Friday, 30 October 2015

The Still Voice

The still voice; is the unvoiced intelligence that arises from within. Although unvoiced it has the clarity of early morning sunlight that dispels the gloom after darkness. It is the same clarity and perception that has given rise to life, but which has become largely obscured due to the activities of private purpose and self-interest. The still voice, is Divine in origin, as from it has arisen a body of truth that forms the inner template that structures and gives form to life.

Nada Yoga, the Yoga of Listening, is a conscious process of separating the illusory from the real, as most of us carry around with us a great deal of unnecessary mental baggage, in the form of unexamined information that has no basis in reality. In order to wipe the slate clean, we have to practise returning to centre, clearing the mind and dropping unwanted thoughts.

With a still mind we gain a clear sense of direction, as by reducing the number of targets to be aimed at we have a better sense of direction. When meditating, let your thoughts drop away like the leaves from a tree at the start of winter. Then with a clear mind start to awaken the intuitional mind, that is the mind of the heart. Feel for the new emerging thoughts that emerge like fresh shoots in spring time. It is a case of off with the old and on with the new, as your inner Tree of Life is refreshed and clothed with the light of truth and a new spirit of optimism.

The Tree of Life has been portrayed as a Symbolic Ash Tree that has its roots in heaven and its branches on earth. This transformation, in which your whole being is nurtured and transformed by the light of the eternal, is one of the highest aims of yoga. In reality there are many steps which ‘Patanjali’ has codified in his ‘Eight limbs of Raja Yoga’. None of these steps are separate from each other as they all flow together in the unifying stream of life.

Each step will be affirmed during meditation, by your still inner voice. This is the guru which resides in your true centre, and which is often obscured by mental clutter. Hence we have the following, taken from page one of Patanjali’s aphorisms of yoga; 1. We now begin the exposition of yoga. 2. Yoga is controlling the activities of mind (chitta). 3. When the mind is controlled, Self stays in his native condition. Translation, Shree Purohit Swami. Published Faber and Faber Ltd.

Friday, 23 October 2015


Hangsa is a composite sound pattern, useful in refining breath awareness and in attuning body and mind to the more subtle realms of spirit; from which all life has had its origins. Hangsa is the phoneticall representation of the mantra hamsa – a swan, literal meaning “I am He”; hamsa is believed to be the natural vibration of the Self, which occurs spontaneously with each incoming and outgoing breath. By becoming aware of hamsa, a seeker experiences the identity between the individual self and the supreme Self. Can also be repeated as so‘ham; when intoning hamsa, the consonant ‘m’ has a nasal resonance, hence hangsa.

There are several legends related to hansa (swan) and sometimes a yogi at a particular stage of development is referred to as a swan, there is also a reference to the goose that has to reach high above the earth in its flight across the Himalayas. Sanskrit is a sacred language, each letter an energy package in which prana manifests in a tangible form. It is by listening to the breath that we discover the spirit or essence of the breath in the form of ‘so’ on the in-breath and ‘ha’ on the out-breath.

Sanskrit is a sacred language, and its sound forms have links with the creative sound geometry of the universe. When repeating words as mantra, the will and motive of the user is pivotal. There are mantras that are applicable to all levels of human endeavour; yoga mantras however, focus mind and heart on the highest level of spiritual endeavour. This is highlighted by the mantra termed Gayatri. It is Om. Bhur bhuvah swah: Tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat. Om. (Translation Ernest Wood’s Yoga). We meditate on the most excellent glory of the divine Sun (or Source); may ‘That’ direct our understanding.

Bhur, bhuva, and swah remind the worshiper that this is taking place in three worlds at once; bhur is the world of time with its inherent karma that keeps calling us back to deal with previous setbacks. The intermediate world, bhuva, is analogous to the higher mind, intelligence, logic and spiritual perception. Swah is the transcendent and heavenly, wherein lies perfect freedom and the mantra hangsa is one of the keys that may help us to achieve that freedom.

Words tend to capture the mind and influence the user within the context in which they are used. Words used as mantra transcend the familiar and have the power to lift the mind and heart into the realm of the spiritual. The following descriptive use of Hangsa may vary tonally for students who have knowledge of Sankrit Euphonics, and as their meditative experience grows.
Calming the breath, helps calm the mind, in preparation for meditative breathing. (Hangsa) starts with a long peaceful inflow of the breath, during which it is felt the breath becomes more refined, as if it were ascending and reaching up toward the subtle realms of spirit. The breath is then allowed to hang momentarily and enjoy a moment of perfect stillness, (the heavenly); the peace and stillness is then allowed to descend with the out-flowing breath ‘sa’ into all areas of the body. The reverse, sohang, can also be used with the returning in-breath before repeating the exercise.

The body is a contested zone between the spiritual and the subconscious in which hidden and repressed energies fight to try and re-establish control; it is not possible to pour new wine into old bottles without running the risk of pollution and being contaminated with the old. There has to be ‘Self’ guidance, periods of rest, which allow time for the transition to more refined levels of spiritual consciousness.

The mantra hangsa leads to still timeless moments that re-fresh and heal, extends the natural span of life, opens the doors to all possible worlds and awakens the wisdom that can help transform this world and ourselves.

Friday, 16 October 2015


Imagination during meditation is not ‘nothing’ as it is energy that can be controlled and used in a positive way. Meditation on the forms and beauty in nature can awaken us to the fact that none of us live isolation, and that all function is inter-function. Meditation on the symbiotic relationship between plant and the Sun; even the prolific daisy or buttercup can awaken the intuitive faculty as to the interrelationship between Sun, stars and plants. To help relieve stress or the boredom of being confined to one space, imagine that you merge with the spirit of the wind, and blow freely across vast oceans, dance with the waves, explore new lands and whisper time away among the trees. Then rise high on ascending warm air until you stand at the edge of space and capture the spirit of freedom that blows across the aeons of time and space. The brain does not often recognise the difference between that which is real and that which is imagined. Therefore the feeling of a successful meditation or relaxation can be committed to memory and be recalled to help by- pass the tensions associated with stress.

Friday, 9 October 2015

your inner sense

To awaken your inner sense, and open to the creative possibilities of spirit, practise moments of innocence, by clearing the mind and letting go any feelings of guilt, or any attempts that you have made to be other than what you are. Stand as if before your God, free from all guile and open to the free flow of spirit. Resist all attempts to modify your thoughts or make excuses for failings; so that you may step forward as if re-born, and present yourself to the world refreshed.
Moments of innocence are moments of unclouded free will, of returning to your pure essence, then returning to life and stepping forward, nymph like, as if you had been refreshed by an early morning dew. Returning to moments of innocence awakens your inner-sense and the possibility of being guided by the spirit within, undistorted by false constructs of yourself.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Sat Chit Ananda

Sat Chit Ananda is a reference to a trinity of Being, Consciousness and Bliss, and can be a useful guide for living. Too much Sat carried to extremes becomes saturnine contraction and the forces of gravity that drive toward a centre, it can be the road to hell; hence the well known saying, “Too much work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Excessive stress in the form of saturnine contraction impedes energy flow and restricts circulation, so that life giving energy is not carried around the body. Sat, Chit Ananda is also an established part of yoga terminology that rolls easily around the tongue, suggesting a harmonious relation between the words and its parts.

To the yogi a Being is a house of sentient power, ideally with all its parts in harmonious relationship, both physically and spiritually. Too much focus on material realism creates barriers through which subtle and developmental possibilities are unable to break through.

Consciousness is the key and is the level of awareness that holds the balance between being and non-being, so that right tone is maintained throughout the body. To whatever level we apply ourselves to the work we call yoga. Sat, Chit Ananda is a key phrase that helps maintain a right sense of perspective; Ananda being the harmonic rhythm that arises when there is mutual agreement between the forces of holding on and letting go, so that life flows easily and in perfect accord.

Yoga is living in the moment and recognising that we are spiritual beings enjoying an earthly experience and that without resistance we cannot develop a form, or spiritual identity, that will carry us from life to llfe. The face that we present to the world is a reflection of who we truly are and often reflects the stresses and strains of daily life. If you do not like what you see when looking in the mirror, do your best to change it and bring balance back into your life.