Taunya Rivera Wah-wahs on our Singing bowl to reverberate healing frequencies from the ashram to the jungle

Ashram Digest

Time to write another post and let you know how we are doing. We just did an 11 day meditation retreat with Kundalini Research Institute and chanted ECK ONG CAR SAT NAM SIRI WA HEY GURU; half an hour each day and two and half hours on the 25th. We love when these world wide meditations occur because we feel connected to a broader community. I liked finding more about (SORRY links aren’t working)http://www.harisingh.com/ekongkarsatnamsiriwhaheguru.htm Ek Ong Car: The mantra with Eight Powers because I have been attracted to the number 8 for some time, always referring to the eight gunnas (the eight forces present in creation; Absolute Time, Absolute Space, Om Sound, Om Light, Fire, Air, Water, Earth) and the Eightfold path of Yoga (Ashtang yoga; Ashtang meaning eight!)
These 11 day international meditations (we have done 3 of them) have brought us incredible experiences before. This meditation brought us Master of the Tibetan Bowls Taunya Rivera to practice with us on our first night of chanting which was also on the night of our weekly , so it really made it special!

 Taunya Rivera Wah-wahs on our Singing bowl to reverberate healing frequencies from the ashram to the jungle


Taunya Rivera Wah-wahs on our Singing bowl to reverberate healing frequencies from the ashram to the jungle

Healing sounds of the jungle meets healing sounds of the bowls.

We were lucky enough to get Taunya’s full attention on a few occasions, sharing with her our food, transportation, and mantras. She was nice enough to share with us some special tips on healing with sound, and what she does with her bowls! All told I heard her play five times that weekend. It’s all about sharing!

So here’s a few things I’d like to share with you. The first is a link to a beautiful MANTRA http://www.sikhnet.com/gurbani/audio/long-ek-ong-kars-0 . Upon meditating for 2.5 hours on this mantra, I found I could HEAR the cosmos! And that’s the purpose of mantra meditation, really! We weren’t using a background, but my memory of this mantra came up. Maybe you don’t need to chant 2.5 hours straight, just listen to this recording, because it’s so beautiful, you can feel the cosmos vibrating through it. A wonderful track!

We also found http://mynoise.net/NoiseMachines/singingBowlsDroneGenerator.php to be lovely and useful tone generator. Click the reviews below the generator once it’s loaded, and you can hear the ‘animations’ of the people who use the generator to get more realistic animations of what the singing bowls sound like, and you can listen to it for hours!

Teacher Laine Hoogstraten gives the guests of Ka ana a complimentary yoga session, and they get to try our kombucha afterwards!

We have been doing two regular yoga practices a week with guests to the Ka’ana resort. Please shoot us a line if you’ve ever stayed at the lovely Ka’ana! Ka’ana also buys our delicious Kombucha, and we often hear back that it’s the best kombucha they’ve ever tried!

It was marvelous to have my Mother and Step-Father finally visit us. There were some great conversations, great meals, and some great yoga. It was great to see my Mom doing yoga so gracefully, after two knee replacement surguries just over a year ago. Way to go Mom. And thank you Farley for the great books on Philosophy!

The ashram is always requiring constant yard work and repairs. Laine has become a plumber! It’s not her favorite job but it’s one she’s getting good at! We have just planted a dozen pineapples and a lychee tree on a terrace we started up the hill. Also a dozen coconut trees are planted there. There’s no rain, so we have to water just about every day. But we love being in the garden! It gives us a chance to have our feet on the earth. And we get to see the parrots and tucans better!

We welcome you with great love and respect, whoever you are! Drop us a line or come and see us! We are always open for yoga, massage, or vegan cuisine.
Namaste!

5936250

Silent Meditation

Silent Meditations have become a staple at Chaya Garden Ashram. We acknowledge the power of yoga asanas, mantras, and mudras, but it is equally important to sit in silence and let the mind be free to expand and soar to new heights.

Meditating in this way was one of my first real commitments to yoga, and this is a renewal of that commitment. All that’s needed is to create some sacred space, by burning an incense, saying a few prayers of thanks to the creator for this time, and this blessing; and clearing the mind of any and all things that the mind attaches to.

The best way to utilize this technique is to do it along with someone else. This way, when you begin, and your mind is prone to wander and wind up your meditation too early, you can look over and see someone else still meditating with you. This really works because it forces you to pay attention.

I learned this technique from a friend, and we would always meditate on the patanjali sutras, the first two; “Now is the time of yoga”, and “Yoga is the cessation of the misidentifications with the modifications of the mind”. Using this technique, I’m able to quiet the mind, and the mind turns into a movie camera, projector, and screen.

Silent meditation is not just about silence, it’s about listening…. WITHIN!

Often we would meditate to great jazz, techno, downtempo and dub music. Without the mind using it’s previously known tricks of distraction and disguise, the music would sound very different, revealing new things about itself. It got to be the point where we could meditate with any music and achieve the same result.

Meditating here in silence at the ashram is even more beautiful; in correct posture, with fresh air, and the sounds and spirits of nature are delightful. The Garden is a presence here that can be felt in that silence. I’m so glad that I am doing this here now, a skill that is applicable whether you meditate in a cozy apartment or an amazing ashram.

And this is a meditation that was brought to us by our sweet friend, Sweetwater Charlie. We loved sharing silent moments, and Charlie really seemed to love and understand our Ashram. Thanks Charlie!

5936250

Do try this at home.

Our greatest desire is that everyone give yoga a place in their lives

join us in this practice

Most of our current practices come from this awesome manual, which we acquired with a few others in a most random fashion, you might say an Act of God. This is an original from 1978. We are so thankful to have it.

R-SIZE 7 (640x480)

R-SIZE 2 (640x480) Kundalini yoga starts with this mantra.

ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO

Repeat it at least three times. It means and bestows Infinite Creativity and Divine Wisdom. This mantra also creates each one of us as our own teacher, our own guru. Through the chanting of this mantra we each are linked to the Golden Chain, becoming our own teachers in Divine Wisdom, that which comes from the higher self. In Kundalini Yoga, we are self-initiated, directly linked to Divine Wisdom without the need for a middle man.

This is not to say that the guidance of a teacher is not important, but to say that your yoga comes from you, so go ahead and give it a try. This mantra will protect and guide you on your journey.

This stretch, usually done with the toes pointing toward the face, was totally different and really refreshing with the toes pointed away from the body. People in class commented that it was a completely different feeling than the usual sciatic stretch. It’s effect was quite profound in terms of movement of energy within the body.

R-SIZE 3 (640x480)

Bow Pose with Breath of Fire  This one was tough for me. I just moved in and out of the pose as I reached my maximum. Give it your best, and come back to it as you can, resting when needed. It makes for a long two minutes. Breath of Fire is a breath in and out through the nose, activated at the navel point by pumping the navel with each breath rapidly. To get the hang of it, you could start by breathing through your mouth, and “pant like a dog” with your tongue stuck out.R-SIZE (640x480)

IMG_5035

IMG_5037

IMG_5038

Hope you enjoyed the practice! Join us at the ashram by making a donation to our Indiegogo campaign, you can share just by clicking the share button under the video, it’s so easy and we really need to expand our outreach. Give your friends the opportunity to support an excellent cause, the continuation of the ashram under a dry roof, and the unlimited sharing of yoga at a price all can afford.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/10-000-leaves-indie-ashram-needs-new-thatch

If you share or make a donation or both, you will receive a video of the Long Time Sunshine Song, which is the formal end of the practice.

thanks for joining us

Laine and Evan, Directors, Chaya Garden Ashram

 

Posizione del Loto e chakra colorati

Pride Goeth Before a Fall

Posizione del Loto e chakra colorati GuruGayatriMantra
How many games the ego plays. It’s a deep game with many layers. Pride as a mask for fear. Fear and pride are recognized as the domain of the ego. Two sides of the same coin.
Because I’m better than you, I want to help you. Why do I feel this sense of superiority? I think I have more experience, better ways of doing things. I put out extra because in my superiority I can afford to be generous to those who are lesser. I believe for a moment that I can live out my fantasy of bossing everyone around so that things can be done right.
Is this just a knee-jerk reaction to my own failings in the past?Why am I so invested in someone else’s affairs? Is it really ego that demands recognition via commercial success? Can’t you feel that controlling vibe overtaking you until it devours you completely?
Remember what it feels like. Like Anger, like hatred. It sounds like the belittling of others. Sentiments which should never be uttered. The ego is crying out for attention for its drama. The drama of fear covered by the drama of fear of not having enough. The ego grabbing for what it sees before it, like a bratty little child. The child who knows that it is always provided for, and that it does not experience lack.
So why the fear? Why the lashing out? Why the hatred? Taking it personally? Getting hurt feelings?
What the fuck for?
And then a cycle of behavior that serves no one. The ego goes away “hurt”, The pocket goes away empty, and a mishap is tripled by acting out through the ego. Relationships are endangered or destroyed.

So while ego is walking me down the street, my arms full of pride, so much pride that I can’t see over, a hole opens before me and down I go, head over heals, muffin over teakettle, and everyone saw my panties. My muffins were ruined, I did pass go, but I lost both face, and my twenty dollars. Plus another 14 I owed, bringing my grand loss up to $34, causing fear of lack of abundance to also make me lose my cool and act exactly the movie role I always speak out in regards to another asshole who I have now emulated.

And this ultimately incalculable loss in social damage is simply about being insecure. Hitching my value as a person to what I do, what I produce. Forgetting in that moment that my Value is inherent. I would be equally valuable in this universe if I produced nothing, did nothing. Why am I always trying so hard to make everything into my personal vision of perfect?

Everyone must live out their own karma. It is not possible to do it for them. It is not desirable to do it for them, and it is an illusion that you can place yourself above them, as though you could reach down and pull them up with your will.

Ego could come back with the excuse, “This is the curse of being more intelligent/sensitive than everybody else, but is this really true?”

I told the children, your greatest challenge in this world will be patience and compassion for those who are less gifted than you.
So where are we now? Suffering from delusions of greatness fuelled by insecurity? By an inability to accommodate failure as being as meaningless as success? Failure is the reflection of success, and both are an illusion, because all that is comes from God, not from me.

Get ego out of the way and make room for god. God and me, me and God are one.

Is human not also a creator? Certainly to some degree we make our bed and lie in it.
Maybe God/Universe is the random x-factor? The unforseen force which causes adversity or blessing, at times regardless of what human says and does?

I don’t want to know this anymore. I am tired of this lesson, why must I learn it over again? I could contextualize my whole life through this… I want to be free.

Freedom comes through the Yoke. In yoga we can be free.
Is God perfect? Am I perfect in God, as God? God and me, me and God are one.
Today’s yoga practice revealed the rest of the Circle. Creator/Destroyer, two aspects in one Force. The Supreme Being is perfection, and this perfection encompasses all that is. Is the world perfect? Are humans perfect?

Truly there is no perfection but God, but by the nature of All God, we see around us and within us that God provides a lot of room for things to go to hell, for chaos and corruption to be included in the perfection of creation. God seems to have loosed the human race upon the universe, obviously a portion of the Whole is Destruction and Chaos.

As a reflection of the Macrocosm, each one of us is blessed with a portion of these traits also. We cling to order, setting ourselves against what we perceive as the darkness, and yet this battle is illusion, for it is one that can never be won, unless we accept the shadow, and become One.
We are alive/dead. We are full/empty. We are happy/sad. All that we know is polarized, and we internalize duality in the first second of self awareness, the moment when we compare ourselves to what we know around us. Within the same moment we are objectified by our own consciousness, and separated from our Self.

We begin in that moment to almost think of ourselves in the third person, to observe ourselves like a movie. We forget that the watcher and the observed are one entity. We begin to watch ourselves live our life.

The division of I into two parts is the source of all desire. What we really want is oneness. To be back within the guilessness of infancy. The baby does not think of itself as I. It exists in a Now Reality. Complete in breast, milk and the warmth of the mother, or helpless in the void of absence of mother. That is all.

We learn to hate our “imperfection”, to despise our weakness, to loathe our “failure”. But are these aspects not inherent within the human? We learn not to tolerate this pushed down “shadow self” within us. We simultaneously learn to hate it in others, and in the world around us. This is called Integrity.

I begin to see that true integrity encompasses all aspects. That to experience oneness, the judge must be relinquished, destruction, chaos, failure and weakness embraced in equal measure within as are strength, love, happiness, creation, and order.
Laying down judgement has been the pursuit of a lifetime so far. Only through yoga, the yoke, do I experience bliss, unity, Unconditional Love. The yoke is a discipline. In truth nothing else matters.
I must love myself as I fail, in equal measure to how I love myself when I succeed. These measures mean nothing.
Love is all that remains.

Gobinday Sustainer, Mukanday Liberator, Udaaray Illuminator, Apaaray Infinite, Hareeang Destroyer, Kareeang Creator, Nirnamay Without Name, Akaamay Without Desire

Gobinday Mukanday

IMG_4670_renamed_2186

If the above article feels true to you, perhaps you, like me, need this kriya to assist you in balancing your desires with reality.

Things are fucked up, it’s okay. I have to learn to embrace it.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

for tolerance and humility, let's do it!

for tolerance and humility, let’s do it!

mindfulll

God and me, me and God are one

mindfulllGetting High on Kundalini Yoga
No body, no ecstasy…no glands, no God. Our bodies are the multi-dimensional key to all other states, all other planes. Without this “Truth machine”, as Yogi Bhajan calls it, we are ether with no drive, and no options. Within this incredible vehicle we are limitless. This body is not a boundary laden curse that is our cross to bear, but an amazing opportunity to explore beyond earthbound reality.
We feel. We think. We act. Information comes in through the portals of the senses. Does it come into the brain, or into the body? Perhaps both simultaneously. Thinking and feeling are so closely associated, we can barely separte the two. Our thoughts lead to feelings. Then we think about how we feel. Our thoughts and feelings seem whirled together, spawning each other, and leading to acts about which we think and feel. When we have a “gut feeling”, perhaps it’s really a “gut thinking”, as it turns out that we actually have brain cells in our stomachs. Perhaps we think and feel with much more than our “mind”. And what is mind? A combination of interpretations of “facts”, colored by feelings, distorted by our human spectrum of perception. Is a mind a brain? I think not! Perhaps, as in the idea of the Collective Unconscious, our minds are not even contained by our bodies, but are rather accessed through the physical nature of them.
When it comes to yoga, and more specifically Kundalini Yoga, we are given the power to stear and direct this maelstrom of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. We are given the ability to direct the glandular secretions through specific practices; an ancient technology of the body. What an incredible gift! A technology so perfect that everything you need to use is exactly what you were born with. Within each human being on this earth, the potential of the Golden Chain.
The Golden Chain, as with many concepts within yoga, has various layers of meaning. In a more external sense, it is the link of knowledge passed from one person to another, creating a chain of linked consciousness that began with the first teacher of Kundalini Yoga, and now terminates in you, as you receive this understanding within your self, untill you pass it on to the next human, and so on etc. But this is of course not all. Through the technology of mantra, specifially the Adi Mantra as prescribed by Yogi Bhajan, (ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO), the Golden Chain becomes our connection to the Infinite Creative Force, and Divine Wisdom. And this occurs by the physical connection, within the brain, of the pineal gland (the seat and source of DMT within the brain), to the pituitary gland, or third eye. Could this mean that through the Adi Mantra, and the subsequent practice of Kundalini Yoga activating the secretions of the glands, we experience the release of DMT in the brain?
I am not a scientist, but I am an empiricist. I am willing to come to personal conclusions through the knowledge of my own experience. Through the knowledge of Self. I am willing to say, “Sure seems like it to me.”
“All is Mind” says the Kybalion. All of Nature contains DMT, and as natural organisms, so do we. The sense of Oneness within us may be the flowering of DMT as activated within the pineal gland, as perceived by the third eye. We recognize ourselves as God, and begin to understand all that is as being an expression of that. Perhaps we first know this through psychadelic metabolites. Now we recognize the territory when we enter into this realm. Now we take the reins with the knowledge of the ancients that has been transported into the present. Now we make this connection with the Divine on demand. Now we become Divine.
“God and me, me and God are one”- a mantra given to us through Yogi Bhajan. SAT NAM

IMG_2095

Yoga Blog 9/24/201 September in Belize post

Yoga Blog 9/25/2014

When it is quiet at the ashram, typically the month of September is the quietest, we don’t take a break from our yoga, no, NO!   We are waking up early and doing an ADDITIONAL kriya before our regular 10AM practice.

In the yoga that we practice, Kundalini, there are thousands of kriyas (series) and we alternate between them; choosing from several books that we recieved as a gift during Sadhana (spiritual practice) on Yogi Bhajan’s birthday, and the hundreds of kriyas that are available online for free to anyone.

Click here to go to the Apana (Elimination) Kriya

The benefit of cycling through many series; is that each one is an open door to the soul.  The body is capable of so many actions, and it has been said by one of our teachers that kundalini yoga is the “I bet your body has never done THIS before!” game.  Different series open different doors, stretch different muscles, massage different glands.

The benefit in repeating the kriya is that it is NOT a matter of mere repetition, but you go deeper and deeper into the benefits as you progress.  For example, The Apana Kriya is NOT the hardest or most difficult kriya we have ever tried, but it does have certain unusual postures and movements, and enduring the full time of the action will lead to the most satisfactory results.

That said, elimination, apana, plays an important part in the body.  Without proper elimination we are unable to receive the full benefits of prana, the breath.  The bad must go out as the good comes in.  This kriya has some very subtle visualization that enhances the imagination.

Engage the SAT GURU with the mantra ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO at the beginning of the Sadhana and close with a long SAT and a short Nam.  Do this practice for a week and tell us how you feel!

The ashram is flourishing with the rains, a little in the evening every day.  The children are in school (except in service days which seem to come every week!) so that monkey falls, the waterfalls adjecent to the ashram feel like a private paradise.  If you are looking for haven for yoga in Central America, then look no further!

Every day I am thankful for the opportunity to practice yoga here, in Belize.IMG_2095

Prayer of Abundance for the Ashram

Raise the Roof

Prayer of Abundance for the Ashram

Prayer of Abundance for the Ashram

The Chaya Garden Ashram is invisioning how we might repair the roof or create a new one. We estimate that it will cost $20,000 and that it will take a crowd funding effort to pull this off. We are preparing a project on Indigogo and it should be ready soon.

We hope that there will be people ready to support our yoga ashram project, because we have already created a beautiful community through students around the world.