Friday, January 8, 2021

Daddy, what happens when we die?


One of the most comforting things I’ve read about death came from a Seth book I read back in the 1980s. (Seth is a discarnate being who dictated to Jane Roberts back in the 60s.) Someone asked him what happened after we die. His reply went something like this: “Why should the other side of death be any different from this side? You have created your reality as it appears to you while in the body, and so shall it be when you pretend to die.”

As I understand it: If I believe in Heaven with gold paved streets, white harps, and eternal summer, I will find myself in Heaven when I think I am dead. On the other side of the world: If I believe 87 odd virgins will be there to greet me in the Paradisial (is that a word??) Gardens, that too shall come to pass. If I believe everything ends when I kick the bucket, that is the reality I will wake up to when my time comes.

I just finished reading a book by a Neurosurgeon called, Proof of Heaven. The author comes from a long line of scientists who adhere to the maxim: seeing is believing. His explanation of near-death / seeing the Light at the end of the tunnel experiences was explained by the chemicals the brain shoots out at our time of passing. (Wasn’t that the longest sentence you ever read?) Then the neurosurgeon had an NDE. Clinically dead for seven days! After he regained consciousness, he told his story. You do not want to know what greeted him when his brain and body stopped functioning. 😉

But his story gives hope on another level. No matter where you end up when you die, the scenario soon gets boring enough (8,000 years of white robes and spherical music) to get you wondering: is this all there is? With that question, the reality of Heaven, Paradise, or worms begins to change, expand… just like the Universe does, just as Supreme consciousness (no matter what you call Her), just as it does when you are in the body.

(Thank God. Can you imagine what a gay person might have to put up with if he died a Muslim?) 😊

Life is change, and so is its brother death.

Or, so it seems to me, this humble servant who always thought Disneyland was where he was going when push came to shove. 😉

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Coping with COVID, coping with life.


I discovered the majesty of the NOW moment over 50 years ago... and let it lay.

I discovered the strength and effectivity of the now moment with the advent of Covid 19 and am hanging on for dear life!

When I first read about and tried to put "the now moment" into practice, I found the practice daunting and tedious, to say the least. After all, I was 20 and everything was running pretty smoothly in my life. If any negativity was present, it was eaten up by the vitality and optimism of youth.

Later in life, "the now moment" became an integral part of the wake-up process because it appeared so practical.  This is not to say I put it into practice.  I recognized its value, but again, lacked the incentive. My past was too alluring: so varied, so magnificent, so stimulating,  and I had little cause to annihilate it with the practice of being in "the now moment."

The future was still rosy at that time of my life, the horizon of what could come was still as iinspiring as a winter sunset on Hawaii. Why trade magnificence for the simplicity of "the now moment"?

With the advent of the winter of my life, two factors entered my life that were so daunting, so terrifying, I was forced to pick up the action of calling up the now moment every second of my waking life.

Enter: our still current US president, (the one with the orange hair) The havoc he wreaked on his own land and the world was/is devastating.

Enter: COVID 19, the global pandemic that just doesn’t want to go away. With every ray of hope, another dark cloud covers the sky of a satisfying future.

Hand in hand, these two characters have made created an atmosphere that make me wish I were anywhere else but here.

But, thanks to them, I am now conviced "the now moment" is the most potent and healing place in which I can possibly be, 

COVID 19, for me, has become an unrelenting master constantly rerouting my mind back into "the now moment". To forget, even for a second, that this is the only place I can possible be, is catastrophic. The alternative, an unsure future filled with conspiracy theories and scenes of apocalyptic grandeur is too devastating. 

I know this for a fact. 

In those times I forget to retain "the now moment," the threat of insanity returns with the intensity of a wrecking ball.

If you’re looking for Peace, if you’re looking for solace, if you’re looking for the strength to continue in these trying times, there is no more potent place in this dimension  than "the now moment."

Believe me, I’ve been there many times and regained the strength to return and share with you the precious wisdom of the ages!

Do it NOW.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Maybe the coronavirus has a better purpose than we are giving it

Ever notice how the more you focus on something, the more real it becomes?

At the height of the gay plague, my boyfriend contracted the HIV virus. We were both stunned, horrified, terrified. Six months later, he landed in the intensive care unit with his first bought of Pneumocystis, an accelerated and often very deadly form of pneumonia. His war with death had begun. Often in that time, death stared out from his wasted face and chilled my soul. As he fought for every breath, I could read the terror he was wrestling with in his pained expression, feel his failing resources in an ongoing battle with the Grim Reaper. It was the worst time of my life, the second-worst time of his. Born in Konigsberg, Germany in 1936, he was old enough when the war ended to experience first hand the atrocities and ravages of retribution as the Russians killed, raped, and buried the city of his birth in soot and ash. What he must have witnessed and experienced, I have no doubt, would’ve killed me ten times over.

Surviving the atrocities of a lost war lends an inner strength that is able to sail through the mightiest storms.

Two years later, after an equally terrifying bought with the virus, a new treatment appeared that saved those remaining few from dying, and we were able to close this frightful chapter of our lives.

His battles won, he awakened to an entirely new level of consciousness. He was totally bereft of superficiality and false pretense, a level of being few of our brothers in the 1980s were able to achieve. Through my husband and my friend, I have come to see that this virus was necessary to bring about the opening of a new way of being in this world of form. Releasing the physical body leads to death, at best, to suffering and change at worst, he was able to move into a consciousness that embraced the eternal in him, the eternal self, the Truth.    

Since that time, in periods of extreme anxiety, I’ve asked him why he doesn’t seem particularly concerned about what was going on around us. His reply, “Eric, having been to Hell and back 3 or 4 times in my life, which has taught me not to allow myself the luxury of a negative thought. The results would be too devastating.”

In January I went through a very dark time both physically and mentally. With corona virus-like symptoms, I fell sick and confined myself to the apartment for three weeks. Not because I thought I’d contracted the coronavirus as that virus was still in China and I had no idea what it was at that time.  My ‘sick time’ became a period of intense and forced introspection, a self-encounter that brought up all my deepest fears and darkest imaginings, that left me fearing for my sanity. Relief came when I finally realized how important it was to monitor my thoughts, do as little mind-fucking as possible. Meditation helped, but was more a respite as an answer in itself. The all too excessive amount of negativity running around my head made it impossible to even consider doing yoga.

At the apex of my dark night, the words of my husband came to mind, his way of dealing with his own demons’ and the AIDS virus way back then. Namely, to remain awake to the inappropriate thoughts running uncontrolled through the mind. To watch the madness in my mind, but at the same time remember: I am not the misery come of these thoughts, I am not the fear that surfaces when I think of possible consequences, but the observer of that misery, that aspect of self that is capable of witnessing the darkness, not the darkness itself. That realization brought me slowly back to the truth of who and what I am; namely, the silent observer of what goes on in the mind, not the mind itself. I am the vast space of knowingness that arises when the thoughts are still, and also the consciousness that is present during those thoughts, not the madness that I think is happening.

Thoughts were telling me this is a dangerous world, filled with unfathomable misery and torment. When the thoughts were still, as if by magic, the anxiety was also gone. What a revelation. Something I had intellectually embraced years ago, but had not experienced on a deeper level until the darkness and anxiety-filled doubt gave enough contrast to actually experience it. Instead of trying to free myself from the negative thoughts and unimaginable outcomes of projection, I was learning to simply watch them and see them for what they are: nothing but thoughts, thoughts so real they had me believing I was something other than the profound peace that comes when I am silent and experience the peace that passes all understanding. And the best way to silence my thoughts is to simply watch them without becoming them.

How often I have preached this in my yoga class, for what is Hatha yoga other than the ability to achieve pure freedom by awakening to the inner witness, that aspect of self that observes the body without identifying itself with it; watching the sensations asana produces and observing the breath with the detachment of a scientist watching an experiment knowing he is not the experiment, not the observer

Oddly enough, when the physical illness passed, and the mental anguish dissipated, I found myself, missing those feelings of anxiety that constantly urged me to go within and dwell on thoughts God would have me have, and not those born of the fear itself. My bouts of anxiety had worked like policemen, warning me constantly not to go in that direction. Then, as the Light in me became stronger, the police force disbanded and I was left to my own devices, which were still pretty weak.

With the onslaught of The coronavirus, the police force is back in action. As I look out into the work, I am reminded, minute for minute how necessary it is not to drop into fear, but affirm that which I know to be true. If I don’t, if I allow my fear thoughts to win out, salvation is impossible.  

These are scary times, but only if you give in to the temptation to believe you are only a body, born of fear in a world that supports the idea of death, separation, and loss.

Keep telling yourself, over and over again, that you are a thought of God, not a thought of your ego. And do that with the focus of someone in a handstand on the edge of the Grand Canyon.   

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Forgiving your enemy doesn't mean you have to sleep with him.

Countless times since I've started the journey back to absolute Peace, sages have advised: forgiveness is the only way. After duly considering their advice, I drop into total futility. Forgiving my enemies, whether it's the loud neighbors having sex at 3 in the morning, or Hitler and his troupe of villain, seems an impossible task.

God knows I've tired. Really. More than twice. But it always fails. (Case in fact: I have been trying to forgive the man with whom I spent nine years in a relationship. We broke up forty years ago. Just when I think I've halfway succeeded, I see his face in my meditations my stomach grips, and I realize I've failed yet again. The odd thing is: This man never did anything wrong to me! Consciously, anyway. All those misdeeds and malevolences were only in my head!

For a long time, I thought maybe I was going about it in the wrong way. Obviously, relying on my own resources/strengths, was not enough. So, I gave it over to a Higher Power, repeatedly, and the ball always came rolling right back into my court. Nothing was achieved.

What did I do wrong?

Because forgiving-your-enemy has gotten such good press from the New Age circuit, I kept it up, tried my best to let go of grievances, gave the task over to the Holy Spirit, erased it from my mind, ignored it. To no avail. What now? I mean, if I can't even forgive something someone never did to me, (except in my mind), imagine me trying to forgive something that really did happen, like the holocaust, Hannibal Lektor, the guy chewing gum in the back row of my yoga class.

And, so it seems, I'm back to square one.

Well, not quite ground zero, thanks to the encounter with 25% of my 7,896,346,257,153  demons back in the cold dark month of January.

Going through a 'dark fortnight of the soul' has a way of blasting you off the trusted path and onto another, more appropriate one. (Funny how extreme fear forces you to find new ways of dealing with things). Although the new road appeared a bit drab next to the path paved with glitter and gold I normally travel, I started the journey. My first discovery was if I wanted to get rid of my inner turmoil and anxiety, I had to face the above mentioned 25% one by one.

 No. Not face them; embrace them!

Up until the month of sickness, I did everything I could to avoid my demons, (except, of course, the smaller ones like illicit sex, or pigging out on potato chips and popcorn). For example, an evil demon would pop up in my mind: I would either sit down and meditate, space out in front of the TV, or read a beach blanket novel. These failing, I'd pop a Prozac. Although these techniques worked well when the sun was shining and my heart as open, in the throes of anxiety, they were as useless Methamphetamine in Heaven. Worse yet, while the demons had me by the throat, My Higher Self was forcing me to face them, these deep dark shadows that had been begging my attention ever since I turned sixty – ten years hence.

I breathed, mantraed, recited the 108 Names of God, even promised to take up the cloth should my prayers for release be answered.  But the demons had their claws in, clutching at my soul with all their might.

A  well-reputed Facebook guru I was following on Instagram advised me to befriend them. "Don't see your demons as enemies, but as advisers who are working together with your Higher Self to unclog the drain between you and God. The Heavenly Host clapped there hands and flapped their wings, and told me to heed the wise words.

"Say, what?" I responded. Obviously, neither the Internet Guru nor the Heavenly Host was that well acquainted with my particular brand of demons, who were are about as attractive as Jabba the Hut.

"Find something positive about them!" he advised. "After all, you created them, so there must be something worthwhile waiting for your discovery."

Odd as it sounded, a payoff surfaced immediately. In the space of a thought, one of my major demons attained a voice. It said, "Without me, you will never gain enlightenment."


"You need me the way the day needs the night, the moon needs the sun, peace needs war, the donkey needs a kick in the ass."

It didn't take a genius to understand what he meant.  

God's Presence waits for my permission to enter my consciousness. in order to be felt, God, Peace, Love, and Light, must be remembered. Not once a week, not once a day, but every minute of every waking hour for the rest of my earthly life. True awakening was only possible when the desire becomes as desperate as a drowning man yearning for air.

How easy it is to forget one's divinity when the sun is shining and everything is going hunky-dory. Who's thinking about God when they're twenty and hormones are raging, and the men are standing in line to sign your dance card?

I'm learning; it's not so much a matter of giving up the world of form as it is to see the world of form through the eyes of absolute consciousness, or peace, or perfect love. It's not about relinquishing the senses so much as to feel and experience sensations while being anchored in the knowledge that I am That which witnesses all that happens. I am not the physical body, but the consciousness that is aware of the physical body.  

Ever since I hit puberty, one of my greatest desires was to achieve enlightenment while still in the body. When I ask myself now, what is the greatest obstacle to enlightenment? the answer returns: All that stands between you and enlightenment is: you don't believe you are, now and forever more: enlightened. How can I incorporate this great truth into my everyday life? By affirming my true nature, and negating the illusion you are a body, a concept, a thought. Here this: it's not enough to affirm this truth once, but over and over again.

Ever notice how friendly and helpful your neighbors are during a crisis or war?

This is the subject of my next blog post!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Journey without distance

Journey without distance to a place I never left

Confounding, but true: Time heals all wounds. The terrors and darkness of last month are now nothing more than memories, to ponder or not. I am basking in the sunshine of my true self, no longer held captive by the shadows of fear and doubt.   

One of my greatest revelations from last month was the realization that fear thoughts, horrible imaginings that go ‘boo’ in the night, are not my enemies, but friends. Friends who are goading me to wake up from the false ideas: I am my thoughts or, I am that which my thoughts are telling me I am. (Cogito, ergo sum).(The truth is, I am only when I am not thinking. I am the consciousness that brings thoughts into my awareness. I am the silent observer, not the observed.)

That knowledge has been the best piece of news since I found out that gaining enlightenment is but a game of pure consciousness. When I pretend the Truth has to be found, I am pretending to forget I am already enlightened so I can experience the indescribable joy of finding it again.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Leaving separation

Leaving Separation

I had now attained enough peace to toggle between the calm that came from conscious breathing and the stability the mantra, ‘Here and Now,’ brought back into the light. After one week of practice, I was able to summon up Peace and reside in its truth for ten to twenty percent of the day. The moment I let my thoughts wander, the pits of hell flamed up within my consciousness filled my mind with unbearable anxiety, and I fell back into the fiery domain of the ego.  

In moments of sanity, I began to share my internal experiences with my husband of forty years. This was a luxury I was denied in that first week. A severe bought of laryngitis had forced me into silence and forced me to bear my fears alone.

Although I felt no relief in sharing my agonies and insights, I did experience enough respite to reach out into my dwindling circle of friends, hoping they would share if they had gone through something similar and how they had mastered it. My first realization was, the circlet had not dwindled as much as I’d thought it had over the years. The new-found knowledge that I was not alone in my fears, that most of my friends had gone through similar bouts of anxiety, lent me even more strength. To feel alone in your fears, isolated, without any line to the outside, is a barren and heartless place to reside.

Never was I more thankful for my partner’s waning memory. A fit mind with impeccable memory periods would have gone insane after listening to my rants for more than two days. Although I had to remind him daily that I was on the verge of suicide, I was filled with relief that he remained relatively untouched by my vivid descriptions of the inner workings of my mind.

With conscious breathing, the mantra, the opportunity to talk things out, I was able to create enough space to take the next step.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Here and Now

Here and now.

After repeated attempts to anchor myself with my breath, I attained enough calm to realize I could also incorporate this technique into dealing with the bubbling thoughts in my mind: watch them, follow them, and let them flow; and all this without getting attached.

At first, the sticky tentacles of fear attached themselves to my attention, attempting to pull me down into their dark domain. I riveted my focus on my breath. With patience, I eventually noticed that the smaller fear-thoughts were losing their hold. But the darker, anxiety-ridden thoughts still had the power to keep me from gaining a foothold on peace, causing me to fall again, like Icarus, from the light. My saving grace was to keep pulling myself back into the present moment. Even a second was enough to elevate my despairing soul enough to glimpse, once more the light within. Soon, I was able to glimpse a space of silence between those perilous thoughts and, with great forbearance, the silent spaces became more profound. In the presence of silent peace, the chit chat of the mind grew fainter, and within minutes, I felt again the sporadic echos of serenity.

Though I regained fleeting moments of sanity those first days, I soon realized I would need something more concrete to keep my attention focused on the space of silence and knowing. The breath, as powerful a tool as it was, was too porous, allowing too many of the treasonous thoughts to seep through its walls, causing my inner observer to pixelate and fade.

I needed a mantra. Words were more tangible than feelings at this point, better suited to block out the ravage of negative thoughts for more extended periods.

With that realization, the simple phrase, ‘Here and Now’ surfaced. (The wisdom of the saints in two simple words.)

Inhaling slowly, I chanted the word ‘here.’ Exhaling, equally as controlled and focused, I whispered the word ‘now.’ With each repetition, I forced myself to feel was happening in the present moment: the feeling in my feet, the sensation in my hands, the tightness between my shoulders, the temperature outside and inside my body, the breath, the thoughts, etc.

‘Here and now.’ How often I’d heard or read about the magic of the present moment; how often I summoned it up on the sunny days of my journey back to my true self. Yet, how easily I forgot the principle when my ego was screaming its truths in my ear, ‘You’re an aged, old man, nothing but a relique of your young self. No one can see your inner beauty, they only see your increasing frailty. Friends and family are gone from your life. Your body is destined to suffer loneliness, frailty, rejection, abandonment. And then, you die!’

The words were so loud that first week, so constant and real, they left no room to notice the real truth about my Self: my eternal, expanding consciousness, a Thought in the Mind of Almighty Being. My ego had gained too much strength, bombarding my mind with arguments to the contrary.  (The physical illness I’d also contracted at this time, the bacterial infection in my throat, sapped what little will I had to affirm what I knew was true.)

But I persevered. One breath at a time; ‘Here,’ ‘Now.’

The mantra returned my mind to spaces of bliss-filled silence that increased with dedicated practice. ‘Here and now’ was my lifeguard, leading me ever nearest to moments of sanity where I could build upon that which I knew to be the Truth: that I was the observer, not the observed.   Though the Truth still remained elusive, as fleeting as a snow-flake on the gust of chilled winter-wind, I persevered. I was walking a razor’s edge with the Eternal Truth on one side, and the dismal truth of the ego on the other.
 I prayed for the day when my humor would return and I would be able to look back and laugh at everything I had been imagining. But that still as far away as a full head of hair. ;-)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Finding the breath.

Looking back into the darkness, I remember my first objective was to still the mind. Alas, even on the sunniest of days, this is a formidable task. When the sky clouds over and the light becomes dim, seemingly impossible.

How then to still the agitated mind?

In yoga, I often tell my students that the breath mirrors the mind’s state. And, vice versa: when the mind begins to still, the breath becomes ever gentler.  If the advice was good enough for a room full of students, why not for me?

With what little control I could muster, I began to regulate my agitated breathing pattern: long breath out, slow breath in. I felt an immediate change; until the ego/mind discovered what I was up to, after which, the dark fantasies became even more abhorrent. But I persevered. One step at a time. Breathe. watch the breath.

With effort, I soon achieved enough peace to notice there were two forces at work here: Peace and fear. Such an easy concept to decern in phases of sanity, but when fear’s raging, almost impossible to get a grip on the concept of two minds working at the same time.

That was my first clue that my fears were caused by thoughts in my mind, in the dark thoughts that were keeping me from seeing the truth of the situation. Immediate relief; if I could discern the workings of the brain, it proved I wasn’t my fear. I was that which was observing the mind.  The relief was fragile for, I realized long ago, the ego is a formidable challenger able to know and bring up my worst possible case scenarios, land me in a reality of dismal thoughts with devastating outcomes, make it so real I continuously revert to the belief I am my ego, my fears, my mind.

My next objective: to get my sane Self, the silent observer, back in control.

But how?

By focusing my entire attention on the breathing. In the midst of fear and darkness, keeping my focus on the breath.

One day ended and I was still alive. I thought about throwing in my cards and ending it a couple of times, but also realized I had now found a way out. Ridiculously simple and difficult to keep in action, but once there’s a way, there’s hope.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Journey into Darkness

Well, it’s been a long haul, a head and body trip that took me to Hell and back. Hard to believe it only took two weeks and some odd days. I say some odd days because I know I still have a horde of butterflies flapping their wings in my belly.

All too late, I discovered landslide had its roots in an ill composed intention. At the end of December, I was so proud of my body for holding out the stress and strain of the stage performances and regular yoga classes, I promised it a three-week rest as a reward, a time of doing nothing, a time to allow it to recuperate.

Wrong wording, I realized later. The Universe took me literally.

 I thought I would give my self some time to read and write, perhaps take an outing with my husband to Dresden or Rothenburg, a few walks in the English Garden, a leisurely bought of window shopping here in our neighborhood.

Obviously not what my body understood who, it seems, wanted full and total rest: no long meditation sessions, regenerative yoga on the living room rug, no strolls or sightseeing tours. A bacterial infection took hold in my throat. Within days, I was so sick, I couldn’t even make it to the corner for groceries. (Thank God, Gusch waited two weeks before he contracted the same illness.)

The only thing I was capable of doing, and that in grand style, was to fall victim to my thoughts. Not those idle thoughts that wonder what I’ll cook for dinner, watch on TV, what I think about the book I’m reading. This turned out to be hand to hand combat with my worst fears ever: the darkest, most hopeless of notions of desolation and abandonment.  Another ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ encounter of the third kind. Hideous shit that makes me think anything, even death, would be preferable.

Thank God I had my husband who listened patiently to my ravings, offered advice and understanding, vowed his eternal love. (Thank God he has trouble remembering things, even two minutes after they happen, or we both would have ended as blithering idiots in 2 days.)

My dark night ravaged my mind for two weeks. (For those who believe that time speeds up when you get older: that may be true when the sun is shining, and everything is coming up roses, when you have a new project that needs your undivided attention, when you’re deeply engrossed in a new book; THOSE were NOT happening. Believe me. I was so under the weather, I couldn’t imagine I would ever recover enough to start teaching again.  It was the longest period of my life. Think: puberty multiplied by 3,000!)

 Now that I am finally able to get my nose out of water again,  I would like to share a few of the things I went through, hoping you might gain from my experience, and your road will not be so bumpy.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The present-day plight of the yoga student.

The present-day plight of the yoga student.

Yoga: a five-thousand-year-old science that delivers what it promises.

Not happening for you?

The problem might not be yoga, but how you're accessing it.

Figure it:

For some 5,000 years, if someone wanted to learn yoga, their chances weren't that rosy. When yoga came, it was usually through a divine revelation from one of the Hindu Gods. Shiva was the top bet. Students who were denied a visitation had to adhere to the adage: when the student was ready, the teacher appeared. If the teacher appeared, they were paid, not with money, but by the student’s diligence.
Four thousand one hundred years ago:

The learning process was still pretty much word-of-mouth. Patanjali took the plan into his own hands and developed a system. After all, who was there to argue they were wrong. As far as the students were concerned, it was still pretty much word of mouth.

This worked well for almost 4,000 years and yoga remained pretty much the privilege of Indian born souls.
A hundred years ago

When foreign travel became more accessible, a few teachers sailed from India to the West with the knowledge they had collected from their gurus. Most of these yogis were overweight which made asana work a bit difficult. Thus, the bulk of their teachings were more philosophical than physical. Most Western adherents were elderly ladies and a few millionaires who wanted assurance there was something more awaiting them at the end of their earthly existence than the grave.

Eighty years ago

A few seekers who had nothing much to do with their lives turned their backs on materialistic Western Philosophy and traveled to India to sit in front of a cave of a yoga teacher for three weeks in the rain and cold. The chances weren’t always favorable. Most of them got colds. A few gained a smidgen of the knowledge they were searching for and returned to the West with a holier than thou attitude that kept yoga in the basements of churches and community centers.

Fifty years ago:

A handful of hippies traveled to India and back again, bringing with them a new way of getting high which was legal and free. A few of them wrote books with photographs of unattractive women on their heads or handsome Indian men in g-strings with their feet folded behind their heads. Gay men became more interested in the practice and added these particular manuals to their collection of soft-core pornography.


With the advent of videos, hatha yoga took root in Western society offering a lazy alternative to Jane Fonda’s fitness programs. A few Hollywood stars jumped on the bandwagon and, with the help of their gurus, made videos (and a lot of money) for and from the growing number of devotees.

The 90s

The shit hit the fan with the advent of a computer in every home. Failed dancers and aged hippies found lucrative careers by adapting standard practice to a style of yoga more in co-ordnance with a society now convinced there was a way to stave off old age and firm up their sagging asses.

As the gurus of our time gained fame and fortune by creating new names and styles for this four-letter word (that had survived on its own for over five millennials). Yoga became ever more accessible to the masses and people said it was good so. (If the forefathers of ancient science saw any resemblance to the yoga of 5,000 years ago was questionable.)

And, then came the advent of the Yoga Teacher’s Training. What used to take lifetimes to achieve was now obtainable in only a few months offering a bonafide license that allowed you to teach the sacred science of yoga. Hard to believe yoga had existed for almost 5,000 years without this kind of a license, but people were making so much money, no one bothered to ask if such a thing were ethical.

Five years later, the market was inundated with yoga teachers, all intent on finding a new name and slightly different technique to make their yoga that much more lucrative than the other.

When the tide turned, someone came up with the idea to give yoga retreats as a way of making money: two-week periods of time in far off romantic places where you could drink, have indiscriminate sex, and wash away any guilt feelings with a daily dose of yoga and meditation.
When that market was sated, the yoga retreats were transformed into yoga camps where one could vacation and fool around,  and, at the same time, obtain a teacher’s training certificate… or three.

Didn’t anyone notice what was happening to the original concept of yoga? If they did, they didn’t bother to make it public as they were too intent as they were trying to kick a dead horse before the carcass started to stink.

Quite suddenly, watered-down yoga teachers with an active left brain began instructing this ancient revered art on YouTube. For this, all you need to know is how to run a camera and upload the results. The only other prerequisites were a fabulous body, plenty of tattoos, the genetic ability to perform impossible to achieve yoga poses, and the willingness to show off as much flesh as legally possible.

The good news is: When the teacher is ready, the student appears. The bad news is: with a million and one teachers to chose from, an attention span of 20 seconds, the patience of a horny rabbit, and the depth of puddle of tears, when the going gets tough, the tough pick up their skirts run in the other direction.

But that's another story.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Yoga - Not always the best remedy

Intention and Hatha Yoga – 
Become all you ever (consciously or unconsciously) dreamed about.

Fifty years of practicing Hatha Yoga had led me to an astounding conclusion: Yoga doesn‘t necessarily make you a better person. Further, I ‘ve observed that yoga does little to enhance spirituality in any way… unless that is your intention!

Having said that, Hatha Yoga has been one of the greatest tools to help me along the spiritual path and aid me in my eternal quest for my true and highest self. I come to my daily practice gratefully because it roots me in the present moment, helps me confirm I am so much more than just a physical being, grants me moments of utter ecstasy, eases aches and pains, deepens my breathing. Added to that, my personal practice helps me remain independent of the myriad of charlatans trying to convince the world their way is the only way to salvation. And, above all, it keeps my bowels moving regularly and freely.

But this was my intention. My intention wasn’t to have a drop-dead gorgeous body show off my tattoos, become the best yoga teacher on the block, or regain a full head of hair. Those would have been benefits for others. I do yoga for myself.

Without intention, Hatha Yoga is just another physical fitness craze that does little else than make you limber and strengthen your body.

Yoga intensifies and strengthens that which is already present. This means, if you’re a nice person and concerned about what’s going on around you before you start yoga, you become even nicer and more aware after your time on the mat. Or, if you’re pretty aware and spiritual to start with, chances are Hatha Yoga will enhance your consciousness no end.

On the other hand, if you’re a material asshole before beginning your practice, Hatha Yoga just might be the tool you’re looking for to aid you in your climb up the ladder of materialistic success.  

It’s all about intention.

Nice people become nicer.

Holy people become saintlier.

Morons just get louder and less likable than they were before.