Today's meditation lesson comes from the fantastic Canadian website: freemeditation.ca
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Today's meditation lesson comes from the fantastic Canadian website: freemeditation.ca
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Dear brothers and sisters, This past weekend we were witness to a breakthrough and a new record in giving Self-Realization in our region: over 600 seekers received their Self Realization in 2 days at the International Festival in Houston !!! It was an incredible event, organized and executed with great care and passion by the growing Houston collective, with help from Austin (5 Yogis), Dallas (3 Yogis) and New York! (1 Yogi).
Set up in a park, with tents on the green Mother Earth who generously purified our vibrations continuously, the festival saw thousands of people mill around its various sections - this year's theme being China (India was 2 years ago). One interesting aspect that struck those of us coming from
outside of Houston was that this was not a seekers fair, but just a cultural event with music, food and entertainment. In Dallas and Austin we've so far stayed away from such events, thinking that it would probably be too distracting and people
would have their attention on other things.
Instead, we got a lot of "professional seekers" in an area who probably were unable to remember us from the myriad of other tables offering something that in their eyes was similar, and who would probably be hard to convince to stop from their never ending seeking. San Antonio, and now Houston, courageously jumped onto non-seekers festival and the results have been amazing (if you remember, San Antonio used to consistently give Realization to more people than in Dallas and Austin at their Festival of India - as I'm sure they will do again in less than two weeks). Contrary to
expectations, despite the music and food (or perhaps because of them), people
were very-light hearted and got their Realization very easily (also because they
were not professional seekers), which was a pleasant and uplifting surprise.
During the first day we had less than 10 chairs set up in our tent, with 3 sandwich-boards surrounding the altar and the chakra chart. It quickly became clear that they were not enough, as people started to spill onto the surrounding area, more than doubling our space, eager to receive their Realization even while sitting on the earth. During the second day we had a total of 14 chairs, and still they were not enough.
There were moments when, with all the Yogis present working at full capacity, some of us on two people at a time, there was still a thick cordon of people behind us standing and waiting for their turn. You turned and you thought to yourself - this is hopeless, how are we going to give Realization to all these people? And yet they stayed, some went, some came back, and without feeling any tiredness we kept spreading our Divine Mother's vibrations to all who desired it. Pictures can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/2fhxrv
Some stories from the Yogis present:- The Sahajayoga public program at the I-fest was the biggest event held in Houston recent times. About 600 seekers got their
self-realization. It gave such a great satisfaction to experience the joy again and again when new seekers got their self realization. Just to look at the smiling and surprised faces of seekers when they felt the cool breeze flowing out of their hands and heads was a great experience. It was a wonderful collective effort and all of us Houston yogis, and our brothers and sisters from other cities of Texas enjoyed every moment of it. - We were short on volunteer wristbands initially and wondering how we will be able to manage. But later on, once the I-fest started, the event co-ordinator (Don) himself came over and gave us some extra ones. He even suggested that once we are inside, we can just recycle the wristbands. We were instructed on how to wear the volunteer bands "loosely" so they could be exchanged between volunteers - a "hint" we were given in secret by one of the organizers! - At the end of the first day, Don (event co-ordinator) came over specially to our canopy (me and Mandar were present) and congratulated us on the crowd he noticed throughout the day. So impressed was he that he told us that he organized such festivals throughout the year and gave us his card and asked for our email address so he can keep us informed about more events. - A seeker got his realization the first day. Apparently he had tried other types of meditation before and was aware of chakras and the subtle system. He could feel the cool breeze, but did not seem very impressed about it. I did not think much about it, but the next day, the same guy showed up again
and was seen meditating near the side of our tent under a tree, looking very
peaceful! - Honestly, the response at the fair was more than anticipated. But thanks to all the Yogis and their sincere efforts, it looked like we had done this together many times before. I am glad that Yogis from Austin and Houston could come down. It was a great weekend! - Thanks to Dallas, New York, Austin collectivity' s for their support in this special days here in Houston I am sure that our beloved Mother sent you here to spread her message. Her love was expressed in every person that was coming to experience our delight at the simplicity, beauty and sweetness with which our Mother can get Her message across.
It was a unique moment to feel so much love and how radiant we can get giving realization to others. Most of the people were very receptive and open, plenty of joy once they could feel the peace within. Was simply wonderful just like to be at the presence of Her and feel Her Lotus Feet in our heart. God bless Houston collectivity because all they stay supporting each other every moment. - "the wind showed the way"The morning of the first day, yogis had made the booth beautiful, with saris hanging from the canopy in a beautiful arrangement. .. but to their surprise, a huge gust of wind came just as the first seekers started to arrive... the saris were all blown down, to their surprise! It was realized later that once the saris were removed, our booth was made more visible from all angles! Though the beautiful decorations had to be sacrificed, more seekers were "shown the way" by the wind! - "ice cream for Realization"At the end of the festival, two yogis headed to one booth as it was closing down to get an ice cream, but the booth said they couldn't take money any more as the fair was already over. So, they offered the ice cream for free to the yogis, but they yogis said "We can't take
it for free, you have to take something from us...." The ice cream vendor agreed, and the two vendors got a very clear "cool breeze" on the top of their heads as a gift! - "you can't judge a book by it's cover!"Another moving experience was when one yogi gave realization to a very skeptical young woman... it seemed as if she would not even take realization. .. then, when she did get her realization, she had a tremendous experience and felt as if her whole head opened! - "it can't be free! "During most of the festival, all the chairs were full of new seekers getting their realization, and there was always a crowd of people observing or waiting for their turn... After one yogi finished giving one seeker realization, he appropached someone waiting and asked if he'd like to give it a try.. the seeker asked "how much do you charge?" After hearing
that it was for free, he surprisingly said "no way!" and before you could blink, he was sitting and waiting for the cool breeze! - "the skies were cleared for us" One huge gift of the Divine was the weather! Thunderstorms were predicted for the first day... Houston thunderstoms, with their immense power, would have surely left the booth empty (if the booth was even able to stand the storm!!).. but, as the Divine in Her Glory, would, the skies were cleared and the weather was absolutely beautiful all day - allowing all the 'Houston seekers to "come and get it!" - Because we w ere pressed by time, I "rediscovered" a method used by Shri Mataji in halls for people who felt
hot above their heads: forgive. So every time I worked on someone and I could not feel the cool breeze above their head after a minute or two, I would ask them to say a few times "I forgive everyone". Without fail, the vibrations would start immediately above their Sahasrara. - I was working on a man who at the end did not want to come out of the meditation. He did not speak, did not open his eyes, did not move, even at my repeated bidding. I honestly thought he had falled asleep, so I left him alone and started talking to his wife. When I was done, he opened his eyes and all he could say was "wow!" He explained how he felt a lot of heat in his whole body, broke into a sweat, and then the heat was gone and he felt tremendous coolness coming out of his body. He got up from his chair, shook my hand, and said "I am a new man!" - The most moving experience of the fair for me was when a large Mexican family assembled near me, and a teenage girl broke away from the group and sat down to give it a try while the
rest watched with interest. After working on her for a little while, since the vibrations were not present in the Sahasrara, I asked her to forgive everyone.
Still no vibrations, despite continuing to work on her for a while afterwards.
Then it dawned upon me that she had not really forgiven. So I whispered in her
ear to try again, but this time to say it from her heart, and to really mean it.
Very shortly afterwards, the vibrations started to flow in her Sahasrara. I
finished the workshop and started to talk to her, asking her to feel the breeze
above her head, etc. She did, but she continued to keep her eyes closed. After
talking to her for some time, I wanted to show her something so I asked her to
open her eyes, which she was continuing to keep firmly closed. When she finally
did open them, tears came streaming down and I realized that all that time she
did not want me to see that she was crying. I cannot describe the look in her
eyes at that moment. She had forgiven, whatever was there, and there was such a
big relief, clear-out, wonderment, and gratitude for her Realization. Her sister
immediately sat down and eagerly received her Self Realization in no time. It is
happenings like these that reminded me of the tremendous difference we make in
these people's lives when they get their Realization, whether we or they are
fully aware of it at that time or not.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
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
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.