Childhood Rage

She walked into the house after a long commute back from work, with eyes flashing angrily at her mother who opened the door. She went straight into her room and banged the door shut. It was clear that she was outraged. Unfortunately the reasons were so many, that the moment she looked at her mother, anger rose up in her with a vice-like grip. At times in this raging madness, she would bang her head against the walls. She wanted to destroy herself and everything else that came in the way. She wrote dark songs sometimes, and tried to drown herself in blaring rock music. What was strange though, was that lately the anger needed no reason. She was angry all the time. It had become a habit, perhaps even an addiction. That is when she was afraid that she had lost control. 

This is a scene from my life about 8 years ago when I had just graduated from college and started working. Even during college days there would be several ‘episodes’ of rage – I remember riding my bike down at a high speed at 3am in the night all alone from my college back to my home, a distance of about 7-8 kms without any helmet, because I was outraged by a band member not listening to me as we were going through rehearsals for a performance.

I am no stranger to rage. The earliest I remember of it was my mother who would be outraged during my childhood. I would clamor in fear at her rage while she threw things around during those times. Though these episodes weren’t frequent, they were memorable. It inevitably bred fear in me for she was the authority in my life.

Seeing rage for what it is

Over time though, being on both sides of it, I’ve learnt that rage is not about violence. Rage is a tendency to take ‘it’ out on someone or something – the anger that has been suppressed for so long that the mind-body-soul cannot contain it anymore. But rage is a lot more than anger. At the heart of it, is severe pain – an anguish, a grief that feels like it is literally tearing the soul apart because of which a person is driven to ‘compliment’ it physically – by taking things apart in the outer world. This can manifest into throwing things physically, the urge to break things, and worse still, wanting to experience physical pain. Over time, the only solution I have found is a process that I make my clients go through when they have ‘anger issues’.

Image used under creative commons via Palladius

Image used under creative commons via Palladius

Handling Rage

Show up for your anger

The first step I usually take my clients through, is to help their anger have a voice. Allow your rage to abuse, curse, shout, give it a pillow to hit on the floor or pages to tear or scribble on. Keep expressing it until it is truly and fully out of your system without injuring yourself or anyone else. The next step is to sit with it.

The Heart of rage

Often the heart is bleeding. It is in grief or is blocked completely or partially because of guilt. Through meditation or Breathwork, I take my clients to the point where this rage was created. It is not the first time one got angry, but in fact a significant point when anger was suppressed when it needed to be expressed. As a result it was not just anger, but grief or anguish that got buried because you couldn’t express it. Essentially, the core belief is that you abandoned or rejected your own voice. It could also be accompanied with a sense of betrayal.

Grieving

Grieving is expressing the sorrow triggered when you were denied something you intrinsically felt you deserved. Experiencing and expressing all the thoughts and feelings connected to grief is crucial. It is a wounding that has happened in the heart. It is experienced as a loss of who you were or thought you were. Allowing yourself to go through that grief is necessary only upto the point where you come to understand what this loss, this ache is about. What part of you went missing as a result of this? Once you understand this, you can…

Take responsibility

You cannot remain angry at a person who understands your grief. You can be that saviour for yourself. Understanding that in those moments when rage got created you couldn’t have done anything different, shifts the perception into forgiveness. Eventually you understand that your intention behind what you did or didn’t do was not to abandon or reject yourself. You therefore take responsibility for the anger. It simply wasn’t personal. At this point you must truly question your loss. Is it something you really lost? Or has it shown up in your life in another form? My favorite, Byron Katie says, “Forgiveness is the understanding that what you thought happened didn’t really happen.

"Always crying" used under creative commons via GemMoth

Always crying” used under creative commons via GemMoth

Healing rage in children

Children are masters who will expose every hidden trait that lies within you. Rage in children is reflected rage – it is actually a deep-seated rage either or both parents or whoever they are around the most, have within themselves and is unresolved. It often does not belong to the child. I had one such case where the mother told me about her child’s outrage when he was given something to eat. When we looked inside her past, she had a distinct episode of rage in her own childhood where she was subjected to a very harsh treatment by her mother for not having finished her lunchbox which resulted into rage. The moment she saw this in her own childhood, she understood where the rage came from. The next day she told me excitedly how her child had stopped throwing tantrums altogether during mealtimes. Furthermore instead of being triggered by him, she was able to logically tell him the consequences of not having food and allow him to make his own decision whether he wanted to eat or not. He made his own decision to eat.

A senior therapist told me of another case she had handled. A child was brought to her who refused to go to school inspite of having good grades. When she started the session, all he said was that he was angry at one of his teachers. This teacher had punished him for not following instructions and drawing something else from what she had asked the class to draw. He said he was angry at her. So the therapist gave him a pillow and asked him to express it. He did all sorts of things to express his anger. He then asked if he could go to a room alone somewhere with it. She told him to go ahead. He then went away with the pillow and when she quietly peered into the room, she found him stabbing and stamping on the pillow calling out his teacher’s name. After a while the rage was spent. His grief at not being allowed to do what he felt like doing was expressed. He went back to school a happy, light boy. It is unimaginable to think what this rage would have done to him had it not been expressed and understood.

Anger Corner

I often recommend an anger corner in the house where kids are shown, by example, that whenever any family member is angry, they go there to vent it out. A school in Bangalore based on the principles of spiritual parenting has such a corner in their classrooms. It has clay, colored paper, and other things that kids can walk up to at anytime, even in the middle of the class, to vent out their emotions. When they feel done, they rejoin the class. The class goes on as if nothing happened. This gives them a clear message – Anger and all other emotions are completely okay.

Rage – Shiva Energy

The occurrences of rage in my life have significantly gone down. In fact the last time I went into a fit of rage, it was spontaneous and I automatically stepped into the witnessing consciousness. A dialogue between the Higher Self or the inner guru  and the outraged protagonist ensued. The inner guru was listening and responding to the agony and the outbursts the persona was venting out, while the awareness behind it was heightening until nothing remained but a deep inner silence without any distinctions. During this the body was moved by the rage, tears were shed, agony felt, while I was simply watching this drama rise and collapse. I seemed to have no involvement in this process whatsoever. I daresay I’m fascinated by these spells now. They deepen my understanding of me being just a witness. In the aftermath, I felt lighter and freer. There was an acute rise in sensitivity of my human existence and I felt like bowing to the earth humbled by its power. I appreciate these spells as the Shiva or Rudra energy, the Destroyer that is, which personifies itself through me during those moments. In this vast tapestry of human experience, I understand that this energy is needed to burn down the false personas based on lack.  After all, you cannot wean off personas.

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Why it’s Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound

Deepti G Gujar:

It is a blessing to find this article. My whole journey into spirituality was at its core about finding love for my own mother and resolve the rage going on between both sides. By and by through persistent work I’ve come to understand that the anger in our relationship was not as personal as we thought it was.
This reblogged article arrives very synchronously. I was talking to a friend very recently about the rage and abuse inflicted upon her by her mother-in-law and her husband remaining silent in the face of that out of the guilt-based thought – “My mother has done so much for us so I cannot tell her anything“. She eventually had to give up on the marriage working out in the presence of her mother-in-law. As we spoke, she shared her mother in law’s history – she came from a rich family but because of a tiny health issue, she was married off to someone who was less wealthy. Subsequently she had to work from the ground up to prove her worth which she eventually did with a flourishing business of her own. But the wound of having had to compromise her sense of self to fit into a family who was poorer than her natural one, seemed to have left a mark. My friend also came from a family more well off than her spouse’s family. She had never had to cook in her life. However, after getting married she was constantly belittled on the fact that she cannot cook. Even as she started to learn, at one point she had to give up her career to save her marriage by learning to cook and keep a good house. At one point, her mother in law pointedly told her that she would make sure that her wings are cut off. This is a sordid reflection of what must have happened to her, or her interpretation of the circumstances of her own marriage. This is not the story of an uneducated, poor class of people. My friend and her husband are both engineers who have their independent corporate careers. This is the story of an educated middle class.

And this is just one out of many wounds.

Another friend of mine was constantly blaming herself for all the tension in the house brought on by her mother. She was constantly disturbed by the verbal abuse her mother inflicted on her father. She tried innumerable therapies to resolve this but could never come to peace with the way things were. I often sensed the immense guilt and sense of responsibility she carried on her shoulders to somehow make the family alright and bring them peace. Though the silver lining is that she has with determination pursued exercises to bring her peace, she has not been able to forgive herself for not making things right. Through this family drama, she has got sucked into the belief that she has betrayed her family somehow which makes her go very hard on herself. Today she is a soon-to-be mother. I genuinely pray that by reading this article she finds the kindness within her to absolve herself of the crime she thinks she has made. She was never meant to get her parents’ marriage working. It wasn’t her job.

Lastly, I struggled for years to understand and free myself of this pain of a marriage going sour. I still find traces of this. Though I have found immense forgiveness and compassion for my mother, I am still hesitant to act out on some of my desires out of fear that I will break her expectation of me or that I will outdo her expectations in some way. Apparently the two extremities do go together. I am still searching within me to find the courage to speak for myself and acknowledge that I have been a good daughter. A part of me seems to never allow me to do so. It is incidental that the time I write this, I feel called to take care of her as she is undergoing health issues. I question myself often, “Am I doing this out of duty? Am I doing this out of guilt? Or obligation? Or simply because I want to win the title of a “good daughter” and finally feel guilt-free?” These are tough questions. But the answers are the only way to allow myself to realise my full potential.
Thankfully, by and by emotions have been coming up and leaving. The answers are not coming in terms of words but are coming in through feelings of gratitude and appreciation of who I am. I don’t have to be a good daughter. It is okay to be loving, even from a distance.
~
I sincerely hope you read the article below even if it is long, and share it with your girlfriends, mothers and MILs. Invite them to voice their history, their agony of never being allowed to be who they are. It might just save a generation from carrying the same wound.

Originally posted on Womb Of Light:

What many people do not realize is that the core issue at the center of women’s empowerment is the mother wound.

ElizabethBauman

Difficulty and challenges between mothers and daughters are rampant and widespread but not openly spoken about. The taboo about speaking about the pain of the mother wound is what keeps it in place and keeps it hidden in shadow, festering and out of view.

What exactly is the mother wound?

The mother wound is the pain of being a woman passed down through generations of women in patriarchal cultures. And it includes the dysfunctional coping mechanisms that are used to process that pain.

The mother wound includes the pain of:

  • Comparison: not feeling good enough
  • Shame: consistent background sense that there is something wrong with you
  • Attenuation: Feeling you must remain small in order to be loved
  • Persistent sense of guilt for wanting more than you currently have

The…

View original 3,131 more words

Posted in Everyday realizations, Inspiring reads, Relationships, Reproduced articles | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Into the heart with 2014

Perhaps I’m following the Chinese New Year rather than the calendar new year, for this is my first post of 2014.

Purely by intuition I discovered an organic farm cum expansive fruit orchard with a non-dairy and gluten-free menu just on the outskirts of Mumbai, in the last few weeks of last year. I felt called to organise a new year spiritual retreat for Nithya Shanti. And ever since everything slowed down. My thoughts that is. I had a lovely time participating in the retreat, sleeping in a mud house open from two sides, surrounded by Moringa and fruit trees. After ages, I stepped into the cold exhilarating rush of a waterfall bordering the farm and the delight of a child as I lit a Chinese floating lantern and released it in the sky past midnight, just after we entered 2014 in the pitch darkness of a teakwood forest.

collage

As happens so often with me these days, small sentences spoken here and there by people around open up layers of perspectives and shift me into wonder. One such line was “Speak to improve upon the silence“. It quietened me considerably. For a long time I was antsy that I had not written anything on this beautiful blog. And then I no longer was. I knew it will be written in God’s timing. This line has thus become my intention for this year.

When the retreat started, I didn’t have expectations. I just allowed myself to sink into the environment of birdsong all day, guests walking around in the rustic walk-in kitchen and treating each other as if they had always been there and playing with the innumerable, adorable kittens that were forever strolling in and out of our beds.

At the beginning, Nithya asked us to write our intention for the retreat or a question that we would like an answer to. Mine was simply “Why create?“. Prior to the retreat I’d been wondering as to whether surrender, letting go and non-doership translated to not setting any intentions. Every time I set intentions, I struggled to accept myself. I felt guilty that I was interfering. Inspite of that, my intentions would manifest in a way far better than what I could have imagined. At one point during the retreat, we were practicing an exercise recommended by Adyashanti in one of his books – asking yourself 2 questions that will bring back the mind into the present moment -

1. What do I want? OR What do I not want?

2. What happens when I don’t get what I want? OR What happens when I get what I don’t want?

When it was my turn, I replied “I want to create“. Before I went on to the next question though, Nithya pointed out something that instantly opened up my understanding of my inner conflict. “The issue is not with your wanting”, he said, “it is with the ‘I’. You think you are the one creating but actually it is life creating through you”. This perspective has lightened me up considerably. 

Through the retreat I was touched by the small exercises we practiced – making the Buddhist symbol Mai-Yur-Ma to bless people, learning about how to receive and respond to good news, learning the 8 basic Chi-Gong movements, doing the Hour of Power after waking up, writing a list of 108s and doing a 68 second visualisation for each other, discovering miracles happening unfold because of it!

What moved me the most were the videos we watched though. One of them was a video of how a black woman responds to hairdresser who is judgmental about one of her client’s interracial relationship which takes empathy to the next level. It made me reflect on how it is one thing to put yourself in another’s shoes, but totally another to feel them within their head. Here it is - 

We also watched a stunning film on Anna, an animal tracker. This film, titled the Animal Communicator takes us on Anna’s journey where she receives and sends messages, visions, intuitive information from all sorts of animals and is therefore sought by zoos and wildlife parks to use this gift in assisting animals who are in trouble. This absolutely earthy wisdom was previously known and used by many native tribes around the world to track animals, usually before they would hunt, so as to establish an understanding with the animal spirit. I watched this film several times after the retreat. Each time it moved me to tears with the heart-breaking realisation that we live in a world we don’t yet understand. It has awakened a strong desire in me to feel, experience and understand them as precious, sentient beings. More so, I have become aware that Earth has a consciousness of her own that needs a lot of deep inner silence for us to really tune into within and without our bodies.

~

Today I logged in spontaneously after becoming a part of a closed group on Facebook called Million Thank You’s Practice Group started by Nithya. “If you say ‘Thank-you’ a million times, your universe is transformed forever!” goes a Japanese saying. This is what we intend to do – to hold the space and say a million Thank You’s over this year.

I was told by a friend that 2014 is a year of miracles. A week ago I did an experiment based on Doreen Virtue’s Facebook update – I kept repeating the phrase, “Thank You God for answering my prayers!“. So much ease flowed into my life. I found a homeopathic doctor I could trust who gave me the perfect thing to wash away my past baggage I was tired of carrying but didn’t know how to drop. A slot opened up with my therapist and we could do a session that cleared the attachment weighing down one of my closest relationships thereby making me feel closer to this person. A group that had become energetically very draining to be a part of dismantled on its own. I discovered a great heart connection with the women who attended the new year retreat and we have a lovely Whatsapp group going where we do visualisations for each other, bless each other and share wonderful recipes for great health. I found natural cures for Vitamin B12 and relieving acidity that are super-easy to prepare. I received wonderful feedback on the healing sessions I had done for various people over the last year. The more you are grateful for, the more you find things to be grateful for.

Gratitude – Beauty – Smile is the simplest formula I have found to stay heart-centered. And this is my wish for you readers and subscribers. Even though I have not penned a word for so long, I logged in to the WordPress notification today that my stats are booming. I could not be more happy! :-) Thank You for being co-creators of this joy.

Wish you a miraculous and a heartful 2014, the year of the Wooden Horse.

Signing off with a video that has my formula of staying with your heart -

365grateful.com from hailey bartholomew on Vimeo.

Posted in Everyday realizations, Inspiring Videos, Spiritual Workshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Body language

jaggi_vasudev

Recently I did a past life regression for a client who experienced a “wound” or a block at the back of her throat. Her query for going into a regression was to find clarity about her career. She was wondering if she should pursue being a doctor. She also had a great love for singing and had studied it off and on but never really pursued it full-time. During the regression as she explored this stuckness at the back of her throat she went into a lifetime where she was a musician. During the integration of how that related to this life, she became aware of the belief that she needs to suffer, to delay her happiness, in order to deserve it. This led to her ignoring the pursuit of music which was her heart’s calling. Her mind though didn’t allow it because she received instant joy from it. In the process of regression, her body didn’t allow that to remain hidden anymore. In my experience, such unconscious wounds manifest into diseases or sickness.

For over a year my intuition kept saying that I was ready to do healing and music full time. I ignored it for financial reasons. I kept getting sicker and sicker for a year. Undiagnosed. Until a check showed me that my vitamins were super low. At one level, I attributed it to my diet of being a vegetarian. At a deeper level, I asked what do vitamins really mean? Vitality came the answer. Where was I feeling alive? The answer was – nowhere. I was sapping my own vitality by not doing things that made me feel alive on an everyday basis. It has been a year since I quit my job to pursue activities like writing, singing, traveling and anything else that fills me with joy. Yet today the stress of having a negligible bank balance is nothing compared to the stress of feeling dead and numbed by my mundane IT job.

For healers, their clients are more often than not mirrors of something that is healing within them. Like this client above, I tend to delay singing, which has been my passion since childhood. One day I was feeling unusually restless. My mind was super active and I had started getting frequent headaches. Meditation didn’t help. My bowel movements were upset too which my Ayurvedic doctor said was owing to too much mental activity. I sat down and asked my body, “What is it that you want?!”, much like a frustrated mother. I felt a lump in my throat and the diaphragm vibrate as if I was singing. I got my tanpura machine out and started tuning my voice. In the 2 hours that I spent then, the restlessness ceased, the mind quietened. For a few days I started practicing regularly. My digestion got better. I felt energised, rather than exhausted after each practice session. Today even as I write this, it is again a reminder for me to restart my regular practice, for just last night, I had a vivid dream of singing with a full throat, operatically. The subconscious finds ways to communicate to our conscious self. And I choose to listen rather than ignore this second sign (the first sign being the client).

Dr.Newton Kondaveti, my past life regression teacher, has written a book called Consciousness Heals which talks about how the body is a hologram of your subconscious mind. He loving quotes to us often, “the body never lies“. The signs of discomfort that our body shows are messages. Even though some of us know this and have practiced listening to the body and seeing the success behind it in the past, we get lazy, or fall back into the old groove of things and start ignoring our body language. It is so easy to go to a doctor, get a prescription, get a few drugs and go back to the same way of living. But what if we stopped for a moment and looked deeper? My earliest beliefs about my body were that it is just there. I almost treated it like a machine. I popped pills like Crocin, etc. without a second thought. Until I read Deepak Chopra’s book, Quantum Healing when I was about 17 years old. I was stunned by the outlook of how the mind is an energetic entity present in every cell of the body. Hence, effectively our body is like an intelligent, ever-alert organism that is listening to our thoughts 24×7. It not only listens to those thoughts, but organically feels those thoughts and shapes itself accordingly.

In another spontaneous healing months ago I was sitting in GD‘s Sunday sessions and felt like crying. I was tired of being sick owing to one year of regular fevers and indigestion. I was on a heavy Ayurveda course but I felt like I was hanging by a thread. I was afraid to die. That Sunday I was also very tensed and scared. Through the session, something GD said triggered me and I started crying copiously. The thoughts that went on in my mind were, “why do I have to have this body?! I hate this body! I just want to die and get it over with!” I had spontaneously processed a past life conditioning that the body is a burden to the soul. Hence, I was dreading paying attention to it. After that catharsis and looking at the root thought i.e the body is a burden, I felt much lighter than I had in over a year. I stopped taking the weakness so seriously. I was calmer while paying attention to the body. At the same time, GD’s advaitic reminder that “you are not the body, you are not the mind“, finally started to open up a greater awareness. This same thought was being used earlier to escape the body, rather than treat the body as an instrument of the divine, a mistake a lot of Advaita followers do.

There are so many other ways in which body needs to be addressed instead of just through diets, cancer and exercise. Leonard Orr, pioneer of Rebirthing-Breathwork and Immortality in his book The Owner’s Manual writes about how the element of Earth relates to our body. In that he mentions that not only is regular fasting a powerful way of earth purification that heals the body, but also your career. There is a wonderful affirmation he gives:

I daily make valuable contributions to the aliveness of myself, others and of humanity.

I am tempted to think that our favorite singers, filmmakers and artists who make us come alive are the biggest healers on this planet right now. I love watching an American television series called So you think you can dance and I am deeply moved by the sheer quality of heart and soul they put into dancing. In some sequences it feels like they are moving the whole world through their body. It transcends competition. And it almost always makes me get up and sing with more passion, or do yoga with more zest.

The other ways I have found to relate to the body are – blessing the water that I drink or have a bath with, inspired by Massaru Emoto’s Water Experiment. Chanting the mantra “Om Namah Shivay” before I start cooking, inspired by my grandmother who cooked the most delicious food ever. Blessing the food on my plate with the mantra “Krishnarpan” – dedicating the food to Lord Krishna and invoking his presence who transformed the poison in the 14th century saint, Mirabai’s body (since we are exposed to so many chemicals in the food we are served regularly), asking him to transform it into Light. Silently sending gratitude and abundance to all who conspired to bring it to my plate. Sleeping a good 10 to 12 hours a day that makes me feel refreshed and happy. I also “verify” some of my decisions by passing that thought through my body and checking how the decision feels in my body. Usually, intuitions, knowingness arrive at a bodily level too.

I came across another interesting case through a friend of mine who is a tarot card reader. As she looked up the cards for a health issue a client was going through, the cards said that this lady had suppressed her romantic feelings in a past relationship which led to an upset in her body. Somewhere she had begun to get a message that her romantic nature is not okay with this past lover which led to her childlike enthusiasm being suppressed. She was quite shocked to discover this and as she went on to make a list of what her romantic desires were, her own comfort with herself increased. This subsequently alleviated her symptoms.

Recently, the Hay House newsletter carried the following excerpt:

Now I was watching Lissa Rankin—a doctor in today’s generation of new thinkers. Her patients aren’t the Baby Boomers who grew up on fast-food, sugar-coated cereals and excessive dairy products. Many of Lissa’s patients are joggers, juicers and health nuts. They eat their green vegetables, exercise daily and watch their weight. Yet many of them still have the same problems that we all have—they are feeling sick, tired and headachy and they aren’t sleeping well, still gaining weight and losing their drive to carry on another day.

The turning point for Lissa was when she decided to ask her patients a very critical question: “What does your body need in order to heal?” She didn’t expect the answers she heard: “I need to quit my lousy job” “I need to forgive my father.” “I need to write my novel.” “I need to leave my toxic relationship.”

Then Lissa told her patients something they didn’t expect either. She said that they could write their own prescription and optimize their chance of being cured of any health conditions that might plague them. She did her research and had scientific proof that they could heal their lives.

The best prescription for your health is written by you alone. And slowly I guess all of us are waking up to the fact that how can another person based on certain, however elaborate studies, be the authority for what fix you need to apply to your body to “set it right” when it was never a standard machine in the first place? 

With gratitude to author Chitra Jha for her FB update on the body’s wisdom.

Posted in Everyday realizations, Past life regression therapy, Reproduced articles, Wellness & Beauty | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Imagination

imagination

Sometimes I get a feeling that I am living an imaginary life. That I am not real. All of this is psychedelia.

Recently when I underwent a past life regression, it returned me to a spiral of stories connected to the people currently in my life. It gave me explanations for my behaviour and theirs which we were playing out from an unconscious remembering of our past lives together. Months ago I had watched the film Cloud Atlas and was moved by the beauty of bringing the intricacies of interconnected lives across timelines onscreen by the director. I wondered honestly if he had undergone past life regression sessions, not one but several, because he had so meticulously pieced the puzzle of sharing multiple lifetimes together. Just like we see it when we ourselves undergo a regression session.

Ever since this recent session a lot of my pieces fell into place. Yet again.

I came to terms with the overwhelm of just being alive. Since as far as I can remember, I was scared of life – it’s almost as if I knew with deathlike certainty that something bad is going to happen. After a dramatic birth, life too was a series of events year after year after year. Every now and then, inspite of all my spiritual discipline, I fall into this groove of thinking, what am I doing in this life! It sometimes seems like I am handed with this life and in the process of incarnating, I lost the manual somewhere in the time warp. It is not like I don’t know my life’s purpose – which, as deceptively simple as it may sound, is simply to enjoy and create. This is an even subtler and deeper mystery – what am I to do with this life that I have been given? I wonder. It feels like a privilege and a power for which I intensely feel responsible. So much so that after seeing the depths of this life, I recede into a numbness. It is surprising how little one thinks of death on a day to day basis compared to how much one feels it in the body through its reactions vis a vis how much one thinks life is out to get you.

And yet all of this exists in the realm of thought alone and hence is imaginary.

In my recent regression, my therapist used a very different technique on me called bodywork. As she commanded my body to re-live a memory and release it, a part of me paralysed. I started recollecting memories of a lifetime I had never expected to. And yet as I was undergoing the process, a deeper part of me was questioning, what if this body is imaginary too? What if all these cells are just imagined? I take a deep breath now even as I feel this question.

I thrive on Breathwork retreats for my existence. The long lease of life I feel after having undergone just 5 days of a Breathwork intensive are incomparable. I feel like someone kindly found my manual and returned it back to me that I had lost somewhere in the time tunnel. I feel alive and grateful. And somewhere a deep restfulness returns – it is as if I am somewhere in between lives – beyond the grasp of death and above the survival fears of life. And that is usually when I “catch up”.

Maybe some of you reading this are the ones whose sessions I have been repeatedly cancelling or indefinitely postponing after the Breathwork workshops that culminated over a week ago. This is what I have been doing – dealing with the overwhelm of finally getting a break in life from the mere stress of being alive. I shall move into the first gear soon, but not right now. I ask you to be patient with me. Just as the stars are. Mercury is in retrogade in my sun sign Scorpio and a Solar Eclipse headed our way conjuncting Saturn again in the sign of Scorpio. My cellphone broke a couple of weeks ago and after it got repaired last week, it has almost completely broken down. I am lucky. I have been given time. And I feel like after a long illness, I have finally recovered but I am still put on a respirator to go easy on myself. I’m convalescing. And it is such a big relief.

And yet this is all story. Completeness is what I feel more strongly than ever. It takes courage to bring up as many memories as your soul wants to, like rabbits being pulled out of a magician’s hat. And yes, like magic, the memories don’t end, the magic show is ever-so-entertaining except when the magician pulls out the finale for the evening – Love. This time, my finale revolved around receiving love, how I had accepted someone’s curse on me to not receive love, taken it as a contract and had created one lifetime after another of experiencing a “tin heart” which could receive no love. Through recent months, this numbness gnawed at me. Through the session, the pieces fell like snowflakes on a Christmas night, each at its perfect place. I was just witnessing. A story gathered itself and my mind restored the leftover identities. I saw in a fresh new light that communion with my own, grand, wise, old Soul is all I seek. When I am listening to it and it is one with me, I walk the earth without caution. A deathlessness occurs. Emotions are lived without labels and desires are lived through without clinging. But none of that feels important. It is the oneness with my Soul which feels real. Even if I can touch it, taste it, hear it or see it, everything else is just imagination. And yet knowing that this feeling of being real too shall pass, I am baffled. It seems I have lost the game and my fragile ego won’t yet admit it.

Nevertheless I am starting to open up and see beyond the miracle of being alive. In my teens I used to keep a tiny pocket notebook where I would write down my own quotations as I made my way through my schoolwork. One of my favorites was – “What matters is that you remember that after the dream has come true you still have to live”.
I now realise the deeper nuances of this guidance. There is a life beyond dreams, achievements and desires, and I am just beginning to see it. And that is taking me through this fear of my dreams coming true because I won’t have to die for them to be realised. Death after all is more of an imagination, for I have felt, in my gut, that even after we die, we can have thoughts – of regret, remorse, guilt. Death is no longer an escape. So I’d like to set my thoughts right and “clean up” without hoping that an act called death is going to do it for me. And while all my feelings are also just part of one big imagination, I still want to clear this veil as much as I possibly can. Maybe then the gulf between reality and imagination won’t be so wide. Maybe by then I would have stopped getting affected by this gulf I keep seeing. Maybe then, this gulf itself would have become imaginary.

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Integrating Breathwork with Advaita

Over the past 2 weeks I was the busiest that I have been in the last 9 months since I left my job. I’m wondering now if 9-month is my ‘official incubation time’ for any project because it certainly seems like a cycle. As I got called to arrange a talk, then a workshop and seminars for Leonard Orr and his group that were visiting my hometown, Pune, I saw even more of spirituality in practice in myself than ever before.

I had never wanted to be an organiser. I ‘happened’ to be hanging around Erik Berglund 3-4 years back when I was asked if I would arrange a workshop for him in Pune. I said “Yes” without thinking. That was when it started. A few months ago, when I started taking this organising stuff a bit seriously, I ran into all sorts of trouble. When I stepped back, the best I could deduce from it was that if it happens, it happens. If I try to get into the doership of it, it just feels terrible and non-fun.

This time I got a call from one of my friends who had just met Leonard at a place near Pune asking me if I was willing to organise a talk. I again said “Yes” excited that I was going to get to meet him. After hanging up I realised that I had told myself I shall not organise anything for anyone. I didn’t have the heart to call back and say that I didn’t want to do it. So I went ahead. Everything was last minute. I had to follow my intuition all the way through right from picking the venue to the amounts to be paid to each stakeholder to asking the angels for help in planning a setup, not knowing what would be preferred by Leonard since I had no direct access to him. Everything flowed smoothly with just a few hiccups. There was disappointment from an unrelated party that was promptly vented out to me and I also came to terms with my judgments.

For a few weeks (or maybe months) I was in the space of the thought – “I have no value“. Under the weight of this thought I dragged myself out of bed the morning after the talk to “show up” for a workshop Leonard was conducting almost next door to where I live. Soon, dynamics of a week-long workshop and seminars were worked out and I found myself running again, taking quick decisions based on my intuition. In hindsight, as I reflect on it, I congratulate myself for getting the number of people I had promised from my end, getting the logistics worked out for one of the seminars and showing up inspite of the repeated bashing up my mind did with me. By the end of the seventh day, I felt my feet touch a kind, soft, gentle earth within me. How grateful I feel now, as I assimilate all of this, for having courage, speaking my truth, ignoring my demeaning thoughts, staying true to my feelings, and remembering GD‘s wisdom that don’t get attached to any experience that some technique or teacher gives you. Just remember that only awareness is real. A week prior he had read an extract from Nisargadatta Maharaj‘s book, I am That, which I used as an anchor:

Things happen around me. I take no part in it. Event becomes an experience only when I am emotionally involved. I am in a state which is complete. Of what use is experience to me?

I am glad I did. It helped me to not get swayed by the strong energies of people around me, to stop expecting grand realisations or insights from any of the sessions I underwent; it also taught me to use my emotions as a pointer to when I am getting attached.

Another lesson for me was the polarity of emotions. After I had attended a workshop last year, a participant told me what a drama queen I am for crying so much. It shut me down to expressing my emotions openly and I secretly started shunning my emotions thinking that all emotion was drama. During this week, I went to the depth of it. A large part of it was triggered weeks before this workshop when GD appreciated me for not wanting to hang on to drama even though at that time I was very emotional. This week gave me the stillness to integrate that and learn that being emotional is okay.

As my acceptance of emotions got clearer, I realised that even if I am emotional, I can be sincere and not be acting from drama. I have still to clarify this with GD but I have a suspicion now that emotion may or may not be linked to drama. Not all emotions point to the truth and not all emotions may lead to drama. For now, I am willing to sit in the awareness of this doubt rather than clearing it. This decoupling made it possible to convey my ‘truth’ to others. At one point I felt terrible for not having taken care of one of the participants who, on the last day, told me that she was greatly inconvenienced by the facilities and even unknowingly discouraged her friend who was planning to attend the next week that was to follow. It brought me back to the awareness that I can atleast speak the truth as lovingly as I can. My old pattern was to be silent and never talk to that person again. Here again, GD’s invaluable teaching came like a sharp sword, “Don’t go negative on the relationship”, he had said. “On this path of awareness things are bound to get triggered and come up for all sides. Stay as open and aware as you can”. It was hard to put this into action and I did manage to not make an enemy out of anyone, including myself, for the unfolding of the situation. Ultimately, the other person also seemed to have got it. She worked out the situation for the next week for herself and got her friend to give the workshop a try for a day. It all ended well and I was thoroughly grateful.

Another learning happened when one of the participants was terrified of breathing in the course of a session and wanted someone to give her energy through ‘external means’ such as Reiki. She was promptly told by one of the Breathworkers to trust her breath and to continue breathing. It made me aware of how much we are willing to put trust in our gurus, our teachers, our mentors, crystals or else, except our own divine breath, divine energy that breathes equal life in us. I also saw her using an external means to put herself in an energy shield and wondered if one really needs to do that, or just by intention and trust one can put a protective shield around oneself while healing others.

As the week with Leonard came to an end, there were more insights. I had mentally told myself almost a month ago that someday I would like to attend a workshop with him when I can pay the 1008$ that are charged for his workshops. It was therefore incredible Grace that I could not only attend the workshop for free, but also get paid for it. I simply credit that to Mahavatar Babaji (no manifestation techniques involved here) whose presence I have learned to invoke before every Breathwork session I give or receive. I also had a few judgments against Leonard before I even met him – some positive and some not so positive. Towards the end, I found myself shopping for books with him in the most crowded areas of Pune, laughing and sharing Starbucks coffee with him, fixing internet connectivity issues with him to proposing the figures for the workshop and a seminar topic. On the last day, there was one minute of total silence in the room when, in the presence of many people, after saying goodbye to him, there was a minute of unbroken eye contact between us. What transpired I don’t know. I was just moved and grateful. I saw Life’s love for me. This time I had the maturity to not ask why I am so loved. The judgments had lost their energy and I just felt love for him. In hindsight, I realised I am being taught to let go of the high expectations I put on people (and more so on myself).

breathwork2013

Rebirthing-Breathwork 7/9-Day Training Program Attendees (Week 1)

Towards the end of the second week, when a “new” workshop was organised for 5 days with one of the trainers, there was a lot of exhaustion, mismatch of expectation and bonding. My mother had advised me to never start a project with a “No, I don’t want to do this“-feeling or thought. I had that since day one. This time again I just pushed myself telling that it was just one more week. In a lot of ways, I lost the will to organise. My personal issues came up that went unaddressed by the trainer and I felt dejected. What pulled me through was detaching myself from my own expectation that as an organiser I needed to be present at the workshop all the time and that I have to be in a giving space all through. Thankfully I didn’t lose my temper and found that I was letting go more easily. :-) This was a real biggie! I took the time out instead to bond with the youngsters and the middle aged Maharashtrian aunties who were just awesome in their motherly care and attention at the workshop! I loved seeing them extend their identities from being housewives to beautiful women who were delighted to live for themselves! It brought me in touch with my love for Breathwork, because it only involves one language – Breath. It again made me conscious of detaching the teacher and his/her personality with what is being taught.

Lastly, I realised how rotten this whole new age spiritual quest to fix, transform, getting better is. This is the update I put up on Facebook that says it all:

Wisdom is knowing things firsthand. Today when so many things are learnt and picked up sitting in a healing/spirituality workshop in five-star hotels and clubs, everything feels like junk because so little has been distilled and applied in day to day practical life. Even less so hardly anything has proved permanence. During this Breathwork retreat, where the mantra is learn by doing, the knowledge was of no use at all in the face of cellular release. I thought I really did know it all – every workshop, every seminar seemed “known”. But walking Pune’s old city shopping street, Appa Balwant Chowk, with Leonard Orr, searching for English translations of Shiva Purana, and works of Bhrartahari, it was a glaring realisation that Indian spirituality has got so lost in the heavy onslaught of “new age spirituality”. Really grateful to Leonard for telling the bookseller when he handed the English translation of “Niti, Shrungar and Vairagya” that he has given him something more precious than gold. Maybe we do need an American stamp for Indians to value the wisdom lying in their own backyard. Withdrawing from this “new age” gold rush and seeking the gold in Indian roots. Maybe the Masters have been deliberately kind that even though they grant me no third eye darshans, they give me enough homework to turn within and explore all this firsthand within me first, and turning ordinary life to gold. Thank you.

And yet had it not been for this quest, I would’ve probably not sought out something that would give me lasting benefit. Now I am re-routing into the “old age” – sitting one hour everyday learning to light up fire, learning to soak into Water consciously, learning to Breathe and cleanse out my own system – perhaps the way a Himalayan yogi does. But this time I am doing it as consciously as I can without a goal – playfully, with awareness. This Sunday, GD read a the following lines from Maharaj that were my saving Grace:

There is trouble only when you cling to something. When you hold on to nothing, no trouble arises. The relinquishing of the lesser is the gaining of the greater. Give up all and you gain all. Then life becomes what it was meant to be: pure radiation from an inexhaustible source. In that light the world appears dimly like a dream.
~ I am That

And today I integrated them with all the understanding of immortality gathered over the past two weeks in this prayer:

“May I feel the love, the intense passion for Life so much that I never long for death again.
May I recognise, once and forever, that when I stop longing for death, I stop experiencing lack.
May I be filled with the effortless knowing that when I stop creating imaginary lack, all I am is a lover of the Divine.
May I have the courage to live that only as a lover of the Divine, I am alone, for there is no world except for fleeting reflections.
May I have the realisation that once I see even the remaining parts of the world as reflections, I am beyond this play of life and death itself” 

Thank you Life for the way it is.

Figures on Beach, La Jolla.California, Photo © David Whyte

Figures on Beach, La Jolla.California, Photo © David Whyte

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Ask Leonard Orr – in Pune!

Leonard-Orr

Leonard Orr, founder of Rebirthing-Breathwork, also called ‘circular breathing’, will be in Pune to have an interactive session.
(www.leonardorr.com)He is considered to be one of the pioneers of the New Age, bringing in the concepts of Prosperity Consciousness, healing the Unconscious Death Urge, Physical Immortality, and overcoming the ‘Eight Biggies of Human Trauma’. Leonard is a life-long student of self-transformation, body mastery, and is a visionary, teacher, author, businessman and modern day yogi.
In this interactive session he would be answering questions on Breathwork, Spiritual Purification through the Elements and many other aspects of spiritual living.
The session will be split into one hour by Leonard and one hour by Heike Strombach
 
Since 1991 Heike has been working and studying with Leonard Orr. For many years she became the training center manager of Leonard Orr’s international training center for Rebirthing in the USA.
Healing herself to become a happy, conscious and divine human being, brings her continuous insides into life. Rebirthing became her passion, being able to support people to transform their life. She rebirths herself regularly every day, and practices what she preaches.

What is Rebirthing-Breathwork? Read here

How a Breathwork session can change your life… Read here

DATE: Friday, 04-October-2013

WHERE: ArtSphere, North Court, Opp. Joggers Park, Kalyaninagar, Pune (www.artspherepune.com)

TIME: 7pm to 9pm
REGISTRATIONS CLOSE BY 6.45pm; EARLIER IF WE REACH FULL CAPACITY

ENERGY EXCHANGE: Rs.750/- per person
SEATS ON FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS

 
PS: Based on the response we receive for this event, there may be a workshop by Leonard Orr over the weekend, i.e. 5th & 6th October 2013.  

Thank you. Love and Light

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Beautiful Gratitude

Today I stood at a traffic signal in the hot afternoon sun on my scooter and saw a lovely mosque. It seemed to be brand new and stood at the turning in front of me – the fresh paint, the simple lattice work, the beautiful green dome with a golden top glinted in the sun. In that moment, the thoughts in my head, the rush hour traffic around me, the heat on my bare arms evaporated. I was in the arms of beauty. It was a regular mosque in the city. But something about it gave me a Gratitude Pause Moment of the day.

Yesterday a friend of mine who is experimenting with heart-centred meditation for the first time in his life was sharing how he had lost his heart connection for sometime during the day. I told him to shift to gratitude in those moments and that seemed to click with him. I often do that to shift into the present moment from the spin in my head.

Today I found this video about a 365-day Gratitude project. I loved the small, simple idea. Hope you feel inspired to make a gratitude list of your own. It really multiplies the blessings!  :)

PS: I am grateful that my blog stats have gone UP! Thank you for reading!

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Gratitude – The Buddha Way

After learning a lot of spiritual principles with my first teacher, I came across another teacher who was very incisive in sharing the Buddha’s teachings, called Nithya Shanti. He had been a Buddhist monk for several years after quitting a corporate job and then gave up the robes to teach Buddha’s teachings in a simplified way. I’ve documented my first experience after attending his workshop about 4 years ago called HADAYOLI – short for Happiest Day of your Life here. Most of what I learnt from this workshop has stayed with me and its value has exponentially grown over the years. One of the most profound, irreversible change it has brought about in me is moving from theory to practice. Nithya’s workshops (or joyshops) are characterised with practice and that is the reason they have stood the test of time for me.

Last year I went through a spell of amnesia. I forgot almost everything for a while. What stayed with me and gave me relief was just 2 practices -
1. Going back to breath.
2. Gratitude.

Today morning in a conversation with my Ayurvedic doctor, the conversation turned to gratitude. I shared with her how the Shakyamuni Buddha taught it, as it has been passed on by Nithya in his joyshops. I felt compelled to write more elaborately about it.

The Buddha talks about 3 Levels of Gratitude:

1. Gratitude for things and people, as though they have been regained after loss.
2. Gratitude for your challenges as though we have already learnt the lessons they bring us.
3. Gratitude for aspirations, hopes, wishes and dreams, as though they have already been realised.

Through last year’s experiences and sitting in the Sunday sessions at GD‘s, I picked up a fourth level  -

4. Gratitude for your thoughts, visions, emotions, blocks and feelings, for passing through you like clouds, for they never truly belong to you.

Experiences in practicing Gratitude:

Over time gratitude has helped me immensely to bring me back to the present moment. I remember reading the HADAYOLI manual which has a page dedicated to I am Thankful which has statements like these:

I am thankful for the wife who says its sandwiches for dinner tonight, because she is at home with me and not with someone else.
I am thankful for my mother complaining, because it means she cares about herself and us. 

I frequently make up such statements of my own to tap into my own wisdom in moments of frustration or anger. Sometimes complaining is more enticing than listening to your soft inner voice. But when I discipline myself, I begin to see that nothing is too bad. It helps me accept the badly wrapped gifts life frequently brings and see a bigger picture.

Like most people I too have a critical voice that becomes overpowering at times. In those moments the only real path to shift, is to begin thanking myself for how far I’ve come. At times I realise even if I don’t have the will to thank life for my present moment challenges, I still can come up with a fair repository of challenges I have overcome. It starts a snowball of courage, of feeling I can and slowly from a freeze reaction, warms me up to take action to create the change within. And that is something. I remember at one point putting up Post-It notes on my wardrobe mirror, on my cupboard and on the walls of my room thanking myself. I thought, well the Buddhists have prayer flags they tie up on high altitude places for the prayers to be carried by the wind, why not have gratitude notes put up with the intention that these will get anchored by my subconscious? And yes, I have seen the effects of these.

The Wayne Dyer film, The Shift, strongly inspired me at one point. The opening of the film is where he wakes up at 3.13am, breathes out slowly, and says Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. The sanctity behind this gesture moved me so much that even today the moment I wake up I touch the floor before my feet touch the ground and say these words to thank mother earth for the unfathomable support she gives me on a daily basis. It is enough to be thankful for. It fills me with reverence. Louise Hay also says that she opens her day by thinking of 3 things she is grateful for in her life while she is still in bed. I practice this too, off and on as I remember it. 

I recently read a note inspired by Elif Shafak’s The Forty Rules of Love based on Rumi’s transformation from a successful, unhappy cleric to a committed, passionate poet of love which said (loosely quoted) -

A Sufi is grateful not only for what he has received, but also for what he has been denied.

I felt an instant resonance to this the moment I heard it in a Sunday session. Too often I have cribbed, embittered that I did not get what I want when I wanted it. And yet, secretly, in places I wouldn’t have even admitted to myself had I not heard this quote, I have rejoiced when the big picture unfolded and I could clearly see that what I have been denied was not going to get me the peace, clarity, happiness or whatever else I was seeking through it. But the lack of it did. This happened very recently when I broke away from a relationship I thought was going to lead me to enlightenment. I was in a relationship with a projection. The person was far away from my version. I was grateful, both to him and finally to life for having denied me my “big vision” of enlightenment. Recently in a session, GD said, “Don’t be in a relationship, be in gratitude!”, and that instantly brought relief.

The intention behind writing this was purely to delve deeper into gratitude. However, gratitude when pedestialised can lead to making Thank you a habitual response dished out a million times during the day without feeling even an iota of gratefulness within. And that habit might actually prevent you from experiencing gratefulness under the pretext that hey, I’m practicing gratitude aren’t I?! At times Thank you can be a very awkward and even an inappropriate thing to say. If there is sincere gratitude within, your gestures, your smile, your eyes, your disposition will convey it. The communication of it won’t matter, the feeling of it will. Over time, I have seen that there can be a lot of doership even with practicing gratitude. Making a gratitude note a day of the many things you are grateful for is great. However, seeing yourself shift into a space of gratitude on a moment to moment basis is a beautiful experience. It shifts the receptivity to life from being a fearful unknown to being a welcome mystery.  

Finally, I am grateful for all the half-baked lessons and all the side-effects they are having which I am perhaps not even aware of at this point. When the greatest Zen masters saw the infinite intricacies of life merging into one single moment, it transformed them into living, breathing embodiments of gratitude. Signing off with a note of gratitude for my current favorite teacher who I’m having fun learning from, GD:

Money is no immunity from feeling poor.
A great house is no immunity from feeling insecure.
A good relationship is no immunity from feeling lonely.
A great career is no immunity from feeling failure.
And yet how the mind maps money to rich, house to security, being in a relationship to completeness and a career to success. All illusions that we invest time into.
While the real thing lies dormant under a thick red carpet of hope. And sometimes, some of us get lucky enough to have this red carpet pulled from beneath our feet. Thank you Life, for sending me such a teacher. I got lucky!

Thank you for reading and participating in this joy!

Similar articles:
* Specialness – a talk by GD
* Drunk on gratitude
* Meeting the Happiness teacher

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Getting published! :)

Last month a long-held desire came true. I wanted to reach a greater audience through my articles. I had tried approaching a magazine that finds a wide circulation in India which carries a wide variety of articles on healing, self-help and transformation called Life Positive. However, it had not worked out and I let it go at that. I remember being disappointed about it and talking to a dear friend who gently encouraged me to continue writing anyway. This was February this year. Last month, effortlessly, it so happened that the editor included a part of what I had written on vulnerability in their cover story. I was delighted, and very grateful!

Here is the link to the cover story on vulnerability published on the Life Positive website:
http://www.lifepositive.com/Lifemag/full_story.asp?si=4497#
My short prose is boxed on the right side in the article.

Vulnerability is the capacity to walk through life without armour or defence, knowing that just being ourselves is enough. ~Suma Varughese

This month, my article on Affection – Are we missing it? has found its way in the magazine. Friends have been writing in and telling me how simple and yet thought-provoking it is. Incidentally, I was touched by the reception to this article when Hay House author, Dr. Christiane Northrup shared it on her Facebook page saying:

Yesterday I talked about how therapeutic a good cry can be. So can simple affection as this lovely blog so beautifully states. Let me know your thoughts!
- Dr. Christiane Northrup, 15-January-2013

It got a lot of people reflecting on how something so simple is just getting missed out in our ever-growing rush to get somewhere in life. One can easily guess what are the repercussions of a touch-deficient society and perhaps we are all seeing them. I invite you to go through this article and see what reflections it evokes in you. Chances are you’ll become more conscious of how much affection, or lack of it, influences you on a day to day basis. Thank you for reading. Thank you, Life.

rumi_affection

Special thanks to Sangeeta Bhagwat for the role she played in this fulfillment. Thank you for your angelic guidance Sangeeta! And thank you Suma. :)

Similar post: Being vulnerable

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An experience of Source

Breathwork is a wonderful tool to take you to higher consciousness. A few days ago I did a Breathwork session for a lady who experienced great wisdom in the final stage of the session where you merge with the Source or as Leonard Orr puts it, “experience divinity in your cells“. She could see that the love she was seeking in partners was available with Source that was within her. It was clear to her, experientially, how Source and God are not the same thing because of the many religious connotations in her mind related to the word “god”. She could see Source isn’t male or female. “God punishes” was her belief but Source just is. This dismantled another core belief. Love, she described, was “food” for her soul. And mistakenly she looked to people to give it to her. She received clarity that Source is the only place to look for love, and the companions or partners are simply people you share the “food” or love with. Over the next few days she started dismantling all the toxicity in her life – she left the workplace which was too stifling for her and started listening to her body. She bared her emotions to a man she was in love with to whom she could not express the feelings of betrayal, anger and resentment she carried, probably out of fear of losing love, letting go of him. She is on her way to creating a life of peace and exploring some of her core interests.

Interestingly when we started working together, she was feeling an acute numbness – she had been travelling extensively and was in a hectic, stress-filled IT job that gave her no time to process her emotions. There was no time to grieve over broken relationships that had transpired over the years. Through the session she could open the door to a gush of feelings within her. Even though she didn’t cry during the session, a huge release was happening just through breath. After the session she was in a sacred place. She described coming home to herself finally. She had tears rolling down for she had never experienced peace at such a deep, physical level.

And unbelievably all of this was happening in a hotel room, where we were doing this session due to various reasons. She was deeply into Bach Flower therapy. She had been intuitively using them for the past several years to heal herself. I had myself sought advice from her quite successfully at one point.

This session humbled me. As a part of Breathwork all I do is guide people to “birth” themselves through Breath. There is no spiritual mumbo-jumbo involved. And yet I am unprepared for every session. All I do is invoke the presence of Mahavatar Babaji and ascended masters at the start of the session.

Recently I did sessions for someone who loved drugs (not an addict though) for the high that it gave him and he was elated at finding an alternative way of experiencing bliss, with a difference that instead of taking him “out of the world” it brought him straight home into the body, and the effects stayed for a very long time. It cleared his head and vision for the first time. He had not been into any kind of spiritual practice before.

I cannot help but imagine how many avenues could be explored just through the power of Breath. Every spiritual text on earth talks about breath. It is my intention that more and more people are drawn to explore breath as a way of experiencing Source at a cellular level in the body. We deserve to feel at home in our body. I have experienced this bliss and I continue to do so with every session of Breathwork. And each time the love affair with Breath deepens.

breathwork

“Genuine breathworkers are different. They may happen to be doctors or therapists, or professional counselors, and so on; but in the practice of breathwork, they are nothing more than caring people who have derived great personal benefit from the
process, and feel confident enough to share it with others”
- Dan Brule

Grateful to be one of these and grateful to all the teachers and Mahavatar Babaji for guiding me to this technique.

There are many forms of Breathwork in the world today. The one I use is perhaps the simplest, the most basic of all, brought about by Leonard Orr, called Rebirthing-Breathwork. You can read details of what it is here. If you feel called to explore this with me, please drop me a line at spirit.of.crea@gmail.com. I practice in Pune & Mumbai, India. Love and Light

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R.I.P, Erik Berglund

When I saw him for the first time I could almost touch his wings. I didn’t need clairvoyance. His eyes twinkled with kindness and I was touched by his mere presence. And then came his laughter – tinkering like Peter Pan’s! The soft hair on his head felt like it was sprinkled with fairy dust.

Erik Berglund was a healer, harpist that I met in 2009 at the Global Congress of Spiritual Scientists, a yearly conference that invites healers from around the world to India to share their gifts in a pyramid built specifically for healing and transcendence. He was given a very short session of a few hours, but the love he brought into the audience made the organizers extend his session. He then did a 2-day workshop on releasing from the matrix, where we were taken through working on specific points in our body inviting the star systems of Sirius, Pleiades and Arcturus with specific meditations and visualizations to heal the primal wound of being trapped into the three dimension of the earth. We were taken through the 8-hour, 2 days of intense meditations so smoothly that something at a very deep level was inexplicably healed without making us feel “ungrounded”. I felt a belonging to earth like I had never before.

Inspite of the complicated techniques he took us through, his simplicity shone through. All that mattered eventually was that we were in a place of love. I would be content just being in his presence.

One evening during the conference I sat with him, like one of his little lambs. I was offered the opportunity to arrange a workshop for him in Pune. I immediately said yes. How could anyone resist having one more day, one more hour of that smile, of that angelic kindness? It was a workshop on creating abundance. And then was a concert on his “Ms.Harp”. I learnt so much working for him. That working for someone you truly love opens your heart in wondrous ways. And that is the only abundance you will ever need.

Soon I was listening to his CDs of angelic harp music night and day. His affirmation CDs on “Creating Abundance“, “Creating Paradise” and “Creating Healing” had so much love flowing through them that I was happy just hearing them. It returned me back to my heart from wherever my mind was. A year ago I had the good fortune to arrange another workshop for him in Pune. At that time I experienced abundance and love in action (if at all the two are to be separated). The workshop was overbooked. He told me to quote whatever amount that came intuitively as the energy exchange for the workshop. I learnt how powerful trust can be. It taught me to trust my intuition. He told me to further trust myself and distribute the amounts to the people who had made the workshop happen – the venue owners, the caterers. Money flowed gracefully. All in all it was the most tangible experience of abundance in my life. When he later did a personal session with me, I felt the energy of love and peace in action. He was a living example of love is power. I also had the skeptic in me say that angels and fairies is just “airy-fairy stuff”. Yet he proved it wrong each time. Once a woman came to my door saying she was led by the angels to pick up his CDs that I was selling. If ever I needed physical proof that angels exist, I just had to remember him.

Today he has passed on to the place he came from. He told me in his last workshop that he and I come from the same galaxy through a muscle testing exercise. I laughed. Whether we come from the same galaxy or not, I hope to come from the same place of embodying the love, light and angelic presence he brought to earth. I am deeply grateful to Life for leading me to someone as kind as him. 

Love, Peace and angelic beauty to you dear Erik. You have left us with more Presence than tears. Godspeed. Thank you. Angel Blessings.

Please click below for a download of one of his tracks that is a favorite of mine. 

Audio track: Angel of the Wind [5:56 seconds] from the album, Angelic Harp Music

with erik berglund


erik berglund

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The Doership of Love

I have an issue with love. I thought I had control over who I fall in love with. I was taught, through various mediums that I [must] fall in love with someone who is wealthy, someone who is handsome, who loves me back. I was also taught that love looks like something – that I will be starry-eyed for him, I will want to give my all to him, have a house with him, settle down and have kids with him until death pulls us apart and even go into the beyond.
Today though I am faced with this odd situation of discovering quite accidentally being in love. In fact had an empath not told me that what I was feeling for this man was love, I wouldn’t even have recognised it as such. And that is the point I am still battling with. Is this love? And if it is, I don’t want to accept it. My version of love looks like I will be in love with a smart, young, sexy man who is head over heels in love with me. Novels, fairytales and sweet romantic movies have taught me. And so this is my point of disagreement.

I don’t want to accept that this is love. The man is all wrong and the relationship is hardly any relationship at all. And therefore the point of pain happens when he says I am willing to accept your love. How? This was not of my doing how can its acceptance be any of your doing? Have I even been asked whether I’ve wanted to be in love? Do I have any control over this? Have I asked for this?! I am in denial and disbelief. Love has to look better, this part of me says. I should be in love with someone who loves and appreciates me. But none of that has happened. I have loved people who haven’t even noticed me. And in reaction to that I have shut myself down to feel it unless I know there is a good deal I am getting in return. Sometimes the deal has come through but the love hasn’t happened.

I can’t seem to forgive myself – for ‘catching’ myself being in love with people who might not even give a thought to what I feel. I can’t forgive myself that I have fallen in love with someone who doesn’t reciprocate it. That it is okay to love someone beyond the set boundaries of right and wrong.

Reply from my subconscious:

Dear Child,
I am sorry to have not loved you back. This history goes back several lifetimes. That you have pledged eternal love and found no response, no reciprocation. I know you are wounded and battling against your self which is so desperate and tired of seeking love. What makes you think your love has gone to waste? Is there any such thing? Whatever makes you also believe that there is no one for you? That love is only about pain, loss and grief?
~
How did you have the audacity to think,
that you were the one falling in love?
How did you have the audacity to believe,
that this love is even subject to your acceptance?
Where have we got entangled with the doership of love,
something that has long been known to be mysterious
and unpredictable?
How did you have the expectation also
that that which flows through you,
needs the Beloved’s approval?
God shuns his most intimate lover,
so that he is pushed into the depths of his being,
and the most abandoned corner of the world,
So that he finds God nowhere,
but in himself.
You my dear, asked for Love, and its deepest expression,
don’t you remember?
And in this odd battle against love,
You are losing your mind, and its associated dignity,
that comes from equations.
Love is not among equals,
But the surge that pulls together unequals,
and renders them as one.
So carry on, my dear, for your lesson has just begun….


Response from the conscious:

I accept the love that flows through me beyond my own volition. I accept now that I am really, truly out of control in the face of love. I intend to be guided by the flow of love within me now. I’m sorry for the identifications I seek in the name of love. I’m sorry that I have associated love with loss and pain and ask that these associations be uncreated, destroyed and deleted now, across timelines.  Please love me, forgive me and bless me.


Subconscious:

I already have.


A major part of Inner Child work is to write to your subconscious through a technique called Non-Dominant Hand writing and receive the response back, unfiltered. This was one of those moving conversations between my conscious and subconscious, processing a situation I was going through. It brought me much healing, as it always has, when I listen to my own Higher Self. It is mentioned in the Course in Miracles that miracles happen through the subconscious. And perhaps the greatest miracle is to witness a possibility where there was no hope before.

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Singing for life

Since childhood I was trained to be a singer under my father’s guidance. However, as I entered and won several competitions through my teenage years, the one goal of enjoying oneself through one’s art, was lost in the other goal: winning. Being competitive, jealous, demanding of perfection, self-criticism took a front seat and joy was crushed in these heavyweights.

Then the self-awareness journey began and there were too many issues to resolve, so music essentially took a backseat. Singing had become a part-timepass and a part-dreaded experience. A couple of years back I got a chance to submit my journey of re-discovering where music had its roots in me in a non-fiction, short story book, How the Phoenix Rose, which contained stories of personal transformation by 21 women authors. This was my submission: Life_Of_Music

Inspite of recognising that music has a role to play in my life, and even though I no longer dreamt of being a singer, getting back into singing was something I avoided very much. Then last year my friend, Mauli, who is like a guru for me, intuitively told me to start singing. That will help unfold a lot of things for you, she said. I resisted that suggestion very much. As life unfolded, I realised the root of this dread: the connection with my father. Through a year of exploring vulnerability, becoming comfortable with my heart center, a Sunday session with GD that led to the uncovering of unspoken issues between us, I started reconnecting with the gift of what our relationship gave me. Not music, but the child-like attitude to exploring art, the love for seeing nuances, the joy of reinventing for the sake of it and huge deal of self-motivation. These were attributes within me I had rejected unconsciously, when I had to consciously make a choice between being the ‘daddy’s girl’ and ‘mom’s supporter’ in the family at a time when their marriage had hit a bad patch. Though the marriage recovered, the split in me didn’t. And this was the hardest choice to make – to recognise and begin to hold both these polarities in me simultaneously.

Life brings you change when you really ask for it. I met someone who mirrored my father’s softness and childlike enthusiasm for life’s little things and my mother’s smartness and strategic approach. I found myself dealing with these polarities in a single person. Thankfully I fell in love with him. I was no longer trying to tune him to me, but rather, found myself surrendering and responding to all of him. Instead of splitting him in my head, I was entering my heart, prodding myself to bare my true feelings to him, moment to moment. Trust was not easy but thankfully, he minced no words in letting me know when he felt unwanted by me, when he could sense I was avoiding him, or when I was in some way trying to manipulate his responses. Day by day I became grateful for his awareness which helped bring my blind spots into light. That taught me to love myself even when I was clinging to my ego, that led to integrate the two projections within me.

A few months ago a friend suggested me to collaborate with my dad. He had heard both of us independently. This time there was clarity within. I felt it was the right time to do this. I decided on a date we could perform for a group that calls itself a sangha. We came together. The rehearsals often led to a lot of squabbles between us! But I learnt to come around. It also taught me that the best reason to do anything was not for the outcome, but for the process of self-discovery. I learnt to sing with an attitude of watchful alertness, rather than use music to vent out the grief or anger as I was used to earlier. This kind of singing energised me rather than give me headaches, which was also the case when I sang for competitions. Singing became an act of inner listening – listening to the instructions of an inner master. It also broke my myth that I needed an external teacher to teach me how to sing. I realised that I was being guided by my inner master to put on the tapes of certain classical singers to revive my ability for singing nuances. Having received training for a good number of years, the inner instructions flowed in without effort.

The performance was probably the best performance I have seen coming through of me. There was no drama – no self-criticism, no blame, no rush or pressure to perform, no pretense and no embarrassment when mistakes happened. Just a quiet deepening of the question, who am I?

Here is the live recording of a song thanks to the friend who had given me the suggestion to collaborate.

Saibo, a song from the Hindi film, Shor in the City, rendered by me, accompanied on the violin by dad. [Time: 2:23 ]

You can hear other uploads on Soundcloud at: http://soundcloud.com/chriiya

Posted in Everyday realizations, Inner Child Work, Music & Arts, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Angel Prayers

Prayers are the best way of letting go. When I become aware that I am in a mental spin of worrying about something, I shift my attention through praying. A while ago I had found a lovely “Change Me” prayer that shifted me into a receiving space rather than a demanding space.

Today I found some angel prayers on Doreen Virtue’s site and felt like saving them so that I can read them often.

A prayer to stop the pattern of people trying to take advantage of you:

Dear God,
I realize that in the past I didn’t feel worthy of attracting and maintaining true friendships. In those moments, I taught people about my feelings of low self-worth by doing too much for them, without expecting anything in return.

Now that I realize this pattern, I need your help to disentangle myself from those who have learned they can take advantage of my generous nature and low self-esteem. Please send your mighty Archangel Michael to shield me from people who do not act in integrity.

Please help me to have the strength to say “No” to unreasonable requests, and to not be swayed by manipulations. Please help me to learn how to ask for and receive help from others, instead of always being the one who gives until I’m drained.

Thank you for replenishing my energy and helping me to value myself. Thank you for sending true supportive friends to me, and helping me to let go of people who don’t honor me. Amen.

A prayer to stop sabotaging yourself:

Dear God,

Please help me to accept your bountiful gifts and to know that I, like all of your children, am worthy and deserving of a healthful, safe, and joyous life. Please help me to release any old negative concepts about my self-worth, and help me to see myself as you see me: through the eyes of love. Please help me to value and honor myself, including allowing support to abundantly flow to me. Thank you for helping me to know that it’s a sign of strength to ask for and allow myself to be helped, and to gracefully accept help and support.

In Doreen’s words, “praying for help is a lot like mailing a letter: You need to let go of the envelope before it can reach its destination. So, let go and let God be in charge of unfolding an ingenious and miraculous solution for this situation

Finally, another of Tosha Silver’s lovely Change Me prayer:

“Change me Divine Beloved into One who wishes to genuinely let You take the lead. Let me know true surrender, openness and acceptance. Take over my actions, so I know when to act, and when to …pause.”

Posted in Everyday realizations, Inspiring reads, Reproduced articles, Self-healing Tools | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments