Below are some previous questions which we have responded to. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Inquiring in to the solutions is most enlightening 🙂
Q: Did you read the Vanity Fair article "Who's Yoga Is It Anyway?"...controversial story on Ashtanga?
Over 25 years ago I studied Ashtanga with Danny Paradise, Baptiste Marceau and David Williams. They weren't even mentioned in the article & I know for a fact they could do all the series way back then. The article was saying Pattabhi Jois' son was taking over this form & was taking away the teaching certificates given to instructors by his father after they studied with him (his father). I'd be interested to hear what some one with a current involvement with yoga thinks of this controversy.
A: Hi Friend.
Regarding Ashtanga – you can take away the form but you cannot take away the prana which brings it to life in the first place 🙂 Such prana is the divine, which cannot be certified or branded. I imagine Danny Paradise and his friends aren’t really bothered, after all these years of study - I am sure they can discern the important from the unimportant by now 🙂
With love and joy,
Ps thanks for your mail x
Q: When a person says they are spiritual what exactly does that mean?
A: We are all spirit/ual, in separate bodies. What that means to that person naturally may not be what it means to you. Generally it means that this person feels they have a connection with the greater picture, through the connection with their personal spirit/the universal spirit. Often a person may describe themselves as spiritual to describe the kind of things they like in life, which also includes the material! It is also possible for us to hide behind our spirituality. By this I mean that although we are ‘spiritual’ we must remember that we are materially present too. We can choose how much we wish to be grounded in the material or in spirit. For me, the ideal is a balance of ground and sky, nourishing my physical and subtle. Of course when we die, we become wholly spiritual and, if desire remains, we return for another round of material existence.
Q: Can a spiritual person relate to this world plane and the people in it –
A: Yes – if they want to be happy, it’s best they do. As the majority are here, grounded in their bodies/minds, it’s easier to relate to every one that way.
Q: Does a spiritual person have to distance themselves from this mundane and illusionary world that we live in?
A: They can distance themselves from the world (by choice, or the order from their guru to perform a vow of solitude) and still affect it from the mountain peak, due to the electro-magnetic pulse they emit from way up there in the clouds. The greater the yogi, the greater they affect the atmosphere and all within it. However, some yogis may find great difficulty when they return to the hectic ground of the marketplace or Brent Cross, for example 😉 Such an adept is not advanced and still has work to accomplish.
She/s who is in this world yet not of it - and is conscious of this – such a person is a yogi.
Q: Is it possible for people to view someone as being emotionally selfish, when in fact they are being spiritual?
A: Yes it is.
Tell me more if you like and I can expand on it 🙂
Q: Meditation: I've been told that westerners (us) don't know the real purpose of meditation.
A: Some do, many don’t. Rather than tell people they don’t know, explain it to them so they do (also see answer to next question).
Q: Should it be used as a means of communicating with other worlds/planes/beings etc... ?
A: Meditation is the means to know the Self. That is the Goal.
The self is God/Buddha/Christ Consciousness/Etc.
The self is that which is real and unchanging, as opposed to the world/etc which is ever changing.
All else is elusion or Maya. It is real but relative.
Communicating with other worlds etc – this is all part of the journey. We can exchange and especially receive info from other dimensions to help us evolve here. This however isn’t the goal.
Q: Maybe there is no definitive answer but I thought I would ask you.
A: It’s always lovely to be asked and share.
Asking is giving and giving is receiving.
A student asked about fragmentation and how to face all of their emotions more completely. Dorna replied as follows;
I love this little prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
There was a time I had understood Detachment as inaction and like you said 'controlled suffering'. If there is suffering and emotions, we 'spiritual' people tend to think we shouldn't do anything about it and pray it or meditate it out of our system.
Meditation, prayer, handing our pain to God certainly work in the way that they give us our inner strength back as we see who we are but that 'issue' that keeps popping, pops to be dealt with.
If someone keeps biting and it hurts, would you decide to detach from your physical hurt and stay available?
Emotional detachment is a happening, it is not what we can 'make happen'.
In the same way that our physical body has its limits, our mental/emotional body can take a certain tension. We learn to enquire and understand our mental/emotional body as a way to release the hold of mental conditionings, in the same way that we learn to understand the physical body in order to release tension that is created by our lifestyle (physical conditioning).
But Friend, we can't do these things if we don't respect their limits. There is no way I can force my psoas muscle to open (although I know I shorten them by sitting 8 hours a day). I MUST respect the physical body if I am to make ANY PROGRESS. Real true gentleness is a must if I am to help my physical body into suppleness.
This is the same with the emotional/mental body. The intensity of the mental/emotional pain is an indication on how far beyond our limit we're taking ourselves, how much we're bullying ourselves to fit the perfect image of ourselves. As this part of our being is so much subtler than the physical, it is so much easier to go beyond its limits without realising and to push boundaries that are not yet ready to be pushed.
Love all of 'you' including the mind/emotions, otherwise you're right, it feels like fragmentation. Listen the the mind, listen to the emotions; is there something you can do to help ease the load on them?
A student shared their difficult feelings and emotions with us and we thought you might find our reply useful 🙂
Good to hear from you. I’m well thank you and thank yoga.
Sorry to hear it’s been a bit rough for you – but the plus side is that you decided to try to reduce the anti depressants, so the impulse is coming from within you to keep working at the self healing.
What do you do when you wake and your mind races?
How involved in your mind are you and how much are you able to step aside from it?
Meditation is a repetitive practice of letting it go, through an awareness which arises through the practice itself, the mind isn’t absolutely real.
It’s just a vessel of our being, like a blood vessel if you like, which fills and empties of its own accord.
Part of the Leela (God’s play) is for us to see this and so learn to transcend the mind as its master, rather than it’s ass.
Meditation itself cannot be taught and when it happens the mind has ‘let go’ – so the process leading up to it is known as concentration, in which you are focusing your awareness on this letting go.
That’s sometimes done through a practice like yoga nidra, which if you are being kept awake, you could start practicing. In yoga nidra, you focus on the body parts and this occupies or ‘concentrates’ the mind, keeping it busy on something ‘positive’ until eventually it rests with its source, which is you, the peaceful stillness or background that gives life to either a quiet mind or an active one.
At least you are honest and clear with how you are feeling – ‘in the fog’ and this could be a useful exercise for you, to start with when you are feeling ‘brighter’.
Close your eyes and allow yourself to contemplate on ‘physically being in a fog’, sitting in it, walking through it – noticing your feelings and honing in on your breath. Also work with a clear sky, day or night and do the same – feelings, thoughts and breath.
Thus you aren’t pushing away your difficulties (and I’m not saying that you have been either – clearly you have great strength – as they say ‘God doesn’t give any soul any more than they can carry – he knows our limits – he is the breath of our heart and mind).
Would you like to give these a go?
My light and joy to you,
A student emailed because of the mental and emotional difficulties caused by depression, related to past trauma, as well as physical troubles caused by medication. We responded as follows;
Good afternoon Friend.
It’s good to hear from you.
I am very well thank you 🙂
Sorry to hear of your troubles.
I have just finished a DVD called ‘Depression Cure Breathing’ and am about to send it to the printers. As soon as it’s ready I’ll post you a copy as a gift, to give it a go. We have done some of the exercises together and there are others too.
I hope this also helps – Even though I haven’t been diagnosed with any illness in the last few years, thank God, in other words I am very well...... but......
There are times when my stuff / shadow comes up for some cleansing/healing/letting go. If it didn’t, then there would be something wrong.......(for me, at this point in my evolution).
These times are very troubling and I also go through very stressful days and sometimes nights. This was most intense for me about 13 years ago when my kundalini first awoke. I often went through hell, always alone at the time and, thankfully I am still here to tell the tale. Having said that, if you can share your difficulties like you are now, this helps enormously to ground the experience and realise that you are not alone. I still have stressful times – have had many last year and this year – all troubling my heart and based upon past fears of childhood and youth. Symptoms have included sleepless nights, palpitations and impatience/anger. Yet in my core, I know this is traffic, passing through and I have learned to let go to this and be patient, praying while I wait.
How often do you ask God/Sprit for guidance to bring you through?
How often are you thanking him for those moments when you feel/see a small ray of light/relief which gives you the fortitude to continue?
In between the moments of suffering are you recognising that you are also okay?
Are you ever able to recognise these intensely strong thoughts/emotions as appearing ‘in you’ but not you.
I mean are you able to separate yourself from them, even just the slightest..... To notice that while in the heat of this fire, there is a part of you (the self/witness/pure AWARENESS) watching everything that is happening.
Meditation is the process of watching the mind/emotions objectively and allowing it all to arise and fall away without ANY Resistance.
Your resistance is causing you the pain and suffering
Are you sitting still and watching your mind, watching your breath?
Have you done any chanting?
Have a look at these mantras here;
NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO - Buddhist Chant from the Lotus Sutra
NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO, can be translated as the teaching of the lotus flower of the wonderful law.
Chanting NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO regularly as a means of improving their health, happiness, wisdom and compassion. The goal of chanting NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO is to manifest the enlightenment of the Buddha in our own lives.
Watch NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO on You Tube here:
More explanations here
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha
The practice of Green Tara helps to overcome fear and anxiety, but devotees also believe that she can grant wishes, eliminate suffering of all kinds and bring happiness.
TARE means liberating from all discontent.
TUTTARE means liberating from the eight fears, the external dangers, but mainly from the internal dangers, the delusions.
TURE means liberating from duality; it shows the true cessation of confusion.
SOHA means "may the meaning of the mantra take root in my mind."
Three Jewels Mantra
Buddham Saranam Gacchami.
I take refuge in the Buddha. ( 'the full development of mind', in other words, the full development of one's highest potential, mirror like mind)
Dhammam Saranam Gacchami.I take refuge in the Dharma. (the living experience of the realization)
Sangham Saranam Gacchami.I take refuge in the Sangha (community, other travellers, seekers of truth)
You Tube here:
All of these mantras are extremely powerful.
Watch the videos and see how you feel about giving them a go.
If you need more support then we can always do another session or you could make a visit to the Buddhist Temple in Gaddesden here where they run workshops and retreats.
Keep going my friend. Your inner radiance is telling you to do so. It is a long and hard striving, but it’s the only way – your willingness is your own soul telling you to strive, to battle, to face the hardships and make positive and permanent steps. It may be two steps forward and one back and sometimes the other way, but in your deepest being, it is that INTENTION (inner tension) and INTUITION (inner tuition) that the universe/God responds to, by showering grace upon you when you feel you just can’t carry the load any more.
How does that sound? Please let me know.
Sending you healing light and joy,