Thursday, May 30, 2013

A lotus is a flower that grows deeply in the mud.

A lotus is a flower that grows deep in the mud, the deeper the mud the more beautiful the lotus.  I think you have probably heard this saying, it is one that resides deep in my heart and I am often referring back to it in regards to practice.  Sometimes the practice is going so well, everything is feeling good, the mind is calm and focused, and nothing seems to bother you.  And there are times when it seems to be more of a struggle, there is pain in the body, the mind becomes confused and busy, other things in life seem to be hurling themselves at you, and time for practice, real quality time becomes harder to find.  It is in those times I often think of the lotus so symbolic to our spiritual growth.  Yes at times we face many obstacles, but we have to take courage and know that it is with this experience that our lotus will bloom.  We have to learn to be so adaptable and find the yoga that is truly working for us through our own experience and nobody else’s.  By learning how to deal with our body and mind system on a daily basis, trying not to just follow systems dogmatically but to learn when to push ourselves on and when we need to hold ourselves back.  We are all incredibly different at the same time as being one, which leaves me in amazement.  Take courage to leave the shore of broken shells and dive deeper into a new world of endless possibilities.  To discover one country we have to leave the last one behind, and for that be brave learn how to let go, take courage and have faith.  Learn how to no know anything, as if we only base our knowledge on this limited mind we are going to fall down.  The world you seek contains more possibilities than you can imagine, you will be able to see things that you cannot imagine.  If thinking is an amazing thing then not to think is even more amazing.  The only way you can reach that beautiful blooming lotus is through your experience with your practice, learning how to transform yourself, not to just be able to sit in a cave in padmasana and reside in bliss, but to make that experience one you can enjoy in every moment no matter what you are doing.  Removing the chaos around you to find your peace is not the answer, removing the chaos within you and being able to float to the heights and continue to float back down at the lower levels is our goal.  Our experience is the mud and there is no other way than to plough through it.  What you will reach with determination and dedication is indescribable, what you will discover is indescribable, set sail oh seeker over the oceans of the unknown and discover yourself and shine, shine brightly like the light that you are.
For now I am enjoying the mud!
Love and light
Om Shanti
Mangala / nicky

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Echoes of Divinity.

"It is a divine message for you all.  Pure as the snow of the Himalayas, bright as the sunlight, expansive as the sky, all-pervading as the ether, unfathomable as the ocean, cool as the waters of the Ganges is Immortal Atman, the substratum for this world, body, mind and Prana.  Nothing is sweeter that this Atma.  Purify your heart and meditate.  Plunge deep into your heart.  Dive deep into the innermost recesses.  You will find it.  Only if you search in deep water, you will find the pearl of Atma.  If you keep to the shore, you will find only broken shells only.  the best flower that can be offered to the Lord is your heart.  Penetrate more deeply into the infinite domain of Kailasa, the kingdom of illimitable bliss, unparalleled joy and peace within you.
Just as a light is burning within the hurricane lantern, so the Divine light is burning within your heart.  You can behold the Divine light through your inner third eye or the eye of intuition, by withdrawing the senses and sealing the mind.  It takes a long time for charcoal to catch fire.  But gunpowder can be ignited within a twinkling of an eye.  Even so, it takes a long time for lighting the fire of knowledge for a man whose heart is impure.  But an aspirant with great purity of heart gets knowledge of the Self within the twinkling of an eye, in the time taken to squeeze a flower by the fingers.  Armed with patience, perseverance, tranquility and courage, slowly ascend the peak after peak, subdue the indriyas one by one.  Control the thoughts one by one.  Eradicate the vasanas one by one, and eventually reach the summit of self-realization or divine glory.  O friend - wake up!  Sleep no more!  Meditate.  It is Brahmamuhurta now.  Open the gate of the temple of the Lord in your heart with the key of love.  Hear the music of the soul.  Sing the song of prem to your beloved.  Play the melody of the infinite.  Melt your mind in his contemplation.  Unite with him.  Immerse yourself in the ocean of love and bliss!"

A message from Sri Swami Sivananda - my master
you can download free books written by His Holiness here:

Looking forward to seeing you all on the mat or the cushion or the floor! Or just seeing you,
Om Lokha Somastah Sukinho Bhavantu
wishing you all harmony and balance 
mangala - nicky

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Curry Mangala!

For our bodies to work properly and efficiently we need the right fuel, like a car needs good petrol to power it, we need good and high quality food to fuel our bodies.  Without the proper diet the body will become diseased, without the proper diet the mind also becomes diseased; if the body is unwell also the mind is unwell.  Our diets should enable the body to grow according to its age, replace waste and rejuvenate cells.  For prevention of diseases and for a happy life the diet should provide us with sufficient energy in terms of calories so as the body can have enough power to renew the dead cells and tissues, enable growth, give all the necessary ingredients for various glands and organs to function properly and produce hormones and secretions and also have the right power to set right any defects that are brought on by life.  A diet full of processed, frozen and unclean foods full of fats and sugars is not going to make a happy body and mind.  You may think that the chocolate bar, a visit to the bakery and cup of coffee brings you happiness, but that happiness is not real, it is fleeting and impermanent and only brings problems for our health.  Food is life and strength of the body, but if it degenerates to pander to the tongue, diseases and eventually death will come.
Our daily diets should contain proteins, starch, fats, vitamins and minerals, all of which can be provided in a fully vegetarian diet.  Your proteins can be found in rice, wheat, cereals, millets, pulses, nuts and milk.  Starch in rice, wheat and cereals.  Fats in butter, ghee, milk, oils and coconut.  Vitamins in cereals, millets, pulses, bran, vegetables fresh leafy vegetables, milk and sprouted grains.  Minerals in fresh green leafy vegetables, fruits, milk and some pulses. 
Some tips: eat unpolished rice, organic brown rice and take a little of the water it is cooked in with it.  Use all fresh and organic ingredients.  Drink cows milk that is organic and the cows have been fed organically also.  Use oils such as extra virgin olive oil.  Things that are said to be low fat etc are made up of synthetic ingredients and are not natural, keep to as a natural diet as you can, just have a little less of those things with more fats.  For those of you with sweet teeth, keep a little jaggary, which is natural sugar, and take a little when the desire can’t be contained! 
Here is my wholesome vegetable curry recipe, enjoy!

1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
2 big tomatoes
1” chunk of fresh ginger
1-teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon fennu greek powder
2 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of ginger powder
1 teaspoon of mix masala
1 teaspoon of cardamom
3 small potatoes
½ cup of chickpeas that have been soaked, (don’t use the tinned variety)
½ cup of fresh peas
½ small cauliflower
Bunch of chopped spinach
2 small bananas
1 litre water

Heat the oil in the pan and add the tomatoes and all the spices and fresh ginger chopped, fry until the tomatoes goes squishy and then mash it down into a paste.  Add half of the water, the potatoes, chickpeas, peas, and cauliflower and bring to the boil, simmer for 20 mins or so on low heat.  Add water when needed to prevent drying out.  Add the spinach and bananas and cook for a further 5 mins.
Serve with brown organic rice or with flat bread.
You can also add organic natural yoghurt, raisins, grated coconut and black pepper toward the end of cooking.  Experiment a bit!
Yum now I’m hungry!
Om Namah Sivaya
mangala / nicky