Today's meditation lesson comes from the fantastic Canadian website: freemeditation.ca
This blog contains personal reflections on Sahaja Life by practitioners of the Sahaja technique. Sahaja is the path of enlightened knowledge, as opposed to other forms of yoga and meditation, which profess singular paths like devotion-only (bhakti path). Growth in Sahja happens by experiential knowldge acquisition.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Guided meditation: Video
Today's meditation lesson comes from the fantastic Canadian website: freemeditation.ca
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
East Meets West
The subtle realm is no longer the exclusive domain of eastern philosophy. Physicists all over the world are now doing research into unseen dimensions, illusive quarks and vibrating strings of energy. Yoga classes are as American as apple pie. My own personal story of cultural and self-integration began twenty years ago, when, as fate would have it, I found myself in the Himalayas, a Jewish girl a long way from home, learning to meditate.
I was on assignment for the Jaipuri Times of India. My husband, one-year-old daughter and I were staying on the family estate of an Indian lawyer in the foothills of the Himalayas. I find India to be a deep and aesthetically beautiful culture, albeit with social problems we are lucky enough not to have.
What it lacks in material comfort is made up for in the generosity of the people, and the general feeling of glee inspired by walking down a street in the company of two camels, three cows, an elephant and a wall mural that is probably a thousand years old. Once you start gaining altitude, the terraced slopes are dotted with wild goats and stone huts, and ringed with dense jungle. The mountains tower up all around, surreal; misty-peaked and sharply etched against the sky. Our friend had just met an extraordinary woman, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.
(Mahatma Gandhi had sought her advice as a child; now, as the founder of Sahaja Yoga meditation, she has become Spiritual Mother to millions.) In 1981, Sahaja Yoga was slowly growing in India, attracting the attention of restless westerners like us, searching for a spiritual place to call home.
I took to it right away. One unusual aspect that struck me was that Sahaja Yoga starts with the awakening of the spiritual energy Kundalini and self-realization, instead of ending with that. Traditionally, first one's chakras are completely cleansed, which takes ages, and then the Kundalini rises. Maybe. Old-style gurus used to pass on this experience to one or two disciples at most, after years of arduous lessons and privation. Offering this experience right away is pretty outrageous; it implies a bunch of normal people walking around in an awakened state, not just saints living in caves who have practiced severe austerities for lifetimes. The premise is that once you have the light inside yourself, you can see your own problems clearly, and are then better able to work them out. You get in touch with yourself. More than that, the process is expedited, so what used to take people five or ten years to figure out, can be seen much more quickly through meditation and introspection. After learning about Shri Mataji's meditation, I was lucky enough to go to her house in Delhi.
I was standing in the doorway, holding my infant daughter in my arms. Putting her hand lightly on my shoulder, Shri Mataji's eyes sparkled as she said, "Kundalini has risen. They've both got it." It was a fabulousfeeling, like a cool breeze blowing gently over the top of my head.
The basics of Sahaja Yoga are simple. There is Kundalini, a spiritual energy. There is the subtle system of energy, chakras (a Sanskrit word meaning "spinning wheel") and the three channels of the autonomous nervous system. It's not hard to understand. The truth of the matter is that all of our quirks and problems and all of physical reality can be addressed at the level of energy.
Reality is what it is; energy once created is never destroyed…so once you have an understanding of how you are put together in this way, you can really get down to the business of self-knowledge. For example, let's say you suffer from chronic guilt syndrome. Jewish? Catholic? Whatever. That particular problem involves the chakra located on the left side of the neck. By working on that spot, you can really alleviate the problem. Moreover, you start having insights into the inner workings of the situation, and as things start to become clear, you become more and more the master of the situation. Most importantly, you start to transform yourself
from the inside out. You can begin right now. Close your eyes, and imagine a coiled up twist of silken energy threads at the base of your spine. (The Greeks called this the sacrum, the sacred bone: they knew what they were talking about.) Now ask yourself, do you want this energy to waken? Ask yourself the question, "Am I the pure Spirit?" Now hold your hand over your head. Do you feel a cool breeze coming out at the top? This is the Kundalini, newly risen. Now, you've got it.
After my meeting with Shri Mataji in India, I had another serendipitous moment. I was in Jaipur, riding in a horse-drawn wagon with my daughter on my lap. On the sidewalk market, among the red and purple turbans, the richly hued saris, the shining brass plates hanging mirror-like behind pyramids of oranges and mangoes, there appeared a young Muslim woman covered from head to toe in swaths of cloth. A black cotton scarf covered her mouth. Only her eyes were revealed to the world. These eyes caught mine, and my breath as well. We were from completely and utterly different worlds. Her life was unfathomable to me, and mine to her. Yet here we were, on the same side of the world, the same street, the same square hundred feet of red Indian earth between us. Somehow for a fraction of an instant, we made a connection. Everything, the barefoot children laughing behind the long silken braids of their mothers, the cows and camels sauntering insolently among the chaos of India, the fragrance
of earth and incense and spice, everything blurred into formless color, leaving the two of us alone in sharp relief. I could barely breathe. Then she did the outrageously unexpected, an act of
courage: she undid her scarf so that I could look directly into her face.
Her face was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, by any standard of beauty. What could I do? Wave, or yell out? I could only stare back at her, and it seemed as though she looked triumphant. I felt her femininity, her strength. Her look said, "I may be bound in cloth and fierce tradition. But inside, I am intelligent and present. I want you to see, that, to see me." In one blinding moment our cultures collided, and then it was over. The horses clopped on, we turned a corner, and she was gone. I ponder that moment sometimes. In one way its meaning has remained a mystery, like an archetype, as pure and necessary as a prime number, too deep to plumb. It is evocative, however. As we two made a connection, so a bridge needs to be built, and then crossed, between borders and boundaries, linking us all together. The spiritual path finally is not about eastern mystical paradigms meeting western rational thought. It is about self meeting Self, across all cultural values and interpretations. In today's world, we must bind our hearts to a new pattern, an integration of east and west, giving birth to a modern world free from fear. It will take intelligence, and great courage, to gain possession of our collective ascent. Yes, it is time to drop the veils that blind us to our essential self, that place where we are one beyond individuality, beyond cultural definition. Change is possible. The intelligent beauty of that young woman's face comes back to me clearly now. Her challenge to me is one I put to the mirror, to the face I am coming to recognize, to my daughter grown so quick and fine, to get to work, connect to life, and hurry up! For time waits for no man, or woman, no matter what color earth lies under their feet.
-- By Nancy Partridge
Creative Commons Licensed Photos by Nagesh Kamath, Soqotra (Yemen)
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Proving Borat Wrong
With a great pleasure to inform you and share my joy that Kazahstan yogis
called me that they would come to help in Mongolia to spread sahajayoga In
summer time. So Happy!Datta Khair and Galina Mazur, (I met her in USA in
Navaratri and Divali Puja time :-) Will help with public programs and other
things : -) Kazahstan is also country located as Mongolia - between China and
Russia, it is our neighbor country, former Soviet Republic. They have language
very similar to Turkish, and also in Mongolia here in border the nationality of
Kazah people lives as well. Kazahstan people are Islamic, but in Mongolia is
shamanisms and kind of lamaistic rituals same as in Tibet. So it is just small
introduction about 2 countries.Of course, if some other yogis would like to
come, everybody is welcome, we can see later, maybe we can arrange some tour
around here, when it will be warmer and better.
Here in Mongolia for now are
meditating few, 3-10 people in range of my friends, mostly young people around
age of 20. I am 35 already, but they are nice friends to me, calling me
meditation teacher, older sister and etc: -)Mostly they are from art school. I
think they are not meditating regularly at home, but we are seeing each other
often at least once a week and we meditate. It is good beginning, because they
feel vibration very good, and the transformation after the meditation, the
change of vibrations. Though it is not like regular public programs, as
friends…znami, and youngsters, coming and going, if they want to visit coming
and sometimes they stop, but I have many many small small nice experiences with
them, how they are amazed how the vibration flows.. But through these friends I
can meet other more nice people, to whom they are introducing me or just to be
at their school, I am meeting youngsters and giving them their realization and
offering them to come for meditation. So I am trying to go often there after my
work or on weekends. And surprisingly everything goes so well, even I don't even
need to try, every thing goes so spontaneously, that I can see more and more
that everything is doing Mother. Getting more confidence regarding leading
meditation and leading programs, what I was afraid before : -) Really all is
done by Mother : -)Beside that still there are other seekers who told they would
come. Have to work out their circumstances, to come.For example last time I met
one very sweet deep seeker, for example during our talk he told that in the
whole world the feeling is the greatest thing. That he can see these artists as
Picaso… "mind" based-for example cubism art and etc. And on other side "feeling"
based artists –Mickelangelo... (he named more names of course), He said that
more pleasure he receives from the Mickelangelo, .. /he is sculptor/ And himself
also I have noticed is very nice thoughtless and more on his feelings. He said
that his heart acts when he just thinks about what he likes, his heart answers
that starts beat more quickly and feels more good feeling. Such it is cute and
sweet to meet that kind of pure seeking spirits. All these art guys are more
thoughtless and more real. I thank to Mother that she brought me to these young
people.There are two ladies of my age they have their family and their heart is
more motherly, one said, she have noticed that after the meditation she feels
more love, she noticed that feeling on her son that she feels intense love she
said.Also I have been meditating with children in high school, through one of
the young art teacher with his class of 12-13 year old children, but it stopped
maybe of their parents....
Touched? contact Haliun to visit her in Mongolia! haliun108 AT yahoo.com
Uttrakhand Yuva Shakti Seminar (Feb07)
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Uttrakhand Yuva Shakti collective had a unique Seminar cum workshop on 24th February 2007 at Col. V Tewari's (Uttrakhand Coordinator) residence premises amidst the greeneries of Kumaon ranges in Bhimtal (Nainital). Yuva Shaktis were mainly from Almora, Bhimtal, Nainital, Kathgodam, Pantnagar and Kashipur collectivity of Kumaon region.
The seminar took off at 11:00 a.m with collective meditation, Mahamantras, Bhajans and a prayer in hearts to Shri Mataji to guide us in seeking the right path and the destination. It was around 50-60 Yuva Shaktis who had assembled to attend this one day workshop.
The seminar on the whole was very effective and covered almost every aspects and essence of Sahaja Yoga and above all being in limits of Yuva Shakti carrying out unlimited works in Sahaja Yoga. The topics in the Seminar mainly were focused on the essence and knowledge of the subtle system and the Tattwa. It was so engrossing that everyone intangibly felt as if the entire collectivity was literally touring through the visual path of the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna along with their gross expression of plexuses within. The topic also toured around the tattwa and their significance on the subtle system in our atmic utthan. There were some interesting revealing facts where one could realize as to why and how the respective colours of the Nadis and Chakras are governed by our inner emotions and actions etc (ida, pingala). Then the topic covered aspects on cleansing of all the three channels. These were metaphorically related and demonstrated with practical knowledge of our day to day life styles.
Recalling the wonderful narration in the seminar, it is worthwhile to cite that one instance on interactive discussion on Protocol and Ritualism there was an emphasis on why we should not indulge into much of ritualism and its pros and cons in our ascent. What is the need of Protocols and less practice of rituals? A beautiful example made the collective understand the fact that how Shri Ganesha spares none those who dives into the realms of ritualism departing from the Nirmal Vidya. A beautiful example with metaphor through a story was narrated to express and explain how the traffic police hauls up who tries to act funny and becomes a bit nuisance as they drive honking their horns unnecessarily through out creating troubles for himself and also for others on way. Similarly in our journey of spiritual ascent Shri Ganesha looks after us like a cop. Whoever indulges into these karamkands are caught by Him and He takes care of those fellows. For example referring to practice of various Rituals even in Sahaja Yoga , it was pointed out that persons who loves to indulge himself with fire treatment more than meditation even after coming to Sahaja Yoga or when we are too much into candling business are caught up and the Mooladhara Chakra gets affected along with the left Swadisthana as it affects the Nirmal Vidya inside.
Then there were many subjects and subtle aspects that were covered like the inherent dangers of transgressing protocols of Brotherhood and Sisterhood and Marriage protocols in Yuvas. Beautiful examples were cited relating the relationships the ‘Trinity’ like Shri Brahma, Shri Vishnu and Shri Shiva manages in their houses with the Shakti aspect on one hand while are bound by the duties of a brother with the Shaktis of the other. Like Shri Vishnumaya is the sister of Shri Krishna on one hand while Shri Lakshmi is the Shakti of His. Shri Shiva’s Shakti becomes Parvati who is in relation the sister of Shri Krishna. Again Shri Saraswati becomes the sister in relationship with Shri Shiva and so on. Whenever there is any transgression in Sister and wife protocol Shri Krishna comes into play and Vishuddhi is affected as Shri Vishnumaya goes haywire. So the protocol is to be maintained with wife and sister distinction or brother-sister relationship specially after coming into Sahaja Yoga as we become realized souls to understand this aspect from inside. The maryadas have been distinctly defined and they are to be respected.
Although there were many issues that were discussed as the topics went ahead with the sun swinging down towards the west to set early in the Himalayas. A few understandings were given on the qualities of various Chakras and information about their presiding deities. Basic knowledge on Shri Mataji and Her advent on Earth , as to say who is Shri Mataji and how the Yuva Shakti was christened (by Mother in 1987); basic aspects of protocol expected from Yuva Shakti ;contribution of Shri Mataji and Her family in the freedom struggle and Her respect for the country; Shri Mataji’s association with Gandhiji and the sacrifices; some history and genesis of Sahaja Yoga; Knowledge on subtle system, as to how our Chakras work ( or even how much do they tolerate our nuisance) and balancing our channels; what books to read, What magazines like Chaitanya Lahiri/Divine Cool Breeze ( The Vedas for Sahaja Yogis) or the Yuva magazine Yuvadrishti that caters to the Sahaja Yogis and also shared the information on the world wide Sahaja websites with the general knowledge on where and how to plan our best of living and how to enjoy Sahaja Yoga. Of course ultimately to be joyous and be happy yet have priority in Sahaja works.
Subtle knowledge on the manifestation of Ekadasha Rudras on the Forehead and the qualities of the ten Gurus in the Void, unique to Sahaja Yoga were concisely described. Referring to their position in our subtle system, their qualities and the reason for their catches and their affect on us and also others were very nicely explained. Various cleansing techniques such as foot soaking, candling, and shoe beating and matka treatment were explained practically. The principle of the Gruha Lakshmi, her expression of warmth in us and why she sometimes becomes aggressive was explained precisely. Very vivid explanations were portrayed on the various elements like Light, Air Fire… etc. Any extreme use or misuse of these elements brings in imbalances within us. It was also pointed out as Mother says the Fire that brings warmth while cooking meals by the Gruha Lakhsmis in the kitchen can also help burn the entire household in seconds, so it is to be respected and handled carefully and respect the Gruha Lakshmi Tattwa within us. But on another hand the fire can also help enlighten the house in celebrations of Diwali or celebrations of Independence Day or Republic Day through the aspect of Raja Lakshmi principle. So each and every aspect is to be respected with balance. The use of water and effect of earth on us were also deliberated at length.
Then an interactive session on Demonstration and rehearsal on self realization and knowledge disseminations to the seekers and our attitude towards them (practical demonstrations), topics covering Yuva issues/struggles/solutions/meditation/rituals/self realization were discussed.
A unique set of questionnaire was served as a class room workshop before and after the workshop to assess how far the collective Yuvas have progressed. The questionnaire itself was so simple in the first look, yet it did test our inner knowledge on our individual ascent and progress that was to be completed in ten minutes. It had questions as to what are the changes and benefits we got from Sahaja; questions were focused on our subtle system, about various Chakras their deities and many more. Another questionnaire was related to our experiences and work done by us for Sahaja, finally a Performa was regarding our personal information was filled and this was the winding up of the programme very interesting old lecture of Shri Mataji was distributed on how to deal with the new comers. It was a old talk old Devi Puja in 1989 in Helsinki.
The day long seminar cum workshop was concluded with a beautiful gesture of Gruha Lakshmi’s expression of warmth (lunch) that was served by the senior yogi/Yoginis present over there to all the 50 Yuvas present there like a picnic. We all had it in collectivity. Finally before the departure it turned out to be another real party time for the Yuvas as it marked the Birthday celebration of our state coordinator Col. V Tewari. It was very exciting moment to witness as the B’Day boy cut the cake and all enjoyed it a lot. At 4:30 p.m the collectivity of the Yuva sangha departed like great scientists and soldiers of Love with a lot of learning and lessons in hand as if competent enough to stand together with Einstein but with a purpose...that is a vow in heart to spread Mother’s message of Love to every nook and corner and becoming a fruit from flower as we understood the blossom time has sprung up within us by Mother’s grace.