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!

Mother the World

Mother the World

Some wise men have offered their insights about motherhood.

Sadhguru says, “Be a mother to the world.” I like this wisdom. It brings tears to my eyes. Mothering the world means including all beings in a mother’s embrace. Being a mother to the world is humbling. It takes strength and guts. In my experience, a strong yoga practice is needed to maintain and sustain such strength and guts. Let’s continue to practice together.

Yogi Bhajan talked about God standing second in line to a mother’s prayer. That’s how powerful a mother’s prayer is, assuming she is full of faith and brings her own humility to the prayer. Living life as a prayer helps keep a mother sane and glad. Lately, I have been reading a lot about the silent life of Benedictine monks I am using their wisdom to help me to be a better mother. I find it fascinating that Yogi Bhajan spent some formative years being educated at an all-girls Catholic school. This is what helped shape him, a good foundation for his reverence and devotion to his mission of uplifting all women.

I like to contemplate the many facets, dimensions, and layers of motherhood. There are the ways that a mother truly is, which rarely anyone sees. Then there are all the perceptions of mothers and the different faces, masks, hats that a mother wears. There are the infinite expectations of what a mother is supposed to be. What she is supposed to be is not nearly as dimensional and wondrous as what she truly is. Behold, the matriarch! When we behold the Matriarch, we are willing to see a mother as she truly is, strong in her infinite grace; she is the primal holder of the wisdom of the womb.

Behold, the matriarch! When we behold her as she truly is, we can awaken the mother within our own consciousness and allow that she is powerful beyond our perception. What a glorious thing it is to possess a womb and be a mother! Wise men may have had a lot to say about the womb and the mother, but the fact is that they do not know the direct experience. And in the wisdom of yogic teachings, direct experience reins supreme. But a mother always must transcend the silly psychological games of hierarchy and supremacy. These games are exactly what have poisoned this Earth and all Her beings. There is nothing higher or lower, nothing great or small, nothing in or out. All opposites merge and meet in the primal point of divine love consciousness.

Mother consciousness is divine love consciousness. When she knows this, she mothers all of the world.

May all mothers be guards for those who need protection, guides for those on the path, boats, rafts, and bridges for those who wish to cross the flood. May all mothers be lamps in the darkness, resting places for the weary, healing medicines for the sick, vases of plenty, and trees of miracles. May all mothers bring sustenance and awareness to the boundless multitudes of beings. May she endure like earth and sky until all beings are freed from sorrow and all are awakened. Sat Naam!

Garland of Words

Garland of Words

This garland of words attempts to engage in an intimate reading of the bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens with the sensibility and sensitivity of a yogi.

Just for fun, I tried this breathing pattern: while reading Owens novel, I inhale slowly and deeply through the pursed lips as if drinking in Life, and exhale very slowly and completely through the nose.  Breathing and reading so slowly and deeply, I place my gaze and easygoing concentration on one word then the next. This makes the act of reading a very slow and sensual meditation.

In this way, let us awaken the wisdom of the ecstatic tremor here and now.

Try it, Beloved Friend. For now, breathe slowly and deeply through the pursed lips while we focus together closely on this one scene in the novel.

Tate is the young man who teaches Kya to read. Eventually their physical desire to touch each other reaches the climactic point where they must kiss.

In this moment, Tate asks Kya a loaded question, “Where is your Ma?” Kya reveals the heartbreak: her mother abandoned her. In his turn, Tate shares the loss of his mother and sister in a fatal car accident. United in the psychological scar of Losing Mother revs up to the moment when they smash lip to lip. Here goes:

“And just at that second, the wind picked up, and thousands upon thousands of yellow sycamore leaves broke from their life support and streamed across the sky. Autumn leaves don’t fall; they fly. They take their time and wander on this, their only chance to soar. Reflecting sunlight, they swirl and sail and flutter on the wind drafts.”

These leaves, flying, no, soaring into death, spark joy. In the spirit of feeling the freedom that is Death, Tate rises and invites Kya to play, to catch as many leaves as they can before the leaves touch the ground. In the height of fun, they bump and lock in their gaze.

“He took her shoulders, hesitated an instant, then kissed her lips as the leaves rained and danced around them as silently as snow.”

Where the Crawdads Sing, page 124

Owens writes the scene with the grace of a wildlife lover. Her expression gives a sense that the bliss these characters enjoy in this kiss is the bliss always in the trees, the leaves, the birds, the sky, the marsh, and the stars — all joined together in the Dance of Life. What’s more, Tate and Kya’s kiss brings awareness to the inner life of trees, leaves, birds, sky, and star as these beings eternally tremble with the same energy that humans tremble with when two humans kiss.

Tate and Kya’s moment of union creates bliss in the human physical body, the intense pleasure of two beings kissing. Often it takes kissing for humans to remember the bliss quiver of life that is always present in every piece of life. This is a state of being that we long to connect to with a human physical body; but what does it take to maintain the human body to be completely free of any pain or discomfort and to abandon all that we are to pure thrill and excitement? We long for this state of pleasure because in this state it is easiest to sense the Sacred Tremor that is always there, or what tantrikas* refer to as Spanda. (*Please note that tantrika is simply a spiritual adept who knows how to weave the energies of the sacred into every dimension of life: eating, shitting, fucking, fighting, the comic and the tragic — to a tantrika, it is all sacred). The question is this: how do we sustain this state of pleasure, freedom, and ease every moment?

In certain yogic breathing exercises, we purse the lips and breathe through the mouth. This way of breathing stimulates the tenth cranial nerve, the vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve, which goes all the way from the head to the abdomen, stimulating heart, lungs, and digestion. The vagus nerve, when stimulated and refined, brings circulation, respiration, and digestion into synchronicity.

Kissing the lips of another being feels so satisfying because we engage in a moment in which one being’s vagus nerve syncs up with another being’s vagus nerve, creating a moment of physical union. The vagus nerves of two bodies spark simultaneously. Two hearts drum at once. Lungs lift and shift. Digestive dance within two bodies comes to a welcome pause. The link is so gratifying that one kiss can even unite two beings for years or even lifetimes. One kiss united Kya and Tate. And kept them tangled psychologically and spiritually long after their physical bodies endured years of separation.

Kundalini Yoga Master and Maha Tantric Yogi Bhajan once taught the Trikuti Kriya.  In this kriya, we chant the Wahe Guru mantra. When we chant, we focus the sound Wa at the belly, Hey at the heart, and Guru at the lips. On Guru, the lips purse out stimulating the vagus nerve. If the yogi maintains one-pointed focus on the lips while vibrating Guru very powerfully through the lips, then the exercise reveals itself not as a physical exercise but as a sensual and playful act of kissing the Wah Hey Guru mantra. 

If humans think it feels nice to lip kiss each other, well contemplate all the possible pleasure of kissing the Wahe Guru Mantra! Kissing Wahe Guru gives the sensation of kissing infinity, and it continues as an Infinite Kiss. Embracing the Trikuti Kriya as a Sadhana while one reads Where the Crawdads Sing can possibly give exalted pleasures because the tremor in the words and the nerve tremor in the body can collaborate to give a perception that every moment is a divine smooch, a mystical merge with a marsh, and a grand, exalted, salty coupling of wildlife with humanity.

I guess this is what it means to read with the sensibility of a yogi. It means to perceive the story dissolved until it is no longer about Kya and Tate, but about polarities coming into union: reader and writer, wild and tame, boy and girl, past and future, up and down, spring and autumn, hot and cold, literate and illiterate, leaves and roots, modern pubescent physical desire and ancient yogic mystical wisdom, pleasure and pain, on and off, loneliness and companionship, life and death. The totality of polarities included. No polarity left behind…

All polarities unite that is a state of yoga. Pure and simple union.

May all beings realize the ways reading while breathing through the pursed lips creates unity with the Infinite. May all beings realize the deep pleasure of practicing Yogi Bhajan’s Trikuti Kriya every day as a way to experience Sacred Kiss. And may all beings continue to feel the ecstatic tremor within making out with G.O.D.

Sat Naam!

Cover of Where the Crawdads Sing designed by Meighan Cavanaugh

One Heart Fire 7

Day 7

The Maha Gyan Agni Pranayam practice engages the Siri Mantra.  This is the mantra:

Ek Ong Kaar, Sat Gur Prasaad Sat Gur Prasaad, Ek Ong Kaar

There is another meditation that chants the Siri Mantra; it is called the Indra Nittri Meditation.

The Indra Nittri meditation was taught by Guru Nanak to his son, Baba Siri Chand.  Baba Siri Chand was known as a baal yogi, a yogi who does not age but maintains the youthful appearance of a boy, though he is an old man.  The tradition tells us that Baba Siri Chand lived to be 160 years old.

The Siri Mantra, regardless of what meditation you are practicing, brings great intution to the practitioner and should be practiced with great reverence.  Indra Nittri means ‘the eyes of Indra.’   This suggests that every pore of the body will become like an all-seeing eye.  You will expand your consciousness into great intuitive knowledge, intuitive wisdom.

The Siri Mantra itself translates to mean something like this:

One Creator is Creation, and this true bliss wisdom is gifted by grace; the true bliss wisdom that is gifted by grace is the realization that this One creator and the whole ongoing creation are One.

Its veneration of oneness consciousness makes the Siri Mantra a beautiful mantra to practice to observe May 24, 2017 and the igniting of the One Heart Fire.

Please join me in praciting the Maha Gyan Agni Pranayam to observe the shamanic ceremony to Ignite the One Heart Fire to usher humanity into the Ninth Wave of Creation, enlightened unity consciousness.

Humble Prayer:

May all beings, whether they are aware or not, be warmed by and experience the illuminating power of the One Heart Fire.  Sat Nam!

unity.consciousness.9

 

Yoga with Haiku

The Five Tattvas Haiku

Earth 

We pass a dark house.

Inside, a woman ready to die,

sings a full moon hymn.

 

Water 

Walk close to the edge,

so our Friend can push us

into the cold pool.

 

Fire 

We Sit together

in this burning yogi cave.

The empty bowl sings.

 

Air 

We chant the true name.

The cave fills with strong, cold wind;

yet, there is no sound.

 

Ether 

Hush and divine void,

the seers enter Samadhi.

Silence hums and spins.

 

Beyond 

Words melt, light breeze–

All within these empty hands,

Now Great Cosmic Love.

burning.cave

 

 

40 Days of Radiant Words

Day Twenty Seven

These are three radiant words that a yogi continually reflects on:

Sadhana, Aradhana, Prabhupathi

Sadhana is a daily spiritual discpline.

Aradhana is when that daily spiritual discipline becomes something that you want to do and the practice in and of itself gives great joy.

Prabhubati means “spouse of God.”  This is a stage of atunement to the super-consciousness.  Everything is experienced as harmony even if the gross ourward circumstance seems challenging or disastrous.  A person feels more of the pain of the entire cosmos, and more of its joy, but rests in the neutral, sublime state of mind in the mastery of the Beloved Creator.  Compassion gives one a capactiy to forgive the unforgivable.

May I be humble and alert in my observation of my own consciousness through its relationship to the process of Sadhana, Aradhana, and Prabhubati.

Please join me in practicing this meditation for 11 minutes for 40 days: Meditation to Develop the Radiant Body.

Question for reflection:

What words would I think, write, speak, and repeat if I knew that whatever words I think, write, speak, and repeat must happen?

 

 

40 Days of Radiant Words

Day 12

Once, I came across a bar graph that represented a survey.  People were asked to compare how clearly they can articulate their thoughts when they speak versus how clearly they can articulate their thoughts when they write.  More people responded that they felt ten times more able to articulate their thoughts in writing than through speaking.

I wondered how people would respond if the question were not about how well they can articulate their thoughts but how well they could articulate their awareness, their consciousness, their spirit, their soul.  After all, the yogis remind us that the mind releases one thousand thoughts per blink of the eye.  Many of these thoughts are not so useful, and I dare say some are pure garbage.

So, is articulating thought such a helpful thing anyway?  What does articulating consciousness look or sound or feel like in written and spoken words?

When I started wrestling with this idea that it seems we often privilege thought over awareness, I mentioned this to my teacher and expressed my concern about the excess of dark, dark thoughts looming about these days.

My teacher simply said, “Plunge, my dear, plunge!”  I looked at her, confused.  Plunge?  She continued, saying, “Has it occurred to you that your struggle might be a divine tool for bringing about magnificence?”

Today’s radiant words are from the The Radiance Sutras.

Secrets are hidden in darkness and difficult nights.  You awaken into a pang of aloneness, a howl of separation.  This is the call of the Dark One, the roar of life seeking its source.  The union you long for is within reach.  Throw off all hesitation.  Become one with the fear.  Plunge into the uncanny blackness, eyes wide open, as if there were no other choice.  Vibrating with fierce tenderness, breathe intimately with the Lord of infinite space.

May we enter every darkness vibrating fierce tenderness and trust the wisdom of infinite space to guide us to our beloved source.  May breathing intimately with the Lord of infinite space continue to remind us of the shimmering presence of the Beloved Creator of All That Is.

radiance-window