Category Archives: awakening
Amidst the mayhem and drama of 2017, where my life as I knew it fell into an unrecognizable shambles, the universe or this ‘god’ thing, threw an extra bit of juice in the blender, an extra spoke in the wheel of my evolving consciousness. There is a belief that I seem to have that whatever is here, is arising for my highest good, to keep me present, wake me up from complacency and get me home to the Self. I like to simplify these wake up calls under the title of the “triple D’s“: Death, Divorce and Diagnosis.
The Triple D’s offer ample scope to direct your awareness deep into the core of your Truth, and if recognized as such, are usually the greatest gifts along our evolutionary paths.
Apparently Divorce alone wasn’t enough. Death of all that I knew my life to be, myself to be, my identity deceased. DOA! (Dead on Awakening)! Not enough!
Because I am so lucky and such a good student ;-), I got to get a Diagnosis thrown into the mix of a really challenging year. In May last year, after much testing and investigation, I was diagnosed with glaucoma. Now it’s not the worst diagnosis you can get out there in the field of the Triple D’s. Although treatable if caught early enough, it is incurable, degenerative and if left untreated, the pressure on the optical nerve will lead to loss of peripheral vision and then blindness. Not great, right?
My ophthalmologist may have assumed me to be crazy, and you, dear reader may agree, but I asked him to give me some time before starting medical treatment. My response to the diagnosis, was, to say: Listen, I have something in my pocket that you don’t, the ability through the release of emotional blocks to heal the body naturally. I was actually elated as I came home to share the news with my loved ones. There amidst the shock of the diagnosis was a palpable excitement that the universe was offering my eyes as my own little laboratory of Self. I have a chance to be my own little guinea pig and see if I could actually heal something this big for myself. This seemed like a generous gift from Shiva and the Gods of destruction and transformation, that like to see me awaken through letting some shit hit the fan. No impending death pressure, some time and space on my hands and off I went to put my money where my eyes are.
If you know me a bit you will know that I am pretty much focused on being present, on healing and on awakening to the Self. Everything else seems black and white in the wake of the technicolor of Self realization. I spent the last couple of decades learning various healing modalities, yoga and then some and came some years ago to the Journey work that was utterly life transformational. At the time I met Brandon Bays and the Journey work, my sister was terminally ill, with the clock ticking and no plan B. The Journey became her plan B and within 7 weeks she was utterly healed of lung and brain cancer and remains so to this day.
That seriously got my attention and I dove head first into healing, to experience a series of miraculous healings. Tumours would disappear after days, sometimes seconds, bones would grow, pains mysteriously disappear, warts, cysts and back ache seemed to be gone. It was and is a miracle fest and I am gobsmacked in the face of it. So much so that my life path diverted somewhat and healing and deepening into this that heals became how I spend my days and some nights. I once joked, that if I would get a tattoo, it would read:
Be realistic, plan for a miracle!
My certainty for the miraculous to unfold was immutable. At least for my clients and beloveds.
And then my diagnosis…amidst a whole lot of chaos and life change, seemed like a lot of work and it fell on the back burner as I tried to pick up the pieces of shamble that resembled what I used to call life. It was easy for me to facilitate others in their own healing path, but there was something jarring when it came to giving myself the time and attention to do the work to release the emotional blocks behind the glaucoma.
I made sure that I got some Journey processes, I stayed finely tuned in to what I used to call a spiritual practice but to what I now call, ‘sitting on my ass, shutting the fuck up and going deep inside of myself’, home to the truth of my being. Throw in a few prayers and that was pretty much it.
This ‘truth of your being’ business doesn’t sound like much. But when one meets this that is the source of Self, this infinite emptiness that has no limit, but presents as pure love, peace, stillness, omniscience, divinity…no words can encapsulate this meeting of Self or God or Truth. In the union with this, healing is accessible, inevitable. And it is available here and now. Here is is the God-like Self, the Infinite Self that does what is needed to be done. It is epiphanic as it shows from the perspective of omniscience, the bigger picture.
My bigger picture revealed that my eyes were manifesting my fear of really seeing what I didn’t yet have the courage to see. And when this readiness to truly SEE arose, so this pressure was able to subside.
And so it did. My peripheral vision well and truly expanded.
And you know, for someone on the brink of a really bad tattoo, I noticed some palpable doubt arise about my ability to manifest my own miraculous healing as I sat yesterday morning at the ophthalmologist’s office. Until the doctor’s diagnosis was spoken:
No. There is no glaucoma. Your eyes are fine.
DOA. Dead on awakening. Doubt, fear, blocks, all gone. All the obstacles to full optimal health and well being obviated! Perhaps the universe is ready for me to really see. To open into a greater vision of Truth.
Let’s all wait and SEE!
Sat Nam and excited yelps of delight!
Aruna Yoga is about the discovery of self, self awareness through yoga and meditation.
The fundamental tenet of the teachings of Aruna Yoga is Self enquiry.
Ramana Maharshi espoused Self enquiry a method for spiritual awakening.
“What is essential in any sadhana [spiritual practice] is to try to bring back the running mind and fix it on one thing only. Why then should it not be brought back and fixed in Self-attention (To this feeling of ‘I’)? That alone is Self-enquiry (atma-vichara). That is all that is to be done!”
Self-Enquiry is an awareness of the awareness itself. It leads us beyond duality, because the object of meditation (the “I”) is ultimately revealed as the Subject itself (the transpersonal Consciousness).
Self enquiry is the constant attention to the inner awareness of “I” or “I am”. By directing vigilant attention to the I thought, it will disappear and only I or self awareness will remain. This results in an effortless awareness of being, and by staying with it, it gradually destroys the tendencies which cause the ‘I’-thought to rise, and finally the ‘I’-thought never rises again, which is Self realisation or liberation.
The yoga technologies help us to cut at the root of this “I” thought, to still the fluctuations of the mind matter that is in constant movement and find the stillness at the core of our being. This is Self. Yogi’s have called this meeting, irrespective of lineage, self realisation. It is the ultimate boon of all yoga practice. When we meet Self, it is done. There is nothing further to do, learn or achieve. It is indeed done.
May we dwell here in this place of Self, abide as it.
Om Namah Shivaya!
Love and Blessings,
- Thursday 20th April: 9:00-10:30am: Aruna Yoga in Herzliya Pituach
Yesterday was a beautiful day, where I got to speak to Daniel Wagner on the healing power of yoga. We really got to converse deeply on Truth, the questions of ‘Who am I?’ and how we both found our relentless spiritual quest coming to stillness in the finding of our paths, whichever and however they may look!
Daniel’s website simplyconscious.com is a meeting place for those who are, simply conscious 😉
Please visit it, sign up and stay tuned in to a growing community of like minded consciousness. I feel blessed to be a part of it!
Please feel free to leave comments and share your feedback!
My daughter was probably three years old. She and my father would play for hours. She would be the waitress, the doctor, the maître D’. My father would indulge her every game, role-playing along in various accents and scenarios. This one particular day, they were playing the role of teacher-student. My father was giving Tia a test. He would ask her a question and she would scribble an answer (scribble being the operative response as at three years old she couldn’t yet write anything other than a semblance of a letter or two, kribbel krabbel we called it in Flemish). I remember my father’s questions to her…How deep is the ocean? She would scribble out the answer. How high is the sky? Lyrics from one of his favourite songs were his questions, her answers then put to page. How much do I love you…
At the end of the ‘test’ I was asked to be the examiner and to mark the test paper. I took the few pages of kribbel krabbel, and ticked various ‘answers’ playing along with the game. I then turned the page and noticed clearly amidst the scrawl, the words: “I am free.”
I was amazed. There was nothing intelligible save a few random child-like letters that showed a child’s learning in process. And then in the middle of the pages, these cursive words “I am free.”
I lost my brother 20 years ago. His life had been a deep struggle characterized by mental illness, tragedy and an unexpected and seemingly untimely death. Six weeks after he passed, he appeared to my mother in the space between wakefulness and sleep. She reached up to him and he said to her, “I stepped out of my body and into freedom.” This message and its timing had allowed us to feel the perfection of his passing. It allowed for the recognition of the incarceration of the body and the release of the form into freedom on death. When I read Tia’s play-play test results, it felt to me like my brother Shaul had spoken through Tia to say that he is free and that his spirit remains omnipresent and eternal. And that the fact that he had died five years before her birth didn’t preclude their interconnection as well as continued communication and contact with us.
And then tonight, something caught my eye from the inside flap of the book I am reading. The book, ‘Papaji: Amazing Grace’ by Premananda is a series of interviews with disciples of Papaji (Sri H.W. J Poonja) who was a disciple of Ramana Mahrshi, both of whom I am in deep connection with. There was this picture of his writing, these three singular words:
I have no knowing of anything at all. This is pretty much the only knowing I have. Yet this felt like a message to me coming to me in a moment, where I needed reminding of the freedom that I am. Something in me makes me wonder if it was not Papaji who wrote those words all those years ago through Tia. Something whispers that Shaul, Papaji, Freedom. Same, same. And the lyrical perfection of timing gives us the divine messaging just at the moments we need to hear them. Right when we need to remember the truth. The truth of freedom. The freedom of truth. That we are all free. That the shackles of the body and mind are simply illusory separations from our essential freedom. That I am free.
Both Papaji and Shaul passed in September, just before the Jewish New Year.
In gratitude to Shaul Forman who stepped out of his body and into freedom exactly 20 years ago.
In memory of Papaji who took mahasamadhi and left form for formlessness exactly 19 years ago.
In reverence to the One that is Infinite, Eternal and Free.
And to the recognition of that One within us all and to the freedom that is our essential nature.
I am that.
I am Free.
Om Namah Shivaya
Sat Nam and love,
What is courage? Is it a new found emotion that I have yet to encounter?
Courage isn’t found in words. It is born of the power within you to act on the knowing that whispers through beneath the din of the mind’s chatter.
Courage means living with integrity and holding true to what you know to be right, even if every thought from your mind begs you to do otherwise.
Courage is in letting go when you don’t want to, but staying true to what you know is in the highest and best.
Courage is outrageous, draws on every impetus that you have to be able to live aligned to your truth.
Courage means all acceptance and all compassion especially for yourself.
Courage requires the ‘rage’ of ‘cœur’, the fire of the heart, propelled by a momentum that defies mind and its limitations.
Courage is acting now and in clarity.
Courage is in saying no even when it takes every morsel of your power to do so. Courage is in saying yes despite it defying all logic. Saying yes to Self.
Courage is there as an undercurrent, like presence or awareness. It is not something you have to acquire or garner. It is an extant place to access, like a secret doorway to limitless power.
Find the key to the doorway. Open it. Unlock and fall into the Unknown. Be content to not know. To never know. You never can. There is only the unfathomable. Here you are Home.
OM sweet OM.
This is what I just realized. I felt really sick yesterday. It escalated rather quickly. What started with a sore throat moved into a sleepless night and then into painful ears. I endured the night, with a rumble of kvetch and then this morning cancelled my appointments for the day. Deciding to stay in with my five year old. Take a bed ridden day rather unheard of in my bumper to bumper schedule of life! Today when sharing with a friend how I felt and her normal suggestion of medication to alleviate the pain, I replied,” No I don’t take want to take medication. How would I be able to identify what is really behind what my body is telling me?”
With all this time on my hands, I decided to schedule a private session of healing for myself. The healer suggested taking me out of my comfort zone. I said being out of my comfort zone is my comfort zone. It is where the conscious application of awareness comes into effect. I can understand the bodily alarm bells, as it whispers or occasionally screams out its need for my attention. And my notion of comfort, bodily, emotionally or existentially has shifted so that there no longer is a needing, or wanting of comfort, but rather an acceptance of what is, just as it is. Devoid of any judgment of good or bad and free of desire or attachment to any particular state. Just an acceptance of the here and now.
This is a massive evolution from a lifetime of seeking highs, desire based interaction and recoil in the face of sickness, pain or emotional decline. This was effected initially by recognizing what my mother in law calls, the ‘Yay moment’: The moment when the shit hits the fan and instead of lament, we celebrate the engrained opportunity for growth, adaptation and spiritual evolution. I got some serious practice at it. Yay to cancer in an inordinate amount of my loved ones. Yay to enforced immigration of my parents’ due to my father’s illness. Yay to a steady flow of challenge. Yay. Yay. Yay. I got really lucky I guess. I get to yay through a lot.
And as a result of the healing work that I do, I get to say yay almost daily in the lives of people coming for healing and growth. I recognize pain and challenge to be the doorway into awakening. Indeed it has catalyzed a tremendous kick through this portal for me. Moving out of our comfort zone is where awakening can really start. And somehow in this recognition of the opportunity of the challenge, the challenges morphed into miraculous outcomes, awe inspired healings, and welcome blessings.
Today though, it is no longer even a yay moment. It just is what is here. And if it here, it is perfect. It is here for my growth. It is here for freedom. The sore throat. The undulation of life’s curve balls. The ups. The downs. All are simply here for the opportunity to cultivate steadiness. To recognize the bigger picture and to keep drawing the camera backward until the fullest, most pervasive perspective is in view. All provide the deepening into this that is awareness itself. And this counts too for the desirable moments we would likely aim for, want or strive for. These too warrant the same level of neutrality. The choice to shift from first class into steerage allows me to recognize that I am not even the passenger, but the awareness that watches the journey itself. And that this comfort zone is just a nom de plume for complacency, a procrastination against being awake to the here and now.
In this last trip to India, I managed to do a full 3 minutes of stretch pose. Kundalini Yogis know this pose well, generally loath it. It requires hard core abdominal strength (my weakest bodily part) and a powerful breath of fire. For years I have managed to go in and out of attaining the full timing, but always with a tremendous struggle, excruciating in fact. Now my mantra became ‘Here’ on the inhale, ‘Now’ on the exhale. There wasn’t a thought for the timing, or how long, or when the end would be called. Instead there was just this: Here, Now. The body continued its efforts but with no struggle. My awareness abiding as pure presence. Time became timeless.
This is my new comfort zone: Here. Now. Indeed a yay for every moment no matter what it looks like. A yay for this moment, just as it is.
Sat Nam and blessings,
In connection with the Infinite all healing is available, we can tap into the reservoir of healing, manifest the miraculous and remember that this body, mind, spirit that carries your essence is always whole, healthy, holy and healed. All that we shall do together is be reminded that all is healed already. And let body, mind and spirit follow! It requires one simplicity: connection to the innate infinite essence.
The body is a healing machine! Its capacity is to heal from anything irrespective of what the mind might misguide us to believe. This is not a delusional idea that I hold. It is my direct experience through my own body as well as through clients, family and friends who are able to tap into the portal to this healing.
This portal is not an inaccessible, hidden doorway that is available only to some. This portal is accessed through a simple shift of identification. In general our identification is with our bodies, our mind and its array of fluctuating, incessant thought processes. We identify with the finite, tangible aspects of self. We do this by force of conditioning that happens mostly immediately, from when we are already in utero. I am this child, name, gender, role, religion, type of person. I am this “…” construct which can be filled in with limitless labels. I am this body, these thoughts, these emotions. In fact many of them are not even ours. They are imbibed through conditioning and ancestral and social inheritance.
In truth we come into form as pure, infinite consciousness. Satchidananda: Truth, Consciousness, Bliss. Yet almost immediately as we incarnate into form, we unconsciously limit this pervasive awareness into bounded construct. These constructs create an illusory chasm that somehow conceals our true essence as Satchidananda. Our identification with body, form and self mesmerizes our attention to the mind and its thought processing. These thoughts become cemented as beliefs, notions of reality and petrified ideas of who we are, how we operate in this world and in fact what this world is. Our thoughts morph into our word, into action and become our reality.
As emotional beings, we identify with thoughts and their instruments of action, the emotions, and by nature of our humanity, emotional blocks ensue. These blocks manifest into physical form as dis-ease, illness, abundance issues, and obstacles to love, work, creativity and so on. The expression of the emotional block is just the flavor of the moment. Its manifestation may be subtle like a cold, a skin rash or headache. Or it might be stronger, more alarming as depression, chronic illness, auto immune dysfunction, or the all time favorite flavor in history, cancer. Its guise is less important. Equally insignificant is its likelihood of healing. The pimpled teenager and the terminal patient share the same commonality: the propensity to heal miraculously, irrespective of medical prognosis.
This healing may take place at two conceivable levels. The first is cellular. We experience an emotion which is repressed, codifying the cell with this new memory. The cell then replicates with this information which leads to various manifestations. When we begin the process of healing, the emotional blockage stored in a cell is identified, released and cleared. The cell is then free to replicate devoid of this old cellular coding. However long the organ/part affected needs for its cells to replicate, will be how long the cellular healing will take to be fully effected.
My sister Kim’s healing is a magnificent example of cellular healing. She was terminally ill with tumors in the lungs and brains that were non responsive to medicine. She given a few months to weeks left to live. Within seven sessions of Journey work, she was completely cancer free. The cells free of the old patterning replicated healthily. She remains cancer free today.
The second level of healing is spontaneous healing. These are those healings that may merit a shout of ‘Hallelujah’ simply for their incredulity and miraculousness. Here there is instantaneous healing. One where the disease or block immediately vanishes. This facet of healing has no empirical basis to placate the rational mind. It’s the skeptic’s worst nightmare or best persuader. It’s where the miracle of healing is thrust into view. And it’s fucking magnificent!
My personal experience of this was when my father was diagnosed with a tumor on his heart that was, irrespective of its malignancy or benignity, threatening to implode. Within minutes of healing, the medical echography showed that a 5,2 cm tumor was no longer there, having miraculously disappeared. Skeptics, eat my dirt! My father at almost 81 continues to be the embodiment of the miraculous. He is proof of spontaneous healing in action.
To access either cellular or spontaneous healing requires one simplicity: connecting to the Infinite. What the heaven is that, you might wonder? The Infinite indeed is our quintessence, our intrinsic nature. It is the Source of being beneath the barrage of thoughts, emotions, beliefs, identifications and conditioning. Our nature as this Infinite has a bouquet of possible fragrances: Truth, Love, Omniscience, Omnipotence, Abundance, Joy, Light, Silence, Stillness being but some of the flavors of this Divine innate that may be opened into being.
How do we open into this portal? Just by this shift of identification. By giving the mind tools to entertain it, so that the essential nature of Being is free from the obfuscation of the mind’s clutter. My preferred methods of stepping through into the Infinite are inter alia, meditation, yoga, prayer, nature and Journey work. All really speaking the same language of Truth in different dialects. They distract the mind, release the emotional blocks and allow us to abide as the Infinite, pervasive awareness that is our true nature. From this awareness, healing is not just possible. It is inevitable. And how it works is really none of our business. Some things indeed need to be ascribed to the Great Mystery. This is certainly one of them.
What we can actively do though is draw all of awareness into the moment. This present moment with all its contours, just at it is, is indeed the confluence of the finite and the Infinite. It is the awakened state of being. It is here Now. Here is the portal beyond the finite, beyond time and space. Now is the Infinite, as your soul always knew itself to be!
Be realistic. Plan for a miracle. We are indeed miraculous without needing to prove it with a story, anecdote or even a body! Sometimes though our bodies, our emotions and life’s dramas draw us back into the knowing of this and enforce an application of this knowing. And when it does we can humbly bow to its calling us home with a gratitude so human that its prostration opens us into our Divinity.
Each block will be that reminder to abide as Self. Each healing a reminder to mind that we are not in service to it, but rather in service to this Truth. And each moment a reminder to rest our awareness on this that is our nature. To stay safely ensconced on this side of the portal, where healing and the miraculous are our play ground. Where we abide as this that is Satchidananda, gracefully attuned to the here and now. Healthy. Whole and Healed.
Om Namah Shivaya!
Sat Nam and love,
Divine opportunity and celestial abundance has afforded me the opportunity to satiate the calling of my soul in the pursuit of Truth and in the quest for wisdom. My whole life has been parenthesized by one singular compulsion in this pursuit. I remember as a child sitting in existential angst, a deep void of emptiness, one that was clouded by despair, questioning the existence of God, and the purpose of life. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up then, but I always had a deep knowing that there was something Divine about existence, something grand about the bigger plan. That the form of this body was a container for something magical, something more. Indeed it had to be as there seemed a void of futility without some understanding. I spent the next four decades exploring this mystery and seeking answers.
In my lifetime I have tasted freely of the Smörgåsbord of Divine offering. On this sacred buffet I first sampled the dishes of which I was deeply familiar, the religious inclinations into which I have been born, and then through a ravenous insatiability, I read, and learnt and travelled the spectrum of religion, mastery, technology and yogic technique.
In all these pursuits I received the Prasad (blessed food) of the deepest of wisdom. I imbibed of the elixir of Truth, an amrit passed through the darshan (transmission of light) of some of the greatest sages to be incarnate on this earth at this time. I have prostrated at their feet, awed at the blessing of such Infinite exposure, be it to their teachings, satsang or simple blessing. The devotional Bhakta (Devotee) in me delighting in this heart opening experience of boundless Love.
My extremely analytical mind demanded its own consumption, so course after course, lineage after lineage I greedily shoveled in platefuls of knowledge and teachings. Piling my plate with Jnana Yoga (yoga of wisdom) after Jnana. I sighed in grateful satisfaction yet only momentarily. Even a taste of Truth it seemed offered only instantaneous gratification.
These efforts of using the body as a temple and the mind as a conduit for Divine connection has proven deeply fruitful and generated boons, of which shining health, happiness and wholeness have been accessible and attained. I have helped heal from depression, participated in the service of supporting other’s through healing and transformation and generally become fulfilled, whole and clear. Yet simultaneously underlying this was a sense that I was like a donkey pursuing a carrot on the end of a stick. This goal oriented approach of seeking some perceived sense of enlightenment outside of myself, an almost impossible attainment, formed the backdrop for this lifetime’s pursuit of Truth.
And then Arunachala! How is it that a mountain, a so called inanimate, elevated structure of the Earth, could evoke in me so deep a revelation. As it turns out, I was called to her. I felt this compulsion instantaneously and I followed it, as I always have with all the spiritual callings that have propelled my journey so far.
There I was met and greeted by a sanghat (community of Truth) of the Journey, led by Brandon Bays in a manner teeming with Grace. As she recognized the mastery in each of us, suddenly a real shift started to take place, a possibility that indeed she might be right. That we are all masters, simply deluded by our egos into thinking we are anything less than that.
Arunachala’s welcome was magnificent. The mountain replaced my feet with wings, and I glided along her effortlessly, joyfully. It was a veritable falling in love, a mutual marriage of mastery as mountain and Mohamed met in spiritual matrimony. And yet as with all marriage, things were not going to be easy.
The week at the foot of the mountain was arduous. Despite the beauty of the surroundings, the excellence of service, the most opulent of luxuries from food, and accommodation, to care, to all forms of nourishment, this was no easy baby. The mountain demanded nothing less than the fire of real tapas (austerity) and Arunachala, Ramana Maharishi, Papaji and Brandon exacted the proverbial walk into this fire. I literally wanted my mommy! This was deeply challenging. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. Nothing to do but to sit in the core of this fire and let it consume me.
A great despair overcame me during this time. It was somehow a negation of all that I had learnt, an eradication of the spiritual crutches I had so carefully amassed with a consequent instability, and the hopelessness of the futility of the fabric of my and all existence. I was caught between a rock (in this case a mountain) and a hard place. The ultimate impossible bind of having spiritual tools and technology and yet being so displaced, so consumed by the fire of the mountain, that they could no longer even serve me.
And then the words:
“Nothing to do. Nothing to learn. Nothing to unlearn. Nothing to achieve. Nothing to attain. Nothing to become. Nothing but this. Right here, right now.”
In the simplicity of this, the rebirth of epiphanic clarity, the get out of the illusory jail free card in the Monopoly game of consciousness. The realization that I was not the donkey frantically pursuing the carrot on the end of a stick, but that I was the carrot all along!
And indeed who is this I? A deep fascination with this awareness that observes the machinations and manipulations of the mind and a recognition of the maya or illusion that is the projection of the ego. This is my tratakum (focused point of concentration). The mind has an anchor and Self has its realization. Satchidananda. Truth. Consciousness. Bliss. Everything that I have been seeking, is right here, right now, wholly accessible. It is a simple shift of perception. Into this moment. Now.
Quite simply, I am that.
Deepest pranam to Arunachala, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Papaji and Brandon Bays and the Journey luminaries for an Inspired Journey into the recognition of Self.