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  • sitting bull 17:27 on 2018-07-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ancient wisdom, ignorance, limited worldview, materialism, , worldview   

    Keys to understanding the universe #0:penness 

    Index

    Chapter 0:penness
    Chapter 1: reflection, contemplation, meditation
    Chapter 2: left, up, down, right
    Chapter 3: hidden breathing techniques
    Chapter 4: the right posture

    0pennes to different world views

    This introductory chapter is numbered 0 and openness is written with a zero for an O, because if one has zero preconceptions (like a child, as Jesus said), the more open one is for  different concepts and the more tools someone has to understand the mysteries of the universe.

    We all have partial tunnel-visions which usually result in anger when being confronted with non-fitting views, but seen from a mere strategical angle it would be beneficial to utilise as many different concepts as possible in order to understand those aspects which are not covered or seen in one view.

    Examples of tunnel-visions are

    • Nationalism, because if you look at a changing world-map it is clear that borders changed all the time.
      Clinging onto a status quo from last time ones realm was biggest is holding onto a stage which by now is obsolete and very likely not to return again. This creates a stagnated freeze which in turn does not allow for a free-flow of changes in time.

    • Racism falls in the same category and only creates a fear or aversion against the unknown which then inhibits ones in-sight into different ways to handle life.

    • Materialism initially seems to be the clearest way to look at things as they are,
      but the inherent dismissal of spiritual concepts (which the following series is all about) deprives one from accessing principles, which can give one a simple way to work out many issues without having to resort to contemporary researches (which often try to reinvent the wheel),
      plus one has to remember much less facts, because one can work things out by oneself. One of such principles is the yin and yang symbol for example with which one can understand the seasons,

    the menstrual cycle,
    and much more.

    • Whilst a dismissal of superstitious concepts is important not to fall for any kind of fear-mongering, a rigid aversion could deprive one from accessing lateral thinking by seeing things from a total new (lateral) angle.
      A good example is the often laughed upon astrology due to the many simplistic short-time predictions which can be found in superficial magazines.
      But when understanding that astrology is not all about that one sun-starsign, but about a general display of the quality in time (in opposition to our chronological measurement of quantity), one has a less fatalistic access by being able to put ones actions into a larger context.
      So if for example someone has an interaction between (the highly energetic) Mars and (strongly blocking) Saturn energy, one can not exactly predict the future, but see that at a certain time one could have a car-accident if not careful, but also turn it around to ones advantage by doing martial arts where one has to (saturnically) block ones (marsian) punches voluntarily, so one could even win a tournament around that time.
    • Upholding ones own religion as the only one in my view is a result of a mere childhood-conditioning (which if born into another family would turn out totally different) and thereafter reinforcement of ones own believes because believe-systems are nourished and reinforced by fellow believers.
      Often this is due to the humanised concept of the divine, because our inability to grasp the aspect of the higher self.
      This lead to exclusion of other personified gods, but when viewing religions as a “welcome mat to ourselves” as Adyashanti said, then agnostics (who leave religious concepts aside) very often are as geared towards their higher self when following their ethics. Vice versa – due to their lack of being able to relax into a parental care of a god, they often are much more about their own authenticity as orthodox believers are.
      Another aspect of misunderstanding is the fact that gearing towards the divine (or higher self) is propagated by total focus on that one god which then was often misunderstood by that god being the only real one, whilst the original agendas usually were to get people focussed on the path of their higher selves. This is what the many hypocritical atrocities of religious wars created.

    Even within those groups of people there are endless shadows, such as my mother for example who is a strong Christian but does not believe in heaven, so she deprives herself of exactly that blissful aspect which (if not being taken to literal as a bunch of boring harpers sitting in the clouds) could give her (who does approach death) great comfort if she would incorporate the possibility of a life which out-spans our material one (as the reincarnation theory for example states).

    As you can see there are endless tunnel-visions which block our 360° view so in the next articles I would like to shed light on some common features of very different, mostly ancient (and therewith tested) teachings which in todays world, where intellectual pragmatism is prioritised, are often overlooked.

    Finally I would like to add that openness also includes an openness to new angles of issues we long deem solved.

    In order to keep the flow of information open, it is probably strategically beneficial never to close any issues, but leave room for new aspects – even if they seem to come from people who in other fields create the impression of still searching. (The worst case scenario would be someone whom you want to disassociate with – they also teach us at least how not to be.)
    After all, it could be that what they have to offer is that missing link which completes our own worldview.
    So I never try to use phrases like “the ONLY way” or “THE truth”, because any point can be viewed from endless sides of a circle surrounding it.

    And one addendum:
    Openness also includes openness to sources you might find totally unacceptable,
    An example is the Nazi-Tibet-connection which shows that the evil Nazis even had spiritual inclinations,
    and the nice Tibetans also had their fair share of karmic debt in the past, when looking at roots in it’s pre-Buddhist pagan Bon religion and its Feudalistic power-structure as documented in this Nazi-Documentary below: Things are never totally black and white.

    This documentary teaches us that spirituality is one thing, and ethics another.

    The black magician Aleister Crowley also did take a very similar route to Tibet as the Nazis, both were ethically dubious, but highly interested and talented in spiritual secrets (for their own power). This explains their quick rise and quick downfall.

    Spiritual beginners usually mix up both, but you can see on people who sacrificed themselves for good causes without being spiritually wise that they did sometimes end up furthering bad causes in the end,
    and on the other hand we clearly see that pure spirituality without ethics is like a straw fire of fast and spectacular results, but quite short-lived, because it did run on adrenaline and fear only – two quick powers which can not be maintained for long in nature.

    Start here with the first part about reflection, contemplation and meditation ->

    All image links btw are not necessary to aid the content of the articles,
    but to attribute where the images were found.

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    • David Cook 1:15 on 2018-07-07 Permalink | Reply

      The History of the World was amazing! Thank you

      Like

      • sitting bull 1:17 on 2018-07-07 Permalink | Reply

        yeah, David I think so too – this literally did open my mind to how irrelevant todays status quo is.

        Like

  • sitting bull 0:20 on 2018-06-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: central channel, , emerald tablets, hinduism, Ida, , Naadis, Pinglaa, shaivinism, , Susumnaa   

    Keys to understanding the universe #2 : left, up, down, right 

    In the first chapter meditation was explained as bringing one to the middle (medi),
    the center point of a cross, to see all perspectives
    So what are the horizontal and vertical directions?

    2a.) The principle of up and down movements

    In the Emerald Tablets, Hermes Trismegistus,
    (a combination of the Greek god Hermes and the ancient Egyptian god Thoth), said:

    That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing
    And as all things have been & arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
    The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.
    The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
    Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
    Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
    It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it descends to the earth & receives the force of things superior & inferior.
    By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
    & thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
    Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing.

    Those are wisdoms which often are used in alchemy  or occultism (which is nothing dark as such, but simply means “hidden”). Alechemy is more about inner transformations than outer ones, so this cryptic text also describes the workings of “qi” (the body life-force in Chinese Medicine) or “prana” (the breath-life force in Indian ayurveda).

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there are vertical relations of upper, middle and lower body, called the 3 Dantians – upper, middle and lower body. This is sometimes reflected in Chinese pictures where below is a swamp, in the middle an ox working its way up and in the top a pearl (of enlightenment).

    The energy is internally purified by “separating the subtle from the gross“. This is exactly what the intestines do – to separate the useful food from the useless stools.

    The ability to separate valuable thoughts from non-applicable information without even being able to explain it intellectually is called intuition (meaning the ability to give tuition to oneself). This ability is called Viveka in Indian terms – the ability to discriminate – a term which in the West unfortunately has mostly a negative connotation.
    And because this ability resides in the intestines, it is called the “gut-feeling”.

    The reasons why women are born with a better access to their intuition is because the heart, where thoughts reside is a bag full of blood, and the only part below the diaphragm (the surface of the water above which the intellect and below which the intuition can be found) is the uterus.
    Hence in old days when hysterectomy was performed, side effects could have been for a woman to become hysterically.
    In later years the access depends on how much the intuition was shined upon or dismissed by rational dismissal. Hence the gender gap becomes more irrelevant later.

    This is why in Sodarshan Chakra Kriya one has to hold the breath (and therewith thoughts) and then pump the belly whilst gearing to the higher self by silently chanting the mantra “god” (Wahe Guru). Since thinking seems to manifest to me similar to hearing, I “hear” a thought mantra. Once in 24 years only I was blissed to hear that mantra not within my brain but from the belly.

    2b.) The left-right-center relationship

    Whenever you see a lateral relationship, there is usually a concern about the right interaction with the world (in opposite to the vertical concern about the higher self).
    This usually resorts in strong ethics, as it is promoted in one of the oldest religions, called  Zoroastrianism, as can be seen by the wings on their main symbol, the Farahavar:

    Those wings are probably better known from ancient egypt, and knowledge from it is in occult work, Rosicrucianism or Magic mixed together with the ancient Kabbalah, as one can see in the picture below.

    In the Jewish Kabbalah there are vertically 3 pillars: Left judgement, right mercy, and in the middle the neutral clarity, which is the highest spiritual goal in order to see the world for what it truly is.

    Surprisingly, severity is the female side and mercy the male aspect. This can be better understood if one conteplates upon the yin and yang qualities, because yin is descending and “knocking down” and yang ascending and merciful uplifting.
    So those principles should preferably be detatched from genders.

    At this site, Chhinnamasta, the goddess which conveys spiritual self-realization and the awakening of the kundalini – spiritual energy  is described through the Nadis (Indian medicinal channels):

    The three streams of blood can be understood by the Nadi system in our body. These three streams are Naadis: lateral ones are the Ida and Pinglaa (left and right) Naadis; the central one is the Susumnaa Naadi. Head is the cortex and brain, the seat of desires. Susumnaa Naadi rises through the brain which receives nourishment form central stream of blood. Spirit (Kundalini goddess) rises to the top of the head through the roof of the mouth; severed head represents severed mind- Amanska, a state of paucity of mental functions conducive to higher states of consciousness, whose destination is Parasiva (absolute reality). The Naadis break through the grantha(knot) in the Chakras and lift off the head, the seat of human consciousness. Chhinmastaa represents Susumnaa Nadi, Varnini, the Pingalaa Naadi, and Daakini, the Ida Naadi.

    Similarly in Chinese Medicine there are left-right-relationships which are seen in the pulse diagnosis where the left side reflects the blood whilst the right side the (ener)qi.
    (Interestingly the blood side is the cooling side, because the Qi is warming).

    In an alchemistical text ascribed to Marsilio Ficino three suns are described: black, white, and red, corresponding to the three most used alchemical color stages.

    Also in the Bhagavad Gita chapter 14 tose three aspects are seen as Gunas:
    The dull (black) aspect is called Tamas , the heated (red) one Rajas and he pure one Sattva are summed up as follows:

    Purity, Passion and Ignorance are the Qualities which the Law of nature bringeth forth.
    […]
    Purity, being luminous, strong and invulnerable, binds one by its yearning for happiness and illumination.
    Passion, engendered by thirst for pleasure and attachment, binds the soul through its fondness for activity.
    But Ignorance, the product of darkness, stupefies the senses in all embodied beings, binding them by chains of folly, indolence and lethargy.

    Purity brings happiness, Passion commotion, and Ignorance, which obscures wisdom, leads to a life of failure.
    […]
    Purity prevails when Passion and Ignorance are overcome;
    Passion, when Purity and Ignorance are overcome;
    and Ignorance when it overcomes Purity and Passion.

    When the light of knowledge gleams forth from all the gates of the body, then be sure that Purity prevails.
    […]
    the impulse to act and the beginning of action itself are all due to the dominance of Passion.
    Darkness, stagnation, folly and infatuation are the result of the dominance of Ignorance
    […]
    When Purity prevails, the soul on quitting the body passes on to the pure regions where live those who know the Highest.
    When Passion prevails, the soul is reborn among those who love activity;
    when Ignorance rules, it enters the wombs of the ignorant.

    They say the fruit of a meritorious action is spotless and full of purity;
    the outcome of Passion is misery,
    and of Ignorance darkness.

    Purity engenders Wisdom,
    Passion avarice,
    and Ignorance folly, infatuation and darkness.

    When Purity is in the ascendant, the man evolves;
    when Passion, he neither evolves nor degenerates;
    when Ignorance, he is lost.
    […]
    By what signs can he who has transcended the Qualities be recognized?
    […]
    He who shuns not the Quality which is present, and longs not for that which is absent; He who maintains an attitude of indifference, who is not disturbed by the Qualities, who realises that it is only they who act, and remains calm; Who accepts pain and pleasure as it comes, is centred in his Self, to whom a piece of clay or stone or gold are the same, who neither likes nor dislikes, who is steadfast, indifferent alike to praise or censure; Who looks equally upon honour and dishonour, loves friends and foes alike, abandons all initiative, such is he who transcends the Qualities. And he who serves Me and only Me, with unfaltering devotion, shall overcome the Qualities, and become One with the Eternal. For I am the Home of the Spirit, the continual Source of immortality, of eternal Righteousness and of infinite Joy.”

    Those 3 aspects and colors black, white, red are found in the last century German- (and later also Nazi-) flag, the brothers Grimm fairy tale of Snow White when a queen sits sewing at an open window during a winter snowfall when she pricks her finger with her needle, causing three drops of red blood to drip onto the freshly fallen white snow on the black windowsill. Then, she says to herself, “How I wish that I had a daughter that had skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony.”

    The dualistic enslaved satan-principle for example is depicted in red and black colours whilst the angelic wise god-principle is portrayed in white. (“weiss”= white in German, “weis” relates to wise or knowing) Hence we probably have old tales about “fair” women which later was misunderstood for white skinned people being superior.

    So the satanic principle, which by superstitious people taken as a literal person, is rather a depiction of the tragic turmoil between the choleric-fiery red and dumb-lazy black side, just as the consumption of fiery drugs, such as cocaine or hard alcohol do, which initially give you a feeling of strength through assertiveness, but later have to be payed for with bad and sometimes long lasting physical or emotional hangovers.
    The center path of neutral and divine wisdom is depicted as white – the color of the divine or saints for example. 

    And here is a brilliant article about the same aspect in Kashmir Shaivism: the 3 godesses: Para, Apara and Parapara.

    There are two ways to reach that neutral wisdom:
    Either by total dedication towards the divine,
    or by ways to energetically rebalance oneself,
    which I will write about in the next articles.

    < previous chapter #1 about reflection, contemplation and meditation

     
    • David Cook 1:48 on 2018-06-28 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting info from Chhinnamasta about the 3 nadis and makes total sense when we read “the breath is held in the central channel…”

      Like

      • sitting bull 8:22 on 2018-06-28 Permalink | Reply

        For anyone reading the comments:

        David is the one who inspired me to write this entire series on spiritual principles and who contributed much (upcoming) information to it.

        I can only recommend you to connect to him by either answering to his comments or sending a mail through the contact form which I will forward to him straight away.

        Like

    • Jen Kennedy 0:09 on 2018-07-01 Permalink | Reply

      This post is so genius, I remember reading it yesterday thinking I really don’t know how to respond and where to even start!

      Liked by 1 person

      • sitting bull 0:30 on 2018-07-01 Permalink | Reply

        Aw thanks, Jen – I am really grateful, because I was concerned about overwhelming people with too many belief-systems, which is why I literally am writing a new article which I want to post before this one in this series – hence I renamed it to #3 instead of 2.

        Actually, this is compressed knowledge I accumulated in my spiritual search for half my life, and I nearly would have not put into a blog post, because I did consider writing a book on it.
        But my conclusion was to walk the walk and not hold back for reputation or financial gain but to share as much as possible without delay,
        so that together we can beat the veil of ignorance which makes us and others suffer, and elevate together and each other.
        After all, as native American Indians said. “we are all eyes of the same head”.

        And btw: I like the authenticity of your blog – I am sure you speak the mind of a lot of sensitive people who don’t have your capability to express themselves as well as you do.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jen Kennedy 1:47 on 2018-07-01 Permalink | Reply

          Definitely start up on that book! This is great info for sure! But posting in advance to get the info out sooner is great too! It’s definitely needed.

          I can see why this would be overwhelming because there’s a lot of information to process especially for those who are not quite consciously evolved.
          And thanks, I think authenticity is very essential in writing. I try to speak for others in the best way possible. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • J V Avadhanulu 20:27 on 2018-07-02 Permalink | Reply

      Your blog is mind-blowing for me and I am grateful for the education, enlightenment and inspiration.
      The posts are so well researched, erudite and the interpretations and expression is original, engaging and riveting. I realize that you are a scholar in your own right and I am lucky that you reconnected with me.
      I think the blog you are doing is the perfect choice! Eventually, you may consolidate it into a book.

      This article is interesting and very educational for me. I congratulate you on this very original thoughts, interpretations and the way it is all put together. I wonder if you would like to interpret Swastika which appears to be one of the most ancient symbols and in many cultures, religions and regions. You may see some information at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika#cite_note-Sullivan2001p216-1
      and https://www.speakingtree.in/allslides/unknown-history-of-swastika/228532
      I would especially like to know your interpretative of the swastika symbol and especially the right angled turn.

      Like

      • sitting bull 20:40 on 2018-07-02 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you – I am truly flattered that such as an experienced practitioner like yourself gave me the best compliment ever!

        And it is humbling that and on top of that you even ask me for my opinion on a subject about about your heritage.

        I have to admit that I never did thorough research on the swastika, even though I should, considering my own heritage. But you will inspire me to look into it after I finished this article series (which might take a while). If we are lucky this even fits into it.

        And for anyone reading this:
        I have highest regards for the humbleness and experience of JV Avadhanulu who has a long experience in prana-yoga – up to the point that he looked like 40 when he was 60.
        In case anyone wants to get advice from him ,
        you can contact him at the contact form of this site.

        Like

  • sitting bull 20:18 on 2018-06-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: buddhism, centre, , , cross, heart-brain-connection, , reflection, rosicrucianism,   

    Keys to understanding the universe #1 : reflection, contemplation, meditation 

    <- To ease you into this series you may read the introduction about openness.

    Whilst life is a mystery to us, it is merely the result of complex interleaving of multiple factors – most of them rooted in very deep subconscious decisions we my have made long time ago – so deep in fact that in the end we resort to a worldview of “fate” or hope for divine “mercy” of an external authoritative presence.

    You can observe such mysterious changes in personality when you
    1.) first consciously change your behaviour as a consequence,
    (which can happen hundreds of times back and forth until it manifests in step 2)
    2.) and when the decision is final, someone just does something subconsciously without even talking about it anymore.
    It can be a relieve of a large burden,
    but when accompanied by bitterness can drive one into psychological or physical pathologies.
    This is the time when the character is formed.

    Changes in character are difficult to accomplish consciously, yet there are ways to entangle the situation we manoeuvred ourselves into,
    and the striking similarities between the different teachings from east and west suggest that there are root-principles, which when followed can guide someone out of this mystery of our ignorance.

    If you look at an iceberg to see the relationship between the visible consciousness above the water …

    … and the much larger invisible subconscious part under water.
    So it is clear that the root-work has to be done in the realm of the subconsciousness.

    As “all roads lead to Rome” there is not only one path to “one truth”, but there are as many truths as we are humans on this planet, so before commenting on yours being the best, please read the entire series first, so that you can comment on the article which describes a way closest to yours.

    1.) The principle of reflection, contemplation and meditation

    Action is the yang principle of the sun: to simply shine and literally radiate.
    Reflection is the yin principle of the moon: to reflect what happened. This is the realm of therapy and a good therapist enables the patient or client to reflect upon themselves to guide the intellectual thoughts deeper into the realm of contemplation.

    A hermit was once asked why he would live in solitude,
    but instead of answering he took the traveller to a well, through in a stone, and asked him what he would see.
    The wanderer replied “I see ripples upon the water“,
    and when the waves calmed down he asked him again, so the visitor replied:
    “I see a reflection of myself“.
    So the hermit told him: “As soon as the waves of the mind calm down, you see yourself.” ( One of the most important Greek aphorisms is: “know thyself“)

    Whilst reflection is a passive way, contemplation is a chosen activity to decide willfully to stay with a specific theme of choice with patience  for a long time. Both ways serve as a mediator between the consciousness and the subconsciousness and both ways are interwoven because one can not force thoughts but has to attract them in order to reflect upon them.

    One hinderance in a good reflection an entire picture is the hinderance in sight, because if you are in a tunnel, all you get is a literal “tunnel-vision”, so the way to see as many perspectives as possible in traffic is to stand in the middle of a crossroad.

    “Medi” means “in the middle” in latin. Hence the word “medicine” refers to being healthy when being in ones centre, and “meditation” is the art of centring oneself in order to be able to see as many perspectives as possible and therewith see the world “as it is” and not as we construct it to be out of our ignorance.

    This also explains the symbol of the cross, which by no means is only used in Christianity, but also by Rosicrucians for example. Whilst the physical centre is in the belly, in other directions, it is considered the heart, which even in ancient Egypt was called “the second brain”.

    Gregg Braden  does emphasize a lot on the heart-brain connection, and the loss of it is the root of most external and internal suffering in this world.
    Compassion (as was propagated by most religions before they became fossilized) is a good method to reclaim it,
    and Buddhists like Thích Nhất Hạnh or the Dalai Lama put a great emphasis on it.

    For rational inclined people meditation is the most difficult concept to grasp, and will seem for quite a while as a waste of time, so to beginners it is usually sold as being relaxing or empowering one to become more efficient. Whilst both is true, it does much more, just as serveing as a “time-box” for example, in which one puts all their internal turmoils in order to be able not to be disturbed by them in daily life.

    The easiest way to start to meditate is to sit down for a minute and observe the breath, because one can breath consciously as well as subconsciously, so it serves as an intermediator between both worlds.
    Meanwhile one can also let the thoughts run out by simply not putting more oil in the flames, so when in meditation thoughts of the next shopping come up, simply don’t follow it up by compiling a grocery-list, but postpone that thought for later and move back to the focus on this moment.

    As for the length: If you increase your meditation time (in a spreadsheet for example) by only 1 second more daily, it mounts up to 7-8 minutes in the first month, 5-6 minutes per week in the second month, and as the time increases you will automatically grow into a more regular mediation practice in order not to have to catch up too much until you can do a minute more daily every two months.
    To avoid those complicated calculations, you can strive to meditate for as long as you like on the first month, in the second month try to do it weekly, and from the third month on to do go for 2 minutes daily, increasing the time by 1 minute every two months, or by 6 minutes every year.

    The easiest time to meditate is before dawn, the second best after dusk and the most difficult one is amongst non-meditators. And to meditate a little daily is more valuable then to do lots only once in a while, because your character is tuned up by it consistently.

    Meditation, contemplation and reflection were and are done intuitively in natural cultures and are pushed into marginalisation by our first world agenda to constantly prioritise efficiency in order to maximise profits (which then usually end up to serve merely as a compensations for our lost holistic happiness of being connected with everything).

    < Introductory chapter #0     …  Chapter# 2 >

     
    • jvavadhanulu 16:22 on 2018-06-27 Permalink | Reply

      A succinct and simple introduction to meditation. Thank you.
      “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”

      Like

    • sitting bull 16:43 on 2018-06-27 Permalink | Reply

      Uhh – wise words from a wise man! thank you ❤

      Like

    • J V Avadhanulu 20:04 on 2018-07-03 Permalink | Reply

      I read this earlier , but in isolation. Now, when I read after the earlier postings, I like it even more. It is very interesting and it its simplicity reflects not only the ultimate sophistication (Leonardo Da Vinci) but also the brilliance. Lucky to read this. Thank you

      Like

      • sitting bull 23:00 on 2018-07-03 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks JV, I come from being extremely extrovert, but since the Kriya does balance me out it gave me the sensitivity to feel what got people impatient, so I had to practice for a decade to constrain my words by reducing them to the essence of what I wanted to say.
        This is a good example how yoga does bring one into balance – an introvert probably would have learned to speak up more and in the end probably could have written a similar article.

        Like

  • sitting bull 14:32 on 2018-06-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dignity, , meaning, ,   

    The chances in dis-abilities 

    A terrible decade of constant aggravated misfortunes did one day result in a literal breakdown in the midst of my apartment, so I did break my back and a few years later I had a stroke and two cerebral haemorrhages which totally debilitated me up to the point that I could speak only slurred and had to crawl on the floor.

    Usually I wouldn’t write such a personal note on this meditation blog, but since Amy just followed me, who runs the blog myCerebellarStrokeRecovery, I would like to share with her and all of you an aspect of sickness, which at these times, when measuring each other on the scale of ones contribution to the national gross-income, is overlooked:

    As the word suggests, a disease means an absence of ease which suggests that health is an effortless zone – something we totally forgot when associating work with unpleasant tasks or being bossed around. The still Tai-Qi version, Qi-Gong, for example means “work on (ener)Qi”, so work does not always have to be hard.

    We are so tightly screwed into the network of civilisation we can not escape from (because we need the money, our friends expect us to behave one way, our relatives another way, and if we defend our space we would aggravate the zeitgeist-pressure by pushing others into a similar corner we are in). So hardly anyone dares to reclaim ones own personal space radically anymore asCharles Xavier did in the movie “Wanted” :

    So we pile sickening issues on top of more sickening issues until they issue sickness,
    which is a cry of the soul not to continue on the old path.

    Books on this have been written for example by Louise Hay in “you can heal your life”, by Rüdiger Dahlke and others.

    So what’s the takeaway when you are disabled up to the point of being unable to work anymore? The first one, which concerns everyone is patience.
    Healing takes tremendous time and one may consider their career etc to be over, because it looks like being thrown out of a high-speed train and just able to watch it pass by for months, years and decades.

    But there is also a bright side, which is not a consolation, but an actual bliss.

    Because everyone’s self-chosen life-lesson is different,  I want to share with you my personal one, and yours may be different.

    When looking closely, my health problems did not start my change, but did slowly even follow them, meaning, if I would have been a bit more alert, I probably could have prevented some of them – but then again – changes always take a while, so I am not certain whether it would have been to late anyway.

    However, my breakdown came after a tremendous family-crisis and my stroke straight after I had enough of my life and did walk the camino de Santiago twice within a year, so both incidents would have called for an instant change, but just like a frog, which is put in cold water and boiled slowly, stays into the water, it was never hot enough yet (as it is for any frog thrown into boiling water).
    In other words: I did not have the sense of self needed to distance myself from a “life in the wrong dimension”.

    Due to our ethics we feel obliged not to leave friends & family behind which often – along with fears of change, failure and success – make it impossible to get out of our hell. Plus I was in my comfort-zone which only due to the dis-ease was shaken up.

    But the question for me was: Where can I go if I did hate the place I do live in with passion and could not relate to the people around me?
    Slowly it dawned upon me that if my financial situation does not allow me to move back and forth, neither left or right, then the only direction is up … into the spiritual realm which means: Up to the divine or up into the realm of my higher self.

    So my first decision was after my stroke in 2012: If something in my brain died, then I will decide what died and because I was a big moaner beforehand, I chose to let the part of the brain die which is related to victim-consciousness, so whenever some frustration, anger, sadness etc… came up, I did conjure up an image of piling my problems of the compost heap of last year (which was 2011).

    This then brought up a total new challenge: If I really was to be free from the suffering-tune, ie. if I was not to tune into suffering anymore, I had to forgive all the people who id hurt me in the past – something no ones ego likes, but I did it for myself, not necessarily for them, and it was good to see that it was a win-win, dissolving many mental knots for all sides.

    Then I rebelled against my disease one final time and walked along the Danube (with walking sticks for my back) for 4 months. But since this did not bring any life-changing results I took the time which was given to me (by not having to work) to develop a plan (and I am very aware how blessed I am to live in a rare part of the world where people with health-issues are supported financially by the government).
    As you read this, you are sitting in the midst of this plan, because it is this “Sodarshan Chakra Project” I outlined on the right margin of this site.

    First I could literally only sit for 10 minutes, because of my back and thought that with that damage my Kundalini would never rise again, but JV, an Indian Pranayama practitioner from Auroville gave me great comfort by telling me that this energy would flow in different paths, so I continued the practice.

    My only task from 2014-2017 was to do the tiny morning session and knowing that Sodarshan Chakra Kriya brings up a pile of emotions, I started to allow myself a lot of “me-time” to just hang around and get over the feeling of guilt that I am living at the expense of others – feelings which constantly were aggravated by accusations of nearby people (who usually ask: “how do you do?”, and straightaway “what do you do?”)

    But what helped me was to see the bigger picture, which usually happens when you step back from it and are not a mere pixel of the zeitgeist anymore.
    I saw how absurd society works, that nearly everything which is accomplished is done at the expense of the environment or third-world-slaves, and how absurd a dogma is, which calls for participation in a game where tens of thousands of never-used cars (which btw, use up as much air in a minute than 20 humans breath in an hour) are overproduced, equally food is destroyed, as much electricity on Bitcoins is wasted, as the Iraq needs in a year, or that 8 billionaires have as much as 4 billion of the poorest humans together.

    I then sat down and thought about the purpose in my life and came to following conclusions:

    • Since everything in nature cycles (water falls down, streams in a river, condenses and comes back as a raindrop), why now also our soul?
      If I choose to look at my life from a point of reincarnation

      • there is much less pressure to perform excellent in this life,
      • and I also can attribute external and internal problems to my own longterm imbalances.
    • Seeing the world as a reflection of my mind, makes it easier to deal with people who can not understand why I am suddenly not performing as well anymore as I did just a while ago. After all I attracted like-minded people back then, so obviously they still are shadows of my past.
    • Focussing on meaningfulness in life is by far more important than financial success, so a day in which I did comfort one person is more worth to me than one in which a million plastic penguins are sold to tourists only to be thrown away soon afterwards anyway.

    The first years were a constant struggle to satisfy the needs of others,
    to perform well in re-remembering the thousand things I had in my household, their names, their relationships,
    but slowly I would say that I would not miss that experience of having exchanged my sharpness and youthful attitude and looks for a profoundness which was called for in my age (of half a century) anyway.

    Vice versa: Whilst I see many people who are successful in promoting the happiness of their healthy spiritual modern lifestyle, I also see that their attachment to pleasures and vanity is still strong enough from totally dedicating themselves to their own spiritual progress – and I am not feeling better than them – if everything would have gone my way, it is very unlikely I would have walked this path of earnestness.

    By sweeping me of my feet, my cerebral haemorrhages taught me non-attachment to the self constructed rails of my egotistical delusions.

    Very slowly – after years of being honest with myself and admitting my faults –  an inner strength and bliss in the form of dignity seems to dawn upon me in near future and I am grateful for it.

     

     

     

     
    • David Nolan Cook 22:17 on 2018-06-26 Permalink | Reply

      Thilo, amazing to read and inspiring. I have no doubt SCK aided your recovery, Yoga is powerful once it gets inside your head…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Samrat 11:13 on 2018-06-28 Permalink | Reply

      Such a wonderful read . Inspiring and down to earth . All best for your practice 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

    • Amy 23:52 on 2018-06-29 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for writing this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sitting bull 8:35 on 2018-06-30 Permalink | Reply

        Well, thank YOU Amy, because reading about fellow sufferers with similar issues in your blog did give me the strength of having a justification I needed.

        A justification against those people, who have not found their sense of self yet
        (and therefore define themselves on the amount of their work)
        who hold up the standards of having to bite ones teeth in order to contribute as much to the national gross income as they do .

        Thích Nhất Hạnh wrote that people should only work for 4 hours daily and spend the rest with themselves (reflecting,contemplating or meditating) – a concept which is totally overlooked in our pragmatic and efficient society.

        Like

  • sitting bull 1:19 on 2018-05-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cultural appropriation, cultural imposition, , , , tantra, ,   

    The lesser known history of Yogi Bhajan part 5 – his biggest mistake: religion 

    You may be firm with the psychological term “alter-ego”, but there is an aspect I see which seems not to be recognised too often:

    The alter-ego of any winner are the losers s/he did need in order to succeed.
    Same applies to anyone claiming the astrological sun-aspect for themselves (which is often taught in 3HO. (This did suit the “american dream” or “reinventing” oneself and “help yourself then god will help you”.)
    However, when there is an overbearing and ever gloating member in your circle of friends or your family you usually end up being the one pushed down the gutter of marginalisation for not being able to live up to it. And this is why there are quite a few frustrated enemies of 3HO out there who were used, pushed aside, or their realm (like the Sikh religion for example) was claimed by 3HO.

    But you may be surprised that not the dark sides of Yogi Bhajan are adressed here, but a huge lost opportunity which did nullify much of what could have been accomplished.
    It is about what was written in this previously reblogged article, or Turning Yogis into Khalsa Sikhs (as found on thefullwiki.org): 

    Yogi Bhajan in his own words:

    Religion has done the worst. What religion has done is to create the mental coercive state of slaves. Religion didn’t do something to free somebody. It didn’t say: “Go ahead and be!

    So he exactly saw and knew what kind of disasters were and are created in the names of religion – from crusades up to todays terrorism, from the Israel-Palestine-conflict up to the plenty of wars which today are held in the disguise in religion – he knew it and saw it clearly! Yet he continued to precede to contribute towards this problem. This in my eyes is terrible and like someone without even the excuse of having another belief or being in ignorance continues to damage people all for the sake of his own benefit.

    It’s like some of the senior 3HO teachers recognising how our earth is destructed but still continue to create huge ecological footprints by flying over to India in the morning, lecturing there, and flying back in the same evening in order to avoid a jetlag. Do they really think that a Westerners lectures on yoga are the only valuable ones in India?

    Harbhajan Singh Khalsa (Yogi Bhajan) btw, used his extensive flights around the globe (all as a first class VIP with special treatments) to excuse the fact that he – despite knowing all those health-promoting yoga-exercises: – got a heart disease which made him – the teacher of prana – require a protective respirator.
    (And I don’t say this out of spite, but simply to scale his fruits with the many healthclaims of Kundalini-Yoga practicioners.)

    When I came to the United States and I became a Sikh and all that, religion was forced on us. You know I am very anti-religion and I studied all the religions. I know all the loopholes. And I have studied every religion.

    So by the “country of the free” he felt pushed into a position in which the US-laws of “religious freedom” would give him most power (to become a Minister), and also the freedom (to also get green-cards of foreigners). He opportunistically “used the force” – and here is how he did it:

    “I said to myself, ‘Why we have to be Sikhs? What nonsense is this? Forget it!’ Then I looked at myself and said, ‘Wait a minute. There is one way to do it: Give them Baanaa (Distinctive and Gracious Attire). Give them Baanee (Songs of Self-counsel and Inspiration). Give them Seva (A Culture of Service). Give them Simran (Remembrance of the Self in Totality). Put them out in the market. And if by self-awareness they can survive, they will automatically become intuitive.’

    “I took a very calculated risk. I said, ‘No Sikhs. I don’t want to have Sikhs. Sikhs for what?’ But I said, ‘If they can stand under 250 million Americans, totally living differently, dealing differently, not saying “Hello” but saying “Sat Nam”, let us see what happens.’

    “Well, some people came out really great. And it’s true if you get into yourself in totality, you will have reality.” 

    “Calculated risk” are the keywords here: It seems that he knew the tricks of giving Americans what they liked in order to make them oblivious for the fact that he threw them out of the frying pan of orthodox Christianity into the fire of breath (and the next religion.

    He therewith did miss the probably biggest opportunity to loosen spirituality from its religious chains and therewith really create a “new age” just as it is done in Auroville for example.

    Facts are that:

    • Original Sikhism as such does not promote yoga – something many orthodox Sikhs are now angered about when they are overflooded by 3HO instead of Sikh websites;
    • Sikhism also does not call to wear all white – their rule actually is to wear white underwear which is why traditional Sikhs wear all kinds of coloured clothes and turbans.
    • Kundalini Yoga first was mentioned first around the year 700 and therewith is by no means thousands of years old; (source: https://youtu.be/Zwzt9XtSq5Q )
      Yes, the vedic or tantric roots are, but that should be distinguished properly in order to avoid confusion.
    • What Yogi Bhajan taught is NOT traditional Kundalini Yoga, but a mixture of Yoga he learned from his Hindu-Yoga teacher or mere Tantric teachings – teachings which originally was not at all connected to the overly rigid lifestyle he did attach to it. (source: http://yogamag.net/archives/2007/cmar07/tamin.shtml )
      In fact there is no other source to his kriyas than Yogi Bhajan’s. Something which should make one suspicious about the originality of such exercises.

    What first started as a cultural imposition on behalf of Yogi Bhajan, did end as a cultural appropriation by non-indian members of their self-created Sikh-branch.

    Step back for a second and look how many white Western people, how many black members and how many Indian Sikhs  are in 3HO. I only so far saw 3 not-all-white people and no Indian whatsoever. (And I am saying this being white myself, btw.)
    Doesn’t that make you suspicious that no single Indian Sikh ever joined 3HO?

    I saw him coming over to Great Britain, holding a lecture in two original Sikh Gurdwaras and since I drove them around in London for a week, I did what 3HO did – rushed into the religious ceremony – us white dressed paler than pale people standing out – then waiting until he held his speech – and then leaving in the midst of this ceremony in a fashion which might be common in India but considered to be respectless in the West.

    He then would could sit in an separate room with religious leaders whilst the common Indian Sikhs ate down in the hall (where I also ate out of embarrassment of 3HO’s elitism.

    If I was cynical I even could draw a comparison to a German national leader in my grandfathers times who also came from another nation, was dark haired, used ancient Indian wisdom and spirituality to worldly enforce changes, and denied half of is own past in order to lead people who were not of his liking.

    But a nicer comparison would be that to Einstein, Heisenberg and Bohr which at the same time discussed the uncertainty relations. Einstein could not endorse it because he said: “That God would choose to play dice with the world is something I cannot believe.”
    And therewith Einstein held back science as much as Yogi Bhajan held back the human spiritual liberation by not having been ready to disassociate spiritual self-realization from religion.

    ~~~

    Recently a huge doubt came up when I did watch the above recommended discourse about Kundalini Yoga and it was said that the Kundalini energy would connect one to one lineage by uncoiling. It then dawned upon me that there is something else going on which we as practitioners of his ways are sucked into without even being aware of it:
    We are “tuned in” (by the means of the “tuning in” with “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”) to the Sikh lineage, which undoubtedly acts as a constructive mind-calmer, but also sets us of into the direction of his lineage which by birth never was ours to begin with.

    This made the tune-out song “may the longtime sun shine upon you…” seem like one of those Tibetan monks chanting under the black sun in the Third Reich.

    Maybe – only maybe – my tremendous troubles which came up when doing Sodarshan Chakra Kriya were (& are) not all related to my own bad Karma being washed out, but partly due to the fact that

    • just like in this game where a child is blindfolded, spinned around –

    we are actually set into a total different direction than the biography we were on beforehand.

    I am not certain whether a Guru-worship will give the Guru power beyond his death, but most certainly people are conditioned to experience visions of the saints and teachers of the lineage they were conditioned to. Hence abrahamic saints may see Jesus, followers of  Yogananda may have contact with Mahavatar and Hindus may have visions of one their thousands of sub-divisions of the OM.

    So I did ask a senior yoga practitioner from the before mentioned Auroville if this could mean trouble,
    and I want to share the wise answer from this seasoned man with you below: (If anyone wants to be connected to JV from Auroville just contact me, and I will forward your mail or comment to him).

    “In my opinion, spirituality needs to be distinguished from religion. Though religion may be rooted in spirituality, it diverged form the core axioms, principles and goals of spirituality. For example, One-ness is a core axiom of spatiality but religion are divisive.
    Yoga is essentially a practice-based approach to spirituality, the goals being Self-realization and Union with the One. At a more understandable level, it is the alignment and integration of the 5 koshas (sheaths) of Human Being.
    Anna-maya Kosha ( physical or food-based sheath)
    Prana-maya Kosha ( Energy sheath)
    Mano-maya Kosha (mind)
    Gnana-maya Kosha (wisdom)
    Ananda-maya Kosha (Bliss)
    Kundalini Yoga is one branch of Yoga. Once you make some progress, who you were in the past doesn’t matter because you are moving towards One-ness. So, in my opinion, Yoga is open to all. Familial, social, religious and cultural conditioning will be of no consequence as you proceed in your journey.”

    JV from Auroville

    This gave me great comfort and reminded me
    of Adyashanti’s analogy in his talk “the welcome mat” that

    “Religions are like welcome mats which should guide us as into our own home,
    but unfortunately most people get stuck on worshipping the mat itself
    instead of entering through it into the realm of their own divine self.”
    Adyashanti

    And in the book “Trailanga Swami and Shankari Mataji” in the preface (p.9) is a quote from a kriyayogi about the woman – who supposedly influenced Paramhansa, Ramakrishnadev and Vivekanda:

    Shankari Ma in my opinion is not a follower of Bhakti Yoga, but is trying to solve the problem of life through complete surrender of the self to the Guru, not blindly, but with a rationalistic analysis of the problems of our lifes in its various aspects, believing that religion is an individual problem.

     
  • sitting bull 5:09 on 2018-05-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #meToo, , accusations, corruption, , , , sexual misconduct,   

    The lesser known history of Yogi Bhajan part 4 – his dark sides 

    Now that I did prepare you gently by showing you some discrepancies in Yogi Bhajan’s teachings with this article: https://www.academia.edu/4343215/From_Maharaj_to_Mahan_Tantric_The_Construction_of_Yogi_Bhajan_s_Kundalini_Yoga ,
    I want to move on to the by far the most difficult part to convey to excited followers of any teacher they revere.

    Yes it is beautiful to have ones heart opened by given inspirations, but just as the saying goes that “love makes blind”, so does unconditional Guru-worship which raises a normal human being to a god-like level.

    Spirituality is not all about love and excitement – something I can not relate to in many esoteric groups – to me it is about neutrality – the middle path between the negative and positive mind, or as it is taught in the Kabbalah – the middle pillar.

    So in order to make balance to my promoting of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings, I will also add a few sources, which indicate that his alter ego by no means was all perfect.

    Whilst I myself am not at all in the #meToo spirit, where any accusation, even when made a generation later, equals a verdict up to the point that many careers were destroyed before any legal judgment was passed;
    I merely provide the facts of my researches here and will tell you afterwards how I feel about them.

    For brevity’s sake I simply provide links so that people who are offended may skip them, and others who are inclined to research may follow up.

    1. There is a compilation of pages about the dark sides of 3HO which I had to pull from the internet archive, because the page now focusses on making money:
      https://web.archive.org/web/20130817111858/http://rickross.com/groups/3ho.html
    2. An equal compilation can be found on http://www.wackoWorldOfYogiBhajan.net
      (the website name says all about the angle they are coming from)
    3. A forum of a very disappointed former student of Yogi Bhajan who did dedicate 30 years of his life to him: http://www.gurmukhyoga.com/forum/index.php
    4. Another “dis-appointed” student (who “dissed” his “appointment” with 3HO):
      http://lukeford.net/blog/?p=8602

    In those 4 sources you will find accusations of Yogi Bhajan and 3HO having participated or silently condoned corruption, sexual misconducts and many other things.

    Here is how another student of his who still follows his teachings deals with it
    (I urge you to click the youtube button and read the comments there to see how many others also have those problems):

     

    And now – as promised my personal intake on it:

    My first encounter was when I read some of his teachings, started to practice them, and it was clear to me that this guy was spiritually very gifted and shared great insights.

    Then – just as I was doing 2.5 hours of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya daily, I had personal contact with Yogi Bhajan 24 years ago and this was my impression:

    He was extremely authoritarian and did cultivate a guru-worship which I didn’t like, but due to his unapproachable aggressive-deflective aura I realised instantly that there was no way to confront him about it in any way, because he made certain that he always had the upper hand the last word and was right in any conversation.

    So even when he did flatter me for “becoming an incredible healer and a saint”, I was in doubt whether he just wanted to suck me into his cult-like structure.

    The most honest thing I heard him say was “If you do 2.5 hours of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya then there is nothing I can teach you anymore!”, because it was the only time he made himself redundant and bowed to the Kriya which he also said would have been told to do  by his teacher.

    His dominant nature which then merciful fed (the one he just beforehand put down) some compliments was the ideal material to become a cult-leader, because it invokes the Stockholm-syndrome in which people (especially the ones searching for themselves) feel appreciated mostly by the forces which suppressed them beforehand.

    To sum up what does indicate to me that some of those accusations may bear some truth:

    • He certainly was a root-chakra guy with all the dominance involved, so sexual allegations would not surprise me, especially since he himself said that “no man and woman should be left alone in a room”.
    • When Jesus said that “you shall know them by their fruits”, I must say that I was exploited a few times by his follower -student-turned Gurus:
      • the one who passed on SCK to me sucked $2000 out of me at times when I was totally broke and had nothing and did continue this for decades.
        That Kabbalist from NYC also was a heavy womaniser and did commit adultery.
      • altogether I payed a fortune for very expensive 3HO seminars and treatments – a bit too much to leave the impression that spirituality would have been the priority. And all my requests of them employing me in order to get a US-greencard were ignored – I was too uncontrollable to them (hence Y.B. did name me “Amar” which means “free spirit”).
      • and sarcastically it was his people and himself who destroyed my new and frail practice of SCK by making me work for them for a fortnight day and night without me even being able to finish my meals, so that afterwards when they left all that was left was a bunch of tremendous anger and no motivation to continue to do kriyas.
        Y.B. on his second meeting waving me jovially into his room to have a private talk did not do the trick anymore. I simply walked away from him, because I knew that I never could have expressed my frustration to someone who wipes away anything he doesn’t want to hear.
    • Yogi Bhajan got many herbs from our Chinese Medical Pharmacy (which I did grind myself) and never payed – just as hardly any of the teachers who came flying over for a few days (regardless of environmental impact) did of course never declare any of that cash money so it seemed to me that they felt entitled to live above the law for the sake of their higher cause.
    • Once they visited the British head of 3HO to solve a some private and business issues; me, who was just beginning to stretch my head into the realm of spirituality could literally sense a spiritual war between the 3HO-Sikhs and the director of our college, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, taking place: They walked into hour College of Chinese Medicine and with their “Kundalini Stare” literally took over the place, making it their home, so that the Buddhist monk did flee from his premises to visit a retreat. Students who studied Chinese medicine but not Kundalini-Yoga were puzzled about their fierceness and I personally was sucked straight into this invisible war by having to choose a side – something which was not at all in line with my understanding of all-embracing spirituality.
      Hence I started to drink lots of alcohol in order to numb and put a lid on myself.

    All teachings are energetically tainted by the energy of the guru – which is the reason why the 3HO leaders are so unyielding stern and hard – they simply invested and suffered half their life to live up to the calvinistic pleasure-condemming demands that all they have left now is their reputation to be senior students “who knew the master” – something they would never destroy by tainting their only source of glamorous wisdom.

    And on a personal note:

    In the midst whilst writing this article I suddenly became unpleasantly dizzy – nearly stopped, but deemed it important to follow Yogi Bhajan’s own words:
    “If you are depressed – press back”.
    Now, the next moring I felt very liberated, because I did realise that what he did with me was an energetic violation – not as spectacular as the sexual violations focussed on in the current zeitgeist, nevertheless a deep hidden trauma (of which we all have tons and don’t even know it).

    Ironically what Bhajan said came true for himself too:
    It is the aquarian age everything will come out – so also do his dark sides he did gloss over with overconfidence and his self-created role as a religious leader.

    “All the clever tricks you use, the countless little tricks
    – not even one will go along with you.

    Surrender yourself and walk the way of Spirit’s Will.
    Naanak – be with what is already written.”

    -Japji Sahib, Pauree 1, Guru Nanak

    <previous: how he twisted {hi(s}tory) towards Sikhism            next > Harbhajan Singh Khalsa’s biggest mistake

     
  • sitting bull 3:00 on 2018-05-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    The lesser known history of Yogi Bhajan part 2 – his Janus-face between Sikhism and Yoga 

    This is part 2 of the article
    From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric:
    The Construction of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga Philip Deslippe
    which you can read in full here: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6r63q6qn
    (the first part can be read here)

    The Construction of Kundalini Yoga

    When placed alongside the teachings of Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari and Maharaj Virsa Singh, it becomes strikingly apparent that at least in its earliest years, Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga was not a distinct practice, but essentially a combination of yogic mechanics learned from the former and the Sikh-derived mantras and chanting from the latter. Sometimes these two practices would be juxtaposed, and Kundalini Yoga students would chant Naam immediately following a yoga set. They were also frequently intertwined, and rhythmic yogic exercises were coordinated with mantras such as “Sat Nam” and “Wahe Guru,” and the chanting of “Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wha Guru” was done with deep breathing and the application of internal body locks known as bandhas. Yogi Bhajan himself acknowledged this coalescence in an early lecture, saying

    There are two ways to find the Divine. One way is that you open the solar plexus and charge your solar centers. You get direct with the Divine. The other method is [374] that you concentrate and meditate and get this sound (Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wha Guru) in you, and it directly charges your solar centers and in this method you get the Divine light to you.

    (Yogi Bhajan 1972, 7)

    While this mélange was presented as a seamless form to students of his Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan was radically combining two disparate practices and making significant modifications to each. Maharaj Virsa Singh did not believe in yoga as a spiritual path, and his followers at Gobind Sadan did not practice any form of physical yoga. Yogi Bhajan’s references to Maharaj Virsa Singh as the inspiration under which he learned “Nam Yoga, Laya Yoga, and Mantra Yoga,” were rhetorical, trying to include Maharaj Virsa Singh within his system by way of a very broad definition of the word “yoga” which itself was never used at Gobind Sadan (Khalsa 1970b, 2).(17) Similarly, Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari’s teaching of yoga and Sūkṣma Vyāyāma was done firmly within the context of the Yamas and Niyamas, or the codes of conduct found within the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, particularly complete sexual continence and a strict interpretation ofMitahara or diet that would have forbid the “trinity roots” or garlic, onions, and ginger that Yogi Bhajan promoted to his students. In the process of combining the teachings of Maharaj Virsa Singh and Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari, Yogi Bhajan also made his Kundalini Yoga more palatable and appealing to his young audience in the United States.

    While Kundalini Yoga comingled elements from both Maharaj Virsa Singh and Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari, each these two figures were represented in distinctive ways that point towards a conscious and deliberate construction by Yogi Bhajan of himself as a leader and Kundalini Yoga as a distinct practice. For Yogi Bhajan’s initial students, Maharaj Virsa Singh was openly acknowledged as the teacher of Yogi Bhajan and a powerful, mythologized touchstone for their practice. Many early students, unaware of one another, echo the claim that the early years of 3HO were “all about Virsa Singh.”(18) In stark contrast, these same students knew little about Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari, hearing about him as an associate of Yogi Bhajan or the head of a yoga center Yogi Bhajan taught at, if at all. To an outside audience, it was just the opposite. Yogi Bhajan’s connection to Maharaj Virsa Singh was never mentioned to the press or public, while he constantly used the professional credential of being of Swami Dhirendra’s “House of Yoga of Vishwayatan Ashram” and pointed out its two most famous pupils, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

    The reasons for claiming Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari publically and Maharaj Virsa Singh privately make sense in the context of the time. The respectable and professional credential of the former would make Yogi Bhajan look more serious and noteworthy for newspaper readers and the general public. For his young students, most of whom were primed on the lore of Carlos Castaneda, Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, and tales of Zen masters, a teacher who was a student of a great teacher had a stronger claim to spiritual knowledge and power than an “orphaned” or “self-realized” teacher without a pedigree that pointed to an established lineage or antiquity. Yogi Bhajan would paradoxically be more significant as the student of a great master than as the head of his own singular and contemporarily constructed practice.

    But lineage was a double-edged sword. Most spiritual teachers who came to the United States from the East in the late-1960s had received their position after the passing of their own teacher, and mundanely speaking, risked none of what they built in the [375] West by praising their forbearers. As attested to by the students of Baba Ram Das who went to India to find his teacher Neem Karoli Baba, or the readers of Carlos Castaneda’s works who ventured into the Mexican desert to find his alleged and elusive Yaqui guide Don Juan, a living teacher of a teacher who was even remotely accessible could prove to be a legitimate rival. Yogi Bhajan was in the awkward position of having not one, but two of his teachers alive, well, and available to his own students. Additionally, there were serious disconnects between what he taught his students and what his claimed teachers taught. This tension would grow within the rapid expansion of Yogi Bhajan’s first two years as a teacher in the West, and would foster a radical shift in how he portrayed himself and his students understood him in the wake of a catastrophic and dynamic three-month trip Yogi Bhajan took with his students to India in late- 1970 and early-1971.

    The longterm-anger of the traumatised student in this ^ video  (who isn’t the writer of this article) shows how domination or misdirection of  innocent seekers can damage people’s lifes. Gurusant could never totally shed Yogi Bhajan’s conditioning, so he kept the traditional Sikh-religion, but threw Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga over board.

    The Raising of Kundalini Yoga and the India Trip of 1970-71

    The late-Sixties were an incredible boom time for Eastern spiritual teachers in the West. For someone like Yogi Bhajan, charismatic, physically imposing, and offering the secrets of the mythical and dangerous kundalini energy, Los Angeles in 1969 was the right place at the right time. While Yogi Bhajan’s initial plans in America were to sell items to Hippies as part of an import/export business (fitting for a customs officer), he quickly made yoga his business.(19) There seemed to be no limits to his growth among Hippies as a teacher in his own right, and with an almost franchise-like pattern, Yogi Bhajan offered an accelerated teacher training program consisting of only a few weeks, and then quickly dispatched his newly minted teachers across the country to open satellite 3HO ashrams. Soon, there were Kundalini Yoga teachers in a rapidly expanding list of college towns and major cities.

    In this atmosphere of seemingly limitless possibilities for a yoga teacher, Yogi Bhajan’s view of himself and role as a teacher began to quickly shift. As the year 1970 unfolded, Yogi Bhajan began to modify his previous claims and distanced himself from Maharaj Virsa Singh in three main ways: the reverence of Maharaj Virsa Singh was diluted as he became the most important teacher within an ever-expanding list of teachers Yogi Bhajan claimed, the figure of Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, was introduced as Yogi Bhajan’s “personal Guru,” and Yogi Bhajan himself was increasingly placed in the role once reserved for Maharaj Virsa Singh, often in the same terms.

    In July of 1970, Beads of Truth published a one-page article titled “Who Is Yogi Bhajan?” which reads as part biography and part resume, with a lengthy list of the teachers that Yogi Bhajan studied with. This article, nearly a year and a half after Yogi Bhajan began to teach Kundalini Yoga in the United States, appears to be the first mention in print of the figure of Sant Hazara Singh, who in two brief lines is mentioned as the teacher of “Kundalini Yoga and other various yogas.” The list continued with Yogi Bhajan’s grandfather Bhai Fatha Singh, Sant Ranjit Singh who taught “universal spirituality” and comparative religions, Swami Devmurti under who Yogi Bhajan obtained “mastery of Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga,” Acharya Narinder Dev of Yoga Smitri in New Delhi who taught Yogi Bhajan hatha yoga and “the impact and balance of the nervous system,” the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh where Yogi Bhajan “was able to drink deep and fill his mind and heart with the Sanatana Dharma,” and Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari [376] who taught “Yoga Therapy” and at whose ashram Yogi Bhajan claimed to be “Senior Professor of Yoga.”(20)

    The early account Yogi Bhajan offered of washing the bathrooms for Maharaj Virsa Singh was changed to him “finishing his duties at the airport” and going “directly to the famous Golden Temple at Amritsar where his wife would bring food and with the children, join him for dinner, before he started his daily routine of scrubbing the floor of the temple” (Khalsa 1970b).(21) While Maharaj Virsa Singh was still revered as “Master,” he was viewed more as a capstone to Yogi Bhajan’s lifetime of spiritual searching, which was curiously a process of searching that now had mastery of Kundalini Yoga at its mid-point.

    In the spring of 1970 photographs began to be sold of Yogi Bhajan, clad in all white, seated in full-lotus with his palms together at his chest, staring deeply into the camera lens (3HO 1970).(22) Around the same time, an enthusiastic Kundalini Yoga student encouraged readers of Beads of Truth to “meditate on your Guru’s picture, see through his eyes,” and another student who taught Kundalini Yoga in Memphis remembers being told to bow before the picture of Yogi Bhajan and seek guidance from him before teaching each class (Anonymous 1970a).(23) By the summer of 1970 Yogi Bhajan was regularly flanked in print by the titles “spiritual guiding force of 3HO” and “Master of Kundalini Yoga.” The sandals of Maharaj Virsa Singh no longer had their place on Yogi Bhajan’s bed; in both a literal and symbolic sense, that space was now his.(24)

    In the last few days of 1970 Yogi Bhajan took a group of approximately eighty students for a three-month spiritual pilgrimage to India. Yogi Bhajan told a reporter shortly before the trip that the group was on a fact-finding mission in India to research how to best get the youth of America off drugs via yoga (Claiborne 1970). For those within 3HO, the point of the trip was to visit and stay at Gobind Sadan, “home of Yogi Bhajan’s beloved master, Maharaj Virsa Singh Ji”( Khalsa 1970c, 11). Yogi Bhajan told Jim Baker, one of his senior students in Los Angeles, to come on the trip for the purpose of getting the blessing of his teacher (Aquarian 2007, 46).

    The trip would end up radically shifting its focus and on the group’s return three-months later Maharaj Virsa Singh would be persona non grata, the figures of Sant Hazara Singh and Guru Ram Das would become central, and Yogi Bhajan would audaciously claim titles of Sikh administrative authority over half of the globe and Tantric mastership. In light of his growing following and shifting view of his role as a leader, even if Yogi Bhajan did in fact leave India in the fall of 1968 as a devout student of Maharaj Virsa Singh, then it is doubtful that he returned to India two years later as one, given the shift in the portrayal of himself and Maharaj Virsa Singh.(25) It is also doubtful that he would not have foreseen a conflict with the major differences in what he was teaching his students and what Maharaj Virsa Singh was teaching at Gobind Sadan. If Yogi Bhajan was not intentionally looking for a break from his master, then it was a development he would have welcomed.

    Almost immediately upon arrival, the jetlagged group was welcomed by Indira Gandhi at the gardens of the prime minister’s palace, where one of Yogi Bhajan’s students, Andrew Ungerleider, demonstrated hatha yoga postures for her and Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari. Indira Gandhi, moved by the interest the young Americans had in India, spoke to the group, and then they all held hands and chanted “Om” together.(26)(27) The group then went outside the city to Gobind Sadan, but in less than [377] a week, Yogi Bhajan dramatically broke from Maharaj Virsa Singh and the group quickly left Gobind Sadan and relocated to a mango farm. One American student remembers the group being suddenly told that Virsa Singh was not Yogi Bhajan’s teacher and that the departure was political, with Maharaj Virsa Singh wanting Yogi Bhajan to support someone politically, although it is hard to imagine Yogi Bhajan, a mid-level customs officer over two years removed from India, having any amount of political influence worth fighting over in the elections that were taking place at the time.(28)

    Yogi Bhajan would later claim that he left because Maharaj Virsa Singh wanted to be recognized as Yogi Bhajan’s teacher, which seems strange since Yogi Bhajan claimed as much time and time again. Yogi Bhajan insisted in later retellings that the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das, was his true teacher. According to Yogi Bhajan, Maharaj Virsa Singh asked if in keeping with having a guru, if Guru Ram Das gave Yogi Bhajan a mantra, and the next morning during his personal meditation, Guru Ram Das tangibly appeared in front of Yogi Bhajan and gave him the mantra “Guru Guru Wahe Guru Guru Ram Das Guru.”(29) The story was frequently repeated by Yogi Bhajan over the years and seemed to serve several ongoing purposes simultaneously: solidify the claim of Guru Ram Das as Yogi Bhajan’s personal Guru, position Guru Ram Das as the patron saint of 3HO, further link Yogi Bhajan and Kundalini Yoga to the Sikh tradition, and put distance between Yogi Bhajan and his previously claimed devotion to Maharaj Virsa Singh (Yogi Bhajan 1987, 1990b, 1995).

    Those who were closest to Yogi Bhajan and Maharaj Virsa Singh recount much more material and directly embarrassing reasons for the former breaking from the latter. Early devotees of Maharaj Virsa Singh recall him telling the group of students in front of Yogi Bhajan that he never taught anyone yoga and that yoga had nothing to do with Sikhism. Rather, for Maharaj Virsa Singh, Gobind Sadan and its inspiration from Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh was the model for the spiritual path: hard work, remembrance of God, taking money from no one, and sharing with others in need. Yogi Bhajan’s secretary during the trip, Premka Kaur, said “he had to be in a lineage… he couldn’t let someone else have it anyway because he would lose that control.”(30) Another person present recalled Yogi Bhajan wanting a type of territorial agreement in which Yogi Bhajan would “keep” his students and Gobind Sadan would become a type of “3HO East.”(31) Yogi Bhajan’s proposal was laughed at by Maharaj Virsa Singh and with self-induced pressure, Yogi Bhajan left soon after in a huff.(32)

    Keeping the mango farm as a base, the trip dramatically shifted and despite no previous mentioned intention of Sikhism being a focus on the trip, day after day the group went to one Gudwara after another. Students were dressed in white Punjabi clothes, performed basic kirtan, and were told to not mention yoga. One participant remembers being told, “If Indian Sikhs ask you anything about what you’re doing, just say ‘Naam Japo.’”(33) The idea of American “Gora Sikhs” was unimaginable in the Punjab, and Yogi Bhajan’s students drew large crowds where they went. The buzz around the group grew and in early March they were hosted at the Golden Temple in Amritsar where Yogi Bhajan presented himself as a Sikh missionary and was feted. Some members of the group were married and others took Amrit, although it is doubtful that they knew the details or larger implications of what they were doing. One recalls that they were told what to do and how to carry themselves. “Basically none of us knew what we were even doing… we were just silent pawns in however we wanted to be portrayed… just following the instructions of (Yogi Bhajan).”(34) In a bizarre crescendo, the India trip [378] ended with Yogi Bhajan being arrested on charges of defrauding a man named Amarjit Singh for 10,000 rupees, quickly being bailed out, and then fleeing the country with his students after being nearly stopped at the airport (Sharma 1971; Anonymous 1971).(35)(36)(37)

    <Kundalini Yoga is not what he taught           how he twisted {hi(s}tory) towards Sikhism >

    Footnotes:
    (17) If the practice of Naam was common among both students of Yogi Bhajan and Maharaj Virsa Singh, the mechanical and technical practice by the former clearly set it apart from the devotional and emotional practice by the latter.
    (18) Interview with Antion Vic Briggs, telephone, 5 July 2011. Interview with Ron Brent, telephone, 6 January 2011.
    (19) Interview with Warren Stagg, telephone, 8 June 2011
    (20) There is also evidence from a student who spoke at length with Yogi Bhajan for the very logical possibility that Yogi Bhajan’s knowledge of yoga, meditation, and related subjects were not entirely based on these teachers but also heavily supplemented by books and other minor figures. See Harrysingh1 (pseud.), comment on “The Sikh Connection,” The Wacko World of Yogi Bhajan, comment posted on February 8, 2005, http://forums.delphiforums.com/KamallaRose/messages?msg=579.39.
    (21) Considering the 300 miles that separates the airport in New Delhi from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the possibility of such a commute is extremely unlikely.
    (22) This photograph was also sold in a cropped version with only Yogi Bhajan’s face in what seems to be a prototype of the “Tratakam” portrait of him.
    (23) Interview with Jim Migdoll, telephone, 7 September 2011. Migdoll was involved in 3HO from early to late-1970, and was sent to Memphis, Tennessee during that time to teach the flagship Kundalini Yoga classes there.
    (24) An account of Yogi Bhajan’s sleeping habits was given by early students of his in Florida in their account of an early 1970 visit. See “Early History of the 3HO Foundation According to Hari Singh and Hari Kaur Bird Khalsa,” last modified July 19, 2012, http://www.harisingh.com/3HOHistory.htm.
    (25) In the commemorative book The Man Called The Siri Singh Sahib, the Punjabi-born and London-based journalist Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, described meeting with Yogi Bhajan at Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari’s Vishwayatan Ashram in early 1968, well before supposedly being told to go to the West by Maharaj Virsa Singh, in which he heard from him that inspired by “some mysterious call from within” he “was planning to leave his job and go to foreign countries as a yoga teacher.”
    (26) Interview with Andrew Ungerleider, telephone, 23 June 23 2011.
    (27) A photo of Yogi Bhajan, Indira Ghandi, and Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari at this gathering was reprinted in the December 1972 issue of Beads Of Truth, page 28.
    (28) Interview with Rahmaneh Meyers, telephone, 18 August 2011. Meyers was involved with 3HO during its earliest years and was a participant on the 1970-71 trip to India.
    (29) The most striking element of Yogi Bhajan’s claimed encounter with Guru Ram Das is how closely it paralleled the story that Maharaj Virsa Singh told of receiving Naam from Baba Sri Chand and Guru Nanak, a story that Yogi Bhajan was doubtlessly aware of and his students almost certainly were not.
    (30) Interview with Pamela Dyson, telephone, 23 September 2011. Also known as Premka Kaur Khalsa, Dyson was involved in 3HO from 1969 until 1985 and was the tour secretary for the 1970-71 trip to India. Highly significant in the growth and history of 3HO, Dyson compiled English translations of Sikh sacred writings, wrote numerous articles both for and on behalf of 3HO, and was the editor of Beads of Truth for a dozen years, Secretary General of the Sikh Dharma Brotherhood, Vice President and Director of the 3HO Foundation, and a high-ranking minister, with the title of Mukhia Sardarni Sahib.
    (31) Intriguingly, this idea is echoed in the January 1970 issue of Beads of Truth, in which Shakti Parwha Kaur hopes to publish an account of the trip in the next issue and refers to Gobind Sadan as “3HO India.”
    (32) Interview with Ron Brent, telephone, 6 January 2011.
    (33) Interview with Rahmaneh Meyers, telephone, 18 August 2011.
    (34) Interview with Pamela Dyson, telephone, 23 September 2011.
    (35) Interview with Antion Vic Briggs, telephone, 5 July 2011.
    (36) Later, the blame for the arrest was implicitly laid at the feet of Maharaj Virsa Singh and the debacle was cast as the negative work of “the jealous egos of so-called ‘holy’ men in India (who) created almost insurmountable barriers to Yogi Bhajan’s safe return to America.” See Shakti Parwha Kaur, “Guru Ram Das Ji’s Birthday Celebration,” letter dated September 23, 1971, printed on page 48 in the Autumn 1971 issue of Beads of Truth.
    (37) An intriguing possible connection to this event, or perhaps Yogi Bhajan’s initial trip West, can be found in Khushwant Singh’s 2005 collection of obituaries titled Death at My Doorstep, in which he described Yogi Bhajan being confronted at a gathering by the daughter of a man who twenty years earlier loaned Yogi Bhajan Rs. 10,000 “to pay for his air-ticket to Canada… when fleeing from India” (114).

     
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