First Steps in Walking the Divine Path with Equality

Exotic eye of goddess woman. Elena Ray

Exotic eye of goddess woman. Elena Ray

 

This is taken from my Satsang in Class 12 of my weekly Youtube meditation class in the Yogic tradition, and it is part 2 of my teaching on Spiritual Vision and our need to accelerate it through our practice and dedication to Yoga . . . bringing together a few principles of practice which take us on our first steps to opening, and expanding our awareness so that with practice, and dedication to our practice, our Sadhana, with Yoga we can accelerate our spiritual vision to live with Divine Communication in our lives as we walk the Divine Path . . .

With Yoga, we balance in posture and relaxation with samastitihi, equal standing . . . bringing balance to our consciousness with physical balance and bodymind awareness . . . which is also a coming into the present and being in the now of our practice, aware that all things are equal in this moment . . .

With Pranayama and breath flow with Sama Vritti practice to bring equal flow of breaths, or fluctuations in our breathing, for balance in consciousness at the level of the breath and energy in our subtle bodies . . . bringing a balance to the inner and outer experience . . . life flowing in and life within us flowing . . . in this constant dance of energy . . . balance being the self-control we can bring to this constant dance . . .

And with Samadrishti in contemplation, as we will practice now in Satsang, for our understanding of expectation in expanding our spiritual vision . . . the enlightened awareness practice of equality for balance . . .

So . . . Samadrishti . . . the Drishtis in Yoga are the gazes . . such as nose-tip gazing, focus on the eyebrow centre . . . or horizon gazes. There are 9 of these physical focussing gazes . . . but there is also the drishti which focuses our consciousness on the concept, and our belief in Yoga, that as the Divine is in all things, we see all things as equal . . . and especially, all people are equal and we practice this equality of vision by honouring the spirit that dwells within each and every one of us . . . our practice of Namaste . . .

We use our belief in Samdrishti, equality, equal vision to bring equanimity, the quality of steadiness of mind and also nobility of character . . . seeing that as the divine is in all things, all things are equal . . . and balance is in all things.

Which ultimately means we can let go of expectations which are not our own, and which aren’t serving us positively . . . expectations based on life choices of parents, family or community or circumstances now outdated and outgrown . . . expectations based on old fears or outworn images for our lives . . . because the dance of energy which is the Divine and Divine Mother flowing through all things is constantly balancing and moving us forward along the path chosen by our souls . . . and, chosen by us all collectively at this moment in our history and evolution.

Letting go of expectations means growing, expanding, moving . . . always into balance . . . living with expectation of divine communication in all things . . . spiritual vision . . .

With our dedication and devotion to practice in Yoga, the whole of Yoga, we’re expanding our spiritual vision, seeing the Divine action in all things, with practices which bring balance to our bodymind, our character and actions, and our consciousness . . .

. . . in our lives this means . . . we have the inner strength, and wisdom to support the transformative flow of energy and love from our heart chakra . . . and we can, with balance, transform this into SOMETHING that positively affects us, our lives, our planet, our future . . . and our Sadhana, our practice when we merge with the Divine consciously and with total devotion, then can meet our lives . . .

. . . because we see “the one” in everything around us, Spiritual Vision, we can live with Divine Communication in our lives . . . which primarily means listening . . . watching . . . observing . . . interpreting meaning and direction . . . then we can expand and accelerate our Spiritual Vision and work with it in our lives as we walk the Divine path.

Namaste, Susan

Credit: Image is Exotic eye of goddess woman. Elena Ray @OldChineseMan

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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.

The Inner Sacred Sanctuary

Visionary Ruin

INNER SACRED SANCTUARY

Namaste and welcome,  I’ve been teaching this Inner Sanctuary Meditation for well over 20 years now, and I used to use this in a therapeutic way for healing with the deeply healing techniques of yoga meditation with individuals, and I know it’s power.

This is a long meditation, about 40 minutes,  which is a visualisation in the yogic way, and the power of visualisation is that your meditation will change as you progress and change. The change of course is in your inner world. I’ve included this meditation in my teaching, free Youtube classes, as an important part of your development and growth on the Yoga Path.

I’m teaching this in Class 24 of my classes for its power to take you to a place where you can bring an order and method to your inner world to attain balance and inner peace. Ultimately to take you to the inner silence, in the stillness, that we need to “go to temple” . . . I do explain that in more detail in the introduction to the meditation, we mean the “temple in man”.

And when we talk about energy . . . life force, vital energy or prana . . . remember we are also talking about the energy within the body . . . the power of nature, livingness . . . known as shakti, goddess, kundalini, divine feminine or mother energy . . . the force of creation.

I’ll remind you of what we know about earth energy . . . remember Einstein and that it’s not only gravity holding matter down on this planet, but a force which is upwards from the planet . . . earth energy, electromagnetic energy, telluric forces as Steiner named them:  of course in our system of yogic belief and understanding we know this is Prana within the earth, our planet, which is moved by the cosmic breath . . . the Mother of the Breath.

My job is simply to show you the way to practice in your daily life, with simplicity of Divinity: there’s no big training for our classes on my Youtube channel, but you can review the classes on my channel for technique and practice which will help with focus and concentration, breath awareness and more, for meditation in the yogic tradition . . .

. . . enjoy your practice, Namaste,
Susan

 

Essence of Yoga Meditation website is here

Twitter : @suzenyoga @furtherthanyoga

Facebook: SuZen

The Language of The Heart

Sacred Heart

Language of the Heart Youtube Meditation Class

The heart has its own language, it’s a silent language of devotion, compassion, kindness and trust. In our Yoga practice we have many, many practices to work with this energy center, the space of the heart, and so I usually teach these over a few classes or workshops.

Our yogic practices help us in opening to our spiritual vision through the silent language of the heart . . . and through dedication to our yoga practice we open, activate and accelerate our spiritual vision so we can work with the divine in our lives. So 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.

This is what we are doing right now in our evolution, bringing all the wisdom from our ancient practice together so that we can aspire to the highest creative values for the future.

The language of the heart is silent . . . we call it the “unstruck sound” in the Heart Chakra. And 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.

I usually start my teaching by introducing the meditator to the inner relaxation process, so we can start on inner listening. We have heart chakra meditation practice with the hridaya heart hand mudra to subtly and powerfully direct Prana to the space of the heart . . . and bringing together pranayama and breath awareness in the So Ham meditation which means “I AM THAT, THAT I AM . . “

When the Heart Chakra is opened and activated, communicating in its silent language in your inner world of the self, then we understand how it “talks” to our other Chakras especially Guru Chakra, the center of our Wisdom.

namaste, enjoy, Susan

From my heart to yours: a free-to-download audio of Susan reading the Love Poems of Pablo Neruda and Rumi. Enjoy

Eating your Shadow – a way to balance

In Eastern philosophies and cultural ways of being, the light, the energy, personal hope and inner freedom has been found in dealing with the Shadow.

As far as I know, this self-growth practice and process pre-dated Hinduism in India – moving from the dark to the light has always been the soul’s path in Yoga, with the soul power manifesting right at the moment you discern what the choice before you is.

This is my way of teaching the practice – there’s more in Brenda Shoshanna’s book Zen Miracles: Finding Peace in an Insane World:  see the Books page.

So, how do you Eat Your Shadow?

First, Make Friends with the Unacceptable:  Become aware of the qualities you find ugly or unacceptable in others, writing down a list if that helps. Then, realise that these are qualities that also exist within yourself. Make peace with these qualities, both within and without.

The more we repress aspects of ourselves, hiding from them and ignoring them, and project them onto others, the more power these qualities have over us, and the greater likelihood they will appear in our lives as symptoms, bad dreams, or repetitive situations which we feel we have no control over. This has been called the shadow of a human being since ancient times. Carl Jung did much good work on the way we dump all the unacceptable parts of ourselves into our unconscious, and let it fester there as we hide from it.  We then see these qualities in those people and situations that are around us.

Eat Your Shadow:  In order to be free of this process, we “eat our shadow”.  This means we must reclaim and own these hidden qualities, realise they are part of us, and welcome them into our lives.  The very act of welcoming certain qualities or people takes the steam out of them.  We can then “digest” and absorb the energy and transform them into something constructive. (from Zen Miracles)

Zen practice is the practice of doing this – “eating the shadow”, sitting and knowing that we ourselves contain the entire world.

Freeing ourselves to be human.

Accepting Your Good – Healing is Revolution in Your Life

Healing is revolution. Healing is about change. Healing comes through “Accepting your own Good”.

The change that you bring about through healing, is in being able to accept yourself and your own good. You change from being guilty about your existence, to a state of accepting the goodness in just being your self.

Eastern Philosophy, especially Vedanta, teaches that every one of us is part of the Universal power. Meditation and practice confirm this. It’s like being a spark of a huge energy source. This source of energy, this power we have been taught to call ‘god’ as part of Western religion, is believed to be omni-present, omni-loving, omni-powerful (present in everything, all-loving and all-powerful). Those of us who experience this in practice know it to be true, because this energy source is so beyond the human imagination, the power of the love in everything can only be experienced by the higher parts of our minds and beings. This vast energy source, this concept of Divinity, is pure love, pure “good”.

And so are you. Because you come from the same source of Universal energy.

So if you are part of this ‘god’, you are naturally good. You were born good.

Basic goodness is our birthright. Accepting your own good is a principle of healing. We must start to trust ourselves and believe we are good. Then we can gradually become aware of all those things that hid this basic goodness from us because of out-dated conditioning. This process is often not easy. But by doing this, accepting basic goodness, you will set in motion a healing process.

Healing is not always easy. Accepting your own good is hard when you’ve always been told you are bad or wrong or shamed . . . or simply that because you are human you are guilty.

I am often asked why I use the word “good” instead of “goodness”, it’s not grammatical and I’m not making a point. I’m simply using “good” as opposed to “evil” or “bad”. Guilt in your own being often means you have been led to believe you are “bad” in some way . . . and very few of us are really, genuinely, evil as far as I have experienced.

Accepting your own good is strange when you’ve been badly damaged. But that acceptance is a place you have to get to if you are going to be healed and whole. The result is that your life changes completely, it turns around – like a revolution.

When I started healing my life, from Catholic Guilt and an abusive childhood, in my head I could accept absolutely that everyone of us must be good. My deepest belief is we are all part of the universe’s energy. It’s something I’ve always known intuitively – I’ve always looked for the spark of goodness in everyone I’ve ever met.

 I now know, through my fascination for the science of spirituality, that actually science can prove what practice always taught us intuitively, the centre of the Universe is in you and your life, and the centre of the Universe is everywhere because we are all connected in living in this whole power source of life. We are all sparks of goodness indeed.

But because of the guilt of being, deep inside myself I couldn’t accept the good until I healed all the damage. Little by little as I let the old rubbish fall away, like peeling away skins of an onion, I became more and more aware of goodness and what it means to a woman, or simply a human being. Until I finally understood, until I knew this is the way we were created. Our true self is good. When our souls are healed and free, then basically we are goodness itself.

 We can let our souls out of the prisons they’ve been in since the moment we were born into the life circumstances that damaged us – knowing this was not accidental but that it was part of the plan for our life and spiritual growth. And, then, truly start treating ourselves as though we were those perfect sparks of life energy. We can start to value ourselves highly.

From: Daddy’s Girl’s Guilty as Hell, Susan Ni Rahilly

Susan Ni Rahilly is founder of suZenYoga: Spirituality, Understanding, Zen, Energy and Nutrition through dedication to Yoga.

The Culture of Tomorrow

At a time when the world seems to be at a loss, rejecting past values
without being able to establish new ones, Yoga is the most valuable
inheritance of the present.  It is the essential need of today…..and
the culture of tomorrow…..

Swami Satyananda

We can each one of us only ever be of the generation we’re born into. The culture of tomorrow in our world will be experienced by each generation differently. For myself, I see this experience of tomorrow in helping shaping the new culture, the new values. Practice for many years has proved to me and other teachers, that the values of practice, time and dedication work for us very beneficially.

If the global consciousness is going to make a leap shortly, we as teachers are here to say you will be making quantum leaps forward in your own consciousness and we are also here to say: “ . . . cope with it by doing this and this and this . . . “

Lao Tzu said: “I have only 3 things to teach: simplicity, patience and compassion – and with these 3 you can go a long way.” As a teacher, I think I too have only 3 things to teach: meditate, exercise the body-mind, live simply.

My own appreciation of the qualities of my own generation and the teacher I’ve become as a result, has brought me to conclude that a quantum leap in our consciousness as human beings is probably more imminent than we think; and it will change our thinking entirely. However, the generation that will change this world vastly for the future will not be mine, nor the parents of the present, but the children. Only they have the minds that are capable of evolving to be able to think of new solutions for our future.

Personally, I’m shaping my values for the culture of tomorrow by believing that I’m here as a teacher to teach the children well, and to teach their parents and assorted grown-ups in awareness to guide them. And of course, as ever, here for the new wave of aspirants and hungry seekers of consciousness.

I hope the following will uplift and inspire you on your path:

When asked by Alan Watts what his Yoga was, Joseph Campbell replied: “My Yoga is underlining sentences in books!”

Sheldon Kopp: “We must live within the ambiguity of partial freedom, partial power, and partial knowledge of life . . . but every so often it all seems so worth it.”

 I like this from one of the astrologers I’ve followed since the ’80’s, Jonathan Cainer: “ ‘The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.’ So said philosopher Lao Tzu, who lived a long time ago by our standards. But by the standards of the Universe, he was here just a moment ago. Time takes on a very different meaning if we stop to think about our existence in relationship with the Universe as a whole. So does hope. And happiness. “

 I’m precis-ing Deepak Chopra here: . . . countless generations have cared deeply for the future of the world that you now experience, and it’s now up to us in turn to care for the future of humanity,

 And, Dainin Katagiri says: “Zazen is to realise exactly who you are. This is all you have to do. You will know true peace and tranquillity. This helps not just you but others as well. Just experience zazen as perfect harmony – harmony that must be shared with all beings.”

 And finally, the Dalia Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he replied: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Oh God

I have discovered love!

How marvelous, how good, how beautiful it is! . . .

I offer my salutation

To the spirit of passion that aroused and excited this whole universe

And all it contains.

Rumi

 Please give yourself some TLC and self-care with this free relaxation download Relax from the Help I Need Yoga section in the Ashram of the suzenyoga.com website.
Namaste, Susan

Susan’s note: Sources: Swami Satyananda Saraswati: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha; Sheldon B. Kopp: If you meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!; C. Alexander and Annellen Simpkins: Simple Zen; Dainin Katagiri: You have to Say Something; Deepak Chopra: How to Know God.

SuZenYoga is about dedication to practice of Zen, Meditation and Yoga, it stands for spirituality, understanding, Zen, energy and nutrition through Yoga. Founder Susan Ni Rahilly says: “I’m delighted to be your teacher and guide during these exciting times in human existence: a time when we are so close to a new dawn of re-balancing our world – and I aim to teach simply and with inspiration and hope. Practice may not be easy, but it’s the only Way for some of us.”