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.

 

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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.

What My Heart Is Telling Me

I had a major Venus and Saturn alignment to start the year, January 1 2018, For me, it’s about us all being united through our hearts and my role as a Teacher and grounding this.

What my heart is telling me is that I can no longer be caught up in the Western way of charging for Meditation. It doesn’t suit me and it gives me heartache and headaches.

My Teacher initiated me to initiate those who need it into a system which empowers us to live well with Life Force, which as Teachers we do by Transmission of the Knowledge. This is always given freely to those who are committed to learning.

Or, it was – until the West [and India now] – got hold of the idea that it could be packaged and sold as a product. “It” can’t be, else it is diluted.

I can’t do that. The force of the Life Force is too powerful and the Teacher knows that it is meant to be shared and not diluted.

So, today my heart is telling me to be who I truly am, to set my own heart free and enjoy the joy of Teaching and sharing freely.

I have plenty of potential for making money through my writing and future TV projects. From today, I’ll work through and set the various Meditation downloads and courses free, removing the charges – and I’ll set myself free from being caught up in a system I never was supposed to be part of.

It’ll take a while but it will be a liberating labor of love for me. So if you do come across a product or course that you would like to have for your growth and development in the meanwhile, do please send a message and I’ll send you a link to the free download.

I wish you all happiness, health and prosperity in 2018 and most of all, I wish you freedom and love.

Namaste
Susan

FACEBOOK:  The SuZen Facebook page has now migrated over to Freedom To Flow @SoulFlowsSweetly and links to my teaching and writing will all be on that page now.

TWITTER: @FreedomToFlow

YOUTUBE: youtube.com/c/susannirahilly There are 30 full length Yoga Meditation classes for you to work through.

18 Ways to Find Balance in 2018

I usually publish my list in January every year, and have done since 2012! But this year I want to revive a ritual from the Ancients, where the last 5 days of the year were held as a “window for magic” . . . So, this is the list of ways for 2018:

Balance in your life, as far as I know it as a teacher, comes with the steps to life-freedom, which is the philosophy of Yoga, together with practice, and values for your life . . . but, there have been so many wise teachers, with much wisdom to share with us and many of us are seeking balance in our lives. It’s an approach to living that can go a long way in a year.

For 2018 I wanted to write about a lasting approach to getting balance. I couldn’t get to interview the people I would have liked to for this article, and so this is a roundup of what I think they would have answered to my question “How do you get Balance?” based on their famous quotations.

1. Your Meditation is your medication … once it has worked for you, you throw away the medication, throw away the Meditation and get a new one. Osho.

2. If you can’t let it go, let it in. Dainin Katagiri

3. You can’t get there from here, and besides there is no place to go. Sheldon Kopp

4. Nothing is missing, Zen Master Lin-Chi ….. the ordinary person probably does already live with zen values.

5. Appreciate happiness: happiness seems like such a small thing when you have it, but when it’s gone you realise how big it really is. Gorky

6. I have only 3 things to teach: simplicity, patience and compassion. Lao Tzu 7th Century Zen master

7. Know Joy, as in … May all beings know joy … (from the 4 Noble Truths of Zen)

8. Anywhere you are is a sacred place. Joseph Campbell

9. Learn to forgive yourself, again, and again, and again . . . (I couldn’t resist getting another wisdom in from Sheldon Kopp’s Laundry List)

10. Religion is not realisation; not talk, nor doctrine, not theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes, into knowledge. That is religion. Swami Vivekananda

11. Spend some time alone every day. (from the Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules To Live By)

12. This is from Astrologer Rob Brezny:  Cultivate mental and emotional states that ripen us to be ready for anything:  form a strategy to avoid being enthralled with the hypnotic lure of painful emotions, past events, and worries about the future;

13. Don’t forget to break the rules ….. Dalai Lama, Sheldon Kopp, Zen, suZen

14. All teachers make a contribution to Yoga. My contribution is Gibberish – every day talk meaningless Gibberish for a few minutes to clear the mundane mind. Swami Vivekananda

15. Balance is what happens when you know in your heart something is right …. from suZen.

16. Be in awe of the mystery . . . this quote from a man to whom harmony in the Universe was of prime importance, something Albert Einstein said with great beauty and lucidity:

“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the sower of all true art and science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself with the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the centre of true religiousness and art.”

17. All is Well. The ultimate life-lesson of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna to Arjuna.

18. You can’t eat money. Those of us who do have choices several times a day can choose inner peace and balance in living with the energy of food. (Inspired by “When the last tree has gone . . . “ Geronimo?)

Namaste, Susan

Social Media Resources: Facebook: Freedom To Flow; Twitter: @FreedomToFlow; Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/c/susannirahilly

Accelerating Spiritual Vision with the Guru Wisdom Within

Youtube Video Satsang is here

 

An essential part of accelerating our Spiritual Vision through our practice with Yoga, is the deep understanding that we are balancing the power of nature – the Divine Feminine energy within us, or Shakti – with the power of love, through opening and nurturing the heart centre or space in the heart, Hridayakasha, with the life power of wisdom . . . and our practices involve inner culturing and growth . . .

Wisdom IS . .  . it has often been called “thusness” or “suchness” . . . it is energy and it is a power, a life energy within us.

You are already a very wise person on the inside. Allow the seeds of wisdom within you to blossom, grow and strengthen in your Yoga practice. You can experience more of your own wisdom as you experience proving your own knowledge to yourself in your life – and also expanding and growing in your development with Yoga.

As you uncover more and more of your own Wisdom Energy, the Guru Within awakens and your inner confidence in your own innate abilities for inner guidance develops.

The term “Guru Within” comes from the quality of Ajna Chakra or the “Guru” Chakra, the forehead or eyebrow center, one of our psychic gateways to consciousness. We embody Guru quality, or Wisdom within.

In Yoga we have this beautiful concept for growth: and it’s that of cultivating ourselves like a garden; Yogic Gardening or cultivating our senses, qualities and emotions. So we tend and care for the ground of ourselves, as we ourselves in mindbody emotions and spirit are delicate and as full of potential as seeds . . . and as we blossom and grow in our lives and our practice, co-emergent energies need diligent tending – we make sure to pull out the messiness of the weeds so that the beauty, the light of our flowers can bloom strongly in fullness.

And of course Yoga takes you on such an amazing journey with Meditation – a journey to self-acceptance and peace with self through Balance. This is a journey which is always leading us away from shadows towards the light. Discovery that your own inner wisdom energies have just been waiting to emerge all the while is nothing short of amazing. Discovering opposite poles of light and shadow help you grow and build your inner confidence in the wise person you really are on the inside: the Guru Within.

We have a few practices in Yoga for cultivating our emotions, growing emotionally and uncovering wisdom – connecting with the Guru Within.

Yogic Gardening

As we know, those of us who practice meditation are aware that opening up to divine energies, both the divine and the divine mother, these powers within build and we need to balance . . . physically, energetically and emotionally and spiritually . . . in order to contain such power within our human bodymind systems . . . and as we know the practice of our physical postures was developed to build the strength needed for containment of these forces.

So, Yogic Gardening . . . What a delightful way of describing the practice in Yogasana, whereby we guide the mind into the body and focus on points of tension, the neuromuscular knots that come up into awareness, breathing into them and releasing them with the breath and the mind. In this practice we become more aware of the body’s wisdom and intelligence. With practice we can ask the questions: “Why was I holding that there . . . ?” and “How come I reacted that way to that . . . ?” and very commonly “How long has that been there . . . ?”

Passive Supportive Practice

Being supported by soft props and supports so that we can relax into deep postures is very powerful and releasing. Don’t forget that even the good things in life can cause us conflict, moving on in life often means leaving things behind which does cause us stress and loss.

Examples of this practice would be as I taught you in Class 9 of my Youtube weekly meditation classes a few weeks ago : Supported Forward Bend, sitting in an easy cross leg position, with a pillow across the knees to relax into in the Forward Bend; and Breathing with a Bolster, where we lie down over the bolster, supporting the spine, and just breathe while taking the mind down to the heart space, lower back, abdomen and hips. In this practice we simply allow the body to surrender and let layers of tension be peeled away.

Breath and surrender take us to new places of awareness in our mindbody and emotions. We give ourselves the time and space to peel away layers of accumulated tension with the deep breathing in the practice taking us to the bridge between the unconscious, conscious mind (mundane mind) and consciousness. Teaching us patience, detachment and discernment.

Contemplation, Visualisation and Meditation

Contemplation is a powerful step on the Yoga Path to self-understanding. Taking time for yourself on a regular basis will so enrich your journey towards knowledge of self.

Assume a posture you can relax into: Corpse, easy cross leg, Reclining Buddha; pay attention to your breathing, focus on your grounding and centering with the breath . . . . sit quietly . . . allow yourself to be still.

Reviewing your life on, say, a weekly basis will help you tune into your strengths and weaknesses – obviously with the intention of letting the weaknesses just wither away like weeds.

Visualisation, say for example using colour to identify strengths and weaknesses, helps you grow in self-confidence. You’ll connect with the visual qualities of your mindbody system and give yourself an incredibly powerful tool for growth.

You could visualise a colour for each of your energies . . . . mental, emotional, physical, spiritual – and strengthen the colours when you encounter feelings and senses of weakness. So, for example: what makes you feel bigger and what makes you feel 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.

Meditation.  This is a journey which is always leading us away from shadows towards the light: the Guru Within.

Your Guru or inner Wisdom energies are waiting to emerge. And you will gain inner strength and confidence from knowing that you can be in control as you move along the path of your expansion and growth in your spiritual life . . . all we need to do on a regular basis is grow the strengths and let the weaknesses wither away and die.

You are a very wise person within . . . Wisdom IS.

Namaste, Susan

Youtube Video Satsang is here

The Silent Language of the Heart

The language of the heart is silent . . . we call it the “unstruck sound” in the Heart Chakra. The essence of all that is, is in the heart centre . . . the essence of Divinity within you.

So, you are what you ARE not what you do. In Yoga we know what we are made of, through experience of the Koshas, our subtle bodies, which surround the germ of the Self. And we say “I AM THAT I AM . . .” in silence and self-awareness for clearer, deeper self-knowledge.

Through dedication to our Yoga practice we open, activate and accelerate our Spiritual Vision: seeing life in an energetic way, with spiritual eyes, so we can work with the Divine in our lives. Essentially what this means is learning to recognise our signs, symbols and messages from the Universe about existence flowing through our lives. Most of these are silent, non-verbal communications from the Divine and the Divine Mother. Then through dedication to our practice we turn intuitions, feelings, fleeting inspirations into enduring behaviour supported by values and meaning.

Heart Chakra practices help us in opening to our Spiritual Vision through the silent language of the heart. We have so much practice in Yoga for the heart centre that continuing this theme of our work becomes a life practice. We work on the inner relaxation process, so we can focus on inner listening . . . in Heart Chakra meditation practice with the Hridaya heart hand mudra strengthens focus on the Flame in the Heart. Bringing together Pranayama and breath awareness in the So Ham meditation helps us learn the silent meaning of “I AM THAT, THAT I AM . . “

Namaste, Susan

In this Youtube meditation class there is a Satsang on the Path of the Heart, and practices on inner relaxation and So Ham.

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