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.