As the summer draws to a close, the start of a new cycle is birthing. This last cycle has been for me a rollercoaster turn on the wheel of my reality, providing me with daily opportunity to live in the presence of the very teachings I espouse.
I spent many years immersed in copious study, seeking various teachings, tools and healing. I was on an insatiable quest for teachings or Gurus on the outside. My hunger for truth led to me the feet of some of the greatest masters on this planet, to holy pilgrimage, to continue on this eternal search for truth. Until one day, I found what it was that I was looking for.
This was myself. Not me as in my personal identity, neither Nicki Forman, nor any aspect of this form or its story. In one cataclysmic moment the search party ended and I found what I was looking for. And it was here, right from where I had been looking. The Formless Self.
Here I met the Guru within. This Guru reveals through light all the teachings that are here right now in this moment. Whether it is revealed through the form of my life story, what arises in the now, in the form of circumstance, relationship or dynamic. All teachings are as they always were: right here, right now.
They reveal themselves though the emotions that arise and a gentle welcome of them just as they present. They reveal themselves through the deeper awareness I endeavor to have of myself. I ask myself who am I? How am I reacting? What is arising? I differentiate ‘story’ from self. And I observe. I watch. If it is here, it is a relevant teaching and I welcome it just as it is.
In this last cycle new teachings have emanated through me. They appear in the form of yoga, with flavours of diverse lineages of hatha yoga, but they have at their core the simplicity of self enquiry. The invitation to be present, to be still, to be here just as here presents.
I invite you to join me in this discovery of Self. My weekly Aruna Yoga classes resume on the 17th September 2017 in Herzliya Pituach. I will also be offering monthly workshops, children’s yoga and aim in 2018 to give a Yoga Alliance accredited Aruna Yoga teacher training offering these tools for personal transformation in Breda, Holland at Yogasite starting in August 2018.
There is no need to be flexible or even physically able to practice Aruna Yoga. It’s aim is to open up to emotional blocks that are released using the technology of the various lineages of yoga, pranayama and meditation. It is a healing practice which aim is to awaken you to YOU: to your true nature, to the freedom, peace and truth that is within us all!
I invite you to join me fifteen minutes earlier to enter into silent meditation for each Aruna Yoga practice. Please come in and settle in the stillness. When the practice begins, the teachings of Aruna Yoga will flow from this very stillness, from this that is present.
Please see www.yogaform.be and click on the link for classes for the schedule and recommendations for practice.
May this new cycle be still, peaceful, loving, joyous and divine.
May I be used to serve, to remind, to remember.
May we abide in the stillness of Self, intoxicated in and by its Divine Love.
Blessings for a miraculous new cycle.
After years of voracious study of yoga, meditation, theology and diverse spiritual practices, I find myself birthing a new practice that I am calling Aruna Yoga. Aruna yoga is a yoga practice, birthed through these myriad teachings I have studied and explored and encompasses all forms of yoga, including hatha, vinyasa and Kundalini inspired practices and technologies.
It is born of the transmutational potency of the sacred Mountain Arunachala in Tiruvanamallai in India. Aruna Yoga is premised on the teachings of self enquiry born of Arunachala itself, and espoused by Ramana Maharshi. Its premise is Advaita Vedanta, or non dualism, the philosophy of there being only one reality, this that may be called Truth, God, Divinity, Creation, OM, nature. All the rest is illusion or separation from this one. Our aim is to realign with this One which is our real identity as Truth or Sat Nam. (Sat = Truth, Nam = Identity).
It is a practice based on being present on all levels: to what is here and to be still with what arises.
No matter what that is.
There is no need to be flexible or even physically able to practice to do Aruna Yoga. Its aim is to open up to emotional blocks that are released using the technology of the various lineages of yoga, pranayama and meditation. Of course if practiced vigilantly it has a strong physical asana (posture) practice with a palpable flavor of Kundalini Yoga. Yet it is a bodiless yoga too and even lying in class, without physical activity will open you up to its healing capacity.
Aruna Yoga is a healing practice which aim is to awaken the practitioner to their true nature, to the freedom, peace and truth that is within us all! From this space of the Infinite Self all healing, transformation and awakening is available.
Music, sound, emotional catharsis are part of its characteristics. We use yoga asana (posture), pranayama (breathing exercises), concentration and meditation to come to the answer of the question, Who am I?
I am here in the process of birthing a new child. This child is the hybrid of yogic lineage, echoing a language of Truth, one that speaks through the instrument of the form, into the pervasiveness of the formless. While I am watching this new language formulate, I remain as the awareness that witnesses the conduit of my being, being used to evoke healing. This indeed has been my prayer, whispered by St Francis of Assisi, to be an instrument of peace, of healing and of light.
What comes through me is really none of my business, but I invite you to participate in this formulation of this new language, one that encompasses body, breath, mind, emotions, wisdom and the Infinite Self as its grammar, vocabulary and ultimate expression.
Join me on this divine experiment through yoga into Yoga (which means union). May Aruna Yoga yoke together the shards of separation into an envelopment into this that is One. One consciousness, One Union, the ‘I am’ that speaks soundlessly and remains untouched. The invitation is to really meet the Self, and to abide here as it. From this space, the miraculous is accessible, peace is here, now. The answer to the inner quest of searching is silenced. Let us meet here.
Join me to experience Aruna Yoga in regular sessions in Israel, Europe and India. Visit www.yogaform.be for more.
Sat Nam and love,
- Thursday 20th April: 9:00-10:30am: Aruna Yoga in Herzliya Pituach
This is the leela. Leela means the Divine play, the illusion of our lives. This thing that we ascribe all meaning to, life as we know it, along with the life story, identity and who we assume ourselves to be. This is leela. Leela is illusion or maya. In other words our lives are just like the many movies we see, or books we read, or plays we watch. A fucking show, some entertainment for awareness. If only we could wake up to this illusion and recognize that this thing called life is no more real than any story or movie.
We as awareness are the greatest producers, scriptwriters, casting, design and directors ever. As we think it, so our story line is set. As we speak it, so we create the show. As we live as it, so is our perceived reality. We just seem to forget that who we really are, is not the story, neither the cast, nor the roles that are played out. Who we really are, sits in the audience that watches the show, seated safely in the lap of omniscience, keeping in the excellent company of the Divine. We are the awareness that is untouched by all that transpires on the cinematic screen of our mind’s projection. From here we have phenomenal seats! Front row. But never believe a thing. It is all nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Not real. Never was. Watch every thing. Feel each nuance. Let every emotion pass through. But don’t believe a single thing.
My leela has been rocking for a while now. It’s like my scriptwriter got seriously delirious and decided to change the whole show from a romantic comedy to a terrifying tragic tear jerker. I never know what turn events will take each morning and I, hooked into the next episode, remain spellbound and gob smacked. This leela is a show stopper: divorce, illness, accidents, drama, love and family saga are some of the scenarios. Sometimes I am so entwined in the story I forget it isn’t real. When my second car in a year was written off and my neck and back ached for weeks, I was so convinced. And when my child landed up in hospital with an undiagnosable cyst in his mouth for a week where I slept with him, while my other son was celebrating his barmitzvah I had planned for a year and loads of guests were pouring into town as my twenty year marriage was falling apart, I was seriously playing my role with conviction. Never mind the cancer episodes in my loved ones, seemingly replays there are so many. Or my parents enforced immigration due to illness. And so on and so on and so on …
Every once in a while, I’d remember, sit back. Breath deeply. Stop. Stay still. And remember that it is all not real. Nothing really.
It is all a tale about nothing. Not a thought is true or real. Not a character is anything but a role played, so convincingly that even the artist playing it believes herself to be the role. Nothing that passes is real. Papaji reminds, that which comes and that which goes, is not real. Our body, gender, identity, family, material things, even and especially our thoughts, they come. They go. It is all nothing. Nothing.
Zoom out. That which stays, only that is real. The awareness that watches. Be the audience. Sit in the lap of God and enjoy the show. Don’t believe it. Just be it. Be the Infinite Nothing. And awake to everything. To the only thing that is real, and that is everything.
Sat Nam and nothing,
P.S: Nothing! Mooji’s clip woke me up. Literally. Inspired my yoga class and kicked the shit off the plate. What a delightful mantra. Om namah shinothing! Nothing!
These are two separate pieces I wrote on Courage, at a time in my life where I have been most called upon to find some. It is not easy, at no point do I feel courageous or brave. At times I feel like I am holding on to the edges of a boat so as not to capsize into the tumultuous waves of life that are rocking all stability. At times I am thrown too into the water and then courage is needed to wade my way back. Or sometimes just drown.
When I wrote Part 1, I felt courage to be an impetus for action. Now I feel that it is nothing but the ability to stay here in the tsunami that engulfs everything. And being willing in this, not to die but to live in it. Through it.
Today courage is being splayed open to fear.
It is being fully present.
It may be time to get out of the boat and to watch the storm from the water’s edge. Where I can feel both the ground beneath me and the simultaneous washing of the ocean’s caress. From here I meet the place beyond both fear and courage that I mention in Part 2.
Meet me here?
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.
Courage… Part 2
Courage is not the absence of fear,
but the ability to face it head on,
sit right in it,
in its core
and let its fire consume you.
Courage holds you still here,
where your impulse would be
to run, to hide, to distract.
Courage is like a hand, holding your head down
in the inevitably unavoidable
and not letting you run from this that is here.
Courage means stopping.
Right into the fear.
In the terror of all unknown.
Stay still here.
As all fear is consumed,
you may meet the root
from which courage is born.
From this fire of truth
courage will awaken from its dormancy.
Take you through somehow.
It’s not even you doing any of it.
There, beyond this
you may meet Self,
stripped naked of
both its cloaks
of fear and courage.
Absent of it all
into the emptiness of Self.
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,
What started with an apparent defective dishwasher morphed into a drama of epic proportions. The dishwasher began to leak, spurring masses of dirty water all over my kitchen floor. To heighten the drama this happened at night, when neither of my emergency plumber numbers were being answered.
I used my own common sense, and shut off the water to the dishwasher. Nope. The water kept flowing out somehow. To ensure I wasn’t submerged by morning, I switched off the main water from the street, went to sleep and awaited my regular plumber in the morning.
He, despite having installed all the plumbing in the house, didn’t have a clue. He told me I need a new dishwasher most likely and left with the same dazed and confused look he had had when he had first arrived. I left it all. Somehow pushing this problem under the floorboards so to speak, knowing that I’d be hand washing dishes for a while, and knowing too that something deep was starting to cook inside of me, a sense of impending emotional activity lurking. The sound of my own inner system was whirring as audibly as the sound of the piping in my kitchen. I pushed it all down, with the usual business, working, any activity, the distraction game we all play is some shape or form to avoid what is really here.
The next day I was speaking to a Journey friend, who understands emotions, about my difficulty identifing my own emotions. How with my clients I am so hardcore, exacting their precise feelings. Yet when it comes to myself unless the emotion hits me hard in the face, I don’t have a clue. The feelings deep inside of me were brewing. To what they were, I remained clueless! I carried on my day with an impending undercurrent developing.
I arrive home with my kids a little later to a new plumber, a real character, and a kitchen full of effluents. The smell was revolting, the balagan (chaos) was out of control, and the pipes had finally given way as the blockage burst open. The hope of a simple broken dishwasher had long since been decimated and here I sat, wading in all the shit that had been mounting and blocking and now could no longer be contained and BOOM! Explosion!
I was simultaneously hit by the unblocking of clogged drains in my kitchen and the unblocking of repressed emotions inside of me. Both buckled me to my knees, and I dropped to the ground in a sea of utter sadness, the likes of which felt bottomless. It was a well of deep pain, of such crystal sadness that it was unmistakable.
In these last months I have gone through deep personal change. My life long relationship with my husband has uncoupled, and albeit very consciously and very gracefully, the energy and effort to restructure our lives, hold a gentle embrace for our children and to get life to some semblance of a new reality has mustered more than my conscious mind has allowed me to realize. What had been happening is that the constant efforts to manage and control life had pushed down emotions and the block blew open just at the same time as my kitchen pipes. With as much dramatic effect!
I cried uncontrollably to the plumber. The tears flooding as copiously as the effluents now freed from the kitchen pipes. It was almost comedic, the poor guy didn’t know what to do with this customer who couldn’t stop crying. He finally walked into my Journey room to check the piping in the bathroom there. Amazed at the energy there he asked what it is that I do…
I answered him, tears still flowing,
“I am a plumber, just like you! I clear out blocked emotions as you clear out blocked drains.”
What Victor the plumber witnessed was emotions in full flow. When emotions are allowed to be expressed, to be healthily released, we avoid the blockages and explosions just like my kitchen pipes. Instead of being in resistance to the outpour of sadness that presented, I opened into it, celebrating the clarity of my pipes that allowed raw emotion to conduit through them. Here was sadness and no amount of skirting, clogging or repression was pushing down that which was here. And as was clear, whatever you push back down is going to eventually find a way to come out, usually in a less than convenient and pleasant way, likely dramatically.
This is what is welcomed. Whatever is here. Just as it is. Effluents and all. May we all learn to be plumbers to our own emotional flow and open to whatever is ready to be released through our systems. And perhaps when we do this we can avoid the extraneous costs of calling in an emergency plumber!
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!
This last Saturday in Tel Aviv I held a workshop on the Power of Prayer and manifesting intention into the miraculous!
We really dove straight into the power in setting intention, creating a designated direction through our thoughts, words and ultimately action. We may call this prayer, but it doesn’t require an outside force to bow to, neither religion to subscribe to. Rather it is connection to Self. We learned to bow to the infinite inside of ourselves, finding ways to accurately and with precision manifest our deepest goals.
There is a great power in setting intention, creating a designated direction through words. We can call this prayer, which doesn’t require an outside force to bow to, neither religion to subscribe to. Rather it is connection to Self. We will learn to bow to the infinite inside of ourselves, finding ways to accurately and with precision manifest our deepest goals.
We will through yoga and meditation access the essence of prayer/intention to create our reality that is in the highest and best! And then the letting go, non attachment to outcome, trusting and flowing! Ask and you shall receive. Learn to do this consciously and gracefully.
Join me in London on 1st December and in Tel Aviv on 7th January for workshops on Prayer! For more information click here
The power of prayer is probably the most powerful aspect of spiritual practice I experience. I am connected to many vernaculars that speak to God, through myriad forms of yoga and meditation, Journey work, Kabbalah, healing to name a few. Yet the simplest and most direct conduit to realize our heart’s deepest expression is prayer.
In the Bible it is said, first there was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. This forms the essence of my connection to God. The power of the word to come into union with the God nature or Divine aspect is not only the most profound, but seemingly instantaneous. It appears often that a direct line exists between the prayer and its manifestation. As you speak it, so it is.
In Hebrew the words Abracadbra mean:
אברא כדברה – I will create as I will speak.
For me this bears testimony to the creative power, just like a magic wand, of our word. Our impeccability with our word is the clay with which we create and mold our reality. What begins as a thought is given more energy as it is formulated into word, then more propulsion as it becomes action. These actions are the lego of our created reality. They determine how our lives are and what they become. So if we can learn to allow that first thought to be an emanation of our heart, its whisper which echoes the highest and best intentions for us, then we can start to be more proactive in the creation of a reality that reflects our truth and one that is the perfect landscape for the realization of our dharma or life’s purpose.
It seems so simple and in truth, ‘ask and thy shalt receive’, just as the Bible says, is the way prayer works. You ask and you pretty much get the request. In this way we need to be careful what we are asking for. When we pray for something and get a result that doesn’t seem to be at all what we thought we wanted, we tend to slide into doubt, fear and a loss of faith.
And the thing about prayer is, is that it is predicated on faith. Which likely results in me losing the attention of the empirical reader, the one who relies on a scientifically palpable, rational based view of reality. Prayer falls into that zone where you, empirical lover of proof, are going to feel at best uncomfortable, likely disinterested. Faith is something born of that which cannot be proven, quantified or measured. Faith is the fuel for prayer’s journey into manifestation and consequently an essential component for prayer. And I don’t mean faith in a God type entity or someone or something outside of yourself. On the contrary the faith that propels prayer is a faith in something intrinsic inside of you, indeed is You, your creative, Divine or God type nature.
Let’s for a moment demystify what I mean here by God. I intend no reference to any perceived or notionalised deity that may be prescribed by religion or conditioning. I definitely don’t intend to refer to that long, white bearded fellow that wields omnipotence over our lives and to whom we cower in reverence and fear. Neither to any other expression of deity, that divinity that may have been concretized from the abstract into a form like Shiva, Durga or even your Satguru, (although feel free to speak to whatever expression of Divinity works for you). What I mean here is the essence of the Divine that is contained with us all without exception, irrespective of our current incarnation’s religion or conditioning. The light of creation itself from which we are emanated, indeed is our essence.
G.O.D can be a reference to G as generator, creation; O as organizer or sustainer; and D as destroyer or death, the holy trinity as I like to see it. The cycle of being from birth, life and death, that is the nature of LIFE! Perhaps this notion might give you the freedom to cultivate a faith in Self, (irrespective of your conditioning), in this nature within you of pure creation. It is this that we speak to in prayer. This is the fountain from which our effervescent divine flow is eternally connected. Our faith needs to be no more than a faith in self, in the wisdom with us. The so called Guru within. But if God works for you, ess mein kind (Yiddish for enjoy it, baby).
So how do we pray? Sitting quietly, with our hands either in the lap, or in a chosen mudra (like prayer pose or gyan mudra), gently close the eyes. Take a few breaths to center yourself. For me I like to open with some existing prayer or a mantra, some vibrational words from Sanskrit, Hebrew or Gurmukhi that lubricate the opening into Source by their sound current. Mantra for me works profoundly to still the mind. In fact the word mantra comes from the Sanskrit word man meaning mind, and tra meaning vehicle or instrument, that which transports the mind to stillness. There are myriad to choose from and I suggest choosing any that resonate with you. A good old OM works beautifully, chanting OM three times, but feel free to play with opening into your chosen prayer until you find that resonance that redirects your attention from the mind into the heart.
When you land in the heart, speak from it, and let it guide you. Your heart truly knows what is in the highest and best for you and it speaks the language of truth, of what is intended in this moment, the here and now. It is the birthplace of intention, the fountain source of that thought that will ultimately bear fruit in reality. Let the thought be an expression of the spiritual heart or hridayakasha, and when spoken from the heart, we can be assured that what we pray for is what we truly want, as we are likely going to get it. Let your prayer for NOW be spoken out loud, in a soft voice to Infinite consciousness, God, G.O.D or Self, to the Guru within. The same voice we speak to our beloved with, is the voice we use in prayer. We connect with the beloved, the Infinite and in asking, so we open the gateway into receiving.
Humility is a virtue beautifully apt in prayer. Humility for me isn’t being small or to imply our nothingness, but rather a surrender of our ego self, our separate self into our higher God consciousness. I find getting down on my knees (which life often buckles me to) or even lying prostrate on my belly, engenders the humility that is so necessary in prayer. In Hebrew the word for knees is berech (ברך) and comes from the same root as the word for blessing, bracha (ברכה). Get down and let the wisdom of the mind bow to the wisdom of the heart. Let blessings ensue.
Speak from trust, as if what is being asked for has already been realized, from a place of empowerment, from deep inner knowing. Speak from an attitude of gratitude. Thankfulness that your prayer is already realized. Pray from love rather than fear, from trust rather than begging for something. For many of us more secular in nature, our prayers often come when the shit hits the fan and we are scared, in need or desperate. This is why we first need to still the mind, which is commandeered by fear and ego. Open every sentence with ‘thank you for…’ Let our prayer emanate from the heart, which asks for what is highest and best for all without exception.
Speak in your own words, your own language to the Infinite within. Ask for whatever you want, regardless of its seeming impossibility and forgo modesty. Go big, really giving full expression to your heart’s desires. If someone you love is on death’s door and your prayer is for a miraculous healing, do not be afraid to ask for it. Prayer is indeed the most magical mode of miracle making. Be realistic and plan for a miracle! In order to manifest the miracle, all we need to do is ask.
And the final catch, the closing seal on the container of our prayer, and the cog without which, prayer doesn’t really work, is non attachment to an outcome. Let go, and let G.O.D! If what we prayed for doesn’t manifest, it’s also OK. With this, we surrender out attachments, our ego, and all its accouterments, mind, fear and separation. In this surrender, the power of prayer and the possibility of manifesting into the miraculous is truly made real.
So be it! Amen!