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.

Advertisements

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

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

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