March 29, 2012

Greetings from India: In the lap of Devi

Linga Bhairavi
It's exciting to hear from my dear friend-a fellow meditator Jason for the first time after he left for India. He has gone to explore this mystical land in January of 2012, and I haven't heard from him ever since. Occasionally someone would tell me that he's doing really good, and is enjoying him self, but other than that, no contact.
Until recently. He has shared his experience from one particular placein India: Isha Yoga Center, Coimbator.  He was offered the opportunity to participate as a  "Devi Seva" which literary means a service to the Devi-goddess. The way he describes this experience touched me and I thought I would share it with you.

Jayson: "What I went through during my time in close proximity to Devi was truly the most transformative experience of my life. Being a country boy from the state of Tennessee, I really had no clue what I was getting myself into during my first week in India. But after three days of silence, I soon became increasingly aware of the space that can be created inside oneself, by simply realizing how immensely small you actually are. I saw that Devi had no bounds, and time and space did not contain her. I found myself surrendering to her Grace, especially in tough situations, and began to reap the fruit of some hard realizations. Seeing what has really gone into a tree to make it this way, or a leaf, or a rock. Seeing that even the wind-strewn leaf upon the ground has the Creator’s intelligence within it, was a much needed and wonderful experience.


Devi Seva

I began to feel myself a different man. I carried within me the sentiment of how Devi began to make me feel, so beautifully worthless. I would say, standing next to the enormous tamarind tree, where we would chant during each of the Kalabhairava Karmas, was a big turning point for me. I saw the earth subtly become the root of all the tree’s grandeur and intricacy. I witnessed its body take on the element of fire and transform itself into the subtle sea that we call air. I perceived the random angle and manifestation of the branch crown formation and saw the beauty of the empty space that allows this entity to be and grow without restriction of definitive pattern. As I simply bowed to that tree, I discovered it held the cosmos within it, and I cowered with humility and saw that this was the key. To become less and less until there is no more. Then and only then perhaps, I can allow something that beautiful to grow inside of me.

Jai Bhairavi Devi, I am smitten and humbled by your Grace,

Jai Bhairavi Devi, I am crushed and formed new by your warm embrace,

Jai Bhairavi Devi, I seek only to exist within your infinite loving space.


To all those who made this possible, Sadhguru especially, the wonderful Bhairagini Maas and to all the volunteers, who were all the time full of energy and whom I would need years of Olympic training to keep up with, I am sincerely grateful.

– Jason Cutler

March 22, 2012

Death and Spirituality

Manikarnika Varanasi

I am reading quite a bit of different yoga, meditation, health, wellness, spiritual blogs almost every day. There are many inspiring articles. It's great to meet new interesting people from across the world sharing experience on their spiritual journey. Recently I watched an interesting video sharing on the Elephant Journal, from Ben Ralston, a guy from Slovenia for instance. Yet what I am noticing is that not much is being written about death and mortality; such a big part of our day to day life largely ignored.

Death is being looked at differently in different parts of the world. While in the east it is accepted and people accept it as a natural process (especially in India), in the west it is still a taboo, as if didn't even exist.
It frightens people, yet the mystery that it is, is pulling us towards it like a magnet. Who wouldn't want to know what's happening after we die and still be able to continue to live? If there are things which we can't scientifically understand, death is definitely one of them, right next to the life. So where is the connection between the death and spirituality? How can one make use of being aware of his own mortality? There was a sage, an enlighten master, whom once said: " If every human had a part of his brain dedicated to remind him every day about his mortality, this world would be full of enlightened people."

Varanasi
"How can remembering my mortality enhance my life?" Seeing my mortality works like a magnifying glass, it helps me to look closer at life, just a play of contrasts. All the teachings and moralities we have learned can easily be ignored if we want to, we can keep on doing the same nonsense, but we can't bullshit our selves when it comes to death. It is a great awakening tool!
Tell your self  "One day, I will also have to leave"
Try to look deeper and see, how does make you feel?

If you are practicing yoga asanas, you may already know that shavasana; laying down posture at the end of your practices, in Sanskrit means corpse. Probably so we can get a good rest at the end. Life is so beautiful only because one day it will be over. If you are constantly aware of this, you will make a great use of it!

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March 17, 2012

Saturday Video: "That which dwells within all"

"There is no language that I don't understand, there is no hearth who's voice I do not hear"
Hearth opening, meditative, relaxing, pure love. May you be touched by this!

March 15, 2012

From anger to compassion: The power of yoga

It does not matter how much people preach "don't get angry"; when certain situations arise, you get angry. It does not matter what kind of human being you become; even if you become superhuman, you will never have absolute control over the external world. Whether it is with the company you work for, your family or the world, you will never have total control over external situations.

Sandler-Nicholson
But you can have total control over your internal situation. Emotional states like anger, hate, lust, compassion or love -- from the lowest states to the highest -- are certain types of expression of the same energy. People often ask, "Can we exist without anger?" This is generally because anger is the most intense emotion people have experienced in their lives. People want intensity, but the only way they know how to be intense is through physical action, anger or pain. The very reason why drugs and sex have become such a big thing in the world is, somehow, people want to experience some intensity, at least for a few moments -- it is the intensity that draws them. I am always talking about intensity because intensity is the only thing man is seeking, and it is the only thing that will liberate man from his present bondages.

But unfortunately, for most people, their fear, anger and hatred are the most intense situations in their lives. Their love is never so intense. Their peace is never so intense. Their joy is never so intense. Instead, their negativities are intense, so they experience power in negative circumstances.

Anger is enormous intensity; it is an intensity that hurts you. It is an intensity that can get you into a lot of trouble. It is an intensity that can destroy people around you and yourself in so many ways. But if you transform your energy in a certain way, it naturally becomes love and compassion. Then, slowly, as the process goes further, you reach the pinnacle of self-awareness and experience a unity with all life. The whole process of yoga is based on this.

Compassion-Mandala
For many people, "yoga" just means twisting yourself into some impossible postures. But that is not what we are referring to as yoga. "Yoga" means to be in perfect tune, when your body, mind, spirit and the existence are in absolute harmony. When you fine-tune yourself to such a point where everything functions so beautifully within you, the best of your abilities will naturally flow out of you. So yoga is the science of activating your inner energies in such a way that your body, mind and emotions function at their highest peak.

Suppose you start experiencing everyone around you as part of yourself. After that, no one needs to teach you to be good, not to harm others. And once you are experientially a part of everything, then nobody needs to teach you morality. Then you can do something about any given situation that may be unpleasant, but without anger. What you have to do, you do; but when you do it with anger and hatred, it is of no value. A day can come when, even if you are put into the most extreme situation, your energies will remain very calm. When you act out of unity with all life, you act without identity. Only then can you function out of your intelligence.

Yoga means to cultivate your energy in such a way that gradually it breaks the physical limitations and elevates you to the highest level of awareness, the flowering of human potential.

~Written by Sadhguru on Huffinghton Post


March 8, 2012

John Friend Scandal-Not really!

I know I know, you must have heard a million times about John Friend's scam, and you are tired of it. I understand because in passed month just about every yoga blogger, every green body mind site, every meditation oriented page have shared this news. It's old. I know.
Don't worry! I am not going to stir that any further. Those of you not familiar with the case, you can read the whole story if you're interested, or if a short version is enough for you: John Friend is the founder of Anusara (no longer part of it), one of the world’s fastest-growing yoga styles. Last month he became even more famous after accusations of sexual impropriety with his female students.

I never bothered to share my own thoughts on John "Boyfriend's" sexual scam, simply because what have happened doesn't surprise me at all, and we will continue to see it in the future. In India for instance, the same happens almost every year or two. But what's wrong with that I am asking? He enjoyed his romance as much as the ladies did, two or more adult people you know, doesn't seem wrong to me! ( Nothing compare to abuses happening on children in catholic churches! ). So let's not blame John Friend ok?! We must see that it was us, blind and stupid, letting somebody fool us for so long! How many more so called "spiritual leaders are out there I wonder.

Genuine seeker should remember one thing: there are no gurus to choose from ok?! It's not like you open  the yellow pages to look for one! The truth is if you happen to come across a real guru even once in your life, you are a very fortunate being! Don't thing that this good, friendly guy you are visiting twice a week is your guru! He may be your friend, maybe your teacher, but not your guru!

So who is your guru then? and how will you recognize him?
It's simple. Real guru will give you an experience. He will crank your energy and have you "see" in such a way, that you won't believe it's actually you sitting there! A real guru will not only have mastery over his life energy, but over yours also. If it so happens that sudden rush of energy comes in to your body, this is a clear indication that the man sitting in front of you is your guru. The experience will be distinct, you can't miss it! When you meet such a being, when you come across to such a possibility, you will not only rely on him; you will be willing to give your life to him, if you're intelligent enough.


March 3, 2012

Saturday Video: Music for the soul

This "balsam for the soul and spirit" piece comes from Greek artist Anteaus. Magical and insightful song, I melt immediately in to it's melody. Very meditative and inspiring. Enjoy!




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March 1, 2012

Consecration - what does it mean?

Kedarnath

Sadhguru:
Agastya Muni was sent to South India by Shiva – the Aadhi Yogi, or the first yogi. He consecrated every human habitation south of the Deccan Plateau in some form and made sure that a live spiritual process was on. He did not spare a single human habitation. They say it took him 4000 years of work. We do not know whether it is 4000 or 400 or 140 – but looking at the phenomenal amount of work and the amount of travel that he did, he obviously lived a very extraordinary lifespan. Agastya muni went to the extent of saying that when the world truly goes off the track because of development and knowledge, when knowledge becomes poison, when what should be good for you becomes negative for you, his work would rise and act.

 Consecration is a live process. It is like this, if you transform mud into food, we call this agriculture. If you make food into flesh and bone, we call this digestion, integration. If you make flesh into mud, we call this cremation. If you can make this flesh or even a stone or an empty space into a divine possibility, that is called consecration. Today, modern science is telling you that everything is the same energy manifesting itself in a million different ways. If that is so, what you call as divine, what you call a stone, what you call a man or a woman, what you call a demon, are all the same energy functioning in different ways. For example, the same electricity becomes light, sound and so many other things, depending upon the technology. So it is just a question of technology. If you have the necessary technology, you can make the simple space around you into a divine exuberance, you can just take a piece of rock and make it into a god or a goddess -this is the phenomenon of consecration.

 
An enormous amount of knowledge about this dimension of life was perpetuated particularly in this culture, as this was held as the most important thing. It does not matter what you are eating, how you are or how long you live, at some point, a need will come that you want to get in touch with the source of creation. If that possibility is not created across the planet and is not available to every human being who seeks, then society has failed to provide true well-being for a human being. It is with this awareness that in this culture, every street had three temples because even a few meters should not pass without there being a consecrated space. The idea was not to create one temple versus the other, the idea was that nobody should walk in a space which is not consecrated. Nobody should live in a space which is not consecrated. The temple was always built first and then houses were built. 

Dhyanalinga Temple

 The whole state of Tamil Nadu is built like this. Every significant town in Tamil Nadu had a grand temple and around that, a little town. Because the kind of dwelling you live in is not important. Whether your house is 10,000 square feet or just 1000 square feet is not going to make a difference ultimately, but being around a consecrated space is going to make a phenomenal difference in your life. With this understanding, they built human habitations such that, if there are 25 houses, there must be one temple. Whether you go there or not, whether you pray or not, whether you know the mantra or not, is not the point. You must be in a consecrated space every moment of your life.
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