17 March 2018

Expansion of consciousness

                       Image result for consciousness quotes

Expansion of consciousness & liberation of energy, is also known as tantra:

The means for achieving expansion of consciousness & liberation of energy have been recorded in various tantric texts, including the Mahanirvana Tantra which was translated into English by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe) in 1913. Before the “great” modern gurus & the western world could trade on their own concepts of tantra. When it was still fairly closely guarded knowledge.

The Mahanirvana is the Tantra of The Great Liberation, & liberation is intimately connected with the secret mysteries of manifestation, in both the macrocosm & the microcosm.

What are we being liberated from?

Liberation from what?

We are being liberated from conditioning, which is always happening. Our conditioning starts pre-conception, is infused with our genetic DNA, plus our own “DNA” codes and longings from previous lives. As well, we are conditioned with the experiences that we must undergo in an incarnation. During a lifetime we constantly receive conditioning, from family, society, and peers.

This conditioning, and the traumatic experiences of life, and I am talking all lives that we undergo, here, leave impressions, deep in our inner being. Someone else who has read another of the yogic scriptures, such as Patanjali’s Sutras, would say no, no, this and that are what we are being liberated from. Here, I am writing from my own personal knowledge as a long student of deep yoga spirituality, as a healer, and as someone who has taken hundreds of people through regression (past lives).

Liberation according to The Mahanirvana:

Kaivalya, or Liberation, is freedom from all of this. Although, who are we to truly know? Who has met such a being? Not I.

There is also the Liberation whereby one lives the present life with the freedom that is gained as the result of spiritual knowledge. This liberation, according to The Mahanirvana, is known as the state of jivanmukti.

How does tantra work?

 This knowledge grows, it expands, within consciousness, and as it does, an incredible amount of spiritual energy is liberated with each new growth in expansion of consciousness.

It also works the other way: as one’s spiritual energy grows, so does one’s spiritual consciousness.
In my experience, there seems to be a level at which the process just keeps going by itself, whether one consciously does practices to build up and grow one’s energy, or not.

Futhermore, if our Path in a lifetime is for this spiritual journey to happen, then happen it will.

How can we achieve liberation and expansion?

I have met a modern guru who maintains that this process in the form of kundalini, happened by itself to her, and that it has continued to happen for nearly forty years.

The rest of us are not destined to be born to this. The rest of us need to do somethings for the whole spiritual process to take place.

In yoga, we have guidelines of conduct to help us do this, plus spiritual practices, the most basic of which are: asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing), dhyana (meditation). There are more, of course, but these three form a solid, time-proven base to work from.

In Maori spirituality, of which I am also a dedicated practitioner, there are various chants for various aspects of life, and for healing; various forms of spiritual healing; ceremonies; and teachings from over ten thousand years ago which give guidelines for living, and for the spiritual journey and realms.

I mention the Maori spirituality, as it is good to know that there are many ancient Paths to Liberation, including Buddhism, the martial arts of esoteric practices from China, and I am sure that there are others.

The main thing though, is to have a Path, and travel it. Do not waver. Give your spiritual energy time to build up, so that the consciousness can expand.

8 February 2018

how do we cultivate our mind?

                        Image result for kahlil gibran  about ego
           let life's experiences, your own heart, and your own wisdom be your teacher

What is mind?

Having recently talked about the importance of the ego, I thought that we would look at what mind actually is.

Firstly, other very ancient cultures, aside from yoga, may have slightly different knowledge of the mind. This doesn't mean that yoga is right and the other is wrong. What it does mean, is that the understandings and knowledge are approached from different angles, different perspectives. And that one description, one word, might be used for all aspects of mind.

But in the yoga world, different aspects of mind have been given separate names. The mind that we are referring to here, is not the Higher Consciousness, for that is something that is above and beyond the everyday mind. And, not everyone will be utilising the Higher Mind in a given lifetime, as it will not be part of the Path, of that lifetime.

Let us look at the four aspects that comprise "mind".


One of the most important things that I have learnt from studying the Ancient Lore of The Wananga, which are the deep spiritual teachings of Maori going back through aeons, is that everything has a skin. Even a thought has skin. Sometimes we have to realise that something like skin can be quite different and more ethereal, than what we would associate skin to be like.

Why is skin important to do with mind? Because manas is the receptacle of thoughts and emotions, and without skin, manas would cease to exist. Without this receptacle we would have no memories, no sense of I, no intellect. All of the thoughts and memories, all of our ability to cognize and mentally sort out, would not exist. And without skin creating this receptacle, the person whom we are, would not exist, as we would have no sense of identity. No sense of oneself.

The importance of manas, is that all parts of mind work together, and they need a place to work in.

Therefore, often, and generally, manas is often referred to as "mind," by virtue of being the container of the differing parts of mind.


Ego. The expression of oneself. I-ness. Sometimes (often!), our ego gets confused with our store of memories and impressions, because, and this is such a human thing to do, it is just the way that we just are. And we identify with this, we believe that this is totally whom we are. But we do have a choice to use ego as expression of other aspects of our Being, instead. This can be a positive, negative, or even an indifferent, force.

                                     Image result for rumi   about ego


This is the part of the mind that is conscious: it "knows", discerns, makes decisions. It is our intellect. Our knowing aspect. There is an even more profound level of buddhi which is wisdom. Wisdom is not static; it grows and evolves.

                      Wisdom is the knowledge gained from experience.

Buddhi, intellect, combined with ego, expression, is a powerful tool for life. We learn, as life goes on, that when we express what we "know" or "believe", that there will always be a reaction. And that reaction can be a positive force, or a negative one. As our intellect refines, becomes more subtle, more knowing, wiser, so does our self expression (ego).

We also learn in the same manner, that what we "know" may not always be correct. This is one of the way that mind is used for us to evolve.

Buddhi is an important aspect of our being. It can be modified to work more harmoniously for oneself:

                              We do this by being aware of what is going on.

When we are aware, and use intellect, our expression of this, via the ego, is 100% different from when we are instead guided by our own assumptions which are totally influenced by our stored memories. This is very subtle, and happens without us realising it. I do it too. Often. And I make bad choices with what I say and do, when this happens. We all do.

So, using the above example, we can use our intellect (buddhi), to be more reasonable in life. Plus, intellect is objective, that is, it operates, ideally, as not being influenced by outside influences. Or in this example, not being influenced either, by "inside" memory influences. This is part of the "knowing" aspect, to do with mind.

There are other ways to be knowing, such as feelings, intuition, but in this instance we are looking just at mind, and the role of buddhi within mind


This is the part of mind which is subjective. This means that it is where our personal feelings and experience come into play.

Chitta is to do with memory and this is what makes it part of consciousness, for it is the mind-stuff. Who can forget Patanjali's second sutra?

   "yogas chitta vritti nirodaha": to block the patterns of consciousness is yoga".

In this discussion, we can say that this is to do with the blocking of chitta, although technically, it involves more than just that.

It is referring to the storehouse of memories and deep impressions stored in our entire being, although often we mistakenly think that it is just to do with mind.

Without being too technical, we could say that memories are involved with our patterns of consciousness.

Some believe that chitta is to do just with the mental faculties in the form of thoughts and impressions. However, our accumulation of impressions, which is chitta, involves our ego, our senses, our emotions and our body too, for it is not possible to only isolate the influence of chitta to just our thoughts. The patterns of consciousness, in the modern yoga world, are often understood as just being to do with mind only. An easy way to explain this is: "in one's head". But we are so much more than what is just in our head.

An important aspect for us, is that our thoughts are not creating our feelings. How it works is actually that our thoughts arise from our feelings. And our feelings influence almost every part of us. I do not see how one can exclude these feelings, deep rooted ones, from chitta. Much of what has been attributed to chakras and kundalini is in fact, to do with the human emotional experience.

Chitta itself is a type of awareness. That awareness, like an energy, is what pervades our whole being, with it's roots in the impressions which it has received. Chitta in many ways, defines us more than we realise.

                                      Image result for kahlil gibran  about ego

How do these work with cultivating the mind?

Our memories define us, on the Inner level. They affect every part of our Being. But our ahamkara (ego) and buddhi  (intellect) aspects can have a lot to do with dealing with the effects of difficult and painful memories. It is in this arena of Being, that we can and do, make choices, via intellect, and the our whole being outwardly expresses these choices, which is ego .

Never think that everything in our life can be controlled, for we each have a predestined life to fulfill.

But, and this is very important, we each also have the ability to make profound choices with the use of the intellect, and the expression of Oneself. This is one of the easiest and simplest ways to cultivate the mind.

As a yoga teacher and healer, I have met many people who have been traumatised in life, some excessively so, yet they chose emphatically not to let it be the important definition of themselves. Of course, on the one hand it does define the inner aspects and health of a person in so many ways. But on the other hand, we can choose to express ourselves by word and deed, in a manner which is not defined by those traumas. And by doing this, we add another, very important, dimension of ourselves to the Inner Being.

Conversely, I have also met people who had an easy and nice start in life, but were unable to make the choice to allow that to define them, instead finding things to be tragic about.

In both examples, chitta (memories) have created a base for oneself, and, in both cases, choices were made about these memories.

But, and this is so important: the more that we cultivate our intellect, by being more aware, the more we will come to recognise the patterns of consciousness operating within us, and also around us, in our everyday life. In this way, chitta starts to work with the intellect, rather than being the over-riding force.

And just so you know, some of chitta is very lovely indeed. Some of our patterns of consciousness which are very beneficial in creating a happier life, are in there too. And yes, we also do express those through the ego.

25 January 2018

why is the Ego Important?

                      Image result for poems about ego rumi

What is The Ego?

My Maori spiritual teacher says that ego is outward manifestation of energy. In yoga, many believe it is called ahamkara, but ahamkara is actually the identification, or being attached to, one's ego, rather than the ego itself.

So, that is the attachment to what we think, feel, believe, want, dislike. This mainly construes what we believe to be our ego. And this is somewhat limiting.

And yet, the ego is important, for it is this area of being that we can cultivate to being a happier, more decent, and yes, more spiritual person.

Why should we cultivate our ego?

Because this is the part of oneself that we generally relate to, that we identify with. Take it away, when we first start our spiritual journey, and then, who are we? We then have nothing us. to relate to, within our life. Take away the ego, and we are incomplete. It is an important part of us.

Plus, we do need an anchor, a background of experience for most things, and the ego is an excellent anchor to start with. It is part of us during an incarnation.

To begin with on our spiritual odyssey, we don't suddenly start having the third eye wide open, nor Ma Kundalini racing up through the spiritual channel in the spine (sushumna), nor the heart chakra opened and beaming love to all. No, we generally begin with our body, our emotions, and our thoughts and thought patterns, and what we know from our own life experience.

Then we are told, or read, spiritual "truths" which we translate into concepts that we try to grasp the meaning and the reality of. I actually feel that a lot of what is available for reading, watching, and listening to, is quite limited in what we are capable of experiencing and knowing, and, some of the modern information available, I just don't believe it. This feeling is based on my own experiences.

How do we use our ego on our spiritual quest?

It is via the ego that we try to understand the eternal spiritual truths. It is through the ego that we can start the wonderful spiritual journey of ourselves. When we hear that ahimsa, or non-violence, is the first step in yoga, how do we try to work that out? Through the ego, of course.

And through which medium is our concept of, for example, ahimsa, outwardly expressed? The ego. As time goes on, each and every truth that comes your way, will evolve into a new understanding and experience. When this happens, our outward expression of everything will also change.

We can use our ego to journey through life, in a spiritual manner.  We could perhaps understand it better, if we said that "we can cultivate the mind", although our ego is just a part of the everyday mind. It is via the ego that we can all become a better person, a person who sincerely aims to incorporate decent qualities, such as the aforementioned ahimsa, into our lives.

What do we gain by cultivating our ego?

Peace of mind, less shadows across the heart, better relationships, and a more meaningful daily life. A more lovely and loving expression of oneself. And, to me, that's really important for our life's journey.

12 January 2018

who am I?

                   Image result for hafiz poems of the divine

 If not.... what then?

Continuing on from my previous post about what mindfulness is not. What is mindfulness if it is not being established in my sense of self, the self whom I believe to be "me"?

Firstly.... if we look at our "mind" in a different context, we can sense (and hopefully realise, in time), that what we believe to be our mind is generally what we believe is who we are. As though everything to do with our life is all pushed into this mythical area of Being. As though we are all of our thoughts, all of our beliefs, all of our wants and dislikes. And including our body. And this, for many, is the personal identity. It is, for many, what defines oneself.

And when I started my yoga spiritual journey, these were my beliefs, my reality, too.

But, to go back to what we think of as mind, and ourselves, is that really all of our mind - the personal sense of identity from thoughts, and also our feelings? In the vast arena of "mind", there is so much more... and it is that so much more that lets us realise that we are not just the sum total of our physical body and "mind."

How do we come to have the realisation that we are not just the above? Can anyone do it?

The Quest to find My Self

Everyone can come to this realisation. For me, it started when I was young with The Quest To Find The Self. I had read books by an american yogi, Richard Hittleman, who brought yoga to millions via television, and books. I read one of his later books, where he repeatedly talked about The Self. I, of course, had no idea of what he was talking about. But I wanted to know. It became a big question inside of me: "what is The Self"? I didn't try to read about it, because I honestly could not understand the yoga philosophy and terms. But the question remained, and I would frequently ask myself: "what is The Self?"

The years went by, with me still pondering the Big Question. With no answer. I did not know during this time, that having such a question is part of Jnana Yoga, the yoga of knowledge. And that behind each answer to such a question, lay an answer, then another answer, then another.... the answers to such questions go far beyond what we can imagine. Within all this, my quest, the aim was to come to The Self.

I found on my journey, that The Self is just part of the spiritual equation of whom we are. It is not the Holy Grail. Just as the little ego, called ahamakara in yoga terminology, that sense of believing that we are our thought and feelings, that they are what matters, is not the Holy Grail of The Self, either. For ahamakara, and also the chitter chatter of the mind stuff, the thought, beliefs, likes, dislikes, are just part of a larger picture of our manomaya kosha, our "lower mental" body (as opposed to the sublime states of very deep meditation and samadhi /enlightenment) and are just part of the vessel, the container, that we call "mind", "Ourself".

seek the answers for yourself

When one asks: "how can this be?" "Is this true?" "What is she talking about?", then I would always say: seek answers for yourself, seek the truths that people proclaim. Then you fill find out for yourself, whether or not they are true. Then they will be YOUR knowledge, your own truths.

whatever we know, there is always more......

But know this: on my journey I have found that whatever I thought I knew, whatever awakenings I have had, there is always more. If you keep this humbleness, that although you may have had great awakenings on many levels, it's always nothing compared to the greater truths to follow.

When I started learning from a Tohunga (Maori spiritual teacher and healer), I realised that for all of my knowledge.... it was nothing. I had to stop trying to match up what I was learning with what I knew from my spiritual yoga journey. For, with the yoga, I had searched for the Self, and gone far past it into more celestial realms. And, I had long known that whatever I knew... there was so much that I was unaware of. But with the Maori deep spirituality teachings, we started with Creation, then the lineage down through the Gods and the roles of the Gods (and Goddesses too) to the spiritual creation and existence of oneself. So it was the reverse of what my journey had been.

Whereas before, I had been having an ascending spiritual journey reaching for The Divine, now it had become a spiritual odyssey, descending from The Divine.

19 December 2017

mindfulness & it's difficulties

                             Image result for mindfulness quotes images

I have been reticent to broach the subject of mindfulness...

It has become the new Holy Grail of the affluent parts of the world, and the new Holy Grail of spirituality.

But is it? I think not. Interestingly, some yoga teachers who have experienced the Deeper States of Being, are a bit derisive of mindfulness, whereas there are yoga teachers (whom I personally suspect have just scratched the surface of Deep Spirituality), who like to teach and preach mindfulness. After all, that's what it's all about - right?

It seems that there are a few 'understandings' of what mindfulness actually is.

Awareness of.... everything

One is to be aware of everything. Absolutely everything. What you are experiencing through the senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, any physical feeling such as the wind touching you. Plus what you are thinking, and what you are emotionally feeling.

All at the same time. Total information overload.

This is simply too much to process at once, and I have seen people who have learnt mindfulness technique in this manner, get completely overwhelmed and distressed. I feel that it is damaging: it contributes to a restless and worried state of mind.

Or, awareness of your thoughts

There is also the mindfulness technique whereby one is aware of their own thoughts mostly, but also feelings. I have seen people get very distressed by this. Why?

It is helpful to understand that out minds are always busy. It simply is not possible to be aware of all of our thoughts. and to give serious credence to everything that you are thinking (and also feeling) Although I always noticed how the emphasis until recently, in the yoga world, including the Big Ashrams of India, was to do with being aware of the mental activity.

Over decades of being involved with yoga, I soon began to feel that this also made people disturbed, and yes, I too bought into it for a few years. But when I looked around me, and at myself, I started to get dis-quietened at what I saw and felt.

I saw people, myself included, have great problems with being disturbed by lots of thoughts, and I can tell you that focusing on your thoughts... makes more come... faster. Again, agitated brain wave patterns, which make us restless.

"To block the patterns of consciousness is yoga": Patanjali, 2nd sutra.

How can we block those mental patterns of consciousness? When our minds are agitated, our thoughts go around and around, like sad little mice running on a wheel, unable to get off.

What is a quick, easy, yogic way to do this? We are after peaceful brain waves ... caused by the slowing down of the mental and emotional fluctuations. Which then gives us space. Space between the "bits" of mental activity. And a quietening of the emotional fluctuations.

To put it simply, this mental activity ranges from agitated with lots of thoughts, through to lesser mental activity, and corresponding states of peace and happiness. Our feelings can range from intensely difficult through to sublime happiness.

How to slow down our agitated mind

The quickest, easiest, method of quieting mind and emotions, is to be aware of the breath. Then start to slow it down. Counting the breath is often helpful, especially when you count backwards, as this automatically takes our main brain activity away from a disturbed area, to the pre-frontal cortex where we have more discernment.

Other tools with the breath, are to completely relax on the exhale. The exhale can be longer or about the same count, as the inhale.

And then bring in a minute pause after inhale and after exhale, so that the breath is held in, or out, during the small pauses. This is miraculous for creating spaces between the thoughts, and also for calming the emotions.

More to follow on mindfulness......