Jul 18, 2011

Stoking the Fire; An account on ritual

July 18, 2011 Stoking the Fire

   We have had a power house of workshops recently in the Swan Mid-City Mandir and Marigny locations. Just recently, we were also graced by Sudevi, an Energy Healer and Thai Therapy practitioner from Pensacola, one of my favorite beaches in the country. I am very drawn to Sudevi because we did our Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training together, and I know she is highly sensitive to the Akasha (Space), or, the world behind the veil. Working with energy and having a direct line of communication from spirit into matter has been catching my curiosity more lately. I believe this has come with the practice of trust in your intuit capacities. Yoga and many of the healing arts are designed to make us more sensitive if we are doing it right.  Being sensitive it Opening to Grace, the first principle. This may not be the intention for all, as being sensitive can also mean being more responsible, but I have seen it in so many students and teachers that carry High intentions in their practices. Becoming sensitive is like opening the gate to a more collective lens, beyond the density of our own.

I love to think of Shiva in this case, in his form as mountain dweller.  In the yogic stories of his avatar, Shiva often goes off to Mount Kailesh to gain greater vision, clarity, and get a mountain view. Shiva can see the collective. He can see the chronological (Krama in Sanskrit) of all things past, present, and future. To him, they are happening all at once, and from his vantage point, not one of those events is inflated or in wrong order. He called on this capacity by meditating, listening, feeling, and seeing, so that he gains, or more so, re-members his direct communication line. For this reason, Shiva is very sensitive. He "knows" all things happening at all times, like a quantum escapade of theater.

I have been learning some very deep energetic techniques lately in a Tree of Life program that I am doing, currently as an apprentice. Looking at everything in terms of energy is assisting me to get to the seed of all realities much more quickly, as it thins the veil. This takes a tremendous amount of concentration at first. It is a tremendous amount of work on many levels, from being kind in adversity, to eating intelligently, to noticing the cues coming in from nature all the time, to looking at the message in our dreams, to moving the body so it is in flow, etc etc. To me, all of these things are yoga. It is not just asana. Taking the drivers seat in our lives is the real asana.

In the Vedas, there are many rituals one can do to clear their body, the mind, their space, their environment, relationships, etc. I have become more and more curious about these as I get more sensitive.  I truly believe that these rituals do assist us in being re-aligned with our Cosmic vision, so that we do not stay in the small, gross and myopic. Ritual allows us to see that everything we do matters, and sends a message also about are place and our care in this world of many kingdoms.
Just like anything, ritual can also become a set structure that is dogmatic and full of symbols that are not truly "Divine". Some rituals are masked as holy, but, through my experiences on all sides of this, be discerning, yet another aspect of Shiva's mountain top vision about what you are calling upon. Be sure you feel good about it all the way, from the depths of your Higher Self. You can never be tricked by secret societies if you are talking to your soul, and invoking it in all of your experiences. Your Higher Self does not have selfish motives or agendas.

                                          Tirumanavalai South India. The embodiment of Shiva.

Ritual is good "Vastu". Vastu is a Sanskrit word for fung shei. Vastu invites the maximum energetic flow in your body, your home, your environments, your experiences, your life. Everything in your life should have good Vastu.
To provoke good Vastu, one thing you can do in your home directly, as a form of self initiated ritual, is  a fire ceremony.  We just did one this past Friday in the Marigny location, and it was stellar in power. I highly recommend stoking your own fire, and getting familiar with the transformative qualities of this element. I did one fire ceremony this past New Years for my annual Tulum Mexico trip. We stared into the fire as a form of meditation for 8 hours straight with a Shaman from the Huichol tradition, only getting up if we had to go the the bathroom. I did not move, I was so captivated. I saw so many images come up in the fire, directing me with new information and releasing many deep grooves in my mind that were on rewind. The fire will unwind these and burn them, shedding light upon our blind spots.

A fire ceremony from the Vedas is called an Agni Hotra. It is a special blend of 21 Ayurvedic herbs, cow dung straight from India (that I saw being dried on the Ganga River in Varanasi, very very holy and sweet smelling), ghee, a copper pot, a copper spoon, and the correct mantras, in order, and for the perfect alchemy. This fire ceremony blessed the Marigny space with white flames. Sometimes I see the flames go black and wild, all indicative and good feedback for the observer. This one was all white. On the most mundane level, my headache went away. On a energetic level, the space became effervescent and my mind felt like I was high and floating in helium. Gravity was gone, and I was floating. My worries instantly felt so small. Everything looked more dazzling and sacred, and my samskaras showed their face, and quickly jumped into the fire. Bye bye.

When anything gets freed into the fire, yogis say "svaha", which means "throw it into the fire or moving on". SVAHA baby. Svaha-ing every day is very empowering. Then, we change by invoking our own free will, instead of being changed. I encourage more ritual in your life. It will extract the true beauty, clean the clouds, wipe the dust. The curtain will drop, and you will see that this planet is glowing. We are all electrical fractals of rainbow coming from One source, like the front of the Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Fire sheds light and is very revealing. May you stoke your fire within you today, and change, instead of getting changed.

1 comment:

  1. Namaskar,

    Thanks for such a wonderful site. I found it from my facebook friend Sudevi, who I am very grateful to have met in this life. You live the way I feel is inside of my soul. Anyway, thanks for sharing your shakti self, wild, free and truely alive you are.

    Guy Duff