Please help us grow Yoga…..

A post by Narada / Tony Sugden

‘Please help us grow Yoga in this Land of Ours’ – An appeal
from our Zambian Yoga Group.

We have lost the use of our Yoga Hall.
Those of you who read my previous post (Mandala branch in Africa) know that I established a Yoga group in Eastern Province, Zambia. Well the group is thriving; Swamiji refers to them as ‘our African Branch’. But the Lodge where they worked, and where we used to do our Yoga, is in great difficulty because of the lack of visitors due to Covid, so not only have my friends lost their meagre income, but they have lost the use of the hall where we practised.

Discourse on Ishavasya Upanishad

A commentary on the Ishavasya Upanishad by Swami Nishchalananda on Friday 28th of August. This was Swamiji’s usual Friday evening online get-together with people from Europe and the UK, organised by Mandala Yoga Ashram.

This Upanishad starts with the Shanti Path (Invocation of Peace), Om Purnamadaha – for a translation and to hear this wonderful chant, here’s a link to a post on this blog from earlier in the year.

Life in the Ashram: Raj interviewed.

An interview with Raj Soni, by Narada

The new header picture on the blog (not this post), taken just this morning down the track, shows the Autumnal foggy mornings we get here, up on top of our Welsh hilltop. Quite beautiful, spectrally still with sheep wraiths floating out of the mist; the mist which is really clouds come down around our ears like a damp winter muffler.

Bhagavad Gita – the Yoga of Right Action

by Swami Nishchalananda

(Note: this article is also given in Swamiji’s book ‘The Edge of Infinity’ (chapter 7), published by Mandala Yoga Ashram).

The Bhagavad Gita (lit., the ‘Song of the Divine’) is a superb classical Sanskrit text on the practical and mystical teachings of Yoga. It is a scripture on Brahma Vidya (the ‘Science of Consciousness’), showing us how Yoga can be lived moment to moment in daily life and how our actions can be a way to transcendence. 

The Unreal has no existence, the Real will always be.

A commentary on Verse 16 of Chapter 2 from the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Nishchalananda, extracted from a longer online transmission given to a group of people from Europe and the UK.

Swami Nishchalananda studied with his teacher, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, in India for 14 years and during that time explored the rich history of Yoga and Tantra in the land of their origin. The Bhagavad Gita is an astonishing text. It doesn’t matter whether it narrates a historical event or whether it is allegorical myth; the Wisdom expressed is profound. The translation Swamiji is using is that of Swami Sivananda Saraswati, the Teacher and Guru of Swami Satyananda.

The Space of the Heart

A guided meditation given by Swami SatyaDaya to Ashram residents on the morning of July 30, 2020. The essence of the meditation is allowing the sense of self, the consciousness, to rest into the Heart space (the domain of Anahata Chakra) and from there, welcome all experiences whatever they may be. This process is very much reflected in the poem by Rumi ‘The Guest House’. All experience can be welcomed into the light of awareness.

The Process of Spiritual life

The Process of Spiritual life, it’s really just a process of more and more identifying with this Conscious Presence….. the fact that we are Conscious

An online satsang given by Swami Nishchalananda to participants worldwide, 31 July 2020

Even if a sense is cut off you can still perceive through the subtle medium of that sense. This is the basis of using the senses inwards, just think of what happens in dreaming. But from the perspective of Conscious Presence what is outside is outside but also what we considered to be inside, mind emotions and feelings, they are also outside. 

This is the mystery, if we go deeper, that nothing is outside of consciousness.

A birthday webinar by Swamiji

Actually… the day before. On a Friday evening the day before Swami Nishchalananda’s birthday we again got together with people from around Europe and the UK courtesy of online videoconferencing platform Zoom. We started with a rousing, and raucous, rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to you’. Set the atmosphere for a session underpinned with a feeling of love and affection. Nice.

Of his birthday, Swamiji said that anyone’s birthday is an opportunity to re-affirm the mystery of our life…. to come back to the basics with regard to our way of thinking, feeling, doing…. look at ways in which they block the natural unfolding of our realisation of conscious presence.

Then a question, one of the big ones…. ‘Is there a conscious presence even when there is no-one to perceive it?’

As individuals, we are expressions which come out of Conscious Presence.

Swami Nishchalananda

Our Life is far stranger than our conceptual understanding

There’s a discussion regarding the way we’ve taken the description of Reality given via the materialistic paradigm taught to us as children, and the fact that now some branches of Science put consciousness at the centre of their paradigm (e.g. especially Quantum Physics).

Further to the discussion of Consciousness as the centre of our life, Swamiji also points out that we also have our Personalities which are expressions of our uniqueness as human beings, but we can get stuck in repetitive ways of acting and feeling, and that can cause us problems.

Spirituality, Yoga, doesn’t mean we have to reject our personality. It just means that we have to get a feeling for that which underlies that personality.

Satsang and Q&A with Swamiji, 10 July 2020

The last of the Friday morning Web-based Q&A sessions (they are moving to Friday evenings) started as usual with a guided meditation on the Chakras to develop awareness the ‘spaciousness from which everything arises’.

The satsang responded to questions from participants in the UK and Europe, and one of the biggest issues naturally, is the dramatic changes brought about by the ‘lockdown’ in many countries around the World. Swami Nishchalananda raised the issue of honesty; saying there is so much potential now that the World could be destroyed by people with power; it’s crucial that we look for honesty both in ourselves, and in those to whom we give political power.