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Birth Life Death Rebirth

It has been a theme of my life throughout – this idea of birth life death rebirth.  Something that I haven’t really questioned up until now.  Don’t like a situation, make the changes needed and move on.  It seems that this is all fine and well when you are younger as people expect you to be changeable but somehow it seems that after you have left your 30’s you should have some idea of what you want and just stick to that.  Or maybe that’s just what I think society is demanding of me.  I continue to question the choices I make which I suppose is only natural.  When making the big decisions in life it’s good to be sure right?  Also I guess I like to philosophise a bit as well – everything has meaning.

I feel like we tend to look at life as just one of these cycles of birth life death and rebirth, maybe with less of a focus on the rebirth part, when in reality we have many of these cycles in life.  Maybe we take it all a bit too literally.

In kundalini yoga there is a mantra which symbolises this path – SA TA NA MA.  I have been working with this mantra lately and it has helped me see this cycle within all that surrounds and encompasses us.  In nature we have the birth life death and rebirth of the sun every day, the seasons every year, waves coming in from the ocean, the rain as it falls from the sky and is reabsorbed into clouds.  Every time we open a door to something new in our lives we have experienced the birth of a new idea, each time we close a door a death or opportunity for transformation.

SA TA NA MA – the potential for something new, for personal growth, to become more than I was yesterday, the rhythm of life.

 

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The Tree of Life

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The Heros Journey

I don’t think people are looking for the meaning of life, as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive – Joseph Campbell.

When I was younger I would read books about characters who would go off into the world and have adventures, face adversity and return home stronger and more enriched than before.  I used to wish that I would have an opportunity to have such an adventure – it all seemed so mystical so impregnated with meaning and significance.

Today I watched the movie ‘Finding Joe’. It looks at the common theme behind all myths and legends as discovered by Joseph Campbell.  This theme has common elements and was  named the Hero’s Journey.  The character would be viewed in their normal environment in their everyday life.  Something about the status quo would change requiring the hero to leave their homes and their old selves behind.  There would be an initiation where the hero would learn and be tested.  The hero would then confront their demons which were in actual fact parts of themselves, constructs who’s role was to hold the hero back.  The hero would find inner strength and abilities they didn’t know they had and vanquish the demons only to find it was illusion.  From this a new understanding and awareness was gained and the hero would return home with this knowledge to share with their community.

It turns out that we are all on some aspect of a hero’s journey.  Some of us may not heed the call to action but for those of us who answer it’s call it seems that there is only one path and it isn’t the straight and narrow.

Life is full of these challenges.  They are the big hairy audacious ideas we have but are too afraid to act on.  But if we listen to our inner voices, take a step of faith and follow our bliss as Joseph Campbell says ‘doors will appear where previously there were none.’

To me this is what life is all about – following our inner voices to uncover the talents and skills we have to share and be of service to the world.  Maybe we have within us new ideas, new inventions, inspiration.  If we don’t heed the call our song remains unsung and we with hold our essence from the world.  Imagine some of the amazing things we are surrounded with, for example the internet.  What if the people responsible for creating and making it available to us didn’t listen to their inner voice – how much more difficult would it be to share ideas and knowledge would it be?

The really cool thing about the hero’s journey is that it never really ends.  I see now that I have had a couple of these adventures so far and yet here I am again – taking on a challenge that scares me somewhat, opening up to new experiences not knowing where it will lead me, but I have to say…If I already knew would it be as much fun to live it?

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Two Paths

So it came to me today that there are perhaps two paths for us all and maybe we have the ability to travel them both at the same time.

There is the material path and the spiritual one.

To me I thought that I had to pursue one or the other.  I thought that if I was in a physical reality that I didn’t enjoy then it was for me to change my thoughts around that reality until I came to a place where I was happy in that reality.  I was worried that if I continued to pursue a different physical reality it would only buy into the idea that materialism would solve any problems, something which I knew to be incorrect.  So here comes the tricky part.  My desire to change my physical reality wasn’t based in materialism so much as in following my bliss.  I knew that I had to find my way back to Scotland, and yet I also knew that the going back wouldn’t itself make me happy.

I think the real source of happiness in this case comes from following ones intuition – ones path, ones bliss.  The second part of this though is to realise that the achieving of this isn’t actually what makes you happy in the event that you achieve your ideal.  It is the doing of this – the putting yourself out there, the taking the leap of faith, the following of the path that gives meaning to life and from that sense of purpose is where one glimpses the spirit which one is connected to and yet forgets about this connection, but in knowing that one is connected to spirit and source the drama and stress of separation no longer causes distress and pain.  The realisation and ‘reconnection’ to source is a source of bliss in and of itself.

And so, I can’t seem to make myself happy here even though I have all the materialistic trappings one might want out of life.  But I have discovered that these aren’t the ingredients for happiness and trying to make them make me happy is akin to madness.  Following my calling, my path or my bliss is what I am here to do.  Living my life as a true expression of who or what I truly am, a divine co-creator of expression is what brings to my my bliss.

Knowing this how can one not follow ones bliss?

Maybe in all actuality what appears as two paths are indeed one!

 

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Running to, or from?

It’s interesting the way we can wrestle with the things that we want in life, well at lease I know I do.

Take this upcoming adventure of ‘following my bliss’.  I am constantly questioning the sanity of it.  Why do I want to do it? What is it going to achieve? Why do I have to be difficult and not just settle down the way everyone else is.

The first time I did this, years ago, I had two very close friends question me on my motives.  Obviously they had been talking to each other as they both asked me if I was running away.  I was really angry with them, for the first time in my life I was doing something that really excited me and these guys were introducing doubt into my mind as to whether I really should be doing it.  How dare they!!  Maybe it hit a nerve because there was a certain element of truth to it – I was running away from a mediocre existence.  The interesting thing I discovered further down the track however was that what I was doing challenged both of them.  Within a year of me leaving Australia, both of them had made plans to do so as well.

Even though I know all this and have spent most of my life following a life that excites me I still doubt.  I look at the people around me and their responses to what I am doing and I can tell that I clearly am not filling their expectations.  I think sometimes when we single ourselves out to do something different from the social norm it creates a sense of threat in others.  I sometimes wonder whether we are so habituated into doing what everyone else is doing and what is expected that we don’t even think to wonder what it is we want for ourselves.  Historically the threat of being shunned from society has had us behaving in certain ways to ensure our survival within that community at a time when expulsion meant perishing.

I have just finished watching the ‘Abundance Code‘ on Food Matters TV which was great!  Everything I needed to hear right now.  It’s about following the thing that really pumps you up, doing the work that doesn’t seem like work, and improving your life through living your calling.  What I liked most about it was that it gave me permission to feel ‘right’ about what I am about to do and that it doesn’t matter that I don’t always know the next step or the outcome.  The important thing is that I am following my inner guidance and trusting.  Sometimes that just has to be enough.

 

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The Power of Chanting

Lately I have gotten my kundalini yoga groove on and really gotten into chanting.  Have you ever tried it?

I did some at a meditation seminar years ago and then at an Ashram and was amazed by the power of vibration especially when experienced in groups.  I think I would have to liken it to the excited roar that one experiences at a sporting event when a team scores.  There is something very magical about it.  I can only describe it as the most amazing ‘zinging’ feeling and it makes you feel great.  It is a part of kundalini yoga along with the mudras, asanas and meditation.

The ones I have discovered so far are the Mool Mantra which is used for transcending karma, Guru Ram Das in honour of Ram Das an embodiment of compassion and healing, and the latest one again for healing but apparently incredibly strong is Ra Ma Da Sa.  this last one I have purchased on iTunes and is by Ashana who has the most amazing voice.  The first time I listened to it I could feel it’s vibrational force working on me.  she also uses crystal bowls which leads a crisp vibration to the track.  Amazing – check it out!

 

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In Search of the Peepal Tree

I was guided today by my yoga instructor to visit two local ‘Peepal’ Trees.  I was told that to hold the leaf of a Peepal tree was to hold wisdom in your hands.  To stand under a Peepal tree was an experience like no other, the sound of the wind rustling through it’s leaves sounding like rain.  And so I decided to see what it is about these trees that is so special, after all everyone can do with a little more wisdom right?

It turns out that the Peepal tree has the botanical name of Ficus religiosa and as it’s name suggests it is sacred to the Buddhist and Hindu faiths amongst others.

The leaves are very beautiful, waxy and tapered at the tip.  You can imagine torrents of monsoonal rains dripping off the ends.

From my reading it seems that Bodhi trees are Ficus religiosa, the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment.  Not all Ficus religiosa are Bodhi trees though.  To be a Bodhi tree, the tree must be a direct descendant of Buddha’s original one!

The tree also has many medicinal uses in Ayuveda and it is said that if you tie a red thread around it’s trunk your wishes will be granted!

Beautiful aren’t they?

These two are quite old and I am still trying to find information on them such as who planted them, how long ago and if there was a specific commemorative reason for doing so as most other exotic trees in this area of this age have a story to tell.

Entertaining The Muse

Creativity is something within all of us and yet the question is, is it us?

As a healer I am often judged on my ability to ‘get results’ and often what gets missed is the persons own responsibility in their healing journey.  Health care professionals are presented with a body that may or may not have been looked after well and asked to return it to ‘good as new’ condition.  Ok maybe that isn’t what is stated but there is certainly implication that what ever the underlying problem is, it’s the healers job to ‘fix’ it.

This of course isn’t my definition of my role.  My definition of my role as a healer is to bring forth the innate wisdom in the body which does the healing work itself.

A body in balance heals itself – it just needs no interference.  My job is to remove the interference.

And yet as a healer who practices my art by myself it is easy to get pulled into this paradigm – that of problem solver.  Even when I explain my position to those who seek my help, I often wonder if the pain/discomfort they are in is enough to distort what I say to them about what our goal is.  After all we hear what we want to right?

And so after watching Elizabeth Gilbert talk about the responses she gets from others on her TED talk I found myself seeing a parallel to what I do.  yes we are judged by the results we are perceived to get but really, healing, just like writing is about bringing forth that which already exists on some level.  We are just bringing it forth into the physical realm.

 

 

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