Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Contemplations from the 8th lesson on the Shiva Sutras

The story so far; 
Sutra 1 – Optimise your energy (with sadhana, clean living and right thinking)
Sutra 2 – Always maintain a beginner's mind.
Sutra 3 – Remember that your body is a temple; treasure it.
Sutra 4 – Focus on the frequency you are emitting.
Sutra 5 – Give yourself fully to everything you do and be satisfied.
Sutra 6 –Make the switch from thinking to feeling.

And now...

Sutra 7: Vismayo Yogabhumihi

‘The basis of union is wonder’

Shiva says "Live in wonder of all that is. Practice yoga and meditation and revive the child within yourself everyday so that you can see this world with fresh eyes. Look out at life from your heart rather than your brain. Be curious. Live in respectful awe of the great power that is creating everything you see. Stop pretending it’s all normal and mundane and acknowledge its magnificence. Don’t say ‘So what!’, say ‘Wow!’, and be humbled into quiet, joyful appreciation of the wonder that everything is. Be interested, exclude nothing and have an experience rather than an opinion. Smile when you see something unusual, don’t judge it.  I am here behind every experience you can ever have, if only you are willing to embrace it. Go into sadness and here I am. Go into love and here I am. Go into your own body and here I am. Re-awaken this wonder for life and you will feel one with everything. Everything will be your friend, everything will be your joy and everything will belong to you. The way to union is through wonder!".

Our whole existence is extraordinary, how have we managed to make it seem so ordinary?

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Contemplations from the 7th lesson of the Shiva Sutras

Sutra 6:  Shakti Chakra Sandhane Vishvasamharah

‘When you become conscious of your energy centres, the world you have created disappears’.

Perhaps the way I am seeing the world in this moment is not necessarily how it really is.

Maybe with a little enquiry I might find that in truth I am actually making most of it up.

You see, the way I see the world right now, is greatly dependent on what I am looking through and I am often looking through a drunken haze of my own emotions, hormones and past experiences.

As it turns out, I am regularly ‘under the influence’! If I feel low, I am influenced to see the world as an impossible mountain to climb. If I feel fearful, I am influenced to see the world and everyone in it as a threat. If I feel insecure, I am influenced to see the world as something that I need to control. If I feel worried and anxious, I am influenced to see the world as a problem to solve and an ordeal to survive. If I feel angry, the world turns red, and if I feel bored the world turns grey.

How to come out of this influence and into perfect clarity?

Shiva says, ‘Shakti chakra sandhane vishvasamharah’

Before anger becomes an action, before anger even becomes what we call anger, it is firstly and primarily a movement of energy that we feel within our own bodies. So the first thing is to turn our attention toward the feeling of anger itself, look at it and let it be felt. If we can do this (and it requires great courage), then the second thing we will start to observe is that the ‘feeling energy’ of anger has a location in the body from which it has arisen. This is what Shiva calls the ‘Shakti chakra’ or the centre of energy.

Whatever the ‘feeling emotion’ we are experiencing, be it anger, fear or love, it will always have its source in one of six centres of energy in our body; the pelvic floor, sacrum, abdomen, heart, throat or brain stem. If we can follow the emotional energy current back to its source in one of these centres of energy, we will find that the world we would have created has disappeared, the haze we would have seen the world through has become clear and the energy we would have lost is now our own inner power for a new life. But best of all, we have liberated ourselves from the bondage of our own chemistry and are no longer under the spell of its hypnotic influence. 

Shiva says, ‘use these emotional energies of love, excitement, jealousy and fear for your own liberation by following them back to the source within yourself from which they first came and you will attain mastery over your own chemistry. This will not make your life dull it will make it electric. This is not suppression but transformation, and in time you will see that this whole world is not what you dreamed it to be when you were intoxicated by the cocktail of your own emotions. No. This world itself is a ‘Shakti Chakra’, a centre of energy, pulsating in ecstatic aliveness and supreme beauty, for you to relish and enjoy’!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Contemplations from the 6th Lesson of the Shiva Sutras

Sutra 5:  Udyamao Bhairavah

‘If you wish to experience fullness, give yourself fully’.

The Shiva Sutras are so magnificently direct, practical and down to earth. Shiva fully understands the mechanism that underpins our egos and maintains our separate sense of self. With each sutra he is playfully tugging on the pin of our grenade, challenging our resistance to life and joyfully beckoning us into the unbounded aliveness of egoless awareness.

When do we feel most whole? When we are giving the whole of ourselves to whatever it is we are doing.
When do we feel most alive? When we are giving our life energy 100% to the task before us.
When do we feel most satisfied and content? When we have given everything we have to give.

         Now on the flip-side; 

When do we feel most anxious and tense? When we are focused on the results of our actions.
When do we feel most dissipated and insecure? When we are trying to do two things at once.
When do we feel most confused about who we are? When we are trying to perform two roles simultaneously.

Shiva says, ‘Live a life without regret by giving yourself 100% to whatever you are doing and you will unlock the wonder of life. Remember, your joy is not bound in the outcome of your actions, your joy is inherent in the action itself!’

Shiva is not saying that we have to try and do everything, only, that whatever we do chose to do we should do it with the whole of ourselves.

Too often we are waiting for life to make the first step, yet it is really for us to make that step. Life simply waits for us to engage and then it activates in accordance with our intent. Our intent, with the help of these sutras, is to come into the same frequency of engagement as life itself and life is not living half-heartedly or lukewarmly. Neither is life living with a tense effort to succeed. Life is not worrying about itself or making a cost-benefit analysis before making every small decision. In short, life is in no way inhibiting itself, that is something we do within ourselves.

So now for practical application of this sutra in our everyday life;

We all have multi-dimensional lives with numerous roles, duties and responsibilities to perform. In my case I perform the role of student, yoga teacher, director, administrator, husband, father, son and householder, to name but a few. Now the key is that whenever I am teaching, I am 100% a teacher, Udyamao Bhairavah! When I am a husband, I am 100% a husband, Udyamao Bhairavah! When I am a father to the children, I am 100% a father, Udyamao Bhairavah! You get the point of course. The trouble comes when I am trying to do two at the same time. When I want to answer emails when actually it is time for me to be doing homework with the girls. When I am having dinner with my wife but mentally preparing a satsang for tonight’s yoga class and so on.

Our work is to heal this split in our lives. To make sure we are not doing something whilst dragging our feet and making deep sighs of discontent. And if we can’t bring our full energy to something or someone to be honest about it and say, ‘I need to complete this and as soon as I am done, I will be all yours’. Our noble challenge is to learn to give everything to what we are doing and then, once it’s done, to drop it and move on.

Some things of course are easier to choose than others and so therefor easier to bring all our energy to. Yet the truth remains that whatever we have chosen to do we have a responsibility towards and whatever it is, big or small, it is a doorway to Bhairavah, a doorway to the infinite.

With Udyamao Bhairavah, everything is possible. 

Friday, 5 February 2016

Contemplations from the 5th Lesson on the Shiva Sutras

Sutra 4: Jnanadristham matrika

'Find the root of the matrix and become the source of your own creation'.

If we are serious about consciously creating our own lives, in accordance with our highest aspirations, we will need to position ourselves at the root of the creative process itself. In this sutra Shiva urges us to make a profound but simple switch in our focus. He says, ‘Don’t focus on what is coming at you, focus on what is coming from you’, because the frequency that we are emitting right now, will in time, become our future.

You see, we tend to think that what we are experiencing outside of ourselves in this moment is something called the present, but this is not so. What we are experiencing outside of ourselves right now is what we ourselves have generated from the past. So what we call the present is not really the present at all, it’s actually the past. The spiritual injunction we have all heard so many times to, ‘Be with what is’, is actually asking us to live in the past. If we truly want to function in the present, we will need to bring our attention to the energy and frequency we are currently emitting in this very moment from our own beings

Our work in this sutra is to ask “What am I emitting now? What level of consciousness am I operating from?”, because this will be the world I experience for myself in the future. Remember Yogis, what you are experiencing right now is the mirror of what you yourself emitted previously.

The truth is, that much of the life we are now experiencing, we have created for ourselves unconsciously in the past. This is why our life often feels accidental, haphazard and out of our control.  This sutra asks us to break out of this self-generated matrix by switching our focus, again and again, to the frequency of energy we are emitting in this moment. Only in this way, can we generate for ourselves a new, fully conscious, deliberate and precise life according to our own highest aspirations and desires.

‘Ye are Gods’, and as such, have been given the power not only to accept but also to create.

What are you creating right now?