remedy for the ego state is gaining an intellectual understanding of the one reality, having an intuitive understanding of it and then a direct experience.
The Jewel of Abundance - Ellen’s book is a culmination of her years of practice. She calls it a deep dive into the philosophy and practices of yoga philosophy and meditation. Ellen says the primary takeaway is for us to wake up to the truth of what we are and the book provides a very practical manual for how to do that. It’s a map on how to change our mind from lack to abundance. Ellen believes that we all can,and must, live in a way that’s worthy of us - in a way that we let ourselves shine.
Yes or No (out of respect for our guest)
Internal abundance can translate to external abundance?
One’s religious beliefs can alter their spiritual development?
Heaven is, in fact, on earth?
Prayer only works if you believe?
The mind is our worst enemy?