|AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - Feb 2017|
by Little student of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Tradition
“Love Whispers,” Listening to Inner Guru, Reawakening Divine Feminine Within, January 20-22, 2017; Baan Phu Waan, Sampran Thailand, with Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati
Fresh from a wonderful opportunity to spend time with three great teachers, Stoma Parker, Ashutosh Sharma and Peter Fabian (in December 2016), another blessing has been bestowed upon Thai people, with the presence of Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati. Swamiji has returned to Thailand for the third time; she definitely feels this land of smile (Thailand) is one of her beloved homelands.
In a workshop attracting about 60 participants, Swami Nitya led us to find out “who we are”, in a deepest sense, not merely who we are as we understand in normal concept based upon shallow thinking. The title of the workshop was “Love Whispers”, borrowed from one of the books by Swami Rama. This book is a bit different from Swami Rama’s other books because it is a collection of parts of his own personal spiritual diary, in which he expressed his immense love and gratitude for the “Divine Mother” in the form of beautiful poems.
The word “Mother” defines and includes all characteristics and functions which we understand as feminine principles such as giving birth (creation), nurturing (that which has been created), and providing protection against all dangers. All these sacred actions (and many more) are done unconditionally. And if we were to use only one word that encompass all these noble qualities, then there is no other word more suitable than “Love”. Swami Rama once said “Love” is the power governing the entire universe.
While this feminine principle is universal and has no gender, one of its most tangible forms is expressed in the form of women and female animals of all species. However, Swami Nitya cautioned us not to mistake the sacred feminine principle with only woman, because man too can get in touch with and develop this part in himself in order to evolve as a complete human being. The need for everyone to restore (or return to) this divine feminine principle in her/himself is never at a higher level than it is now.
Deep down in a subconscious mind, everyone knows how sacred the divine feminine is. This is because human beings have learned from experiences by observing what happened in their lives. By observation, they knew that new lives were born from women. When such awareness grew with more experiences, they began to observe the nature (earth, cosmos, etc.) and became aware too that everything in the universe (that can be observed) came into being by the same principle. There is energy that gives birth to all lives in the entire Universe, as there is energy in woman that gives life to a human baby. People in the ancient time all over the world respected and worshipped this powerful energy filled with supreme intelligence as “Great Divine Mother” and gave her many names, according to their cultures and traditions. They lived their lives in harmony with one another as well as with everything else in the nature. The expansion of such understanding from the level of human experience to experiences at the cosmic level (i.e. the principle of creation) is called “Tantra”. So Tantra is the principle of expansion.
As time passed, the mankind has deteriorated from glory and become individualized. Instead of living with all and for all, human being wanted to live for only “me”. Sacred Divine Feminine principle has been slowly forgotten. Greed, selfishness, and the quest for power have dominated the ways of human lives to the extent that we are at blink of destroying our own race and everything else. If things do not change for a better, we will leave nothing for the next generations to come.
Swami Nitya urged us to start making a journey back to that sacred principle which is already within ourselves – to start with oneself is always the best approach. To do so is not different from developing a sacred relationship with “the Guru within”. In the book Love Whispers, Swami Rama revered the “Great Divine Mother” as his ultimate Guru and he composed several beautiful poems in praise of Her. Most of the participants are Buddhists who may not be familiar with the term “Divine Mother” and might associate this word with the concept of God . However, Swami Nitya beautifully described that “Divine Mother” and “Mother Nature” are not different and the latter term fits very well with the teaching in Buddhism; Swamiji taught us that if we learn to listen to the nature, we can gain all the wisdoms that we need in order to enlighten ourselves, because the nature is the Ultimate Guru.
So, how to listen as our minds seem to be filled with countless of noises mostly from our own unproductive thoughts all the time?. In this respect, Swami Nitya said practicing meditation is the most effective tool. Practicing meditation regularly will gradually lead us to the state of meditation (which is different from practicing meditation) where there is nothing but silence or Shunya (Great void). In that silence, we will hear the soft whispers from that Great Love, that Mother Nature, that Guru within, that God (they are all the same). When we hear that voice, we will feel fullness from inside and only from that point, we can reduce our expectation from others and external things, which is the cause of all suffering. With internal fullness, we will care more for others, especially those who are suffering. We will love and want to protect nature more. We will understand who we really are and the purpose of our lives. Life will take on a new meaning and a new way of living one’s life can follow.
To prepare for meditation practice, Swami Nitya introduced us to “Makkaho”, a set of physical and mental exercises which she had learned from her Zen Master. Makkaho helps rebalance the prana and five energy fields (Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space) of which our bodies and minds are made. After Makkaho, Swamiji wonderfully guided us through deep relaxation practice, followed by extended meditation in sitting posture.
Small Himalayan Yoga Meditation family in Thailand was so happy to acknowledge that many people have absorbed the teachings well. One lady shared her experience that it was a great joy for her to discover that she and nature cannot be separated and that Mother Nature is already within her. We hope that the seeds that Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati has planted in us would be nurtured and protected, through our efforts to get in touch with Divine Feminine within ourselves, until they grow into big trees giving birth to several delicious fruits to be shared with others.
Little student of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Tradition