May 11, 2016: Receiving Love in a Cow's Muzzle

As Above, So Below

The above is a mural on the wall of The Green Leaf, because I am not taking as many pictures as I should.

  • Woke up this morning, did some quick sun salutations and the morning kriyas and headed to Agama for the morning meditation. I had pulled the Tarot card for The Lightning, which foreshadows the chastisement of pride and the ruin of fortune. However, under the section about initiation, this card also represents the phase of development where one is called upon to protect those weaker than himself. I focus on this concept, hoping its meaning will express in a positive avenue like that for me today.
  • I showed up on time, but it didn't look like the room had been opened yet from afar, so I read the notices on the board. After a few minutes, I got impatient and realized the room had been opened. There was nobody there except the instructor, who was already meditating. Loud, trippy ajna music and a yantra projected on the wall. Anticipating this session as it was a Shambhala meditation that was replaced last week because the instructor was on a visa run, I recognized the music from Sunday's Shambhala meditation. I came in quietly anyway and dropped in. This was really a phenomenal experience, I felt energy building in my system and eventually my back lit up and felt it creep into my brain. I was careful to try and balance focus with receptivity, trying to hold the feeling and energy there, allowing it to creep slowly further into higher places. At one point during the meditation, I heard another person enter the room quietly.
  • After it was over, we came back to Earth. Despite all the teachers observed tendancy to quietly pack up and leave silently, I interrupted and apologized for coming in late and asked if there were any specific instructions for this meditation outside of focusing on ajna and the music. He said no and added the reminder of the yantra, which I haven't been exposed to.
  • It turns out the other person who crept into the room was Anandi. She came over next to me with an incredulous look on her face, confirming the experience as rather transcendental. She had set up shop on the back of the room. She started asking me questions and eventually mentioned that I seem to have a good grip on the idea of polarity, inquiring what my experience with the concept was. It was another opportunity to share. I told her it began for me with a suggestion to read David Deida's Way of the Superior Man after a bad breakup, which showed me how polar masculine I was. I understand they use that book in some of the workshops here. I also mentioned a bit about the Hermetic principles and how they relate to this course. She seemed really appreciative.

Agama Morning: Gomukasana

  • This pose means "cows muzzle" and the teacher is just as confused about it as the class seems to be.
  • It works by sitting on the legs, but grasping the hands behind the back with one elbow up and the other down.
  • It is a polar asana and works on the anahata chakra.
  • Slightly deeper than Bhujangasana, which flows more out of the physical body.
  • Gomukasana is easier to relax in, it is easier to get deeper faster.
  • Only works with cosmic energy.
  • Polarity has distinction and loses distinction.
    • We must love ourself to open up to divine love (yin).
    • We must learn how to surrender.
    • We cannot give without first having (yang). We therefore become a channel for divine love, letting it flow in and then out of us.
  • Blockages
    • We may be able to give, but not receive. Then we feel frustrated.
    • We may be able to receive, but not give. Then we feel like a parasite.
  • Can open to divine grace or providence; devotion, surrender and faith.
  • Healing effects on the lungs.
  • Activates the secondary chakras at anahata, which are located on the nipples.
    • These secondary chakras deal with the yin / yang aspects of the sense of touch; (-) skin, (+) arms.
  • Can develop the sensation aspect of sexuality, or the human touch aspect of universal love; touchy feely.
  • Touch is very important, it represents the freedom of the air element.
  • This asana can also heal frigidity.

Reflection

  • I was pretty excited to learn the details of the asana, as one of my longer term goals is to work on opening anahata further. The practice confirmed by understanding of myself. My left side was far more difficult than my right side, implicating that I have an imbalance in my ability to receive love. Furthermore, while the physical stretching shouldn't be a challenge for me, an energetic component of this asana makes something happen in my arms that feels very difficult to maintain, a sort of energetic sensation that feels like old emotional blockages are getting processed. It requires a familiar emotional fortitude that suggests it may allow me to work through blockages on the yin side. The yang side is considerably easier. I look forward to more of this asana.

Agama Evening: Holistic Healing in Yoga

  • This lecture was presented by Maha, who runs the Agama Healing Center. She is a western educated doctor who found yoga and holistic practices very effective.
  • Science studies on yoga show it is better for pain, repression, cancer and a whole host of other examples.
  • For yoga, nothing is separate from the rest of the body. The approach is to heal a person in their entirety.
  • The yogis believe that suffering, accidents etc are due to a persons disability to answer the question "who am I"?
  • Studies show that people with a purpose live longer, healthier and happier lives and heal with better, faster outcomes. These people often have spiritual practices of some sort.
  • The mind and thinking patterns are causal, the first level. For example, a knee disease is associated by yoga to do with a complex of pride.
    • There is a great book by Swami Shivananda named Karma and Diseases.
  • The second level is the emotional level.
    • Emotions are a trigger for our energies.
    • There is disease with negative emotions like anger and hate. Healing occurs with positive emotions like love.
    • The emotional body is the distribution point for energy.
    • The quality of our emotions dictate the quality of our life -- a bring young man may have a great mind and body, but puberty's turbulent emotions make for depressing stage of life.
    • You shouldn't suppress your emotions, and if it's not acceptable to express them, what should you do? Sublimate them!
    • What do you do when there is no emotion? Yoga allows your to position your body to create an emotion.
    • Change requires a certain way of practice and perseverence is necessary.
  • The third level is that of energy.
    • Prana is the main instrument for healing in yoga.
    • Personal belief and experience are essential in order for one to be healed via Prana.
    • Qigong masters and daoism focus more on healing with Prana, and they are very powerful in this purpose.
    • For therapy, one needs a personalized program.
  • The fourth level is finally the physical body.
    • Purification using kriyas.
    • Savasana relaxation can reduce the need for blood pressure medications by 40%. This is a medical miracle statistically.
    • Diet - in terms of the physical body, you literally are what you eat.
      • The body gets reconstructed periodically and food makes the building blocks.
      • A vegetarian or vegan diet is often recommended or associated with yoga, but in reality, every person is different and so is every environment. Diet should depend on the individual and their practice.
      • There are totally competing studies around diet in todays society. Some say not to eat salt, chocolate, meat, fruit, but others swear by the health benefits of these things. It's impossible to know what is right when society tells us.
      • Our body has a natural mechanism to tell us what we need; cravings. But healthy cravings are very rare -- the Mind gets in the way and tricks us.
      • There are different tempraments.
        • Earth likes oils and fats, but should consider eating lighter and fasting.
        • Air likes to fast or a light diet, but should consider heavier foods for grounding.
      • Therefore, our cravings cannot be trusted.
    • Fasting - yoga recommends one day a week.
      • Ayurvedic suggests one fast from lunch to lunch.
      • Yoga and astrologers say fast from dinner to the following breakfast.
      • Fasting up to three days is ok for one to do by oneself, but longer requires specific knowledge and supervision.
      • Examples given of really long fasts. Swami fasted for 45 days and didn't interrupt his teaching.
    • Herbal medicine, Ayurveda and  Homeopathy
      • We don't know how interactions between different practices work, for example yoga and qigong. Highly suggest doing one thing at a time.
      • Build a strategy of healing.
      • Yogis value the prana of a plant over its chemistry. The various regulations and processing in allopathic medicine destroys that prana, hence medicines closest to nature.
      • Homeopathy matches the resonance of treatment and disease. She thinks it is for people with good karma.
    • Special treatments
      • Body and mint must be addressed together.
      • Chiropractic
      • Thai massage :)
        • There is pain, but don't complain, let them do their job.
      • Oil pulling: 1 tsp for 5-7 minutes
      • Oxygen / ozone therapy
      • Urine therapy - drinking ones own urine or applying it on the skin
        • Of course this sounds gross, but she is full of good examples and was a heavy skeptic herself.
        • Supposedly known as "amoronie" and affects healing and some paranormal powers.
        • Morning urine is the best mosturizer. It is specifically adapted to our own constitition.
      • Chinese medicine.
      • Orgon therapy.
      • Placebo treatments; power of the mind to heal itself. 1/3 of all treatments in the west.

Reflection

  • This was a good talk. She is very empassioned and it's very interesting although a lot of subject matter to take in. My interest in qigong makes this an especially attractive topic. The way she talks about qigong masters and their absolute control over massive amounts of prana makes me more interested in qigong than ever before. But the admonishment not to mix practices really reinforces the lessons and signals I've gotten to take one thing at a time. I so wonder how things will unfold for me in exploring these areas and selecting a path or specialization. Lots of this information was relatively familiar, but I am struck with one of the examples she selected to use at "random". An injury to the knee signifies a mental or spiritual issue with pride. My left knee is chronically damaged from years of dancing in many-hour stints to awesome techno music. Perhaps the pride manifested in a refusal to leave the music, refusal to submit to the needs of the body. My issues with ego and pride are well known to me. They are littered all over my astrological profile and have formed the basis for my biggest lessons in life. It's very interesting to correlate this knee injury to one of my greatest character challenges. Bending the knee (which is ruled by Capricorn) is a sign of submission to authority. Additionally, I have a friend in LA, Juan, who has great ajna vision. One time he looked at my "aura" and said it seemed all healthy, except for the knee area, which he thinks will never heal. I want to ask Maha if there are such injuries. I believe anything is possible.
  • After this long talk, as the room is clearing I spot Vinod and ask him if he'd like to grab dinner. I figure now is as good a time as any for his proposed "long talk". He suggests we check out the Orion Healing Center cafe, which I had driven by earlier in the day. We jump on my bike and head over there. Barely making it in time for the kitchen to still be open, we order some food and find a quiet table, both pulling out our notebooks to see what we can learn from each other. It appears he's put some study into the Vedic texts and has been doing the same as I, performing little experiments on his body to see what works and what doesn't.
    • The 48 days mandala is a Vedic understanding of a cosmic cycle. When you perform experiments on yourself, do them for 48 days and then measure the effects.
    • The neti pot for help helps vision and concentration.
    • India loves fasting. There are a few different types
      • No water and no food.
      • Only specific foods; milk, fruit, potato, no spices. It features what I would call subjective eating. Eating when you are hungry and selecting a food for a specific purpose. For example, I would think carbs are bad during a fast, but the potato allows one to eat something and then they won't be hungry for a long time afterward.
    • Diet types
      • No water 1/2 hour before or after eating. Stop eating when you get your first "burp" or intestinal movement. This signifies food is moving to the next phase in the digestive process and your body should be satiated.
      • Eat 1/2 of your stomach capacity, drink 1/4 water and leave the last 1/4 empty. You can measure your stomach capacity by gorging yourself one time to take inventory. Only eat when you are hungry.
    • Fasting for 12-16 hours resets your eating cycle. So when you travel over a time change, you can fast for that long during the travel, pick up at the next standard meal and you'll be on track with the culture.
    • He also mentions that Swami did some talks on the Bible and Jesus under a yogic perspective. I will try to find these.
  • We talk about a host of other subjects; astrology, meditation, metaphysics and more personal experiments. Eventually, the conversation turns toward energy in the body, the evolution and movement of energy up the spine. He has been exposed to the ideas behind Kundalini energy and is seeking more and more experience. I'm not an expert, but I do recognize most of what he says in my prior experiences. I am able to offer him tips and encouragement in how to deal with some of the feelings, what he can look forward to and how to approach the developments. But most of all, just a reminder to slow down and have faith in the process. Once it's started, from what I understand, it's a lifelong experience which will unfold under its own will. If he keeps seeking, he will find. And the best advice I have is to stay conscious with an attitude toward discovering himself and his purpose; staying committed to the will of something higher. He seems to really appreciate the encouragement.
  • Between him, Nadiya and a host of other classmates in my level one program, I can recognize myself and my past experiences in what they are dealing with; the excitement, aspiration and purifications. I don't know if today's Tarot card to "protect" those around me applies perfectly, but I recognize the opportunities I have here to encourage people from some of my not-so-easy lessons leart the hard way.
  • Back home, more blog post catchup, meditation and bed.

Comments

Cow mussels and urine, what a combination

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