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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Lust and other Addictions

I have less than a week before I head off to India for 2 years to partake in Sannyasin Training where hopefully I will dissolve some of the thoughts, behaviours and qualities that negatively make up my character.  I have come to see that there is so much gold within my nature but oh my word – there is still a whole heap of ‘merde’.

One aspect of my nature which I have seen very clearly this last week is my addictive personality and in particular how it works into my sexuality.  In the past, the biggest expression of this ravenous, all consuming, destructive influence was with drugs.  I could never get enough and in any combination, at any time and all my thoughts consumed with when I would next ‘get wasted’.

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While my outer life is much more positive and inner aspects are seeing the light, this dark seed remains.  It often sprouts passions, longings and unrequited yearnings which are never filled as I unconsciously choose what creates this dynamic.  I think I fear getting that thing I think I want as maybe I don’t really want it and resist the compromises and cost required to live a life with another.

While in the UK with mum, I considered my current celibate state (which is coming up to 2 years) and wondered if I should keep it going until after the Ashram, which would be another two years.  A part of me wanted some kindness, physical softness/contact and intimate nourishment that comes with hours spent enjoying a lover and so I opened the door.  ‘If an opportunity presents itself – I will take it’.

And so it did – sort of!  Again I wanted to explore this man wholeheartedly however there were limits imposed due to his relationship perimeters, so I was unable to dive deep and had to stay agonisingly floating on the surface glimpsing all the movements below.  This seemed so ironic, frustrating and ideal.  I recognised that I ‘tease’ within my work because this is how I like to be seduced – slowly, with restraint, controlled and deliciously building up the tension until it passionately explodes and can’t be contained any longer.

What I also saw was that this form of tease prevents me from having equanimity and detachment.  All my free mental space is taken up with thoughts of what I would do to him, of how beautiful he is (that gorgeous monolith!)  and what the future holds (yes, yes I know – such a girl!!!).  I am consumed with only him – I want more, more, more…A junkie for these thoughts and experiences.  My waking and dreaming worlds are filled with him and only him and so the addiction continues.  What a mess!

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I have had insights about people liking me but changing their minds and I was always wondering what would make them consider doing this…..I’m awesome!  HELLO!!!  I think my intensity must be terrifying as ultimately like any junkie, it isn’t the drug or person of choice but rather that I am using them as distractions, crutches and novacane to sedate the bigger lessons required of me. 

I am blessed in not being able to get what I ‘want’ as I what I need is being offered instead.  This was invited into my life from the purist and deepest aspect of my nature many years ago when I asked for and committed to me.  And so it is…..

I am off to India kids – celibate and happy x

HARI OM TAT SAT

When in Rome…


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What an epic, evocative and enticing city Rome is!  It is monumental in terms of its physical scale, historical influence and current political/social and financial challenges.  Being a lover of our built environment and Italy being one of our oldest existing civilisations, I was in awe on every street corner.  The considered design, master workmanship and how the city ties in together from each vista is deeply, enduringly and deftly elegant.

The many lives that have contributed and been contained within this city seem to have left an energetic legacy. I think the often egotistically ruthless politicians, the bloodly violent gladiators, the highly creatively talented and often dysfunctional Master Artists along with the innovative yet hard working merchants who sustained life within this mecca, all still linger and resonate through the lives of its current inhabitants.

Along with its arresting chic modernity, Rome is crumbling into ruins in more ways than one.  I saw the struggles of the people as a whole and one person in particular.  While I wanted to help I was reminded that I was only visiting…only a tourist viewing a moment of crisis within this long his(her)tory.

As a tourist I was keenly aware that I don’t speak the language.  I overlooked the impact of this in going there and thought that most would speak or understand English or at least we could communicate non-verbally and therefore be understood.  What I came to see however is that I was in foreign territory and indeed was speaking another language entirely particularly to those I thought I knew well and understood.  I thought we were the same but we were not.  We had totally different approaches, outlooks and values.

This led me to consider that Europe seems expensive.  Not on its own merit but with the conversion rate, it hits we Aussies hard!  It cost me a lot in more ways than one.  While it gave me a lot in terms of beauty, nourishing encounters with strangers and endless hours of mindless wanderings (I just was…no thought) it also took a lot.  It took my finances, energy and a friendship.  And now as I sit at the airport I am wondering what I value.  What am I prepared to pay for experiences and friendships?

I value kindness, humility, integrity, self-regulation/control, simplicity, consistency, joyfulness, gratitude, hope and ease.  I am prepared to work exceptionally hard to embody these qualities and maintain friendships with those who value similar things.  I don’t want to pay a high price for things I don’t value anymore.  I will leave the ‘store’ without a thing if the cost is just too high.  I am not running – I am choosing where to invest!

I can’t change or stop what is occurring in foreign lands or in others’ lives, as it is for individuals and communities collectively to navigate the best path through these times.  My life awaits in my skin, lessons, challenges, homes, places and choices all of which I too must navigate and live through. 

Life really is a cabaret and it shows exactly what is going on within gross and subtle realms simultaneously and so as with Rome, so too a friend.  I have witnessed and gasped at your beauty, been hurt by a savage history and will always feel that this is an eternal and pivotal place, though I must leave and keep walking my way home.  I pray our paths cross in the future and that I can see you once again as the civilized and productive empire I know is your very nature.

Arrivederci

OM

Family Matters

Ram Dass quoted ‘If you want to know how enlightened you are, visit your family’ and this certainly rings true for me.

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I love my family dearly but wow we are just all so different and I often wonder how I am to reconcile all these conflicting inherited elements along with my own personal traits.  My father is a very simple man who after having the same job his entire life retired to volunteer on the land.  He built a green home (environmental) which is plain, simple and minimal leaving it feel a little cool and aloof much like his nature, this though is transformed into cosy warmth when you are inside in company.

Conversely my mother is a glamorous powerhouse who was professionally ambitious and capable reaching great heights with a social and aesthetic bent that is inclusive, excessive and generous.  As a result her home is beautiful, rambling, always filled with movement, people and warmth yet a subtle pressure to keep up order and appearances.  My mother jokes that she only camps ‘in the five stars not under them darling’ to which I have fits of giggles.

I appreciate both of these approaches and settle in wherever I land however I am feeling a little stretched and moved away from my centre while here in England with Mum.  She has been nothing but supportive of my quest to move into the ashram which is so far removed from her normal as she loves me and wants me to be happy however their underlying fears when in their presence are leaving me frozen and unsure of how to relate or engage in conversation with their friends.

I am revolving around her universe at the moment as I want to spend time with her before I leave for the ashram and not lots of money which is so easy to do when in her company.  Her taste is impeccable and it is easy for me to tune into that aspect of my nature and get carried away with consumption.  It has been said in this household – ‘You want to move into the ashram but what about your Jimmy Choos (Shoes)’ and this is a true and accurate reflection of this aspect of my nature which I am choosing to sublimate.

We had dinner with a couple of my mums friends whom I had only met that day and we were talking about general things over dinner when India came up.  It came out that I was moving into an ashram as a full renunciate which is obviously quite unusual and so will often illicit a lot of further interest and questions. 

I perceive this to actually be a discussion about our mortality and morality which people want to talk about however often the subject cannot be broached easily within social conversation and so it remains untouched.  However given I am outwardly journeying in, others have a chance to tell me their feelings, experiences, fascination and fears which I love.  I get to speak about yoga (but do this in a measured way and try not to get too passionate which I am inclined to do) as a science with various practices to facilitate this process which is fascinating and technical.

I noticed my family withdraw and these other people were firing up and so pulled back and asked about it the following day.  It turned out that my family was getting more concerned about me (joining a cult as one of their friends had suggested months earlier) and now that I know how they feel I don’t want to really talk about it with their friends for fear of upsetting them.

So what to do when my whole life has been revolving into this point for the last few years?  My job and interests centre around yoga and those ‘other’ parts are taboo and not suitable for dinner table discussion in this environment.  Another dinner party was held last night where I was asked what I do and said that I teach Yoga and wanted to leave it their however his experience was that his business partner (they are in concert production, promotion and touring) has a daughter who became a Buddhist nun which was ‘unusual’ given the background she came from.   I think this quest that I am on is not so unusual and quite a few people journey along the renuciates path while many more just have questions that they would like space to explore.

It also makes me wonder why if someone becomes a nun or renunciate in the Catholic Church or Buddhist traditions it doesn’t seem to raise any ‘cult’ concerns while Yoga does.  Choosing to let go of the outside world in preference for developing the inner one and to be of service rather than to receive seems to rattle people on a deep level which feels so confusing at this point.

I don’t know how to take the next step. I want to be me and I won’t change due to outer pressures to conform but I also don’t want to disturb the world of those that I love the most.  And so this state of enlightenment is indeed very far away and my family are that wonderful blessed mirror which shows me just how much work is ahead of me.

Hari Om

Prime Power

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I am about to board a plane tomorrow which will carry me toward my final farewell.  I am going to Europe for a Month before I move into the Ashram in India for a few years.  I have been slowly untying my life with all its binds and now stand in a place of readiness….anticipation mixed with fear, promise and power!

Over the last few months I have been so lucky to have received the many blessings of radiant souls.  Such support, encouragement and advice has been provided to help guide me through this upcoming transformative experience and yet I don’t know exactly what I will encounter.  As I stand at the very precipice of change it dawned on me that until now I have never been fully in a place of presence.  I have always been reflecting or projecting to various degrees…

When I was young I felt fat and hated my body yet I look back at pictures now and wished I still had that body or at least appreciate it;

I always wanted to grow up faster and be more mature and yet as I am aging I have moments where I miss the limitless possibilities of youth;

I wanted more money when I was poor but found that the cost of money when I could have it was too high;

And so I sense that my power has always been dissipated.  Yet now I find myself in my PRIME (as one of my favourite Swamis calls it)… I am here …. Capable, passionate but steadily committed and playful and as a result love my current state.  For the first time I don’t wish to be elsewhere, anything or anyone else.  I feel that now is the time…but for what?  How do I harness and wield this power which abides in the present moment?

I know that I may at some point move either ahead of myself into projection or fall behind of myself into reminiscing and miss my prime as I slide into deepening age and I don’t want to feel that I wasted or missed using this prime vitality to its fullest.  We each aim to leave our mark but what mark is mine to leave?

Funnily enough I have had two clients over these last two years who have left powerful marks on me;

Firstly there was ‘John’ whom I have previously mentioned.  I travelled to Hong Kong with him after he successfully suggested that we engage in a relationship however I never knew his real name, I was hidden from his real life given that he was a public clergy evangelist and he was encouraging me to be a ‘good girl’ who should learn to not be so passionate, opinionated or ethical so that I could become his public partner whom he ‘rescued’.   Along with a very personal mark he bought me a stamp with my name on it which showed the etymology of my name (Adoration, Jasmine, Song) which now seems quite prophetic.

And more recently was ‘Chris’ who knew more of me than any client and even some friends.  He knew all my different aspects experientially – I taught him yoga, we would go out to dinner/hang out and I would also provide him with erotic massages.  As a result our relationship was intimate, intense and on occasion he would tell me he loved me, that I was an exceptional human being.  He was the CEO of a global resources company and as a result was powerful, wealthy and used to getting EVERYTHING and ANYTHING he wanted….but not me.  On one particular occasion he crossed some boundaries and did the wrong thing by me and when I brought this to him, he acknowledged that while he liked my strength he was not used to it and would try to assert his dominance and power over me.  

What both of these experiences and my own personal relationship to personal power has shown me is that power is a double edged sword which must be wielded with precision, presence and purity. 

As I dissolve the life I have known and retrieve all the energy that has been dispersed through various activities and mind frames, I feel that my current state of prime presence will now be boosted with potent power hopefully leading to that deepest state of transformation that I seek. 

Yet this fear remains that I miss the boat of potential, or that I may mess up the opportunity of my Prime and that I look back at this time with sadness for not using it wisely or effectively.  And so the questions remain;

∞      What is the experience of my soul?

∞      What are its treasures?

∞      How can I offer these effectively?

∞      How can I be of service and contribute to this life?

And then I found this…

“Putting love first means knowing that the universe supports you in creating the good, the holy, and the beautiful. It means knowing that you’re on earth for a purpose, and that purpose itself will create opportunities for its accomplishment.”
~Marianne Williamson

… so I am getting on that Plane to say a final farewell and look forward to my feet touching the training ground of India.

Jai Tara Ma

A Visual Voice

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I was at the ashram over the weekend where many worlds and aspects of my life collided.  People from a couple of corners of my world arrived at the most precious corner of mine.  It highlighted how comfortable I am in bridging such vast landscapes and environments without too much disturbance and that my worlds really are quite intensely different.

As I was driving to the ashram feeling the usual tension between delight and anticipation, Adele’s ‘One and Only’ came on and was moved to heart breaking tears again!

I posted on Facebook my initial thoughts however I noticed that I am often timid in expressing with absolutely honesty my deep experiences for fear of sounding weird, kooky or strange and yet I came to see that by not being totally transparent it can actually cause potential problems.  So here goes!

This song in me triggered not just  ‘a moment of heart breaking LOVE for my maker…. We are the one & only – all of us xxx OM’ as stated on Facebook but more appropriately a deep love affair that has been stirring within my soul.

I was singing to me – the highest Self but from each side of my nature – my feminine was singing her yearning, longing and devotion to my masculine aspect and my masculine was inviting my feminine to fall deeply in love with him.  I am courting my whole self – the fear with the brave, the separate with the connected and the temporary with the permenant.  I was asking for an inner commitment which I was so ready to offer – I am devoted to me which when practiced and in harmony (which I have felt on occasion) is the ‘maker’ or source of my nature and all our natures.  I don’t crave a ‘maker or God’ outside of myself though I do court and revere the whole and acknowledge that I am an iota of that – HARI OM TAT SAT!

When in this state there is nothing missing, I am full to overflowing and an external relationship has no pull or merit whatsoever.   Yet this is a pretty uncommon experience and I am aware that most of us (including me at times) crave external relationships, are removed from our inner delicious relationship and our relationship to source, god or maker (whatever word you use) is loaded with all sorts of baggage often leading to withdrawn interest or investigation.  Our society doesn’t really encourage us to fall in love with ourselves or to have a deep abiding inner relationship that is not dependant on others yet generously loving toward all as a result of this.

This leads to what has prompted me to expose this inner relationship that I am exploring.

I was approached by a friend of mine who is a very talented photo journalist and videographer with a request to create a documentary of my journey from the early days to where I end up post ashram which has raised a whole lot of fears, concerns and resistance.  I am perplexed about the motivation to document this single persons story, when each and every one of us has an extraordinary existence that we are designing, crafting and painting as we go – So why share mine?

The worlds in which I move and love are still quite taboo – Sex & Spirituality (which can be seen by some as Religion) and I guess there is a ‘sensational’ element to these subjects.  People are simultaneously intrigued, judgemental, fearful and often very opinionated about these topics without personally ‘experiencing’ them or dipping their toe in at a superficial level and believing themselves to be ‘experienced’.  Both Sex Work and Spirituality are Experiential…there is no use in intellectualising or rationalizing them as to understand and mine their depths experience is the only way to ‘know’.

So how do you convey such experiences through the visual medium?  How do you explain the exchange of feelings, energy and subtle transformation which may not be seen by the casual observant eye only experienced by the participant?

To the outside world I can see how these experiences could be perceived as clichés, stereotypes, predictable or running away rampantly into dangerous moral or ethical territory but what about what lies beneath?  These subtle nuances that inform a real person’s life which happens to weave across these lanes in their own time and way.

For example people could say that I was raped, had addiction issues, challenging relationships, personality disorders and was a sex worker and so I have given up on life and am running to hide behind religion/ spirituality.  What really happened is that I had a longing long before these events (from as early as 7 years old) to understand my life, who I am and why I am here and that all of these experiences were chosen or encounters experienced as a way to clarify and lead me toward myself.  People will take their view depending on the angle they are looking from and the openness they bring along with the clarity that I can bring through articulation – neither of which is guaranteed.

When telling my father that I was moving into the Ashram – he was so supportive of me and this noble endeavour that he sees me embarking on.  This emotionally considered man off his own volition offered ‘You know Nic, this now seems like you have been on this journey your whole life.  That maybe your youth with all its turmoil and difficulty was your way of searching – just in the wrong places.  You seem so happy now and it all seemed to have had a purpose.’ 

I wonder if you really can capture the complexity of a single life with all its colour in visual format?  Particularly given that my life does span such charged, contrasting and ‘taboo’ themes….We have a 3D or more experience of this world – I wonder what gets lost and/or gained when you try to capture the complexity of life through a single sense?