Bountiful Blissful Beautiful Liver Colon and Stomach, Har Har Har (the better to eat you with…)

Weird day; got up, didn’t fully emerge from the dream landscape for quite a while. I was carrying a baby up into the mountains near where a subterranean tunnel was that I’ve frequently visited in past dreams. One time I canoed down it into the Hudson river past Manhattan, but this time I was just hiking up into French mountains like those in Jean de Florette. A cartographer girlfriend from undergrad was especially interested in “dream maps” and this is one place that really seems like it should be surveyed; I keep going back there again and again. Todays dream seemed upbeat, but I hadn’t reached the summit or descended into the tunnel. Anyway, I woke up tired, and remained tired. After about 90 minutes I had 3 small cups of coffee to try to counteract that, but it didn’t help. If coffee doesn’t do the trick, try yoga, thought I.

2014-05-30-17.08.45-Liver-Colon-Stomach-LAVC-Selfie At this point, LA Valley College was nearby, and not in session, so I found a tree with some shade and set into the Liver, Colon and Stomach set I just posted about recently. I wasn’t dressed for yoga, and my belt was a bit uncomfortable. I’m allergic to grass, trees, and ragweed, and the lawn was freshly mowed. My allergies have (knock on wood) mostly been inactive since living in LA and doing a yoga practice, although bad dietary choices can aggravate them. However, either the bad air in the valley, the mowed lawn, the coffee, the mashed potato mix and chicken from last night – I was having trouble feeling like I was getting full healthy breaths, and the liver cleaning exercise packed a wallop.
LiverGonad-Exercise-1
It’s said that if you do this exercise for 11 minutes “you will never have any problems with Mr. Liver.” Well, my experience is that if my system is fairly toxic, the dizziness gets a bit more intense, and it can also bring on nausea, like it did today. I had to lie down a couple minutes to “get back to normal.” Oddly, the instructions for this set initially say that this exercise works on the gonads, although it’s given in many other manuals specifically for the liver. The note underneath it does target my liver experience today, however.

The set began to go a little better when I switched from Cherdikala Jetta’s (whom I normally love) “Mul Mantra” to Guru Singh’s more upbeat “Golden Temple Song.” It seemed that there was a light breeze, but it blew my glasses off the picnic table nearby. That helped cool me down in my jeans. By the time I’d ended the set I felt a lot more balanced and clear-headed.

I haven’t been able to dig up the lyrics for “Nobility” as specified in the manual, so I made up some versions of “Bountiful, Blissful, and Beautiful” and liked the variations I came up with, recording them in the phone, perhaps for later elaboration. So it’s a women’s song, but the message is still good.

Then I did my 11 minute “Har” – today fared quite a bit better, perhaps because the yoga exercise beforehand helped focus my energy. Normally I do this with one of three recordings to help carry me through, but today I did it without musical accompaniment. By the time I’d reached 8 minutes, I had this peculiar experience, as I tried to chant with the energy pumping from the navel, that I was almost shouting without effort. But I wasn’t shouting; it was the sound being reflected off my hands to my ears and face.

I also did the “Meditation on Your Self as a Yogi,” p. 186 Master’s Touch. I hadn’t been looking forward to this meditation too much, it seemed silly. But when I reflected on the obsession with Kundalini Yoga that I’ve exhibited almost from the start in the early 1990′s, it deepened my appreciation for the time I’ve put into it and the changes I’ve gone through.

I finished 11 days of “Healing the Wounds of Love” last night, and sort of feel like it was a waste of time. Either there’s a lot more karma there than the meditation can clear, or I just can’t sense the changes yet. Or else I’ve been given empty promises for it.

Before I started doing the yoga, nature was calling, and I couldn’t find an open bathroom. I expected the set, which works on the digestive system, to send me running for one afterwards, but that wasn’t the case. My digestive system seemed to have settled down rather than eagerly cleansing itself. My energy seemed “even” rather than amped up or tired.

A couple hours later, I had some solstice onion soup and mung beans and rice, and after fighting my way home through late rush-hour traffic, my energy had dropped, and I was irritable and depressed. Nobody I’d attempted to reach via phone today answered or returned the calls, and I was feeling a bit frustrated about it. The maintenance man at my building hadn’t fixed my lock as promised. I had made some progress on my UX design projects after the yoga, but it seemed negligible. My problems with my iPhone’s interface exhibited direct disregard by Apple of the Human Interface Guidelines they created, once I read a portion of them today, and were still causing frustration. My elderly neighbor and friend had taken me to a dance concert at one of her previous colleges last night, and asked for some paid help on a regular basis afterwards, but as we discussed it, I realized she just doesn’t have any money to pay for the help. I’m actually happy to help her out, but a bit frustrated financially and also understand her position. She was almost in tears as she described her frustrations finding friendship and support. I must say, I’ve been grateful for this August friendship. She has been one of my most direct supporters, even though her slow mannerisms and speech style take some work. But the cynical mind says, “prosperity meditations? THIS is what I get? Fuck that!” Then I do them again anyway. Whatevah!

So I couldn’t remember whether beautiful, bountiful, or blissful came first in the chant, and kept mixing it up. So I looked it up, and there was a short exercise for helping alleviate depression:
To help alleviate depression and release our energy to join the ethers, sit cross legged or in a chair, raise the arms straight up, palms forward, fingers stretching wide and draw little circles inward as you breathe long, slow and deeply through the nostrils. Do this for up to 5 minutes. Let your physical body, your arms and shoulders be challenged. Let your rectum, the earth energy, be massaged with the movement and feel the energy move upward. Go beyond the physical. Soar into the ethers. Feel light.

via I AM BOUNTIFUL, BLISSFUL AND BEAUTIFUL.

It helped. I’m thinking I’ve met this woman who wrote this post somewhere, but can’t remember where; Espanola? Golden Bridge? Yoga West? Ram Das Puri?

The “I Think I Left the Stove On” Meditation

“Har…” oh I should tune in… “Ong namo guru dev (Har) namo (Har) Ong Namo (Har) Guru Dev (Har) Namo” (Har) Oh I should turn the fan on… (Har) I wonder what the dance concert tonight (har) will be like (Har) What am I gonna blog about this? (Har) Does this really do anything? (Har) I bet there’s an online version of (Har) this… (Har) I should do a new mix of this music (Har) Why is my mind jumping (Har) all over (Har) the place? (Har) Oh, I’ve been slumping into my (Har) lower back. (Har) Oh wow, 8 minutes… I think I’m finally starting to settle in and become present (Har) wow, what just happened? (Har) It’s like it was resonant musical notes before (Har) and now it’s like a drab monotone (Har) what if I try to feel the breath flowing up against (Har) the roof of my mouth (Har) Oh, that’s better (Har) Aren’t you supposed to (Har) feel the tongue hit the back of the teeth, the roof of the mouth? (Har) Oh, I’m looking at the clock, I must (Har) be fooling myself that I’m really (Har) being present (Har)

Meditation to Open the Energy Channels

Open-the-Energy-Channels-2014-05-28-23.26.00“Sat nam, sat nam, sat nam ji, Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru Ji” 10-1/2 mins.

Today I did the “Meditation to Open the Energy Channels & Take You to the Heights.” p. 162 in Master’s Touch. My right hand kept cramping as I held the mudra.

Also “Healing the Wounds of Love” Shabd Hazaaray 11 recitations (day 10)
“Har” 11 minutes (day 17)

I uploaded video clips of the Exercise Set for the Liver, Colon and Stomach from Kundalini Yoga for Youth and Joy, but didn’t have enough time to also do the set today. Hopefully tomorrow….

Video! Kundalini Yoga for Liver, Colon And Stomach – YouTube

Several years ago, May 13th, 2008, I went camping on Mount Pinos and shot short video clips of myself doing the “Exercise Set for The Liver, Colon, and Stomach” (p. 14 in Kundalini Yoga for Youth and Joy) I finally uploaded the videos to a YouTube playlist. My postures are not perfect, and I got winded a few times because of the nearly 9,000 foot elevation, but it was a beautiful place to do my yoga, and the clips demonstrate how to do the set.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLInJVrTW-HKGxSRGNaf3JtuiQjBBmbcXg

The next day I drove to Santa Maria, where my car overheated, and then the head warped, so I ended up getting the ’94 Pathfinder I’m still driving now to replace it.

Dancing Hand Meditation and becoming timer-watching-aversive

 

Dancing-Hand-Meditation-2014-05-27-19.21“Sat nam sat nam sat nam ji; wahay guru wahay guru wahay guru ji”

Well, the other night I couldn’t get all the way through 62 minutes of the dancing hand meditation – I just got distracted & bored, and finally “bagged it.” Yesterday – Memorial Day – I just did the 11 min. “Har” and 11 recitations of Shabd Hazaaray. So today I tried it again, starting with the Dancing Hand Meditation (Master’s Touch p. 170). I decided it would be better to try to do all 62 mins. in one sitting. I found a sample of “Dhuni” online, and looped it for 62 minutes in Quicktime, while I played “Narayan,” in iTunes, which is just over 62 minutes long, so I wouldn’t be distracted by checking the timer and wondering how soon it would be over. At first I tried Matamandir Singh’s English “Japji” because it’s almost exactly an hour long, but it was a whole step lower than the “Dhuni” sitar melody, and it was just too dissonant to continue with.

I had a bowl of solstice onion soup first, and then dove in. I was sitting on a blanket and pillow on my bed, as I don’t have a zafu, and it’s less strain on my knees for longer meditations. A few minutes in, my body straightened up, not allowing me to slump through it any more. Gradually I felt my chest cavity open up, and the lungs began to fill and empty more thoroughly. I had a house turban on, because I learned long ago that you can get headaches in the longer meditations if you don’t have a head covering to help contain the energy as it flows through your body, but after a while I was feeling headachy in my temples. I focused on my third eye point, and it went away, then the crown of my head, and had the experience that I was a vortex of chakra energy centers with a pile of turban sitting atop it all, like Mr. Frosty. The headache felt like blocked energy; I took off my glasses and tied the turban tighter, which helped a little bit. I checked iTunes to see how far through it I was; 42 minutes.

I massaged my temples, and every time I did, I felt better. Then I did the neck chakra opener, which Ravi Singh introduced in his neck kriya/creativity set:
Neck-Chakra-Opener-2014-05-27-19.22.40

That helped a lot. Then I concentrated on neck lock, and that helped even more. But then I started really “dancing” with the sitar and tablas, and the energy block opened up and went away completely for the rest of the meditation. I was boogy-ing to it, doing African dance to it, having fun. I experimented with how the focus of the closed eyes affected the experience, then I noticed a distracting smell. Was it cooking food? Hmmm, it smelled like motor bearings wearing out. Nothing on the stove would cause that, perhaps it was a neighbor’s kitchen. I hope a hard drive or power supply isn’t dying. No, it’s the smell of cooking garlic in oil! In a neighbor’s kitchen below me. Or was it coming from me? I felt my chest and lungs opening wider, spine flexing occasionally, then becoming still. I felt energy moving up in a wave vertically across my whole body. For the most part, I think my attention stayed on the meditation for the majority of the time, except when the heachachy feelings came through, but I also found myself wondering about “calling” and career, and what self-destructive behaviors and habits I’ve been unwilling to let go of to embrace the yogic lifestyle completely and be able to help others with it. “You haven’t been taking care of the body that’s serving as the container for your spirit.” Then 62 minutes arrived and I shook it all out. Pretty wild for just turning your arms back and forth in front of your body.

Now on to “Har” again and “Healing the Wounds of Love….”
OK, Har seemed to take forever today. I looked up to see how far into I was, thinking I must be near the 11 minute mark, and was only around 6 minutes.

Then I read “Shabd Hazaaray” as I chanted along with the “Healing the Wounds of Love” recording. While I’ve been able to catch phrases and sing along a milli-second after I hear each pitch or syllable, I’ve not been sure I was actually chanting the phrases on the page when I just listen to it and chant without the lyrics, as I’ve done when time was short and I chanted it while driving. This was how I learned Japji; although I haven’t memorized it yet, when I hear it I can chant nearly all of it now.

So I had the clever idea that I would actually count the repetitions this time, but had lost track by maybe the third repetition. Then I kept thinking “THIS is definitely the LAST repetition, right?” I think I started thinking that around number 7. Ah well.

Then there’s the question: “will I keep going after day eleven?” Also, “what if it doesn’t do anything that’s promised for it?”

I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m noticing that many days since I started back into this regimen, things that target my lower chakras and insecurities; mainstream advertising – especially those attempting to leverage sexuality, anything else that’s supposed to remind me of how much less I am than others because I haven’t bought something or behaved the way someone expects me to – they all seem to have less of an impact on me. It’s almost like I’m more “in tune” with “me” and less interested in what others think, or of getting their approval, less interested in non-constructive fantasy (as opposed to fantasy that’s applied in creativity). OK, I don’t feel secure in that pronouncement yet. Perhaps that yogic sense of self hasn’t built up resilience and strength. I went to a barbeque Friday, found myself not apologizing or approval-seeking as much, but still felt like my yogic state-of-mind was deteriorated by the drive back home. The Access Consciousness folks have this technique where you inquire of each thought, “who does this belong to?” We’re all more psychic than we want to admit, they suggest. It’s a bit silly. But I do think we pick up on the obsessions and focus of the people around us, even without knowing it. Maybe this is all spiritual ego seeking validation from itself through delusion and fantasy, maybe not. The practical voice is also saying, “it’s nice you’re doing all this yoga, but that’s not going to pay the bills now, is it?” Yes, we’ve been down this road before.

Update, the next day: I take it back. It was all a delusion. I’m as gullible as the next kunda-looney.

Meditation to fly off the roof of your car and become found

Went to the Quaker Meeting this morning in Pasadena. Then had coffee with Norma, who lost her husband earlier this year to Parkinsons. Nice to catch up with her. Then I came home & grabbed the bass and the next four Master’s Touch meditations; put the meditations on the roof of my car as I loaded the bass into it. I drove off to play with Kevin at Elderberries. Had a nice time with Donna and Natasha and Kevin. As I was leaving Elderberries to go to my meditation meeting, I went to look for the meditations and realized I’d never taken them off the roof. I drove back to my building, which fortunately is fairly close by, drove through the parking lot, and onto the street again, and found three of them in the street, now with a rather unique antiqued “run over on the road” texture to them. I’m not sure if I was more surprised to have forgotten them on the roof or to have found them again! I have the Master’s Touch book, but have xeroxed the meditations to make them easier to move through. So….

1) Shabd Hazaaray / Healing the Wounds of Love 11 repetitions while driving
2) Moon Kriya, p. 152 which is quite similar to the 11 min. “Har” meditation but with the hands in fists and in front of the heart center.
3) Dancing Hands meditation p. 170
We did a variation of this during sadhana last Thursday morning.
Did 20 mins. during the meditation meeting; about to continue for 62 mins. total
4) 11 min. “Har”

Experiencing myself and pita from heaven

1) 3 min. Sat Kriya
2) Master’s Touch p. 142: “Warrior’s Exercise for Opening the Energy into the Shushmanaa & Balancing the Hemispheres of the Brain”
(It takes longer to read that meditation’s title out loud than to actually do the meditation…)
3) “Experiencing the Original You” p. 43 from Self Knowledge, about 12 mins. long
4) 11 min. “Har”
5) 11 recitations of Shabd Hazaaray
Before the final shabd chanting, I took a walk across Hollywood to return some library books, and forgot to bring my wallet. Most of what’s in it is earmarked for gas right now anyway. By the time I got to the library, I was wishing I had brought it since I was getting hungry. I put on the shabd, and before I’d gotten through one verse, I came upon 2 “to go” containers filled with fresh greek food, apparently left out for the homeless or the hungry yogi. Well, the pitas and pilaf looked fresh, and hopefully was safe to eat. Then I put the shabd back on, and started chanting, and here’s a bag of pennies lying along the sidewalk. 87 cents. Interesting, hmmm? OK, it’s not like that’s gonna pay the rent, but it won’t hurt either.

Understand Your Goodness & Lotus Prayer

1. ) “To Understand Your Goodness” from the old teacher’s training notebook manual, taken from Self Knowledge p. 29
It’s the “hyper-extend your lower back and then spank yourself” set. I chose it because it’s short, and have to head across town soon, actually should’ve left already, but I’d rather stay home doing yoga. I generally find driving to the west side, especially during rush hour – and on a Friday – to be a headache.

To-Understand-Your-Goodness-Dgms-2014-05-23-18.04.16I listened to “Tum Karo Daya Mere Sai” which I got from Kundalini Live Sukh’s up near Monterey. That recording has completely bewitched me.
Tum-Karo-Daya-2014-05-23-18.192.) 11 min. “Har”
3.) “Lotus Prayer for Prosperity & Projection unto Victory” MT p. 114
Lotus-Prayer-for-Prosperity-Dgm-Mantra-2014-05-23-18.03Like many yoga manual kriyas, the instructions refer to a recording I don’t have (and I have quite a lot) and it isn’t on Sikhnet. So I listened to Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru by Wahe Guru Kaur & Sat Kirin Kaur while chanting the mantra above, although you’re supposed to just listen to it. It’s distracting to try to do both.

I may just chant “Healing the Wounds of Love” (Shabd Hazaray) on the drive across town.

Where did “Long Time Sun” come from?

When I first began practicing Kundalini Yoga, I kept wondering what the “original” version of “May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You” was. One of the manuals mentioned that it was originally by the Incredible String Band, so I searched around and finally found a recording of it, on vinyl. It was on an album they did called, “The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter.” I couldn’t seem to find it on CD anywhere, although now YouTube has several copies of it. (Many people aren’t aware that the video formats on YouTube encode the audio/music of the video in an mp3 encapsulation, depending upon which format of the video you load) Here it is in mp3 form. I think it was part of a track called “A Very Cellular Song” on that album.

I have to say it didn’t thrill me. Actually, if they played that version at the end of a yoga class, I might’ve walked out and not come back. I’m so glad there have been so many beautiful recent renditions of it. Sat Kartar said she dug a bit deeper when she put it on her Sadhana CD, for copyright reasons, and found out it was actually a public domain folk song which she tracked to Europe.

I was really struck by the clarion call of her beautiful voice when I first heard her at summer solstice, and got to hear her group in Phoenix during my return trip home from NM. She told me stories of the Khalsa String Band, I think she called it, which included many who are now veteran musicians and teachers in the community, among them Krishna Kaur and Guru Singh. She said they traveled around the country performing with Yogi Bhajan.

At present, one of my other favorite versions of the song is by Snatam Kaur, but the most rockin’ version I’ve heard of it was performed a cappella by Krishna Kaur for our teacher’s training class – I keep hoping I’ll find it in my cassettes of the training sessions again, but I haven’t been able to. I wish she had a recording of it – or maybe she does and I haven’t come across it yet.

Sat Kriya Workout + Asst. Meditations

Sat-Kriya-Workout-2014-05-23-05.56.53Today: Sat Kriya Workout
Guru Prem Explains:

Guru Rattan’s Explanation:

Master’s Touch Meditations from Class 8:
“Meditating on the Different Names for God” p. 89
“Meditation for Tuning into Your Aura” p. 88
11 min. “Har”
“Healing the Wounds of Love” Shabd Hazaray 11 recitations