September 2014 Newsletter Contents
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Love and Relationships
by Swami Rama
There are two laws, the law of contraction and the law of expansion. Hate others, you are going through the law of contraction. Love all, you are going through the law of expansion. Learn to love, that is the law of expansion. What does love mean? It means to give, without any expectation, to your own people. This is a school where you learn to give unconditionally. Then you will learn that nothing is difficult for you, nothing is difficult. First thing you should learn is to just give. Instead of arguing with your wife, just give her what she wants. Just give your children what they want. Slowly, you will discover that they have started loving you so much and they have become so very considerate. They will never exploit your generosity. Learning to give is one of the greatest of arts. Give selflessly, to those at home, to those with whom you live. Start doing it there. Love will completely transform you, for love alone has that power, even death does not have the power to transform you. So if you love, then there is only love, there is no space for you. At present you have likes and dislikes; but with love, there is a sense of equality, you love all, you can never hate anyone. There is that underlying understanding that I will love all and exclude none. You are free. It is a joy that leads to bliss. There is so much expansion of your mind that anything that is hidden, that is unconscious, comes forward as a part of the conscious mind. Why should you be unhappy? You know who is unhappy? One who is selfish. Who is happy? One who is selfless. It’s that simple. I am not telling you to go crazy, giving away all your wealth to strangers, becoming uselessly charitable, no! I am telling you to do experiments at home, with those who live with you. Transforming your personality is the simple way to attainment. Let us not make it difficult.
Your home is a miniature universe. Have you seen the family of Shiva? You Hindus should understand this symbolism. Shiva has got a deadly cobra around his neck. His son Ganesha rides on a mouse. Is it possible for a snake and a mouse to live together? Parvati has a tiger and Shiva has a bull. A snake lives with a mouse and a bull lives with a tiger. Man lives with a woman, a woman lives with a man. It’s a symbol of unity in diversity. O man, learn to adjust your life in such a way that there is no conflict at all. You can do that. Things impossible can be made possible, provided you learn to understand life. So Shiva’s family tells you that there are disagreements, disparities in life; yet our goal is to be aware of, to establish the unity beneath all these diversities. We can do this with prayer, by praying to the Lord within you. Or you can do it with meditation.
There are always conflicts, confusion, with relationships in the world. A wife and husband, traditionally married and living together with all the amenities of life, claim to love each other, yet remain frustrated. Why? Because they do not understand themselves. How is it possible for them to realize life and to understand the goal of life through marriage? Girls and boys think that marriage is the solution to the problems of life. And they get very excited. The girl thinks that one day the prince of my dreams will come forward, I will get married and live happily ever after. The boy also thinks that the day I find my ideal partner, I’ll be very happy. But, nothing happens, because a basic philosophy, basic understanding, basic knowledge, is missing. This is especially so with those from Eastern traditions. They bank more on the sayings of their books and they talk about their ancestors. “Our scriptures are great, our rishis, our sages, were great, our forefathers were great.” But how about you, sir? We have to understand this.
We used to live in the mountains of India, the Himalayas, that you have all heard of and many of you have visited. One day, a prince from a nearby state, who was educated in Oxford, came to visit my Master with all his guards and secretaries. That morning I was standing outside the cave monastery where I was brought up. The prince came forward and said, “Come here, O brahmachari (apprentice). Come here.” I said, “What’s the matter? Who are you?” He said, “I want to see your Master.” I said, “You cannot see him. Don’t order me around and get out of this place.” So his secretary came forward and said, “Do you know he is a prince?” I said, “I don’t care. I am the prince of the Himalayas.” The secretary now became very humble, as did the prince,“Sir, can I please see your Master?” I said, “Ok.” My Master was sitting inside. The prince, affecting the mannerisms of polite society, said, “Good morning to you, sir. You seem to be lonesome.” My Master replied, “Yes, because you have come.”
Don’t forget who makes you lonesome, remember this point. Those who claim to love you make you lonesome. A foreigner, a stranger, does not make you lonesome. Who makes you lonesome? Those who are closest to you. Because you expect too much from others, and others do not have the capacity. Many young boys and girls think that marriage is the solution for life. It is not. It is like a fortress, those who are in it cannot come out and those who are outside want to get in, all with great suspense. One is a helpless state, another is state of suspension. In my opinion, we should all learn to understand something in our childhood and start training and teaching our children so that they understand something about life, learning to examine one’s own self, then learning to relate with others. We remain strangers to ourselves and yet we try to communicate in the external world with others and that is not helpful. It is creating sickness. I have been doing experiments, I have been analyzing things, I’ve been watching, observing things very subtly. What do we do in the name of love? In the name of love we use others, we lean on others, we, instead of helping, hurt others, we injure others, we become dependent. Dependency is a sort of disease.
When you get married, have four understandings with your partner. We will not fight in the mornings, we will not fight before going to bed, we will not fight while eating food, but the rest of the time if we want to fight, we can fight. It’s very injurious if you do not have such an understanding in life, such a simple agreement. If two people fight, I can stop their fight just like this. You know what I tell the wives? I don’t call them housewives, that’s a bad word. No woman is married to a house, so no one should be called a housewife. I tell them, please, when you are angry, the other person should understand that you are angry, and he should not lose his patience during that time. He should just remain quiet. Simple advice. When do you get angry? Not when you are balanced. You get angry when you are emotional, irrational. But what happens? Suppose you are angry, and then your wife also gets angry, and the children start crying, and even the neighbors also get involved, what will happen? This thought pollution that you are creating will go on expanding, spreading to the whole universe. So learn to understand that the individual family is something great, meant to radiate love to the neighbors, to the whole universe. And for that you need understanding. When your partner is upset, it is best to keep quiet. After sometime your partner says, “I’m sorry.” But if you go on fighting that is not therapeutic, that’s not healthy. I’m not saying that you should both sit in silence and not do anything. I’m saying two wheels of a chariot will lead the chariot in the same direction. And that is very good. Please fight but not all the time.
Don’t fight with a woman, for you will never win. You will be sorry if you fight with her. Once, Nancy Reagan, the wife of President Reagan began to cry after a fight they had. President Reagan, the President of the United States, who had the power to press a button that could destroy the whole world, begged his wife, “Please Nancy, please don’t cry. I, with all my powers, am at your disposal.” But Nancy wouldn’t stop. He used all his powers but he failed. Finally he started crying and Nancy said, “Don’t cry, my boy. Now, you know who the boss is.”
Learn to understand everything about yourself. It doesn’t take much time. You don’t need a swami, a yogi, a scripture or anything. Just be thoughtful. Sit down for few minutes. I have seen a husband saying sorry to his wife 100 times, because she was very calm. Whenever he got angry she remained calm. So after a few minutes he would say, “Honey, I’m sorry.” But if a husband says sorry 100 times a day, he’s a rat. He’s no real husband. I find this type of imbalance everywhere. But if both are calm, understand each other and have this understanding, “Well honey, when you are upset, I will not say anything and when I am upset, please don’t say anything. Let us have this clear contract.” Then there will be no problem. But you don’t want to sort out your problems. The great institution called the institution of marriage has become an institution of misery. I know, because I am a counselor. I have counseled 45,000 couples, and none of them were happy. And those who are happy, I adore them. Two wheels of the same chariot can go travel the road very pleasantly. It’s difficult for a single wheel to do this. So in the world, two people can do wonders, provided they adjust, provided they understand each other.
Attachment is misery, nonattachment means love. First understand that. I am attached to this chair. Is it good? Because it is not mine, I don’t have a right to be attached. I can use it. Husband is yours, love him instead of being attached to him, because a day will come when you two will be separated. It’s nature. It will happen with everybody. Therefore, follow the path of love which is called non-attachment. Attachment brings misery, nonattachment means love that gives freedom. A little bit of understanding is needed. Mothers, you are the builders. You are the first architects of this world. This architecture has come from your minds. Don’t forget that you are superior to men. You carry a child for eight to nine months. The power that you have, man does not have. If you put a small pebble on his tummy and tell him to walk for two-three days, he cannot do it. You are definitely superior. But don’t be proud, don’t get carried away with women’s liberation. Don’t forget that you are a great mother. When a woman became pregnant, she wanted shelter. She told her husband, “I need a shelter for my child. So far we have been irresponsible. I will have a tender child, how can I look after my child? I need some shade, I need a home.” And he started building a home and gradually that thought became a school called the school of architecture.
Mothers, you are the real architects. This is your responsibility. Man is tired and worn out. You should wake up, get up and build our society. That which man cannot do, you should learn to do, because you can do it. A child’s education is totally in your hands. The seeds which are sown in childhood are the real foundation for education. You have a great responsibility. You are definitely superior and higher than man. Don’t have this complex that I am inferior because I am a woman. You have great powers. When we learn to understand this, we will realize that a great part, a vital part of our society is being misused. Women are being misused, exploited for marketing, for publicity, with posters and all kinds of vulgarity. We should be aware of the wealth we have.
In childhood, the mind remains tender. A tender bamboo can be bent easily but not a mature one. A child’s mind is very receptive. All the seeds sown in childhood grow very nicely. You and I, if we now appear in a high school examination, will both fail. Childhood is something great. A child needs guidance. Actually, there is chaos all over the world in our educational systems. If we impart good education to our children, become selfless examples for them and give them love, perhaps they will grow, become the best citizens of the world and the whole universe will bloom like a flower. Education is very important. An old man is exactly like a child, but full of follies. Childhood is pure without any follies. So when a child grows, he grows with the education that has been imparted by his environment, education imparted at home which you call culture, education imparted by the college and the university. Parents should make some sacrifices for their child and work with the child. But what do parents do? Instead of giving education to the child, they give them their problems. “Do this, do that. If you don’t do it, I’ll spank you.” The child is confused. The child grows but grows with many conflicts. I don’t think we should impart such conflicts to our children, create conflicts in their minds. We should not do that. The parents should learn to meditate and children will always imitate their parents. From childhood they will form such habits which will create their personality and that’s what they become. So, from the age of three, children should learn how to sit in meditation.
An individual creates a whirlpool for himself. An individual is helpless. He has to perform his duties and when he performs his duties he has to reap the fruits. We all have to perform our duties, that is our intrinsic nature. I am not hindering the running of the world and the perfomance of actions. I’m just saying that we, as members of our society, should become responsible. We should learn to give away the fruits of our actions and continue to do our duties with this understanding. Anything that you assume in your life is your duty. You are born in a particular family, in a particular society, in a particular country. You have to do your duties according to your family, according to your society, according to your country and finally to all of humanity. This is what the Gita teaches. Then, society will bloom, the flower of society will bloom in a better way. There are two worlds, the world created by Providence like the sun, moon, stars, earth, and water, and the world created by us, by human beings. I am talking about the world created by human beings and not the world created by Providence. Let us manage the world created by us, let us not worry about the world created by Providence.
In this cosmic cycle of evolution, a time comes when you become a human being. Time is rotating constantly. There are other kingdoms that we have gone through, perhaps; no one knows, I don’t know. When you have become a human being, you have a power, you are responsible for your own actions. What you do as a human being depends upon you. A human being has got three aspects: the animal aspect in the human being, the man in the human being, and the divine in the human being. All three combined is called a human being. The question is what degree of divinity is in you, what degree of the animal aspect, and what degree of humanness? You will have to analyze that. I am not searching for God. Really I am not because my God is in front of me—all of you. These beautiful faces belong to my God. Anything that dwells in you is my God. I am not searching for God. I am searching for someone, but I have not met him as yet. I am searching for a perfect human being. And wherever I go, I look for him, but I don’t find him. So I am sad. I have visited 156 countries in the world. I have not yet met that man for whom I am searching. Let’s all make the effort to become good human beings, to be good citizens, to love all and exclude none. That is the way to the divine.
I have seen something amazing. When I go to see many swamis, they always ask me, “Do you go into the world and see people, how are they?” They think about you, and you people think about them. So remain wherever you are, enlightenment has nothing to do with renunciation or action. You should learn to build your concept of life and it’s not very difficult, it is your birthright. No matter what cultural background you have, which religion you belong to, if you have not built your personal philosophy, it’s not going to help you. Every now and then, great men come and give a push to humanity as a whole, to help them attain the next step of civilization. What do they do? Can you create a flower, a leaf, a blade of grass? No. The flowers are the same, but these great men change the basket, according to their times.
A good yogi who has received a glimpse of this knowledge starts working with himself. Not by running away from the world, not by abandoning his duties, not by renouncing but living in the world yet remaining above. You know what is your symbol? Your symbol is beautiful, it’s called a lotus. A lotus grows in the water and mud, yet remains above. I don’t have that symbol. I am a swami, that is not my symbol. You are definitely superior to me. A householder’s duty is not at all inferior, provided you remember the symbolism of the lotus.
Can’t Ignore Law of Karma
Though the karma theory appears obscure and intriguing since much has been said and written about it, it is quite simple to understand and practise. Most of us are aware about the cosmic law that every action has equal and opposite reaction. It implies that whatever right or wrong we do, it gets reciprocated through an unknown and indefinable system.
Karmas are the actions we do. Human body has dashendriya manah (10 senses) for action and perception, and the mind through which we contemplate, feel emotions and take actions. Chaitanyatma (conscience) is a non-partisan observer of all our karmas or actions.
Apart from manah (mind), we have eyes to see, ears to listen, nose to smell, tongue to taste, skin to feel, mouth to speak, hands to work, feet to walk, anus to excrete waste and sexual organs to reproduce. Mind — according to its positive or negative nature — thinks, perceives good or bad, resolves and use the senses of perception and action for constructive or destructive purposes. This is the reason why sages and savants emphasise the need to develop a satvic (positive) mindset through spiritual practices.
Chaitanyatma records all our karmas. Even when we are alone and think that no one is watching us, it is still keeping a close watch and recording all our deeds.
Whatever modern science says about rebirth, the Eastern philosophy mostly believes that souls reincarnate in different life forms. The Vedantic approach to resolve mysteries of life is yogic, which is inner journey by guiding the prana shakti (life force) through already aligned chakras or energy centres. The external senses, even with the aid of most modern gadgets, have many limitations to unearth the mysteries of life. For unearthing such mysteries, one needs the darshan or visualisation of a truly evolved mind, which with the help of prana shakti has crossed the final barrier of Sahasrara Chakra. An evolved mind can explore and contemplate much beyond what an external eye can see.
When we visit a new city or country, we need to leave it without breaking its laws. We need to leave without doing any bad karma. Similarly, we need to leave this body without any bad records and unpaid debts. If someone has hurt us, we should forgive him. If we have hurt others, we need to seek forgiveness sincerely. If we have cheated, we need to repay. If we have killed, we need to do penance for that.
If we hurt, cheat or even kill, we are doing bad karmas and polluting our pure conscience with which we were born here. Our bad records will bring us back to repay everything.Karmas are like smart calves who trace their mothers even in the herd of thousands of cows.
Understanding the mystery of karma, Kabir said: “Jyon ki tyon dhar deeni chadariya”. It literally means that I have kept my sheet as it was. Kabir is referring to his chaitanyatma— that he has kept his conscience as spotless and clean, and free of bad karmas, as it was when he was born.
Moksha — liberation from the cycle of births and deaths — is possible only when we have truly understood the mystery of the karma.
7th Session on
“Love, Service & Remember”
by Swami Nitya
What is remember…. Re-mem-ber; or from the Latin: re –memor-and a suffix)
It has been officially translated as: to bring something forth from the past... or…: “again-mindfulness” . So what is it, that we are called to bring forth from the past?
We can consider this “short-sighted” or take a wide-angle lens. Let me start with the latter perspective:
From the beginning of time, as you know, photons came together and exchanged information; with this they had a greater chance of survival. They still do that now! Photons are elemental particles of light which allow easy interaction. New Biology thinks this is the beginning of Life.
So at the beginning was light… (photon – i.e. : Greek - light).
Light carries information, not in our sense of “this is a pineapple”, but nevertheless information, which is exchanged with more “light’. We could say, as New Biology says: light/photons are intelligent and coming together, exchanging information thus making ordered prime-organisms which make eventually ever more complex organic cells.
Means what? Each cell of your body is basically light, carrying information. We can say: all you are is “light - with consciousness” (con-science = with knowledge). So all living organisms, including you are basically “intelligent light” or “intelligent energy”.
This is your root, your origin…You can call that energy God.. or what have you… that is your choice! Many Mystics have simply stayed with the fact that all is light.
One of these famous mystics, was Surawardin, he was actually called “Master of Light”; unfortunately he lived in a culture that could not accept his teaching and so they cut his head off! For this teaching! Today we imagine, we are a bit further … but recent events in some parts of the world show that that is not necessarily so.
But let’s leave that, and turn to something more close to us.
Let me tell you a story: Imagine a young child, may be 3 years old, she receives her first bicycle. She learns to ride it and eventually takes it for the first ride all by herself. After a moment she hits a stone, falls and cuts her knees. She screams in pain, Mum comes, takes her to hospital. She gets a few stitches in her knee.. and they apparently heal.
Twenty years later, this child is now married and has a child of her own. The child wants a bicycle. Mum is horrified. Even when after endless debates she gives in, every time her little boy takes the bicycle for a ride, she stands at the window, watching over her child - so that the “killer bike” does not hurt her precious child.
Some month later she goes to Yoga–class and does some specific exercises involving the knees. Suddenly she breaks down and cries… and remembers the story. Once she has released the memory from her cells , her worries about her son riding the bike, disappears!
So in very real terms, in many aspects of our lives, it becomes clear that the cells in our body have intelligence, have memory! In fact: your whole life: its experiences, your lives subconscious and conscious patterns and even its origin are stored in your body, i.e. are stored in your tissues and cells. Yes, all of it!
We can go to the DNA if you like.. but no need!
So now, take a moment and speak in your mind the sentence: I remember….What is it that surfaces, what is it you remember… the many, hurts and traumas, the many conscious or subconscious pattern… OR the fact that ultimately you are light!?
It’s up to you!
When it says in the logo: love, serve and - remember we are called to this: to remember that we are light, that we are God! That we have our roots in pure Divine Light!
Now go one step further and remember that not just you is light, but every single existence is nothing but LIGHT! Swami Rama’s phrase, “Light, Love and Life” comes to mind….and slowly we discover an ever wider meaning…It’s really what we are. And not just I, not just You… but we.. All!
In that Light, as THAT LIGHT - we are all ONE.
Now you know that Yoga is most commonly translated as uniting, or UNION.
What is there to unite, when we are all One already? When we all share Brahman, Atman… Divine existence? So really what it means is to remember, or to be aware.. that we are… what we are… pure Light, God, Brahman… etc. Yes, everything we say and do and is part of One huge force,/power/field , which is beyond our ken; we do not really understand what it means.
If we are all One, in this Light, in this Love, there are no parts… Over and over I recall:
One-ness has no parts!
Many talk about interconnectedness, or “dependent rising”, that is not Oneness…but is an “assembly of parts”.
There are no words, please understand – there are no words to explain One-ness! Every word already separates the Oneness… words itself separate the silence…into bits of sound.
Having understood the impossibility of the task to understand fully, with our manas-mind… the part of the brain we think with – let’s look for some help elsewhere.
Traditionally Swadhaya, the study of scriptures is advocated in yoga in order to help understand ourselves, the world, and that which is beyond.
With this, I turn to the Isha-Upanishad. There it says:
In this world of relativity, whatever is recognized as objects with names and forms, all beings whether sentient or insentient are the presence of the Divine
It’s like saying: everything is divine, everything is sacred…see God in everything…only then have you got a perception of reality.
All is really One! Therefore look beyond the relative and recognize the Absolute, which is also your own Self. Therefore, nothing can ever belong to you, drop this false perception, as everything including yourself belongs, exists - only as the Absolute.
And it continues to say in the Isha -Upanishad: keep this at all times in your mind, there is no other way to live. The Absolute is without any modification, one without a second. He is behind all activity, behind all senses, all faculties. That unchanging reality transcends and supports the world of constant change…without itself changing. In the absolute Reality it appears to us, as if there is a difference between sentient and insentient, or inertness.
The Reality moves, yet doesn’t move.
It’s far yet it’s near. It’s permeating this whole existence… and yet it is beyond…
That One - is : all- pervading, self-effulgent, indestructible, subtle-body-less, causal body-less, omniscient, the one in charge of life, superior to all shows himself/herself through the scriptures….
We find throughout the scriptures, the sun /light aligned with the Absolute, Brahman, Reality or simply THAT.
Moreover even today, amongst many indigenous people.. there is a tradition of aligning the Divine with the sun (i.e. Padre de LUZ…for the Suar of Amazonia; or the Divine Maiden of Light for the Australian Aboriginals.)
But be aware it’s not the physical sun/light many talk about, but what Swami Veda talks about as the light of: “ a thousand suns, the suns behind the sun!”
Or: There is only an ocean of light!
And everything including us lives /or rather is - like one drop of water in that vast ocean.
Ocean is nothing but Water, despite its ripples, its waves, its foaming wave crests, its un-fathomable depth, and its inherent moving currents.
“Ocean of Light” - is nothing but currents and waves of light… These currents might flow in different directions and with different temperatures…according to their own inherent laws – but still there is only Light !
As we talk of the many currents, the millions of waves – as only being Water, so we can talk of the universe, as a vast Ocean of energy – which despite all the different forms and shapes and layers, is nothing but a multi-layered ocean of energies; or - as some Mystics have it : There is nothing but an ocean of light.
Some of these energies, or currents within existence - are the energies/the matter that the traditional scientists deals with; some of these currents the new, more mystically aware scientist deals with, and some currents are so subtle they escape ordinary awareness – and only the mystic or “spiritual scientist” can understand.
These latter energy currents are so subtle, so fine, they not only escape our gross senses but also our “un-tuned awareness”.
So we are called to remember!
In the Yogic tradition, one of these currents is called the universal mind (and it itself has many currents) which ultimately filter down into our limited mental perception (our individual human mind); however when we open our individual mind so that we can listen to the vibrations of the higher, universal mind - when we are able to swim in harmony with the currents of the ocean... we are as the Taoist say:
” flowing with the watercourse way”.
If we don’t flow in harmony with these currents of life, it’s like swimming upstream; it’s much harder and causes unnecessary and sometimes adverse, and really strong ripples of disturbances, or even counter-currents. These, are what some call: karma.
But even the karma, even the counter-currents are still part of the flow of the “watercourse way”; part of the Ocean!
We are conditioned to see only the good and helpful, and spiritual…currents as part of the Divine Ocean…. But realize there is no separation!
There is only One!
We, ourselves are a mixture of these currents, and we influence the mixture of the currents. There is no separate existence!
In the past, this was understood, and the earth, animals, trees and plants were considered sacred. The Australian Aboriginals, living in the Dream- time for example had the awareness of this shared Reality, which is beyond our limited senses.
The many tribal societies in the Amazon, know of this shared existence; the Shamans of Siberia know of this Union, this shared ocean in which we exist.
But we, in our so called cultured societies, have become so blind, so deaf, we don’t see this sacred Oneness anymore.
We don’t even take the time to see the light-crest around the trees!
We are divided from our origin, and its high time… we remember!
And because of our arrogance, we consider the indigenous cultures as stupid… it actually is the other way round.. it’s us that have forgotten’ who we are, what we are!!!!
Instead of facing our ignorance, we do our best to eradicated and kill those that still have this knowledge; we destroy their culture, as well as the people – because we have forgotten; how to “see” beyond our rational mind; our logical, exclusive manas- mind!
Yet, nothing is more limited that our logical mind…it’s a fallacy that logic is the universal law; its enculturated… like so much else.
That rational, logical mind, works via separation… it excludes…!
So when we hear…even when we listen…we are all ONE, it makes NO sense to US.
And we certainly don’t act from that knowledge.
We know that cutting down the Amazon forest, means losing masses of medical knowledge; means killing many people and species, and especially trees. Trees that manufacture the oxygen that we breathe.
We cannot, life cannot - exist without oxygen…In fact at the very root of life, at its very beginning, there were one cellular organisms, which produced oxygen.. – which made the evolution of life in all these forms possible.
So we cut the trees, deprive ourselves of what is vital for life…and do nothing!!! We stand and watch how the big companies chop off the supply to our children’s and grand-children’s lungs?” How can this happen?
It happens because we do not realise that we are a mere stage in the evolution of the human species. What?
Yes we think, we are already the crown of creation, but really we are beings that still evolve… we are on the path… of becoming truly human… as Swami Rama used to say!
We are still on the path to develop to truly human beings, so we are full of doubt and constantly go back to the rational data-processing-store, we call neo-cortex or manas-mind.
We do not trust our own deep, core-memory, that we are Light, that we are Divine!
We don’t trust our intuition, our awareness, our deeper insight, our knowing that all is interconnected. That we are not separate beings…
We sort of live in regression.
Swami Rama has shown what the human being is capable of developing; but we do not develop ourselves, instead we develop the world around us!
We don’t develop, the higher buddhi, with which we can tap the store house of cell regeneration, of telepathy and many things… which…. .. the indigenous people still can… but we have forgotten and we call that ---- Progress!
However progress in evolution comes from the latest edition of the brain, the Pre-frontal cortex…from there we perceive the holistic vision of life.
This is what the Mystics and Yogis were capable of… we all are on that path, but we have even forgotten that we can “open that door”.
It doesn't mean we shouldn’t use the neo-cortex, we need our rational brain to function somewhat… BUT we also need to develop the frontal cortex, that is able to perceive, intuit, work with a wider, more insightful perception.
When a society loses this connection, this ability to use the wider perspective, the more holistic view… sometimes a whole culture dies!!!
Means what? Means there is impoverishment, when we exclusively use and respect the neo-cortex, the ration mind; it might even lead to self-destruction.
But when we allow ourselves to open the “third-eye, the frontal cortex or indeed “the heart-mind” , there is a wider view of life, there is awareness of Union of all existence.
There is awareness of Spirit… there is awareness of Oneness, there is memory of shared existence!.
Furthermore, there is Awareness that the relative world is nothing else but an expression of the Absolute.
Is the lettuce seed other than the lettuce… (well I am talking before Monsato… ruined biological life….?) – no, they are the same - they are One.
Unfortunately, contrary to remembering our original nature, our shared existence, we see and experience our world through whatever paradigm which governs our society.
if we are brought up with the mental input that there is a God, outside the world, that created the world in seven days and he lives in heaven. We look through this paradigm, and consequently see the world our senses perceive as something someone outside us has created, hence it is “his business” to look after it; - we are not responsible for his creation.
On the other hand, if we learned in primary school, that the world consist out of atoms and particles, we look through this paradigm ...and the world our senses perceive is made of particles, objects, matter, that we can use, manipulate exploit.
Thirdly; when we are seeing the world as a holistic spiritual expression of the ONE – we are involved and become care-takers.
Such base assumptions, which include such base ideas as time and space, are called Paradigms. We are tied to these base paradigms.
In other words the information our senses take up, are interpreted on the back of what we learned from our environment/school and society; we take it on board and it becomes our base truth! Consequently it’s the matrix on which we base our life; all our perceptions rest on such beliefs… rather than on the Truth, we ultimately deep inside KNOW. Why? Are we so stupid, so limited? Because we have forgotten our original nature and instead trust the input of our senses, and the people who manipulate us. Hence the call: Remember, deeply remember!!!!
A Brother’s Love
A Brother’s Love
This year Rakhi (brother-sister) celebration came and went in the August full moon. I was hoping to write about this but there were other things to write about. Actually I do not need a Full Moon to tell this story about a brother’s love.
It was the month of August many years ago – the moon was not yet full, it was still waxing and a wedding was contemplated. An engagement had taken place many months before. Both parties were working full time and the marriage celebrations had to wait for August – the month of reprieve of summer holidays. The priest was consulted and it was resolved to the agreement of both families that early August was a good time for this couple to be married.
The bride-to-be came from a large family of many brothers and sisters – four brothers and four sisters. The eldest brother, Basu, was already married had a few children and one was on the way. The strange twist in the story starts at the very beginning. This eldest brother, Basu was a step-brother who had lived abroad for many years and only joined the family when his step sister, Lily was a young teenager. She used to be the eldest in the family of siblings, but with the arrival of Basu, this older brother, Lily had to give way, but this did not bother her in the least. Lily preferred this as now there was an older brother to help her, to “protect” her in the wider world of school bullies and unpleasant admirers. This latter was the best as there were many occasions when his tall stature and broad shoulders were warning enough.
The bridegroom, Sheel, had no blood relatives nearby, but had hundreds of friends. All his friends wanted to attend the ceremony and many buses came from far and near filled with merry making celebrants.
Weddings form that passage of life for humans that demand advanced preparations for enjoyment of not only the to-be weds but for the two families coming together for an auspicious occasion. In most cultures it is not just two persons who are uniting, but entire families. For this particular wedding all the male members took care of the outside arrangements like catering for the food to be cooked at the wedding house, serving the invites, and making sure that all necessities were attended to carefully.
The female members did the shopping not only for the bride but also for all immediate relatives including those of the bridegroom. It was normal to distribute gifts to all family members – old and new.
Each sibling had her and his own duties to perform. Lily’s brothers checked out electrical outputs, for the music, helped with the cooking done outside in huge pots, arranged for the dishes to be washed and ready. There were about 1,000 invitees. The sisters took care of the bride’s needs like mehendi (henna) for hand designs, in-house sleeping arrangements, food for all the family visitors, and dressing the bride in her all fineries. There were also actual duties in the ceremony itself that some siblings had to do. The eldest brother, Basu had to pour the ‘laavaa’ (puffed rice for prosperity) into the hands of his sister, Lily, the bride, who then shared it with Sheel, the bridegroom for offering into the fire. This was done 7 times as they circumambulated the fire taking various vows. Basu’s wife the eldest young married female, Bibi had to accompany the bride from her bedroom to the ‘mandap’ decorated canopy, to make sure she was comfortably seated next to the groom for the ceremony. Bibi was supposed to sit behind Lily, the bride and attend to any needs.
Everything went well as planned, it was a joyous ceremony, though there were many tears on departure of the bride. The parents who were very busy attending to all spheres of the occasion, wept as the married couple left in their beautifully decorated car.
After spending a few days in their little lovely cottage by the river, the couple flew off for their honeymoon.
After their return, there were many stories to share of what happened during the wedding, who said what, who did what and lots of laugher would ensue. Then one of the younger brothers, Vic called his sister Lily privately and said,’ Suresh died’. ‘What?’ she exclaimed, ’When and what happened?’
Let me explain who Suresh was. He was a baby of a few days old. He had been conferred that special name by the bridegroom. He was born a few days before the wedding, but developed some illness. Though he was given medical care he did not seem to be doing well. Unfortunately, he died on the eve of the wedding. His parents, Basu and Bibi not wanting to bring a dead child to a wedding house as this was considered most inauspicious, and all their other children were already at their Aunti Lily’s wedding house. So they took it to the neighbor ‘s home - two doors from the wedding venue. After performing their various duties, and after the departure of the bridal party, they took their child and buried it.
On hearing this sad news Lily broke down and wept bitterly. Suresh was her nephew, the son of her eldest brother, Basu and her bhougie (sister-in-law) Bibi. Basu had never related this incident to Lily.
Though they meet ever so often, time has spaced them miles apart from each other. But every year this sister never forgets to send a Rakhi – a sacre, blessed, decorated thread of affection - to her brother whenever Rakhi Day comes on the full moon of August.
KHEL NEWS September 2014
Visit of Ms Maithili and Abhishek Varadarajan
Miss Maithili Varadarajan a 3rd year medical student from London and her brother Abhishek visited the KHEL Project in Dehradun as volunteer interns to impart some health education. They conducted a one day Health Education Camp in collaboration with Saryu Devi Charitable Trust for the female members of the communities resident in the colonies near Lakshmi Devi Academy – Khel school project. This was a somewhat challenging task as it is not easy to get women to participate in health issues that concern them. However the attendance was good and mothers with young children were given free medical kits and educated in the use of materials for babies and young children.
Later the interns met with the school students, who welcomed them with great interest and interacted with them quite openly and honestly as they were of an age group that did not intimidate them. The older students of the 8th grade were very happy to ask questions about them, about their lives in London and what brought them to India and to Dehradun to work with the LDA school students.
Since the festival of Rakhi (brother-sister celebration) was being observed both Maithili and Abhishek participated. There was a Rakhi making competition among the students they were able to watch the children make the Rakhis. They have both expressed a desire to return and spend more time with the stud ents.
Teachers’ Day Celebration
Children of LDA celebrate teachers’ day on 5th September as they used to do every year with a small cultural/ entertainment program for the Teachers.
Km. Goshia Prveen of class 8th emceed this program on behalf of all the students. The local counsellor of the Area Mrs. Kamli Bhatt and counsellor of surrounding area Rajeev Nagar Mr. Parkash Badoni were the special invitees for the occasion.
The program started with Guru Vandana and children offered this in the first to Honourable Mata JI, after which there were many Rajasthani, Punjabi, Garwali and filmy performances. Children also performed a small play based on the importance of Education in their life.
It was an interesting program amainly arranged by the students for their teachers and we missed the presence of Maji and Stomy Didi. Ms. Manju Maurya and Beni Bhatt read messages to the children and staff massage from Mata ji and Stomy Didi. Small Gilfts were arranged for all teachers and staff. Mrs. Kamli Bhatt and Mr. Parkash Badoni Wish all teachers very best and thanked them for doing wonderful work for the community.
After This program samosa and biscuits were distributed to all children.
As the Education Department had made compulsory it for all schools to arrange for stuents to listen in to the Prime Minister’s address to children. The manager Mr Beni brought his own TV to school so the children could see the PM’s address to children. Children of class 4th to class 8th and staff were able to watch PM’s address at school.
All teachers and Staff offered their Thanks to Mata Ji and Stomy Didi for thinking about them, for their kind guidance and support.
(Report By Mrs. Manju Maurya, LDA Headmistress. Typed, translated by Beni Bhatt. Edited by LA)
Silence, Shavasana Practices and Yoga-Nidra Retreat
22nd March - 5th April 2015
at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama
“For decades we have guided the shavasana practices and yoga-nidra in sessions where the teacher does the ‘recital’ and others listen and follow. But we have not TAUGHT the procedures.”
The purpose of this retreat is for participants to learn the procedures.
Printouts will be given for each segment taught. Each segment will be guided separately and then students will practice that segment. There will be homework practice between lessons.
Segments will include:
- Diaphragmatic breathing
- Shavasana, correct position
- Exercise without Movement
- Relaxation by first tensing each limb then relaxing
- Simple relaxation
- Subtler relaxations: right side, left side, finer tissues, internal organs
- 31 points
- 61 points
- 61 points with blue star
- 61 points with blue star with one’s mantra
- Whole body breaths: the feeling of movement, vayu, during these exercises is of pranamaya kosha.
- 4 different patterns of whole body breaths
- Short version of quick conscious rest
- OM kriya
- Whole body breaths as taught in Path of Fire and Light under Yoga-Nidra
- Yoga-nidra proper
- Explanations of the delta brain wave
- How to come out of yoga-nidra
Guest Programmes at SRSG
Individual Spiritual Retreats, Silence Retreats and Group Retreats
Foundational Instructions of the guest programmes:
· To experience some level of calm mind, relaxation, or stillness while at the ashram
· To know how to sit properly and how to meditate
· To know about the “Himalayan Tradition”: foundation, history, and basic theory etc.
· To understand the meaning of “YOGA” and “MEDITATION” fully
· To apply yoga and meditation into daily life.
· To deepen their practice
· To keep the connection via full moon meditations and/or home centers
Individual Spiritual Retreats :
Guests are offered a daily schedule of instruction in meditation, pranayama (breathing practices), relaxation, Hatha Yoga, and Yoga philosophy in accordance with their individual goals. With the welcome interview, the programme is tailored for an individual. Every guest can experience of one day silence retreat through ashram official silence day (every Thursday).
Silence Retreats :
SRSG is the perfect setting for a guided period of silence, whether for three days or for three months.
Silence is not merely an absence of speech. It is a fullness of the mind; the mind filled with the flow of energy from within. For such a silence one needs guidance, because there is a science to practicing silence that many are not aware of. A systematic series of practices is given under the guidance of Swami Veda.
Group Retreats :
The SRSG staff will also help design programs for groups to meet their specific needs. The campus can accommodate up to 100 participants.
Participants in all the programmes follow the daily ashram schedule which begins at 5:00 AM and runs until 9:30 PM. Time for reading, journaling, and reflection is always available.
Classes on the basic yoga practices are regularly scheduled as well as lecture courses for Gurukulam which guests may attend as appropriate. Guests also attend Swami Veda’s classes when he is in residence.
Video recordings of Swami Rama lecture series on topics such Yoga Sutras and Upanishads are featured on a regular basis.
Programmes are available all year; however, since Gurukulam is on holiday from June to August, no regular classes are scheduled.
Daily Ashram Schedulethat includes individual programs—classes to meet needs
04:15 Bell Ring
05:00 Morning Prayer
05:15 Joints & Glands Exercise / Asanas
07:00 Breathing Practices / Nadi-Shodhanam
10:00 Class 1
11:30 Class 2
12:30 Breathing Practices / Nadi-Shodhanam
02:00 Digestive Breathing
04:15 Hatha Yoga
05:30 Guided Relaxation
06:00 Meditation with Swami Veda
06:30 Japa & Breathing Practices
08:00 Night program (Lecture/Satsang)
09:00 Evening Prayer
All campus residents participate in service for the Ashram. Service includes a variety of tasks from meal service and cleaning to transcribing lectures, helping with mailings and so forth. Inquire at the Mandala Office(Reception Office).
Participants live in one of 35 spacious double or triple occupancy guest cottages, each with kitchenette and bathroom with hot shower.
For Fees and other information
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
DEPARTMENTAL EMAIL DIRECTORY:
ASSOCIATION OF HIMALAYAN YOGA MEDITATION SOCIETIES INTERNATIONAL (AHYMSIN):
AHYMSIN Introduction Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrxLZw3z24s
SRSG MANDALA RECEPTION AND FRONT OFFICE:
Dr. Manju Talekar, Managing Director of SRSG
email@example.com (Guest information, reservations & bookings: Silvia Baratta)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Accounts & book keeping, D.M.T. Office: Bhupendra)
SWAMI RAMA DHYANA GURUKULAM: email@example.com
Bhola Shankar Dabral, Director
firstname.lastname@example.org (Publications and bookstore: Deepti)
HIMALAYAN YOGA TRADITION - TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM (HYT-TTP):
Chuck Linke, Director
Carolyn Hodges and Maryon Maass, HYT-TTP Office
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