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

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Living Simply, Yoga and Balancing Your life . . .

I posted a former blog, Balancing Your Life by Living Simply with Yoga on my Speaking Tree India blog and had the most amazing responses asking for greater clarification of some of the steps to living simply (and to date the blog itself has had over 5900 views and 230-some responses): so the message was clear : simplify the teaching and elaborate on the writing. And I hope this is helpful.

Simple Living is about living consciously and in the moment. Consciousness is about awareness and this “Simple Living” process helps you to raise your awareness of how you’re living your life – and teaches you to live in the magic of life unfolding. An awakening to what is real in life.

As a teacher, I think I have only 3 things to teach: meditate, exercise the body-mind, live simply and with these 3 our health will go a long way.

And here are some of the steps:

Step One:

Meditate. Give yourself time for deep inner nurturing and nourishing.

Making time for our spiritual care is as, if not more, important as making time to eat, sleep, work, socialise. This can begin with 10 minutes a day.

It is the act of creating a “space” in time which is only for the spirit which begins to build an inner structure deep within the bodymind . . . and then this is the basis of our deep nourishing of the self with meditation.

So the simple steps here are: make time, make space. Focus on posture, breathing and silence. Practice regularly.

There are a couple of free downloads I offer, Seeds of Yoga Meditation Parts One and Two, and I would recommend downloading Part One and practising “Sit” and “Breath” to begin: you can download and save to your desktop for regular practice, here.

Step Two:

Go to the “sweetspot” regularly! Listen to meditative music. The Ancient Yogis believed we have a little sac of “Amber Nectar” (the nectar of the Gods) deep within our brains, at the pineal gland. The way to connect with our “sweetspot” is through relaxation and music, raising our vibrations.

There have been many pointers to us from the Ancients in many civilisations that the pineal gland is the point of access for us to our souls and the flow of Consciousness.

In Yoga we understand this as Bindhu Chakra (back of the head, midpoint of the brain). Where we are always receiving the flow of Consciousness . . .  we are in communication with the Divine through our Soul’s connection.

The Ancient Yogis had the beautiful concept of a sac of Amber Nectar here – our own individual nectar of the Gods.

In our Yogasana practice this is why we practice inverted postures, to replenish our Amber Nectar and to reverse the process of our precious “nectar” being burned out by the anger of the solar plexus.

The Ancients believed that, to open ourselves to this sweet nectar of the Gods, we listen to beautiful music and poetry, appreciate beauty in both art and poetry . . . anything that brings us the vibration of the Universe through our senses at a higher level.

One Meditation for this is “No-Mind” meditation through the Chakras, with Unmani Mudra which is the attitude of mindlessness: meaning the state beyond thought, no mind, meditation . . . a simple technique that brings us to a meditative state . . .

Step Three:

Practice Right Diet: Dietary control is very important in living your life with simplicity. We eat those foods which contain the most life force energy and which feed our bodymind emotions and spirits. Traditionally Vegetarianism suits the bodymind of a meditation and Yoga practitioner – but books such as “Eat Right 4 Your Typehave taught us that not everyone can be Vegetarian, Vegan or eat raw food diets. Understanding a little about the Ayurvedic Doshas can also be very illuminating!

Learn what you can about your body and what foods are going to bring you optimum health. Eating little and often suits the body when we are attempting to bring Balance and allow Consciousness to flow.

In the Yoga Diet we try to be aware of the Gunas, and incorporating knowledge of the gunas in our diet for our practice: a Vegetarian (or Vegan) diet is best for practitioners because we try to eat foods which incorporate the most life-force energy and which take the least amount of energy to digest. These are the Sattvic foods which are purest, and promote peace and calm in the bodymind. As the Gunas are qualities of the Universe, these foods are also putting us into harmony and balance.

And now some feedback from the original article: This was one of the comments on the Speaking Tree blog from Sudheindra:

“Being simple has become complex in a mind driven existence which makes every action and thought behind the action complicated. Living has become a chess game for most of us. Calculating every move, excessive caution in every step, a sense of insecurity, fear in relationships have all robbed life of all simplicity which it actually is. Complexity introduces stress & strain and takes away built-in resilience of any system.”

And now, for the heartwarming that this might bring to you, one of the Seekers in India asked:

At some point or other, when a seeker has progressed in practice it is natural for the seeker to ask ” . . . has it happened? What is the sure way to know?”

I replied: . . . the seeker knows because when you wake up in the middle of the night you can feel a calm silence in your heart and when you wake in the morning for the new day, there is a steady happiness present … I sincerely hope you find this.

Sudheindra later posted a PS to his comment, when prompted:

“I wish we can bring back simplicity to life at a collective level to resolve all our problems and conflicts and this can happen only when we make mind an instrument that it is and live from heart. The steps suggested here in this article are the steps to achieve this.”

My Namaskar to you all, and I hope this simplicity will bring you a way to live from the heart.

Namaste, Susan

17 Ways to Find Balance for 2017

I publish my list in January every year, and have done since 2012! This is the list of ways for 2017:

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 2017 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.

Namaste, Susan

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.

Yoga Loves You – 3 Reasons Why

I love you between shadow and soul

I love you as the plant that hasn’t bloomed yet

and carries within it the light of flowers . . .

Pablo Neruda wrote these beautiful words to his lover in one of his sonnets. We may not all have an intimate love relationship in our lives, but we can still be intimately in love. In love with life itself. And loved by something. Yoga loves you.

I know this, because in the first class of the first part of my Yoga Meditation training – Healing with the Esoteric Principles of Yoga – my teacher told me it was the truth, that this love and acceptance are totally unconditional. And there were many of us there in that classroom searching for Truth (capital intented). The acceptance of this Truth took many years, but I believed my teacher right on the spot as all of his life had brought him to that moment of transmitting to us, his students, the essence of Life Freedom (Vedanta) through Yoga practice.

So, I know this now, deep in my soul as a teacher, and here are 3 reasons why Yoga loves you.

Yoga loves you.

Before Yoga in my life, nothing was my own and it all belonged to someone else. As Pablo Neruda also said: it makes you feel possessed and owned by something – your life can belong to you because of Yoga. Yoga gives a way of being.

Yoga gives, just as much as you give to it. It’s an equal relationship most of the time, and then sometimes, surprisingly Yoga gives more than you could ever imagine receiving. When you suddenly, and spontaneously, feel those spaces opening up inside. When you suddenly ‘get’ the experience of your subtle bodies. Yoga knows you are a part of the Divine, moved by divine vital energy and even when you are not aware of your connection with the Ultimate Mind and Heart, Yoga knows you are . . . and loves you unconditionally.

Yoga loves you so much it waits patiently and eternally for your practice, so that it can unite you with your soul and your source.

Yoga gives you reasons to breathe.

And of course Yoga teaches you how to breathe. It teaches you, through the breath, how to teach those scared parts of you inside, that you can be in control, that something bigger moves you and keeps you alive than scary little transient life stuff . Yoga always gives just as much as you need, and sometimes it can give you reasons to be here on this planet still breathing. This is what Yoga gave me when I needed that.

Just to keep breathing is a very good reason to be alive. To experience that the breath can take you to soft and sweet places within is exactly like a kiss from a beloved. Appreciating breath is a gift from Yoga.

Yoga trains your soul.

Yoga has been about enquiry and discovery for nearly 6,000 years since the Ancient Yogis, of the Vedic people in India, got up every morning and asked themselves: “what happens if we do this . . . ?”

And this could be: stand on your head; breathe in a certain way; meditate, etc, etc . . . or, also, act grown-up and get values (the Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga). In other words, it gives you a mature connection with life and nurtures your connection with eternity.

Yoga teaches us to ask ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ and ‘why not? ‘ . . .

. . . “trains your soul” is a reference to: “I am the life in all living beings and the striving of those who train their souls . . . “ from the Bhagavad Gita (the “Song of God”).

And the “values” reference is to Satyananda: “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 Saraswati: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha).

As a Teacher, I absolutely know a big Truth: Yoga loves you. I know this is unconditional because I have experience that myself. And all those people who came before us as Teachers, Masters and Guides deeply cared that you live your life to the full, that you love your life.

Pablo Neruda’s beautiful sonnet says it all just right now. It is how I feel about Yoga, how I love it, how it has loved me and how I feel such love for life now because of Yoga that I never would have guessed existed.

Before I loved you, nothing was my own

It all belonged to someone else — to no one. “

Namaste, Susan

PS: I’m sending you “victorious kisses of our riotous hunger for love” as Pablo Neruda would say, just in case you don’t get any from anyone else at the moment! Om . . . and here’s a gift: try this for free on me (because breath is free): Breath from the www.suzenyoga.com website’s Help I Need Yoga section

Founder of suZenYoga, Susan Ni Rahilly is a published author, Meditation and Hatha Yoga Teacher.  Her teaching typically draws on breathwork in deep Hatha practice, as well as Raja Yoga (the Yoga of Meditation). She lives in West Cork, Ireland where she writes and teaches.

27 years in her own practice now, and teaching Meditation for 20 years, Susan’s Hatha Yoga teaching is inspired by Zen and her ongoing research into our innate abilities for deep listening and intuitive practice. And never more so than in her work with children and young people. Susan describes her approach: “My Yoga became a way in which I could experience life and ‘my yoga’ developed with my experience of life: exactly what it’s supposed to be, individual, vast and rich.”

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.”