Hope . . . for humanity. How?

Hope. How . . . ? Further Than Yoga is all I can think of . . .

They used to say “Education. Education. Education.” As in, “education is everything.” But it is not – not unless communication is good.

You would think what with all the media resources we have nowadays, communication is better than ever before. But it isn’t. Yes, there’s MORE of it – but no depth, real skill, heart-based understanding and compassion. And truth . . . ? I don’t think so – especially not about waking up what is sleeping in our memories . . . consciousness, and what we will need from our distilled wisdom to take us forward into the future as Humanity.

Humanity needs hope. How? Well, as humankind we actually always have had that in our inner nature . . . it’s one of the life powers we’re born with, and need to tune into.

When I say “further than yoga “ I’m not disparaging yoga the practice or the very sincere yoga teachers we have around us, but I have seen for a few years now that there’s been a settling into promoting various styles of physical, yoga practices to the benefit of media and some teachers, and to the detriment of the whole of Yoga . . . which is intended to take us further than the physical benefits or in fact the destressing mental and emotional benefits. I teach that yoga is the way we live with the divine in our lives, because we can experience direct divine communion through our practice . . . you get to the point whereby you realise that to give up what seems to be control in your life and power over externals, IS the power in Yoga when you develop the maturity and patience to wait for God/Goddess to tell you what you are here for.

And this practice, as I teach, comes directly from Patanjali’s – known as the father of Yoga – 8-step path to enlightenment compiled probably 1,700 – 2,500 years ago, from ancient knowledge prior to that and before the christian era . . . it’s beyond what we know currently . . . and came from knowledge that didn’t have to be recorded.

Yoga is know as our Union with Divine consciousness . . . but there is another translation as with most Sanskrit words, that Yoga is a binding – a practice which binds us with the Divine . . . and the path of Yoga takes us to Samadhi, a state which binds us with higher consciousness . . . and it is also a belief that there is a transcendent source of energy and your life has a purpose which binds you in a commitment through which this vital power flows . . . your bliss . . . it is your bond with life and divinity . . . Existence flowing through you.

When we practice together in this spirit we are bonded – not separated by styles, forms, lifestyle, disposable income etc . . . unified by simple, practical teaching and practices . . . we lift up, individually, to meet the Divine, our source, God/Goddess, the light, Mother . . we open up spiritually . . . we open up to our own Divinity . . . and you yourself understand direct communion with the Divine . . .

. . . being taken beyond what we know of heaven and earth to connect with that part of yourself that is connected, to expand your understanding . . . of the ever-unfolding journey through birth, life, death and regeneration.

Why is this important . . . what does it mean? . . . why are we doing this . . . ?

. . . because this is the way some of us need, to see our own way forward, to grow and mature – because that is what life, your soul, demands – to expand our minds and our perceptions of life.

Life is happening and the continuity of life and life cycles. . . it’s important to me that we all stop waiting and do something now.

Your connection with divinity affects me, your friends, your neighbours and community, the world, the environment and the planet. We need to get on with it, well those of us who can anyway – enlightenment is now . . . so I’m teaching Further than Yoga, and this is how you do it . . .

Be with a Teacher who can initiate you, teach you guiding principles from the Ancient Teachings of the whole of Yoga and instruct you with a practicality of doing this for yourself in your daily life. Practice, and practice devotion to practice, which helps us see the Divine: in our signs, symbols and daily messages on our Soul’s path . . . living with this in our daily life and so that we can see our own way forward . . . and wait for God/Goddess to tell us what is needed.

Namaste, Susan

My video Satsangs on Further Than Yoga are on my Youtube Channel

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How India Taught us Forgiveness

I taught a class in February of 2016, empowered by the then social unrest in India, and wishing to add something positive and supportive. I experienced that it was a very raw time. For me, as a teacher, I consider that India with her traditions, practices and teaching in an Ancient Eastern Wisdom path to Liberation, taught us all how to Forgive from a bedrock of Universal Acceptance.

India is for many of us, as Yoga and Meditation teachers globally, our bedrock and spiritual taproot.

Her ancient wisdoms taught us, that none of us free unless we are all free . . . and our route to this individual freedom is Universal Acceptance. Forgiveness is the key.

Right at the beginning of all of our practice, on commencing every class of any discipline we make our practice into a Sadhana, working with the Divine, with our ritual of Namaste: honouring the spirit that dwells within each one of us.

And of course our practice is about making the mind body a more comfortable place for the Spirit to dwell. What else can we do, if a Spirit is not comfortable in an individual human being, except forgive? And practice Universal Acceptance.

Might not sound an easy thing to do or practice. But Yoga gives us the power, the strong mental power we need to make this choice in life.

In our devotion to, and practice of, the whole of Yoga we know the importance of keeping our thoughts high. And so, to leave you with an uplifting energy, this is a non-Indian poet’s experience and expressions of Love: especially the “light of flower” that is within all of us waiting to bloom, as we know in Yoga.

I love you

between shadow and soul

I love you

as the plant that hasn’t bloomed yet,

and carries within itself

the light of flowers

I love you

without knowing how,

or when,

or from where

Because of you,

the dense fragrance

that rises from the earth

lives in my body,

rioting with hunger

for the eternity . . .

Pablo Neruda, I Love You Because I Love You

Namaste Susan

This is the Youtube meditation class for February of 2016, that I taught especially for the disruption of the times in India: It is unlisted but I share the link here:

 

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Holding the Space in the Heart

Building on our inner world, is the practice of holding the space within by strenghtening and growing our masculine energy. This space within as we know in Yoga, is the inner structure of our temple within – we strengthen our masculine energy and inner structures so that the transformative, feminine energy can flow. As the Heart Chakra gradually awakens and opens and activates our spiritual vision . . . then so can feminine energy flow freely.

Slowing down into stillness

Practice involves slowing down, learning inner relaxation and stillness for meditation on the unwavering flame in the Space of the Heart, learning respect for something that is almost a forgotten word in our culture in the west today: Honour. So constant practice is bout learning the conditions and qualities necessary to honour the Spirit within us all.

Ultimately, with practice, we can truly create an inner sanctuary which protects the ever burning flame of love and devotion from the winds of the world: slowing down, maturing, respecting, holding the space so we can be thankful of our inner experience with our Spirit.

Meditation and Contemplation

Practices that introduce us to this process with Yoga are our gentle restorative asana practices, Pranayama for balancing masculine and feminine energies, and of course our inner relaxation which prepares us for the Flame of the Heart meditation.

I’ll leave you with some contemplation on love: a few words from one of the most beautiful pieces from Kahlil Gibran, from the Prophet, Speak to us of Love . . .

When love beckons to you follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him,

 Namaste, Susan

This class from my Youtube channel contains some of the practices above and also a Satsang on Speak to us of Love.

Social Media Resources: Facebook: Freedom To Flow Twitter: @FreedomToFlow

Four Ways to Store Up Soul-force Daily

When daily life leaves us with a mind-sapping brain drain and it seems ever harder to keep close to our connection with the Flow of the Universe, there are 4 Universal Healing Salves to repair the damage.

We live in an age of anxiety – very close to the end of Kali Yuga, or the western Astrological Age of Pisces – and because we’ve made ourselves vulnerable from dependence on technology, many, many of us are dispirited, disheartened and downright depressed. In times gone by, if you had gone to the Shaman, Medicine person or Priestess you would have been asked 4 questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweetness of silence?

Dancing, along with drumming and breathing practice – or singing and chanting – keeps us deeply connected with our roots in the Earth. Storytelling has always been humankind’s way of passing on our knowledge and giving expression to the complexities of our energies, keeping us in connection with the Mystery. And, as we know, silence [Mauna] is the state in which we acquire strengthened experience of Medha Shakti: the essential power ‘food’ for the brain, memory and intellect.

The result is a powerful force for your life which comes from the Soul [both yours and the Great Soul]: Gandhi called it Soul-force, we also know of it as God-force, it is the Transcendent force that drives the sweet essence of life: Love-force . . . as Jesus also taught.

Personally, I have tremendous focus for my work . . . from years of practising the Dhyan meditation of course . . . but this ability is in my nature and astrologically sits at the Point of Harmony in the natal western astrological chart. This kind of drive has to be balanced out . . . dancing and silence do it for me.

We can make up our own dance: use the movements from your Yogasana practise – these movements are body-language after all, they are our body-prayers to the Universe. Put on some Raga music and express yourself daily! And then take some time out every day for silence.

Enjoy!

Namaste, Susan

[NOTE: You might like to read Gabrielle Roth’s “Maps to Ecstasy” which is her account of the life- journey that took her to creating the 5 Rhythms Dance form.]

Social Media Resources: Facebook: Freedom To Flow @SoulFlowsSweetly; Twitter @FreedomToFlow YouTube Channel: youtube.com/c/susannirahilly

Nurturing our Yoga Teachers – Remembering the Seeds of Samadhi



Balance is what happens when you know in your heart something is right

 

I had a very clear vision of a network . . . and it wasn’t a social network. This vision brought a deep inner relaxation. What was coming to me was, that Yoga Teachers today might start to do what we are here for – to bring a rest and reprieve for our students from the stresses and strains of our modern world.

We are a Tribe.

We have different psychological crises than we did 2,000 – 6,000 years ago. We have different needs of our inner world, to balance our emotions so that we can handle our environment – which means “Balance” . . . our needs for balance are different today from when yoga was codified, or structured, or put into “paths” and systematised by “lineages” by the yoga masters of the past.

My heart was telling me something was not right – and, truth be told, it has been telling me this for quite some time.

My heart is usually right.

A couple of things were troubling me: media is about images and content. Yoga is full of images and content – but that is the surface, as we know. The surface illusion of “Yoga” has taken over, it suits the media . . . and to an extent it has suited us as teachers for a while: coverage of world yoga day recently was vast.

In one way that was heartlifting and positive, and yet . . . ?

The other thing that has been troubling me, for quite some time, is the need to meet the expectations of this vast image of yoga by fitting in: we fit in with community activities, we fit in with expectations of our “image” – we blog for free, we dilute our classes to suit lifestyles: both our students’ and our own. We have to pay big hire fees for our practice spaces, and we can’t always control the noise/light/heat/cold of the environment. Classes are only viable in certain social times: we accommodate by reducing the amount of time spent in pranayama to 5 minutes in an hour and a half class – and the cost has been . . . ?

The cost has been, I consider, to our compassion and our wisdom as teachers.

But mainly at a cost to our authority.

The cost has also been in diluting the yoga teachers experience in nurturing and compassion . . . because what has happened is that in the end, what is a “mind-body-spirit” path to inner life and freedom has become body-oriented with some mind-practice and the spirit has been paid lip-service to. Because most of our yoga teachers today do not spend time and practice in meditation – a reversal has taken place since my time of training when meditation was the primary focus, with philosophy and yogasanas making up our 8-steps to Samadhi.

And the Divine is our source.

But the real cost, as I have been seeing it for a good while now, is that we have surrendered our role of nurturers of the mind to a global industry in “Mindfulness” – and mindfulness does not accept the universal law of three (which is one of the abiding laws of karma) that there will always be polarities between negative and positive, “right and wrong”, “good and bad”, weak and strong – yet we grow spiritually through these because we recognise that the Divine is the source of vitality in our life: Mindfulness has become the new psychotherapy, attempting to cure imbalance with imbalance: a prescription.

Our yoga teachers need nurturing and developing, in our tradition of training the mind to train the soul . . . which is our purpose for being. Remembering the Seeds of our Samadhi is so important for us – and nurturing and growing these seeds.

If we don’t, as teachers: how do we do this for the world?

How else could we reach into our own hearts for balance, and know it is right to do this for our world?

Namaste

Susan Ni Rahilly, at the age of 63, is considered as a Master in India writing on Yoga and Meditation for Times of India, contributing as a Master to their global online community. Susan’s training and experience has been in Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga, both Iyengar and Satyananda style, and Zen. She works with deep inner listening in breathwork in practice, and trains teachers.

A Return to Innocence

 

We are continually in communication with Divinity, and Bindu Chakra, the energetic centre and psychic gateway at the back of the head is where we experience the amber nectar of immortality . . . the sweet nectar of the gods: we awaken and activate this center in our Yogic meditation practices, which essentially are a return to innocence.

Our Perfect Innocence

And of course whenever we express this kind of concept, from the cosmology and mythology of Yoga, we are talking about projecting outwards our own inner god-like qualities. Bindu Chakra represents a point in our inner cosmos, integral to our attitude to life and our relationship to the world and our environment . . . remembering our perfect innocence.

Hatha Yoga teachers would not normally teach this, as Bindu Chakra is not in their “books”. These practices come from deeper and older practices originating in the path of Tantra . . . practices which respect the experience of the vibration of the Divine within the human bodymind. So if you’re used to Hatha Yoga teaching, and you’re concerned about the way you look and how you move, these practices will be very different for you.

Reclaiming Spiritual Heritage

Right now in our evolution, some of us are reclaiming our spiritual heritage: what it involves is change, badly needed change for our world and planet. And the way we can make the necessary space for change to happen is of course to let go, to adapt, to learn and work with a process to make this happen. When we speak of process, with Yoga, we speak of practice.

So, Bindu Chakra practices. What happens with this practice, this process? We re-set our buttons . . . wash our emotions . . . straighten out our heads . . . connect with our soul . . . ancient energies and ways.

You give yourself time and space to do this: to find parts of yourself, to put yourself together into the whole. This is time and space to talk to a purer part of yourself . . . it’s a return to innocence.

The Yoga “Tribe”

As you know I’m teaching you “further than yoga”, to accelerate your spiritual vision for those of you who want to walk the Divine path through practice. And if you are drawn to Yoga, the whole of Yoga, going back to ancient teachings to go beyond in your life, then you are one of the “Yoga Tribe” in my opinion.

We are the mediators, we are the sensitive souls reawakened in the West with consciousness hidden in our memories, here at a time when the world needs us for our power to balance.

Reclaiming Power

Many of us have been suffering from erosion of Spirit for years now, stopping this erosion means reclaiming power – this power in Yoga we call Yoga Shakti. I ask you to ask yourself some questions about adapting to the changes we need to make right now in our evolution to contribute towards re-balancing power:

So, let in some light and ask yourself: where in my life do I see the need for change? And how can I let go of those things that I thought were so important, so that I can affect the change I need?

Namaste, Susan

The practices I teach for awakening of Bindu Chakra are mainly on focused concentration in my Youtube class . . . Class 25 is here

The 5 Wisdoms of Preparation for Practice

Practice, whether it’s yogasanas, meditation or simply sitting quietly breathing, is how we show our Soul that we are sincere and persistent about our intentions. Intention for practice is where the power lies for transformation, so that’s personal growth, health, self discovery, potential.

It’ll soon be summer in the non-Eastern world, our energies pick up, and many of you will have intentions of introducing some form of regular practice into your life.

Home practice is a wonderful way of supporting and re-affirming whatever you do in classes. So welcome to this guide on the wisdoms of preparation for practice, which answers some frequently asked questions, and in particular includes guidance for making your own sanctuary space.

But first, a little more about intention: intention is what brings about physical, mental, emotional and spiritual change in our lives as we re-align ourselves with our Soul and it’s eternal journey, the Supreme Soul and Consciousness. The free flow of Consciousness through every level of our being is what brings health, harmony and joy into our lives.

There are 5 Wisdoms of Preparation for Practice

First Wisdom:

Preparation is a fundamental part of any process or ritual. It signifies to your mindbody/spirit that you have commenced and are sincere about your process and practice. So we prepare our environment.

Second Wisdom:

Dedication and intention are the essence of profound healing through practice.

When we make a space dedicated with the intention of growing and evolving spiritually, we make a Sanctuary – a sacred place, a Temple if you like in your inner and outer worlds. The actual size of the space is totally unimportant as long as it is adequate for your practice.

Third Wisdom:

Inner peace is the path to personal empowerment. The Temple in your inner world requires quietness in your outer world – and, needless to say, you don’t want to be disturbed in your Temple.

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Obviously you don’t want to be disturbed by noise or interruptions whilst in your practice.

Fourth Wisdom:

Energy comes from energy. This is a Universal and spiritual law: that energy doesn’t come from nothing, but it transforms from one state or quality into another – which is the basis for profound healing transformations in our mindbody, and life.

Whatever size of space you have available, it’s really surprising how quickly a calming, peaceful environment can build up in the spot you have chosen. When you enter your space, it’s a sort of energy that builds up – very similar to the energy you feel when you enter a sacred place of holy worship. The atmosphere of your Sanctuary Space will reflect the energy you produce by your meditation and yogasanas. This energy will build up and eventually anybody who is sensitive enough would walk into the room or the space and feel this washing over them like waves of peace and comfort.

Fifth Wisdom:

The mindbody needs to be a comfortable place for the Spirit to dwell. Caring for and nourishing our spiritual body requires care and nourishment of our basic subtle bodies – in Yoga we have 5 subtle bodies: the flesh, the lower mind/emotions, body of the breath, higher wisdom-mind or intellect and intuition, and the Cosmic or bliss body.

So soft lighting is preferable, it provides a peaceful ambience. Candle-light is the best form of lighting for an otherwise darkened room.

Make sure that, especially during meditation, you feel yourself to be in a warm and moderate temperature. Whatever you do choose to wear should be loose fitting. We don’t usually wear shoes while meditating – we usually use our yoga blankets for our meditation or you might like to choose a blanket which you are going to use just solely for your meditation practice.

And finally, of course, be sensible with your diet – incorporating as many fresh fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates but not sugar. If you need to drink then have your water with you, or juice. In our practice of Yoga we believe as the Yogies taught us, that fresh foods with the highest content of life force energy are the most suitable for the Yoga practitioner because in our Saddhana, our practice, we are continually in the process of refining our energy and vibrations as we aspire to live at the level of the Soul

Enjoy your practice, I hope this guide has helped you . . .

Namaste, Susan

Susan Ni Rahilly is founder and guide at suZenYoga: spirituality, understanding, zen, energy and nutrition thro dedication to Yoga practice. The SuZen Ashram site is the home for Susan’s online teaching and practices.