6 February 2014

Silence is Golden

This was posted recently on facebook:

1. A closed mouth gathers no feet.
2. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
3. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.
One of the best ways to conserve our energy, our life-force, prana is to ..... keep quiet. The very 1st satsanga I ever heard from an Indian Guru, decades ago, included some sage advice: 'don't talk too much'; 'too much talking depletes the prana'; 'one of the reasons that people's organs droop as they get older is from losing prana from too much talking'.

Of course we have the need to talk. It's a major form of communication, & sometimes the words & laughter bubble out of us, especially when we share with a dear friend or family member. Sometimes we need to talk with someone to 'get the words out', 'get things off our chest' or help sort out our problems in our heart & mind........ because in this instance we need to 'come out more', not be so imploded. When our problems are always turned inwards...it's not such a healthy way to be. Which is not to be confused with a quiet calmness.

Quiet calmness, that is, inner calmness, is a boon, a blessing, & some of us are just born that way. But for most of us, we would have to learn this art. And, learning how to stop babbling is part of it. How can we do this?? Force quietness? Fight with the inner tendencies & deliberately not talk....? Yoga advises against fighting with the mind as it causes tension & more problems. In Yoga we are advised to make friends of the mind.  One may wonder, how can I be friends with my mind when I'm full of all these horrid thoughts & overwhelming feelings? 

Have outlets for these thoughts & feelings. Go for a walk or do some physical work. Let the thoughts, the feelings...whether they're nice' or not, let them arise to the surface, & just keep going with the physical aspects. Dig, scrub, pull weeds, hammer....whatever! Learn how to do this & you will notice that you feel calmer after. Because, & this is vitally important, you will have allowed these thoughts & feelings to 'express' themselves, you have gotten them out without obsessing about them. And, in this way, we can have much emotional relief. In yoga we call it Karma Yoga, or Yoga in Action, where we just do what we do without expectation, with awareness, & it's one of the major ways to purify, or cleanse, the mind. And, frequently overlooked as a wonderful Yogic Path.
Similar is Seva. When we do Seva, we are doing something, selflessly, for others, ideally with love, without expectation. Our overwhelming feelings, our emotions can be transformed into a more beneficial expression of love...it does come, with Seva. If you are disturbed by something within yourself, or within society...do something about it! Rather than introverting & getting overly emotional. Volunteer your time & clean out animal cages at the pound, go to a rest home & ask if anyone needs some family or friends...& donate your time & caring. You get the idea!! There are lots of similar outlets that you can choose, the main thing is that you are serving someone/s, something/s other than yourself. Keep doing it. Your heart will unfold & more profound enriching emotions will start to predominate. And, you won't want to be around situations or people that have caused these difficult feelings & thoughts inside you.

When we do things such as Karma Yoga & Seva, an inner peace will start to arise. You can have this peace too. These are 2 very important Yoga tools, often unused. But when you do use them, they will transform your life. You won't be so prone to talk needlessly, & you won't be so prone to implode with your thoughts & feelings. You will get happier.

17 January 2014

and.... while we're at it....more heart

Anahata chakra is the heart chakra. Situated deep inside the spine, directly behind the trigger point (a trigger point for a chakra is called a khestram) for Anahata. It resides in a deep space called Hridayakasha. An akasha is a (deep) space. Inside Hridayakasha, is our destiny...so this is Big. And inside Anahata chakra, is where we come to meet our individual Soul. Our Soul is not what we think, feel, want, look like. It is something way Higher than that.

There must always be a physical correspondence with the spiritual...that's how it works. The 1st physical happening when the entity starts it's evolvement (after the sexual act & union of sperm & ova), is a heartbeat. And everything that is created, from a star to the tiniest thing, has a heartbeat, starts with a heartbeat. A lifetime ends when the heart stops beating. So, our physical heart is intimately connected with our destiny.

As one spiritually progresses up through the 3 lower chakras, there will be an awakening also of the kundalini energy. This is a major happening. For anyone who thinks that their kundalini has awakened, & it wasn't major......um.....then maybe it didn't actually awaken. And, 99.999% of us will need to have an awakened kundalini & progress up through these chakras to get to Anahata.

I find that there is so much confusion, so many strange concepts about this chakra. Anahata chakra contains an infinite source of true love. Not to be confused with sex. Love for all beings. Love for the Divine aspects. The Cosmic Divine Love enters Anahata chakra, it descends 'from above'. So, we have Love from the greatest source, & from within. At this point, one is still very human.....so we still have our feelings. Our feelings come from this lifetime, & from strong past-life experience. In Anahata chakra, our feelings are less important, when people arrive at Anahata, they actually 'get over themselves'; they know that everything is not about them.

I have heard of people teaching about the passion contained in Anahata. I find this a strange idea. Passion comes from Swadhisthana chakra: sacral/2nd chakra. The energy of Anahata is experienced & expressed differently from the energy of Swadhisthana. And I've also heard that people teach about 'the fire at Anahata'. The Inner Fire (yes, it does exist!) is not in Anahata. It is in Manipura, the navel/3rd chakra.

In Anahata, there is a small golden, completely still flame. To have this flame reveal itself...as opposed to just visualising it...is a momentous spiritual happening, for it is the flame of the Soul.

The Technique for Yogic Heart Math

Once you get used to the technique, you'll be able to do it without closing your eyes, nor touching your hand to your heart centre. What the technique does is, it calms us, soothes us, & when this happens we can make better choices. Heart Math has it's basic technique then the next step from this technique is to ask yourself, at the heart level, what is the best decision to make, or the best course of action, in a situation (which is causing us problems). So, using the intelligence of the heart. It is said, that 'the heart doesn't lie'. But, we become disconnected from this, & this lovely technique will bring us back.

Close your eyes, put a hand over your heart centre. This is on the centre of the chest, &, interestingly, is where people often put their hand when asked to put the hand on the heart. The physical heart is slightly to the left of the heart centre. The heart centre is the trigger point for the actual chakra which is in the spine. If this doesn't suit you, put your hand on your heart. No worries, just do what feels best to you.

Become aware of your breath, however it is: fast, slow, erratic, whatever. Observe it & allow it to slow down. Start repeating a mantra with the breath: in = So; out = Ham. So-ham. Relax, soften, on each exhale. Imagine that the breath is flowing into the heart centre (or heart), & out of the heart centre. Do this till you are calm...it won't take long, anywhere from 30 seconds to maybe a couple of minutes. When this is completed, with eyes still closed, look up to the eyebrow centre (between the eyebrows & slightly above, where Hindus often wear a red dot, not between the actual eyebrows), & at the eyebrow centre, visualise a small golden flame. The flame is completely still. Hold this image for a short while, then release it, & notice what your emotional & mental states are like.

You could do this as an actual meditation, morning, &/or evening (especially after a hard day).

Be warned....... whatever is bothering you will really show up as you connect more & more to the wisdom of the heart. By dealing with your problems, using the intelligence of the heart, you will be also dealing with daily karmic 'lessons'. Your heart will tell you what to do. And, you will be fulfilling your dharma, or life-path for this lifetime.

Using either the heart, or trigger point for the heart chakra (anahata chakra) is more effective than charging in & trying to use the actual heart chakra. This is a very High chakra, we need guidance to get there. And, with all the weird concepts & non-knowledge that goes around to do with the chakras, in particular the heart chakra, it's best to start with the trigger points.

Yogic Heart Math

There is an institute in the USA called the Heart Math Institute. Here they have been following people for decades to see what makes us have E.Q.....or, emotional quotient. Just as we have an I.Q., we also have other 'quotients'. For example an athlete has a specific quotient, as does an artist. There are quite a few different quotients. There is even a spiritual quotient. All of these quotients are to do with some type of intelligence, & each of us is more inclined to 1 or 2 quotients. And, because we are looking at different types of intelligences, it suggests that intelligence is not necessarily measured according to only our I.Q.

What does quotient mean? According to the Oxford Dictionary, it's a result given by dividing one quantity by another. This suggests that there is a baseline, or a yardstick, from which the result is worked out. So, we could be high on the measurement, or low, or in between.

The Heart Math Institute looked at children who grew up to have a good E.Q. They were emotionally stable, & made good choices, They had happier, and therefore better, lives. One of the most important findings was that instant gratification in childhood did not produce a good E.Q. A child who could happily wait to have things, would grow up to having a good E.Q: e.g. getting a bike for their next birthday, rather than having legendary tantrums or bullying, & then getting their bike pronto. When we bring up our children to expect instant gratification, we unfortunately are teaching them that bullying gets us what we want. These people then become mean adults. They do not have a good E.Q. And, with a ripple effect, the people around them do not have a good life either.

So, with our children, & also with ourselves, we can work on being happy whilst we wait for something. For example, a couple of nice biscuits after the child, or ourselves, have done a chore...or, even, for no reason...let's wait an hour. And, it helps, according to the research, to make sure that, for example, the biscuits aren't in sight during the waiting.We can train the children, & ourselves, to look be positive whilst we look forward to something.

When our emotional quotient is at a good level, it has been found (by the Institute), that we make better choices. There is a basic technique which the Institute uses to reconnect with our heart. Our amazing heart which has a conscience in it. It has love in it. It has emotional intelligence in it. For quite some years now, I've taught a yogified Heart math technique, involving the trigger point for the heart chakra, the mantra for soothing our psyche & therefore the heart, & a special symbol from the heart chakra which is at the very core of our essence, & I based it on the actual baseline Heart Math technique.

10 January 2014

our shadow realm

when we are traversing the shadow realm, we will be very psychic, we will also see others' shadow aspects, sometimes in dreams, meditation, or yoga nidra. Do not be alarmed, this is quite 'normal'. And, surprisingly, we will also be quite accepting...well, I was, so I'm assuming that everyone else will be too. We will see the person who smiles all the time & is always sweetness & light ..... but their shadow side is full of anger ...... maybe even violence. Such a person (& who amongst us has never been that person!) might not even be aware of what's inside of them, they may have pushed it down, over & over. Or, someone's shadow side might be that of a wretched person, from karmic suffering, over & over, but their main operative aspect could be highly spiritual. I'm giving examples as I want you all to know that this is perfectly 'normal'..or...this is just the way that it is. And just so you know....it's inside you too. Buried deep. Nothing to get worried about, we all have shadow aspects. And we have other, more beautiful aspects too, for we are multifaceted beings.

In the shadow part of us roams a wolf. You may have heard that we have 2 wolves: that one is fed with avarice, greed, malevolent thoughts, & that the other is fed by love etc. It seems to me that the 1st wolf is not so much only fed by 'bad' thoughts but is more the product of 'bad' things happening to us, big, bad things which create deep trauma. These traumas (some examples: war, rape, murder, extreme cruelty, trauma to our children, plagues, famine, etc), these are all big karmic events & somehow our psyche needs a representation of the mental, emotional & behavioral outcomes of them. Hence the so-called 'bad' wolf. Myself, I don't see it as bad at all. I see it as the form of ourselves which has, literally, lost it's way. It roams in the darkness, in the shadows of part of our psyche, lost. Rangy. Cowering.

In this shadow realm are our anguishes, our emotional pains, our deepest fears. Please understand that these fears have nothing to do with 'having our own way'. They are crippling fears, from extreme trauma. We have them here, like having them in a house, or a box. This is where they live.

In this realm is also a darkened aspect of our 'tree of life'. There is a tree of life for each lifetime, very beautiful when you finally get to see it, but at the shadow level it's a bit pitiful. Dark, barren, droopy. And, surprisingly, this realm also has a beauty of it's own. Hauntingly lovely...it seems eternal. If you don't already love the night...this realm can bring you to appreciating it.

As we traverse the differing spiritual realms (& the shadow realm is definitely part of them), we go 'past' the shadows.....we go further into the light. This is at another realm. The chakra & realm where our tree of life blossoms, is rich, lush. Here in this realm, the other wolf appears. It's the wolf who 'shows us the way home'. She is a spiritual guardian, & very beautiful. She's the one who is 'fed' by love etc etc. But, again, I don't quite see it that way. When the deep well of universal love opens within you, the white/grey wolf will appear. She is truly lovely. You haven't so much 'fed' her with pseudo-'love' aka emotions & concepts & illusion. You have revealed her due to the deep true eternal depth of love inside you. Inside us all.

She is there to let you know.....that you are On The way Home. Home being your own true, Higher, nature. You have gone past the shadow realm. You are now part of The Light.

our 'shadow' aspect

I recently saw a quote by Karl Jung: "to confront a person with his own shadow is to show him in his own light".

There is an area of mind, we all have it, which could be called our shadow aspect, our shadow side. The idea of shadow is that a shadow is joined to us, follows us, is part of us....but, is not actually us. It pretty much is revealed according to the sun, where we physically are in relation to it, how much sun there is. And, according to the angle of the sun, it can be short, long, dark, lighter, & it moves as we physically move. So we could perhaps think that it's like a sun-ny, lovely part of us. But, no.
Our shadow side is part of us. And it's hidden, deep within. Looking like everything does during the evening, in natural light of night...or natural darkness. And truly....everything is in shadow. Most people in a lifetime will not realise, come to know it, on the deeper spiritual levels..

So what is it? Well, all spiritual seekers would find it helpful to know that it is an area of mind that we all have. Some people call it the astral area of mind, but in yoga the astral aspect is actually to do with one of our bodies, where the chakras proper are housed. This astral body has an 'awakening' as we progress through the spiritual realms: this is a profound & fortuitous spiritual happening.

I feel that our shadow side is to do with the 2 lower chakras: base/root = mooladhara; lower spine/sacral = swadisthana. As we stimulate these 2 chakras......& at the same time we are stimulating the unawakened spiritual spine (sushumna), we come to the place of shadow within us. I feel this way because that was my experience, &, if that's where it was in me....that's where it'll be in you. In so many ways, we are not so different from one another. And, as these 2 chakras are housed in the illustrious 'astral body' (vigyanamaya kosha)....the maybe we could actually say our shadow side is in the astral body. But, I don't think so: our astral body is the body of symbols, which our shadow side is not. Well, not completely.

It's an area of mind where we are a bit lost. We can't find our way home. And where is home? Home is our true Inner Light ( as opposed to true inner shadows). Our true Inner Light is obscured by the darkness, the inner darkness & shadows which we all have, the darker, more so-called negative aspects of our personality, which are not of our Inner Light.

As amazing & progressive as Jung was, he really only came to a certain part of the Inner Psyche. A profound part, to be sure. But, there is more, far more, that he didn't know about. For example, if one's own illumined inner light is way past the area of shadows.....then the shadow aspect cannot be where we find our own light.

 Perhaps Jung is suggesting that our inner light is revealed through our shadow, hidden, darker side. It could be that he is saying: face your shadow, go past it, to your own majestic higher nature.

But I am wondering if there is a more negative slant to what Jung was saying: is he thinking that those dark aspects are who we really are?

We all have darker aspects...this is part of the human experience. Some seem to have more than others'. Managing these aspects & going past them is an important part of what yoga is about.