|Posted on August 22, 2017 at 3:30 PM|
Issues of Time
Aging and changing, the cycles of life keep moving onward in their endless progression. As a teacher of chair yoga, I see how bodies age with time. There is a trend in our society to create the illusion of agelessness, to hide or shun the natural process of aging. There seems to be a greater fear of aging than there is of death. As a woman I feel the pull of the collective in terms of appearances, competitiveness and fitness in general. Ironically, more so in my field as there is a bit of a pull beneath the surface to need to stay young and healthy.
At times, there is a covert bashing, if you will in terms of illness or “improper aging”, where one is to blame for such occurrences. In many ways there are means to better support the body and care for the vehicle that houses our souls, but sometimes illnesses come to even those who have done the right things (diet and exercise and good will towards all other life forms), and in terms of aging despite all our best efforts it will show in time. The psychology behind anti-aging or youth liberation as it is now called, seems cloaked and hides the undertone that tends to denounce a fundamental inalienable truth; the nature of existence and life in the physical realm itself which is temporal. Fear of change, when all is ever changing on the outside anyways, the real truth of this earth plane is an endless cycle of change in response to time. The laws of cause and effect themselves are submissive to the fact that time wears on. The constant factor; time, is inescapable and yet we strive so hard to fool and outwit it. All is vanity in terms of this grand form of denial as the wise king Solomon was able to show in Ecclesiastes.
Beneath the surface, beneath the physiological realm, on an energetic and even psychological level what is at play here….? What does this mean when we see the collective ever eager to cheat death and age? The boom of the pharmaceutical age, whose bi-products ensure a quicker end to the life of the earth with the wastes and toxins they leave behind to ravage the lands …all so that we can cheat death, stave it off a little longer. A battle against the forces of existence, a truly existential crisis (though most existentialist cannot see beyond the dominion of man his glorious self centered existence and most certainly ignore the horrors we force upon the other kingdoms of this earth both animal and plant to name a few).
We seek to be god, we seek to cheat death; and all the while do not see the vanity in this. For those in the new age world it is convenient to accept ancient vedic ideas of being god, especially since we as a culture have ever been trying to do so in a vitiated way through our self obsession with selfies and individualism. It is the social heliocentric theory; we are the shining lights of our universe as we go about in self aggrandizement, eating well and hoping to save humanity all like little gods with our narcissistic herculean hopes ignorant of the bigger picture. We say use this cream or use this ointment, even the most green conscious of us all have a twinge of this inherited karmic collective curse of trying to be divine, and live strong forever. So too is the story of the most beautiful angel in heaven Lucifer the light that tried to outshine god himself. Amongst most religious or mythological tales there is the blight of mankind…mans secret curse induced by our own need, man like the coyote who is a bit too clever for his own good always striving for a bit more of that! That whatever that may be…for now it seems we as a whole want youth, health and life for as long as possible come what may as a consequence.
So we have factories pumping out plastics to cheat the shelf life of the products that are to keep us going just a bit longer and stronger than before. Huge powers that manufacture these goods, keeping dark secrets about the real truth; hiding the secret balance of ying and yang, for each life extended something else dies. Our anti-aging creams, our blood pills, our electric homes, our super modified crops and foods. Always wanting more….flavors, time, comfort, luxury; the market selling to the mindset that has been cultivated well, driven deeper by the original impulse for more.
We as a people must wake up while we are here to see the true consequences of our actions rather then pay them forward to the future children we may or may not leave behind. What do we leave behind for them? It is not what we have while we are here that what matters in truth, and yet that is the way we are living. Borrowing from the future to give ourselves the luxuries now, just a few more years or a little younger face. This is the secret truth that is not remembered but for a few on Saturday or Sunday, and even when we strive to believe we hold this truth daily ….check and see if it is truly self evident -see where you are holding your vanity. Look to the secret shown in your own eyes as you gaze in a mirror.
We change, and we have a little power to guide the way we see this change, how we work with it, what we are doing in terms of it and how it really adds to the collective essence we leave behind; only then do we begin to take a sobering look at the truth and see our part in what is our temporal existance.
Always scrapping the surface, a bit of nip and tuck and little shot of this or that, a hint of freshness...forgetting we are all but fruit on the tree of life, with a cycle that involves change and culminates in death. So why then are we living as though we are only here to buy and sell eternity? This may be the biggest product we collectively sell as a people and the biggest illusion of them all. There is now, there is this and there is what we are doing with the time we have been given.
Eat organic local food, consume less fabricated illusions, leave behind less death for the next generation and care for the earth! Place these things above your own comforts, think beyond our species but of the ancestors of all living things to come. This is why the grandmothers used to be sacred and now are hidden, it is the great hiding of truth! We hide the aged, the sick. We drink the milk and eat the flesh but dare not see the factories that make them. We love to look in the mirror but only see a shallow reflection of what keeps us here to see it. Look deeper.
The polarization of terms and ideas has been quite apparent to me in this current social construct. The pros the cons, the right the wrong the good the bad; are entrapments to greater realization. The realization that for each thing there is a price and when we stop looking only at our own preservation and look beyond to the bigger picture only then can we truly respect the truth that is time and life while we are here!
|Posted on May 11, 2016 at 6:20 PM|
The water element, Svadistana the second chakra.....energy within the pelvic bowl and the female reproductive system, how do these powerful forces relate to the cycles of the moon and mother earth? The sacred power of womanhood has long been repressed in our culture. We plug our cycles to keep moving, and pushing through our busy schedules. The curse....some call the crimson tide of the womanly cycle. The cycle of our birthing years runs approximately 28 days as does the cycle of the moon.
In ancient times it is believed that woman cycled on the new moon and ovulated on the full moon. In Judism women are called to celebrate privately the womens mysteries on Rosh Kodesh which coincides with the coming of the new moon. Today many women find that their rhythems have been disrupted by the use of artificial light, products and chemicals. We have been called to block our power with the use of tampon...which are made of a toxic brew of chemical cleansers and agents. We hold back our power and suppress it which can create adverse effects on the natural functionality of our womanhood.
As a test I decided to resist the use of such products as I found myself to be in great discomfort. I wondered privately if the swelling and difficulties in my second chakra...with my digestion and distention could in some way be related to the blocking of this powerful energy. The more yoga I did and the more I came to connect with my body through my practice the more such revelations seemed to guide me to this notion. Remembering my teachers during our yoga trainings to urge avoidance of inversions during the moon cycle...I began to see how the use of tampons could cause a reverse of the downward flow and thus threw off my bodys balance throught the moon cycle each month.
The tides like our menstration are also effected by the energy of the moon. In the tarot the moon is connected with womens red tent mysteries and sacred woman mysteries. Oddly, the downward flow is also our grounded connection to mother earth. Mother....earth and the soul itself. This rich iron that flows from the body can be used by pagan witches to garden during the planting time. There is a wonderous power in this life giving power that we as women posess. The cycles of the moon mirror the cycles of our lives and our connection to this earth plane and our existance.
The sacred blood mysteries have begun to make themselves known. It is critical that we as yogis and women begin to re-connect with our sacred and divine power which brings us in deep knowledge of life and death, birth and re-birth, the ebbs and flows the cycles of energy and the seasons. This is the hidden knowledge that the new moon cycle teaches us.
So on the next new moon. Go out into the night and meditate on the night. Plant in your garden and ground yourself by touching the rich earth. Try to one day....and perhaps if you can your entire cycle to not use products that dam or block your sacred time of flowing and see if you find yourself more grounded, calm and powerful throught the coming days until the 4th quarter moon!
|Posted on December 23, 2015 at 6:25 PM|
Meditation the Way of Mastery.
So we begin!
The path has opened before you and we are at the begining of the long road towards greater understanding and self discovery. For the beginner, meditation can be a daunting task. Who knew there was such a plethora of noise, such a storm of excuses and so many pressing things that arise despite every intention to find solace and peace within. The inner realm is laden with shadows, light and many colorful thoughts and ideas. So how does one navigate the uncharted waters of the concious and uncouncious mind when diving into the deep sea of meditation? Multitudes of directions, many thousands upon thousands of electric pathways to follow. Impulses, emotions and other things triggered by the mind in endless space of silence. How strange that in what is supposed to be silent, there is so much commotion. The mind is so unruly, and the pressing nature of the past and future are such strong deterants from staying present and centered. So how can anyone find peace in meditation at all?
Lets start with the basics!
Step 1- Begin with a comfortable seat! While this sounds easy it is very challenging for all those but seasoned practitioners, monks and the like. The body, accustomed to slouching, easy chairs and other forms of lazy sitting; has trained the muscles to form around structured weaknesses. Years of poor habits are readily felt when attempting to sit in what is know as Sukasana, A.K.A easy seat. Easy seat is not so easy for most Americans, something I see everyday when I teach yoga classes. For many sitting in an Indian Style Seat may be likened unto a form of mideval torture. The Hips are tight,the back is weak, the core is not strong and the shoulders and neck somehow seem to compensate for what is lacking everywhere else.
Try a pillow or cushion and sit to the edge of it! If this is still too intense, sit in a chair with feet firmly planted on the floor, or lay down but dont fall asleep!
Step 2- Relax
So you finally have found a seeminly comfortable seat! Now notice your muscles! Are you clenching your jaw and teeth? How about the eyes? Are you squinting in over concentration striving to see in the dark screen of the mind with no avail? Are you sitting too straight? Think natural and relaxed. Systematically go down from the head to the toes and notice each area as you move downward. Ground down throught the sitting bones and relax your shoulders.
Step 3- Breath
Notice your breath. Notice,... is your breath is ragged and uneven? Begin by slowing bring your breath into a natural flow. Imagine your breath as an ocean wave. Feel the breath open and expand, while it moves in and through the body. Visualize and feel your body open. Then, onthe exhale....relax let the breath flow out of the body. Feel the belly fill on the inhale and the ribs expand, soften and deepen toward the earth as the breath begins to move freely out of the body on the exhale.
Step 4- Guide yourself towards stillness within
This is a bit tricky to get to and to sustain for the beginer and intermediate practitioner. Depending on the situations preceeding your meditation and those things that are happening in your life at the time, there may be alot to work through to get to the place of stillness within. Some are confronted with several situations
A. Restless body. The first distraction will be some itch, pain or discomfort. This is common especially if you are begining a fitness regimen after a long period of being sedentary and have not developed physical stamina and strength. This will happen not only in meditation but also if you practice yoga. You will have to begin patiently and learn to differenciate complaints from reality. This will be tough to work through but not impossible. Remember this is a practice and takes practice. So start with a do-able amount of time, such as 5 minutes to start. It may take years to reach 20 minutes, but do not fret. Shift to a more comfortable position like laying down to continue if need be but try and avoid constant movement and complaints. The undisciplined mind will create many false sensations to distract you from this process.
B. Mental Checklists. Once you master the body you will find the mind is a tricky thing to contain. This is where the real meditation begins. Notice if you begin with mental inventories or even sermons. You may find your mind will not remain still or quiet. The mind is like a wild horse that has been running wild for a long time. Expect to be bucked off a few times and perhaps even taken on a few wild rides or tangents. Return to the breath and if need be....say to yourself I am breathing in and I am breathing out.
C. Unpleasant emotions. Often times when the mental checklists or thougths go on too far or long in the space of the meditation time, a thought will arise that will trigger an emotional reaction. Anger, frustration, depression and sadness will arise. This is not a bad thing, but it is a tell tale sign that there are things to work on. Many of us rush around our lives attending to checklists and or us distractions to avoid confronting real emotions that exist and have perhaps been supressed in your walking life ( the non meditation part of your life). It is not wrong to use your meditation time as a processing time, however the trick is to not let it take over your time. So allow the feelings to be there. Witness them as they arise, watch the thoughts come up and acknowledge them but use your breath and centering tools to prevent yourself from being hijacked by them. So allow the feelings to come up acknowledge them. Then, derail any thougths that will cause your mind to get stuck in a whirlwind of fixation. Return to the breath and stay present keeping your eye on the prize of peace!
Step 5- Be patient.
Continue to keep bringing yourself back to center if you find yourself distracted by any of the above challenges. The most important thing is to not judge yourself or pressure yourself to much. It is ok if you dont get to a Zen state. Slow and steady wins the race. Even if in the moment you feel not so peaceful, keep breathing and coming back to the stillness and be the observer of your own inner world. Be open to explore and learn. In order to master anything you must be open to the fumbling nature of baby steps! You are learning to meditate so dont pressure yourself to be a master in one day!
Keep to your meditations! The more you try the more you will understand!