“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Gandhi….. Yoga shows the way. Dear Friends of Light and Peace, Wishing you all a very Happy, Peaceful, Healthy and Successful New Year. How was your Christmas and New
A heart that is filled with love-selfless and radiant-alone raises a human being to the feet of the Almighty. Such a love sings like the nightingale, gives out perfume like the rose, beautifies life in all its aspects, and brings the devotee in intimate touch and eternal fellowship with the Lord….Papa Ramdas
I plunged into the depthless sea of life
And came by the rarest gem-Thy Name
I quaffed at all the founts of nectar
Till I tasted the sweetness of Thy Name
I gazed at the stars, the sun and the moon;
None, I found, had the brilliance of Thy Name
My ears drank the varied strain of music,
Verily, none so entrancing
As the rhythm of Thy Name
I sought refuge in this and that,
But met perfect shelter only in Thy Name
For delight I strove in things great and small,
Now I am blest with bliss eternal in Thy Name…Papa Ramdass
Hope you are well. The month of April is here and spring is upon us. Spring symbolises new beginnings, a time to cleanse out the old and try out the new. It is a tendency in spring to ‘spring clean’ our houses, which I’m sure is necessary, we all have a lot more than we need. A good idea when wanting to spring clean our homes is to challenge ourselves by only keeping the things that we have used recently or over the last months. I remember when moving to Spain how much stuff I gave away that had been taking up closet place for years. Do you find that cleaning out clutter from your house actually helps the mind, I do. I suppose as what we hold on to represents the old for us and letting go of it allows for the new to come in. Feel like your mind is cluttered a good way of cleaning up the mind is to notice how you talk to yourself, are you very critical and disapproving by learning to be kind to ourselves valuing who we are; our uniqueness in all its splendor helps us to de-clutter our thoughts from old critical habits. Another good way to de-clutter the mind is with meditation, meditation helps old stuff to filter up into our conscious mind and then if we just observe it, it will float away allowing the mind to be more spacious. Talking of meditation we have group meditation every Monday at 5pm at the Lotus Yoga centre this is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a group meditate and spread peaceful vibrations to one and all, if you have never meditated or find that you don’t have the discipline to practice on your own meditating in a group can assist you to develop a regular practice. We have quite a few activities on offer this month:
Chanting and Meditation Workshop Saturday the 20th of April form 11-2.30pm at the Lotus Yoga centre in Mojacar.
We will be holding a workshop in April Chanting and Meditation with Pepe (Nilakantha) and myself. An opportunity to learn and experience the effects of chanting. Pepe has a beautiful voice and together with playing the harmonium chanting has a very calming affect on the mind. The workshop will include, movement exercises, breathing exercises and meditation all to assist in bringing balance to the mind and opening the heart to Pure Love. The workshop will be held at the Lotus yoga centre in Mojacar on Saturday the 20th of April and the cost is 15€. Reserve your place soon as space is limited.
Spiritual Cinema April 19th at 7.30pm- An Interview with Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey is an author, and teacher of mystic traditions. He is the author of over 30 books, including, The Hope, A Guide to Sacred Activism, The Direct Path, the critically acclaimed Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi, The Return of the Mother, Harvey conducts workshops on Sacred Activism, the teachings of Rumi, yoga and practices that will lead to deeper spiritual awareness. In this in depth interview Andrew talks about his life his spiritual practices, meetings with his teachers and the difficulties on the spiritual path, and introduces us to Sacred Activism. I found this interview very inspiring and enlightening. I Highly Highly recommend it. Don’t miss this evening.
“Using humor, passion, and analysis, Andrew Harvey challenges us to wake up and get up off of our couches to become the spiritual activists we all can be. A powerful, provocative, prophetic appeal to sanity and activism for our apocalyptic times, this film is recommended for anyone who cares about the survival of their grandchildren or planet or both. Is anyone listening?”
-Reverend Matthew Fox, author Creation Spirituality and founder of the University of Creation Spirituality, now called, Wisdom University.
Reiki Share Tuesday the 23rd of April from 11-13 pm at the Lotus Yoga centre in Mojacar.
On Tuesday the 23rd of April we have our monthly Reiki share which is open to all Reiki practitioners it is from 11-13pm and is by donation.
Yoga Retreat Sunday June the 2nd - Yoga, Mudras and Mantras
On Sunday the 1st of June we are holding our Yearly Yoga retreat in the beautiful Cabrera mountain retreat centre El naciemento. This year Veronica Foody will co-teach the day with me. Veronica is a very experienced Yoga teacher who teaches in England and Brussels and holds Yoga retreats. Our Subject this year is Yoga, Mudras and mantras. Mudras are different hand positions. The word Mudra actually means to give Joy. And the practice o Mudras can assist in bringing this about in us. A Mudra locks and guides energy flow and reflexes to the brain and mind and assists in healing the body and calming the mind. The profound transformation that occurs in the body and mind upon practicing the mudras generates various personal qualities such as clarity, contentment, self-confidence, fortitude, and happiness. We can utilize Mudras to heal ourselves and others to raise our energy to bring about patience, calmness, and joy. In this workshop we will learn different Mudras for healing, for working with our busy minds and for well-being.
The day is from 9.30am -4.30pm cost is 38€ per person for the day which includes a three course wonderful vegetarian meal. There is an option to stay overnight on Saturday the 1st of June the cost then will be an extra 45€ and will include breakfast and an evening meal on Saturday. If you wish to come on Saturday please let me know as rooms are limited. We will have Satsang on Saturday evening and the afternoon can be spent at the pool and walking in the beautiful surroundings. Please reserve your place before the 25th of April.
Reiki course level 2 June 7,14,21,28 from 10-2pm
This course is for those who have concluded Reiki level 1 and wish to deepen there practice; learn the Reiki symbols to empower the healing and learn the distance healing symbol. A very powerful way to enhance your Reiki practice and develop a professional level of Reiki. Cost is 100€ for the whole course. It will be held at Luz de Luna retreat in Turre.
Below find an inspiring article by a student of Swami Rama (the founder of the Himalayan institute) titled Yoga of the Heart/Bhakti Yoga. I found it very helpful and inspiring.
There is lots on offer for April I do hope you join us for the activities.
Have a wonderful April and enjoy the ‘spring-cleaning’
Love and Light
YOGA OF THE HEART
By Irene (Aradhana) Petryszak is a student of Swami Rama, and has been teaching yoga philosophy for the last 20 years.
“The most ancient traveler in the world is love,” Swami Rama often told his students. “Many follow the path of bhakti yoga, the path of love and devotion, but it is not as easy to follow as most people think. Bhakti yoga is not the path for blind followers.”
It is not just about chanting and external offerings, he said. Rather it’s having the courage to face ourselves at the deepest levels of our being, and offer everything we are to the Divine, both the good and the bad, without holding anything back. And it is the complete dedication and surrender of everything we do in our daily lives as acts of worship. “Grease your actions with love,” Swamiji always said, whether you are driving your children to school, washing the dishes, working at a stressful job, or doing your practice. By learning to expand our devotional awareness, we can transform our lives so they are filled with peace, love, joy, and harmony.
According to the Narada Bhakti Sutras, bhakti is intense love for God. It is a deep yearning to experience love in its purest and highest form, to unite with that which is eternal and unchanging. We get a glimpse of this through our worldly relationships, especially with those who have touched our hearts the most. As the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states, we do not really love others for their own sake but rather for the Divine Self that resides in them.
The path of bhakti yoga allows us to use all of our senses, all of our emotions, and all of our actions to express love in our daily interactions and offer them to whatever form of God suits our individual personalities and cultural upbringing, whether it be Krishna, Christ, Allah, Yahweh, Hanuman, the Divine Mother, or some other aspect. In bhakti yoga, no form of God is superior to another. Each is equally respected as a valid manifestation of the one underlying principle of pure consciousness.
The Bhakti Sutras explain that bhakti yoga is both the means and the end: aparabhakti, or lower bhakti, is the way to cultivate and deepen devotion, and parabhakti, or higher bhakti, is union with the Divine—the ultimate goal.
The intrinsic nature of parabhakti is immortal bliss. On attaining it, one becomes free from suffering and completely satisfied, having no more desires. St. Anselm of Canterbury wrote: “I have found a joy that is full and more than full. For when heart and mind and soul and all are full of that joy, joy beyond measure will still remain.” After the initial intoxication with bliss, one enjoys the delight of inner silence. In the depths of this silence, one realizes a complete unity with others, and comes to understand that we are all the same—there is no separation.
Lower bhakti, or aparabhakti, is the way we can prepare to receive the grace of higher bhakti. It is a way to channel and transform our powerful emotions into positive, creative expressions of love and devotion to God.
Cultivating Bhakti in Daily Life Divine love is often described through the analogy of human love to make it more easily accessible. But, whereas human love tends to be grasping and self-serving, divine love is selfless and giving. We can transform the relationships in our lives—even the most difficult ones—by offering what we do as service (karma yoga) to the Divine Light within them. In this way, we deepen our connection to our own inner light. The Bhakti Sutras say that by cultivating and deepening virtues, such as non-harming, truthfulness, purity, compassion, faith, and humility, in our worldly relationships, we refine them and make them more harmonious, so they become a clearer reflection of the Divine.
One of the easiest ways to understand the path of bhakti and expand our devotional attitude is to treat others the way we would like to be treated. The Jewish sage Philo said, “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” When you see that someone is having a hard day, offer to help, say a prayer, or just listen with an open and compassionate heart.
Heal and nurture your relationships. If someone has wronged you, try to see the situation through his or her eyes. By being able to accept your own faults, you will be able to more easily accept and forgive the faults of others. “There is always grace in love,” Swami Rama said, “That grace is called forgiveness.”
You do not have to do great things to practice bhakti yoga. In her autobiography, Story of a Soul, French Carmelite nun St. Thérèse of Lisieux (also known as the “Little Flower of Jesus”) described her path as being the “Little Way.” She writes: “I applied myself above all to practice quite hidden little acts of virtue; thus I liked to fold the mantles forgotten by the Sisters, and sought a thousand opportunities of rendering them service.”
Find ways to serve your family, friends, and community in whatever way comes to your heart naturally and spontaneously—whether it’s cooking nutritious meals, babysitting so your friend can go to hatha class, rallying for animal rights, or being faithful to your partner. Imbue all your actions with an attitude of love, reverence, and devotion.
The timeless path of divine love is as alive and relevant today as it was in the days of the ancient sages. Through this path, we can transform our everyday life from the mundane to the sacred, from the trivial to the profound. By cultivating the principles of love, compassion, gratitude, surrender, and selfless service, we can prepare our hearts and minds to receive the grace of unconditional love and wisdom. Then we become the instruments of the Divine, and everything we do is an expression of love and devotion. Our lives become a joyful celebration.
How are you I hope you are well. Summer is over and the new Yoga term begins with a bang literally it has been lightening and thundering since the early hours of the morning here and pouring with rain, which is needed in this area of ours.
(Since writing this we have been without phone and internet for a few days some water came into our guest room but other than that not much damage to our house, people have suffered a lot of damage in the area and the roads and bridges in some places are non existence. The power of nature can be very harsh, and I hope and pray you are all well and no damage has occurred in your houses). Please let me know if you need any help.
Last week I was on the beach and now I am wearing a sweater, change does come with a big bang sometimes doesn’t it? Other times change can be very gradual and slow. We can be practitioners of meditation or of the Yoga postures and be practicing for months or even years when we notice there is a subtle difference to our practice, sitting to meditate the mind is calmer and the restlessness we experienced previously has vanished a calm has descended upon us and we are aware that whatever rises in the mind is o.k. as we are the witnesses of the thoughts. When did this happen or how did this happen – by consistent and dedicated practice. With the practice of the Asanas (postures of Yoga) we begin to notice that we can hold postures for longer that we are no longer pushing in a pose the body has relaxed and we accept what is, enjoying the process of the practice rather then aiming for the perfect posture. Though change happens gradually it is the fruit of consistent practice. Swami Sivananda taught that being regular in our practice is of outmost importance, it assists us to train the mind and develop habits which benefit us. This applies not only to our Yoga practice but to all walks of life; learning a new language necessitates practice, learning a new skill or developing healthier habits takes patience consistency and dedication. As we begin a new Yoga term let us all develop the qualities of patience, dedication and consistency which will assist us to change gradually or sometimes with a bang bringing with it a more supple and healthier body and more importantly a calmer and more peaceful mind. Many students acknowledge that one of the qualities, if we can use that word that comes from the practice of meditation, relaxation, yoga, is the ability to accept what is in life and even more so to LOVE what is at every moment. Learning to Love and accept ourselves for the unique beings we are is an important part of life and the whole wide spectrum of Yoga assists us to do just that. Yoga is such a broad practice and in a Yoga class we can only touch on some of the practices where a Yoga day gives us the chance to learn more about this wonderful system. We are offering now a Yoga day instead of our Yoga retreat which was scheduled for the last weekend of October. Instead on Saturday the 27th of October we are holding a Yoga day at El Naciemento in the Cabrera mountains. This will allow more people to attend who could not perhaps afford a whole weekend. Ziv Porat who will be teaching the day with me is a much loved teacher many of you have enjoyed his teachings over the years and I hope you will take advantage of his visit from America and join us on this day more details are below. All are welcome on the Yoga day no previous experience is necessary. Please let anyone know who may be interested. The subject is Yoga for Harmonious living. We all want to live a harmonious balanced and happy life, we will learn different ways to apply this in our lives on this Yoga day. Let me know if you wish to attend.
We resume the activities of the Divine Life Society Almeria branch this coming Friday the 5th of October with an evening of Meditation, chanting and a talk. As always it will be held at the Lotus Yoga centre in Mojacar at 7.30pm. Ziv will be with us and this will be a good chance to meet him.
We will have a Reiki share evening at the Lotus Yoga centre for all levels of Reiki on October the 30th at 7.30 pm it is by donation and an opportunity to practice Reiki and receive Reiki healing.
Spiritual Cinema will resume on October the 19th and I will let you know closer to the time what film we will be watching.
I am offering a Reiki level 2 course in November at the Luz de Luna retreat it will be over 4 Fridays starting November the 9th from 10-2pm if you are interested please let me know. Yoga classes will resume totally next week Mondays at the Lotus Yoga centre and Wednesday mornings in Vera, at the Centro de Cultura and Wednesday afternoon at 2.30pm at Indigo gym in Mojacar. Feel free to invite friends to a Yoga class the best way to benefit from Yoga is to experience it!!!#
Well as you have noticed there is a lot on this month and hopefully you will join us for some of the activities.
Below is a summary of Dada J.P. Vaswani teachings, universally acclaimed as a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, and non-sectarian spiritual leader.
Wishing you all a wonderful Autumn, enjoy the changing of the seasons, the autumn flowers, the cooler weather and all the activities on offer.
Love and Light
Summary of the Months Activities
Friday 5th of October –Satsang at 7.30pm-Lotus Yoga Centre Mojacar
Friday 19th of October-Spiritual Cinema-7.30pm-Lotus Yoga Centre Mojacar
Saturday 27th of October-Yoga day –10-5.30pm-El Naciemento Cabrera
Tuesday 30th of October Reiki share-7.30pm-Lotus Yoga Centre Mojacar
More details below.
Yoga Day at El Naciemento on the of 27, October 2012 from 10-5.30pm
Location: El Naciemento ecological retreat in Cabrera Mountains
This Yoga day will offer us an excellent opportunity to deepen our practice and assist us to find greater inner harmony, peace and joy in our everyday lives. We will practice yoga asanas, breathing exercises, deep relaxation, meditation and discover ways to promote our overall well being, all in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.
This day will be jointly guided by Sharon Fisher and Ziv Porat, both teachers of the Sivananda Yoga Tradition with many years of experience in practicing and teaching Yoga in all its aspects. Sharon and Ziv have taught retreats in the Mojacar area for some years now, with great success. All are welcome and no previous experience in yoga necessary.
The day is being held in the El Naciemento, which is nestled in the Cabrera mountains, where nature displays itself is in its most pristine beauty. There will be a meditation walk in nature to immerse ourselves in the beauty around us. A delicious vegetarian meal will be served mostly organic and cooked with a unique Spanish flavour.
Come and Join us for a peaceful and inspiring yoga day, all welcome no experience necessary
Cost for the day is 40€ which includes a full vegetarian lunch. To see pictures of El Naciemento and its beautiful location click on this link omshantiyogaspain.com then go to the retreats page.
To reserve your place a deposit of 20€ is necessary. For information call Sharon on 950469122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monthly ‘Satsang’ of the Divine Life Society, Almeria. October the 5th at 19.30 pm.
At the Lotus Yoga Centre, Mojacar at 19.30pm. (An evening of meditation, chanting and a talk guided by Brahmananda (Brian Fisher) and Sharon Fisher). All are welcome no experience necessary, entrance by donation.
Yoga Classes with Sharon
Monday’s 10 am – A mixed level Yoga class at the L.O.T.U.S Yoga Centre in Mojacar.
Monday’s 2.30pm -An intermediate Yoga class at the L.O.T.U.S Yoga Centre in Mojacar.
Wednesday’s 10 am -A multi level class at the Centro de Cultura in Vera
Wednesday’s 2.30 pm- A multi level class at Indigo Gym - Mojacar
All are welcome for information call Sharon 950469122 Cost of the classes 22€ for 4 classes 7€ for a single class. Reiki Share Tuesday the 30th of October at 7.30 pm at the Lotus Yoga centre in Mojacar all Reiki practitioners welcome entrance by donation.
What is Dada J.P Vaswani's philosophy and teaching?
DADA J.P. VASWANI is universally acclaimed as a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader, Dada J.P. Vaswani has captivated the hearts of millions worldwide. In the eyes of many, Dada J.P. Vaswani is a man who symbolizes the true spirit of the India of the rishis as a harbinger of love, peace and hope.
Today, Dada J.P. Vaswani is the spiritual head of The Sadhu Vaswani Mission, and also the moving, inspiring, life-giving and life-sustaining force behind its multifarious activities. Holding aloft in his hands, the torch bequeathed to him by his Master, Dada carries across the globe the message of India's deathless culture. Through him, the joy of faith and peace flows out to many. In him, thousands of faithful devotees behold the image of their Beloved.
The following is a reproduction of a section of Dada's article in East and West series, May 2000 titled “What life has taught me.”
1. In the endless adventure of existence, God and man are comrades. God is our one unfailing companion. He will never leave us. We may try to run away from him. But he will continue to follow us as our own shadow. In the words of Thompson, he is the “Heavenly Hound.”
2. There is a meaning of mercy in everything that happens to us. For God is All-love. He is All-wisdom. He is too loving to punish, too wise to make a mistake. Whatever happens in the Divine Providence happens for our own good. Nothing happens a moment too early or too late…..therefore wherever God takes us, let us go, wherever he keeps us, let us remain. Let us never forget that all is well, all was well, all will be well both tomorrow and a hundred years hence.
3. Thought is a tremendous force in the life of any individual. Thoughts shape our attitudes. Attitudes mould our character. Character influences our life. By changing our thought pattern, we can change our life.
4. Problems and challenges are not a dead end; they are only a bend in the road. Problems are not stumbling blocks; they are stepping stones to a better, richer, more radiant life. Not unoften, problems become the door through which God enters our life. We have surrounded ourselves with hard shells which keep God away from us. Problems crack the shell and God easily enters our lives.
5. Neither rites nor rituals, neither creeds nor ceremonies are needed to improve the condition of the world. All that is needed is to love one another.
6. How may we know that we are drawing closer to God? The closer we draw to God, the more tender and compassionate become our hearts to the needs of those around us.
7. What is the best exercise for the heart? Reach down and lift up as many as you can.
8. Misfortunes are blessings if we handle them well. They are like knives which hurt or help as we hold them by the blade or handle.
12. Life is too short to be spent in fault-finding, holding grudges, or keeping memory of wrongs done to us. Forgive even before forgiveness is asked. Forgive and forget.
13. The worst thing that can happen to a man is that he has a hot head and a cold heart.
14. If a person has moved in the wrong direction, he can always take a U-turn. The angels of God will be with him. The past does not – cannot – bind us!
15. You who are looking for miracles, open your eyes and see! All around us are the miracles of God.
16. A tiny seed grows into a huge banyan tree. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly.
17. Open thine heart and let love enter in – and all things in the universe will gravitate to thee. For love is the power that pulls!
18. Give, give, give – until it hurts to give! This will release you from bondage to the ego - and to things.
19. I must never forget that every thought I think, every word I utter, every action I perform, every feeling, every emotion that wakes up in me, is recorded in the memory of nature. I might be able to deceive those around me, I may even succeed in deceiving myself. But I cannot deceive nature.
21. The aim of life is to realize that we are immortal spirit – not the bodies we wear!
22. An infinite potential lies hid within us. We are unaware of it, because we think of ourselves as limited, restricted creatures. We have identified ourselves with a biochemical mental organism. Our true self is the atman. Tat twamasi! That art thou! There can be no limit to what we can do – and achieve!
23. The greatest illusion which man suffers from is perhaps the illusion of death. In reality, there is no death. Death is very much like the sunset. When the sun sets here, it has already risen elsewhere. Likewise, death here is birth elsewhere. For life is eternal.
24. The greatest intoxication is that of the ego. The worst madness is that of anger. The person who is free from arrogance and anger finds goodness and beauty wherever he goes.
29. Has someone offended you or insulted you? Insults are like bad coins. You cannot avoid them, but you can refuse to accept them.
32. Think positively. Eat sparingly. Exercise regularly. Walk as much as you can. Be careful to see that your thoughts and actions are clean. A guilty mind breeds many diseases. There is the way to live a happy, healthy, harmonious life.
Summer Evening by the Beach
On Monday the 20th of August we are having an evening at the beach. The last evening we has ws very succWe will practice some yoga, swim and have a picnic, the evening begins at 6pm and will be held at Rio Abajo in Mojacar which is off the roundabout by the garden centre, We will meet at the parking area at 6pm. Please bring a veggie dish to share by all, swimming costume if you wish to swim, and a big towel for some Yoga practice. You may invite friends, partners all are welcome. The evening is by donation all monies going to charity. Let me know if you wish to come along. Come and join us for a fun evening.
I have just recieved a gift the book 'Memories of Swami Chidananda' and I am so moved reading all the wonderful experiences and memories people have had with my beloved Guru Swami Chidananda a wonderful way to spend my Sunday. Thanks to Swami Sarvamangalananda and Pepe for this amazing book
I have loved watching the Olympics and appreciate the dedication of the athletes I know this is quite contradictory but I wish it was not all about the competition, and the medals but more about the sportsmanship and camaraderie but it is a great venue to promote that fact we are One Earth and One Humanity praying this idea will spread to promote understanding and peace.