May 10, 2016: Talking Truth

Secret Beach View
  • Woke up and did sun salutations, got ready for class and headed to Agama.
  • Did the morning meditation there and had a great experience. I asked the instructor afterwards what the objective was and he explained that the visualizations were first and foremost to sense the central channel, then to balance the energies up the spine to encourage Kundalini. It takes the right solar and lunar balance, the perfect amount of focus and receptivity. This is great information for me to apply yang / yin balancing qualities of my mind on interacting with Kundalini sensations on my spine in a controlled way. Access to this energy has been increasing over this program and this is the perfect place to explore it further.

Agama Morning: Chakrasana

  • "Chakra" means "wheel".
  • This pose is performed by bending over backwards, creating a half-wheel against the ground.
  • This is not an asana for a specific chakra, it works through all of them.
  • Works with telluric energy rising up the feet,  through the torso and out the arms.
  • Energy is attracted to the place where it is most easily accepted. For this reason, this pose is a great tool to use for identifying one's predominant chakra.
  • Effects include a good spine which contributes to good overall health. It also improves character. People without character are known as "spineless".
  • The dominant chakra most at the given moment is activated.
  • We are all born with a particular disposition, which probably wasn't by our choice. To change this fundamental disposition, one must either have a very powerful practice, or experience a very powerful event that affects and stimulates change.
  • Some people have two chakras that are dominant, but this is very rare.
  • To give an idea, in today's society, a "strong chakra" means an arousal of 3% or 4%.

Reflection

  • I've done this pose a lot in Ashtanga, so it's actually not difficult for me to perform the hardest variation and stay there for a minute or so, which is where we are starting out with timing. I'm intensely curious to find out what my dominant chakra is. Upon coming out of it and reflecting, my suspicions are correct and manipura is most activated. However, I notice that once I start thinking about any other chakra, even using my mind analytically, the energy flows there and the perception is altered. I think it's important to keep a blank mind and trust the first impression for discovery.
  • After the Morning class, there is an optional talk from Mukta on "why to become a yoga teacher." I find it very inspirational actually, and as he talks, I feel energetically very inspired. He says that teaching is a calling from deep inside oneself and that it naturally puts one in a position to help and affect the growth and development of other people. Additionally, it holds one accountable for living what they teach. On observation, he says that the students who also teach at the school seem to progress faster on their spiritual paths than those who don't. I'm struck profoundly by all this, but in a unique way. While sincere, this could be considered a pitch for the 200 hour and 500 hour teacher training programs at Agama. Something moves me about the topic of teaching, but I am accutely aware that I am capable of being a "teacher" by simplying going through life and doing my experiences with anybody that is curious. We are all capable of this, and this work generates the same karma and effects independent of a certificate to teach yoga in a certain program. I've done a lot of meditating recently on where I fit with this program and this is another example of how I am attracted to the material and environment, but feel a stark reminder not to attach my own progress or self-worth to the 24+ levels bestowed upon me by their system. However, his words are inspiring and I'm glad I stayed. I still don't feel particularly called to teach yoga asanas, but I will leave the option open as I have at least three months to add another week to this existing program and emerge with a YTT certificate.
  • Afterwards, Nadiya and I go to get vegan ice cream at the little shopping area near Agama. It's delicious and I didn't know the people who ran it were Russian until Nadiya starts communicating with them about soft ice cream in a harsh language. This is the same place I stopped when I found ice cream in my first few days here. It's a bit of a celebration -- she just went through an intense "coaching" session yesterday and has a lot of new ideas about her way forward.
  • Afterwards, we drive up the coast a little bit and grab some lunch at a restraunt high on a hill, overlooking the water. The beach below looks too nice, so we find our way down there and jump in the ocean until it's time for afternoon class.
  • The afternoon class is good. I can feel my trikonasana getting a little easier and the left side in particular seems to be balancing out. I feel myself finding the right balance in posture with this new way Agama teaches it, so I feel stability. I am also better able to concentrate my mind on the chakra and am starting to feel like there may be true physical and character progress through even my short practice on this.

Agama Evening: Satyam

  • This lecture is taught by Allie.
  • Satyam means "truthfulness".
  • It goes beyond just not telling lies, a broader meaning includes "are you being true to yourself".
  • Sometimes you can't answer this without subjectivity, so it's good to as people you trust for their opinion.
  • Truth is absolute, but words are relative. When we start trying to communicate about Truth, things get messy.
  • God is True.
  • The is the second niyama to non-violence, so if you are put in a position where lying might save lives, prioritize the lives. The example is given of a disciple of Krishna's who had a perfect reputation for truthfulness, but was forced into a situation where he could lie and save hundreds of lives. To what extent is our ego involved in honesty or the greater good?
  • Honesty also needs compassion -- the Truth can hurt, so say it with love and the best intentions.
  • Only humans have speech and reflexive consciousness.
  • In the old days, our Word is our integrity, the words used were important. Things are different now.
  • One practice is to try silence, not talking for a day or even longer. Surprising resistances and opportunities for growth will come up.
  • Patanjali says that perfect satyam results in:
    • Spoken magic a la Jesus.
    • Vak Siddhi: anything you say can be manifested. This works with the Vishudda chakra (purity).
  • Some helpful questions to ask oneself as we communicate: T H I N K anagram:
    • Is it TRUE?
    • Is it HELFUL?
    • Is it INSPIRING?
    • Is it NECESSARY?
    • Is it KIND?

Reflection

  • This was a fun talk mostly due to Allies energy and personal examples. Satyam has been really important to me ever since I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Being impeccable with my word has been a priority intention for me this year. I think for the most part I do pretty well with it. I don't intentionally lie, but sometimes the Sagittarian in me get into a good rant and I spew words without knowing completely what I'm saying. Most times this word vomit is pertinant, but I wonder how I might benefit by a practice in exploring silence. The introvert in me feels deeply there is a strong power in silence and solitude that gets dissipated in chatter and conversation.
  • After class, Nadiya and I go to dinner at that place called Happiness I checked out earlier from Mandy. This is quickly turning into my favorite restaurant here. We talk about all the exciting things going on in her awakening and I find myself sharing pieces of my journey that might help her where she is at -- mostly to slow down, that it will all come in time and that the faster we spin, the faster we create the future. When life moves so quickly, not every thought, sign and symbol is totally relevant all the time and it's hard to know appropriate timing for synchroncities, hard to separate thoughts from correct intuitions. It's crucial to check intuition with reason, and check reason with intuition. It's fascinating for me to see how she operates also -- so watery and fluid, her Truth changes from hour to hour as do her priorities. An older me wouldn't be able to stand it, but I'm learning a lot by observing this extreme disposition and wondering how my extreme disposition might seem to other people. Dinner was excellent
  • I drop her off and head back for my meditation and a good night's sleep.

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