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.