Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Pleasure Instinct and Abundance

The Pleasure Instinct acknowledges our innate human trait to move towards pleasure and away from pain. Relaxation is one such natural pleasure and so is the opposite, excitement. I pursue pleasure and healing through breath, yoga, music and nature. Music is especially versatile and can be used to create both relaxation and excitement. In most people, endorphins are released in response to both pleasure and pain. Music and exercise have been found to increase endorphin levels along with other factors revealed here.

Reality is an interpretation. We choose. Does having tons of fun ….. sound like fun? Might enjoyment in and of itself increase abundance as demonstrated by having more health and money? Biologically, humans are wired to repeat behaviors that lead to pleasure. However this instinct can become blocked. By releasing constrictions in our innate pleasure instinct and learning the scientific principles of pleasure, we can broaden our enjoyment of life and increase our sensitivity. Recognizing that we have a measure of control over how we respond to pleasure is self empowering. The biological state of pleasure optimizes the human body to achieve its’ highest potential.

What is Pleasure? An Emotion or Feeling?

Scientist Hanna Damasio thinks that we need to discern between pleasure as an emotion and pleasure as a feeling. He sees emotions as physiological processes that guide behavior. Feelings on the other hand, arise as the brain experiences physiological processes and reflects upon them. Thinking allows us to metabolize and integrate feelings such as pleasure or pain and choose whether we want more or not. Brain research indicates some forms of pleasure are innate while other types are learned. We can increase what we enjoy and how much we enjoy it and thus reap the positive biochemical rewards.

What is happening within our bodies when we say we are feeling pleasure?
There are nerve fiber pathways in and around the limbic system of our brain which scientists call the brain's pleasure / reward circuit or system. When these neurons are stimulated, we experience what we call “pleasurable feelings”. The pleasure chemicals generated inside the body include endorphins and encephalins, a family of chemicals known as the opioids. These pleasure chemicals seem to activate a circuit deep inside the brain which overlaps with the dopamine system. Other bio-chemicals such as oxytocin are also involved in stimulating feelings of pleasure. It is speculated that the opioids circuit is the source of pleasure, while the dopamine system produces the feeling of desire. Studies indicate that desire may actually influence human behavioral activity even more so than receiving pleasure. Desire stimulates action whereas pleasure satisfies and quiets our searching. Interesting – huh?

Dr. Arthur Harvey’s is a music educator and researcher that I once took a workshop with. Dr. Harvey explores the connection between music, health, brain chemicals and intelligence. He created a website picture show which explains in simple terms the role of pleasure chemicals.

ENDORPHINS Key Points from

These factors increase the release of endorphins:
• Pain
• Stress
• Foods such as chocolate and chili peppers (capsaicin)
• Overexposure to the sun
• Exercise
• Laughter
• Music – sonic caffeine (or relaxant)

Maternal behavior, eating and drinking, and sexual activity have all been discovered to stimulate the release of these bio-chemicals. What these behaviors have in common is that they are all essential for the survival of the individual and the species. Scientists say that through natural selection, our bodies have developed ways to positively reinforce behaviors and activities which will help us survive! And only you know if your bio-chemicals are supporting or depleting your life experience….because only you know if your heart is beating in harmony and what brings you pleasure or not!
One of the pleasure chemicals - endorphins - are a panacea for producing both relaxation and excitement!

• Relieve pain
• Enhance immune system
• Restore stress levels
• Postpone aging process
• Modulate appetite
• Lower blood pressure
• Influences calm or euphoric state of mind

Ah-ha! If you have read about the benefits of meditation yet have not achieved such a peaceful, calm state, consider checking your pleasure chemical meter! Meditation, breath and mindfulness are easier to practice within the pleasure chemical-rich state. Doing so further enhance the relaxation response!

“The common denominator of all inducers of the relaxation response is an internal focus. Every time the mind wanders (and it will), bring your attention gently back to the focus point. Directing attention internally is the physiological opposite of directing attention to the outside world looking for danger. When attention is directed inward, your body receives messages that you are safe and secure and that it is appropriate to relax. So muscles relax, blood pressure drops, nerves are calmed, anxiety is decreased, immunity is heightened and healing is enhanced.”

Mary Pullig Schatz, M.D. in Back Care Basics

Releasing The Pleasure Instinct

The Three A’s - Attitude – Alignment – Action
The three A’s is a winning formula I learned from John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga.

Our attitude - comprised of our intention and mood - moves through our intuitive neuron centers and that energy shapes our thoughts and that into our behavior and actions, the choices we make. Attitude aligns our thinking and steers the direction of our actions. If action goes askew, back up and check your alignment and attitude. If our attitude is towards achieving a greater state of harmony, we are more likely to choose a life rich in both relaxing and stimulating activities. Alignment ensures we stick to and support our own commitments.

What if our pleasure instinct became blocked due to external feedback when we were young? When parents or teachers criticize a child for finding enjoyment or expressing their joy and laughter, the child’s feeling state may become shut down. Later in life, the same person may feel like they are on mute, powerless, alienated or out of touch. In this depleted state the body moves in error moves towards pain and further disintegration. Our organic pleasure urges may still rise, but suppressive habits based on self protection can squash them back down. Repressed desire might only surface in dreams. The outside world, media for example, tend to reinforce the notion to not trust our instincts. We are told what to do and what to buy. Internal conflicts arise when the outside voices of authority do not match our organic instinct for pleasure. Guilt may result. Guilt is a big dampener of enjoyment. Internal conflicts and the shut down emotional state are a cause of depression, chronic fatigue and disease.

The Abundance of Flow

The giving and receiving of pleasure by instinct requires being in balance with energy, i.e. energy flows into us and we absorb it freely and gratefully. Joy bubbles up! When energy flows away from us, we give it gladly. When we feel abundant in pleasure we are able to give with less fear and clinging. Yoga is described as a state where the body, mind and heart are all focused in one place at one time. The practice of yoga enables the mind to become adept at focusing. To achieve any goal we need to be able to hold our direction and sustain momentum despite distractions. Achievement is pleasurable and self reinforcing. When our pleasure chemicals are high it supports vitality; we feel full and can release stress. The state of pleasure expands and is not limited to any one thing like licking ice cream. Reality is a perception and we can learn to take pleasure in small things and simple ways which leads to living an enchanted life. This is a state of being rich in abundant, creative possibilities!

Enjoy an Abundance of Pleasure with Breath and Singing!

I call my yoga practice WaveDancz Yoga Flow ( I include the pursuit of emotional fullness and healing through breath, postures, dance and music. Yoga means to Yoke. Here we yoke the body, mind and heart into one, whatever we do. I practice traditional yogic breathing techniques and have invented some of my own. Its fun! I practice singing from many cultures so I can keep my appreciation wide open. As with all learned pleasures, the more enjoyment is received through a singing or breath practice, the easier it is to keep doing it. With both singing and breath practice, oxygen increases. Cells, bones, glands, organs, the brain and all the systems of the body become refreshed.

I suspect that naturally induced pleasure via movement, breath or music helps to offset substance addiction. If one is really out of control with some sort of addictive patterns, self-esteem is undermined. Yogic-style breathing increases energetic flow and this arouses the five senses and stimulates the brain with out any caffeine or substances. Pleasure via breath is not dependent on manipulative action or technology or other people. Anyone stuck in obsessive behavior can find relief practicing breath or yoga techniques or through expanded musical adventures. It is quite possible to reverse negative tendencies and change addictive patterns by working on the root cause of being disconnected from our pleasure instinct. Imagination, intention, breath, voice, movement, dance and yogic postures – excellent tools!

The Pleasure Instinct and Abundance Tips

• Be patient. Best to not force circumstances. Accept what is first, then reshape as best you can.
• Allow pleasure to arise naturally. Effortless effort is a way to not do but not over do.
• The state of pleasure attracts more of that which is pleasurable. This is an abundance factor.
• Expand sensitivity and enjoy now as enough! An attachment to “expected” outcomes constricts the creative life force and projects us out of the present moment where our senses are felt.
• Forgive the past. Being fixated in the past separates thoughts from instincts thus distorting instinctive desire for pleasure. Forgive more if stuck in mix-ups and dramas of pain and entanglement
• Invite more love simply by asking others if they need help. An alive, open, loving heart helps us to balance our herd instinct. When the animal in us is confused it may seek to hoard or become overly aggressive in an effort to control circumstances to ensure personal survival.
• Be as a child, open to new adventures! Right now, look around your environment, hear what is going on, feel your body and your breath and take delight. Have fun pretending. Visualize, dream, experiment and play like a child whenever you can.
• A life rich in enjoyment is abundance! Remember that pleasure begets pleasure. As we learn to enjoy a wide variety of experiences, to appreciate relaxation and excitement, we grow. Yearning spawns new ideas. When our cup overflows, the joy of accomplishment comes.
• Pleasure satiation allows us to relax and be healthier, be positively reinforced and stay focused on our goals in life thus reducing pain, depression and stress.
• Fun is an access point into the NOW. When having fun we generally don’t want to mull over the past, plan revenge or project into future fantasies. Being awake to the present moment is fun!

Fun Spreads!
Remember, humans move instinctively towards pleasure and away form pain. Don’t fight nature! Nurture your nature. Your enjoyment and pleasure level is your own choice so take personal responsibility if you want more joy and happiness. Consider how radiating joy and fun is a gift that uplifts others. Don’t be discouraged if you are surrounded by grumps! Share yourself with children and pets; they are especially open to playfulness. By all means, strive to become a passionate and inspiring partner for your mate. Create extra joy at work or in the market. Fun is a high energy frequency which attracts more fun through the innate pleasure instinct and the principles of pleasure.

Access your share of pleasure – Activate “The Principle of Pleasure” – POP!
Giggle thrice and listen to the place where the MAGIC of NOW is singing…..

• POP into pleasure anytime
• POP is an access point for abundance
• POP is key to being vital and long lived
• POP develops inner freedom
• POP stimulates creativity
• POP invites the best in life
• POP optimizes performance
• POP dissolves resistance to learning
• POP unravels addictive habits
• POP increases one’s radiance and attractiveness
• POP allows us to give the most to others
• Master POP and master life as a fun adventure to savor!

Enjoy Pleasure Coupled with Loving Care

Playing with pleasure is like playing with fire. Learning to live with greater velocity requires an increase in responsibility and balance. High states of pleasure might dig up the opposite response, guilt. Our own inner gremlins lurking in the subconscious mind may rise. We don’t want to suppress our feelings so trust the diversity of your feelings and invite all of your self to the grand ball. Listen, love to your totality!

For a great book on the seven invitation to living fully in your heart read:
Setting Your Heart on Fire by Raphael Cushnir -

Life your life as a work of art! Make it so beautiful, its’ worth keeping, sharing and singing about!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No Place to Go But Home - Natural Fatigue Relief

Real luxury begins inside, being able to take a break, rest our mind and let go of goals and expectations in life. Peace comes more from letting go and letting life flow than from any amazing feat or talent. Simply enjoying little things, like sun beams on a flower, birds chirping, the smell of dinner cooking or the feeling of freshly washed sheets, increases our sensitivity to the present moment. In the now is where our soul is ever expanding, expressing joy and dancing; it just takes stopping the mental chatter and tuning in. This is how I dip in, fill up with luxurious energy and restore myself.

Luxury is a Joy Interpretation
A feeling of being comfortable within, of being at home imparts a sense of luxury, of wellness and wealth. Our inner home, the source of who we are as pure being, is an ever expanding cosmic creative center – CCC - a place of pure peace out of which emanates all good things. The one who is watching the play of life is this state of pure being, the watcher and when our interpretation is that we are enjoying good and plenty, joy unfolds. Peace of mind begins a transformative moment, trust in who we are as pure being keeps us on purpose and joy completes the circle by charging up our energy batteries. Joy then replicates and creates yet more wonder and opportunity. Then need or grasping is not the cause of movement, joy is. When we swim with the current of life, we move naturally towards the experience of our inner home, day by day, stroke by stroke, we swim towards the luminosity of our pure being. This is how I learned to feel good in my own skin and grow healthier.

Growth, Expansion and Learning are Synonymous
Growth, expansion and learning are synonymous. All beings are swimming in the river of life and there is ultimately only one direction, evolution towards our cosmic creative center – CCC. However, if due to holding onto traumatic events in the past, we resist or act against our organic path of growth, we can spin our wheels and slow down our evolution. This resistance to growth, expansion and learning generally causes suffering and weakens our energy. This state of depletion takes many forms; we call it fear, anxiety, depression, disease and so on.

Growth is Easy - Resistance is Hard
We all have equal opportunity to surrender to our path of growth and make life easier. Growth is easy, resistance is hard. That which increases growth and harmony in the universe is supported by the universe and that support does indeed show up if we are ready and watching. Support feels good; it reminds us we are not isolated beings but all connected in a grand design. Light shines forth, maybe just a sparkle and sometimes a powerful presence is felt if we are open to receiving guidance and learning new stuff. Learning requires being able to endure our inadequacies plus asking tough questions and being radically honest in our self-discovery process.

Scientifically, it only takes seconds for our nervous systems to become agitated yet it takes twenty minutes or more of focused breathing and calm thinking to soothe the irritation. If peace is lacking, there is no mystery, we create the agitation by fighting and not accepting the now as okay enough. Wanting drives us crazy. The best route is to accept however life is showing up while intending for sunnier days. This acceptance is the beginning of the healing process. It saves us from energy drains and turns hard to easy. Again…..

1. Peace of mind begins a transformative moment
2. Trust in our self sustains and connects awakened moments in one easy flow
3. Joy completes the circle. We see our creativity causing wonder and opportunity.
4. Joy then replicates and gives uplifted energy for growth, expansion and learning.

Our luxurious mood in the moment, that we trust in how life is unfolding, that our growth is in keeping with our soul’s direction of expansion and that we are indeed learning new stuff, begin to disentangle our minds from the games that keep us stuck. At any point we can always spin the dial of our mood and point our little boat towards the light of our CCC – cosmic creative center. It is indeed far easier to move with the current of life than against it. Perhaps the light is like a suction, actually pulling us in.

The Delirious D’s
Say NO to the Delirious D’s – Denial, Distraction, Depression and Disease! We can disentangle from the feeling of depletion at any moment. We are free to change our mood and change our minds. However it is tricky. One way involves engaging in activities that pacify our minds or bodies yet do not produce vertical growth. Horizontal growth produces what looks like change on the outside but the inner patterns of limitation stay the same. These distracting activities can be habit forming, addicting. They appear to offer relief when actually they increase fatigue. Natural fatigue relief comes when we begin to recognize the work of the Delirious D’s in our life and say NO. In this moment we can choose new, more efficient ways of being less limited. The D’s work like this….

1. Denial – Resistance forms when we doubt and reject the current environment
2. Distraction – Activities to pacify frustration are selected rather than growth
3. Depression – Being cut off from our path of expansion causes an energy drain
4. Disease – Breakdowns in mental or physical biological functions emerge

Reconnecting to our creative font, where energy is always flowing in abundance is the natural way to relieve fatigue that is self-sustaining. We all are endowed with a creative genius within even though our greatness may be sleeping. The state of spiritual grogginess and self-denial, distraction, depression and disease attracts to us that which is also deficient; a grabby personality that dreams it is cut off and manipulates to survive under the pretty coverlets of many an ego mask. A gazillion stories in the world tell the tale of the downward descent into the Delirious D’s. Yet it is quite simple really and all the same ole tale of resisting the current back home into our cosmic creative center. There is no natural place to go but this home; all we need do is grow, expand and learn a little each day.

7 Steps to Natural Fatigue Relief
1. Remember - and believe in your own inner potential – we are vastly creative agents of growth, expansion and learning.
2. Flow - with the current by respecting and trusting how life is for you now.
3. Observe – Watch what increases flow or what inhibits it – our health tells all!
4. Focus – Discipline your path towards growth, expansion and learning.
5. Passion – Generate energy by resisting the tendency to defend your point of view. Be confident to express yourself yet allow others their own opinions.
6. Relationships – Be friendly to the happy, kind to the unhappy, admire the virtuous and practice detachment towards those who extend abuse or neglect.
7. Be Purposeful – Ask how can I help? Look for the greatest way to express your own creative genius each day. Produce good results and good feelings will follow.

Summarizing Motions
Say yes to peace and joy; say no to the Delirious D’s! Say yes to perfect health, financial abundance, joyous relationships and harmonious living. Say no to all forms of imprisonment and unnecessary limitation. Learn to recognize when it is time to move powerfully forward and when it is time to sit still. Grow in the direction of your soul’s course. Expand toward the expression of your creative genius and nothing less! Swim with all your might into your luminous cosmic creative center (CCC) where your heart feels love and rejoices in abundance. Cut a line in the sand of your mind and refuse to endure any mood that is less than luxurious! Be your own judge; consider the input from others but always spend time being sensitive to your inner voice. Take three breaths and be empty. Think about No-Thing. Walk outside, look at the sun, reach your arms high and grow skywards. Shake off the dust, sing a song, and generate energy! There is no place to go but home, so grow high, expand in energy and learn to be ever freer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Anatomy of Here and WOW

From the The Here and WOW Story by Char Tara Albert
Where Horizontal “Here” means Time and Vertical “WOW” means Space
A Story where the Time/Space Intersection
Marries the Universal/Personal Creative Juncture

*For more information see my June Blog Post – (1) The River of Satva – The Path of Illumination *The Vibration of Now and Its Location

*The theories expressed here are gleamed from the yogic tradition plus my personal interpretations. My primary information source for this article is from Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by B. K. S. Iyengar which sheds light on the microcosmic structure of the human being as a reflection of macrocosmic universal energy. I am a student of yoga; my understanding is ever evolving so please forgive any immaturity. Page references refer to Light on the Yoga Sutras. Sanskrit words are offered to attune our minds to the origin of these teachings and their core signature vibration. Take whatever wisdom works for you for now. Leave the rest to ponder on a rainy day.

This article addresses a question -
Can the wisdom of yoga help us to manifest abundance, health and greatness?

Yogic Creation Theory and the 3 Gunas – A Play in Time

Accordingly to yoga, in the beginning, the universe spun out of one all-encompassing, united, non-defined universal force which then subdivided into the 3 gunas or speeds of movement. Thus time, contrast of forces and the axis of “here” was play-crafted into being.

1. Satva – illumined central speed pathway – pure white – essence of purity
2. Rajas – hyperactive/hot or fast speed pathway - vibrancy
3. Tamas – underactive/cool or slow speed pathway – inertia

The 5 Elemental Notes – A Play in Space

Energy then further subdivided into the 5 basic elements which are the building blocks of all creation. Thus space was crafted. It was very WOWish and expansive in nature, so I nicknamed it WOW. The elemental notes express themselves through sentient beings through the 5 organs of perception better know as the 5 senses:

1. Earth – Smelling
2. Water - Tasting
3. Fire - Seeing
4. Air - Feeling
5. Ether - Hearing

Patanjali, author of the original Yoga Sutras, writes that the manifested universe is composed of the blended combination of the 3 gunas (time) and the 5 elements (space). This causes a pulsation between the universal creator, called Brahman in Sanskrit, to the individual creator, the seer, the soul called “atman” in Sanskrit. The universal and individual are married to each other eternally by inherent design. The juncture of these 4 aspects, time/here, space/wow, universal being and personal being causes “The Vortex of Now”, a space of Holy Wow Now where thought seeds begin to grow and congeals into tangibility. Knowing how to align these four vectors and access the creative vortex therefore should theoretically allow us to more easily grow “things from thoughts”.

The Vortex of Now and Its Portal in Human Biology

In the human anatomical body the 3 gunas are localized thus:
1. Satva – fire channel, susumna, center of the spinal column
2. Rajas – sun channel, pingala nadi/left brain, right side of body
3. Tamas – ida nadi/right brain, left side of body
Satva, rajas and tamas vibrational lines of energy weave in and out of the 7 chakras or energy wheels located inside the spinal column, first named by ancient yogis. The chakras, centers of transformative energy, align with vital nerve bundles and affect the endocrine glands in the human anatomy. The chakras transform energy circulating between the 7 sheath bodies called kosas in yoga. The 7 kosas vibrate at finer, more subtle to grosser, heavier levels.

The 7 Kosas or Shining Sheaths
7 Coats of Vibration – The Harmonically Aligned Being Has Well-Calibrated Kosas

Satva, rajas and tamas in balance circulate energy between the 7 kosas allowing for healthy functioning of the body, mind and emotions. A vital and well-charged energy system is the result. Deficient energy systems lead to downward dramatic spirals of all kinds so this is important! The 7 levels of vibrational sheaths correspond to the 5 elemental notes.

The 5 elements are most concentrated in the 7 kosas as thus: (pg 51 & pg 141)
1. Earth – physical body – anatomical level – Annamaya Kosa
2. Water – physiological body - physiological level – Pranamaya Kosa
3. Fire – psychological body - mental - Manomaya Kosa
4. Air – intellectual body - intellectual – Vijnanamaya Kosa
5. Ether – Body of Joy - blissful – Anandamaya Kosa
6. Xxxxx* – Body of Consciousness – Cittamaya Kosa
7. Xxxxx* – Body of the Self – Atmamaya Kosa
*Xxxxx refers to undivided consciousness prior to the gunas and elemental divide.

To bring this down to earth, brain lobe locations for the kosas are assigned.

Anatomy of Here and WOW – Seats or Central Positions of Kosas - (pg 100)

1. Ananamaya & Pranamaya Kosa
Anatomical & physiological - frontal brain – seat of logic
2. Manomaya Kosa
Mental - back of brain – seat of reasoning
3. Vijnanamaya Kosa
Intellectual - base of brain – seat of imprints of pleasure & pain
4. Anandamaya Kosa
Blissful - top of brain

Hatha yoga poses (physical type), especially as designed by Mr. Iyengar - which includes inversions and restorative yoga - improves circulation of prana especially in the skull thus aiding right and left brain balance. The skull is an area that gets easily jammed due to hyperactive or dull thinking patterns. That is how the forces of hot raja energy and cool tamas energy manifest in how we think. Functioning of the body reflects the imbalances. Pranayama, pure yogic breath practice, is a highly effective way to know, flow and grow pranic universal energy thus enhancing communication through all 7 kosas.

Trouble in Wowland – When Ego is Driving the Earth Ship!
The 5 Afflictions are called Klesas in Sanskrit

The kosas are designed to dance in harmonic balance expressing the will of the atman, soul within. In yoga theology the non-synchronized state of being manifests as 5 “Klesas” – afflictions. Trouble begins with the root cause, where consciousness of being veers away from the central point where the time/space vortex, the Holy Wow Now and the power of creation really exists. Soul then forgets and looses it finesse in the art of manifestation.

Avidya – Ignorance of Self, want of spiritual knowledge, lack of wisdom
Through forgetfulness of one’s true self and one’s creative power, the seer gets lost in the creation. Avidya begins the downward descent into ignorance. Avidya is the root cause of the obstacles that prevent us from recognizing things as they really are.

The obstacles begin to multiply:

Asmita – Pride, egoism, I consciousness
The first branch of avidya is asmita which pushes us into thoughts of “I need to be better than others. I must dominate others because I know I am right. I am driven to do so. I am obsessed with stories of me and rightly so. Me, me, me - its all I can see!”

Raga – Desire, attachment, pleasure
The second branch of avidya is raga which expresses itself in making demands. The thinking is “I want more and more because it was pleasurable yesterday even if I don’t need it now. I am not satisfied with what I have now. My desire is unquenchable.”

Dvesa – Aversion, hate, dislike
The third branch of avidya is dvesa, the opposite of raga. Dvesa expresses itself by rejecting self, people and things for fear they will bring pain. The thinking is “I am resistant and hostile (aggressively or passively) because either I sense a threat or I am uncertain of something new. I play lots of sneaky ego games to get even. I can put on the brakes or change plans. I can cause others stress and attempt to suppress their growth. I don’t listen well. I generate toxic energy to poison others. I resist learning and growth.”

Abhinivesa - Clinging to life, fear of death, intentness of affection
The fourth branch of avidya is abhinivesa, which is perhaps the most secretive expression aspect due to its undermining effect on our self-image. A poor self-image threatens our sense of survival causing the ego to build complex masks to hide this aspect. The thinking is “I am afraid, insecure, under constant stress and constantly fatigued. Life seems to be after me! I am afraid I am not okay where I am in life, with my body, my work or my family. I am afraid of being judged and not loved. I am resisting aging and death whether I know it or not. I cannot rest and feel trapped. I have to pretend and compensate in order to survive, I am miserable and exhausted.”

Brain locality of the 5 Klesas are listed as thus: (pg 112)

1. Avidya - Front of Brain – the seat of logic
2. Asmita – Top Brain – the seat of the individual self
3. Raga & Dvesa – Base of the Brain (hypothalamus) – subconscious brain
4. Abhinivesa – Back of Brain (archaic brain) – unconscious brain

There are fascinating correlations between these locations and modern brain science which I will explore in future blogs. These teaching extend back at least 5000 years since Patanjali’s Sutras were based on earlier Vedic books in India.

Entering Freedom’s Gate - Practical Applications on the Tract to Samadhi
Samadhi is a state of being, an absorption where the dream of separation ceases for a moment or more – depending on the capacity we have developed or inherited.

The value of accurate knowledge acts as a beacon on the road to knowing what our soul knows. The seed, the seer, the soul, atman is attempting to communicate through our layers of being, via the 7 kosas. It is soul’s nature to be free, to be at peace and to express joy! Yoga was designed as an eight-fold process in order to balance the flow between all 7 kosas. That is why it is important to practice yoga as a system rather than to practice separate components. For instance, I found that it did not work out well for me to be practicing physical yoga and breathing exercises without understanding and utilizing the practice of pratyahara.

Applying the eight-fold path of yoga*
as organized by Patanjali in The Yoga Sutras.
Here is a recipe for how to apply yogic practices for harmonic alignment.

*For a more complete description on the eight fold path of yoga – visit my blog
Freedom’s Blog Part 2 – October Post at

Pg 126 Iyengar quote, “The seer is clothed in five sheaths (CTA Note: the 2 most inner sheaths -6/7 - are not categorized as having a physical location), by the elements of nature: earth, water, fire, air and ether. Earth represents the anatomical, water the physiological; fire the mental, air the intellectual and ether the spiritual sheaths. The organs of action and senses of perception aid the sakhaka (student) in purifying the anatomical and physiological sheaths through yama (social disciplines) and niyama (personal disciplines). Asana, (physical yoga) pranayama (breath practice) and pratyahara (regulation of the senses) divest the seer of the mental sheath; dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation) cleanse the intellectual sheath. Samadhi (absorption into oneness) brings the seer out through the prison-gates of all the sheaths to experience freedom and beatitude.

Author’s Summary

“Here”, a name for time or duration of moments joins with “WOW”, a name for space where the painting of creation unfolds. The aligned juncture of Here and WOW allows for access to the swirling portal of Holy Wow Now where energy folds and unfolds in a natural rhythmic pulsation between the universal aspect of self and the personal version of self, the atman. For me this is the frontier of Wowland I love to play upon!

Regular practice of the holistically designed eight-fold path of yoga which includes knowledge of the three gunas, the five elements, the seven kosas and the four brain lobe locations may lead toward increased effectiveness in achievement. Accomplishments bring growth and growth renews our fortitude and strength. Especially application of samyama – an integration of focus, meditation and absorption - can lead us to become more at ease and enjoy whatever we are doing. Growth must be earned and cannot be forced. Patience, practice, caring and love of life brings forth the fruiting of our tree of yoga when the factors are ripe.

Yoga is the ability to direct the mind towards an aim and maintain the momentum without distraction. Yoga is the state where we can still the fluctuations of the mind so we may both rest and enjoy peace. Proper use of yoga leads towards higher achievement in any field of endeavor and has the potential to mend all relationships. Yoga is the delightful rejoining of body, mind and soul.

I extend my unconditional love to all and my strong intention that we may culture our individual and collective consciousness into heightened global body/mind awareness and find peace and plenty here on Earth as it in Wowland.

*Email me for a free copy of The Anatomy of Here and WOW Summary Table

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Freedom's Blog Part 2 - Whoosh! Letting the Freedom Wave Roll

Riding the Freedom Wave

The Freedom Wave is a natural counter balance to the MOM, More-of-Me Wave. Our thoughts diversify on the wondrous MOM Wave. MOM is natural force which helps us compose love and order, or lesser stuff. We craft our ideas into reality while riding of wild MOM Wave as discussed more fully in Part 1 of Freedom’s Blog.

The Freedom Wave’s job is to decompose less useful forms so there is space for new growth. When we align with nature’s plan to clear out the cob webs, it is best done minus complaints. Whatever we accept we get to go beyond. When we stop resisting this leads towards peace, a state Buddhists call the void or emptiness. When we are open to playing with both waves, as the need arises, a sense of harmony is felt. We are more able to act in accord with the creative laws that govern the universe. Cooperating with the movement of life encourages synchronistic events to occur. Riding both waves is in balance is a lot like captaining a ship poised between waves and wind. I will elaborate more on “Shipology” in a later blog.

Wouldn’t it be nice to ride The Freedom Wave with grace, ease and trust; allowing change to wash through our lives without clinging, begging for mercy, throwing hate darts or screaming mutiny? It is easy to love The MOM Wave, look at all the great nurturing stuff she brings us! When there is More-of-Me who is complaining? But when MOM’s partner the Freedom Wave takes away – Ouch! So why does the universe have to play take away? The force of the Freedom Wave is a big burley bear to hug no doubt, cute in concept, but in person, we sense its’ big claws and teeth. Life can be scary if we stay in the dark.

I am learning how to ride my ship of body/mind on the rise and fall of the MOM and Freedom Wave so I may better enjoy every magical moment. My imagination can travel to the edge of time and beyond. My eyes were opened reading a fascinating book called The Tree of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar, a modern day Yoga master. Iyengar is also a spokesperson for the ancient sage, Patanjali, who wrote The Yoga Sutras. The tree plan unveils a recipe for keeping your ship on the UP and forward track and balancing the effects of the elements of wind and waves so to speak. The UP-beat heart has the impetus to laugh a little, generate a few nice hormones and keep the course for freedom’s gate. The tree formula has eight steps.

Tree Tech Practices

The tree of yoga is an old formula, thousands of years old, for spiritual achievement. It is a map of how to navigate this world and steer clear of obstacle-making on the path to enlightenment. There are eight steps or limbs on this road to freedom’s gate. The tree is an organic model of how the body, mind and heart become one with the universal pulse, the MOM and Freedom Wave. I can look back in my life and see the effects of ignoring Tree Tech wisdom. Stalled energy resulted. Adherence to the 8 point tree plan is what I now use to remove knots in my body and mind. A knot is a place where life and consciousness flows but not awareness.

The Winning Recipe: (more interpretations on these aspects to follow in future blogs)

The Eight Limbs (Astanga) of Yoga from The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali
Patanjali – 500 B.C. Indian sage, scholar, yogi, dancer, philosopher & doctor
The eight limbs are explained in detail in The Tree of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

The SEED of The Tree of Yoga is the Soul, the indivisible spark called Atman in Sanskrit.
Its’ house is in the human body in the heart center.

• Non-violence - Ahimsa
• Truthfulness - Satya
• Non-stealing - Asteya
• Moderation in sexuality & relationships - Brahmacharya
• Non-covetousness or greed – Aparigraha

2. Niyama – TRUNK OF TREE
• Cleanliness of body/mind - Sauca
• Contentment - Santosha
• Tapas - Fervor on subject, practices aimed toward liberation, heat
• Study of the Self – Svadhyaya (& sacred texts)
• Surrender to God - Isvarapranidhana (offering fruits of labor)

3. Asana – Yogic Postures – LIMBS OF TREE

4. Pranayama – Breath Regulation – LEAVES OF TREE

5. Pratyahara – Sense Regulation – BARK OF TREE

6. Dharana – Focus & Concentration – SAP OF TREE

7. Dhyana – Meditation & Reciprocation - FLOWERS OF TREE

8. Samadhi – Liberation & Complete Absorption in the ONE

The Goal of Yoga is the state of Samadhi – various levels of -

The Tree of Yoga –by B.K.S. Iyengar - Pg 3 – Chapter: Yoga is One
“The science of yoga helps us to keep the body as a temple so that it becomes as clean as the soul. The body is lazy, the mind is vibrant and the soul is luminous. Yoga practices develop the body to the level of the vibrant mind so that the body and the mind, having both become vibrant, are drawn towards the light of the soul.”

Chant - Ready, Set, Go or Know, Flow, Grow!

I found that the tree model, a familiar symbol, helps me to memorize the methodology of yoga. Tree Tech lessons are well suited for practical applications in dealing with all manner of relationship, money and health challenges. I match up my experiences by the tree template and examine my actions. If I want to create or dismantle something, first I set it UP in my intention. I imagine that both waves cooperate with my request, to both spin their magic through me. I chant - ready, set, go or know, flow, grow NOW!

The natural components of the tree, the roots, trunk, limbs, leaves, bark, sap, flower and fruit grow and change a little each day just like we do. Each day, the sun shines and the earth supports us with gifts of nature. We all have equal opportunity to grow. With our thoughts, words and deeds, we chose to either add or detract from the UP and forward growth of our tree. Down energy slows us down, whereas UP energy accelerates more UP!

Healthy Roots = A Healthy Foundation

An inventory of our roots is the most fundamental of all the Tree Tech practices.

Tree Tech 101 – The First Root of Our Tree

Yama #1 – Ahimsa – Sanskrit for Non-Violence

Non-violence is an art worth mastering. When we keep our agreement to love and honor our self in our thoughts, words and deeds we practice the core of the non-violence art. Healthy roots must be established first, otherwise we will see our violence manifest and craft more obstacles and knot-making. The five root practices listed are called the Yamas in yoga and Ahimsa is the first root discussed in the classical yoga tree model.

To disassemble violence against self, those thoughts and actions which reject and punish self need to be exposed. Ahimsa acts like a lynch pin. Once we begin to master non-violence, our defensive shields and those aggressive or passive aggressive strategies tend to pop up so we can see them. As we break free of ruts, the flow increases. We get used to higher velocity. Knowledge of our purpose, the intelligence from our soul can get through to our conscious attention.

Adherence to Ahimsa - Tree Tech 101

Ahimsa, non-violence is both a fundamental causative principle in our life, shaping everything we touch, and an under-pinning of our behavioral complexities. Disconnection and fear is the “root of the root”. Love, respect and acceptance of our self prime the pump of the creative well within. Violating self-love and siding with self-neglect or self-loathing is the core origin for all manifestations of spiritual dryness. The seat of our own awareness, our soul, this indivisible awareness with the total vision, the seed in our tree story, is our own inner hero. In The Yoga Sutras, how the mind first subdivides and creates its own obstacles is explained clearly in 196 aphorisms. For me reading the sutras lit flaming torches on the road to freedom. Our demanding ego, a shadow of the real self, is the cause of the real drag in life. It slows down forward thrust and increases our addictive need of and enslavement to this world. The world is wonderful, but not so when we have forgotten our true nature and let ego call the shots. For when we resist either the flow of the MOM or Freedom Wave, when we resist and say NO to our very own life creations, we reject self. Thus energy stalls and slips down. This is against self, this is violence. We can stop such nonsense once we see the game.

Promises, Promises – The Honor of Our Word

The ultimate promise to self is to allow our soul seed awareness to fully incarnate into the body and mind. The luminosity of the soul may cause intense feelings of radiation within. Some feel heat, sense a warm fluid moving within or see light. Sometimes I do too. Now the body moves with greater grace. These warm feelings help provide impetus to keep UP and find the keys to access our wishing well, our font of all good to come. Our heart of infinite gold rewards us when we open. As we soften, this flowering offsets the rigors of the upward climb, our spiritual journey. The Yogis call this heart juice, nectar. We need the hearts energy to sustain UP drive.

When we honor and keep a firm commitment to know, flow and grow beyond whatever illusions enslave us, regardless of what comes up, we culture self-confidence. In life we are likely to come face to face with challenges that sprouted from our less-than-loving thoughts. Yet the practice of non-violence, of self-love, self-communication and self-acceptance form this powerful foundation of self-reliance and inner strength. When our foundation, our promise to love and honor our self is solid, our roots can drink deeply. Then we are open to receive. By pausing to breathe deeply, by practicing the tree of yoga and by studying ourselves we transform. Plucking apart negative thoughts before we express them begins to break the pattern. The defensive egoic formulas that fuel down loose power. Down begins to turn to UP! If you are excited by this then perhaps your wonderment factor is already twirling you UP the cosmic slide! Good work.

Exposing the Ego Song – Anytime but Now!

What tools can we summon to expose the ego song? The ego likes to look good and tends to mask its destructive underlying motives. We are either 100% committed to live up to our word or willing to slip slide through life, looking for “outs” - justifications. An agreement represents the honor of our word and the power of our commitment is a tap root which supports and feeds the growth of our tree towards freedom. Being impeccably responsible and trusting in our own self-worth is the basis for creating freedom and prosperity. Forgetting significant agreements or allowing reasons, accidents, sickness or circumstances to unilaterally shift the rules is generally the slid/slide work of the egoic mind. Violating promises and commitments undermine our own self image – these actions are against self and therefore are violent. If agreements are broken regularly, we loose trust in our word to get the job done. Have you ever argued for your own limitations? It is an illusion that circumstances dictate our life, health, relationships or professional status. Our ego mind is a song, a voice that puts ideas in our head. It invents creative ways to get out of commitments. It’s a misuse of the MOM Wave. We are divinely gifted with free will and can use it for good or not. Now, we can select the high path, the tree tech path to reverse all downward spins and lighten UP!

Harmonic Alignment = Freedom!

I find that the more integrally I operate without what I call Hit and Run Tactics, the games my lost child plays when it is scared, the more energy I have for fun. The more fun I have the more I hear the freedom song of my soul. In this flushed abundant state, I now and only now, can cope with the take away factor of the Freedom Wave. In this exuberant wide open place, I begin to figure out how to use the dismantling process without hurting myself or others. I ponder Ahimsa and ask for clarity within if I get into a jam of any sort.

When I am in harmony, I have both Wave reigns in my hands, to create More of Me and the Freedom to give UP! The seed of my soul thrills in taking the MOM and Freedom Wave ride to higher and higher octaves. The more I stay UP on my wave, thrilled with the day, balanced and joyous, I falter less and thus wave friction is reduced. Growth is fun! Harmonic alignment is possible! The Tree of Yoga and The Yoga Sutras explain systemically how to remove the causes of obstacles. Yoga leads to Samadhi – Sanskrit for a state of harmony.

Yes Listening

The YES form of listening is a disciplined approach to hearing that can attune us to know the richness of our inner landscape, the magical dream world I call Wowland. As we become free to journey to Wowland throughout our day and night, synchronistic events are drawn forth more frequently. We catch glimpses of this juicy heart place leading to freedom’s gate where the egoic walls melt and the fluids run clear. Yes, we taste the salt of high adventure and smell the wind of relief. Maybe we cry, or dance and celebrate. Whoosh! we let that Freedom Wave roll. We let go! Now we can make more fun. We say YES, I am ready! Now, ready, set, go. Now, go - know, flow and grow.

And please remember to love each other UP! …..Oh, that is Part 3…to be continued.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Freedom's Blog - How to Turn Down to UP! In 5 Part Harmony

Part 1 – Riding The MOM Wave

This tangible universe operates according to the laws of opposites, checks and balances where every force is counterbalanced. From this perspective there is no good or bad, right or wrong, just the ever moving dance of cosmic ether into matter and then the reverse process of dissolution. I call these two vectors The MOM (More of Me) Wave and The Freedom Wave; together they cause full atomic cycling. Noticing and riding these two waves with equal openness brings harmonic balance. Letting go on the Freedom Wave makes more room for creativity. Creativity on the MOM Wave is enhanced when we can put down our old habits. Posing our mind and heart between these opposite forces and accepting life as a joy, helps reverse downward trends and restores UP and forward motion. My perspectives and the exercises that follow are drawn from the well of ancient yogic wisdom of which I am a student. Take what fits for you. At this time, some of my favorite authors are B.K.S. Iyengar, Eckert Tolle and the Abraham material.

Caveat for Down & UP
Labeling life as down or up is quite absurd! The cosmos is swirling! However, in this blog “down” refers to mood energy which has become dismembered from the inner throb of peaceful being. This sub-divided aspect of self takes on personality characteristic and causes a mood removed from full MOM and Freedom cycle, a mood that fights itself and tends to create encumbrances or obstacles. So “down” in Freedom’s Blog refers to emotional energy that has become awkwardly complex, isolated, slow moving and biologically dysfunctional. Healthy flow gets inhibited and cellular cycles that depend on the full MOM and Freedom cycle become chaotic. A build up of stuff that blocks our insight of how to move on is caused by resisting the cleansing power of the Freedom Wave.

The MOM Wave and The Freedom Wave
Most of us know what its like to get stuck in the down dimension. Down and UP emotions create matching life circumstances. If heading down you might get more down and notice your life turning downhill. However the good news is the well is always open! The More-of-Me or MOM Wave describes a common direction in time/space, a force that primes the creative well within which is designed to express and manifest our desires.

In yoga, the stages of development from a seed to flower and fruit bearing tree describe the spiritual quest. Our soul is the seed, the original spark that caused life. Our soul is a watcher that allows the creative wave to flow through the body and mind to awaken, grow, bloom and completes itself. The MOM Wave is moving behind all life and there is no stopping it. Trying to block MOM can cause exhaustion. The wishing well of our heart, our very own creative vortex, is the hot little idea-box that the MOM Wave draws from and returns to. Our unique soul generates its own beautiful ideas to add to the collective wave. The MOM Wave causes fruitation, it composes and the Freedom Wave facilitates decomposing or cosmic composting.

Allowing The MOM Wave to Move Through You
If we try to block the MOM Wave from moving through us, it tends to cause friction. This disturbance can cause a type of blindness where the soul gets dizzy and forgets what it is UP to. It is easy to become so enraptured and busy in this marvelous world. The yogic theory is that as we grow immersed into multiplying the complexity of our idea-forms, the very dazzle of it all creates amnesia of why we first came into motion. We loose our memory of purpose. Our soul seed voice gets crowded out by other competitive agendas that the mind makes up. This aspect of the mind, the ego, is very much like a lost child. The animal mind will fight to the death to prove it’s self along with clinging to everything in sight. Really our child is afraid. This floundering of desperation wastes energy and disperses concentration. That is how downward swirl occurs; dynamic UP and forward motion is sacrificed. Our disconnection within is what starts the whirlpool of down. Distrust maintains the blockage. Lack of faith in the MOM Wave causes us to pinch tight the feed lines.
We pivot towards the good when we open to allow the MOM Wave to flow through us. To prepare for MOM, we widen our chest, relax and invite her to move through us without complaint. Trust opens our heart and teaches us to ride the wild MOM for all she’s worth. YES IS THE WORD for more MOM!

The Goddess of MOM
The MOM Wave is called The Goddess by ancient cultures. For instance, Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity, wisdom, fortune, generosity and courage. For me this archetype conjures up an image of a magnificent being that emits luxurious, generosity and infinite benevolence. Belief in a high power can help restore trust or you can just trust MOM without needing a stimulus or symbol. Accessing innate intelligence and remembering we are free to create our own destiny is the first step to come awake. Even our cells have the codes to recall our truth and make MOM, more of me. Our solar plexus can be triggered to act like turbines of trust, real guts, ever ready to spiral UP!

Posing or Imposing
While we have little control over the world and its myriad of characters, we do have control over the posing of our emotions. We cannot impose our ideas on others but we can be the peace we wish to see in the world. You see, even if a person is really stuck in “Downland”, and believes they have zero control over their feelings; one step in the UP direction will reverse down.

Give Up the Future
The shift can only occur in the now, not later. I had to give up the future. It never came and that made me unhappy. So then I learned to let go of this fleeting thing called future. Turning down to up requires a powerful pivot, best to do it immediately, fueled by gut trust in our self. UP feelings empower our will to live, activates digestion, increases our rate of inhalation and exhalation and mobilizes cellular intelligence. An UP energy vibration impacts health, happiness and harmony. Down energy can cause the soul seed to forget entirely its reason for being, causing anger, blame and confusion. It is never too late to turn around. UP energy restores memory, relieves frustration and despair and leads towards freedom’s gate. So ride the MOM Wave and go for UP and forward with all your might and don’t look back. Oops, I forgot to mention, you have to give up the past too!

She, the great MOM Wave, flows on your in-breath!

Stay tuned in. Part 2 of Freedom’s Blog explores The MOM Wave partner – The Freedom Wave

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Recharging Our Vitality Turbines

Recharging Our Vitality Turbines!

Each cell in the human body acts like a vitality turbine which powers our progress each day. In the solar plexus area of the body, around the navel, is an area called Manipura in the yoga tradition (Sanskrit). Here the feeling network reveals that our tummy feels good or not. If we are able to transform foods into usable cellular energy then we are supported to function at our optimal best. The solar plexus acts as a generator to sustain momentum during life’s many up and downs. There will always be “things” we cannot change immediately. Having an energy reserve in our cells due to good digestion provides a feeling of abundance and this engenders optimism and acceptance. We create, we are responsible for the condition of our feeling and gross bodies. Choosing to live in the spirit of gratitude vs. complaint encourages us to look on the bright side and this develops more adaptability. Playfulness and cooperation with the movement of life adds that extra joy wheel into Manipura to keep recharging the vitality turbine.

Sailing towards our Destiny – Knowing our Direction

Imagine a sail boat as our body/mind vehicle. For the long haul from birth to death we need the wind to fill our sails as breath fills our lungs. For short stints, we use the engine, the energy reserve in Manipura for more power. The idea is to mostly use the wind and not use up all your gas by the time you are 35!

In our day of modern science we can dissect and study how the digestive system operates yet that does not explain how our moods and attitudes reflect themselves in our tummy area. Do we have tools to keep our spirits high? Do we live with an attitude of plentitude that potential energy is everywhere? How do we harvest the most energy and joy from what we think and eat?
Shifting towards higher functioning implies giving up waiting for change. I believe that each being has a chosen destiny and only when we are on route do our vitality turbines burn most efficiently. Some sort of sensing device in our heart knows that either we are heading toward home or not and revs up the gas or steps on the brake. If each day we proceed closer to our heart’s call, then the perpetual motion of enthusiasm will carry us along on the wind.

The 5 Phases of Recharging Our Cellular Turbines

1. Acceptance and Gratitude: Regardless if we are starting with good or poor health, we first accept where we are and really be okay with it. This will naturally part the curtain of ignorance that shrouds our attachments to ideas, to wanting things to be different than they are. Acceptance is a leap off point, a portal to receive energy by cooperating with the movement of life. This creates flow and delight.

2. Study: Arrogance blocks growth. After many years I came to see my own futile resistance hidden deep under other layers that looked nice to the world. I was humbled. I learned to question myself, meditate, take long walks in nature and introspect. Research and study helps me dance on this edge of growth, being willing to open my mind and learn from others. Study informs and helps renew the mind.

3. Healthy Practices: Study and humility then helps us to understand and explore new health practices. Seeing positive results provides necessary feedback. Noticeable results can be used to increase commitment. Commitment produces more results.

4. Imagination: Sometimes I pretend I am two years old again and fresh on life’s journey with endless zeal! I have a photo of little baby me nearby to jog my memory. Modulating my own mood has been my ally in growing well. Music is useful to stimulate the imagination. So are excursions in nature flooded with sunshine and beauty. Use what you got and be creative. Playfulness causes fun and joy turns turbine wheels!

5. Sharing & Caring: When we finally see how the principles of abundance work we can begin to use what is called karma yoga. Whatever we create we then do for the joy of the doing and the sharing. We enjoy the journey and not just the journey’s end. We savor the moment. We treasure our relationships with others, we feel what they feel. The connection and pleasure is immediate. Watch out for old losers to reappear in the mind, those win/lose greedy gremlins. Discipline the mind with meditation! Sharing and caring are the precepts of prosperity.

We have a galaxy of cells, celestial-agents, if you will, that carry the code of our attitudes and moods via chemicals of emotion. Our cells are thus entrained as energy turbines. Their level of vibration reflects our alignment with the direction of our destiny. The gathering of cells in the digestive area, in the Manipura Chakra - unveil a song each day of willingness or resistance, wellness or woe. I hope these ideas help you consider the effects of your thoughts and feelings on the charge level of your cellular turbines and the integrity of your digestive system.

Wait no more. Go for joy now and breathe big! Let your heart expand and tell you its secrets.

One more time: Listening and accepting the truth that our body teaches us, thankfulness, being willing to learn new stuff while adapting to life’s ups and downs with a creative sprit, and committing to find and enact our special work in the world all these serve us well on our journey towards holy wholeness. Healthy practices and a caring and sharing attitude keep the circle of love flowing and flowering ever outward and paradoxically inward in the cosmic spiral of evolution.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The River of Satva - The Path of Illumination

“Where the river is deepest, it makes the least noise” Proverb

Welcome to the River of Satva where the yogic perspective helps remove obstacles so our consciousness can flow delightfully in the stream of everyday life.

The Vibration of Now and Its Location
Yoga, union of spirit with body/mind, is a pathway that leads toward illumination, where the gleam of the star spark or soul can be experienced even if only momentarily. Yogis believe that prana, Sanskrit for life force, flows along subtle energy channels in the body called nadis. The most important nadis are susumna, the fire channel, flowing up the center of the spine, while pingala, the sun channel flows to the right of the spine and ida, the moon channel flows to the left of the spine. The word nadi is derived from nada, meaning sound vibration, which refers to the cosmic principle that all atomic energy is ever in flux. The nadi vibrate like strings of a violin and are therefore associated with a particular rate of movement or speed. Have you not heard a tune and felt your heart strummed like a guitar? (They would have said lute in the old days)

The speed through which energy moves in each channel is designated by the “gunas” or three qualities. These three qualities of speed, satva, rajas and tamas govern how matter first comes into expression and later dissolves into the creative vortex or cosmic source which sounds more like quantum physics than what we think of as yoga. In this theme of the creation myth, the big bang occurred when satva, rajas and tamas came out of balance and the manifest cosmos spun into being. According to yoga, when these three forces return into harmonic balance, it is said the universe will resolve itself and return to nothingness - zippo, be breathed back into the creative font. To me what is more relevant is how to use this information to create stuff, like rejuvenating my body, now in my life. Reading what the ancient sages said about the gunas gives hints as to how matter emerges from the void and dissolves into the void. Perhaps the “Secret” was first written in the yogic texts.

The Duo Waving Pulsation – The Dance of the Creative Organism
Breath is the link between body and mind. When we take our first breath we are born; our last breath marks death’s doorway. Inhalation relates to the shift of consciousness from core, font of presence in our heart center, towards the periphery, our skin. Yogis call this the “will to desire” to individualize, to differentiate. Breath exhalation moves awareness from the periphery towards the core. This phase of pulsation is called the “will to liberate”. This duo pulsation of yin and yang, moon and sun, out and in within the mortal being creates a friction and a perpetual motion machine during life that is said by Sufis to keep the universe spinning. Through breath, the universal force enters our lungs, marries to the thoughts and words we generate, is shaped and then twirls out to the world as a differentiated fruit of consciousness.

The Wish Wash Cycle
So long as the polarity of this dance is maintained in balance, our energy keeps flowing. Upon attempting to claim ownership or grasp onto the fruit of creativity we twirl forth, the ego is born. Thought of in this way, the ego appears to be a phase of consciousness where wishing - core to periphery differentiating phase - and making new stuff did not complete or balance itself with washing – periphery to core liberation phase. The more this imbalance repeats itself the more energy builds up in the ego function and the more plump the ego grows. Yet with each successive wish or desire that the ego attaches ownership to, the more the energy slows down until the soul feels entrapped in the body.

Our consciousness, which includes our mind, is a moving field of awareness that can choose which rate of vibration it follows provided we are not weighted down by attachments as described above. We can choose to move our breath and our thoughts in harmonic satva balance or zoom at break neck speed or bump along depressively.

The Three Gunas - Again
Yoga ascribes a location for the main vessels that carry the energy of the 3 gunas.

1. Satva (susumna-spinal center location) – Fire – luminous, clear, blissful
2. Rajas (pingala – right of spine) – Sun - An aggressive ratio, dynamic activity
3. Tamas (ida- left of spine) – Moon - A receptive quality of energy, pausing, heavy

Whatever is the dominant speed of our breath and thoughts will be at the tip of spear of awareness. If we select satva, the middle river, where the water is deeper, there is more energy to play with. In the deep calm waters of the River of Satva there is a balance of the Wish Wash Cycle. Energy flows freely and the autonomic nervous system can find its equilibrium. With less resistance there is less friction upon our body which may equate to reduced aging. The proverb in my title suggests that where the river is deepest, it makes the least noise. With abundant energy flow there is less chaos and struggling and more biological order. The River of Satva represents the clear calm waters of balanced pulsation, sun and moon in harmony, where the polarity of inhalation and exhalation and inner and outer activity is well regulated.

The universe lies within. What the ancients described as the origin of the vast universe occurs also in the microcosm. Theoretically, with the satva balanced quality of action at the point of our arrow of consciousness energy does not stall. Therefore creative forward drive and our breathing can become even and stabilized. Using music as imagery, the sound of satva is the fundamental or center of a note whereas the rajas and tamas wavelengths are sharps and flats. Put simply, everything is composed of vibration often called the music of the spheres.

Share Your Fruit and Be Free!
In the Yoga Sutras written by Patanjali some twenty five hundred years ago, the precise methodology of the yoga recipe for self liberation is laid out in fascinating detail. The workings of the mind are explained in 196 aphorisms. The soul spark, called the Atman, must learn through trial and error to differentiate itself. It comes to know its one power as distinct from the fruit it creates and that which it creates through, the vessels of the mind and body. Be not attached to the fruits of action is the recommended Yoga Sutra instruction. The seer is not the seen. Have fun creating the seen, the fruit and then share! This is the path to freedom. In the game of life, as mortal beings, we tend to become lost in misidentification. The demanding ego creates craziness. Me, mine and more, more, more is the ego’s song – desiring, wishing, wanting, it never ceases so long as the ego aspect dominates. We have that choice to transcend our habits and be rebooted by the Wish Wash Cycle thus balancing our gunas, the fire, sun and moon rivers within.

Yoga – the Quickie Definition
Yoga is described as the ability to direct the mind towards an object, - in this case, soul’s intended liberation from misidentification – and be able to sustain that momentum – which refers to consistent speed – without distraction – which implies continual forward drive - through acquired mental focus and control. Patanjali’s eight fold plan with 10 sub-categories, known as The Eight Limbs of Yoga, was extracted from earlier yoga works, the Vedas. This road map is ever useful stay on liberation’s course.

From Duhkha – suffering - to Sukha – easefulness (Sanskrit words)
Patanjali’s plan, limb one, called the Yamas, comprise the five social disciplines of non-violence, honesty, non-stealing, sexual moderation and non-coveting. The Yoga Sutras explain that painful effects or a feeling of duhkha, constriction, occur when our actions veer away from practice of the Yamas. The mind is prone to getting stuck in the Wish Wash Cycle and then being influenced by negative, complex and obsessive traits called the nine obstacles. Fear begins with the ignorance which halts the duo pulsation. Once the energy stalls it might be likened to E.T. (as in the movie by that name) being left on earth separated from his mother ship – the way to get home. We dream we are lost. Our ears close and we don’t hear the voice of wisdom. The River of Satva is still singing but we may not be skillful enough to hear so we make poor decisions which further enslave us. We contract under the assumed weight of isolation, griped by fear and this can causes secondary reactions, such as anger and then lies to cover up our shame.

Hence the first two Yamas of non-violence (Sanskrit/ahimsa), and honesty (satya) begin a downward spiral away from peace and harmony and towards increasing duhkha. Adhering to the Yama then supports an upward moving spiral from duhkha constriction to Sukha which in Sanskrit means openness or easefulness. Following the path of yoga helps us undo the feeling of duhkha and its outward sign: dysfunctional stories of woeful dramas. The River of Sattva or the Path of Illumination - is The Middle River - where the channel runs deep and quiet, where Sukha, easefulness reigns. Meditation and breath practice are two important tools of re-tuning our mind engine and nervous system to a corrective pace. Yogic postures, asanas, help raise the body up to the level of the mind, move our fluids along, balance hormones and increase our muscular strength. It is best to study yoga from a qualified teacher, I found this to be true for me regardless of how many years I have studied.

Liberating the Force for Fun and Health
The soul’s natural origin is peace and its rhythm is joy. When attachment and its symptom, fear, are released, consciousness organically powers the parasympathetic nervous system, the relaxation response. This system enhances sleep, bodily detoxification and digestion thus reinforcing the pleasure of right living.

The still living yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar wrote “Physical health is not a commodity to be bargained for. Nor can it be swallowed in the form of drugs or pills. It has to be earned through sweat. It is something that we must build up. You have to create within yourself the experience of beauty, liberation and infinity. This is health”.

The ancient yogis expressed the expansion and contraction of the universe as the breath of God. This current or universal wind can be experienced as a vibration felt in the bones of our inner ear. The Yogis call this Nada, the inner sound. Fear based thoughts block our listening and eventually dull our inner senses and our outer organs of sense perception leading to more and more aggressive desire. The Yoga Sutras explain how to reverse this addictive or duhkha effect and use the released energy for rejuvenation.

My Tract toward Samadhi
Poising myself in harmony with the Wish Wash Cycle – the dual pulsation - by dropping attachments and offering my fruit, my gifts, to share with others, helps me balance my breath and brainwaves. Following this path, my soul is free to flaps its wings with new found energy. Now there is a feeling of more space, openness, Sukha, so that a loving feeling can quiver my heart. This reminds me of who I am - the peace that is already my nature. I practice yoga everyday because I see good results and now trust this process of growth.

My Wish for You
This state of finding and merging with one’s inner calling and knowing perfect absorption into the present moment is called Samadhi in yoga. The essence of the state of Samadhi is not a trance but a wave dance where the soul, mind and body all move in a coordinated and syncopated speed like a starlit symphony. May we each discover the bliss of riding the River of Satva - the Path of Illumination and awaken to sing our true soul song. Just as the suns and stars shine equally upon all, may we also radiate our loving awareness to all we encounter on this remarkable journey we call life and be deeply nourished by love’s replenishing rebound.