Two days ago (Tuesday):
I’ve found myself frequently trying to squeeze my yoga in between other responsibilities and errands, and I got the car washed before my hike. I was running late again, and realized I wouldn’t have enough time to do the entire “Men’s Exercises for Potency and Potential” set from Ravi Singh’s “Kundalini Yoga for Body, Mind, and Beyond” manual. I did my 11 min. “Har” meditation at the car wash, which provided some distraction for the others waiting for their cars to be waxed. Then I thought it might be too annoying to start into the Men’s set there, and headed to an adjacent house’s sidewalk lawn where I did the first few exercises, then my car was finally done. I drove up to Tree People, and finished the set before meeting my friend for our hike.
These exercises are printed in several places. In addition to Ravi Singh’s manual, they’re in the Man to Man Men’s camp lecture transcripts, and might be in one of Gururattan’s manuals too. But Ravi Singh’s manual is best; the illustrations and explanations are more thorough. The Man to Man version didn’t include illustrations, if I recall correctly. It’s actually kind of frustrating, to me, that this is the only real “men’s set,” while there are many whole manuals for women. Do we wonder why more guys don’t come to yoga? (“Yoga… what, like stretching and stuff? – are there hot chicks there?” – um, well, that’s a whole ‘nother topic for frustrated discussion, but after teaching a friend Kundalini Set #2, he said it reminded him of football practice)
As far as the hike went, I guess it became clear I haven’t cleared all my relationship karma yet. So much for “Healing the Wounds of Love.” However, chanting that again afterwards seemed pretty powerful, and the next day too. I could point to the things my hiking partner didn’t bring to the table, but I’m more interested in what I can change about myself for future opportunities. What I’m facing is having to let go of some things and having the willingness to take those actions; today I took some action; we’ll see how life plays out. I’m not sure I want to get into details on this blog though. I’m not sure if I was depressed or just tired after the hike though, and that lingered through into yesterday too.
Yesterday (Wednesday): 11 mins. “Har”
That was it, and I was resisting even that. A steak and potatoes dinner really didn’t help. Maybe that’s a good argument for a vegetarian diet – at least for more veggies in my meals. I was feeling really anti-self-care last night.
Was running late, and had planned to do the Kundalini Set #2, which has been one of my favorite sets, in Plummer Park. But I had to rush through it, and shortened most exercises by half, a third, or quarter. Then I dashed off to my event, and the building was closed. So I went back to the car and did “Har” for 11 minutes, and then MT p. 191 “Meditation to Develop the Mature, Elevated Caliber of a Spiritual Teacher Parts 1 & 2″
“Ardaas Bhayee, Amar Daas Guroo, Amar Daas Guroo, Ardaas Bhayee,
Ram Das Guru, Ram Das Guru, Ram Das Guru, Sachee Sahee.”
4 mins whistled; 1-1/2 mins breath of fire; 2-1/2 mins sing from the navel
I ended up doing this in my car because the homeless guys in the park were creeping me out, and it seemed less distracting. But the car ceiling wasn’t high enough, so my head was pressed up against it. Frankly these meditations didn’t seem too exciting, and I didn’t feel much effect. What was happening was that I noticed how distracted I was by things around me, and gradually felt more focused by the end. That process started with the “Har” meditation before it, actually.
To my frustration, I’ve not yet found a recording of Ardas Bhaiee, although I’ve done various versions of it, making up a melody as I go. For a while, several years ago, I played a samba rhythm on a drum machine while chanting over it (the same rhythm used in my “Har” mix with my electric bass playing on it).
Then I headed over to the gig of one of the cooks from Elderberries, which was wonderful. Her band is fantastic. I spent some time chatting with the musicians and club’s booker, Shannon, who among other things is working as Alyssa Milano’s stand-in on her current TV show. Really nice time with some great people and great music.
About Set #2: I had discovered this set in Gururattan Kaur’s “Sexuality and Spirtuality” manual before I did teacher’s training, and loved it. During teacher’s training, Gurushabd was going to teach the “Opportunity and Green Energy Set” which is in Gururattan’s “Relax and Renew” manual (and may be in others too). Gurushabd couldn’t find the set before class for some reason, and admitted that he’d chosen the Set #2 because they both open the heart chakra which is great for prosperity. Afterwards the other students started arrogantly putting him down (not to his face) for that; I thought it was interesting that he knew that both sets could have similar effects.
It was recommended that we chose a set to practice for 40 days, and I decided upon this one. It calls for doing 54 frogs, and by the time I was about a week into it, my body wasn’t cooperating and my knees were killing me. I don’t (knock on wood) have any knee problems, so it was definitely strain from the yoga set. I had a little chat with Tej Kaur, and she said there was no reason to stick to the set, just choose another one. I was a little disappointed, but it made sense.
Another time I taught it to a couple friends in my apartment, and had also done it before teaching. I did it at least twice, maybe three times that day. I was in hyperspace! I headed crosstown to a band rehearsal with Danny Rossman, who played drums with me and Guru Singh, and I felt like I was playing my butt off – definitely because of the yoga. It was my first rehearsal with that band, and we were playing gigs immediately, which surprised me. It attributed that to the yoga set before that rehearsal.
Krishna Kaur taught this set before White Tantric one year. There could barely be a worse environment for teaching yoga; everyone was walking in late and re-arranging things while people were trying to do the yoga. It was horribly distracting, but well-needed before doing 6-8 hours of sitting meditations. I mentioned afterwards that I loved that set and the manual it was in. She was surprised; she thought it hadn’t been printed, and was teaching it from her original notes from when Yogi Bhajan taught it.
As for “Opportunity and Green Energy Set” – which I haven’t done recently, I remember doing it on Fire Island shortly after teacher’s training. It was winter, the off-season, so the Island is mostly deserted. Previously I had usually taken the ferry there with my girl-friend, who introduced me to the summer haven. However the west end is also accessible by car, where a bridge connects with Jones Beach near Robert Moses State Park Lighthouse. I drove and hiked in, and did the set in a sandy playground in Saltaire. Then I walked to the bay side towards a diner there to have dinner. A long-haired cat came out from underneath a house (many homes are perched on stilts, I guess because of flooding). It meowed at me, hung out a bit, and ran off again. As I walked down the street, I saw a poster with the cat’s picture, offering a $1000 reward if found. Unfortunately, the cat had gotten away, so I couldn’t cash in on my prosperity yoga.
I’ve discovered that the Master’s Touch “Blessings” meditations I did Sunday were only parts 1 & 2 of several, perhaps 5, so I’ll have to continue with the others.