12 April 2019

Patanjali and vrittis

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Continuing with Patanjali and the spiritual journey:

What are vrittis?

A vritti is a modification of mind. Our own mind. We have many vrittis, they swirl around and around in our mind as thoughts, like a poor wee mouse stuck on a circular treadmill, unable to get off it. 

they are thoughts and perceptions according to how our inner being translates them 

Some of these vrrittis can cause us great torment, as a vritti is either painful, or not painful. (which is not actually rocket science)

And we all have and do this: again, this is part of the human experience in a lifetime. To do with destiny and the path which we must traverse in a particular incarnations. We are to undergo certain experiences pertinent to a lifetime, and these experiences, including those experiences of our ancestors, impact how we perceive everything. This is just the way it is. Some of our modifications are lovely, like happy times. And some, for many of us, are quite horrible.

There are five vrrittis, or modifications of mind, either painful or not painful: 

right knowledge, wrong knowledge, fancy, sleep, and memory are the vrittis

And why do vrittis actually matter?

They matter in that they: 

  • keep us chained to whatever is happening
  • and the effects of what is happening
  • we get 'stuck' on the never ending cycles of action and reaction, or, more often, reaction leading to another reaction, when a vritti is painful. Sometimes this 'painful' is actually only us taking things personally, and again, this is a human trait which we all have
  • they keep us feeling bad about ourselves when we get caught up in the painful vrittis, with accompanying angst

Rather than trying to psycho analyse the whole vritti thing, I would recommend that we just accept them. We accept that it is part of everyone's make-up, and we can do things about all of this, for ourselves and for our loved ones. It takes a bit of time, but we can all help ourselves out a lot here.  

Unfortunately, a lot of effort has gone into yoga aspirants trying to sort out the whole vritti thing. I did too. And, even more unfortunately, this creates problems which are great obstacles in one's life:

  • it keeps us stuck in the whole action/reaction scenario, because, unwittingly, we are 'feeding' it, by always trying to psycho-analyse 
  • it keeps one in the less positive aspects of ego. Honestly, it does. Always obsessing about things and oneself is not a good expression of ego.
  • it totally stops and blocks spiritual advancement. Even more importantly, it wastes our life if we are always  psycho-analysing, and halts us living a good life. 

The other elements which contribute to vrittis, are liking and disliking. Which, again, we all do. Can we achieve a state of being whereby we are not controlled by the five vrittis, which are painful or not painful, nor by liking and disliking? I do think that we can, and, even if they are only decreased by a small amount, we can experience: 
  • great inner peace
  • acceptance in many areas of life
  • and a sublime happiness
This is why vrittis matter.

5 April 2019

Patanjali: mind traps

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Patanjali's 4th sutra: (or) there is identification with the modifications of chitta

We could liken the sutras to pearls on a thread, each following the other, and linked (via the thread) to the one before and after it.

Why would Patanjali say this? First he told us:

  • now therefore, instructions concerning yoga
  • the cessation of the mental fluctuations is yoga
  • then the seer is established in his own true nature

And, then we learn that when we are not established in our own true nature, we are then identifying with the modifications of chitta. 

What is this identifying? It means that our thoughts and feelings are experienced as being oneself. We are our thoughts and feelings. As part of our human experience, this is what we each know, what we believe, and how we live. And this, actually, is fine. We should never, ever, berate ourselves for being human. For, this identification is part of our journey. We are not all going to delve into the mysteries of The Great Souls who have gone before us.

What are the modifications? They are due to:

  • life's experiences
  • what we carry in our DNA
  • residual past life experience and tendencies
  • our own Path in the present lifetime
  • society's and religion's dictates

All of these, in whatever form they may take, make each of us individual, and unique. So, in one way, they are a blessing. We each have a unique blueprint in a lifetime, and indeed, in each and every lifetime, whilst still being part of the family of humankind. All of the causes of modifications create tendencies. We tend to:
  • think in certain ways
  • react in certain ways
  • have certain emotions
And this is us. This is how we all are. Why would it not be so helpful to have these modifications that we are immersed in?

because there is freedom, peace and happiness in not being bound by our modifications

This is the bottom line. (And, we all do experience this anyway, at various times of our life) 

We are linked through time to one another, and our Souls are able to easier connect when life isn't all about oneself. We can make better decisions because we are not being bound to our modifications, we can feel better about ourselves.

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What is chitta?  Chitta is one of the aspects of our consciousness. We could compare it to chitter-chatter in the mind. Those thoughts swirling around in our head. Round and around. Where do they come from? They come from the above modifications. In particular our ideas of:
  • right and wrong
  • likes and dislikes
  • our feelings
our feelings become thoughts

This, unfortunately seems to have been conveniently side stepped. As human beings, this is what happens, our feelings are an integral aspect of our human journey. They also let us know what is right and wrong, on a deeper level. So they are important. Emotions travel to our everyday mind as thoughts. These thoughts can cause us great distress. 

We can end up 'identifying' with these modifications of chitta. Sort of like getting lost in them. What can we do about all of this? Patanjali has lots of answers, but they are not the be-all and end-all. 

What else can we do aside from whatever Patnajaliji is suggesting? I have a couple of suggestions. We can do what our human-e tendencies provide:
  • love can free us from the modifications of mind
  • our feelings do communicate with us. Listen to them.

29 March 2019

Patanjali and Right Knowledge

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Right knowledge

Patanjali placed, in the beginning of the 1st chapter of his sutras, great importance on mind. On types of thought, which is great. Really it is. The thing that stood out for me, here, was the surprising fact that he said that knowledge is the right sort or the incorrect type.

I am being a bit facetious here. Because, of course, knowledge is either right or wrong. However, sometimes we come to a truth, or even just something that we are told, and we take it to heart. Patanjali gets very specific about what is and isn't right knowledge, which I personally am not interested in, as I found that it just kept one in the area of obsessing about things.

Why does right, or wrong, knowledge matter?

It's an interesting facet of human life that we all love to be right. But, in an authentic and growth spiritual journey, and even in everyday life, it stops mattering whether one is perceived to be wrong or right. Whether one is believed, or not. 

It doesn't just have to be about ego, or saying that we are 'standing for truth'. And, whose truth are you, in fact, standing for? For me, it became about it not being my business what other people thought and believed of me. Whether it was from wrong knowledge, or correct. Because I simply stopped wanting to exert control over others. It was as basic as that. 

I am not talking about human decency. I am talking about imposing myself onto others. And, I have seen over and over, that this is a common 'trap' to fall into with spirituality. We each have our own story of our own life, and we each must follow our own Path. And that includes out belief system, based usually, on what we believe to be right and/or wrong knowledge.

in a true spiritual odyssey, our belief systems and thought processes will change as we grow 

How can we perceive right knowledge?

Ah. The crux of the matter. How, indeed.

If I am told something about someone else, and I know from personal experience that the person in question would never say or do what they are accused of, then I always say that they would never do or say that. Whatever the gossip was. Even if I am not too keen on the accused. This is one very human way that I have managed the whole gossip and so-called truth, thing.

There is another way. Which I lived by before getting immersed into the whole yoga-ashram-dogma thing. That really screwed with my head. Because it was always relating to thoughts. Which is not what correct knowledge is about.

And I then went on to learn more about correct knowledge, and my original ways of realising truth were added to, with my studies in deep Maori spirituality. Now this had nothing to do with what and how we think. Not at all. 

How can we perceive right knowledge?

Patnajali, I am quite sure from reading all of his sutras, absolutely personally knew all of the deeper states of Being, and how to get there. But I do find it difficult to believe some of the translations of his works, and in particular, about right and wrong knowledge. A great Soul like himself, I feel, would have known that truth is understood in it's entirety through the third eye: The Eye Of The Soul.

complete truth and understanding is a function of The Third Eye; The Eye Of The Soul

However, having an active third eye is journey that we undertake. It is there, but we need to journey to it. 

What else can we use instead, to perceive right and wrong knowledge? The answer lies in our bodies and feelings. They are always communicating to us, yet we do not always realise this. 

  • our feelings come from our gut. They 'travel' to our minds and become thoughts. Thoughts really can mess with correct knowledge, for our human-ness gets in the way, with our own ideas and concepts.
  • our gut also gets warm when things are good, correct.
  • our skin is a major source of information, for it also 'talks' to us. You know the feeling of when your skin crawls, or grows cold: acknowledge those skin reactions, for they are trying to tell you, in these cases, that something is not right.
  • our heart knows truth. This is not something that can be easily explained. We all have these sensations, of knowing, with absolute certainty, that something is either right or wrong.
  • another little used source of knowledge, with people, is behaviour. We all have our own behaviour patterns. I know people whose eyes go wide when they lie, for example. But this is not true for other people.

Why is it important to distinguish with types of knowledge? It is for two reasons, in particular:

  • a matter of integrity. Without this, we truly cannot go into the deeper aspects of spirituality. 
  • a spiritual aspirant must, at some stage, learn to rely entirely on themselves. Again, without this, the spiritual growth stops.

22 March 2019

The first three chakras, the path to happiness

What are chakras?

The word chakra is Sanskrit, Sanskrit being the language of yoga. Chakra means "wheel". Which would suggest that they are spinning, which they can do. But don't usually. 

They are in the aura, where one seems to ascend from the crown, one descends between the legs, and the rest jut out from the body, both in front and behind from the spine. 

Usually when people are talking about chakras, they are meaning those in the aura, which is quite valid. However, they also exist within the body, and although they are all part of the chakra system, the inner and outer ones are different. Different colours, different attributes. 

the qualities and colours of the chakras in the aura, coming out of the body, are different to those of the chakras proper, which are inside of the body

When I was first taught about the chakras, I was told that everyone had blocked chakras, and that all of the intense yoga practices that we were doing would unblock them. This is a fallacy. We can get psychic gunk in the chakras of the aura, and this has absolutely nothing to do with having any of the so called negative attributes of that chakra. Which I'm not even going to dignify by writing about, because it's all so wrong and silly. 

Let us instead, look at the fantastic-ness of some of the chakras.

The first three chakras

  • base chakra: mooladhara: in the perenium for men, and near the opening of the cervix for women.
  • sacral chakra: swadhisthana: in the sacrum
  • navel chakra: manipura: in the spine behind the navel

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base chakra:

The amazing start of the Inner Spiritual journey. What  happens here, when it awakens, and this is quite easy to do, actually, is that our perception changes. Our whole being changes, really, because we start to feel more vital, in a different way. But we notice it more with how we perceive everything. 

It is the first step from the bondage of everything being about oneself. We know, when it awakenswith every fibre of our being, and without trying, that everything is not about oneself. The absolute entanglement of thoughts and feelings, and their effect on us, changes. They just don't have the same effect on us. We can know this, intellectually, but to have it as a way of existing, it truly is something else. We are starting to become Master of Oneself. 

What causes this to happen? At it's most basic, consciousness and energy separate. For us, inside of us, where it is all happening, the entanglement of being completely immersed in our troubling thoughts or feelings (energy), these are not controlling us. They might be happening, but a different sort of awareness (consciousness) is happening. 

And somehow, we are even more aware of the angst of others, and, because it's no longer "all about me", that caring aspect is stronger and deeper. 

sacral chakra:

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This is the only chakra where we fulfil our desires and such. But, I have never felt that it was actually desires, but rather more fulfilling the expression of what we do. We have so much energy to get things done. It is such a dynamic chakra. And, because we are not so tied up with the tyranny of our thoughts and feelings, we have more energy for Getting Things Done.

There is a divine taste with the sacral chakra, and no hunger. So one is never that interested in giving in to the wants of appetite nor taste. Food becomes just food. This too is a freedom of bondage, and in this case the hold of all of the senses over our wants and compulsions, it just disappears. The senses get stronger, but their hold over us, especially to do with our wants and desires, this is what dissolves into the ether. 

This is my favourite chakra. It is so beautiful; the world, everything around us, becomes so beautiful. We feel wonderful. And here we also experience something else that truly affects every aspect of our being: we are acutely aware of the soul of each other. We can sense it. This is special indeed.

navel chakra:

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Each chakra is a massive leap in energy and consciousness: both increase with each chakra. The energy is spiritual energy and the consciousness is spiritual knowing. 

And both are extremely amplified at this chakra because it is also involved with so many other things. 

There is so much to tell of this chakra. It is the gateway to other hidden internal realms aside from the chakras, so that is amazing within itself. However, here I am really only talking of qualities. 

The special-ness here, is to do with what we sincerely desire for all beings. From a blade of grass to all sentient beings. We wish the best for every living thing. Including our planet. We can feel the living matrix of everything. There is more to do with this as one progresses through the other chakras, but here it starts. As a massive reality. Life is no longer about Oneself. Goodwill to all life is a reality which is in every part of us, with this chakra.

with each chakra we become more and more immersed into the wholeness of life. every aspect.

There is so much more that I could say about each and every aspect of chakras. They gift us so much. For which I am truly grateful and humbled.

15 March 2019

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Why care about interpretations of spiritual texts?

I have learnt, in my long spiritual odyssey, that my interpretation of something can, and does, change, as I evolve. And I expect this evolving and changing, to continue. I am quite sure that this is so for all of us. 

I have delved quite deeply into, on the yogic level, mainly Patanjali's Sutras, and Bhagavad Gita, two ancient treatises on differing aspects, or approaches, of the yoga journey and Path. And with Ancient Maori Lore, even more treatises governing other approaches to deep spirituality. It is much easier, on an intellectual level to study interpretations of ancient teachings. The problem being that we are then approaching our understandings on what others have decided what the teachings mean. It also is not the best way to absorb what the deeper meanings of the teachings, really are.

I shall give an example:

Four interpretations of Patanjali

I first studied Patanjali, as a young swami, in an Ashram. Looking back, the organisation (Satyananda) had just released new copies of Satyananda's interpretations of this book.  Satyananda claimed to be a sanskrit scholar, and a guru. So of course we would hold dear anything that he said. It would be Correct Knowledge. It was like one of our bibles. How blessed were we.  The teacher of the ashram where I lived, again looking back, had obviously just started reading the book. One night he angrily started to read it to us. Angrily, because we (apparently) should have inherently known all of this. (Cults are indeed weird). Satyananda's version really emphasised that we are starting from a rather ignorant understanding of the meditation journey. Which of course, we were. We all do. I found this version to be a bit of a trial though, as it was so intellectual. 

Rather stupidly, I gave this same teacher a copy of Alistair Crowley's version, quite some years later. More spiritual discourse followed which was inspired by Crowley's interpretations. I never listened to them, nor read the book. Crowley was a Black Magician. The so-called story was that he had written this book before he went to The Dark Side. I might add that at the time, I had no idea of the awfulness of Crowley. I was rather stupidly naive.

I was required to take students through Satchidananda's version, at a teacher training course in Bali. I had met this guru many years prior. He had a beautiful smile, just quietly jiggled his body a bit, didn't talk, but did silent laughing. (sound familiar?) He seemed High (high on the spirit, of course). After a few days of teaching from his book, I put it down, and told the students that I was sorry to tell them that the book was rubbish, and that he sounded stoned with the silly way that he was explaining things. Honestly, I was aghast at what I was reading, and it just didn't make sense. This version was being taught a lot in Bali as part of yoga teacher training courses. I hope no-one reading this thought that this version had the best teachings.

I am indeed chuckling as I write all of this. We are all so trusting. The Patanjali version which I wish that I had bought, was a deeply spiritual version. It started from the premise that we are deeply spiritual. It was so inspiring. This was written by someone with deep insight, I wish also that I could remember his name. 

So, just here, four interpretations of Patanjali's Sutras that I can quickly bring to mind.

But there are other ways

By contrast, I often went to a Bhagavad Gita class by Vasudeva Venketiah. I have met several gurus in my time, but Vasudeva was a family man, the most humble and deeply spiritual person whom I have ever known. We would sit, with our Gita book, and as soon as Vasudeva started chanting it, in Sanskrit of course (the olde language of yoga), our eyes would shut. We could not keep them open. And we instantly would enter deep meditation. In this manner, the essence of what is being chanted, it does enter the deeper parts of our being. We absorb it. I truly believe that it was Vasudeva's presence and his correct pronunciation of Sanskrit, that produced these effects.

I also spent ten years learning Maori spiritual Lore. We would do a bit of learning from the Ancient Maori language, then the English translation from the Tohunga ( he was an extremely learned person, a spiritual leader) who had revealed these ancient teachings back into his culture. So, the English translations of the meanings were in fact, correct. But, and this is so important. We were encouraged to have our own understandings, as well. I would add that the Olde language of the Maori is like Sanskrit: it goes deep into one's being, and is extremely healing and uplifting.

Vasudeva and the Tohunga whom I mentioned, have both passed over. But what each taught touched the heart and Soul, of so many. This, I feel, is the best way to learn. 

28 February 2019

And so it begins..... Patanjali's Sutras

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Patanjali starts his treatise with stating:

sutra 1: now, therefore, instructions on yoga

Why would Patanjali start in this manner? He explains this sutra, this saying, with the following pearl of wisdom, of which the meaning is always the same, even though the translation may slightly differ. Depending on the translator. But, we shall keep it easy to understand.

sutra 2: the cessation of the mental fluctuations, is yoga

Meaning, of course, that the never ending constant stream of thoughts, goes into stillness. Still to the point whereby we are 'seated' between these thoughts. In a gap in our inner being. Although Patanjali goes into the whole mind thing quite deeply, in his sutras, we can get to the point where they are not bothering us. The inner chitter-chatter is a constant torment of agitated brain waves and disturbed emotions. But, this cessation, gap, whatever you would like to call it, is the space within our whole being, of inner peace and sublime states of mind. Where there are long spaces between the thoughts.

slowing down the thoughts gives us inner peace and is the key to happiness

If such a state exists, and so many will agree, through personal experience, that it does, then it is accessible. For most of us. Patanjali explains the process whereby it does happen, as one goes through his sutras. He explains that when the inner turmoil quietens, the thoughts stop going around and around, and

sutra 3: then the seer abides in his own true nature

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What is our own true nature? To be honest, each step of spirituality, no matter what Path one follows, brings us closer and closer to this state. And each time that we have a new, more intense, more elevated state which we reach and settle into, we realise that there is more. There is always more. We always have far to go.

And this is the nature of walking any spiritual Path. 

Our own true nature cannot be defined. But the steps to it, and the obstacles, are chronicled by Patanjali. Although, these first three sutras form the crux and the essence of Patanjali's sutras.

We shall have a look at some of them, in this blog.

20 February 2019

The Great Sage Patanjali

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As I haven't written about Patanjali for a while, I thought that it was time to readdress his work. I assume that this being was a he, but I don't know that anyone can truly be definite about it.

Who is Patanjali?

Patanjali was a great being, the exact era and time that he was from, varies depending on whomsoever has decided that they know.

He was very clear what yoga is and is not. And starts his treatise, which is known today as 'Patanjali's Sutras', from this stance. He continues through four 'chapters'. 

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Clearly Patanjali was someone who was very familiar with the inner realms, and exactly what does and doesn't happen. When I was first initiated, someone much further along the Path than I, Swami Nityananda (from the Satyananda group), said that Patanjali's Sutras were a great way to find out where one is 'at', on one's Path. I have found this to be so true.

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He systematised and explained the whole spectrum of yoga. The inner meditation journey of yoga. The steps, the obstacles, the benefits, the stages of enlightenment. Everything for the sincere seeker. 

The process being, in this order:
  • yamas: these we could simply call ethics. There are five, and it truly helps us not only on the inner journey, but in our whole life, to embrace them as aids for not only meditation, but also for contentment and inner peace. They are, in simplified language: non-violence; truthfulness; non-stealing; not letting your vital essence be squandered, and this is often translated as celibacy, but in reality there is more to this yama than what we realise; don't be greedy.   
  • niyamas: there are five also, and these are things to do, and be. To be honest, I do believe that the niyamas evolve from living an ethical life: cleanliness (of body and the rest of oneself); contentment; inner purification; knowing oneself; surrender.
  • asana: basically being able to sit for meditation. However, this has been embellished upon in modern yoga. Which I think is fine. It is impossible to be able to sit for meditation if the body shakes, twitches, or is sick. Very deep meditation, which Patanjali's Sutras are about, actually is easiest to do when our body is healthy and strong, so that energy can move freely within us.  The whole spectrum of yoga asanas are excellent for this.
  • pranayama: the accumulation and storage of life-force. On all levels of our being. Accessing the Inner Realms depends on ever increasing levels of prana (life force), and that prana being able to move within us. The main method of increasing these levels, is through the yoga breathing practices, called pranayama. There are two major pranayamas which are, in my experience, the best for accessing the hidden inner worlds of our being, and providing energy for the meditation journey. What many don't realise, is that meditation requires fuel: oxygen (from pranayama) and glucose. These days, I just have to do a tiny bit of pranayama, and I do mean a tiny bit, for my whole being to suddenly be in a state of deep meditation. It wasn't always like this. But it did happen.
  • pratyahara: sensory withdrawal. It is a natural process that sensory withdrawal occurs when we slip into deep meditation. We are in the inner realms with our innermost being. Again, there are many techniques for this step, however, I would recommend using one only, over and over, until you only need to do it briefly to get into the state of pratyahara. You might need to try a few until you find one which resonates with you. 
It's a process, the steps which Patanjali has outlined, which initially we do techniques for, to go from one step to another, as far 'up' as we can go. It eventually becomes a way of life, where the state of meditation happens very spontaneously.
  • dharana: concentration. These are so many concentration techniques in yoga, ranging from simple to very esoteric. For quite some time, this is what we do as 'meditation', and it does indeed take us to the inner state of meditation.

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  • dhyana: this is the state of meditation. Aside from our daily meditations, or how ever often one practices it, as a concentration practice, true dhyana is where one lives in, or frequently lives in, this state of being. Our dharana practices are the means, initially, to get there.
  • samadhi: usually referred to as enlightenment. There are differing stages of samadhi, and one progresses along these stages, as one's nervous system becomes more and more able to handle these highly energised states.
Please add any comments, life is a process of learning, and discovering, and all perceptions are valid.

13 February 2019

Yoga, healing, and guides


My background

As someone who was initiated as a 'swami', and who trained intensively for years, as one, I was taught that a sannyasin (swami) stands alone. Has next to nothing materially, and is dependent on no-one. Not on any level. Which I did my life as. This was decades ago. It was 'Just A Time In My Life'. 

When I stayed at one of the largest Indian Ashrams (yoga establishment, shall we say....), about eleven years ago, I was amazed at all of the nice clothing all of the swamis had. Wow. Times had certainly changed. I'm doing a bit of a wry comment here. 

Life went on after my sannyasin training years. I went on to have a life again in society. Being a 'swami' meant nothing to others. I was a mum again. A single mother. But still, inside of me, I stood alone. I have always been minimalist by nature, so it was easy for me to continue a life of material simplicity. That included my diet and lifestyle. I felt secure with all of this.

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 Something happened to change my yoga beliefs

I became a very reluctant healer. The first thing that I discovered, with my first client, was that I was but a medium for the healing to take place. Other, invisible beings, which I could 'see' whilst doing a healing, were actually doing all of the work, through my arms and hands. 

I was so surprised. Realising what was happening, and has been happening ever since with guides and all of my healing work, has certainly kept my ego at bay. Initially I was only an aura healer, then channelling came into it. I went on to be a Maori healer, and left the aura work behind. And more recently I have added some aura work to the Maori healing, and this came about from my guides. 

A true healer is but a medium through whom works their guides.

Letting go of dogma

The guides themselves are from other realms. I already was familiar with internal realms from being involved with kundalini, the great spiritual force inside of us, and chakras, realms of Being. 

I had been taught, from my yoga days, which I was still heavily involved with when I started healing, that such diversions as guides and different realms, other than chakras, kundalini, and other 'accepted' yoga things,  were 'blocks' in the Path. I was following what has been touted as a Tantric Path, with the yoga. Tantra includes ritual, Gods and Goddesses, mantra, symbols, and all of the realms associated with shall we say, the magic side of life. 

                   Depth of Field Photo of Diety God Statuette

When you call in the Gods with mantra, at say, a fire ceremony, you are dealing with shamanism. Which is what my own path has evolved to. 

So much for 'no diversions'. I can see that particular doctrine as being just dogma, and sadly, dogma is rife in yoga today. Even from the big ashrams. 

Spirituality involves all of life. 

All of the Inner realms. All of the external world. All of the hidden external realms. All of the twelve Heavens. All of the Underworld. All of the Cosmos.

And all of the magical helpers in those realms. 

6 February 2019

Animal Spirit Guides

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We all have a connection to creatures of the psychic realm

There is a whole area of our psyche which relates to the animal realm. It is within all of us. It is not too hard to access, but it also is not necessary to find that inner place yourself.  A good healer, clairvoyant, or shaman, can connect you to any of your guides, whether they be people-type guides, or of the animal-bird-fish types. (I shall just use the words 'animal spirit guides', or 'animal guide' to describe this) And many people go to workshops where there is drumming to help people connect to their animal spirit guide.

My bird spirit guide connected to me when I learnt to sing a Maori song to it. I felt our inner beings merge, as we sang. It was such a deep and beautiful moment. My other animal guides came in different ways to this.

I have met people who have had dolphins help them & give clear advice, in the astral realm, and also birds, bears. All sorts of creatures. For quite some time, in my yoga journey, I would wonder why people would even bother connecting to these guides. I was really quite ignorant of some things and clearly, I had a lot of learning to do!

We are people of the land. All of us. In Aotearoa, New Zealand, we know that we are. Even our better politicians respect this. In Maori it is:

tangata o te whenua (people of the land)

As beings who are earthbound in an incarnation on This Planet of Blue, many unseen helpers are available. I too, am familiar with Great Beings in 'people' form, who are no longer in this realm, they are from realms which are not of this planet. And I do use them for guidance, in healing and clairvoyant work. Not often for myself, because for some mysterious and completely annoying reason, these exalted guides have told me that I can figure things out for myself. 

But, the animal spirit guides are different. They are part of our connection to the land. To Mother Earth. We are travelling this planet together. And this is exactly why I am 'into' these guides. Because we are all part of Her. Mother Earth. 

And this is precisely why Shamans use these creature guides. Because these Shamans are involved not only with the heavenly and cosmic realms, but also the seen and unseen realms on this planet. And these animal guides, they can traverse the unseen world of this planet, and yet, be 'with' us, at the same time. 

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The secret animal realm

There is a most magical 'inner' world from whence these animal guides can come. And the spirit, or soul (I actually am not sure which) of living creatures can visit there, too. It is the faerie realm. This realm is a very earthbound secret realm, and whilst the faerie peoples, animals and birds can go there, humans may not. At first I wondered why. The answer was simple: the faerie peoples and animals have pure love. It seems that we humans do not.

Why have an animal spirit guide?

They are for everyday life. Often we may not need to call on their help. Maybe not for years. But when we do, they are there. For my own Life's Path, as a mystic, clairvoyant, and healer, they are an integral part of it. 

They each have their own qualities. Their own knowledge.

These animal spirit helpers have qualities that are helpful for us to manifest, or develop, or that we need. We all have our own unique path, and in each incarnation, we require different qualities for that life. Sometimes we need to drawn on these qualities from within. And sometimes they are gifted to us by our Animal Spirit Guides. Other times, we have those qualities which we need, whenever our animal guide is 'with' us. 

Sometimes it is just it is our time for this to happen, for these guides to come into our life. 

31 January 2019

Merlin DID exist

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A chance discovery has led to the unearthing of fragments of a manuscript from the Middle Ages which tells the story of Merlin the magician.
The seven pieces are thought to come from the Old French sequence of texts known as the Vulgate Cycle or Lancelot-Grail Cycle, dating back to the 13th century.
They were found hidden in a series of 16th century books deep in the archive of Bristol Central Library and are now being analysed by academics from Bristol and Durham universities.
Parts of the Vulgate Cycle were probably used by Sir Thomas Malory as a source for his Le Morte D’Arthur, which is itself the main source text for many modern retellings of the Arthurian legend in English.
Dr Tether, from the University of Bristol, said: “These fragments of the Story Of Merlin are a wonderfully exciting find, which may have implications for the study not just of this text but also of other related and later texts that have shaped our modern understanding of the Arthurian legend.
“Time and research will reveal what further secrets about the legends of Arthur, Merlin and the Holy Grail these fragments might hold.
“The South West and Wales are, of course, closely bound up with the many locations made famous by the Arthurian legend, so it is all the more special to find an early fragment of the legend – one pre-dating any version written in English – here in Bristol.”

Who does not love the stories of Merlin the Magician? Whether they are Disney stories, or from elsewhere. I do too. I have always loved them, and I still do. I'm enchanted by the idea of a proper magician, from the mists of time. Yes, mist, most definitely. I totally associate Merlin with mist.

About 30 years ago I had a vision, which I felt was from the past, although, paradoxically, it was very much in the present. It was, I felt, to do with the Times of Merlin. It was early morning, there was heavy mist (fog!), in the countryside. There was a small cloche of wispy trees, and behind it, was a small river. Very other-worldly. Then, I saw, very clearly, a knight in chunky armour, on horseback emerge from the trees. I was transfixed. The horse was quite big, much bigger than the horses of my home, New Zealand, and it had on a lot of paraphernalia, just like I would imagine from all of those centuries ago. And the horse looked like one from the British Isles. 

I so knew that knight! I couldn't figure out whether it was a memory from my past, or, the past had come into the future. One of those rare 'moments in time'. After the knight came out of the trees, he disappeared. But the memory of that magic moment has always remained.  Lucky me.

I was training a healer one day, many years ago. I was lying on the floor, eyes closed, as they went about the healing on me. Suddenly I could feel myself smiling, feeling so happy, so full of anticipation. My mind had slipped into the past. I was on a river, in a small boat, like an old fashioned English rowing canoe. There was mist everywhere. I could "see" reeds in the water. It was very quiet, we were moving stealthily along the river. I heard myself say to the trainee healer: "I'm going to see Merlin". Of course, he probably had a different, but similar, name, in reality. I also said that I never made it, that I got killed. I felt that it wasn't my first visit to him.

Why would a person going to see someone of Merlin's stature get killed so that they would not reach him? Why did I have to slink through the mist in a very quiet craft? I was not alone on that craft, there was someone steering it with a pole, and it wasn't that person who was the killer. There could have been many reasons, but some came to light over the years, as I gave readings and regressions.

The person from whom all the legends of Merlin emerged, did exist. He was a powerful person. A true mystic. I often wonder if he was a genuine spirituality advanced Druid. Or was he a Celt? (clearly, I have no idea....) There was a castle close by to where he lived. I felt that, in the lifetime above that I described, that he was my Spiritual Master. I suppose these days it could be likened to a Guru. Maori would call him a Tohunga. He had a massive following, but it was more than that: he was a guide for the people, and as such had incredible influence over them. I felt that he was a good person. In readings I have never, ever, seen anything to indicate otherwise. I saw that he did do incantations (invocations, words of power, mantra, karakia; whatever you might like to call them). He worked with nature, plants, to provide what was needed for a person, which indicates that he was a healer too. He  may have been the last of his spiritual lineage.

It came to pass that people had to come to see him, like going undercover, for safety reasons: theirs and his. Bad times were afoot. In one reading I "saw" an invading army which was determined to get rid of Merlin. To put an end to his influence, to end "the old ways".  And to impose their own culture on the people of the land. 

I feel that Merlin was part of an old culture, a good one, that paid homage to the land, the cycles of nature & of all life, of birth, death, decay, restoration. Of dignity. We might call such a way of life pagan, but if this was indeed pagan, I'm all for it. There have been, and still are, many old cultures which worked with the Gods of Nature, and the unseen forces around us.

As I write this, I feel full of a deep love. I know that it is from within myself, and that it has to do with someone I once knew. Forever residing in my heart. A Great Being. Merlin.

23 January 2019

Why are we here?

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Why are we here?

Why, indeed.

I have had two major experiences, both many years apart, which caused me to think about this question differently. I have different questions in my head now. I ask myself "what is the next level? What is behind this and that particular stage of evolution?" The answers always come. In their own time.

The first, unforgettable, experience, was when I was doing healing for a friend. He came for aura healing, regression, whatever, whenever he came to New Zealand. This particular time, I heard myself saying things to him whilst he was lying, eyes closed, on the table. He looked as though he was in a very deep internal space. (which is one of the things that I love about healing). And I heard myself talking to him, relaying a long message, about why we have lifetimes, the origin, what it is all about, the final outcome. I was aware that I was so excited as I talked. I could barely believe my good luck, as I had always wanted to know these answers. It was being channelled from somewhere, via myself. At the time, I didn't know that I was a channeller, I just knew that these words had come from somewhere, like a message.

After, I couldn't remember a darn thing that I'd said! "Never mind", I thought, "he will tell me when he comes to" at the end. So when he was back in the everyday experience, as opposed from traversing the realms, I asked him what I'd said. "Don't know," he said. "I never heard". I could see the humour in all of this. From this experience, I came to the realisation that I was not supposed to know, whether it was just at this time, or for this lifetime, I do not know.

The other one, was one of the most major experiences that I have ever had. I was in meditation a few years ago. Suddenly, I was in a blue space, a bit lighter than royal blue. There was a circle in the centre, which I felt was a portal into a very big spiritual realm. 

Through the circle, was a "sky" of a lighter sky blue colour. In the centre of the sky was a thin white outline of a full moon, with a crescent moon outlined in the right outline of the moon. The full moon  and crescent moon, were the same colour as the sky that was inside the portal. 

In the crescent moon were a succession of full moons, behind each other. Innumerable. Each had an infinite number of crescent moons inside each of these full moons, layered one behind the other, all the way up to the very top of the crescent moon. 

Inside every single crescent of these smaller moons, were more of the full moons with the successive crescent moons emerging from the base of the crescent moon, and disappearing into the top tip. Every single crescent moon had this. Indescribable. It was endless. It was the infinity realm of incarnation, on this planet of Blue. It is, actually, impossible to describe it properly. It was infinite. No beginning and no end. At the time it was overwhelming. Plus, I felt very strongly that I was not to go through that portal, so I didn't. 

This experience really did change me, After this, I definitely felt that the answers that I had previously sought, were pretty irrelevant and quite trite, really, in the infinite cosmic scheme of things.

But,  being me, I still kept asking.