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

 

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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)

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.

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

3 Ways to Heal Guilt with Yoga

A religion, a belief system or a way of life will not necessarily suit all those born into it.

For some it will work.  For others it will be damaging. And you’ll feel worse than a “fish out of water” – you’ll feel, or be made to feel, guilty about it.  From personal experience I can only write about my own past and the healing I was able to do with the help of the whole of Yoga.

The lonely legacy of Catholic guilt  is what I call the left-over loneliness that comes from low self-esteem, the pain and hurt from the damage of the catholic way (that’s the family way, schooling community etc) and also the confusion and conflict from the twistings in the teaching – especially about our origins as humans.  It leaves you lost as to how the world works – and to how people really behave and why.

But nothing stays the same forever, and everything is constantly changing. There’s compensation in everything.  In every ‘wrong’ there is the potential for ‘right’, if you look for it.  And Yoga gave me the way to find the ‘right’ in my life when I was healing from Catholic guilt.  Many people have shared with me that my writing of the experience of guilt and the healing from it has helped enormously:  Asian women and men also associate with the family and community stuff, along with Presbyterians and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The need for healing seems to be Universal.

Healing with Yoga is profound, deep and lasting.  It helps, in my experience, with a new stronger outlook, with your identity, values and lifestyle changes. Here are 3 ways I found to heal guilt with Yoga:

Letting Go
Awareness and acceptance of what has happened is the first step. For that you usually need quiet downtime. Releasing the past and letting go takes time and it also takes a certain state of mind . Relaxation in Yoga is one of the most profound ways of reaching a state of deep contemplation for the letting go to happen.

Try this for free:  Relaxing from  Seeds of Yoga Meditation Part 2 [ free downloads audio guided meditations link below].

Flushing Out The Sadness
Letting the feelings of sadness or loneliness come up, the emotions to surface and flow and allowing them to wash through are all deeply therapeutic techniques of Yoga. Stillness and breath flow really help.   Simply learning to slow down enough to be still and silent is a powerful thing to give yourself.  Allowing your emotions to do the work for you, allowing the breath to breathe you is an amazing gift to yourself and it’s a gift that you control.

Try this for free:  Breathing from Seeds of Yoga Meditation Part 1  [free downloads audio guided meditations link below].

Wipe The Slate Clean
Contemplation is one of the steps on the path to meditation – it allows the mind to settle down into the state of silence necessary for meditation – it allows your thoughts to come up into awareness for your mind, body and emotional system to heal,  for you to make sense of your experiences and put them into some place on your soul’s path.  Then you can wipe the slate clean and face the future. Contemplation in Yoga is an ancient practice of learning from the teacher’s truths. You may have been told forgiveness is the way to healing?  Well, this is how you start . . .

Try this for free:  Forgiving  from Seeds of Yoga Meditation Part 2  [free downloads audio guided meditations link below].

Remember what I said about origins? Well, growing what I understood about the origins of Yoga, some of the fascinating stories about the Yogis, gave me a  frame in my head to think about how life can be better and vital.  It’s an amazingly powerful legacy – better than guilt any day.

Namaste,

Susan

Seeds of Yoga Meditation parts 1 and 2 Free Audio Guided Meditations link is here.

Note: And if you do have healing to do with guilt and Catholic guilt you can read more about Susan’s healing approach here and/or listen to video podcasts here.

3 simple and almost effortless ways to grow spiritually every day for budding buddhas . . .

We’ve just had the Spring Equinox and it’s the real start to the year, here in the Western world. I re-post this blog every year at this time, but this year we had the powerful solar eclipse just hours before the Equinox. For the world, this has meant the very end of the Age of Pisces, the end of the era of dominant religions, Patriarchy and Saviour/Messiahs. 

This blog is the result of my insights into how much a year can change your life . . . and this year really is the first year for the growth of the individual and our enlightenment through our own integrity and handling our own issues . . .

. . .  simplicity and grounding will be key, I feel, and so my suggestions below are for those of you who’d like to evolve and grow on a daily basis throughout the coming year: may the buds of your buddha-hood open and blossom.

But, first a bit of a story: I was living in Saltaire, Yorkshire (UK) in the mid-90’s, intensely into my Yoga and Meditation training and dreaming of the day when I could be independent as a Meditation Teacher. I had made my bathroom in my apartment very soothing and beautiful. I had a few Meditation “clients” coming on a regular basis. By 1995 I had found a few simple ways to incorporate zen into my daily life.  And I had been given a little book for xmas 1994 – Daily Meditations for 1995 by Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov.

I put the little book in my bathroom, made a lovely bookmark, and started 1995 with the intention of reading my meditations every morning for the year so that I would be the sincere and dedicated student my teachers deserved. I resolved to grow and evolve steadily and patiently and to look back through the book every two or three months to assess my progress.

What I didn’t expect was that everyone who visited me in my apartment during that year, was enjoying doing the same thing! I got used to people asking if the bathroom was free as soon as they arrived and disappearing for 5 minutes or so quiet time on their own . . . .

Before I give you my 3 simple insights for (almost) effortless spiritual growth, I’d like you to know one very important and fundamental thing to guide and support you on your path of development.

And it is this: Your teacher, guru or your master knows you are not neurotic. Your teacher knows that all you have to do is sit . . . . meditate, sit in stillness or contemplation, practice with honesty and integrity and your buddha nature will awaken – your divine self will shine through. And you must be sincere in your practice, for you do not come to your guru on your ground . . . you come to the teacher or master on his or her ground. And they will allow you to have evolved a little more every time they see you.

So, 3 very simple ways to grow and evolve on a daily basis.

Read daily inspirations:

Choose a source of inspiration that you can draw on consistently: you could follow one or two poets – my suggestions would be Rumi, Pablo Neruda or Kahlil Gibran.

To introduce you to Neruda and Rumi: go here for my free-to-download readings of their love poems.

Give up one weakness and grow one strength every day:

You were born with wisdom. You are a being of energy. You were also born with “shadows”. Your shadows are your weakness or neuroses – we all have them. You can consciously take control of your self and keep moving from the shadow to the light by strengthening the good stuff and letting the weaknesses wither away and die.

This practice takes a few minutes contemplation every day and keeping a journal helps to see what makes you bigger and what makes you smaller. An example of wisdom energy would be: having a profound sense of spaciousness; and the opposite weakness would be: getting very absorbed in a small world. Another wisdom would be: seeing the big picture and having a largeview; and the corresponding weakness would be: being rigid and tight and dogmatic.

Give up one expectation – especially about relationships – every day!

As you now know, you are a buddha with the potential to awaken, and not a neurotic to your teacher in Zen as long as you are sitting in Meditation regularly. Your friend, “other” partner, lover etc is also a buddha . . . give up one expectation in your relationships every day and give the people in your life the respect your teacher gives you in allowing them to have evolved a little every time you see them.

So, I’ll leave you with this thought: evolving and growing spiritually creates magic in our lives, so that we can know the miracle of setting ourselves free . . . and here’s one of those Daily Meditations I told you about to set you on your path for the coming year,  . . . enjoy!

Knowledge must be lived if it is to remain with you for all eternity.

The only thing that will not disappear, the only thing that you can take with you into the next world, is the knowledge that you have proved for yourself in your own life; the knowledge that has become an integral part of your being.” Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, Daily Meditations, February 19th 1995.

If you are setting out on the path to opening up spiritually, HERE is a free-to-download introduction to Yoga Meditation in the SuZen teaching style.

Namaste, Susan

Note:  As of today, and whilst I am writing my book on the Spirit of Zen in our lives, the suzenyoga website is inactive . . . after the eclipse, I went through an exercise of reclaiming my power from the invisible “master” of the internet*: My LinkedIn and SpeakingTree profiles are now private, My Twitter and Facebooks are on private alerts. This blog and the FreedomToFlow Twitter still feed my Amazon Author page.

* I didn’t choose for the internet to be my “master” or my Patriarch, but somehow I got told as did most of us, that we had to be subservient to it, give them all our free creative content and be grateful for the little they give us. I’m enjoying the liberation this little gap of freedom is giving me for my own creativity – a small act of power-reclaiming but a big step for liberation.