Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Labyrinth day 30 - all night sadhana.

7pm. Been dropped off at the labyrinth. I wouldnt need so much stuff but im expecting it to be chilly and i need all the havan paraphernalia. 

8pm. Havan is completed.   Avi ran home so paramjyoti brought him back down to me.   Its getting dark with only a few clouds.  I smudged the labyringth.  Pee'd in the 4 directions on the outside of the labyrinth.  Circled 3 times while offering sage and lavender with mantras to durga.   Offered bhasma at each main rock on the path. An AUM symbol on the main rock where my head will be. 

I have sw niranjan facing out to the west. And sri swamiji facing out to the east. Sw satsangi facing to the south.   

The moon is exactly half. Just to the spouth of me. 

9pm.  Have been sitting in mantra for the last hour. Stars are coming out. A few planes overhead. I wonder if they see my small fire and if they wonder what is happening. 

Im feeling quiet calm, apart from Avi growling in different directions every few minutes.   Im not if ill last all night if he keeps it up.  It rattles the nerves. My saving grace is lola who only perks up every now and then. 

9.30pm. Just had rain for 10 mins or so. Im cold and sighty shivering. Fire is out now. And im hunkered down in my sleeping bag.  I may not last the whoe night if i cant get warm. But we shall see.   I have a sheet of plastic over the top of my sleeping bag. And a tarp underneath me.  At least the dog has not growled in the last 4 mins or so. All has gone quiet. The moon is now behind trees. I miss it. The stars are beautiful. Devi mantras fill y brain. With krishna and sri swamiji at my head. And mary and sw niranjan at my feet i sunggle in and hope to sleep. 

10pm. If it seems to be raining in your life. Look up and see it is the heavens showering blessings to cleans you. Even if you percieve them as cold and wet. 

It has calmed down allot. Its cold though. But im doing ok. The dogs are quiet.  I feel the still of night. 

Until 10.18. When half dozing i heard a twig break down the hill.  Funnily enough so did the dogs. And all barking hell broke loose. Sigh. In the second between hearing it. And the dogs unleashing thier fury I opened my eyes and saw the most beautiful shooting star.  Not really having the oppotunity to dwell in its luminousity i somehow got from lying completly horizontal under a sleeping bag, Blanket, plastic sheet and tarp to in the truck parked near by before i even realised what had happened. Another Sigh. 

Now 10.20. I have to make a decision. A few of them actually. Still damp and shivering from the rain im thinking not the best idea to go back into the labyrinth. The chance of me getting back to the stillness not likely.  So to satyam? Or the cabin?  Drive the truck down the gas line (which i dread even in the day time)  or walk?  

Having decided not to stay. I somehow very calmly make several trips to the centre to get all the stuff. Even while avi is still barking up a storm.  Truck is now packed. Druve or walk?  I pee. Again. And decide to calmly and slowly do my final lap out. Chanting the name of devi as i did. I kept wantkng to say "im sorry i have failed. Too much fear. Not enough trust. Im sorry". 

I decide to walk to the cabin. Grabing my sleeping bag and pillow i try to save which little face i have left by walking up. Yes. As i write this i feel shame. I figure it will pass but still right now i acknowlege it. 

10.54. So im lying on the futon in the cabin. Its nice to still be alone. Wish i could still see the stars. But its warmer in here.  And i can take off my wet outer layer so im feeling better. Sigh. 

Maybe ill have a dream that will help me understand. 

Ya devi sarvabhuteshu shanti roopena shabtita. Namataste. Namataste. Namataste namo namaha. 

Monday, 29 September 2014

Labyrinth day 29 - preparation

So weather permitting i am gonna give it a go and sleep in ma labyrinth tomorrow night. At least give it a valiant effort. It scares the bajeebas out of me. Which is the main reason im doing it. As i dont want to live in fear. In unrealistic fear anyway.   

I believe that its an appropriate offering for the last day of a month long sadhana.  Its been a wild ride. One of the things that stands put the most for me is how i feel so connected. Safe. Every single time i walk her. I truly feel connected to the mother archetype. 

So... The plan is to sleep under the stars with a sleeping bag and the 2 dogs. Ill have the truck down there incase i need it. And will be preforming a devi havan in the centre when i get there. The rest. God only knows. 

Ps. All words of encouragement would be welcomed below. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Labyrinth day 27 - together alone

So in case you didnt notice i dint write yesterday. But i DID walk the labyrinth.  It was a rough day.  Everything kinda exploded. Emotions ran high. Tounges lashed things that wernt ment. It wasnt worth writing about. 

Today however was a new day. We had the vishuddhi chakra immertion and each person really allowed the pranas to flow. Such an amazing group.   We all walked the labyrinth together, alone. 

The way life us really. Our own journies. Yet the same destination. At different paths. Yet the same direction. Home. 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Labyrinth day 25 - jai ma

Today is the first day of navaratri. The 9 nights of durga.  Its a powerful sadhana. With an hour of chanting in the morning. Plus havan in the evening. And of course walking ma labyrinth everyday as well. Between narayans school schedule and my sadhana today i feel like i have had time for little else. (Throw in an asana class in there as well)

Im still contemplating sleeping in her on the last night. My biggest question has been. How can i sleep with my feet towards krishna?  The answer came tonight. Move krishna.  (Groan...)

It will be dependant on weather. For sleeping in pouring rain might not be so awesome.   But we shall see.  

Jai ma!!!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Labyrinth day 24- walking

Epic day. Narayans first day of school.  We are all so tired that its 7.30pm and we are all in bed. Hes asleep.  

I walked ma in an obligational kinda way today. I cant lie. I was so tired that i just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Maybe tomorrow will be more profound. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

labyrinth day 23 - electric

Today has been busy.  very busy.  and my walk of ma was pushed and pushed until it was right on dusk.

The 23rd september.  its the silver anniversary. 25 years since Sri Swamiji set foot on Rikhiapeeth's red and dusty soil.  the eve of Narayan's first day at school.  its the new moon in libra,  the autumn equinox.  in short... its a potent time.

As i walked down to ma today i could feel the electricity in the air.  there is a storm coming.  Blessings in the form of tiny drops of water to balm the dry earth.

I walked her bare foot.  and raised my arms to the sky as i stood in the middle.  i am human. i thought.  the conduit between the heaven and the earth.   fearless.   and then a bug flew in my ear and i jumped.  ok... maybe not completely fearless.  

I have been thinking allot about soul retrieval through novels.  to let your heart soar in the pages of a novel, is to reclaim, remember a part of your soul who wishes to be alive also in this hear and now.

is it a coincidence that as i do this Sadhana of walking the labyrinth - an ancient celtic symbol for the divine mother - that i am immersed in reading the outlander series?  i think not.  i find it fascinating.  humbling.  and a thrilling reclamation of a piece of myself that not only feels like its moving from that point.  but also moving to that point.  to understand what i mean... you will have to stay tuned.

Monday, 22 September 2014

labyrinth day 22 - magic in the ordinary.

today i walked her,  it was quiet.  oh how i love silence.  not void of sound.  but silent.  
nothing unnecessary.  nothing trivial.  just he crickets calling to each other, like moroccan shakers duelling.
dogs running around,  then so obviously stopping for a cuddle.  Avi is now big enough that i can give him a full on bear hug.  im not sure who likes it better... him, or me.

today i listened to ask about sleeping in her on the last night of the sadhana...  still listening.  contemplating.

today, was the magic in the ordinary.

i remember you

honey drips down my throat
cold water balms my forehead
salty tears roll down my face
as i remember you

Hare Krishna comes from my lips
Hare Rama rolls off my tongue
skin melts
eyes close
now, i remember you

Sunday, 21 September 2014

labyrinth day 21 - can you hear that?

today, the storm has passed.  the sun is shining, and although i feel alittle woozy, i am up and about and feeling much better.

today we have started to move furniture into Ganesh Kutir.  including setting up the little alcove puja at the front door with Ganesha on it scribing the vedas.

narayan helped me do it.  we put it together, and then walked down to ma labyrinth together to get ganesha.  we asked MA if we could take him, and she said "of course".  narayan looked at me and said "phew, i thought she was going to say no" bless his cotton socks.

so he ran the lines of the labyrinth with a wheel of wood in his hands like a steering wheel.  making sounds like the indi 500 as he turned all the corners.  usually this would drive me nuts.  but i wove in and out of my mantra while invoking pratyahara, and quietly listening to the innocence and joy he was exuding as he semi-ran.

when we got to the middle.  i was feeling simplified.  stripped down.  clean.  grateful.  joyful.
and i asked him what he could see.  "nothing" he replied, as though it was an enquiry as to what he did at school that day.  "what do you see?" he asked.

"i see sunshining through each individual fir needle." "oh me too!" he said as if he had only just realised what he was standing in front of.  "i see the blueness of the sky making crisp contrast to the greeness of the trees, and the golden grass as the floor"... "oooh me too!."

and then he turned to me "mum" in a hushed voice,  "shh... can you hear that?  i can hear the trees breathing...."

and that was all i needed for my heart to soar.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

labyrinth day 20 - rebirth

in every intensive sadhana there is a moment of death.  where things will never be the same again, where there is a choice.  to live, or die.  its a simple choice we actually make many times a day,  every time we inhale,  every time our heart beats.  but in a sadhana there is always a pivit point to which it moves to, and then moves from.

yesterday was my moment.  to embrace this new opportunity of life in a way i have never done before, or to let go.  i was so ill yesterday i could hardly move.  my back was out,  my energy was 0, and i say reading most of the day, going between chair outside, and the chair inside.  it was all i could do, go between the two.

on my walk yesterday i could hardly even function.  i couldn't see straight, i couldn't think straight.  i did my best to give you a glimpse of my mind in the passage i wrote.

as i sat inside at around 7pm,  feeling like death warmed up.  zapped of all inspiration, it was paramjyoti that i watched.  i looked at him trying to navigate a full day of baking 150 loaves of bread after 4 full days at the hospital.  navigating narayan.  the house, me.   i watched as he didnt give up,  but clearly, he was at the end of what he had.  he needed me.  he needed to not do this alone.  he wanted me to rest.  but he couldn't do it alone.

now this might sound a bit melodramatic, self indulgent, delusional.  after-all,  if someone was to happen to me,  he would have to do it alone, and he would find a way.  but yesterday,  these were the eyes i saw through.  and i offer my humbleness, my fallibleness, my raw honesty on what my mind dwelled on.

and as i sat there i decided,  i dont want to be sick anymore, (not that i "wanted" to to begin with)  but that being sick was no longer an option. but i realized that it put me at a cross roads of choice. i had a choice to make. i had options.  but there was life to be had, and i needed to get off the chair and have it. i choose life.  i choose health.  i choose gratitude. i choose to rest more so i dont get so tired.  so i lent forward from the chair to get a glass of water before me,  and as i did i heard a "click".  and my back popped back in.  yes, it really was just like that.  i lent forward with my right arm, and my back popped back in.

this morning i woke for the first time in 5 days with no headache or sinus infection.  i woke with tentative energy.   i woke with an appetite.

and i realized that it is exactly 7 years to the month, since i last made this same decision.    to choose to live in service.  to do what needs to be done.  to be grateful.  to choose, life.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Labyrinth day 19 - the sound

The question
The que
The answer
The ans 
Is what?
Such beauty
But what was i?
Be greatful
I was just thinking
What was i?
Cant find
Not yet
Of silence

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Labyrinth day 18 - eh

Today i walked her. I am still not feeling well and i over did it this morning on the cabin.   

The walk was peaceful and uneventful. But now i need to rest. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

labyrinth day 17 - the left side...

so its not surprising that im doing a Divine feminine sadhana and all the left side of my body starts to go haywire.  the left side of my sinus have had me with a wicked headache for the last 3 days... pushing into the left side of my head.  then today i wake with a crink in my neck on the left side and shoulder.

ive held allot in this left shoulder for a very very long time.  when i get acupuncture done on it i get crazy images of times gone by.  most of them extremely unpleasant.

and on top of my left shoulder severely limiting my range of motion in my neck today, my left sciatic is also pinching.  awesome.

so what does it all mean?  well... the left is the feminine. to receive. to hold.  to soften.  to come out of "doer" the rajasic active mind.  and into a sattvic being.  the left is also ida nadi.  the parasympathetic nervous system.  that which innately runs.  that you dont think about... heart, lungs etc.  the core that keeps going when your not thinking.

so what do i make of it?  its another layer of unfurling.  an opportunity to connect at a deeper level to my innate being.  the piece that is unchanged, lifetime after lifetime, atma.  and the pain that is held there are the peices of fear that feels like i need to "do" something.  its the peices of me that function from the ego.  from the individual perspective.  the pieces that dont trust.  that dont completely receive.

as these physical things rise to the surface, thier emotions and mental beliefs peel away and then a choice is made.  hold on... or let go.  i choose let go.  let go of the pieces that operate from the individual. and allow myself to sink deep into the warm soothing waters of the mother.   jai ho!

Why Streisand Lost Her Voice. - making the connection between Swadhisthana and Vishuddhi chakras.

I watched an video this morning of Jian Ghomeshi interviewing Barbara Streisand about her newly released album "Partners". What kept my attention was Barbara's utter honesty; she spoke her truth with no apologies.  There was no hint of a 'script' that so many current artists stick to, afraid to hurt their careers with their truth.  She was real.  It was refreshing.

At precisely 20.35 she began to talk about how at one time she feared she was losing her voice.   She  explained that she was in America singing shows, and was feeling guilty that she had not gone on a tour with her husband in England, and she lost her voice.

I believe the two are directly related. You may ask: why would someone feeling guilty about something affect their voice?

From a yogic perspective, to understand this connection we have to understand the chakras.  People think of chakras as pretty spinning wheels of energy that you can pay $150 bucks to have cleaned out once in a while and your aura will be vibrant.  Wrong.

Chakras are portals which connect the higher frequencies of karma/archytypes and mental belief, through the emotions and into the physical reality.   These levels of frequency or sheaths are called the Koshas and chakras are connected to the level of frequency of the Pranamaya Kosha.  Chakras are portals that bring the unconscious to the conscious.   The only way to purify these chakras into their innate vibrancy is to "do the work" to neutralize the karmas, the beliefs that hold illusion.

Where does the guilt come in? Swadhisthana Chakra is found at the base of the spine or tailbone.  It is the portal into this 3D world we call the human experience.  It is connected to the water element, that is, your right and ability to feel emotion (energy in motion - emotion).  The shadow of Swadhisthana chakra is guilt.  We take information into this chakra through the tongue and we express it out through the reproductive organs and kidneys.  When we are unable to allow our emotions to flow, like water, then they become stagnant.  When prana, or energy, is not flowing then sound cannot resonate.  Sound, by nature is the resonance of particles within the frequency that we can hear.

Now it gets more advance. The chakras all work together. Vishuddhi chakra (meaning place of purification) is found at the throat,  and is the portal into our 5D reality.  It is situated in the spine at T1, at the base of the neck and is connected to the element of ether. 
You have the right to truth,  which ultimately is found inside of you and the shadow is lies.  We take information through this chakra through the ears,  and we express it through our vocal cords.  How we speak about a subject, the words we choose to use, tells us alot about where the rest of the chakras are functioning., what level of purification this person is able to incorporate into their reality all comes through how they speak about something.   When we cannot speak our truth,  it is because there is an emotion that is blocked.  To speak doesn't "feel" right.  It feels scary.  This is often when we need to speak, to a friend, to a confidant, or anyone who can hold our words without judgement.  The mere process of speaking allows the energy flowing again.

This is why it is so important when people are feeling emotions to speak their truth.  It helps the energy that has become stagnant to start flowing again.  Often when we  finally feel safe enough to speak about how we are feeling.  We cry.  

Showing how these two chakras are the mirror to each other. And that what is happening in the throat is happening in the hips, and what is happening in the hips is happening in the throat.   You cannot separate these two centres.

When you look at the Yantras (combination of geometric shapes that form the frequency of the chakras) it is Swadhisthana and Vishuddhi who both have the moon in their Yantra.  None of the others do. This again shows how these two chakras are linked to each other.  (Please note that Bindu Visagra is not a chakra, although it is learnt within the chakra system) this paragraph is very confusing is it necessary?

I believe that it is Ms. Streisand's ability to fully tap into her Swadhisthana chakra and her ability to feel the emotion behind each word as she sings, that is the reasons she is so talented and successful.  Her music shows the power of this connection.  When others are so disconnected to their emotions, listening to her sing, and to others who exude this connection between the joy of human life, emotion and music, gives them a taste of the frequency and potential that is available. This is why music is so powerfulIt is literally a portal to another reality.  Perhaps it was a time of Barbara’s life,  when she became blocked through her feelings of guilt,that she experienced the mirror to that stagnation, by losing her voice.   Luckily,  it was only temporary.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

labyrinth day 16 - to be held.

so today was the most challenging day so far with regards to walking the labyrinth.  due to a virus i woke up with yesterday morning.

yesterday, however the cold and sinus meditation seemed to work a charm... but today it has not seemed to work so well and after doing the bank and groceries in kimberley i was rendered to bed for the rest of the day.

it wasn't till 7pm, and after i had held down some food that i managed to waddle down there. i figured if sri swaimiji can do panchagni sadhana.  then i can walk the labyrinth with a fever.  :)  im sure there was days when he wanted to give up on his sadhana too... at least thats what i tell myself.

so today i walked slowly... unsteady on my feet.  slight dizzy, hot and cold flushes...

i walked in... and i sat.  and i noticed that even in my sitting on the ground in the centre of the labyrinth, i was still holding myself up.  so i sat a little deeper.  and then a little deeper.  until i felt completely held by mother earth.  i was completely held, and that i didn't need to hold myself up at all...  it was blissful in my fevered stupor.

i crawled back up the hill... and am hoping that tomorrow i will be clearer in mind and body.

with love.

Monday, 15 September 2014

labyrinth day 15 - time warping, yet its still about LOVE

i have recently read the novel "outlander" where a woman in 1946 stands in a mini stonehenge and is warped back to the 1740's and has a grand adventure of love in the highlands of Scotland.

so as i was walking ma labyrinth today you can imagine my surprise when the dogs start running full force at something/someone walking down the path.  and out of no where a woman dressed in early 1900's clothing (hat, skirt and shirt) is walking down the path to the labyrinth.

i really had to take a second to figure out what was going on.  alas, it was one of my favourite women in the local area, Jeanette coming to take solace in the labyrinth on her way home from fort steel heritage town.

i finished walking MA and went and sat next to her.  Jeanette is someone who i consider to really embody the energy of Divine mother.  shes completely committed to her evolution through the goddess path and spending time with her is always a treat.

as we sat i told her about my sadhana that i was engaged in, by walking the labyrinth every day, and how i am listening to the potential opportunity of doing a vision quest on the last night by sleeping in the middle of the labyrinth.  by myself.  something that scares the bajeebas out of me,  which is why i probably need to do it.   i have not committed to it.  but i am considering, listening, contemplating.

the other thing we talked about was being able to love someone so much, you are willing to let them go completely.  knowing that its not about wether or not you are with them, its about YOUR capacity to experience unconditional love.  that sometimes people come into our lives that completely rock our world,  explode our hearts, and then, like a bucket of cold water over your head,  you experience complete confusion when its not matched with OMG this is so awesome!   when you are so obviously connected deeper on a soul level but sometimes, the karmas don't completely line up in this reality.  that its not a failure to let them go,  rather a success to know that your capable of such intense soul level love.  that you will let go of all attachment to their personality in this lifetime.  that simply your ability to love,  that intensely,  not one person, but just to LOVE, is enough.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

labyrinth day 14 - between you and me.

...there are boundaries.  sheaths of protection, both conscious and unconscious.  some societal.  some self imposed.

to me,  my life through the path of yoga is about bringing all these boundaries, or sheaths to the surface and really choosing which ones are necessary, which are not.   which support my connection to and as the divine,  and which create the illusion of separateness.

this is what i contemplated this morning as we cut and moved a tree out of the forest.

to give you some of the things i consider boundaries, mostly that create separateness are, clothes, talking, glasses, media, morality (from the perspective of believing you are morally superior - and you may be - eg.  in regards to ISIS or other negative or dark forces acting out in our reality at this time. )  what creates separation? and does all belief of separation actually hold us back from our experience of oneness with the divine?

one of the first things i woke up to this morning was an article calling ISIS supporters "monsters".  and while i am appalled by their actions, sick to my stomach, and utterly saddened, i believe it is a very slippery slope to de-humanize anyone.  ANYONE.   through de humanizing someone we can then justify actions towards them that we could not do against our brother, our sister.  isnt this exactly what THEY (ISIS) have done to these people who have become the beheaded pawns in a international game of power?  they are someones sons,  someones fathers, someones lovers.  both the victims and the perpetrators.

yesterday as i read an article about Mr Haines,  the BBC referred to him as "the David Haines".  now this might be a typo.  but my first response to reading this was "the media has made him an object.  hes already dead.  or about to be." and sure enough, by the end of the day, proof had come forward of his horrific departure from this world.  maybe its only when we create separation from the human do we seem to be able to cope with the reality of consciously inflicted pain.

so today, i decided to try and minimise the boundaries between me and the labyrinth.  so i walked her bare.  bare footed, bare skinned. bare bummed.  with the breeze on my skin,  with the acute awareness of warmth and coolness across my body as i walked from sun to shadow.  sun to shadow.  for isnt that what we do in life?  keep walking,  sometimes in the sunshine.  sometimes in the shadow.  but hopefully always forward.  momentum is the key,  to keep moving forward towards the centre of our being.

silence... we really fill the void, the sweet void of potential, with mindless chatter.  as though hearing our own voice allows us to be remembered that we were here at all.

there were so many more textures to be experienced walking her nude.  the grass brushing my skin as i walked past them.  the ground.  firm, yet slightly cool.   yet in its simplicity of removing my clothes i realized how removed i am from the whispers of nature simply by creating a barrier between me and mother earth.   if there was no separation between the human, and the mother,  could we really take as much oil?  could we really mine and dig into her flesh as we do?

now, im not saying im going to be taking my clothes off again any time soon... but as i strip the pieces of me that hold back, rather than open forward, i am going to keep exploring all the pieces of me that hold boundaries, my illusions of separation from MA.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

labyrinth day 13 - wish upon a star.

ha!  so the irony is not lost on me after being so bold as to express my opinion on priorities yesterday that today is the day time runs away with me and its not till after my dinner date with paramjyoti and we get home at 9.30pm with a tired 4 year old that im still in need to fufill my commitment to my sadhana and walk ma labyrinth.

but i did it...

and it invoked a new first... it was the first time i have ever walked her in the dark.  and while i can honestly say that it was not the slowest or most contemplative cycle that i have done,  it did remind me of the very first walk in this sadhana where i had walked down alone. (even though this time Paramjyoti was with me) fear was present.  the dark.  bears.  cougars, coyotes...  and i realize just how much beauty we miss when we are stepping forward in fear.

never the less, im sure the next time i do it in the dark there will be less fear.  just as now walking down during the day by myself is no longer a fear-full experience.  instead, it is bliss.

the stars tonight are exquisite.  the night is clear,  and the aurora borealis are supposed to be seen tonight,  although i didn't see any.

a full day has been, and tomorrow bids another one just as abundant.  so without another minute to keep me from sleep.

loka samasta sukinaam bhavantu.  may all beings know happiness.  this is my wish upon the stars tonight.

bonne nuit...

Friday, 12 September 2014

labyrinth day 12 - priorities.

today is a big bake day,  we have just finished baking for tomorrow mornings market and are now trying to get narayan to bed.  days are full...  hectic,  and surprisingly i still found time, albeit quick, to fill my cup and walk ma labyrinth.

so ill make this short...  people will do what they want to do.  if anyone ever says to you "oh i would love to but..." they simply don't find it a big enough priority.

people say to me,  oh i would love to walk a labyrinth everyday. but who has a labyrinth in their backyard?  i say, its about priorities, its not about the labyrinth, its about prioritizing time for your connection to the divine.  you could draw a labyrinth on a piece of paper every day as your sadhana, and trace your finger over it...  its about priorities.

creating a life where i had the opportunity and space to build a full sized labyrinth was my priority.  its as simple as that.

ill say it again.  people do, what they want to do.  if you want something that will fill your cup, nurture your soul, be it a labyrinth, a trip to india, a weekend retreat, a workshop,  10 mins in the morning for meditation practice,  if you want it bad enough, you will find a way....

Thursday, 11 September 2014

labyrinth day 11 - harvesting the moment.

so i tried to take a movie of it... but i didnt have enough space on my phone to fit the file.  clearly she didnt want to be immortalized through film.  however i did manage a few more photos of her today.  space and things that people have made as an offering to her.  leaving a little bit of their shakti back with it...

the air is crisp today.  the perfect fall day.  no clouds,  about 10 degrees.  there is an air of nourishment about it.  the question "what do i need to take care of, so that i am nourished through the winter.  what food?  what warmth?  what joy?"  these are what i think about... and then im flooded with gratitude.  for, i have options.   we all do.

  Krishna and Radha sit against the rose quartz which holds the point of confluence for the labyrinth.   all lines, all roads, lead to love.

tiny rocks bathed by Ma Ganga, now sit in the sun of Niwas.

Dragonflys,  always such an omen to me of the Divine mothers blessings... 

instead of spending these days wishing for summer to come back,  what can you do to harvest THIS moment,  so that the winter to come is one of deeper and intense nourishment, rather than survival till the sun comes back.  

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

labyrinth day 10 - something to look forward too...

today started off kinda rocky.  but has smoothed out to a lovely afternoon of collecting wood out the back of lost dog as a family.  its one of our favourite things to do together.  not sure why. its hard work.  but the fresh air, and sense of adventure looking for the perfect tree is always exciting.

its crisp here today.  fall is upon us.  i pray that it lingers and winter does not rush in for it is my favourite time of year.   thanksgiving, autumn colours.  crisp air but nothing yet frozen.

something interesting happened today.  i was contacted today by a swami,  a poorna sannyasin, who was actually the first to meet narayan when he was just 3 days old.   he has suggested that he comes to spend 5 days at niwas and celebrate the anniversaray of sri swamiji's maha samadhi with us, and the 1st year anniversary of niwas being open as a yoga centre.

i take this as a blessing from sri swamiji to have someone come here that was personally with him for 12 years.   to come and hold space with us as we transition over this milestone.  its bought me joy today and something to look forward to for when we come home from india ourselves.

as i walked the labyrinth today i kept imagining doing a walking video of tomorrows walk.  so that you can come and walk it with me... would you like that?  would you watch it?  it might be meditative, it might be like watching paint dry.  im not sure... but let me know what you think and if you would like it ill do it tomorrow.

tomorrow is also the last kimberley market for the season.  such blessings have been bestowed on us with the communities enthusiasm for niwas' bread.  im sad to see the market come to an end.  but im thrilled it was so successful as a project that it will be on again next year.

so in the contentment of this afternoon its time to go and make bread.  lots of yummy bread... for tomorrow will be here very soon.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

labyrinth day 9 - trust.

its cold today,  almost put the fire on cold.   the full moon last night is still rippling through my body.  i believe it was in pisces which is my rising sign.  sensitive, watery, dualistic.  that sums it up quiet well id say.

we've had a few financial hic-ups in the last few days...   finding out about things that had we known earlier, we would have made some big decisions differently.    but alas,  we didnt know these things and now big items are in motion, and back tracking is not an option.  

i know we are not alone in tight financial times.  teachers are for one feeling it, having not been paid anything since the 2nd week of june.  my heart goes out to them.  and i wonder of the collective conscious teaching of this moon around what is money? what power do we give money?  what is security?

my first go to is "work harder".  paramjyoti's go to is "how many more loaves of bread are we gonna need"?   but in fact,  we are maxed in both of these.  so what is left?  surrender,  trust.

as i walked into ma labyrinth today, frustrated, scared, almost in tears, i found myself asking over and over "what do you want!"  as though the bill monster was not satisfied until it had its desert of overdraft.

"money is an illusion" i heard.  "dont give it power.  give the divine power and the divine will always provide"  so that left me with "trust".  remember other times like this... and look at how grace flowed in.  "trust."  the more you can let go of the stress of it, the more you can let go of the story,  the more it will flow and it will work itself out.  "trust".

i can see that if we had known before what we knew today, we would have not made the same decisions.  but clearly the divine wanted us to make those decisions, and now i have to trust, let go and know that we are supported, the divine has and is always supporting Niwas and its destiny.  trust... breath... and keep on walking.

Monday, 8 September 2014

labyrinth day 8 - riding the wave of the moon

inhale, exhale.... repeat

its the last supermoon of 2014.  and im kinda glad that its the last.

the energy over the last few days has been intense.  no matter what i have been experiencing it has been extremes.  if im tired,  ive felt exhausted.  if im joyful, i feel slightly giddy with bliss.

most of day was exhausted,  but this evening we started the monday night yoga classes again, and to see the room full with 10 beautiful and mindful women was delightful.  it really was full-of-light.  breath flowing, bodies moving with precision.  an offering to the divine mother, and offering to the Self.  it was lovely.

todays labyrinth walk i was tired and crabby as i walked in.  so easily frustrated by what i deem as disrespectful.  indigent has such a sour face.   and i sat in the middle,  the dogs came for cuddles.  really... dogs are prozac with fur.  so much joy, and love, and devotion with every nuzzel.  they hold such a special place in my experiance of life.

the wind changed,  and the sun came out from the clouds.  i got up to walk out and the familiar feeling of joy washed over me.  connected.  peaceful.  the same one that seems to come with each walk of the her rings.  its addictive.  i love it.

i walked down there dragging my feet with exhaustion.  i came up only slightly fatigued and worked on the root cellar till class....

inhale, exhale.... ride the crazy wave of the moon and just keep breathing.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

labyrinth day 7 - full moon waters.

today was the last day of the "go with the flow" honey and yoga retreat.  it was delicious, in every way and im quiet tired by the weekends efforts.

today's walk to see ma was amplified by the gayatri havan we did just before it, and the dragonfly rock that ingrid gave me to offer Ma while i was down there.

theres nothing profound about today, except for the deep feeling that i have given my all, and now it is time to submerge in the waters of the full moon and replenish, rest and rejuvenate.

immense gratitude for the teachings of the weekend, and the dragonflys who to me, are alway ma durga saying that she is here, that we are blessed and that we are not alone.

jai ho!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

labyrinth day 6 - embrace the chaos.

its been a long day.  a great day.  a full day.

its the "go with the flow karma yoga retreat" this weekend.  people coming together to embrace the brilliant light of september,  practice yoga,  extract honey.

we worked on the cabin,  and extracted honey in the afternoon... followed by a well earnt walk of the labyrinth post dinner and a beautiful havan under ma luna.

so, sometimes we have expectations of what something spiritual is "supposed" to be like.   but if anyone has ever received a hug from Amma,  you know that sometimes the most sacred and spiritual events are complete chaos.  and that was what the labyrinth was today.

5 adults
4 dogs
1 four year old.

all running around,  fighting, wrestling, jumping, adults walking fast, adults walking slow.    it was wonderful.  there was just so much happening, and yet... we were all just on our own journeys.  one step at a time.

there was joy in the cacophony of movement.  there was a togetherness, although we were all walking alone.  it was a great day to simply embrace the chaos.

Friday, 5 September 2014

labyrinth day 5 - i'm human



fatigue.  burning.  searching.  already here.  surrender.



i realized today as i walked back from ma labyrinth that ive always considered being human as "someone who has fallen from grace, who is less than god, who is less than heaven, who has sins to atone for and therefore has been banished to earth to figure it out".    anyone spot the ex catholic?

how many times have we gotten to a place where we feel we have failed, where we feel that we are less than, where we pity ourselves, and find ourselves saying "im only human".

but i walked today contemplating the 8 rings of the labia, in terms of the chakras.  in terms of the development form shadow to light.   in terms of kundalini, colour, of evolution.

we come into her through the 3rd ring, manipura, ego, individual, and leave her from this place, having touched each aspect, walked each ring.  having sit in the centre on the mothers lap of earth.   to start the walk, and finish the walk in the 3rd, spoke to me of the importance of the 3rd dimension.

 i wonder,  maybe, to be human, is actually the highest honor of this 3rd dimensional experience.   we are told this after all,  to be born human is the most evolved in this reality.  but what does it actually mean?   to be a walking, talking, avatar of god. to rise into our humanness, instead of falling.   for manipura is the highest of the dimensions of the mortal experience.  to master manipura, come into the right relationship with the ego, right action, step forward from thy will, surrender, serve, is to realize oneself as god, embodied in this realm of physicality.  to realize that you are god, in body,  is in fact, to be human.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

labyrinth day 4. - Creativity, Sex, Love and God.

hi sweet one.

yes... today has been sweet.

we have baked bread since first thing this morning, for tonights market.  and although the oven has been too cool and we have had to refire it a few times,  it has gone very smoothly.

days like today when things click i wonder "what makes today different"?

i listened to a great interview on Q the other day with Jian and the lead singer from bleacher,  Jack Antonoff.  and i was really comforted but what he said about his experience of anxiety, and how that when the creative flow is flowing,  you just gotta go with it.   (for full interview click here - totally worth it... and great music.

and it got me thinking about Creativity, Sex, Love and God.  maybe or maybe not in that order.  and i started to think about my experience of frequencies that i have when i feel connected to the Divine/God, like today, and frequencies where i don't, like the last few days.    and im starting to think they all might be closer in connection than i originally realized.  now, im not saying that every-time i experience sex, put pen to paper, or sing,  i feel closer to god,  however, i do think there is a portal there,  a glimpse of something transcendent.

It is this same glimpse that i feel when i feel like writing poetry (im not saying its good poetry, but it comes from a place that is in the creative frequency), its the same glimpse when i look at narayan or paramjyoti and think,  "holy hell, how did i get so lucky"?  That really,  in each of these experiences what i am experiencing is the portal to the divine, i am experiancing gods love, through that human moment.  Its that connection that i crave,  that i sometimes wonder is it worth living without it?

its what keeps me going.  and it dosnt have to be all of them either,  somedays its singing to the divine through kirtan,  or even singing bb king that brings it through (one of the most holy of concerts i have ever been to).  sometimes its writing, or before my family it would be through painting.  sometimes its through making love.  opening to love, being love.  often,  like an organism,  its the build up to the creative burst that actually is more tantalizing than the grand event.   This,  is the root teaching of tantric sex,  to use this sexual energy to create that portal, and use it to experience god rather than the humanness of desire.

but today as i walked Ma Labyrinth (and suddenly wondering about the connection to the word Labia) i couldn't help but chant the Maha Mantra all the way around.  through pure joy.  i couldn't help but do so.   today, wether its looking at the wonder that is narayan,  writing this blog, or singing the name of krishna, that today... contentment reigns, connection is felt, and gratitude exudes.  i feel alive.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Labyrinth day 3 - rock and a hard place.

today it has rained.  and i mean RAINED.  we have had more rain than before april this year...

it took to about 4pm for it to finish enough for me to head down to the labyrinth.   it has been a day between feeling like a rock and a hard place.

feeling that by standing up for what i feel is fair, right,  will alienate people who i have much time for.  and yet by not speaking up,  could, lead to tragedy, or even death for someone or some people.

it sucks to feel that your damed if you do, and your damed if you dont.  and after watching my own passionate emotions circle for hours,  i came to the decision that if i didnt say something, and something did go wrong,  i too would be at fault.  maybe not legally, but morally.   if you know someone is going to do something stupid, illegal, and maybe get someone else hurt... do you tell the people who have the tools to nip it in the bud?

and if the answer is yes,  then why do i feel so glum about it?  i dont like to ruffle feathers.  steeped in my own desires to be liked. under my over exuberant surface,  im quiet sensitive you see.

this is what i pondered as i walked today.  i took some photos, for you to see,  of scenes of loveliness, fairy dwellings that reside within her arms.  my offering today was lichen that had fallen to the ground from the tree.  today, i had to let go of the mind of dualism, and trust my heart.   follow the beauty and dont worry about the feathers.

 crown of semi precious'ness
joyful buddha
 and ancestors of the isle sitting against the rock of love.

 the water rock at the centre of the labyrinth.  holds a special place,  it has equal U shaped ridges upon its surface denoting that it was at the bottom of a tidal pool.  like an ocean or a great lake.  it was found but 200ft from the labyrinth herself.  at niwas, on the side of the hill.

again today in the centre of the labyrinth i got dizzy,  like a frequency was available there that was intoxicating.  i didnt have time to sit and immerse myself in it.  maybe tomorrow,  we shall see what comes...

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Labyrinth day 2. - Fear and Lichen

as i walked down to the labyrinth today i realized something.  it scares me.  even with the 2 dogs.  and paramjyoti up at satyam, i was keenly aware that i was alone, that i didnt have my phone, or bear spray, and that i was scared.  it was cold.  it had just had a good down pour for about 10 mins.  and the cuffs of my pants were soaking by the time i got down there.

did it stop me?  no.  but i became acutely aware of the tension in my throat,  the heaviness in my heart,  and a little sadness under my anxiety also. and i realized that when im tired, i simply dont have the shakti to see past the clouds.   sleep,  and rest,  not exactly 2 things ive had alot of in the last 5 years, but its catching up with me now.  realizing that to be my best,  i need to rest.

  as i walked in, i just walked, whats my question?  nothing.  whats my intention?  one foot in front of the other.  to be here, now, to be open.
 random thoughts entered me,  nothing profound,  nothing worthy of entertaining.  just a heaviness, an emptiness.

at the centre i crouched by the rose quartz with both hands on her,  no questions, no prayers, no, nothing... except, the overwhelming fascination with how beautiful lichen is.  its so stunning, regardless of its shade or texture.  its one of my favorite aspects of nature.  for some reason i atribute lichen to natures innate beauty.  it needs the water, (emotion), it needs it to be cool, damp.  just as i was in that moment,  and yet, it thrives there, its so darn beautiful!

 and then i stood to go, but it was different, something had changed,  the anxiety was there, the cold and damp was there,  but i dreaded the labyrinth finishing, i wanted it to keep going, for hours, and hours, there was a comfort, a connection, a feeling of being held as i walked out that wasnt there on the way in...

tomorrow... ill do it again.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Labyrinth Sadhana - Day 1. - one step at a time.

Hi all,  firstly i would like to say i'm sorry for my huge gaps on this blog over the last months... its been a challenging summer and i have not wanted to bore you with words for the sake of them.  sometimes silence is better.

We have, however, had some amazing retreats here lately.  with the week long intensive of the chakra immersion retreat, and just this weekend with the lovely and nurturing yoga ecology retreat.

It was with the crew for this retreat that i started talking to the woman about my dream of people coming and staying down at the labyrinth for personal retreats of walking the labyrinth say,  11 times a day,  having food provided and bought down to the camper, and committing to a 3, 5, 7 or 11 day stint.  

So i have decided, on a smaller scale, to commit to one myself.  for myself.  by myself.  to see how the evolution of this practice resonates with me over a 30 day period.  so im committing to walk the Niwas labyrinth every day for 30 days.  blogging each day about what my experience was...  some days i might have allot to say,  some days i might not have anything but the acknowledgement that i have in fact completed that day.

So today,  the 1st september was my first one.  The intention was GRATITUDE.  more as a closing to the ecology retreat rather than the starting of an intensive sadhana... but it was profound non the less.

There was a lightness in me today as i walked her.  I have in fact felt quiet heavy for the last 3 months or so.  Depressed some would say.  but for me that holds to many societal projections for what you think my experience was.  rather than the reality of what it has been.

Today, narayan, who rarely comes down to the labyrinth, and rarely can stay quiet enough for me to focus, truly became part of the experience in the most beautiful way.  he walked behind me, then in front of me for the walk in.  he was quiet.  he seemed to understand the importance of the quiet.  then when we got to the middle he very quietly asked. "mama i need cuddles in the green sweater".  so i picked him up and wrapped him in me.  and we walked out as one.  it was beautiful.  he was snuggly.  gentle.  and i appreciated the feeling that we were deeply connected.  that i am,  was, and will always be his mama... to find comfort in my arms no matter what.

Today, as we walked together,  i felt grateful for being able to share niwas with others, i felt grateful that the teachings were resonating with the people and that transformation was possible, one breath at a time.  i felt grateful for my family, i felt grateful for being alive.  i felt grateful for living in a place where we are in no imminent threat of violence.  i felt grateful for being able to live with wonder,  the wonder that so many have lost, as their lives are torn apart by greed, ulterior motives and grudges.  thier reality plunged into thier imminent survival or demise.  i felt grateful for this moment to breath, to wonder about the divine, about love, about grace, about peace

Today, i felt myself consider emerging from the chrysalis that i have been encapsulated in for the summer.   To peek out and see what i have morphed into,  to see what has become...

are you coming with me?  leave me a note... and together we shall walk the labyrinth, one step, one breath at a time.

be held by the earth
allow yourself to transform on the wind
be nourished by the rain
and bask in the sun
for all you were looking for was right here with you.
yoga ecology 2014