Dhri Crusade – In Reflection

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 30, 2019

Our team has now made their way home from our pilgrimage through India, with the last of our team arriving on Saturday.

As we slowly get back into our normal routine and daily lives, we can’t help but reflect on our time spent in India, on our Dhri Crusade. The lessons learned and discussed, the building of stronger relationships with each other and those we work closest with, the experiences of the journey, the emotions felt. There is so much to take away from our time spent in India, and we want to keep the fire going — keep the momentum of what this journey has provided, and continue the Dhri Crusade beyond our time in India…continue it in our daily practices, influence, and actions.

Our team has committed to a 21 Day Challenge to enforce the teachings of the journey into our day-to-day lives. By committing to at least 2 daily practices starting tomorrow (October 1st), we keep fanning the flames of the energy from our journey. We invite you to join in the challenge as well! Below are some suggested daily practices that can help us to become the best person we can be, the best vision of ourselves.

While the official Dhri Crusade in India has come to and end, the Dhri Crusade lives on inside each of us!

Suggested daily practices:

  • First 30 minutes of the day – morning rituals and commitments. Instead of picking up your phone, turning on your computer, or watching the news, how you spend your first 30 minutes of the day sets the tone for the entire day. Try meditating, spending some time in silence, reflecting and making commitments/intentions.
  • Meditate each morning and evening – even for just 16 seconds, starting the day and closing the day with meditation will help provide needed balance for health and well-being
  • Read the lessons and learning as provided in our Dhri Crusade blog, or review lessons learned throughout the day
  • Write in your journal – a great way to capture thoughts, gratitude, reflections, commitments, and a release from the stressors and/or events of the day
  • Set your intentions for the day (what do you commit yourself to, just for today?)
  • Practice the 3 gates of communication – (1) Is it true?  (2) Is it necessary?  (3) Is it kind? (See Day 5 Post: https://bluecourage.com/dhri-crusade-day-5-laser-focus-surrender-to-the-fire-of-transformation/)
  • Physical activity, ex: Yoga, Tabata, Stretching
  • Recapitulation – reflection. Review the events of the day in stillness and silence. Reflect upon what has happened, what you have learned, what you are grateful for, what you commit to moving forward, etc.

Dhri Crusade – Day 8 – Amplification

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 23, 2019

Today’s Theme:

The Throat VISUDDHA

Colour Blue, 16 Lotus Petals, Element Ether, Sense of Hearing

Expression: voice, communication, permission, empowerment, expansion, development

Mantra HAM/HUM

Affirmation I SPEAK

Day 8 theme: Amplification 

  • Behaviors, habits, hopes, wisdom, knowledge that need to be amplified to expand my capacity in all dimensions: heart, mind, body, spirit
  • We can break any cycle that has brought us to this moment.

Today the Dhri Crusade team started our morning with meditation and yoga with the Himalayan foothills set as our backdrop. We then visited the ashram that the Beatles stayed at. It was a very interesting and beautiful visit inside a spiritual environment. Butterflies fluttered everywhere as monkeys played in the treetops above. One couldn’t help but fade in and out of history as we walked through the halls of the unkept, overgrown structure.

David met a police officer from this region and presented him a challenge coin from his department, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.

Upon leaving the ashram, we walked back into Rishikesh along the Ganges river, stopping along the way to dip our feet in the cold water.

Below is some of the learning we gained today.

You have to discover the true self. If you’re in denial you will never become the person you want to be – you can’t self actualize and evolve. Science proves the only nourishing things to do is to start the day in nature and mediation in the first 30 minutes of the day. Not on your phone or watching the news.

States of Consciousness

  • Cosmic consciousness – witnessing awareness
  • Devine consciousness – you see god in everything
  • Unity consciousness- connect and see the unity everywhere. 
  • Atma Darshan – glimpse in your soul. What you see when you meditate. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable and fidgety and angry but sometimes it’s peaceful and pleasant. 

Dhri Crusade – Day 7- Your Story

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 22, 2019

Today’s Theme:

The Throat VISUDDHA

Colour Blue, 16 Lotus Petals, Element Ether, Sense of Hearing

Expression: voice, communication, permission, empowerment, expansion, development

Mantra HAM/HUM

Affirmation I SPEAK

Day 7 theme: Your Story 

  • Purity of my speech, perfection of my words and message
  • Where am I on my hero’s journey? 
  • What have I experienced that has put me in the place that I am? 
  • What do I want for the future? 
  • What am I doing to get there?
  • Find my voice, empower others to find theirs
  • Don’t seek to impress, seek to bless others with my grace
  • Satnam – I am truth

Today the Dhri Crusade took the team to Rishikesh. We had to part ways from our local navigator, Rakesh, who was like a guardian watching over us. His hospitality and guidance in the past 3 cities has been a blessing and we are eternally grateful! 

Rishikesh, however, is a bit cooler and a bit less humid today than the previous cities. Upon arrival, the team traversed a narrow winding road from the Dehradun Airport to Rishikesh – a combination of hair-raising adventure and beautiful sights. The adventure continues tomorrow!


Dhri Crusade – Day 6 – Harmony and Vulnerability

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 21, 2019

The Heart  ANAHATA 

Colour Green, 12 Lotus Petals, Element Air, Sense of Touch

Love: kindness, compassion, forgiveness, generosity, harmony, self-care, peace

Mantra YAM

Affirmation I LOVE

Day 6 theme: Harmony and Vulnerability 

  • With myself, with those around me, with my environment
  • In my vulnerability rests my strength
  • The 4 A’s: attention, affection, appreciation, acceptance
  • Meta – unconditional loving kindness

Today after morning meditation and yoga, the Dhri Crusade went to visit the grounds where Buddha gave his first sermon in Sarnath, as well as the bridge over the Ganges river. The lesson taught below is one of life and easing suffering. The river is at a very high level currently, flooding part of Varanasi.

The First Sermon of Buddha (2600 years ago)

4 Noble Truths
  1. Life contains suffering
  2. The cause of suffering is grasping/clinging
  3. There’s a way to create a sensation of dukkah (suffering)
  4. How to stop suffering: The 8 fold noble path. 
The 8-fold Noble Path
  1. Right view – the lens, perspective, trajectory. Understanding the world around you, you are not above or below anyone. Suffering starts with you. 
  2. Right intention – Are you living the right intention in life. Live life with observations not interpretations. 
  3. Right speech – can I pass my words through the 3 gates (see previous post). Does it improve upon the silence? Does it add value to this moment? Is my word a promise. 
  4. Right action – you are the inheritance of your actions. 
  5. Right livelihood. Doing good work. Are you in service? Is it adding value to this moment in time?
  6. Right effort – we must bring it on. Wake up every day focused and bring it on. Don’t blame anyone else. Nourish your body and mind. 
  7. Right mindfulness (meditation) – make it a cornerstone of the day. Don’t squeeze meditation in. Dedicate ourselves for it. 
  8. Right concentration (awareness) – being fully present in all moments. Samati. 

Dhri Crusade – Day 5 – Laser Focus/Surrender to the Fire of Transformation

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 20, 2019

It’s 7 am. The team of the Dhri Crusade began to gather for their morning meditation and yoga at the temple of prayer within the hotel grounds. The leeches clung to the sides of the walls as friendly dragonflies fluttered around. The temperature and humidity was still bearable as a gentle breeze occasionally rustled through the air.

The meditation teachings, as depicted below, offered a lesson on filtering our spoken words. Yoga worked our core. It was a great way to start the day.

The Dhri Crusade took us into the city of Varanasi today, the oldest city in India. The streets were loud and extremely crowded. The small alleyways that took us to the destination of the day were tight and like a maze. It was extremely humid and hot. The experience was an assault on all of your senses at once. There were cows and street dogs moseying about. There were animal defecation everywhere. The smell of food was mixed with a thousand other smells. The destruction of old buildings was hard to miss. And your heart hurt as you were forced to ignore beggars and panhandlers for safety.

We visited an old crematorium where we saw a few bodies wrapped gently in beautiful cloth preparing to be cremated. Through the sweat, long walk, and trying experience, we were able to pay a short visit to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi’s most sacred Hindu temple. For the first time, they are allowing foreigners to enter the temple, but nothing is allowed on your person except your passport.

While each city offers a different adventure, breathtaking beauty and humbling experiences, Varanasi has been the most humbling so far.

We invite you to learn about the three filters or gates for the spoken word below.

The 3 gates/filters before you speak

1. Is it true – if not, it doesn’t need to be spoken. Verify facts before spreading it.

2. Is it necessary – just because you have information or because it’s in your head doesn’t mean it needs to be spoken. Socrates: “does it improve upon the silence?”

3. Is it kind – chose to speak kindly. Just because it appears unkind doesn’t mean that it is…it’s your interpretation. And if you must say something that appears to be unkind, at least do it kindly. Have compassion. For example, if you are no longer in love with a spouse and know it is the truth and is necessary to say, it’s unkind to continue lying to them. 

Allowing our words to pass through these filters allows us to flow more purely and communicate more consciously. Also keep in mind that when speaking, it needs to be the right moment. 

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras here.

Today’s Theme:

The Solar Plexus MANIPURA  

Colour Yellow, 10 Lotus Petal, Element Fire, Sense of Sight 

Transformation: intentions, desires, following through, focus, power

Mantra RAM

Affirmation I DO

Day 5 theme: Laser Focus — to surrender to the fire of transformation

  • Where must I be doing better?
  • Am I intentionally cultivating the tools of transformation? Transformation is evolution — It is not change. There’s no going back. “Burn the boats!”
  • Transformation is: 1) moving from want to desire 2) taking action — what are you willing to blow up? What are you willing to engage in battle with yourself about?
  • Where do I see myself in the future? How do I get there? 
  • Who do I want to be? 
  • What new and better behaviors must I learn? 
  • What new heartset, mindset, skillset, toolset do I need? 
  • What distractions must I say no to?

Dhri Crusade – Day 4 – Experience

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 19, 2019

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras here.

Today’s Theme:

The Sacral  SVADHISTANA

Colour Yellow, 6 Lotus Petal, Element Water, Sense of Taste

Creativity: new directions, new ideas, new paths, rebirth

Mantra VAM

Affirmation I FEEL

Day 4 theme: Experience 

  • See, hear, feel, taste, visualize, apply to the future me.
  • Be willing to witness and accept — cultivate patience
  • PMA (Present moment awareness) — are you here as a tourist or a pilgrim?

Today on our Dhri Crusade, the team started the day with meditation and yoga in nature under the open sky before catching out flight from Jaipur to Varanasi. We sealed in our intentions of the day and learned about the 4 brahma-vihara, as stated below. Each of us chose one of the four and committed to practicing it throughout the day, just for today.

Peacock curiously exploring the Dhri Crusade team during morning meditation.

During meditation, we were visited by a few curious peacocks, which is the bird of India. As we lay on our yoga mats, strengthening our core, encouraging our flexibility, and amplifying our balance, a flock of birds circled above. The stunning visual of birds flying in unison, elegantly and cooperatively, and their beautiful song that was sung in choir added to the moving ambiance of the moment. In the moment…present moment awareness.

We invite you to learn about the brahma-vihara and commit to one for today. 

Brahma-vihara – 4 Buddhist virtues/states of minds. They are interrelated and support each other. They are fundamental truths that are taught in any religion, any philosophy, anywhere.

  • Metta (unconditional loving kindness)
  • Kaduna (Compassion)
  • Mudita (Empathetic joy)
  • Upekkha (Equanimity – helps us get centered and steady)

You have to have a conscious approach and effort. People can change and shift their way of being, but they must first want to and then must act – do something about it. If you want to stop smoking, then first you must actually want to stop. But beyond that, to reach your dream, goal, or desire, it’s not enough to want – you must then take action.

What Brahma-vihara are you committing to focus on today, and what actions will you take to honor this commitment?

More to come on our Dhri Crusade!


Dhri Crusade – Day 2 – Building Stronger Relationships

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras here.

September 16, 2019

Today’s Theme:

The Root MANIPURA 

Colour Red, 4 Lotus Petals, Element Earth, Sense of Smell

Connection: community, family, relationships, roundedness, stability, centering

Mantra LAM

Affirmation I AM

Day 2 theme: Building Stronger Relationships 

  • With those in my various circles of influence: family, friends, community, colleagues. 
  • Who is in the “front row” of my life? 
  • What am I doing to nurture those relationships, and to be nurtured by them?
Taj Mahal at dawn

The ancient teachings of Hinduism isn’t about fighting people. It’s about fighting violence, intolerance, hatred and demons. Every one of us has to battle and get rid of something inside ourselves to step into what we envision or dream of. Something has to end for something new to begin. If you just destruct everything then ask why? What has to change?

Dhri is not just purpose but it’s energy. If your hitting pause and thinking it’s over — whether “it” be your current job, project, relationship, etc — you are putting your energy elsewhere. Find where you are putting your energy. We never question our focus and success when we are in thrive mode. Einstein: energy cannot be destroyed; it can only be changed.

Hitting pause doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end. It means the way things are currently is the end but something may be expanding or growing. Your project may be taking on a new direction. Your relationship may be hitting a new level. You need to discover where the new energy lies and begin to excellerate in that new direction.

Visiting the Fatehpur Sikri, a deserted medieval city

Crusade is a quest to what you want, where you want to be. It may be to find your “Dhri arc” — your current great purpose and direction. Sometimes it’s not about surrender. Learn to accept. We want to get to a place of acceptance not surrender. Acceptance has 3 areas : accept that every moment is perfect and so is every moment leading up to this moment. Every moment has lead me to this place at this moment. There may have been good times along with negative experiences…but that all led me to where I am now, where I was meant to be. 2) We have to accept that I am perfect in this place. In order for me to make any change I have to take full responsibility. If I don’t own it I can’t change it. 3) Accepting others for who they are. Accept others for all that they are without trying to fix them or mold them into who I think they should be. 

More adventures to come tomorrow!


Dhri Crusade – Day 1 – Your Way of Being

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras here.

September 16, 2019

Today’s Theme:

The Root MANIPURA 

Colour Red, 4 Lotus Petals, Element Earth, Sense of Smell

Connection: community, family, relationships, roundedness, stability, centering

Mantra LAM

Affirmation I AM

Day 1 theme: Your Way of Being (the “why” and “how” of our life) 

  • Who I am, where I come from, my values, passion, commitments. 
  • What is right and wrong with the world? I am!

Love. Legacy. Purpose. The Taj Mahal. The Agra Fort. This was our learning today. As our team visited the Agra Fort, we learned about the history behind the Taj Mahal and how love, purpose and the legacy we leave behind comes from the center of our being.

In the 1600’s, the Emperor Shah Jahan wanted the throne, killing his own brothers to get it. Once Emperor, he saw Mumtaz Mahal at the market and immediately fell in love. She was the only one of his wives that wasn’t an arranged marriage. She bore him 14 children, dying from child birth with their 14th child. Before she died, she made him promise 3 things: 1) build something to prove his love for her, 2) not to marry again, 3) to care for their 14 children.

To honor his love, Shah Jahal built the Taj Mahal, which took 22 years. After it’s completion, he was imprisoned to a room at the Agra Fort by his son who wanted the throne, where he could stare at the Taj Mahal from afar. He died while imprisonment.

The Blue Courage team at the Agra Fort.

Shah Jahal erected this structure for the love of his life, building something completely beautiful, symmetrical, and unlike any other structure in the world – something that far outlasted himself. He honored his promise to his love and despite what happened, he built something that still stands today.

The Taj Mahal

All that was right and wrong with the world, he represented. Just as all that is right and wrong with the world is in each of us. It is our choice on what we put out into the world, into our circles of those we know and love.

And just as Shah Jahal honored what he was passionate about, placing his attention on completing one thing, regardless of how long it might take, so should we all place our attention on one thing at a time. We must take the time to focus on what we believe our purpose is, and be mindful of placing our attention toward accomplishing this purpose with accuracy and greatness.

More to come as we continue to explore, experience and learn on our Dhri Crusade!

On our Dhri Crusade at the garden behind the Taj Mahal.

Dhri Crusade – The Daily Chakras

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 13, 2019

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras as described below.

What are Chakras? 

By davidji

The 5,000-year-old Indian healing system known as Ayurveda teaches that these seven, core energy centers are gateways connecting us to the physical world we live in and to the unknown world beyond us—powerful focal points for the reception and transmission of Shakti (creative) energy.

These seven junction points also house our relationships, our creativity, our dreams and desires, our ability to receive and give love, our voice, our choices, our purpose, our connection to self, and our connection to source. Starting at the base of the spine in the root chakra rising up to the crown of the head.

It can be said that chakras are junction points between physiology and consciousness.

Within our physical body, these seven sacred spaces are also the largest concentration of our blood vessels, nerve endings, hormonal surges, electrical wiring, immune functions, digestion of food, experiences, and emotions, and the vital energy that fuels our breathing, tickles our brain and beats our heart.

The divine convergence that occurs in each of these seven access points has the power to effortlessly balance, heal, and transform you in every aspect of your life—manifesting your simple desires and fulfilling your most ambitious dreams. The capacity of these personal vortexes is limited only by your own beliefs.

When our chakras are open and vibrant we are abundantly rich in the vital life force, known in Sanskrit as “prana.” We feel grounded, inspired, energized, loving, kind, grateful, intuitive, and connected to source. When energy becomes stagnant in one or more of these vortex wheels, we are prone to experience emotional congestion fueled by fear, limiting beliefs, and lack of self-love – thus opening ourselves to emotional, physical, and spiritual pain.

Opening our chakras make us energized, and awakened chakras promote emotional and spiritual growth. We experience “free flowing” energy and information that moves in alignment within the natural rhythms of our bodies and the universal rhythms of nature.

When we are making healthier, more conscious choices, we exist in a state of grounded energetic alignment with the universe. Awakening our chakra energies is a powerful wisdom tool for us to move closer to our most divine self – our best version.

Since our chakras are expressions of the various levels of our consciousness – from groundedness to creativity to following through to loving more to speaking our voice to making more conscious choices to connecting with source – we can open them and flow through the world with greater grace, greater ease & deeper fulfillment. We can connect more powerfully to our most genuine self – awaken more nourishing relationships, shift out of constrictions, and move beyond blockages as we truly manifest our dream life.


Dhri Crusade – The Journey is About to Begin!

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 11, 2019

I surrender to the fire of transformation.

davidji

“All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we create our world.”

Buddha

Michael Nila, founder of Blue Courage, learned: “You can’t intellectualize yourself into patience, into kindness, into compassion, into passion, into listening – these are born, nurtured, cultivated in your heart! We are the inheritor of our actions; our actions are the ground on which we stand.” This was on his last trip to India in 2018.

As we near the beginning of our journey, and as our team makes last minute preparations, we need to surrender to the experiences that lay ahead. We need to open our minds and our hearts to absorb all the learning, energy, adventure, and sentiment that await us.

Blue Courage is about cultivating the tools that will help us with transformation. We venture on this journey — this pilgrimage — to amplify our awareness, our learning, our transformation. While each of us have hopes for what this adventure will bring, we must let go of expectations and preconceived notions to consume all that we can from this experience. We must let go of our need for control, our fears, our judgements. We must be willing to be vulnerable to the opportunities ahead and have the humility to reflect and grow. In our vulnerability lies our strength. And only with the utmost humility and acceptance can we add significantly to our story, our hero’s journey, that will lead to the amplification of our best selves, towards enlightenment and awareness.