It’s a BLOODY Miracle!

Blood

 I have eluded to the fact that some very strange things happen in the ashram and that while on the surface it looks like business as usual – it is a profound place with a subtle field of intelligent pervasive wisdom that ‘souls’ purpose is to show you, YOU!

Swami Niranjanananda said once when asked during a satsang if his role to disciples was to give them purpose or direction in their lives to which he responded – ‘No that is your job!  I am here ‘merely’ (one massive task of sublime artistry) to show you the best and the worst of you.  What you do with that is then also up to you!’

Coming face to face with yourself in all its glory and ignorance was an extraordinary experience and I only just scratched the surface.  It takes time to mine the depths, to slough off the surface noise to hear that gong of truth hidden in your heart and the orchestra had just started its first opus when I left.   Some nights as I am falling to sleep I can still hear that insanely complex, beautiful full bodied and rich masterpiece sound in my awareness.

Let me share the scale of one such experience of awareness that is still echoing through my blood.

I have always been pretty regular with my period (menstruation) – always heavy, strong and long however a little while before the ashram things started changing….I would ran a few weeks late which was VERY unusual for this Swiss Timekeeper of a Body!  I worried that my body was changing, aging and perhaps I was hitting menopause.

I got to the Munger ashram just in time to help set up and witness my first Yajna which was the powerful Basant Panchami performed by the Tamil Yoginis whose purpose is to awaken consciousness.  I knew nothing of such esoteric practices yet was immediately messed up by them – quite literally!

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On the final night of the Yajna my period came unexpectedly and my pretty yellow skirt was stained red as though a massacre had occurred – it was more than usual – fast, furious and ferocious!  There was blood everywhere and there was nowhere to hide.  My accommodation was at the opposite end of the ashram and I had to move through about 1000 people to get back to my room to clean up!  What a mess. Surprisingly – I could only laugh….I wasn’t embarrassed, ashamed or anything.  I just thought I was a woman having a moment in public albeit in culturally rich India ;-)

And that was the last day I had my period while living in the Ashram….It never came again while living in Munger, for months and months and months – nothing.  Not only no blood but no physical symptoms of bloating, cramps, irritation, headaches, moodiness – all the things we women manage every month were suddenly absent.  I spoke to the nurse (who lives in the Ashram) about this anomaly and she said that this happens to some women.  I asked if it was because I was too sexual in the past and this was the ‘fields’ way of toning me down or balancing me out along with expressing concern about hormones – are they affected by not expressing regularly when the body is built for this?  To which there was a response of ‘nothing to worry about it – it will resume when you leave’….my rational mind certainly had my doubts!

Yet on I went – noticing but not concerned by its absence all the while becoming increasingly aware of my acuteness in sensitivity, ability to dive very deep into practice, concepts and subtleties of living yoga.  My progress felt fast and felt like I was able to see clearly my beauty and darkness on a daily basis yet mostly with a calm awareness….but sometimes shit would hit the fan!  The ashram is no perfect paradise where people float around on white shanti clouds of awesome every day.  Ashram a real place of HARD LABOUR and this is the work we signed up for but even so it always felt useful!

I then tuck my questions about my missing flow behind my daily thoughts and as is the way, I am given the Sannyasa Darshan (an original version) and read it voraciously when I stumble across as section in the book about keeping your power for spiritual practices.  That one should always aim to contain oneself – men your semen and women our blood, as a lot of energy and power is lost when releasing these ‘flows’ from the body.  If they are contained and drawn upward then spiritual fervour is increased!  HOW INTERESTING I thought ;-) – Thanks Guruji x

And so with the added boost I got into it and was ready to face myself.  To use that energy to smash my obstacles and become awesome!!!  However the road home is not for the cavalier and cocky and I immediately came up against my biggest issue yet.  It tore me apart at the seams – rocked my very foundations.  There were explosions everywhere.  That deep wound that had been hidden, protected and stupidly nurtured was now exposed and I came out swinging.  It was so painful, real (or so I thought), raw and deep.  I ached, my whole being suffered due to my thoughts, associations, judgements, ignorance and memories.  Yet still there was no blood!

Slowly a sliver of dawning wisdom came and I could see!  I could see how I distrust, control and create distance when all I want is connection and so some surface was sloughed off and a little sensitivity arose.

Samadhi Place

We then went to the Rikhia Ashram which I fell in love with – my beloved Guru was everywhere and I got to be near him daily.   And here I bleed!!!  The earthliness, the rawness, the giving of this place allowed my body to flow, to serve and wash itself clean.  To let the abundance of my nature overflow and give of my femininity – this was a place to pour yourself out, not to be contained.    Yet here I saw the purpose of each place – Munger was the place to fill up, to control, contain, refine and discipline the very essence of your being while Rikhia was a place where you could bleed yourself dry!  Give, Give and Give some more xxx  You would NEVER be asked to stop giving and at that time – it felt so right for me!

We go back to Munger and immediately my period stops again and I chuckle at the wisdom and purpose behind these places, managed by these magicians who can alter nature by a mere thought and enable their disciples to harness the fullness of who we are and who we are not!

I have left the ashram and my period has returned to normal – I am now tossed about and my nature dissipated by the cycles of Mother Nature – I am no master and merely at her mercy.  I watch now my physical body resume is surges, changes and ebbs & flows of functions, my emotional surges become more tidal and mind more dramatic and flighty yet still I can see the grace.  I was able to see behind the whims, lila and diaphanous distractions which keep us caught and removed from our Selves.

For a time I lived in the mercy and grace of a great master who could control and design nature according to his highest intention which was to show us, us!

Swamiji – I saw you, I see me and forever humbly THANK THEE!

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What’s in a Name? Changing the Game!

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Lately in my new old world, I am feeling like a foreigner.  The deep change has begun and I will NEVER be the same.  The calling which I headed and my first cautious steps confirmed my knowing – I am to leave this world as I was born and step into a totally new life unknown to many and even myself.

Though I will be back just not the same…but I am not really the same now!  I am aware that these inner changes which will continue to deepen, broaden and excavate my true nature will eventually over time show on this outer shell.

But for now I reflect on the magical patterns weaved into my life which indicated from birth the very path I now tread!

I was born on Christmas Eve which is known as the day of the Visionary and on which Nostradamus was also born (24 Dec 1503 in the Gregorian calendar which was used during his birth).  At one point I also believed my Guru was born on this date yet was later told this was a ‘story’.  This story helped me connect and align to him and it felt like a ‘sign’ that he was indeed able to navigate me through my challenges towards liberation.  And we know that Christ was born the following day.  Regardless of your religious beliefs or historical accuracy – this date seems to attract some fervent energy!

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Then the name I was given – Nicolette means ‘Victory of the People’ and which I have always loved but felt overwhelmed by its calling…A big burden to carry when I am just little old me.

In our tradition we take our spiritual name very seriously as do we the date we received it.  Those committed aspirants no longer use their birth names nor dates to imply power over their lives but the name they received during Diksha and the date of Diksha becomes their birthday as they were born to their spiritual calling or natural path on this day.

Given this – It would mean that I assume the name ATMANIDHI only (unless anyone is particularly adverse to calling me that – I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable x) which means Soul Treasure and which when used is like an intention or invitation for me to fulfil that highest quality of my nature as perceived by Swamiji.  Each time you say it to me – I am reminded of my true nature and my work to reach that expression within my life.  There is a whole science around this which I am happy to go into about mind, sound and manifesting your reality through these two but ultimate and simply, can you please use it if you can.

The date I was given Diksha was during Easter and so rather than a calendar date it falls on the Event.  An so my ‘birthday’ will fall on Easter Sunday which is also a very energetically active day and represents Transformation and Resurrection. This also seems like a beautifully poetic and supportive intention to lead me on this path home.  There is a strong link to Catholosism which I find also quite ‘right’ as I feel like I have been a nun at some point before – so these alignments are themselves little treasures.

Easter

So friends – can I please ask that you call me by my spiritual name of AtmaNidhi and celebrate my path, life and continual transformation on Easter Sunday.

OM & Prem

Serve, Love, Give

I am about to board a plane after having spent the last month in England reacquainting myself with the western world, and headed back to Australia for some time.  There is still this lingering feeling that something is about to ‘happen’ which I need to be around for and that is why I am out of the ashram yet so far, this has not revealed itself.  So I will go about my ‘Business’.

This leads to the frequent discussions I have had lately, around making money and creating a ‘brand’ for Yoga.  I had an online call with a yogi marketing entrepreneur who provided many suggestions, one of which is to get clear on my brand identity and identify clearly who my customers are (the recommendation is to create a Vision board of my future client)….I started getting panicky.  I felt so far removed from the ease with which I experience Yoga that it no longer felt like Yoga!

Over the days, revelations and ease returned to my view and state.  I realized that I don’t need or want a ‘brand’, as yoga to me is not to be packaged, branded or personalised to the point that it becomes a virus, spreading its tentacles embedding its limits into the collective psyche.  I trust that the ancient system of yoga which captivated, saved and transformed me is enough.  That if I am authentic, respectful and constantly committed to learning and living this profound and revealed answer for humanity, there is no need to fear.

This led to the beautiful revelation, that should the opportunities not arrive for me to eek out a living by teaching full time, then I am to live yoga as was revealed to be my purest expression of yoga to date.  Swami Sivamurti Saraswati came and did a workshop in Munger where we took a pop quiz labelled – ‘Which type of Yogi are YOU!’  At first I thought this was ridiculous and put little weight into its findings but over some time I came to see the pure exposed truth revealed in my nature.

I was pretty even….26 points evenly were Karma & Bhakti while trailing one point behind at 25 points were Jnana and Raja Yoga (hatha yoga was not even equated in this classical mix! – Imagine that…YOGA without Asana!!!).  So I came to see how I truly come alive, radiate, explode in joy when I have a chance to SERVE, LOVE & GIVE which just happen to be the ethos of my Gurus mandate.  Perhaps I am to bring Karma and Bhakti yoga more forward in my life and practice with as much discipline, passion and fervour to share the treasures of this little soul.

And so I head in this direction, hoping that I can continue to receive insights, support and grace in my subtle journey inward and out into the world – making my life matter as only I can.

If you want to join in on my journey and share these subtle yet powerful practices of Karma and Bhakti – PLEASE support my passion below;

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Shiva’s Lila

Shiva B&W

Let’s forget Yoga for a second and talk science….quantum physics specifically.  The concept of black holes/ the void/ field or vacuum (many different names – Me, I call it the WEB which only vibrates when something excites/pings it structure) which is infinite, eternal and all pervasiveness in which seems to contain all inert yet inherent possibility and ‘intelligence/consciousness’ which is the substratum of …well EVERYTHING.  Arising from and inherent in the above (unable to be separated from) is the quality of energy – that the entire universe and all its manifestations are composed of, taking on universal and predictable patterns or designs (sacred geometry/ torus etc).  It is understood that EVERYTHING is composed of and from these two elements.

http://www.thefield.it/#!THE-FIELD-/cu6k/07DA6C95-E7E0-4A5C-917C-5565831296E2

http://resonance.is/stephen-hawking-goes-grey/

http://science.howstuffworks.com/higgs-boson.htm

http://physics.about.com/od/quantumphysics/f/uft.htm

http://www.mysticrebels.com/void.htm

Now back to Yoga – In Yoga we call these two elements ParamShiva and AdiShakti.  People hear us using these Gods/Goddess names and instantly think we are blindly worshiping irrelevant Idols/Murtis, with an unreal deluded mind yet most of the Sadhaks I know, balance the science with the experience – the unifying (yoga) of these elements into a whoistic wisdom.

So from that subtle primary point of creation to our ordinary yet profound lives, there lives so much confusion – What is real or important and what is uselessly binding or removing us from experiencing that ultimate truth of our existence. Since I have left the ashram I have jumped headlong into modern society.  I found myself watching a movie and crying at a scene I felt pain over.  I realised that I was engrossed, I had totally engaged my whole awareness, so identified with the experience of what I was seeing that my own feelings were triggered.  I understood that I was not seeing ‘the real world’, even though the themes are fundamentally and collectively human.  It left me wondering if my feelings are real, was my perception real and who am I actually in that moment?

While living in the Ashram recently, again I was consumed in the experience.  I was daily diving very deep and wholeheartedly into what felt like my real nature, true essence and realised living – simple, honest and stripped of excess or distractions.  As a result I came to see a different version of me, one that felt more real, more authentic.  Upon leaving the ashram, I came home and people ask me ‘Now that you are back in the ‘Real world’ what will you do’…To which I can’t seem to find traction to answer.  This ‘real world’ seems insane to me, with all its violence, excess and ignorance.  Where is the deep open and natural laughter which flows so easily at the ashram even under such intense challenges? The experiences within the Ashram were profound yet so subtle and difficult to define or capture, that to the intellectual mind they could seem tenuous at best yet the unfolding of these experiences has revealed a higher and purer form of wisdom. But is this real?  As I peer out through this body, these eyes, having crossed such vast continents of experience, it is easy to wonder, ‘What am I, Why am I here’ ‘What’s the point’ & What is real’?.

The AMAZING gifts given by Swamiji of an inner stability and knowing of my essential nature which awoke during my stay and his book which I am currently consumed with The Tantra Darshan by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati evoked the answer.

Tantra Darshan

I am just SHIVA’s LILA and my job is to not obstruct, hinder or prevent his exploration of himself through me – his beautiful flesh and blood Murti!  I am his body, senses and mind through which, that all pervasive eternal state can experience its potential and creativity.  There is no right or wrong, good or bad – I was gifted with attributes which lead to a certain quality of experience through thinking, will, desires and expressions.  I can push into the edges of these attributes and in fact, believe it is my job to do so, to expand and grow, but ultimately it is just an offering not an identification with such actions.  I must learn to offer them, surrender them and just to experience the act itself while observing the ripple effect of that exerted energy.

Karma dictates (as per the Bhagavad Gita – a primary classical Indian Text) that we must act – that it’s our duty, our responsibility to do so yet to be detached from the outcomes.  Just offer the action and experience to the experiencer – the source, the eternal reservoir of every potentiality, manifestation, experiences and collected memory.  I have always wanted to get it ‘right’, to know my path – my dharma and have flailed for years as I just didn’t know what to do with myself. Yet now I just DO! I do what is in front of me, to the best of my ability and with as much joy and presence as I can (so that I can see those beautiful moments of divinity in the mundane – if I ‘sleep’, I miss them) and that now feels enough.

It feels right to play and be played in this way I have always had so many ideas and rather than trying to do them all….chasing sandcastles which never rise given the speed with which they come, I am being discerning and using my discrimination.  I have chosen just one toy and will play with it wholeheartedly, staying focused on it….and it feels good.  As a result of my play, I am receiving a flow from the universe and so we play together.  My latest toy and most treasured is this one – Will you come play with me?

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 Tara Murti Close

Hidden Treasures

Somehow or another I find myself outside of the ashram – the place where my Heart and Soul (Atma) found a home – a place where peace, joy, wisdom & healing resided and allowed me to softly submerge and be enveloped in the deep rich and rare fragrant ocean of my existence.

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 x Naga Lingam x

I find myself at a loss as to how I am here…away from the one place I have been searching for my whole life, yet there is something vague yet necessary for me to experience.  So I am here – waiting and willing yet feeling a little shaken, like all my senses are on high alert or more accurately, like a newborn feeling ‘the explosion of life’ for the first time.  I am uncertain yet trusting and willing to be nudged, shoved or bulldozed into life with all her glorious lessons.

I know that many of you who have followed my journey thus far and provided such amazing support, are interested and keen to know ‘How was it?’, ‘What happened’, ‘What did you learn’, ‘How do you feel’ and most difficult – ‘So what now’!  Yet I just don’t have answers.  I have experienced so much of myself that I know longer seem to know who I am.  I wish I could answer your questions and love that you are all so keen to let me share but for now there is nothing that is forming.  A thought will come and then dissolve as quickly, and all I see is the futility of expressing such a fleeting surge.

What I can say however is that when I was in Delhi for a few days waiting for my exiting flight, I went to Akshardham (a bhav masterpiece) and it revealed many blessings.  Firstly, the irony of something with such complex beauty, intense dedication and grand vision can only be seen by those that go there – no photos are allowed anywhere within the Temple grounds and its only up close that is divinity is exposed.  And so it seems that the work, experiences and grace I have been lucky enough to encounter thus far (albeit briefly) are inner treasures (Nidhi) which just can’t be captured in the ‘normal’ way.  It is a different language, medium and mechanism which I just can’t aptly convey at present.

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This little yellow sunflower has never been happier and will never be able to do enough to return the blessings of Guruji (Swami Satyananda Saraswati) and Swamiji (Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati).

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Fare – Well

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I have found someone to take Luna and it got me thinking that as I let go of my pussy cat am I letting go of my sexuality?  What is the COST (fare) one pays to move toward WELL-ness?

She was the final step to take before moving to the ashram and much like my sexuality – she is wild, feisty, passionate, aloof and unruly yet totally loveable.  By letting her go am I closing the door on that part of my life for good.  I see the costs of the difficult and heart wrenching choices I am having to make but what are the hidden costs of which I am currently unaware, for this life that I am choosing?

Will I ever have sweaty dirty sex, make soft delicate love or delve into relationship with another person over the course of my life or has that all gone now.  Will I ever have another pussy cat, pet or dependant to share  and build my world with – creating family?  Is the price for moving into the ashram and pursuing this path costing me such a big part of my past and what feels like my essential nature? To give and receive love, devotion and relationship in an intimate, personal and immediate way.  Or will I serve a broader human family with no microcosm of connection?

I couldn’t help but see the symbolism and wonder if I am to pay reverence and appreciation for such a full, colourful and passionate history which will be forever changed and balance it by living in austerity.  I wonder if I will ever have the capacity to redirect such potent sexual power into spiritual fervour without it consuming me to distraction or dry me out into a shadow of my juiciness.  And am I ready to never be touched or seen in that way again for the rest of my life?

I think I will take one step at a time – commit to a couple of years (which I know I can manage in abstinence) and let the path reveal itself and trust that it will equip me with the fortitude, comfort and acceptance of whatever lays ahead.

Today I said goodbye to that beautiful soul who has shared my world for the last 14 years and find myself tearful and heart sore at the space her absence has immediately created in my world.  I bid farewell also to that complex sexuality of mine which has such richness but often leads nowhere.  May both these elements reach greater heights, find peace, experience beneficial interactions and feel all the love in the world x

LUNA – I love you

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