19 December 2015

swadhisthaana chakra

Moving up into the next chakra. A very misunderstood chakra. In the aura it is a beautiful, strong orange. The actual chakra can be seen, side on, going straight out from the pubic bone. If we are walking around with a big smile & we are "hiding" something, as in an unhappy situation, it will droop down behind us, from the lower spine, looking like a tail. As we become happier, it lifts & goes straight out behind us, because that's what it looks like when we are happy. Directly out front, & directly out from the lower back. When we are especially happy, it can curve up behind us, like an erect tail.

There are 6 petals. In the aura they are a brilliant orange, in the inner realms the petals are more burnt orange. On a more advanced level, they are a dusky-sort-of-burnt-orange. The petals surround a circle: inside the circle is black sky, & to the upper left is a crescent moon. A bit less than the 1st quarter of the rising moon. This sky is the 1st inner experience of the cosmos, one's consciousness leaps out & up into this black sky, so to have this experience is a mighty spiritual happening.

Below the black sky is pitch black water. It is the ocean of samskaras, & is also experienced in greater intensity & depth in Ajna chakra. Samskaras are deep, latent impressions, from past-life trauma, waiting to manifest at some stage, in the appropriate time & life. We are not able to control these samskaras, despite many people believing otherwise. They are part of us, they travel through time with us, and yet - they are not the true "us", the "us" which is eternal, the "us" which is beyond time & space, the "us" that we are separate from.

To the left of the black ocean, inside the circle, is a sandy-coloured crescent moon with a crocodile in it. The crocodile's tail is uppermost, the head down. This crocodile is the animal of swadhisthaana, just as a brown elephant is the animal of mooladhara chakra. I have fond memories of seeing, for quite a while, a very naughty, full of fun, crocodile, in my meditations, many long years ago. And also, a raging, viscious crocodile rearing up out of muddy water, at one stage.

Swadhisthaana is my favourite chakra. And this is one of the reasons why: I once asked, in meditation: "what is the key to happiness?"...the answer was..... Swadhisthaana chakra. There is unmitigated happiness within us which bubbles up, it is profound, it is from within & it is to do with the qualities of this chakra. It is a very lovely chakra, very visually hallucinogenic & there is also an hallucinogenic effect on our mind: one is truly in an elevated, altered state, of mind. Time stands still. Everything has meaning. Here we have our 1st experience of recognising that, essentially, on many levels, we are all one. we can be very aware of others on a deep soul level. It is such a spiritual chakra. They all are, but often this chakra is relegated to the sexual realm by many who may not actually be fully aware of the depth of experience here.

This is also understandably so, for it has a direct relationship with the testes & the ovaries. But, just as Mooladhara chakra is not all about sex, neither is Swadhisthana. Each chakra is an awakening of inherent "powers" & qualities. The power of swadhisthana is joy. A bubbling, irrepressible, infinite, well, of inner joy.


3 December 2015

yamas & niyamas

It is said, & I do agree....partly...that one "comes to" naturally doing the yamas & niyamas, as a matter of course, in one's spiritual journey. The yamas & niyamas are simple yet profound guidelines for living & being.

It is true that you can come to being the person who does not, for example, harm, nor lie, nor steal, as you progress in spiritual life. (These are some of the yamas) But honestly, not everyone does. And, in reality, the great sage Patanjali gives the yamas & niyamas as the 1st stage of yoga. The very 1st of these is non-violence. So Patanjali is stating that being non-harming, not holding grudges, is the very 1st part of the yoga journey.

When mooladhara chakra "wakes up", according to your own disposition, you will notice, automatically, when you are doing something that is "not right", as in being opposite to the yamas, in particular. Even if you do not know about yamas & niyamas, that inner knowing of right & wrong is strong, with an awakened mooladhara chakra.

You will meet people along the spiritual path who do not embody the ethical principles of life, yet, they profess great knowledge. Such people are usually quite manipulative & greedy, by nature. These days we know this as narcissism, & all the wondrous & lovely things to do with chakras, & the inner realms, will not apply to these people.

The 5 yamas are

  • non-harming, non-violence. This often leads to vegetarianism, & veganism, however if these ways of eating cause you to be unwell, then you would add some animal products to your diet, & practice ahimsa, non-violence, towards yourself, rather than completely towards animals. This also includes not hurting others, by word, deed, nor by suggestion. 
  • truthfulness. As you progress in your spiritual life, you will become more intuitive, more self-aware, & you will realise that there are times to say something, & times not to. You will realise when people are being truthful, or untruthful.
  • non stealing. And if you are, in any way, whether its by stealing someone else's reputation by word, deed, or implication......take care!! This is lying.
  • not wasting our life-force. Gossiping is one of the fastest ways to lose our prana, it deletes it, as does any form of too much chit-chat. This includes those who pontificate about spiritual truths.
  • non-possessiveness/greediness. Once again,,,,,word, deed, suggestion. Trying to present oneself as a Great Being, sits here.

These are guidelines for conduct whereby we restrain ourselves from, for example, hurting/being violent, being untruthful, stealing, frittering away our prana (life-force), & being possessive which goes hand in hand with being selfish. Following the 5 yamas as best as we are able, makes us feel better about ourselves, & improves our relationships. We function better in our relationships & in society. Our whole life improves.

The niyamas come next. They usually go hand in hand with the yamas, & are more about personal self-care. They are:

  • cleanliness of body & mind, which we can achieve in everyday life by eating natural foods & drinking clean water, & in our yogic life we practice the shat karmas (yoga cleansing techniques) for this
  • contentment, which yoga does lead to. We can also learn to accept what has happened in life as part of our dharma, or path, in this life.
  • tapasya which is training the senses. In other words, we are not controlled by our desires & repulsions relating to smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing. The very best way to do this is by closing the eyes & becoming aware of each sense in turn. Hearing is the easiest, so it makes sense to focus more on this, & after, allow time to "sit with yourself", & allow your thoughts to come & go. Visual stuff will also manifest....allow this too, to come & go. This simple practice is best done as you sit for meditation, as it naturally leads into meditation, but can also be done lying, as a relaxation technique. It strengthens the nervous system & we start to become less bothered by sensory input.
  • self-study. Awareness of what is happening. Knowing what we are doing. 
  • Surrender. Yoga naturally leads us to an awe of the Higher Realms of Life, & ultimately, this is what surrender is about. We also, along the way, have to learn not to surrender to the wrong things.

Ideally, one can actually become the embodiment of the yamas & niyamas. This is a tall order & to simplify things, this is how you do it: don't waste your time waiting for them to "just happen" as a result of spiritual evolution. This is just another spiritual fantasy. In spiritual life, as in any other aspect of life, we actually have to do something to get an outcome. The yoga world is full of people saying all the right things, in particular to do with yamas, niyamas, chakras, kundalini, body sheaths. Talk is cheap. Action is the real deal. And with action, things happen, by degrees. Bit by bit, we live the principles of the yamas & niyamas, through a simple method.

So, what do we do? We endeavour, through earnest intent & action, to be a decent human being. The sort who honestly does not try to maim others, by word, nor by implication, nor deed. That's it. Of course we are all human...& so we do all make mistakes, inadvertently do "wrong', say the incorrect thing, be unknowingly insensitive.

However, intent is all-important. When our intent is "good", we can live with ourselves a bit easier when we do accidentally err. And when our intent has this type of purity of intent, we are then quick to make sure that we don't repeat our mistakes.

Sometimes when we go through life, we also have to stand up to other peoples' bad behaviour. I can tell you that it becomes easier to do when one sincerely has the intent of being a decent person. And at other times...we can just 'slip to the side' & remove that person's sphere of influence away from us. It is easier to be decent when we are not interacting with people who leave us feeling disquietened by their attitudes & behaviour. When we support bad behaviour, we are slipping away from the path of the yamas & niyamas.




9 November 2015

spiritual practices for kundalini


The correct way to evolve spiritually is to have a daily practice, no matter what path you follow. It can be "short & sweet", but it is best done daily as much as possible. This builds up our prana, our life-force, & although it is an overall effect, the chakras are recipients of this prana as well. Our whole being is affected & stimulated, in particular the physical, pranic, mental & astral bodies. With a daily practice we build up the energy, by degrees - everyday a bit more prana is added to the storehouse of prana that we have already built up.

I have met people who "are enlightened" & generally, they are not. Any silly behaviour such as boasting, shaming, ridiculing, not answering spiritual questions (because often, they don't know the correct answer) demonstrates that the person is in no way enlightened.

There are many people on this planet whose kundalini has awoken. Honestly, most of us have to do something on a regular basis for this to happen, & the majority of those who have awakened will have done practices to achieve this. Kundalini stimulation, activation, awakening & going up to reside in the brain, are all separate facets of the kundalini journey, each leading to the other.

This is the daily practice that I first used, & did so for many decades, & is excellent for kundalini purposes:

Start with Agni Sara Kriya, standing version. Similar to uddiyana bandha, this "fans the fire": the digestive fire & it "fans" samana prana which has a direct link with manipura chakra, & the kundalini. Stand, feet apart. hands on thighs above knees....find the correct placement for your hands. Inhale deeply, exhale fast pulling abs in towards spine, hold breath out, push hands down on thighs, pull up abs towards rib cage, whilst you are tucking your chin into collarbones. Then, still holding breath out, push abs in & out, starting with 3x, then up to 10x. Inhale, relax & repeat 2 more times.

Then do some asanas:

  • surya namaskara - at least 3 rounds of any style. You can do more, which is better. But if you try to do more & can't keep up with it - go back to 3 rounds. If you want to increase your prana, & work on the chakras, don't get into extreme stretching, nor going slowly. Move that body!! Go fast to build up an energy. Kundalini is not, I repeat - not! about stretching, nor postural alignment. Rest in savasana after. 
  • a twist - I have used a reclining twist, done 3x with the breath; the same pose, relaxing into the pose for 5 or more breaths each side; or a dynamic seated, legs wide twist.
  • a backbend - bow is best, if you can't do bow, do cobra, which is what I did for years, before going to live in an ashram & then doing the bow pose daily instead. Do 3 - 5x  of whatever pose you are using: up/inhaling; down/exhaling; or hold for 5 breaths, done 1x. Backbends stimulate the navel chakra, manipura, & also the pranic body, by direct association with manipura.
  • 1/2 shoulderstand - 11 to 27 breaths. Against the wall is fine, if you can't do this pose, then do the bridge pose instead as both your backbend & 1/2 shoulderstand substitute. 

All other poses are great too, but this is a kundalini-specific, small set of asanas. If you do the minimum, it's maybe 10 minutes, which is very doable. 

followed by pranayama (breathing)

  • bhastrika (bellows breath) This is the kundalini specific pranayama. Do groups of 5 breaths, building up to 5x 5 breaths. Then move into 3x 10 breaths, then 3x 15, then 2x 25. Just do both nostrils together. Finally move into 54 or 108 bhastrikas in 1 round, doing just 1 round. Avoid if you have high blood pressure. 
  • nadi shodana (alternate nostril breath). Start with simple in/left; out/right; in/right; out/left, no breath retention. Do 3 rounds, work up to 5. For years I just did nadi shodana, no bhastrika, & I had 2 chakras awaken in that time, so again....I know that this works.
There are other wonderful pranayamas too, & bandhas & mudras. 

then simple contemplation/meditation. Spinal column awareness with Om chanting out loud on the exhale, or up/down with ujjayi & kechari if you wish, are excellent. Watch the Inner space after: do not skip this step!!! We absolutely need to allow the modifications of mind come & go, with us being The Silent Witness, the uninvolved witness, of the mindstuff. So many people do not allow this, they get agitated & just can't do it. Relax, just do it as if it is neither here nor there. Take the stress out of it.

If you really want to "up the ante", add another sitting of meditation before sleep.

Note that if you do meditation lying down, it then becomes relaxation. It's always best to meditate seated as this creates an energy effect, which kundalini is about. Get the energy moving!! Sitting around thinking, daydreaming, reading, or talking, about kundalini, does not cause it to awaken. Trying to "make the practices better" is not necessary, either, because they will work without us making things hard.

The next thing to do is to be a decent person. In yoga we have the yamas & niyamas, which are guidelines for living, really. They are 10 principles for bringing inner peace.

The yamas are like moral restraints: they allow us to feel good within ourselves, they give us peace of mind & allow us to function easier both in our life & in society.

The niyamas are more about self training, or self care. Again, these too have the side effect of making us feel good about ourselves.

Don't obsess, nor pontificate, nor do yama/niyama - shaming. Just do your best.

Keep physically busy. Going back to energy, for kundalini purposes, for quite some time (many years!) in our life, we will need to keep ourselves moving. Find a purpose in your life. That will also help.

This post is but a start...if you need guidance or advice you can email me at ratnamurti108@gmail.com. My facebook page is ratnamurti saraswati.


18 October 2015

more emotions

Often, a spiritual seeker is advised to "be aware". Great advice. Sometimes we translate this as being "be aware of what's happening inside of oneself: emotions etc".  When this is done, intensely, 24/7, I feel, & have observed, after decades on the spiritual path, that this is a fast route to craziness & self absorption.

Rather, be aware of what emotions come up in a situation, with other people, & act on what those emotions are "telling" you. Be aware of what you are doing. If you are hitting a nail with a hammer that you are holding....to be aware of your feelings & not your hammer & nail, would no doubt lead to physical pain. If you are cleaning...be aware of what you are doing.

When you are meditating, let the thoughts, the feelings, the pictures, be like passing scenery, be relaxed. Be the silent witness, let it all come & go. When we "power up" in meditation, we tend to get a bit nutty. All the techniques work...we don't need to make them "better" by making them more intense. People often do this to get a "high". What for? Yoga & other spiritual paths are not about getting "high" as though we are taking drugs.

When we apply this same relaxed approach to being aware of our thoughts, & feelings in our daily life, many of them will "wash over" us...come & go...like passing scenery. Those thoughts, those emotions that keep coming up over & over, they indicate that we need to have a look at why they keep coming up. It could be that we are in the wrong situation. It could be from unresolved trauma.

I am so over the tendency in spirituality of "shaming"...emotion shaming, chakra shaming, guna shaming, karma shaming, silly mean comments about others. None of these are spiritual, they are just mean. We need to remove ourselves from those who do this.

Often, spiritual seekers promote themselves as "being above" having feelings, wants, likes & dislikes...unless such a person is demonstrating by their behaviour that they are not affected by them...then I truly doubt that such a person is that way.

Deep in Ajna chara, the 3rd eye, is the Ocean of Samskaras. A pitch black, moving ocean, with waves. These waves are the restless thoughts, feelings, that we have buried inside of us...never sleeping, always there. From many millenia ago to this present life. Ajna chakra takes a while to fully awaken in all it's glory, no matter what else you may have been led to believe, & even then, there are still these deeply buried samskaras. Therefore, I surmise that someone who would like you to believe that this is not so, that they do not have these latent fluctuations...does not exist in our society.

But.....spirituality does, & should, lead us to be able to live a life where we are not so controlled by our own tendencies, our own wants, likes & dislikes. Many of these will drop away. If we have an incarnation on this planet of blue, then the wants, the urges, to do with our destiny, whether we know them or not, (generally we don't know...some people do, most don't), then these urges will propel us to fulfill our destiny. It's no use thinking that we are so evolved that we don't have to follow the prescribed destiny.

Because....we aren't. And we do have to fulfill our destiny.




feelings, emotions

this post is not about people who manipulate, are nasty, narcissistic, etc...it's about us other people. Those unreasonable people should be avoided...I speak here from personal experience. Nothing I ever said or did made a situation better when dealing with a mean person. The only thing that ever helped a bad or difficult on-going situation was to walk away.

But for the rest of us, our feelings are our friends

Think of them as being messages from our Spirit. Messages from that wiser part of us which is generally hidden from our everyday knowing.

When we have feelings that make us feel uneasy...there is a reason that we feel that way. Our feelings are telling us that something/someone is not "right" & also to be careful.

When we become emotional & feel threatened at someone's behaviour towards us, whether or not it is outwardly threatening....this is a message to us that we are in danger.

When we feel really good & someone else causes these good feelings to plummet.....this is a message that this person is not good for us...& to avoid this person. If being around that person usually doesn't make us feel that way, then perhaps that person needs someone to talk to.

Some people get irrational & angry when others won't do what they want them to do: avoid these people as they have personality problems, & they will cause you angst with their dramas (talking from personal experience here!)

As a yoga teacher, healer & clairvoyant, I feel very strongly about all this. And listening to & seeing new age attitudes to our thoughts & feelings, I wonder how we have allowed mis-information to become the norm.

We are supposed to grow & learn...by our experiences, & some of these experiences will not be good!! We need to learn to trust our feelings, those feelings that arise from any experience. Why do people think that other people are "mirrors" for our own "negativity"? This seems to indicate that one is the centre of everything & all that happens is about oneself. And that one is "bad".

Really? I personally find this psycho- babble quite manipulative. It has been used by many people to control others &/or make themselves look good. I do not feel that it has it's basis in truth.

Rather than thinking that others are mirroring our faults, or that we "must" be "bad" for this to happen...why not look & see what feelings are happening around these experiences....if you go quiet & allow these feelings to come up & those feelings are "negative".....why are they like that? Are you being unreasonable, is there an underlying unresolved issue? Is something truly disturbing you? Are you tired, hungry, worried? If you are any of these, then other people are not actually there to "mirror" you. They have their own ways of responding too. Nor are you "bad".

I was at a family funeral recently & the minister told us that "sadness is not a sickness". How apt for that occasion...we forget that as humans we have a gamut of emotions relevant to a situation. Remember that I'm talking about "normal" people...not mean ones. And when we are experiencing reactive emotions in a situation, & have been feeling ok prior to it.....then perhaps the problem is not actually within oneself. Our feelings will let us know that something is not alright regarding the other person/the situation.

For all seekers pursing a spiritual path, if that path is not making us feel good about ourselves...us "normal" people, then something there is not right for you. It could be that you need to change your practices, for example: yoga sadhana/spiritual daily practice in this context, is meant to make us feel good. If it doesn't then we may need to alter our practice to one that is more suited. Sometimes a teacher might make us feel bad about ourselves. In my experience, these sort of teachers are the ones with personality problems. When the whole credo of an organisation makes you feel uneasy, then perhaps it is not the correct organisation for you.

Because, generally, anything that we do to improve the quality of our life, should make our feelings less up & down...we tend to become more stable emotionally & have less problems in that area. So if this is not happening...it helps to find out "why not". And, conversely....our emotions do become richer: love is deeper, we have more empathy for others, we care more, we are more loving.

Emotions are also tied into our conscience. Our conscience seems, to me, to be one of the direct lines to our Spirit. And...this is spiritual. One of the best ways to have emotional well-being is to go with our conscience, it is linked to our heart, to our inner being. It is a signpost.

10 October 2015

pranayama..an intro

Brief introduction to pranayama on my Uma Shakti Yoga Teacher Training course, starting March 2016:

Prana = life-force, & is generally received from the breath, sunlight & food. 

It is also built up by other meansin the body via toning up the glands which in turn increases the life-force in the glands. When a body part works optimally, it is able to store more life-force, & in the glands, each time a yoga posture is done, the relevant gland that is activated by doing the posture, squirts out hormones from that gland/s. The gland starts to regenerate & correspondingly, we start to have more vitality. Vitality is also life-force.  

As the mental/emotional "blocks" in the body lessen, prana moves more freely around the body = more life-force. These mental/emotional blocks  are stored in the body & they block prana moving in those areas.
  
As the meridian energy revives, via "stretching", mental & emotional energy is released from the little chakras which are on the meridians & which are also known as acupuncture points.  More energy is able to flow along these meridians, increasing the life-force not only in the body but also mentally & emotionally creating mental & emotional vitality.  

As the lympathic system is revived with movement & pranayama, the whole body revives. 

As the nerve impulses come to operating in a more harmonious manner, the life-force is revived within the body. 

concentration/dharana = focusing the mind "draws" our prana inwards, which means in effect that we are not dissipating it. We are building it up internally.

Meditation/dhyana = as we allow the mental/emotional/visual inner content to flow unimpeded in meditation, we are again allowing the internal "blockages" a safe release.....& more prana is able to take up the space that these "blockages" have vacated..

Sound, whether in a mantra or in chanting the ancient yoga truths, work on both body parts & the corresponding brain area, building up the life-force in both.

Yama = restraint/control 

Yoga philosophy gives techniques for  behavioural & attitudes to conduct our life so that we do not dissipate the prana, we build it up instead.

We also learn how to restrain the breath in practicing yoga pranayama (breathing techniques). We hold the breath in, which creates increased absorption, & we hold the breath out: this stores the inhaled prana.  And with bandhas: physical body movements which lock/squeeze parts of the body, & in turn restrain absorbed prana, then when we come out of the lock, we receive a concentrated "burst" of prana. 

Pranayama therefore is the control of our life -force, we can build it up within ourself & we can restrain it,  meaning that we can contain it, store it. This means that we don't waste it. 



1 October 2015

the mysteries of the male & female aspects in the mighty kundalini journey

The kundalini is a mighty force, a colossal energy. It is nuclear in nature. It is a white snake. It is beyond beautiful. It is bliss. It is a force within each & every one of us. Lying sleeping, the snake she sleeps. Coiled, waiting to awaken. She is 1 of the female snakes residing within us on the spiritual astral plane, which is the vigyanamaya kosha/the astral-sheath. These snakes are so majestically, exquisitely beautiful. The epitome of femininity. They are orgasmic in effect when they appear.

We have already spoken of the red snake within Mooladhara chakra, coiled around an upright elongated oval, which is known as a Shiva Lingam which represents the projection of the material world....this is Cognition. A non-intellectual state. It is, however, the state of "knowing". It is to do with consciousness, & this consciousness is symbolised by a Shivalingam.....we have some at other chakras too, and they are considered to be masculine in nature. At Mooladhara the Shivalingam is a beige colour.

The red snake, she represents all of the manifestations of what we know of a "life": ie the physical world. When this exquisite red snake comes away from the Shivalingam, we realise, in an instant, we just "know", that our awareness is indeed separate from all of these manifestations including our thoughts, feelings & energy. Energy is female in nature, & all physical manifestations are considered also to be energy.

Within our psyche, the red snake also is our own energy, whilst the beige shiva lingam is also our own awakened consciousness.

These male/female aspects can cause confusion in spiritual seekers when they hear that consciousness is male & energy is female. And anger, because it is a common mistake to apply these principles to male & female humans. People can become offended at hearing these things, but in spirituality we are talking of something else: we are talking about mind...the Higher Mind, which of course does have to develop & reveal itself, this is consciousness/male aspect...not human man aspect. Then the energy in all it's forms, both manifest & unmanifest, is the female aspect...but not the human woman.

This can be hard to understand but like all spiritual truths & realities...it is to be experienced in order to understand it. I have seen confusion with these principles to newcomers of philsosophy in both yoga & the esoteric Maori teachings whereby people completely misunderstand & they the apply man/woman thing. But this is all right, for how can we understand what we have not experienced?

The male aspect, consciousness, is just as much a part of each individual as is the female/energy aspect. And on the physical level, the right side of the brain & the left side of the body are the feminine sides, whilst the left brain hemisphere & the right side of the body are the male sides. Again, we have both male & female.

With the prana, or life-force, aspect, the flow of the breath in the left nostril "feeds" the right side of the brain with prana. The right nostril breath flow is for the left side of the brain. Again, we all have both aspects, male & female.

On the nadi aspect, the flow of energy in each of the 2 main nadis,  electrical in nature when awakened, are called  ida, & pingala. Each has it's own qualities, the qualities of ida complimenting those of pingala, & vice-versa. Two halves of a whole:

Pingala/left brain hemisphere/ red/hot/sun/active/male...also relates on the physical level to the sympathetic nervous system.
Ida /right brain hemisphere/blue/cool/moon/passive/female...also relates on the physical level to the parasympathetic nervous system.

So ida & pingala on the physical level relate to the Autonomic Nervous System  = parasympathetic & sympathetic nervous systems.

These 2 energies emerge from either side of mooladhara chakra, pingala comes out on the right, ida on the left. They end at Ajna chakra (3rd eye) in the centre of the head, with pingala coming towards it from the right, & ida coming towards it from the left. So, where ida & pingala start, & end, are chakras: mooladhara at the start/base; ajna/3rd eye inside the head. Ida & pingala weave out of  the base chakra & travel up, alongside but separate from, the spine, up to the next chakra: they intersect/unite/crossover at points in the spine where other chakras are: behind the pubic bone; behind the navel; behind the heart; behind the base of the front part of the neck.

It is like a dance, between male & female, ida & pingala, sometimes one is stronger than the other, othertimes they are balanced. But when both are strong, are full of prana, or electricity, whatever, & are in perfect balance...in that moment in time of exquisite harmony, these 2 energies...they "kiss" & in that moment...... a spiritual awakening takes place. We have many spiritual awakenings in our journey & these 2 aspects, male & female, must be separate, yet harmoniously balanced, & travel in unison. It is like a Divine longing in those moments...the 2 must meet...time (energy/female) & space (consciousness/male) stand still...& an awakening happens. An awakening is able to take place because a 3rd energy, the Divine internal energy, emerges, & gives birth to the experience. In an instant. In a heartbeat.

It is the same in the manifestation of the cosmos. In reverse. From the Divine energy  that pervades everything in the Universe, by what ever language one uses: IO, God, Great Spirit, Brahma...emerges both the God Siva/consciousness, & the Goddess Shakti/energy who weave, separate, come together, & dance with each other to create life, in all it's forms. There is but 1 Creator....& from here emerge the Gods & Goddesses, down through a lineage (Whakapapa) with IO, God, Brahma, Great Spirit at the top, the peak, of the lineage/whakapapa.



11 September 2015

the desire of specialness

A strange "thing" can happen in spirituality: the desire, sometimes a burning, consuming desire, shows it's ugly little face. It is the desire to be special, the desire to be seen as being special, the desire to be recognised, praised & revered, as being "special".

I must confess that I have fallen into that trap of giving people the "special" tag...you know, "this person is so special". Well, of course a person is special....we all are so special, not just the people who go out of their way to be seen as special. And usually the person to whom I, & others. have attributed this amazing quality of "specialness" to...has, in fact, gone out of their way to convince others of their unique specialness.

All of us...we are so alike in so many ways. And yet we are each so different in so many ways. And being on this Planet of Blue, we then share some common "things': for example, the planet now has a global culture, so now we are less & less isolated from one another. This global culture is part of the karma...or...things that will come to pass...for our lifetime, in this era. And we are involved, in some way or another, with this karma. We have inherited it, just by virtue of being alive, right now.

We also inherit our country's karma. And our families'. Our DNA carries influences from the family lines that we belong to. In many ways, this is why the Maori culture's emphasis on Whakapapa (family lineage, race, creed etc), is so emphasised. It matters with our own karma, & our own specialness. For example, I am a descendant of the Tainui tribe in Aotearoa (New Zealand). What has happened over time within the family lineage, within that tribe, in some way or another, will affect me. I will have longings, unseen longings & pangs that are to do with the history of Tainui, even if I do not know about them, even if I do not know about being part of that lineage: it will affect me.

Similarly, I have Jewish DNA. Does that affect me? Absolutely! I can tell you that it does. With war, persecution, cruelty, it affects me in every cell of my body: I can feel it.

I have Scottish ancestry too. I can tell you that I long to go to the Scottish Highlands & to live there.

From all the different racial & ethnic influences that we each have...it does create a uniqueness. Then when we add our own personal karma of the journey through lifetimes.....this makes each & every one of us even more special. Each & every one of us is special. There are no duplicates.

But on the other hand, we all "have" similar "things": love, hate, wants, needs, hopes, dreams, our individual purpose of each incarnation. We are souls traversing this realm & the lives between lifetimes. Sharing similarities & yet also having our own special blends. It is this combination that is so special, not what we are promoting as "being" special.  I would so love for everyone to know how special that they are.

And in a way, this is one of the outcomes of being a sincere spiritual seeker. One comes to love each individual (even though we disassociate ourselves from those who misbehave!!). One comes to recognise & respect each person's specialness & uniqueness.

For us to truly have the unique specialness, it truly arises really from the attitudes...such as caring...or indifference...or bigotry....that we apply to whatever happens. And the choices that we make in any situation. Not what we say, such as in saying the "correct" spiritual things, because, as my Mum used to say: "words are cheap", but with our attitude & in what we do. Not everyone can save the world, but at least, the very least, we can give up 2 cafe coffees a week to sponsor a child, or donate to a charity that truly does do something that matters. We can be kind to others, we can "stick up" for others, we can exercise our "special" rights to be humane, & loving, & caring. This is truly how & when we are each so very special.

And we don't have to do any spiritual practices nor join any groups nor "follow" another to be & do these things.

15 August 2015

nadis

Nadis are integral to the chakra/kundalini system. They are tubes of astral matter, through which a type of energy flows. There are believed to be about 72,000 nadis for each person. They exist within the astral body, vigyanamaya kosha, which is where the chakras reside within. Satyananda Yoga says that they are part of the pranic body, pranamaya kosha, & this may be correct, however they do have a different energy from the pranic body. The different kinds of prana within the body, even when awakened, have a different quality from the awakened nadis.

These nadis have energy streaming through them. Within the astral body, & also in the aura. In the aura, they can waft in the breeze, so to speak, like seaweed moving in the ocean with the movement of the currents. I do believe, from my own experiences, that the differing types of nadis, are in fact, currents. The more aimless we are, the less strong these nadis are, in the aura. And the more we learn to focus, the stronger the nadi energy, which will still not be properly awakened, the stronger this energy grows within us. When our awareness is all over the place.....our energy, in these nadis, it too is "all over the place".

We have many nadis. We have the meridian lines of acupuncture, nadis which are related to the chakras, nadis in the brain, nadis running alongside & intersecting the spine, &, most famously, the main nadi inside the physical spine. The nadis within the brain, like channels of the mind-space, purify, so that more prana, at first, can flow, unimpeded through these channels. This happened to me prior to the proper awakening of the pranic body, & was consistent with my swadhisthana (2nd chakra) period. Manipura chakra awakening quickly followed the awakening of the pranic body. (that same evening). However I taught a woman who had an evening when energy was simultaneously streaming up & down the 2 nadis alongside the spine & the spinal nadi for quite some time, a truly auspicious happening.

If we look at the nadis...they do have to "wake up". So, first of all, they do exist, they do have energy in them...but......another sort of energy must awaken within them. The nadis, except for sushumna, the main "spinal" nadi, are all electrical in nature. Prana is not electrical. The nadi electrical energy can shoot all through our astral body, when it awakens. This was a difficult period for me when it started to happen, I did not realise at the time what was actually going on. My whole body expanded, I felt like a sheath which was black inside with crackling electrical energy shooting through this space. It hurt. I was teaching a lot of spiritual yoga & when I was teaching I would overheat, I even got "burns" on my body, my digestion didn't work. I  felt as though my body was failing me. I wondered if I had a disease. But it did all eventually calm down once this electrical energy had established itself, especially after a big awakening one night. The kundalini had been awakened for some years, the kundalini energy had travelled up to sahasrara during this electrical period. But the 2 secondary major nadis, the 2 intersecting the spine where the chakras reside...these 2 energies had not electrically awakened. One night, I was awoken by the loud sound of sizzling electrical currents. One was a red current, one was blue. As they sizzled, they quickly touched...the a massive explosion....& the electrical energy of these 2 currents was well & truly active. A stronger electrical energy than that of the other nadis.

Spiritual awakenings are not for the faint-heartened! The prana body awakening is a big experience, so are the nadis, the red & blue energies are even stronger, but the mighty kundalini is the strongest energy of all, it is a big happening & far exceeds nadi energy.

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11 July 2015

moving on with the chakras

the chakras are in our aura, our energy field. They enter the body at points known as kshtrams: these are the trigger points for the chakras. In the aura they are seen on a pranic level as funnels coming out of the body. And as very beautiful, radiant, colours, the external colours differing from the internal colours.

Chakras are intimately involved with the spine. The late Dr Swami Gitananda said at a talk he gave over 40 years ago, that he had dissected cadavers & found that at each plexus on the spine, when they were cut horizontally, or across, the nerves looked like the petals of the corresponding chakra.

A plexus is a branching network of intersecting nerves. Each chakra relates to one of these plexus networks. The spinal plexus carry sensory & motor (movement) information. They are sacral (base, mooladhara); lumbar (2nd chakra, swadhisthana) ; brachial (heart chakra, anahata), cervical (throat chakra, vishuddhi). The solar plexus, however, is located in the abdomen, & is related to manipura chakra. Now, it's important to clarify that I am not a medical person so I do not know the complete truth of the plexuses in relation to the chakras.

Physical yoga, pranayama (breathing practices), bandhas (energy locks) are used in yoga to improve the health of the plexuses. This in turn has an effect on the chakras.

Each chakra also corresponds to a gland: mooladhara, in the base of the torso, the g-spot for women, & in the perenium, inside the anus for men. Swadhisthana/lumbar: ovaries & testes. Manipura/navel chakra: adrenals. Anahata/heart: thymus. Vishuddhi/throat chakra: thyroid. Ajna/3rd eye: pineal. Sahasrara/crown: pituitary. Again, physical yoga is the yogic means to improve the health of these glands, they are endocrine glands, which means that they secrete hormones directly into the blood stream. It is these hormones which help keep the body & the person, young, in yoga. Not the actual performance of complicated poses, no, it's the effects of the poses on the glands, & there is also an effect on the chakras. Not an awakening but a strong effect which influences both the trigger points & awakening of the chakras proper.

At the talk that I attended, 40 odd years ago, he also said that 3 minutes in the 1/2 shoulderstand gives maximum physical effect, so I would deduce from that, that it would apply to any pose. When we do a pose, for example, the bow/dhanurasana, as we go up & down in the pose, we get a squirt from the relevant gland, of hormones, into the blood stream, which is why just simply doing the poses regularly, without holding them, has such a profound effect physically.

Dr Swami Gitananda also said that the inner spine, the central nervous system (CNS), can calcify, as he observed when dissecting cadavers. The CNS receives information & co-ordinates activity to the whole body. The CNS is related, esoterically, to the spiritual spine, known as sushumna. Sushumna actually starts in mooladhara, so it doesn't start at the bottom of the spine. It hooks into the tailbone & goes up the spinal cavity, ending quite high inside the head, in a direct line in from the eyebrow centre. The eyebrow centre is between the eyebrows but a bit above that centre point.

Sushumna, of course, needs to awaken, for prana, then later, kundalini, to travel up from mooladhara. When it awakens, it looks like a "tunnel" of white light tinged with yellow. This is not the kundalini awakening, it is the sushumna awakening.

So firstly, in yoga we improve the health of the spine, & get the spine able to move. The purification of sushumna comes from; the physical poses, they are important, the cleansing practices (shat karmas), spinal column meditation techniques; bandhas, movements which block then release energy; ujjayi pranayama. Ujjayi is the pranayama, breathing technique, which purifies the energy pathways, nadis, of which sushumna is the main one.

There are 2 other main energy pathways, which are the next most important energy pathways (nadis). So next we will look at the 3 main nadis, & others.




4 July 2015

still redefining mooladhara

mooladhara chakra has 4 red petals: in the aura it is a very bright pure red. The auric colours are so majestically beautiful & meditating on the chakra at their entry points on the body, is a truly beautiful way to work with chakras. It is not the only way. The entry points are known as khestrams....trigger points. They are the trigger points for the internal chakras.

The internal colour is a different red. I've been trying to find words to describe the difference between inner & outer colours, & the best that I can come up with, in regards to how I'm trying to describe these colours, is: externally they are dazzling colours, internally they are more true colours, like true red in this case, but internally, there is another really big level past this where the colours are the same internal colours but they have a slightly dusky element to them, & a third internal level (yet to be revealed!) has dazzling but subtle colour. So the 2nd level of mooladhara awakening is a rich ruby red.

Each of the 4 petals are around a clear circle. Each petal relates to a "bliss": yogananda/yoga bliss; paramananda/supreme bliss; samaj-ananda/natural bliss; virananda/vira bliss. Samaja can mean elephant: there is a very beautiful brown elephant within mooladhara. Elephants are beautiful, loyal, loving creatures with excellent memories, & these are inherent qualities within you too. Elephants are deeply caring, they look out for 1 another. We are supposed to also. I found, myself, at Mooladhara, I cared even more about people's welfare, everything wasn't about me. Vira means many things: brave, hero...& one does feel  stronger within oneself at this chakra, when it is awakened. Vira also means sacrificial fire: that fire is the hidden kundalini, it can sound like a roaring, deafening fire at times.

This chakra is indeed the true pathway to spiritual bliss, a bliss which creates an inner peaceful happiness, with a strong energy vibration. Which is why I cannot understand all the "chakra shaming" about this chakra. For some indefinable reason there is the misunderstanding, or lack of inner knowledge, that to have an active mooladhara, I mean active as in awakened, that it means that one is selfish, lazy.......this has not been my experience at all. I strongly dispute those attitudes.

The bliss can be experienced quite easily: 1st is nose tip gazing. Slit your eyes, & gaze at your nosetip. Gaze for a while, then close your eyes, slit them again & repeat, do a few times. You will notice that you internalise & start to become very happy. 2nd is: cross your wrists over your heart centre, on the centre of your chest. Palms flat either side of the upper chest. Close your eyes. Slightly flare the nostrils, & imagine that you are breathing in & out of the nose tip, above the nostrils, whilst trying to locate an exquisite smell. When you catch a fleeting whiff of it, you will be transported into bliss. So profound. Do for 1-3 minutes. The smell is sandalwood, & this scent produces serotonin in the brain...serotonin is the "happy & calm" neurotransmitter.

Inside the circle is a large yellow square, each corner of the square touches the edge of the circle, & each petal is on 1 of the sides of the square. On the centre of the square is a red inverted triangle, & sitting atop of the triangle is a shiva lingam, a longish oval, going upwards. In this chakra it is ruddy brown or like beige. I have read that it is actually smoky black, but in my experience, that is how it is at ajna, not mooladhara. Shivalingams are associated with Lord Shiva, so they are to do with Higher Consciousness. At mooladhara, a vision of this shivalingam is profound: we are awakening aspects of ourselves which relate to Higher Consciousness. Mooladhara is not the Higher Consciousness, it is like one of the necessary steps along the way. The Higher aspects that are revealed here are bliss, & knowledge which starts to "come out" of oneself, in the form of starting to understand great truths.

The shivalingam at this chakra is also related to a gland, which can be touched with fingers inside the body: near the opening of the cervix for women: inside the anus for men. It feels like a pimple. Of course, when Mooladhara is active, this area can feel highly energised, which of course, is why people attribute sex to this chakra. But Mooladhara is so much more than sex!

There is a small red female snake.....so pretty, coiled around the shiva lingam...there is an experience where the wee snake comes off the shivalingam. The snake is energy, the shivalingam is consciousness. This is an important experience, for it means that our consciousness & our energy have separated. Here we come to something that can be so hard to understand: we think that we are our body, our emotions, & what we think. This is just a part of us, we are so much more than that, & at Mooladhara we start to realise this.

We become aware. Aware of what's going on, both within ourselves, our thoughts & feelings, our reactions, our wants, likes & dislikes. And what is going on around us. We are able to see. or sense, or just realise, the effects that people, situations, food, our lives, etc, have on us, for we are acutely aware of what all the effects of  everything, are, within us. We know that all this "stuff' is part of us, yet we are also aware that our knowing, or witness aspect, is separate.

We are also aware that we are "present" in a spiritual vibration. One could say it's always there, that we are spiritual people living a human life, but at mooladhara we are present in that vibration. We know that we are.








26 June 2015

moola/original; dhara/current

mooladhara/original current. Original current, abode of the mighty kundalini energy.

 Kundalini is our own inherent energy, inherent because it's within & because it is destined to be part of us. It is our own (hidden) source, of our original, spiritual, energy. Kundalini is symbolised by a white snake, & this is exactly what she does look like...a beautiful, female, white snake. She sleeps at mooladhara, waiting to be awoken. And then when the kundalini has awakened, & also travelled up the spine into the head, a current simultaneously goes up our spiritual spine & is established there as a live current emanating up from mooladhara. Like an electrical current.

Any activity from mooladhara chakra is profoundly spiritual. This chakra is the gateway to bliss, & the awakening of our own inherent spiritual knowledge. It is where we start to walk in spirituality. The majesty of this chakra should never be underestimated. It makes us more.....more of ourselves.

It has a "trigger point": the nose tip, above the nostrils. Nose tip gazing is one of the main stimulation techniques for this chakra, & not only does nose tip gazing stimulate the energy there, it also correspondingly calms the mental aspects, the deep seated trauma from this life & preceding lives. And this is where the security aspect of mooladhara comes into play, for security is one of our needs, security within ourselves, about ourselves, & mooladhara is associated with security. Even on a very simple level, nosetip gazing promotes feeling secure, by calming our brain wave patterns, thereby simultaneously soothing "unknown" trauma stored in this chakra.

 Often, these hidden trauma memories are triggered off by smell, smell being one of the qualities of this chakra, hence the importance of the nosetip. When we are highly sensitive to a smell that we associate as unpleasant, to us, it doesn't mean that we "have a highly active mooladhara chakra". No, it means that we associate that smell with a troubling memory which has it's basis in trauma, whether we are aware of the original memory, or not. The quality of smell from this chakra is something else: it is the Divine Smell of your own psyche. It comes, fleetingly at first, & over a period of time it becomes the smell of you, that you feel is both within & around you. When this happens, you will be walking in true bliss, a peaceful, loving bliss. It will be one of your own inherent qualities, come to life.

Mooladhara is also associated with instincts, & I feel very strongly that in many yoga organisations, this has been misunderstood, or....dare I say it?.....people have not known what they were talking about! So it's the instinctual aspects of the very old part of our brain, the part that keeps us going physically. But......we have these traumas, these unconscious memories & as a healer I can tell you that they are stored in the right hand petal of mooladhara chakra. They are also stored in the heart chakra, anahata....& other chakras too, of course. Both anahata & mooladhara are connected in the body via the vagus nerve.

Many people, observing people's patterns, think that this is only what the instinctual nature of mooladhara is about: just the instinctive reactions to extreme stress. Anyone who is bullied repeatedly, or subjected to terror & other traumas, will have instinctive behavioral/thought/feeling patterns which have emerged as part of being terrorized.

It has been a failure of yoga teachers to take on book or verbal knowledge which has not had it's basis in truth, & act on that false knowledge. Mooladhara has nothing to do with this. It is the beginning of Inner Truth manifesting within your awakening spirituality.

22 June 2015

chakras...mooladhara...again

I was listening to a video from a large international yoga organisation...there are several of these organisations now in the west, but I felt that it could have been any organisation's info that I was listening to.

Specifically, I was listening about mooladhara chakra....the speaker was talking about this chakra with "knowledge" that I did not have. I felt small & a tad ashamed...how could I not have known what she was talking about? She started talking about instincts, apparently there are 4: food, sex, sleep & self preservation. And stating emphatically that this was what mooladhara was about. As I listened, I stopped feeling that perhaps this was a good talk.

I feel that what she said, is, in a way, correct, but it isn't really correct. I base this only on my own knowledge. I am no different than anyone else, but just as some people have specific abilities & knowledge about art, or maths, or a sport, or making something with their hands, I have this knowledge about spirituality. And it is earned, experiential knowledge, that is, I earnt it by living the yoga life & doing the correct practices, & I know it from personal, profound, experience of the chakras, koshas, tattwas etc.

I feel differently about mooladhara being involved with the instinctual nature.  One night some years ago, I had an experience whereby my energy just left mooladhara, it was about the time that my ajna (3rd eye) chakra awakened...properly awakened. Because I was in a very heightened state of awareness & energy that night, there was no fear....but...my legs would not work! I was sleeping in the bottom floor of a house, the bathroom was in the floor above......I pulled myself up the stairs, crawled through the house & onto the loo. I was aware that I had to go to the toilet but there were no sensations in my body, even my arms could only just work. So there I was in this exalted state, & my body could barely work. Plus, the body mind/mind connection was barely working. Did I care? Not at the time.

So I feel from this that the instinctual nature of mooladhara is linked to the part of the brain which unconsciously keeps the body working. This is the instinct: the body has to work, we have to breathe, eat, move, eliminate, & our body instinctively keeps us going. It's not about animal instincts as some organisations say, nor attending to the 4 instincts mentioned above, in a superficial way, no it's programmed into us that we need a physical vehicle for an incarnation, & this vehicle's workings are linked to the chakras, amongst other things.

I had a mooladhara awakening after practicing yoga for less than a year. I shall never forget it. I drove to the class, & there was a stillness, an energy, in the air. It was so strong, so mystical, so calm.  I didn't know at the time that this was just my experience, & "the stage was being set" within me, for the awakening. We did a camel pose, I had never done it before, & as I rose up into the backbend, a bolt of white lightning shot up my spine from the base of my torso into my brain. I kept going with the poses we were doing, but remember thinking: "how strange, a bolt of white lightning just shot up my head into my brain". I didn't know what was going on, but I did know this: forever after, I knew that life had changed, I had changed, I was a stronger person, I started to "know" things, I was more aware.

But there was more to come with this chakra for me. It's important for me to tell you that although this chakra "woke up" that night, the mighty spiritual kundalini awakening came later. I once attended a talk where a buddhist nun was talking about how she was enlightened, her energy had come up come from the base chakra via the spine into the brain. It actually goes to just in front of the final chakra frontier, sahasrara, so I suppose that's why she thought she was enlightened. It was a disquieting talk. There was no Higher Awareness coming through, no expression of Divine Love. It was definitely not an enlightenment talk.

I feel, but have no actual proof, that these chakra awakenings are connected with the "silent" parts of the brain, & through the awakenings, abilities manifest. The brain is a majestic organ! And, our brain is related to our mind, so we have "mind" awakenings also with each chakra, areas of mind "wake up" also. Brain & mind work in tandem for this to happen.

12 June 2015

chakras.....& fancy

So everyone "knows" about chakras these days. Frankly, some of the information that has been presented by some yoga "experts" has mystified me...... I find that most information about chakras is non-information. ie not correct. A lot of fancy...which incidentally is known as 1 of the main causes or sources of wrong knowledge.

Could it be that some yoga "experts" don't actually know about chakras? Properly know, I mean.

I take chakra courses. These are lovely to take & lovely to attend. I do a beginners workshop which is very profound, but I also teach all the way through to very advanced chakra workshops. There are so many levels that chakras can be taught at, so many techniques, so there is always a level for every one. I like to have a wee talk about each chakra, appropriate for the level I am teaching, whenever I take a chakra workshop.

Chakras exist at many levels. I can speak with experience here: 40 years of yoga, nearly 35 of those years involved in the Deep Spirituality of yoga, of which chakras are an integral part, & over 20 years as an Aura Healer & Clairvoyant. Aura Healing is intimately involved with the chakras, but at a different level from working with the kundalini energy within the spinal chakras. Starting working with the chakras in the aura is such a lovely & profound way to delve into a part of ourselves which enrich our life: chakra energy & chakra consciousness.

Chakra energy manifests as spiritual energy: this energy also exists at many levels & can be built up so that this energy builds up the area of the psyche which is relevant to a chakra. This is where much confusion arises, we think that if the energy is "blocked" in a chakra then we manifest the so-called negative aspects of that chakra. I used to think that way too. Now I find that belief silly. I thought that way because that was what I was told by my superiors in Yoga. It was not true. As the years went on, I got more & more puzzled by this information, as it was not actually my experience: my experiences  of the chakras have been majestic.

Because on the chakra levels we are not so different, I feel quite secure in saying that all our chakra experiences will be similar, they will be profound, each experience builds up the spiritual energy & in turn releases inner knowledge.

Much of the "established" "knowledge" about chakras has been from Carl Jung, who, a psychiatrist who has studied him, assures me, had psychotic episodes. Millions of yoga people are believing that what they have been told by their teachers & in print, is correct, when much of it has come from Jung. This borders on the ridiculous.

5 June 2015

when the house of cards crumbles

In 2013 I became aware, bit by bit, that the yoga organisation I had been involved with over 30+ years, was build on secrets. The sort of secrets that make you feel sick with horror. Horror of things that had happened, plus horror & extreme & crippling shame & guilt that I had supported the guru, plus the organisation & been faithful to them. I felt this way because even though I had not been aware of these awful secrets, I was guilty by association.

I am not the only person who feels this way. But there are still many who "don't listen to gossip", "the practices work so I'm carrying on", etc. Denial, & of course that is one's own personal choice.

But...there is a righteousness & an exhilaration that goes with this denial, I've seen it before within a yoga organisation when all around everything is crumbling. It is disturbing & sad to see.

When you find out that the guru was a bad person who, in retrospect, was after fame, fortune & perversion. When you find out that young, defenseless people were physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally abused, for the guru's & a couple of top swamis' gratification. When you find out that those now at the top of the organisation knew & hid the truth from the world about what was really happening. When you cry a million tears of grief for others' suffering. When you cry in shame.

Then what? It's time to publicly say it's not ok, it never was ok, it never will be ok, & protecting the organisation which is now world famous & possibly very affluent, is not ok.

People may wonder how abuse went on & the adults did nothing. Of course there were adults who knew (not me) but many more did not. They were decent people who gave everything: their homes, money, free long hours of daily labour, their hopes, their dreams, & sadly some believed that their children were living the freedom dream by living in an ashram. They weren't living the freedom dream & the adults were isolated from the children & kept so busy that they could barely think. This seems to be the main way, along with public ridicule & bullying, that abuse is able to happen in these ashrams.

I left the organisation as soon as I heard witnesses' testimony against Satyananda Yoga on the Royal Commission on Sexual Abuse in Organisations which is ongoing in Australia. In truth, I had emotionally been distancing myself for a few years. Luckily, I was never really accepted by people in the organisation, except for a few personal friends of course, so I haven't been fully submerged in the satyananda yoga scene for some decades.

I have decided to keep my name at present, as it is who I am. True sannyasa is an inner state. A sannyasin stands alone in many respects, but we are also supposed to stand for truth, for kindness. I have thrown out the photos, the geru.

To all the wonderful people who stood up for themselves & for others at the Royal Commission: you are wonderful. I am sure that it was not easy for you, the memories, voicing them.



the dark side of spirituality...... part 1

Before I start, I would like to be perfectly clear: there are so many wonderful people I have known who are involved in spirituality. Spiritual organisations are built on the labour, love, & dedication of these people. But there is another side, a dark, hidden side, which we are unaware of ....if we are lucky, we come to realise it.

This post will be mostly about my journey, just briefly.

40 years ago, my yoga teacher told me I was to start teaching. I protested & said that I couldn't & I that I didn't know enough. He replied: "you can & you will, & you will know more than the students". So I did it.

Immediately a turf war broke out about my class, from the main yoga body in New Zealand at the time. I was flabbergasted, & a bit nervous about what was happening, it was all done behind my back!

Oh, my gosh! Actually, it was nothing compared to what happened as the years went on. It always puzzled me: if people were practicing, sincerely, a system which promoted harmony, non-violence, love & peace....why were they behaving in this awful manner? 

I practiced, from the word go, very spiritual yoga. I had my 1st chakra awakening that year. Six years later, I was living in a Satyananda Ashram, in New Zealand. That particular situation was disbanded 7 years later by the organisation, due to internal & international problems, but mostly because of the sexual abuse of children in the Australian ashram. There was no way I wanted to support that. None of us in the NZ ashram wanted to.

But the promotion of yoga continued by our group......& the abuse set in quite badly. It had started in the ashram we were in, & continued after. Why? If we were all so bloody spiritual & highly evolved (....not!....), why was this happening? And then, I did the dumbest thing: I set up a teaching situation with a couple of the people whom I had been in that ashram with. I was the current head of the organisation's representative in NZ. I truly believed that things would be different. They were worse, & after trying so hard in that situation since 1993, I left, very dramatically, just after xmas 2006.

I joined forces with others from the organisation, for, although I had been part of the organisation, my business partners were not. What a joke! It was no better, really. The back-stabbing of people who wanted to be famous, adored & put on a spiritual pedestal was rampant, as it had been in my previous situation. There was so much silly stuff happening. Finally, after several people approaching me about the bad gossip that had been said about me, I started to withdraw.

By the time that the Royal Commission on Sexual Abuse in organisations started in Australia, December 2014, I wanted out. I felt sick inside. I had removed all my guru stuff around my house a year before. It was disturbing 1 of my kids who had lived in the ashram in Australia as a teenager at the time of the abuse. I could see when she walked into my house that she would look like she was going into shock, so I removed it all.

When I heard the testimonials, I wept, heartbroken, for days, not for myself, but for the pain that others had lived with for decades from the abuse. I quickly, completely, left the organisation. My head & heart had left well before.

For some years now, I have used 2 of my blogs, this one & www.doneneclairvoyant.com (Donene Inch is my birth name), to encourage people to behave & be decent human beings. For, I feel that without this, the hidden abuse in spirituality will continue. And for goodness, sake, this is not rocket science!!