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:

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

 

Advertisements

There are 2 Parts to Inner Harmony . . . Karma and Bliss

This is taken from my Satsang in my weekly Youtube meditation class, Class 20 Sacred Sound and Harmony, and it follows on from my Further Than Yoga blog Moving with the Universe . . . with Forgiveness . . . and what I said about the Divine experiencing Balance from all the opposing forces which seem to be what we have to live with in this existence.

So, this is a teaching on Harmony, and there are 2 parts to our Karma and Bliss:

We all have something crucial in common. We are all alive. We are all powered by the same vital spark – an invisible energy surges through all of us and we are all manifestations of the same divine energy. We are expressions of life. This is our belief in walking the path of Yoga.

When we truly understand this we automatically become more in tune with all things and thus we become capable of almost anything . . . or so it seems . . . as that “anything” is actually something which seems not to be coming from skills or qualities or experiences previously known . . . so it seems as if we’re capable of anything because it is impersonal. You’ve probably said yourself, and most definitely heard the words “I didn’t know I could do that . . “ “. . . . I never knew I was going to be doing this . . .”

By thinking that we are “capable of almost anything” we can either get ourselves into a head spin, get above ourselves . . . or find harmony through our bliss. To practice Yoga is to practice Equanimity.

We all have a harmonic center within each of us in our unique individual being. To find it and work in harmony with our being and our self-knowledge, we recognise that each of us is walking a path of tension – a struggle for the true self to shine through what appears to be living with opposing inner forces: what we want, and meeting the resistance and frustration of trying to be ourself.

To be in harmony and live in harmony, we recognise that life IS a balancing act of walking a path and flowing with existence – and neither of these seemingly opposing forces are in fact pulling us in opposing directions.

So we learn how to live and work from a harmonic center of being for our highest expression.

The fact is for both our Karma and our Bliss to find highest expression, we not only try to live and work with highest positive life forces we also recognise the benefit and blessings in removing opposing forces . . .

Which is a long way round of saying that each one of us has committed ourselves to using our efforts and beliefs firstly, to something that is best for us but secondly, also to something that is best for existence and which yields a unique Joy that only the Divine can experience fully – and we receive the blessings, or bliss from our actions.

And this commitment to which our Soul is bound for this existence, is our Yoga – one translation of “Yoga” in the Sanskrit is “binding” . . . we follow the path of Yoga because we have bound our Soul to a life commitment . . . we follow our Bliss . . . and practice of the path leads us to Samadhi, a “bringing” together of these energies with the Divine.

The first commitment is personal, quite conscious . . . the second is impersonal, as it’s about flow, supporting existence and may seem to be the opposite of the personal commitment we have bound our Soul to for this existence . . . so: Karma and Bliss, and balancing these two at our center and creating harmony . . . not only in our life, but for the Divine, for existence (which is the Mother) and acting as the center of our Universe.

Because we are not personally aware of the way in which we are to support existence, then we have to pay attention to and follow our signs, symbols and daily messages which are our Divine communication . . . and our practice then meets our life and takes us “further than yoga”.

As an example, my seemingly opposing forces are “Service” as following my Bliss to support existence and through which I gain in security, and “Compassion” as my Karma and through which I gain by achieving growth.

The more of us who can live in this way, the more the Divine will experience Harmony – this will radiate out from our unique individual centers of being. The less of us who live in this way, the more through the eyes of the Divine the world experiences chaos.

Which is why I teach that the time is now for us to accelerate our Spiritual Vision – seeing the Divine Communication in our daily signs, symbols and messages as we work with our life path in discovery and growth – because it affects the harmony of the whole, at the level of evolution of humanity, which is the expansion of our consciousness . . .

Then through the eyes of God, the world will be experiencing happiness . . . and our blessings will flow as we flow to support existence . . .

We simply learn to create positivity, through the most harmonious use of our Shining Self, our inner world, and our being nature.

OM . . .

[More about my Further Than Yoga teaching on my Youtube Channel]

(Source Research Material: From Karmic Astrology III:The Point of Harmony)

Your Divine Thread of Light

Reposting this for Diwali: This blog is the basis for a very simple Satsang, teaching, in my weekly Youtube  meditation class . . . a contemplation in our practice on our connection . . . our being . . . our essence . . . [Satsang in Class 17].

The phrase “Divine Thread of Light” reminds me so much of the Golden Threads of fairytale and myth which connect our hearts . . . especially in Celtic Legend . . . that we are all connected at the heart level.

And the Divine Thread of Light is a visualisation for our connection, at our being level with our core . . . our own essence, our divinity within.

Living with Divinity in your life includes living with the energy of the Divine Mother – the sacred feminine . . .

. . . and of course what has happened over the last 2,000 years or so has been . . . the devaluing of sacred feminine essence during an age often known as the age of the dark mother, Kali, and during which the qualities of nurturing, nourishing and bonding have been pushed down into the shadow of our psyches . . . neglected and denied . . . which of course means ultimately that the importance of our souls has been reduced practically to a point of invisibility . . .

More than that though, as what happens in reality and practically is th our actions and values become the oppositw of what has been made invisible . . . in this case the opposite of the shadow of the Divine Mother, the sacred feminine, is planning, achievement, goal setting, ambition. From the perspective of living with soul, this does not nourish the human heart.

What we are doing, in essence, in our practice is giving ourselves a way of reacting to our environment and responding to our relationships . . . by valuing qualities of deep self-care, nurturing and nourishing with practice and the bonding connection with all things that we value so highly . . . and, as we know, through practice the qualities of the Divine Mother, which give us the power of life within us, power of nature . . . are activated by effort: ritual, practice, awareness, belief . . .

This is the way to healing that you have within you . . . and we belief that all your life essence, the vital power of the mystery which transcends everything, is bound to a commitment you made for your soul . . . your bliss . . .

So as you know my teaching is “further than yoga”, and I’m teaching you simple practices for your daily life . . . so your life becomes about your own Divine path . . . with simplicity of Divinity . . .

Namaste, Susan

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

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.

Yamas of Yoga . . . Mind Like Sky

This is taken from a Satsang, teaching, in one of my live meditation classes:

A SATSANG ON LIVING WITH THE YAMAS OF YOGA IN YOUR LIFE . . .

blue abstract painting.

.  mind like sky .

yamas of yoga

In 1957 Swami Sivananda sent Swami Vishnu Devananda from his Ashram at Rishikesh, India to San Francisco. He sent him West with the instruction “Go, people are waiting. Many souls from the East are incarnating now in the West . . . . go and reawaken the consciousness hidden in their memories and bring them back to the path of Yoga.”

As a Western teacher, I am asked all the time: “Why do I have to love and accept myself?” It’s as if the person questioning has been given a key, but somehow doesn’t trust it? Or maybe it’s that this consciousness is still hidden in memory.

I so wish these aspirants and seekers could have been present at the first session of my Meditation training with dear Sam Singh in Bradford (Yorkshire, England). Sam was a wonderful Kashmiri man . . . which means he came from an area of India with an old matriarchal culture and tradition . . . steeped in the Vedanta tradition, as he patiently told us why we start with self-acceptance . . .

. . . this is the hardest thing for a human being, because we are so far apart from our Divine source.

And so Yoga is about the union of opposites, Divinity and Humanity, and in Yoga we start with this hard concept of loving and accepting the Self first, and go on from there. My question to myself is, “Do we ever stop?” I don’t think so . . .

I am constantly amazed and filled with awe at the art, science, history and sheer beauty of Yoga . . . And the deep intuitive life-knowledge given by such devoted people, from the Ancient Yogis, down from the Rishis to the Gurus for our benefit today: brought to us here in the West and now being given back to the East in its new form as Enlightened Wisdom teachings . . .

The Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga are just such precious gifts, and there are five of each of these. They are the practices of self-controls that teach us how to wisely use our energies in living our daily lives . . . the Yamas clear our minds and the Niyamas teach us a wise approach to life, so that our souls can flow, bringing us vitality.

The Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga are the first 2 steps on Patanjali’s eightfold path of yoga – the path that is designed to take us all the way to a realisation of the wisdom of Divine Intelligence’s plan for us all being here in this life, on this planet.

So, “How do I live with this in my Life?” would be the natural next step, the next question. Well, exactly as I did over 25 years ago, let’s start at the beginning. And I’ve added inspirational quotations for our contemplation . . .

The practice of Yamas starts with Ahimsa: this is usually interpreted as Non-violence (Gandhi’s guiding principle). But in its most positive form, this is the principle of compassion and the highest vibration of this is self-compassion. With self-compassion we can love and accept ourselves totally, as it is the Self ,that is so close to being Divine, that we are actually accepting. With this acceptance it is an easy step for the mind to grasp how to be compassionate for all humanity, and from there non-violence is just a given.

This is a beautiful quotation from Swami Vivekananda:

In one word, this ideal is that you are divine. “

Next, we move on to Satya: interpreted as Truth. In its most positive form, this principle is about expressing yourself with integrity – and being sincere. It means being kind when you have to speak the truth. At it’s highest, this is the principle of speaking from the heart when you communicate.

And this quotation is from John Lennon:

I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong. “

The third Yama is Asteya: commonly interpreted as Non-stealing. In its highest, positive form this is the principle which teaches us to only take what we need and that which is freely given. At its highest vibration it is about being generous: giving, sharing – especially giving and sharing your joy for life.

And this is from Mahatma Gandhi:

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”

Next is Brahmacharya: the interpretation of this is Transforming a vital force (normally translated as sexual energy) to a spiritual level. It is about containing sexual energy, but not necessarily about celibacy. In Yoga we work with this powerful, vital force so that it can be positively and constructively directed. In this way you respect this force for life within . . . for at its highest vibration this is the merging of divine masculine and feminine within . . . We work with it in Yoga and we train it so that it does not rule us, either our minds or our senses. In this way we transform this energy to a spiritual level.

Here is a quotation from the Buddha:

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”

And finally, Aparigraha: usually interpreted as Greedlessness, this is the principle that teaches us to break the never ending cycle of wanting what we don’t have. In its most positive form, this Yama teaches us to relax and release the grasping of the mind, detaching and observing so that we can be aware of the small world our personal desires want to create.


And this quotation is from Mother Teresa:

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

So, the first 2 steps on Patanjali’s path – that path which will reawaken consciousness hidden in your memory – are about the way we think, having a “Mind Like Sky” and the way we act, when your “Soul Flows Sweetly”. The second step, the Niyamas, is about the codes for Purity, Contentment, Self-Discipline, Self-Study and Surrender to the Flow.

The Yamas are like a cool spring breeze wafting through the fog of the mundane mind. They are guidelines to help us purify our minds, reawakening consciousness and helping us to live to our full potential.

After all, Yoga teaches that life is a creative process. The creative process isn’t always smooth, and there can be a lot of discomfort until the final product materialises (writers of the world unite!) but what is key, is that unless you go through the process you would just never know what is going to manifest.

And I had this insight the other day while creating some video clips: we’re in this creative process of life along with the Divine Intelligence. So, is this what the Universal Mind is doing with Humanity – going through the process of co-creating with us to find out what actually will manifest? To discover our potential along with us?

How wise of the Divine. How sweet is the Universal Mind. That thought grows my mind and feeds my soul.

I’ll leave you with this from Rumi:

Divine Wisdom created the world in order that all things in its knowledge should be revealed.”

Namaste, Susan

Video of this teaching from the live class is here on Youtube

And if you are in need of some beauty to heal your heart go here for Susan’s free-to-download audio readings of love poems of Pablo Neruda and Rumi, enjoy!

Ancient Steps to Mystery, Nonsense of Order . . .

Nonsense of Order
It may seem a bit nonsensical in our seemingly ordered, logical and linear world that we could jump into something as vast as self-realisation through at-one-ment with the ultimate mystery in maybe only 10 minutes of meditation. But Yoga has been described as a many threaded tapestry, all threads of which ultimately lead us to our Union, Samadhi . . . and on this Ancient path, we learn that the sacred place is where we are, and what we are doing is opening our spiritual vision to see our life in that way. This is a path of practice that is further than the Yoga that many of you know.

As I teach it, Yoga is the practice which enables us to live with Divine Communication in our lives . . .

Initiation and Transmission
In our practice of yoga meditation we follow ancient steps taking us from self-acceptance to the necessary inner peace and balance for our conversations with the Divine . . . Yoga, your Union with the Divine . . .

Yoga as we know translates as “union” or “communion” but it also means discipline – the discipline in our practice. So we’re bringing a form to our meditation practice through discipline . . . the path which leads us to the At-One-Ment, or transcending to the mystery. And it is a process of inititation, opening and growing our consciousness individually so that the vastness of the Ancient knowledge can be transmitted to us.

Simple Practice
Simple practice is important: so, for example, practice in breath flow through the subtle bodies, our Koshas, and perhaps with an ancient centering meditation, as centering brings us into the balance we need to open awareness of consciousness, and the inner peace we need for our Conversations with God . . . keeping the channel for Divine Communication open.

Contemplation
And, for contemplation, mainly for Westerners not familiar with this from the Upanishads, there are a few lines here which I’ll leave you with:

I do not know god
nor can I say that I don’t know it

If you understand the meaning of . . .
“I neither know nor don’t know . . . “
you understand god

Those who realise
that god cannot be known
truly know

Those who claim that they know
know nothing

This is Susan’s teaching in her Youtube Class

Namaste, Susan

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