Pride Goeth Before a Fall

Posizione del Loto e chakra colorati GuruGayatriMantra
How many games the ego plays. It’s a deep game with many layers. Pride as a mask for fear. Fear and pride are recognized as the domain of the ego. Two sides of the same coin.
Because I’m better than you, I want to help you. Why do I feel this sense of superiority? I think I have more experience, better ways of doing things. I put out extra because in my superiority I can afford to be generous to those who are lesser. I believe for a moment that I can live out my fantasy of bossing everyone around so that things can be done right.
Is this just a knee-jerk reaction to my own failings in the past?Why am I so invested in someone else’s affairs? Is it really ego that demands recognition via commercial success? Can’t you feel that controlling vibe overtaking you until it devours you completely?
Remember what it feels like. Like Anger, like hatred. It sounds like the belittling of others. Sentiments which should never be uttered. The ego is crying out for attention for its drama. The drama of fear covered by the drama of fear of not having enough. The ego grabbing for what it sees before it, like a bratty little child. The child who knows that it is always provided for, and that it does not experience lack.
So why the fear? Why the lashing out? Why the hatred? Taking it personally? Getting hurt feelings?
What the fuck for?
And then a cycle of behavior that serves no one. The ego goes away “hurt”, The pocket goes away empty, and a mishap is tripled by acting out through the ego. Relationships are endangered or destroyed.

So while ego is walking me down the street, my arms full of pride, so much pride that I can’t see over, a hole opens before me and down I go, head over heals, muffin over teakettle, and everyone saw my panties. My muffins were ruined, I did pass go, but I lost both face, and my twenty dollars. Plus another 14 I owed, bringing my grand loss up to $34, causing fear of lack of abundance to also make me lose my cool and act exactly the movie role I always speak out in regards to another asshole who I have now emulated.

And this ultimately incalculable loss in social damage is simply about being insecure. Hitching my value as a person to what I do, what I produce. Forgetting in that moment that my Value is inherent. I would be equally valuable in this universe if I produced nothing, did nothing. Why am I always trying so hard to make everything into my personal vision of perfect?

Everyone must live out their own karma. It is not possible to do it for them. It is not desirable to do it for them, and it is an illusion that you can place yourself above them, as though you could reach down and pull them up with your will.

Ego could come back with the excuse, “This is the curse of being more intelligent/sensitive than everybody else, but is this really true?”

I told the children, your greatest challenge in this world will be patience and compassion for those who are less gifted than you.
So where are we now? Suffering from delusions of greatness fuelled by insecurity? By an inability to accommodate failure as being as meaningless as success? Failure is the reflection of success, and both are an illusion, because all that is comes from God, not from me.

Get ego out of the way and make room for god. God and me, me and God are one.

Is human not also a creator? Certainly to some degree we make our bed and lie in it.
Maybe God/Universe is the random x-factor? The unforseen force which causes adversity or blessing, at times regardless of what human says and does?

I don’t want to know this anymore. I am tired of this lesson, why must I learn it over again? I could contextualize my whole life through this… I want to be free.

Freedom comes through the Yoke. In yoga we can be free.
Is God perfect? Am I perfect in God, as God? God and me, me and God are one.
Today’s yoga practice revealed the rest of the Circle. Creator/Destroyer, two aspects in one Force. The Supreme Being is perfection, and this perfection encompasses all that is. Is the world perfect? Are humans perfect?

Truly there is no perfection but God, but by the nature of All God, we see around us and within us that God provides a lot of room for things to go to hell, for chaos and corruption to be included in the perfection of creation. God seems to have loosed the human race upon the universe, obviously a portion of the Whole is Destruction and Chaos.

As a reflection of the Macrocosm, each one of us is blessed with a portion of these traits also. We cling to order, setting ourselves against what we perceive as the darkness, and yet this battle is illusion, for it is one that can never be won, unless we accept the shadow, and become One.
We are alive/dead. We are full/empty. We are happy/sad. All that we know is polarized, and we internalize duality in the first second of self awareness, the moment when we compare ourselves to what we know around us. Within the same moment we are objectified by our own consciousness, and separated from our Self.

We begin in that moment to almost think of ourselves in the third person, to observe ourselves like a movie. We forget that the watcher and the observed are one entity. We begin to watch ourselves live our life.

The division of I into two parts is the source of all desire. What we really want is oneness. To be back within the guilessness of infancy. The baby does not think of itself as I. It exists in a Now Reality. Complete in breast, milk and the warmth of the mother, or helpless in the void of absence of mother. That is all.

We learn to hate our “imperfection”, to despise our weakness, to loathe our “failure”. But are these aspects not inherent within the human? We learn not to tolerate this pushed down “shadow self” within us. We simultaneously learn to hate it in others, and in the world around us. This is called Integrity.

I begin to see that true integrity encompasses all aspects. That to experience oneness, the judge must be relinquished, destruction, chaos, failure and weakness embraced in equal measure within as are strength, love, happiness, creation, and order.
Laying down judgement has been the pursuit of a lifetime so far. Only through yoga, the yoke, do I experience bliss, unity, Unconditional Love. The yoke is a discipline. In truth nothing else matters.
I must love myself as I fail, in equal measure to how I love myself when I succeed. These measures mean nothing.
Love is all that remains.

Gobinday Sustainer, Mukanday Liberator, Udaaray Illuminator, Apaaray Infinite, Hareeang Destroyer, Kareeang Creator, Nirnamay Without Name, Akaamay Without Desire

Gobinday Mukanday

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If the above article feels true to you, perhaps you, like me, need this kriya to assist you in balancing your desires with reality.

Things are fucked up, it’s okay. I have to learn to embrace it.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

for tolerance and humility, let's do it!

for tolerance and humility, let’s do it!

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Breaking a Five Day Waterfast: Best Glass of Juice I Ever Had

 

…couldn’t wipe the smile off my face

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After five days, I was just totally sick of being tired, floppy, and grumpy. I had considered trying to push through to a week, but feeling both terrible and ineffectual was wearing me thin. On the other hand, I was sleeping amazing, having interesting dreams, (and remembering quite a lot about them), and my asthma, constant throat clearing, and sinus weirdness had all disappeared almost as soon as I stopped eating.

I spent the last morning of fasting making dehydrated flax crackers and zucchini chips so I would have something to eat with the guacamole I so desired when I was ready. I had read that coming off the fast with grapefruit juice was best, that it awakened the digestive system from a state of dormancy, and prepared the system to accept some food. I made the juice by slicing the skin from grapefruit given to to me by a friend from her farm, blended it with water, and strained it through a mesh sieve. I admit to adding a dash of honey and some stevia. It seemed to me that adding my new friend water to my juice could only be good, make it less intense, and also blender friendly. Needless to say, it was the best glass of juice I have ever had in my life. The flavour was incredible. I sipped it slowly, letting the juice stay in my mouth as long as possible to keep the wonderful taste of it on my tongue as long as possible no matter how I wanted to chug it back and just keep on having more. I supplemented the “urge to chug” with a glass of water side-by-side with my juice of God. After drawing this out as long as possible, my juice was finished, and I decided to just let that settle in for an hour or more before trying anything else. It was amazing how quickly my acuity returned. The feeling of cramping in my gut instantly evaporated. It was amazing how quickly I felt better, like, within minutes! Almost with the first sip, the external world became brighter and more solid. Quite suddenly I could see outside myself again. The world around me was looking beautiful.

My special friend and companion since childhood, Inner Glutton, wanted to eat everything in site. Luckily, my other friend who I had been dating on and off for about thirty-five years, Conscious Mind, was in control. A few hours later, and keeping up with my water regime, I ate a few bites of dehydrated coconut-plantain treats I invented, and again, was blown away by the total deliciousness of the flavour, then some zucchini chips with about a half cup of guacamole. I let that settle for a few hours with no discomfort or ill effects. Now I could stand up without a head-rush, and go up and down stairs without having to get psyched up first. My body picked up on the nutrients so fast. It was like I had blood again. That night, bowels moved a bit.

I’m not recounting this experience as a promoter, but simply an explorer, so I’m willing to tell the whole truth. That night, I was coughing up mucous, and when I went to bed, the asthma kicked in. At that moment after getting some reflex points from Evan and doing a few myself, I thought, fuck it, and took some inhaler. I was pretty disappointed. I was thinking, wow, am I supposed to be some weakling breathairian or what? Subsequently, I had a great sleep, and woke up with joy in my heart. That hadn’t been happening for a few years since I had been dealing with these nagging health issues.

I got up, drank a cup of hot water, cleaned up the ashram with Evan, taught a fabulous vinyassa class for two hours in wild humidity, sweat my tail off with my class, and made an outstanding lunch for a couple from Texas who had come to the ashram for yoga and massage that morning.

Truly, I felt really great. I virtually couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I guided the class. I utterly enjoyed making lunch. We started with a cucumber salad dressed in yogurt with cumin, black pepper and garlic on a bed of shredded leaf lettuce. I served a plate of black bean and guacamole garnaches, (crispy corn tortillas), and then moved to the main course, a roasted vegetable medley with sweet potatoes, white potatoes, onions, broken garlic cloves, and red and green peppers tossed in olive oil, seasoned with Italian spices and a dash of soy sauce, and baked crispy golden. Served this with a bit more guacamole on the side, and a simple beet and grapefruit salad. I ate a small portion of this, heavy on the salad, which was wonderful and refreshing in the crazy humidity, but skipped the garnaches. Continued to feel really great.

I thought, maybe this fast was more about emotional detox than anything else. The joy was ongoing. But my body was feeling amazing too. Bowels were moving. Less output, more often. I felt that I had really knocked a lot of candida out of my system as the usual puffiness of my belly had gone away. I really noticed this in my yoga practice, and my reflection in the glass doors of my kitchen cabinets. Perhaps it is logical to say, or even maybe a well-known fact (?) that yeast and grumpiness are linked?

I continued to eat sparingly, focusing on raw foods. My flax crackers came out tasty and crunchy. I had a great sleep last night, and really deep, breathing easily all night, no mucous. I slept through Evan getting up to put out buckets and mop the upstairs palapa during a rainstorm, (our roof leaks pretty bad) which is almost a miracle as I have always been an extremely light sleeper, waking for hours over the slightest disturbance.

So, let’s see…felt weak, grumpy and basically awful for five days, with a weird looseness in the joints that made me feel like a floppy marionette. Now I feel consistently joyful, loving towards my husband,(as opposed to angry and irritated over usually not much), unswollen, clear-headed, uncongested, breathing easily, no urge to cough, body feels fluid, strong and fantastic, and I’m sleeping like never before. Was the waterfast worth it? Probably. Let’s see how it holds. (Most likely to do with what, how and when I choose to eat from here on, and keeping up with lots of water.)

Will I do it again? I guess if I slip back into the previous state of ill health, I will. But it was definitely not fun, and I absolutely needed Evan’s total support the whole time because I was basically feeble. What I have found is this: reach for water before anything else, eat only at meals, and don’t eat late at night, (nothing after about 7pm). It is usual for me to fast in the morning before my yoga practice, so I’ll keep that up, and we’ll see how it goes. For now I feel high and happy, and I’m gonna go with that.

 

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waterfast journey; some thoughts from day three and four

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Deeper into the journey. Going through some bumps and revelations. Just now it somewhat reminded me of the psychological purge of the second week of raw food, similar vibration, similar emotion. The exact same realization about the simple comfort of … Continue reading

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Perception

“Everything is perception.”
Mitch Podolak, Executive Producer of Home Routes, is the founder of the Winnipeg and Vancouver Folk Festivals and Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre.
“Everything you have is your mind…How can man develop his mental faculty to perceive everything correctly?”
Yogi Bhajan, founder of the Kundalini Research Institute


“Perception is within the senses, responded to by the glands, and interpreted by the mind. Without the body, there is no perception. Each of us is given the
vehicle, yoga is the key to unlock it.”
Laine Hoogstraten, yogi, founder and Director of Chaya Garden Ashram

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What’s On Deck?

Laine Hoogstraten is seen giving a vinyassa flow class at Mystic River on their new and beautiful yoga deck. The yoga deck looks out on t the Macal River, where you can see no shortage of birds flying by! Mystic River is also home to some amazing trails and waterfalls.

Laine Hoogstraten is seen giving a vinyassa flow class at Mystic River on their new and beautiful yoga deck. The yoga deck looks out over the Macal River, where you can see a wide assortment of birds flying by! Mystic River is also home to some amazing trails and waterfalls, and wonderful landscaping.

 

Beautiful rainy season is upon us in Belize, and along with the arrival of citrus fruits, we are expecting some cooler temperatures, heavier rain falls, and lots of busyness as more visitors flow through San Ignacio and the surrounding area.

We jump at the opportunity to teach a yoga class at Mystic River Resort!  On their yoga deck, surrounded by some pretty old-growth canopy, there is little to distract you from experiencing the raw power of a vinyassa flow yoga class.

Intense focus and concentration, deep, regular breathing, a flexible body, and a positive mental attitude will be the fruits of your efforts.

This week, one of our students was no less than 86 years of age!  It was an intense experience for Laine, as a teacher, and for some of the other students as well, but this student “Jackie” took it all in stride.  I asked her the secret to her longevity, and she replied, that if there was a secret, it was moderation.  Remember that in your yoga class, as well as your adventures.  Moderation may be putting it mildly.  Jackie did some amazing things this week, including being the oldest person to navigate Actun Tunich Miknal, ATM, the famous cave, and to complete a 15 platform zip line!

It was an exciting day for Laine, she taught five hours of yoga that day; Ka’ana, Chaya Garden Ashram, Xunantunich, and Mystic River.  Congratulations!  It was fun for me too, I did a lot of driving, saw some amazing places, enjoyed great weather and practiced two yoga classes of my own!

Anyways, have fun out there!!

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God and me, me and God are one

mindfulllGetting High on Kundalini Yoga
No body, no ecstasy…no glands, no God. Our bodies are the multi-dimensional key to all other states, all other planes. Without this “Truth machine”, as Yogi Bhajan calls it, we are ether with no drive, and no options. Within this incredible vehicle we are limitless. This body is not a boundary laden curse that is our cross to bear, but an amazing opportunity to explore beyond earthbound reality.
We feel. We think. We act. Information comes in through the portals of the senses. Does it come into the brain, or into the body? Perhaps both simultaneously. Thinking and feeling are so closely associated, we can barely separte the two. Our thoughts lead to feelings. Then we think about how we feel. Our thoughts and feelings seem whirled together, spawning each other, and leading to acts about which we think and feel. When we have a “gut feeling”, perhaps it’s really a “gut thinking”, as it turns out that we actually have brain cells in our stomachs. Perhaps we think and feel with much more than our “mind”. And what is mind? A combination of interpretations of “facts”, colored by feelings, distorted by our human spectrum of perception. Is a mind a brain? I think not! Perhaps, as in the idea of the Collective Unconscious, our minds are not even contained by our bodies, but are rather accessed through the physical nature of them.
When it comes to yoga, and more specifically Kundalini Yoga, we are given the power to stear and direct this maelstrom of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. We are given the ability to direct the glandular secretions through specific practices; an ancient technology of the body. What an incredible gift! A technology so perfect that everything you need to use is exactly what you were born with. Within each human being on this earth, the potential of the Golden Chain.
The Golden Chain, as with many concepts within yoga, has various layers of meaning. In a more external sense, it is the link of knowledge passed from one person to another, creating a chain of linked consciousness that began with the first teacher of Kundalini Yoga, and now terminates in you, as you receive this understanding within your self, untill you pass it on to the next human, and so on etc. But this is of course not all. Through the technology of mantra, specifially the Adi Mantra as prescribed by Yogi Bhajan, (ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO), the Golden Chain becomes our connection to the Infinite Creative Force, and Divine Wisdom. And this occurs by the physical connection, within the brain, of the pineal gland (the seat and source of DMT within the brain), to the pituitary gland, or third eye. Could this mean that through the Adi Mantra, and the subsequent practice of Kundalini Yoga activating the secretions of the glands, we experience the release of DMT in the brain?
I am not a scientist, but I am an empiricist. I am willing to come to personal conclusions through the knowledge of my own experience. Through the knowledge of Self. I am willing to say, “Sure seems like it to me.”
“All is Mind” says the Kybalion. All of Nature contains DMT, and as natural organisms, so do we. The sense of Oneness within us may be the flowering of DMT as activated within the pineal gland, as perceived by the third eye. We recognize ourselves as God, and begin to understand all that is as being an expression of that. Perhaps we first know this through psychadelic metabolites. Now we recognize the territory when we enter into this realm. Now we take the reins with the knowledge of the ancients that has been transported into the present. Now we make this connection with the Divine on demand. Now we become Divine.
“God and me, me and God are one”- a mantra given to us through Yogi Bhajan. SAT NAM

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Let It Go

The most relaxing vibes are when you have had a nature hike on some remote property in Beilze, and  come to some place shady, cool, calm and peaceful, and you can just let your shit go!

The best vibes are when you have had a nature hike on some remote property in Belize, and come to some place shady, cool, calm and peaceful, and you can just let your shit go!

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Yoga Blog 9/24/201 September in Belize post

Yoga Blog 9/25/2014

When it is quiet at the ashram, typically the month of September is the quietest, we don’t take a break from our yoga, no, NO!   We are waking up early and doing an ADDITIONAL kriya before our regular 10AM practice.

In the yoga that we practice, Kundalini, there are thousands of kriyas (series) and we alternate between them; choosing from several books that we recieved as a gift during Sadhana (spiritual practice) on Yogi Bhajan’s birthday, and the hundreds of kriyas that are available online for free to anyone.

Click here to go to the Apana (Elimination) Kriya

The benefit of cycling through many series; is that each one is an open door to the soul.  The body is capable of so many actions, and it has been said by one of our teachers that kundalini yoga is the “I bet your body has never done THIS before!” game.  Different series open different doors, stretch different muscles, massage different glands.

The benefit in repeating the kriya is that it is NOT a matter of mere repetition, but you go deeper and deeper into the benefits as you progress.  For example, The Apana Kriya is NOT the hardest or most difficult kriya we have ever tried, but it does have certain unusual postures and movements, and enduring the full time of the action will lead to the most satisfactory results.

That said, elimination, apana, plays an important part in the body.  Without proper elimination we are unable to receive the full benefits of prana, the breath.  The bad must go out as the good comes in.  This kriya has some very subtle visualization that enhances the imagination.

Engage the SAT GURU with the mantra ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO at the beginning of the Sadhana and close with a long SAT and a short Nam.  Do this practice for a week and tell us how you feel!

The ashram is flourishing with the rains, a little in the evening every day.  The children are in school (except in service days which seem to come every week!) so that monkey falls, the waterfalls adjecent to the ashram feel like a private paradise.  If you are looking for haven for yoga in Central America, then look no further!

Every day I am thankful for the opportunity to practice yoga here, in Belize.IMG_2095

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Market Fresh

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Everyone who comes through the Chaya Garden Ashram, Belize’s most amazing yoga spot, takes away a little something different. As soon as you taste the excellent food we prepare here; exquisite vegetarian cuisine, you will be among the many taking … Continue reading

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yoga we tweet and retweet

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