Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Life after Life.

‘Swami Vishnudevananda was known as the “flying swami,” not only because he was a peace missionary famous for his peace flights over borders and zones of conflict, but also because he flew to great heights in consciousness and delivered sublime teachings.

Swamiji’s teachings are alive and imprinted deeply in the consciousness of millions.  May his blessings always be upon us and that peace be unto the hearts of all.’       True World Order.

Swami Vishnudevananda was a very joyful being; he had conquered the afflictions of the mind, the things that bother us.  These being the fear of being unhappy, the fear of ignorance, the fear of death and our likes and dislikes.  Here are some of his teachings concerning life after life, to help us gain knowledge and understand concepts about loosing our body!

“This is the mistake we make in the West.  You think you are the body.  If that is so, what happens after death?  You’re buried.  I eat tomatoes.  What becomes of the tomatoes?  They change into my body.  And when I die you bury me and the tomato plant grows over me.  The tomato plant says, ‘You ate me once upon a time, so now I’m going to eat you,’ and you get a good tomato sauce from Swami Vishnu!
Now the next point is that we all worry about living.  But is there any life after death?  How do you know?  You haven’t been dead yet (chuckles).  But our life exists.  Now, would you like to die?  No.  Eventually.  But most people who died and were brought back, what did they say?  They’re happy to come back?  No.  A man who was struck by a lightning bolt had a good time on the other side, and was very angry when they brought him back.  He had a nice time.  He didn’t have to pay taxes; he didn’t have to worry about anything.  Now that they have brought him back he has to worry about the doctor’s medical bills.  Well, I almost died in Marbella in an accident.  I also didn’t want them to bring me back.

The yogi masters thousands of years ago realized that there is no such thing as death.  It is only a change of environment and consciousness.  Just like going from the waking state suddenly to dream state.  What did you change in the dream?  Just the experience of the body.  It’s not the physical body.  You can see, you can hear, you can taste, you can smell, you can eat, you can relax.  You have all the experiences, is it not so?  So after death also the environment is very similar.  For the house you want, naturally you don’t have to find the money for the mortgage.  You just concentrate on the things you want and then the building comes.”        Swami Vishnudevananda.

A bit like one day you may sit in one car and then the next day you may sit in another.

Have beautiful days everyone, 
Om Lokha Somastha Sukhino Bavantu
May all beings find balance, harmony and peace.
Om Shanti

Mangala / Nicky

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Powerful words, listen I try to listen.

I’m not sure of the author of these words but I know I needed to hear them today so thought I would share them here.
Om Namah Sivaya –

“You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you.  True power is sitting back and observing things with logic.  True power is restraint.  If words control you that means everyone else can control you.  Breathe and allow things to pass.”

“Whenever you can’t understand little Fawzia, then just wait and let it be.  You will find out that the answer will grow in you, just like desert flowers do.  They stay hidden beneath the sand for a long time and when the rains come, they suddenly sprout and the whole landscape becomes filled with their blossoming pride.  Everything grows effortlessly at the right time, one needs only to pay attention and listen carefully to recognize this moment.” 

No more words – just listen – prayers are for talking, meditation is for listening.  I am trying to listen listen and listen, no matter how painful the answers, I am trying to listen.

Om Namah Sivaya
Have beautiful times of listening

Mangala / Nicky

Friday, May 25, 2018

Trikonasana - my asana of the month

Trikonasana – the triangle pose is the last of the 12 basic asana practiced within the Sivananda sequence, and I love finishing with it and its variations.  This asana targets the areas that take the brunt of our insecurities strengthening our physical but also our emotional body.  It enables us to find space through the side of the body whilst firmly grounding us to the earth through our legs and feet.  We push downwards through the lower body whilst reaching to the side giving extension that encourages us to release emotions and encourage healing.  We can start to address the pain we might be carrying in the back as we also extend through the shoulders and neck, which are two other places we can accumulate tension.  We can start to combat unsteadiness by focusing on concentrated breathing and as we push into the earth more thus bringing stability.  Many of us live in various states of high frequency stress and these vibrations can build up in the hips, trikonasana is a very powerful tool to open up the hips and strengthen both physically, emotionally and energetically.
I love the variation of parvita trikonasana or revolved triangle as you can really feel that force of opposition as one hand is grounded to the earth and the other is lifting up to the sky through the fingertips.  In every posture it is possible to feel that opposition of forces but for me this really becomes powerful here as I breathe.  This variation brings more flexibility and increases our capabilities of balance.
In a nutshell I love Trikonasana and it is my chosen asana of the month, it helps me to stay calmer and more in control of emotions, it reaches out to the moon making her steady and increases self-awareness making us more mindful.  Through finding the space in this pose through the body, I also find space for the mind, a gap, a breath that deepens, a pause and a time for stillness in alignment with the universal energy both internally and externally.  To me through the practice and from the feeling I can fully understand why Sri Swami Sivananda places this asana at the end before final relaxation.  It grounds me and lifts me, allows the space I need to find to release me from the bondage of my mind before lying down into savasana.
Trikonasana – I love you!

Physical benefits –
1.The spinal nerves and abdominal organs are toned.
2.The digestive organs are stimulated giving better working condition of the bowels, assists digestion and improves on appetite.
3.The chest expands, opens and relaxes.
4.The liver and spleen are massaged and secrete more abundantly.
5.It keeps the spine elastic and amplifies the half spinal twist.
6.Promotes hip and leg flexibility.
7.General circulation will increase and be invigorated.
8.The body becomes lighter and you will find that if you practice this pose with integrity and determination your other asana will also improve.

Watch out for common mistakes such as bent knees, the head not in line with the spine and the upper arm is bent.

Practice with deep focused breathing, with mindfulness and slowly, the longer you hold the greater the benefits you will feel.  Become able to handle challenges whilst staying calm and relaxed.
Enjoy your beautiful triangles and become aligned to the stars.
Love from the heart
Mangala / Nicky

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Explanations on Karma Yoga

For many centuries the Bhagavad Gita has remained a most influential, philosophical and enlightening text that has shaped many thoughts and life, not only in India but also around the world.  It is said that the answer to all of humanities sufferings and problems can be solved within its pages.
I have mentioned before within these posts about the synthesis of yoga and the four major paths of practice, that of Jnana, Karma, Bhakti and Raja.  Well within the Bhagavad Gita we get profound and deep insights of three of these paths, that of Karma; the yoga of action, Jnana; the yoga of knowledge and Bhakti; the yoga of devotion.
The teachings start by Lord Krisna stating that all of humanities problems and worries of ignorance, sorrow and death are not legitimate problems, they are not real and are only caused because we lack the knowledge of whom we really are.  He teaches that in truth what we really are is limitless, existence, knowledge and bliss.  That our true nature is happiness is indestructible and pure.  Lord Krisna outlines the essence of what we truly are or the knowledge of the true self and that this knowledge frees us from all our thoughts of limitations.
But how can we achieve this knowledge?  We cannot - without a calm and contemplative mind.  Our minds are too much disturbed by our likes and our dislikes.  We are happy when we are doing something that we like, but as soon as we are doing something that we don’t like the happiness fades.  Or for example when we eat something that we really love let us say ice cream, we seem to be happy, but when the ice cream has gone then what?  Or when we are eating something bitter like gourd, is the same happiness there as when we are eating ice cream?  It’s a funny thing because in our mind we know that actually it is the gourd that is far more helpful for our bodies and mind as opposed to the ice cream, so why does the ice cream make us happier?
If we had a calm and abiding mind without these likes and dislikes then we would be contented with either the ice cream or the gourd.  So how can we work towards that mind?  The Gita tells us that karma yoga is key to reduce and finally eliminate those fancies and things that make us screw up our faces at the thought!  Now Karma yoga has been explained in different ways, one way is to say that it is selfless service and another is giving up the fruits of ones action, to do a job without thought of any reward.  But Swami Dayananda explains it beautifully in his teaches on the Gita.  He says that of course we must expect a desired result from our action if we are going to do it with dedication and effort, otherwise one may not be bothered how they perform the action.  For example if we are teaching somebody it is our desire that they understand, otherwise if we are not concerned with if they learn or not, we may not put in the correct effort with the teaching.  However the results of whether or not that person understands or not is out of our control, this is coming from the universal laws that surround us or in other words God.  So do our action with the correct amount of intent and effort but accept the results with grace and reference, this is karma yoga.  The result is not our decision this is not in our control.  So sameness of mind in any situation could be said to be karma yoga, or doing the work or action as an offering to the ultimate and receiving the result whether or not it is favorable or not favorable as an offering back.  Now if it were not the desired result then a wise man would look at it as an opportunity to learn and that opportunity greatly accepted.  Developing a non-reacting mind, a calm and abiding mind then the mind can be capable of learning.  In karma yoga we are happy not excited just contented in any result of what comes to us.  For example if we went for our driving test we would really want to pass it, and of course if we pass that would be a wonderful thing, but if we don't pass the first time then that is a great opportunity to learn to be a better driver and maybe avoid that first little prang in the car park with a post!!

Have beautiful days in peace and contentment.
Recommended reading – The teaching of the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Dayananda.
AUM shanti AUM
Mangala / Nicky.