Friday, 31 October 2014

Coping with Stress

Coping with Stress, implies containing or controlling stress, which can be damaging when energy input is excessive, or more than is required for dealing with a situation. The causes of stress are many and all forms of stress are constraining in some way. The word stress is from a Latin root strictus, from stringere, to draw tight. There are strings attached to most that we become contracted to in this world, whether it is a mortgage or a pay day loan.

Commitment without consideration as to cost will most likely mean commitment to mental, emotional and physical tension. Not all commitment is arduous or stressful, as it is possible to be committed to freedom; self-response-ability and a life lived in accordance within one’s means.

Energy as life-force, is expressive at many levels, whether mineral, plant, animal or human; this when fulfilling its purpose can be called good energy, or energy that is suited to purpose, and when destructive and inimical to purpose, bad energy, not suitable to purpose. Energy in itself is neither good nor bad; it is how it is directed is the key; we would all like to live a harmonious life and when stress becomes excessive, we need ways of dealing with it.

Coping methods can be at either physical emotional or mental levels, such as exercise like going for a walk and if possible in open countryside, or by the sea. Listening to soothing music, calming the breath, or even a short nap as worry can be emotionally draining. Thoughts are energy formations with direct links to the way we feel, and deep feelings of anxiety can be persistent and difficult to let go.

The practice of mindfulness is taking control by steadying the mind and breaking the inertia of worrying trains of thought. Train yourself to stop serial thinking by focussing on the immediate and present moment; if at home try removing your footwear and earth yourself, by affirming your contact with the ground. Become aware of the things in your immediate vicinity as it is possible to be rushing to solve problems and forget the space you occupy.

Sub consciousness and deep seated fears are the most difficult to deal with, as on the surface they may seem irrational, and yet there is always a reason lying behind the fears we experience. The yoga class and yoga nidra can be of help; particularly if we learn to hold ourselves at the edge of sleep and observe impressions that rise to the surface. One technique (Yoga Nidra). usually guided by an experienced yoga teacher, is to first relax and then present a series of images to the mind, some pleasant and some unpleasant e.g. a cottage with roses around the door, an endless burning dessert, a coffin beside an open grave.

These and similar visualisation repetitions are briefly focussed upon; before letting go and clearing the mind and then observing the impressions and feelings that come to the surface, as underlying deep seated tension is released. A not dissimilar auto-suggestive relaxation technique, in which helpful words and sentences are used to create positive feeling changes, is Autogenic training. The words if carefully chosen will help bring a positive re-orientation and support when dealing with a variety of life’s difficulties.

Meditation also helps to put life back into perspective, by creating space between yourself and the problem to be solved. Stress intensifies a situation and exaggerates, and creating space between you and the problem, will open the mind to fresh ideas. Creating space is the basis of Zen meditation, starting with the focussed mind then letting go completely, and letting go whatever the mind has been focussed on, so that at it disappears completely. Then returning back to the original focal point and as you will discover, it will always be with new ideas and a fresh sense of perspective.

Stairways to Heaven is a similar meditation for outdoors on a summers day or by use of the imagination and starts by just listening to the sounds of nature, bird song, and even sensing the world around as if seeing with the skin surface.; then by stepping upward from each sense impression, reaching upward as if into limitless space, until mind and heart are filled, as if with blue sky. Blue is a refreshing and healing colour and is only a step away from the clear untroubled mind of a self-realised yogi.

The breath and the emotions are closely related and calming the breath, calms’ the emotions. There is a close relationship between breath and spirit and when agitated in body and mind, the breath is likely to reflect the emotional tone present in that moment. When stressed breathe deeply and slowly as if the breath were rising and falling, from and into an oasis of peace. Then retain this peace at the centre of your being.    


Friday, 24 October 2014

A Simple Question?

A Simple Question?

If you were asked by someone to give them the benefit of your life’s experience, and provide one seed idea or belief, that would stand as the basis of your responses to the world. What would it be? Do you have one essential belief that if the tide ran out on your life, you would have something to cling onto? If a Christian it could be Christ is my Anchor; what does this mean? What is the essential Christian message? As a practising yogi it may simply be ‘Be Here Now’? Your answer may change someone life. If you find the question difficult, It could be there still work to do?

Friday, 17 October 2014

A Book of Thoughts

Gordon is currently writing and gathering some of his works together so that Nirvana Essence Yoga will be able to release his thoughts in a paperback.. Gordon has many years of writing and poetry which are currently residing in folders and office filing systems so we thought it would be amazing to let them see the light of day! Gordon and Pam have already released " Meditation : A Treasury of Technique" in 1989, this book is available via Amazon. There are two free downloadable books by Pam and Gordon on their website under the CD collection page. begins and we look forward to 2015



Stillness is the backdrop or ground against which all phenomena presents' itself.  From stillness arise the pure tones of nature and of all living things.  To discover your own lost nature and experience the shared beauty and essence of life's forms, meditate and experience the stillness that offers no resistance to the emerging pulse of life.  

First sit quietly and listen for the signposts of life, each sound providing a clue as to the direction in which stillness lies.  Let go of each sound as if it were a stepping stone into a deeper surrounding quiet; then finally 'let go' and enjoy the non-dual that underlies all form.  From the non-dual arise the pure tones that blossom and flower into life's forms.  Become aware of your own essence and 'let go' of the dull tones of life imperfectly expressed.  Then 'let' the breath of life breathe new life into the dark corners of your being; and 'let' the wisdom (prajna), that arises from 'no mind', show the way forward, as you enjoy the beauty of form that arises from love's true essence.  Continue to meditate and enjoy healing and stillness; enjoy the light and embodied truth in all living forms.

Friday, 10 October 2014



Petals on the garden floor,
Love and life no more.
Scents, once blowing on the wind,
Love’ kisses to remind.
That loving children’s hearts
Rested awhile on blossom sweet

Gently, pray gently,
As you your garden prune;
You know not what souls,
What loving tenderness,
You dash with prune and fork,

In your eagerness for winter.  

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Walking Zen

Walking Zen gives rise to the unique experience of remaining detached, yet aware of every movement. It should ideally be a continuation of the meditative experience with each movement harmonious and flowing. What in fact usually happens with the beginner is that movements are clumsy and disjointed rather than flowing. This is usually because there is thinking about walking rather than letting the moment express itself in movement. It is not unlike running downstairs, if you stop and think which foot goes next you are liable to trip and fall, yet if you let it happen, you will seem to glide down the stairs. The important difference with Zen is that the movements are not mechanical but wholly conscious without losing any of their fluidity. Zen walking requires that you be aware of your contact with the ground, the moment a foot leaves the ground, and every detail of the synchronised movement of your body, with each movement flowing into the next. The final stage comes when there is attunement not only with the body but with everything around you; your walking does not offend nature and there is the sense that the air, sea and sky and everything that is around you is sharing your experience, Do not be disappointed if things do not happen immediately, persevere and hold each moment until timeless movement holds past and future in a simultaneous act of comprehension. Contemplative walking can provide the relief needed after long periods of sitting. It also provides the means of continuing the spirit of meditation at the same time as enjoying gentle exercise.

Prepare for walking by placing hands together with the back of one hand resting on the palm of the other and the thumbs lightly touching. Then start to walk slowly, fully aware of the function of walking. There should be no aspect of walking which escapes your attention, heel touching, sole of the foot etc. There should also be awareness of the breath, which is peaceful and co-ordinated. In the hands you can visualise a golden ball which symbolises the Will to Self Realisation, alternatively feel that it is Peace or Love which you hold in your hands, represented by a single Lotus Blossom or a Rose, and that as you walk the spirit of love becomes part of your every movement.

Photograph kindly provided by Kiran Bahra

Friday, 3 October 2014

The New Breed - A Prophecy

The New Breed – A Prophecy

Yoga I believe will be ultimately responsible for producing the new breed.
This remarkable body of men and women has already started to grow, and there are signs that some are already with us.
These are not anarchists or revolutionaries in the normal sense of the word, but quiet unassuming people who live their lives with integrity and honesty.
These, as we embark on the new age, will ensure the sanity of the new era as it becomes more technologically and scientifically orientated.
The reason for their influence will be because of the different criteria and sets of values by which they live their lives; their chief aim not toward a greater cash flow in order to enjoy the pleasures of the world, or buy bigger chunks of real estate.
This does not mean that they will not be hard working and enterprising, but rather that they will be motivated by a new consciousness.
The new consciousness will not be self limiting but will arise from a greater awareness of the needs of the planet and the important future roll of the human race in the development of the solar system.
This new breed like the Yogis of the past, will be visionaries and the Yogis of the future, having worked at and integrated a lot of the wisdom of the past, which integration will inevitably be passed on to their children.

It is unlikely that these new Messiahs will be crucified as many have been in the past. At least let us hope that mankind has learned something from history – crucifixion does not necessarily being nailed to a wooden cross because the modern world has much more subtle and efficient ways of doing things, without this new breed, we could pursue scientific research for its own sake, with little thought for the consequences. The computer would become God and operate its vast technological and psychological brain to the benefit of a few powerful operators, running the planet as if it were there own back yard.
Fortunately there will be those, perhaps few in number, who will quietly and by example demonstrate the value of taking responsibility for one’s own life – of being ‘Self’ motivated in the highest sense of the word. That is conscious beings attuned to the Will of God and each a sophic mirror capable of reflecting private purpose back into the soul of the perpetrator.
This new breed will lack herd consciousness and not belong to any particular society or group, but be spread far and wide, each a small but effective light, acting as a reminder that the spirit of freedom still exists.

It is the Yogi of today working quietly and diligently on her/himself who will be the safeguard for the future.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Timeless Mother

Timeless mother

Love fills the air
With a compassion sweet.
As subtle as moths’ wings,
Love torn from work and toil

From strivings past
And often poverty wrought.
When love was squeezed
From care worn hands

From mothers’ bowed
Over sink and wash.
Often unsung, yet caring,
Until with time love departs

Yet now we stand
So tall and proud
A product of loves stream
Born from mothers’ dreams