Category Archives: Love

Practical Path to Healing

There is no one way to access the path of healing. In my direct experience healing is made accessible through prayer, emotional release and Journey work, hands on energy transmission, distance healing, yogic and Kabbalistic tools and technologies and any other method that connects us to the Self. Ultimately it is a gift of grace when healing, either spontaneous or cellular takes place. In my experience there is so much ‘to do’ and ultimately nothing to do at all. I have witnessed miraculous remissions and returns from death’s door take place in all the different ways possible. And I witness these constantly.

The goal of Aruna Yoga is to awaken you to this infinite healing potential. The yoga practice awakens the latent, internal power and it does so by raising the Kundalini Shakti in a vertical ascent from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. As this happens consciousness is awakened and a meeting with the infinite Self occurs. This is the science of Yoga. There is also a simultaneous energy from the heart and through the heart that happens that is more of a horizontal energy from east to west. Paramahansa Yogananda calls this Christ consciousness and its fabric is unconditional love. This energy when externalised into a transmission of healing force emits through the hands, which is what hands on energy healing is in essence.

These two energy directions of the Yogic Science of Kundalini from root to crown and the love and healing energy from left to right forms a cross that meets at the heart centre. The yogic system of chakras includes the lower triangle of three base chakras and the upper triangle of the higher energy centres. When the lower and upper triangles meet, they connect at the heart in the form of the Star of David. The Star of David is called the Magen David (דויד מגן) in Hebrew, which means shield or protection as it protects the heart, our source of unconditional love. The cross represents Jesus and the crucifixion which represents transformation. Thus all confluence from all directions (north to south – Kundalini; east to west – Christ consciousness) meets at the heart. This is the core from which all healing takes place and from which the miraculous is made possible. The heart is the home of our essence, our love, our true Self. One could then encapsulate healing then as love. God = love. It really is that simple.

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I grew up with a family of healers. My great grand father was said to be known in his village in Lithuania for hands on healing and people would come to him to receive the transmission of healing from his touch. I was always exposed to what we called spiritual healing from childhood. When my grandmother was diagnosed as terminal as her breast cancer had metastasized beyond what was at that time in the 60’s medically treatable, it was ‘spiritual healing’ or hands on healing that completely healed the tumours all over her body. So I grew up always knowing that this secret, whispered possibility to heal beyond the paradigm of the known was available. I was told since childhood that I am a healer and it was only through the meeting of the science of yoga and the Christ consciousness energy of unconditional love that the true manifestation of this power to effect healing emanated through me. And it revealed infinite possibility and miraculous healing. From physical pain to tumours disappearing to fertility, to truly manifesting the miraculous. As Yogi Bhajan said, “be realistic, plan for a miracle.” This is truly my motto.

How is this possible? Through Self enquiry and Self realization, through releasing blocked emotions, through the power of the word through intention and prayer and through directing the unseen energy through ancient tools and technologies that yoga, Kabbalah and other modalities offer.

I have spent the last decades developing the Self as channel for healing and do not purport to have it all down! There are so many tools available, so many paths and languages to come to healing. I am humbly sharing the tools that I use and that appear to work. This is what Aruna Yoga is: to show you how you can heal both yourself and others. To develop the tools through yoga and consciousness to heal anything that is ready to be freed and released. Ultimately it is up to grace if, when and how this healing will happen. But with Aruna Yoga we do whatever we can to encourage grace along her way!

DJ Divine: Unwind Rewind with Marilyn Ambach

Sat Nam,

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I had the most divine opportunity to be hosted on Marilyn Ambach’s radio show, Unwind, Rewind and talk about my favourite loves: Yoga, Music and inner connection.

Click here for the blog and radio show with Marilyn Ambach

It was truly amazing to share some of my favourite music, to be in the zone and let the Divine DJ create a flow of eclectic music and inspired thought on yoga and its magic.

So many of you ask me for my playlists, of which I have many. The main one is Aruna Yoga and it grows regularly to reflect my current musical vibes. Here it is if you want to hear more and see how I blend mantra and other genres to create inner connection.

 

Enjoy!

Deepest love

Nicki

Happy Rebirthday!

Today is my birthday. As I turn 45, I get a mini half way review. Is my life as I expected it might be? It has certainly taken some unexpected turns in this last year. Some have been heart wrenching, some tidal in their engulfment. Yet I am perfectly who I would have dreamed to have been, close to half way to 100.
I have a sense of self, based on truth. I live from this truth, and it dictates how my life plays out irrespective of others’ perception. I am living a magical dream filled with my beautiful children and loved ones, inspired work, grace filled abundance and I am wholly steeped in gratitude.
Gratitude for it all. For all this love that I live and that surrounds me, for the characters in my divine leela like story. I am grateful for my healthy, able and agile body, which shows its 45 years on this earth with grace and ease. I am grateful for this mind that helps me traverse the many contours of earthly necessity and even more grateful for the tools that allow me to transcend it to a place of mindlessness.
 I am grateful for the feet of mastery that I’ve always been washed at, which catapulted my spiritual awakening and affords me a glimpse into stillness in the mire of this maya (the so called illusion of reality). I am grateful for every obstacle along the path to this stillness which taught me compassion, love, acceptance and oneness. I am grateful for my own recognition of the need for a constant vigilance to the tools and technologies that keep me here, now. I am grateful for humility and being buckled where necessary to my knees. I am grateful for the wisdom that time’s winged chariot afforded on this 4 and half decade long journey so far and for the promise of deepening into more along with the lines on my face yet to come.
I prostrate at the feet of the infinite truth that is ME, my nature, limitless, ageless and birthdayless for it has never been born, nor has it died. It took me close to half a century and ceaseless search to find mySelf and recognize who I truly am. As I stay here, now, each moment of this recognition is a rebirthday, so while I read the wishes of love that pour in on this day, the 19th April, I’d like to reflect it from this mirror of Self to You, as this Love, as this Truth and as myself!
See you tomorrow to celebrate in my very favourite way, practicing yoga, loving and praying!
  • Thursday 20th April: 9:00-10:30am: Aruna Yoga in Herzliya Pituach
Address: Ha-Nasi Yitskhak Ben Tsvi 47 Herzliya
Sat Nam and Happy Rebirthday!
Nicki
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Coming out the sacred closet…יציאת מארון הקודש

​Sat Nam! 

Sharing some spoken truth from Rosh Pina this morning.

May you all find your way to speak your truth, live from your truth and be nakedly honest with the essence of yourSelf!

​​​​​Blessings and love,

Nicole 

Conversation on Truth with Daniel Wagner

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!

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To watch our dialogue click here!

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!

Sat Nam

Nicki

 

 

 

I am free…

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.”

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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.”

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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:

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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,

Nicki

September 2016

 

On Courage

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.

 

Out of the comfort zone is my new comfort zone

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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.

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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,

Nicki

 

Fountain of Youth: Longevity in Yoga Practice

On the Seven Year Itch:

On the seventh year, Brahman rested.

I’ve been in this relationship for a while now. It was a true coup de foudre as the French call it. A thunderbolt from the sky! Bamboozled, deeply in love. There wasn’t as aspect of this newfound passion of mine that I didn’t see through rosy coloured dristi. Yoga and me were made for each other. I felt a true coming home.

My appetite was insatiable. Like most grand passions, it was initially expressed though the body. Every imaginable position, contortion, concentrated breath, deepening as the relationship did, resulting in ecstatic states of bliss. Yoga and me fell deeply, madly, truly in love. Yoga means Union. And it wasn’t kidding.

It became my entire world, travelling, studying, practicing, reading, teaching to satiate the call for more knowledge, deeper development, more service, plunging head first into the yogic state of being from body, mind and spirit.

And as with all honeymoons, its transient nature determines an inevitable end. This was, granted a lengthy honeymoon period, a truly sublime stay in the 5 starred luxurious abodes of infinite consciousness. But then the body began to redirect my attention, first with injury, then with pregnancy, dramatic and traumatic birthing procedures and ultimately invasive surgery. Throw a second immigration into the mix and I, and my relationship with hatha yoga (the yoga of the physical postures) hit the skids.

My asana (postures) practice dwindled. Indeed there were periods where I was beyond a working body anyway but a new relationship to asana needed to be sculpted from the shattered preconceptions of my wants and aspirations as a yogini.

So beyond the body was were I started unconsciously conduiting that which essence is yoga. Through emotional work like the Journey, through study of Kabbalah, through less asana focused practices where energetics is the engine of transformation. And let me tell you. It was beautiful. Another passion. A little less tactile and blissful but conceivably a deepening into being into that which is the embodiment of yoga, the union with Self.

Still there was the resistance to get back into bed -in this case my mat – with the asana practice, fully letting myself go with it.

The Kundalini Teachings talk about the Five Stages on the Path to Wisdom. Saram Pad is the honeymoon period which I speak of. Then comes Karam Pad where we begin to work on ourselves. Our awareness grows and we start to apply what we learn to our lives with evident growth.

Then comes Shakti Pad. This is the crucial ‘make or break’ point where we either go to mastery or quit the study altogether. The so-called spiritual crisis! Make it through Shakti Pad and you might have a marriage for all of your lifetimes!

Even Patanjali, all those years ago predicted the seven year yogic itch when he tells us yogis that:

‘perfection in practice comes when one continues to practice with sincerity and respect for a long period of time without any interruption’ (1.14).

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Patanjali , like my mother, is pretty clear on commitment! Stick it out, go through the ups and downs. Stay sincere and respectful and it will all work out.

So after my 72,000th Yoga Teacher Training, I decided to see if doing another one with beloved Roxy, a teacher who inspired me wholly, spoke from Truth as Truth and also exuded true mastery of asana, could stimulate my yogic juices, help me get it back up so to speak. Off I went for teacher training number 72,001 in pursuit of sought marital counseling for my asana practice.

The first thing that I received from the weekly meetings was a joyful surrender into this that is yoga and all its accouterments! The time for myself, the breath, the community, the meditative delights. Indeed even the mat! My most delicious reconnection with Patanjali. This therapy was working and more!

Patanjali says that in order to attain perfection in practice you have to

  • practice for long periods of time
  • without interruption, regularly
  • practice with love and respect.

This sounds very much like a concoction for long-term, healthy commitment. Really what Patanjali is prescribing is building new patterns, creating through habitual reconditioning healthy, wholesome highways to clear the body, mind and connect to spirit. Letting these healthy directives become automated patterning. In other words we recondition ourselves. We turn our habitual patterns into subtle impressions of the mind called samkaras. Consolidate these enough and we create vasanas, which are groups of impressions powerful enough to take over our minds and allow us to function from. In other words we are our vasanas! They are deeply embedded and are the fabric of being from which we operate.

The regularity of practice breeds deeper samskaras, breeding deeper vasanas. It’s like a genetic reprogramming through consistent reconditioning that generates new restructured patterns of being.

But more than this Patanjali talks about practicing with love and respect which is the secret yogic ingredient that turns personal transformation from sounding like a computer coding or Pavlovian laboratory into the realm of the infinite expansive consciousness and transcendent states of being that it is. Throw in a pinch of love and respect, and you have more than a healthy marriage. You have amrita: the elixir of immortality for all relationships. Allowing you to overcome and ride the waves and itches of most of our interactions!

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This that Patanjali talks about for regulating our commitment is the foundation of Abyhasa (practice). What is an essential for all working relationships to continue to hold the space for its evolving participants is varaighya (non attachment). In 1.12 of the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali suggests taking an approach of non-attachment. The combination of committed, constant practice to tame the mind’s impressions and fluctuations is premised on non-attachment. We disentangle from desire and from our cravings and cultivate a strength, equanimity and flexibility to go with the flow of life with its varying gradients.

And then you ease into the Sahej Pad, the fourth stage Kundalini yogis refer to in the five stages on the path to wisdom. Where ease, balance, instantaneous manifestation happen. We align with our destiny and we are in this relationship with Truth for the long haul. It is in this stage on the path to wisdom that we drink of the fountain of youth. This is the result of consistent practice seen not just in the exuberant youthfulness of our physical form but expressed in the balance of being. The eternally youthful yogi, gracefully recognizing the ephemerality of form is the product of Sahej Pad.

The result of True Yoga is Sat Pad: The great Truth and final stage to Wisdom. Even graciously as consciousness, the yogi exits the body epiphanically with choice in mahasamadhi, rather than through the usually choiceless and sometimes, inelegant path of death. Harmony with the universe itself, limitless peace and the quintessence of the true goal of yoga, that of union ensues. This union lifts the veil of disillusion that obfuscates our merging identity as Truth. The realized yogi is the embodiment of the eternality of the unborn, undying, unchanging true Self. The yogi is the expression of pure consciousness.

Yesterday whilst dressing I noticed the ageing in my skin. It was something new, a sagging that hadn’t been there or one that I hadn’t yet noticed. And I felt a great sense of joy evoke within me. Born in that moment of recognition of the inescapable decline and evanescence of my physical form, I noticed that my relationship to all form has shifted. As I watched my children grow in my womb, through birth into toddlers, kids and now, some of them, into teens, attached to this process of change was great excitement and joy. Yet when ageing happens on the other end of the scale, there is despair and a holding on to the perception of the beauty of youth.

On seeing the signs of my ageing, the greying hairs that daily seem to come out in alert of Times winged chariot, the deepening of lines, creases and gravity’s inevitable decline, I decided to invert the whole perception process and immediately resolved to embrace the ageing process with euphoria in the same way I did watching my children grow. I have resolved to regard it as a metaphor reminding me of my own personal evolution and signaling the finite and fleeting facets of form. Like my alarm wakes me up with a resonant bell each morning, my ageing shall be a similar alarm, reminding me to wake up from illusion to the truth that I am not this finite form, but the formless, unchanging Self as pure, pervasive consciousness, footloose and botox free.

Yoga is about moving from the gross to the subtle, through the postures themselves to the energy to pure consciousness. As I practice, not just through posture but through awakening consciousness, my relationship to all aspects of Yoga becomes immortalized. My body is just an incidental vehicle to express the mobility of the mind and to embody the limitless of being. So yes I choose commitment to my mat. But more than that is the ultimate flexibility of self and identification to the subtle sense of Self that ensues. Perhaps this might herald the beckoning of Sat Pad in its least expected form and from the most unlikely angle. As this application of the true union intended in ‘yoga’, yoga is not a well to enable us to drink of the fountain of youth. It is the source of the fountain. It is indeed the elixir of immortality.

Sat Nam, Truth is indeed my identity!

Nicki

The Journey Through Arunachala

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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.

Namaste

Nicki