Writing ~ Sacred Geometry

Writing ~ Sacred Geometry

On Saturdays, I facilitate a contemplative experience that is called “Meditations for Writers.” We are an intimate group of writers from here and there. We breathe, we practice a meditation, and we write from a prompt.

This time we will play with this prompt: Draw a sacred shape, any shape, a sacred geometry. Write names, rhymes, stories, and phrases on the lines and in the spaces of your shape. Behold your creation!

We will also breathe deeply, and in our mind’s eyes we will visualize drawing sacred geometry around people we love, homes, buildings, houses of worship , playgrounds, shopping malls, schools, theaters, insects, trees, flowers, etc. Any person, place, or thing that we hold sacred, we shall slowly surround with an imaginary sacred shape. We draw sacred geometry around Mother Earth. We draw sacred geometry in the cosmic infinity. Our imagination gets an excellent workout. We remain in this meditative internal visualization for as long as comfortable. It’s fun!

We give ourselves play time, stillness, space, and permission to behold every creation.

© Rebecca Jane / Yogi Ma, 2020

Lingam Meditation

Lingam Meditation

This is a simple meditation that anyone can do.

Go to YouTube and search for “Nadha Aradhana Live”

from Isha Yoga Center

While you sit, keep your eyes open

lovingly gaze upon Dyana Linga.

Remain silent.

Remain Still.

For ever and Beyond

Remember, essentially you are still.

Feel your gaze bathed in rosewater and milk.

Sense your whole being gives the fragrance of jasmine flowers.

Enjoy your secret experience within you, and let it stay with you

unto eternity.

Grave Meditation

Grave Meditation

This is an easy meditation for anyone to enjoy, quietly.

Go outside to a secluded space.

Put your bare feet into dirt.

Close your eyes and speak lovingly to yourself

with your voice within:

“Beloved One,

Keep light in your heart. Feel the heart light.

Feel relief — you don’t even need to Breathe.

You don’t even need to

Be.

Done with all,

Visualize

your toes

slowly catching fire — one by one.

Slowly burning.

The flame, slowly rising.

Gradually consuming

toes and bones and body.

See yourself as a pile of Ash that

Blows and scatters in the next slight wind.

Sssssssssaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh

hhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuu

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

As you blow about and settle on Light and Breeze,

you dust the world. You dance with the light of dawn,

A ring, a ring of roses.

Ashes. Ashes.

We All Fall Down.

Now, Inhale Deeply.

Wiggle your toes. Spread your toes. Laugh at your funny feet.

Behold the connection feet kissing Earth here now.

Feel grateful for these toes and for this breath,

and every breath.

Bow to the Breath and bow to the Death within you.

Be Dark, Soft Earth

Be Dark, Soft Earth

The poet Frank Watson has given humanity a gift, a collection of poems entitled In the Dark, Soft Earth: Poetry of Love, Nature, Spirituality, and Dreams.

weeping woods

Book One is called “Within the Weeping Woods.” Each poem, very short, conjures the spirit of the nature haiku. Here, we are offered a chance to forest bathe the mind. Reading these poems is a wilderness adventure that tangles up desire, and I feel myself hearing my heart beat inside the forest and beneath its soil. This inner forest is dense with secret glades in which a reader can hide within forest Silence. There is intimacy but also distance that soothes. Though many scenes revealed here are absolutely terrifying, the language is so stunning that terror is totally erased by beauty. We become like the fool who, “entranced / by the beauty of a rose / he falls off a cliff / blown only by the gentle breeze.” Here, terrifying things are delivered gently. Also, it’s remarkable the way each stanza feels natural and not crafted, as if words simply blew in through the poet’s heart on the breeze. Effortless poetry! Ah!

dust

The poems in this collection can also create a sense of being a speck of dust, traveling free upon the wind and upon the wind’s whims; can I be so quiet, content, and unnoticed, even as I am thrust upon violent storms, even as I am settled home, longing we meet in a crowded jazz club? I read the collection while sitting under this tree in my front yard. I hear jazz music through the kitchen’s open window. Crows laugh. Dogs bark. Insects crawl nearby, and the wind is moving the trees. I notice nature with nuanced perception while I am reading Watson’s poems. This is reason enough to give this book a read and to read it again. I love the mood each poem evokes in me, like I am making love to the Mystery. It reminds me also of time I have spent sitting in dark temples, and one distant memory of practicing “Grave Meditation” with yogis in the Himalayas.

Grateful to Frank Watson and Plum White Press for the ARC
from In the Dark, Soft Earth by Frank Watson

eons

This particular poem welcomes the reader to witness a moment where the she of the poem confronts a secret she has been keeping from herself. She realizes an ugly truth, an inner truth that she had tried to ignore or suppress; yet, she had also stored it away in her treasure box. What a provocative juxtaposition! Then, an image arises in a simple phrase that hints at mischief, but it’s the sound of the words that is more important than their meaning: “sunlight broken / into a thousand little sins.” Then, the best part of the poem, is that the speaker, the I, the narrator of the poem, is but an invisible speck, some kind of micro-organism, somehow bewitched and floating “between the eons of her eyelashes.” This is an incredible shift in perspective. As a reader proceeding through a few short phrases, I have even forgotten to wonder what is the secret in the treasure box because I am now enraptured by the wonder about myself as dwelling between the eons of her eyelashes, contemplating myself as a floating micro-organism. Whoever “she” is in this poem, she is of goddess dimensions, and I am filled with awe.

This is just one poem from this collection. Every poem takes the reader on vast journeys through perception. Yet, the poems are immaculately short, distilled moments that trigger ancient contemplation. Spiritual awakening gets slammed together with lots of kissing of the Earth, kissing of moonlit waters, even kissing of the dead. The whole experience satisfies Spirit and sense perception all at once. And the Spirit world and the sensual world can be one, and this is absolutely OKAY, dear yogi! Plus, for viewing pleasure, the book contains artwork by a variety of masters, ranging from Keido Fukushima to Wassily Kandinsky, alongside the poems these works inspired in Watson.

butterfly

The collection is divided into ten “Books.” Each book has its own title, such as “Between Time and Space,” “The Percussion Mind,” and “Stories Before I Sleep.” The ideas and moods that these titles provoke invite me into contemplative space. I sit quietly, and I am content. That’s it!

While there are weeping woods, there is also jazz. And these haiku-like poems create a sense that the primal cries before humanity, with Earth always expressing herself in infinite variety, are not separate from the contemporary moans of urban music. We enter a consciousness where desire is a dream state, and I find myself longing to reunite with my Lover and give him the world’s last drop of rain, or the raven moon, or a road he may travel that will never end. I imagine the I of the poem to be my happy lover telling me that he lives his life in a butterfly’s dream. He reminds me of the Taoist adept, Zhuangze: keep life weightless. I wish I could say this to someone: if I am in your butterfly dream, may I be perceived as the nectar?

kiss

Finally, with this book, I find myself retreating again to the yogi cave within me and welcoming a gang of midnight philosophers to help me light the One Heart Fire at the hour when all across the globe, each has agreed to light his own lamp. If we build up enough nerve, we’ll all whisper: “We know how to guide the stranded souls. Look, over here! See how there is so very little distinction between what is a human form and what is Earth form? Be guided by the rhyme in twilight! See poems pouring tea for the Haiku that breaks the rules. Understand that which feels familiar is a bridge to mischief! Let’s cross together!”

In the poem “apparition,” there is a broken violin and some shapeless wonder that is rolling from one end of the world to another. Is it the poet that kisses Earth and moonlit waters and sunflowers? Or is it that the poet has become the foot or the lightbeam or the raindrop that touches the forest floor, the lake’s surface, or the flower’s petal? I have got to remember to be grateful for these poems that give me a fleeting chance to release my attachment to this human body. Be a drop of rain. Be a moon beam. Be a bear paw. And once I become these things, what does it feel like to touch flowers, lakes, and dirt?

who am I?

Who is the poet? He is “neither man / nor phantom / between the worlds.” Who am I? I ask again as I re-emerge from the dream of reading this collection. I stand up from sitting beneath this tree, and standing up after having read this book is the realization that this was not a dream. This deep peace within me is the real deal.

Frank Watson’s In the Dark, Soft Earth is a beautiful book. I hope you will read it, and allow it to guide you to enjoy your Self, thoroughly.

Appreciate Transitions

Appreciate Transitions

What does it look like to remember we are mortal and still live joyfully? When we say yes to life and reach for our fullest potential in any moment, how do we let it all go at the end, easily? When we allow Life its full expression through us, how does this Life eventually wish to greet Death? How shall we die consciously?

These are central questions to play around with while reading Sadhguru’s book Death: An Inside Story. He likes to say that this book is only for those who shall die. Then he laughs at his own joke. Today (3/31/2020), during his live YouTube talk, he mentioned that this is a book one should read alone and in one sitting. Then the reader can slowly digest this inside story so the consciousness may learn to be with all the dimensions of the reality of mortality. Reading this book, I felt like I was sitting on a park bench next to a wise grandfather and listening to him ruminate about death.

Read Death Alone

I read this book, not in one sitting as I am a slow reader. Also, because my children and the family dog must be nearby while we shelter from this pandemic, I took the advice from the book and held my connection to my current environment very loosely around me. Sure, I am alert to my family’s needs and provide all necessary care and attention; but it does feel good to hold my connection to this life loosely. Sadhguru says this is one reason to wear loose-fitting clothes–it’s a way to feel the elements interact with the skin. But also, wear loose clothes as a reminder to wear Life loosely, like a loose-fitting garment that is easy to discard. Allow lots of room in these flowing clothes. If and when it is my time, I’d like to gently dissolve away. I’d like to turn myself into air and leave on the breeze.

Be Aware Through Transitions

In my humble opinion, the best advice this book gives is to practice being aware—when dozing off to sleep—of the moment that consciousness shifts from being awake to being asleep. To take it a step further, humbly attempt to be aware of shifting from being asleep to dreaming. Be aware of shifting from dreaming to deep sleep. The teachings say that if we can remain in a state of awareness during these shifts in consciousness, this will be helpful for us to remain conscious during the death process. This awareness is the Ultimate Witness to every state of consciousness, and the yogis call this state Turiya. This blog posts explores awareness during various kinds of shifts. And once we become aware of transitions, the Hathors encourage us to appreciate those transitions.  

See This Page Blank

Sadhguru’s Death book does not offer much detail as to techniques used for remaining awake while sleeping and remaining asleep while awake, but he gives assurance that if we have a daily meditation practice, we can refine this witnessing consciousness. The way I have been remembering this observation is to just tell myself: Stay awake while falling asleep. Be totally aware when the shift happens. Awake and asleep are just another set of polarities that a yogi learns to bring into total balance and total unity inside. Why not enjoy merging opposites that can continue throughout the day and night, now and then, here and there, before and after, within and without. Eventually, there is little to no distinction between opposites. It’s funny being infinity and being finite at once. There are words on this page, and the page is also blank. There is this inhale at the top that changes into an exhale but before it changes it is neither inhale nor exhale. That’s where I can be. Listen to music. Listen with each note when it is not yet the next note. Be aware in that space.

Shambho!

Inside this body, I lovingly wrap awareness around the central subtle nerve channel of the spine, the Sushmana Nadi. I focus on the energy moving there until I sense its up and down flow. Then I gently coax its upward flow to touch the Brahmarandara and blow it out to merge with the Infinite. Easy! I have made a promise to myself to live this life as a yogi because I want to die consciously. See, I am complete. All future and past turns around and through all cycles cease when I hold my awareness in any space in between and whisper Shambho. For lifetimes already, my personal imagination has rolled around joyous feats of creating internal parties for mystics, lawyers, novelists, poets, sages, green grocers, trash collectors, criminals, failures, judges, sex offenders, bus drivers, doctors, and musicians. My inner world is an artists’ retreat with all of these beings running around in total freedom, joyous abandon, and naked wonder. So, what more is there? Goodbye Life and Hello again. Each time I take leave, I joyfully whisper: Shambho!

Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?

As I write this, my daughter is working hard to learn the song “Scarborough Fair” on the piano. She slowly works through each note. She will practice and practice until she receives a sticker to indicate she has completed her time with this song. Then, with dispassion, she will turn the page and move on to learn a new song. I will witness her turning the page and be sure to offer my awareness to the moment when the page is mid-turn; again, I will internally utter Shambho!

Conscious Handwashing

Conscious Handwashing

In uncertain times, what can we do? While we are staying at home, we can certainly wash our hands, consciously! And there is a way to get really into washing our hands without becoming obsessive-compulsive germaphobes.

I appreciate the World Health Organization’s short video tutorial on the proper way to wash our hands. Washing every surface of the hands is proven to be an effective way to reduce the spread of viruses. So let us hope that if we have the resources, we have started to pay much closer attention to washing our hands with these precious resources: soap, water, and mindfulness.

Columbia University School of Nursing’s Handwashing expert, Elaine Larson says, “quality handwashing matters just as much as quantity. Count to twenty seconds, sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice — heck, blow through a whole aria — but it will be for naught if you are not washing every surface of your hand.”

Good advice. Wash every surface. But let’s also contemplate beyond the surface.

As a yogi, I would like to take the handwashing protocol a step further, if I may. From a yogic perspective, the whole routine of washing every surface of the hands will be for naught if we do not bring our most expanded awareness to our actions. Yes, wash every surface of the physical hands; but also, involve every layer of being in the action of washing hands.

Health professionals tell us that washing hands is the most cost-effective way to reduce the spread of respiratory infections. Good news. When we are deeply mindful, there is also a deeper effect than monetary savings. To yogis, any activity that involves our attention on the subtle levels of being can and does impact our physical well-being. If we make it a practice not only to concentrate on the act but also to personally consecrate the action of washing our hands, this subtle level sacred offering can be a simple way to achieve collective upliftment in the collective human subconscious. Bringing consciousness of the subtle realms during this time of social, physical “isolation” can help mitigate the stress we may experience from isolation. Also, bringing more sacredness and consciousness to the action of washing our hands can prevent the routine from becoming a boring, mindless chore. Instead, washing our hands will be a sadhana (a consciousness practice). Plus, making it sacred helps avoid making handwashing an obsessive-compulsive habit done out of fear.

This blog post offers a way to make handwashing into a yoga kriya that will activate multiple layers of experience. We will slow down, bring new consciousness to handwashing; plus, during this time when yoga studios are closed, washing your hands can be your yoga practice (please remember, yoga is not only asana / postural practice).

What is a Yoga Kriya?

A yoga kriya is a series of connected movements that infuse a certain kind of energy and consciousness into these movements. Yoga kriya gets us involved in our actions beyond physical experience. So, not only do the exercises engage the physical body, but they coordinate the physical body to harmonize with the mental body, the breath, the intuition, and non-physical dimension that, once we touch it, makes us blissful.

Why Practice a Yoga Kriya?

Yogis make it a practice to bring a certain frequency of consciousness to every movement, every action of every day. One way to do this is to internally chant a mantra while going about the day. This means that for a yogi, the advice to “slowly count to 20 or sing happy birthday while you wash your hands” seems frivolous or mindless in a way that risks not bringing multi-dimensional, slowed, calibrated attention to the task. When we wash our hands as a yoga kriya, we create an opportunity to bring more dimensional quality to our attention, and perhaps even give a sacred sense to our handwashing.

This yoga kriya involves all that we are in a slowed down moments when we are washing our hands. Please note, this practice is not coming from any yoga lineage, culture, or institution. This handwashing yoga kriya emerged due to our shared experience, and it is a kriya that invites you into the moment washing your hands to play and just be you here.

Handwashing Yoga Kriya Instructions (video is below)

  • Stand before a wash basin with hands in prayer mudra. Breathe long and deep for three long, slow, deep breaths. Be present with this moment as if you are in the presence of someone or something that you hold dear. In other words, bring a sense of endearment, or even sacredness, to this present moment.
  • Now open the palms and face the palms forward at the level of the shoulders. Continue to breathe deeply, and visualize a warm, white light beaming out from the centers of your palms. Greet the air around your hands with gratitude. Feel gratitude towards the air, the hands, and the breath. Dwell in gratitude with deep awareness of the element air.
  • Turn the water on and allow water to flow over the hands. Greet the water with gratitude.
  • Turn off the water (conserve water), and soap the hands.
  • Chant the Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya chant (or any mantra you like) with the movements:

Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya

( Move palms together in circles, circle in one direction then circle back. )

Bhuta Bhuta Bhuteshwaraya

( Touch all fingertips of one hand to opposite palms then move in circles,

left then right )

Kala Kal Kaleshwaraya

( Wring fingers within fisted palms, like wringing water out of a wet cloth, left on top then right on top. )

Shiva Shiva Sarveshwaraya

( Rub or massage interlaced fingers extended, right over left then left over right. )

Shambho Shambho Mahadevaya

( Rub or massage left thumb with right hand;

rub right thumb with left hand. )

  • Repeat the chant with movements, at least three times with soap.
  • If possible, use elbow to turn on the faucet and rinse the hands in a conscious set of hand positions: 1. Cup the hands to receive the water. 2. Turn fingers toward the drain, and let the water run off the hands. 3. Press palms together and rub in a circular motion under the water stream.
  • Use elbow to turn faucet off. Shake hands. Feel the air and water interacting. Feel the drops falling off the skin. Be so present with the elements of air and water that you identify with them. Gently towel dry with a clean towel.
  • Bring palms facing up just in front of shoulders and breathe long and deep for a few moments.
  • Inhale and bring hands up to the sky arms at 60 degree angle. Lift your heart closer to the sky. Feel lift in the rib cage. Feel more length in the spine. Feel the hands lifting up. Feel weightless.
  • Inhale, hold, engage the internal locks (the bandhas) from the root lock to the Jiva Bhanda. Close the eyes and roll the eyeballs as if to look through the top of the head. Engage all the locks, not in a forced way, in a gentle way. Root lock means tightening the muscles in the anus, sex organs and navel point. Feel the vertebra in the neck are lengthened not crushed. Apply Jiva Banda, which means press the tongue against the roof of the mouth. Just be sure you are concentrating on this internal muscle squeeze and pull up at the end of washing your hands. This internal pressure is what creates the difference between handwashing being a yoga kriya and handwashing being a mindless routine. The idea is to pull internal energy up the spine using these locks. (Note: the chin does not pull down to the chest as in Hatha Yoga style Jalandahara Bandha; the idea here is to keep the neck tall and pull energy all the way to the crown by rolling the eyes upward.)
Where the banhas are located, engage them gently. No need to pull the bandhas as intensely as you might during asana practice.
This image is more like Kechari Mudra where the tongue is curled and pulled back. That is not necessary here. Simply pressing the tongue to the roof is Jiva Bandha. Jiva Bandha is sufficient for our purposes here in handwashing kriya.
  • With the breath held in and the locks applied, hold. Visualize the rays of the sun stretching into the palms of the hands. Feel absolute union with all that is. Feel palpable silence here, and dwell in that silence for as long as is comfortable.
  • Remain in this position and visualization with the exhale, gently throw all the breath out as you release the locks. When all the breath is out, engage all those locks inside the body again. On the exhale, include the diaphragm lock (called Uddiyana Bandha) in which muscles pull the diaphragm up into the rib cage (again, engage it gently, probably no need to do it full on). Again dwell in the palpable silence as long as possible while in a state of being absolutely empty.
  • Inhale and exhale powerfully and lower the arms to bring the hands back into palms pressed together at the heart canter. Send out an intention for health, union, peace, restoration, any creative intention…

May we treasure the unity the world is experiencing now because we are all facing the same challenge. The virus recognizes no national borders, but, hey, neither does human consciousness. The virus is a spiritual teacher in a sense that it is making us appreciate those things we take for granted and making us slow down and go within (plus it is a cruel teacher and often times spiritual teachers get cruel with us). May anyone who feels comforted by this know that I am here, consecrating my handwashing routine, and dedicating my clean hands and my clean heart to the health and wellness of all beings everywhere. Sat Nam! Namaskaram! Amen!

Instructional Video

Please view this instructional video if you prefer video over the text.

If you feel called, please donate whatever you can to the frontline responders combating COVID19. Thank you!

Get supplies to frontline responders combating COVID19!

Magdalen Yoga

Magdalen Yoga

Magdalen Yoga

is a simple practice for anyone to practice daily. Practice lovingly.

Unite With Sutras

First, Gently Allow Consciousness to Echo These Sutras:

Woman, Rise as Dawn.

Woman, Your Touch is a High Honor.

Woman, Your Body is Sacred Geometry.

Woman, Your Mind is a Consecrated Altar.

Woman, Your Emotions Carry All Across Oceans of Love.

Woman, Your Voice Vibrates Goddess Joy,

Goddess Laughter, an Awakened Song.

A Woman’s Heartbeat is the Kiss of the Divine.

A Woman’s Breath Nurtures God’s Breath Unto Eternal Life.

Woman, Feel Empowered Through Your Sensuality.

Woman, Know Divinity with Desire.

We See: Women Embody Ancient Temple of Isis Teachings.

Her Every Blink of Her Eyes Releases 1,000 Healing Truths.

She Knows How To Create Absolute Union

of the Earthly, Animal, Etheric, and Astral Realms.

Tune In

Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha

                             Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha

                             Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha

                             Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha

                             Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha

Breathe and Move

Surya Namaskar Above Her and Surya Namaskar Below Her

Chandra Namaskar to Her Left and Chandra Namaskar to Her Right

Shiva Namaskar Within Her and Shiva Namaskar Without Her

She Relaxes in Yoga Mudra, Timeless, the Beginning, the Now, and the Future are With Her while She Relaxes Here in Yoga Mudra Breathing Lovingly and Slowly and As Deeply As The Deepest, Darkest Rishi Cave.

She Balances in Vrksasana, and She Is With Every Tree In Perfect Balance.

She Dies in Shivasana; She is Reborn in Shivasana.

Meditation

She Wakens Into This Simple Meditation:

She Sits with a Rising Spine.

She Chants Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha infinitely, slowly, quietly, and lovingly on each chakra within the body and above the body and below the body.

Close

She Closes Her Practice With Her Own Prayer to the Creatrix

May All beings Be Free. May All Beings Be Filled With The Peace Within Maaaaa. Shri Maaaaa. Hari Maaaa. Jai Maaaa.

Aum Shanti Shanti Shantihi

{Secret Note: There is a Secret Mantra Flowing Beneath This Practice: No Need To Chant This, Just Practice To Hear It Far Below; The Earth is Chanting This Beneath Far Below In Her Deep Down Voice:

Buddum Sharanam Gacchami

Dhammam Saranam Gacchami

Sangham Sharanam Gacchami}