Ode to the Sacred

himalaya
Ode to the Sacred
where have the Enlightenment seekers gone?

Standing in 2015 , after having been just a few decades on Earth,
I witness the rapid changes modernization caused in the world.
These changes are also visible in the world of yoga.
The intention with which it is practised has changed dramatically over the years. Not so long ago the goal of a yoga aspirant was Enlightenment ; to establish in the highest state of consciousness, a state of pure bliss, where the individual consciousness merges with the Universal consciousness or God source.
These words read like fairy tales and fantasy realms to most.
But that is how yoga started deep in the mountains with the sages.
Now we seemed to have settled for a quiet mind and a better functioning and better looking body in our yoga practice.
Yoga classes and teacher trainings today focus primary on perfecting physical poses.
Which reflects the current state of our material-oriented society.
This shift from internal goal to external goal extracts the spiritual essence of yoga. Much like a flower that keeps opening but never gets pollinated because there is no fragrance, it will bear no fruits.
The true purpose of yoga was meant to prepare the body for spiritual awakening and enlightenment. So it can circulate the higher energy frequency of expanded consciousness reached in meditation.The physical aspect of yoga, that is so popular in modern times, was meant to be a temporary thing.
Original yoga teachings suggest 12 years of mastering asanas
( physical poses), so the body is trained and disciplined to hold steady in meditation. Yoga masters overtime practice 15 minutes asanas and then move beyond body and beyond breath into the deeper states of meditation.
Aspiring to master a head stand or handstand is adventurous and has some health benefits but truly courageous and fruitful is to aspire to master the mind and emotions.
“It seems everyone can practice complicated poses
but no one can sit still.
Somewhere people became afraid of silence.
People became afraid of spirit.”
Why? Has organized religion made spirit so unappealing,
has media made the physical so seducing and attractive, has science made it so absolute? We lose touch with Spirit in times when perhaps we need it the most.
Call it True Self, Higher Self , Pure Being, God Self.
It is a natural part of our anatomy. It is much like love.
You can’t see t, you can’t hear it, you can’t smell it, you can’t taste it. But it’s there, you know it because you feel it.
The inner path is not easy, perhaps more challenging than any advanced asana practice. You will need adequate guidance.
As enlightened masters disappear and more asana teachers appear this inner path will be forgotten. Leading yoga magazines portraying mostly young slim girls in poses inaccessible to most of the world can’t promise to protect the true legacy of yoga.
Looking at the future I ask ,what if the intention of yoga practitioners and teachers was again reaching higher states of consciousness? How would a class look like? What if humanity adapts its goals and make enlightenment one’s primary destiny? How would the world look like?
Till then I keep dreaming about an Enlightened planet

Your Best Date

hands new

A yoga class, meditation session or healing massage is an intimate date with yourself. Setting a regular hour to be with yourself is a powerful act of self love and self preservation. Turning your focus inwards is the same as plugging in your mobile phone to charge. When you become aware, energy fills inside you like the light of a tiny candle flame illuminates a dark space. You nourish each cell with the light of your awareness, removing barriers and obstacles from your physical, feeling and thinking layers so they can merge as a whole. And the tiny candle can grow and radiate like a brilliant sun.Make sure to nourish this flame of consciousness hosted inside you, keeping your heart warm, open and flowing and your mind at ease.

tips to make the best of your Yoga Day :
– drink more water this day to help detox your cells
– have a nourishing meal ready after class
– organize your daily chores so you can chill after yoga
– make it a vegetarian day
– go silent (or use social- media less) as long as you can to allow the mind to slow down

see you on the mat
Namaste
Shanti

Journey to the Naked Self

Shanti OceanJourney to the Naked Self

I began my spiritual journey 19 years ago and since cultivated the habit to be self aware.
I observed how with each pregnancy my thought frequency would go up with 10.000 extra thoughts a day, when I took over the center (my 3rd child) I was amazed with the capacity of the mind to run thoughts. It’s like loading the computer day after day, I reached a point where I started feeling an overload. I believe most of us live at the border of overload in this modern society. Those close to me knows I pour my heart and soul into the center.

First time after many years it crossed my mind to actually take a 2 week vacation off like most people do. I took the radical decision and decided to take the word vacation literally. Which comes from the word ‘vacant’ – empty.
I had the need to empty my mind fully.
While planning my vacation choices came up;  fashion magazine and read about Penelope’s Cruz latest lipstick color of the month or spiritual magazine? Fun foods ; fancy chocolate , beverages?  Or super foods that would make my body really happy?  Breaking down to the root of the question : What do I really want entertainment or healing?

 My intention for the vacation crystallized ” I want to journey to my naked, stripped down self ”
Free from duties, schedules, appointments, free from talking or interacting with anyone, free from my own voice, go silent, go Buddha style.

I know talk fasting is a radical way to detox the mind like food fasting detoxes the body.  I parted from my phone and announced the beginning of my vacation being a 3 day silent retreat,  right here in Aruba.

www.arubareef.com

This gem by the ocean lend to all my retreat needs. All the natural elements abundantly present. Mother Ocean flowing majestically at my beach studio doorstep,the  incessant caress of the wind, the sun flashing on the sandy beach and the colorful flowers ,birds and  trees decorating and enchanting the premises. And silence….

Silence

After 2 -3 hours meditation the mind shows that it’s anything but silent. Like well behaved pupils the frontal room of my mind was quiet & ordered. Deeper listening revealed constant chatter. It would’ nt stop. My mind threw up millions of thoughts in the first nychthemeron.  I knew I was a qualified marathon thinker but I was impressed. I continued being the good girl observer and watched my mind turn inside out as I committed to minimum of 4 hours yoga and meditation daily. Nothing compared to Buddhas 40 days silence under a tree. But it felt heroic.

Interrupted by salads, nuts, fruits, celery water, oceangazing, sunsetgazing, stargazing and canoeing through the mangroves to activate my muscles and joints after prolonged sitting. I love how  the sugar birds would regularly barge in at any time an land with a cute authority on the edge my glass, probably attracted to my smoothies except for the day she glanced down  the glass  and went ” really? salted yoghurt drink?’ . I loved the wildlife around. Pelicans and different color crabs like this cute baby crab that was nosing in my empty  foodbox outside.

Crab Photo

As mind settles, descend into deeper layers follows naturally. Diving into the forgotten chambers of the soul is not a pretty journey.  Sliding through sticky tension fields in the dark inner rooms where the light of my consciousness obviously didn’t reach for a while. I’ts like abandoned drawers back home or old files cluttered up on the hard disk.
I would remember myself of my most valuable insights as I entered undeniably the sea of suffering. I whispered Buddha’s words ” Suffering is also called Holy Truth, because our suffering has the capacity of showing us the path to liberation. Embrace your suffering and let it reveal to you the way to peace” . Then resistance ” When is this ending? Haven’t I done this so many times before?” . Here I was tasting the salt of the ocean on my face , I heard her whisper
” Consciousness is like water, it flows no matter what, keep flowing” . Ultimately I landed on the riverbanks of my soul, tired yet liberated and grateful to feel my naked self, pure being.

As a temporary Earthling it is easy to detach from your higher self and fall into attachment to every day reality and as a result face cycles of fear and tension. I am sure I am in for more inner adventures as I have plenty of dreams, wild ideas to manifest and inspiration keeps pouring in.
Knowing that healing and liberation is in my own hands and that peace is the foundation of my being gives me courageous wings to soar over mountaintops and inner valleys giving my best to life.