JoJo Rabbit and God – A contemplation on non-duality in the modern world.

I apologize in advance for anyone that this may offend. It is not my usual approach to writing here, but it is at the forefront of my mind.

In an effort to continue the weekly postings on Mystical Tidbits and the evolution of Durga Ma’s work, I found myself in a pickle. She had the gift of the shastras. Every morning Durga Ma would study scripture, translate sanskrit and write commentary that became the wealth of knowledge that you find here.

My gifts are, well… unusual and undecided at this point. But we do share the sincere desire for people to become inspired to act, to wake-up, and to seek Truth. I want to write about the beauty and glory of Truth, but sometimes that comes in a less than desirable package. So here we go…

Yesterday I went with some friends to see JoJo Rabbit. Probably not what most people expect a yogi to do, but I love a good film and a controversial topic to sink my teeth into for contemplation.

All is THAT. download

This is the aim of the yogi. To realize, to make real the truth that there is none other in existence than One/God/Truth/Divine through the process of unbecoming everything else to the final dawning of pure consciousness. We give our lives and efforts to the path of Self-Realization for the purpose of liberation from suffering and ultimately, the suffering of the world.

So sitting in a theatre watching real documented footage of people pining to touch Adolf Hitler was a challenge. The heart is a fickle thing, just like the mind, and just like the human self. It’s a lot easier to move into a transcended state of consciousness when I am alone, or with people I get along with, or while teaching. But how does enlightenment stack up when we are face to face with a phenomenon like Adlof Hitler?

There is a reason yogi’s go to caves and live in solitude. That is not my path this time around, so here I am in the world… seeking Truth with unceasing devotion and increasing fervor, while in a movie theatre watching a young boy in Nazi Germany negotiating a very real situation.

You should know that everything becomes a contemplation of Truth in my world, and on my way home I found myself swept away reflecting on the condition of our modern world in relationship to the striking similarities of those in JoJo Rabbit.

I can’t help but think of my own child, nearly 8 years old, and other children… leading ultimately to the world which, in a not so distant past was in the middle of WWII. I thought of the coincidence that this film is out now, during an administration that is arguably in place through the efforts of preying on people’s fear. We live in a world that is at war with itself on more than one level, fueled largely by the fear of what we do not know and do not understand, and are too afraid to confront honestly.

But perhaps the most significant thought which arose, is that it takes something as catastrophic as the Holocaust to awaken the human heart. While only a few decades to forget, and for some to deny all together.

More often than not it is the pain of suffering, and the loss of all hope that brings a human to the level of humility needed to finally open to real love. A fundamental desire of the human experience, and a necessity for survival that seems to persist in the modern world more as a threat than as an accessible reality.

By this point in my contemplation the tears were streaming uncontrollably and I felt the overwhelming suffering that is our collective ignorance. Between the sobs I looked for a way out that would satisfy the mind’s desire to confirm that all is THAT, and to release me from the grip of witnessing the power of fear. Fear for my son, for the world, for my self,  of being gobbled up in the illusion of feeling powerless, peppered with unwillingness to do differently, to do better.

But it didn’t come. Because the mind can’t give you freedom. True freedom comes from the heart.

Rumi wrote, “keep breaking your heart until, finally, it breaks completely open.”

Truth sometimes comes in a tear-drenched, snot-filled realization that our greatest power is in our capacity to love. Our ability to remain vulnerable to an exploration of self, without the premature transcendence into the “thought” that everything is perfect just as it is. That pivotal point where we give up out of cowardice or misunderstanding and pretend that it’s ok. We must go beyond the limits of where we feel comfortable and be willing to dip into a deeper reservoir of our reality.

What is waiting in the darkest recesses of the heart? Truth.

Everything is THAT, pure and perfect omnipotent one-ness of Divinity.

What is required of us to embody that reality is the dedication and commitment to realizing it. We do better by being willing to encounter ourselves with self-honesty, and others with less judgement and more acceptance. We exercise our power by choosing not to empower fear, or to condone violence as an excuse for it.

Durga Ma told me (on more than one occasion)

“The greatest gift you can give the world is your own awakening.”

So this experience became a reminder of personal revelation and the importance of remaining available to the infinite manifestations of love (which sometimes is nothing more than fear parading as a boundary of our true potential), as well as a personal recommendation for a tremendous film. A captivating journey, which, I think beautifully captured the essence of the human heart to rescue us from the perils of our own misunderstanding. The world is inherently unstable by nature and constantly reinventing itself in the reflection of the inhabitants who best capture our attention, so we should take great care in where we place ours.

It also served as a reminder of why I continue my practice and my work. We are far from free and all we have is time, so the question is… how will you spend yours?

With Love,

Anandi

1008 Pranams to Durga Ma and all the Masters who have gone before in the quest of Knowledge and Truth, who have left a blazing trail to follow. My many heartfelt thanks to you who read this all the way through an entertained my otherwise child-like fascination of finding Truth through experiencing life in the world.

My deepest heartfelt gratitude to Taika Waititi and all of the people and efforts that brought this film to life. It was an important act of courage and an incredible use of creative vision and skill, blended with the perfect amount of levity to an otherwise heavy subject. May we all learn from the grace of those who are willing to confront the dimensions of humanity that threaten freedom when left unattended.

 

 

 

Kundalini Truth & Consequence – Part Two

I won’t tell you it is a good idea to awaken Kundalini. Nor would I say it’s a bad idea. It isn’t about good or bad, right or wrong, better or worse. It is a personal matter of choice and knowing what you want.

Being forewarned is being forearmed.

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

If you read part one of this post and listened to Durga Ma’s talk on kundalini, you might be intrigued to find out there’s a lot more to consider and to understand if we are tempting to awaken her (kundalini).

With all of the front page hype about “expanding your field of loving-awareness” as the motivation for moving forward, it feels prudent to  to include some more information.

Durga Ma was passionate about empowering people to make conscious decisions based on knowledge, and I am passionate about continuing this aspect of her legacy. She was (in my humble opinion) unrivaled in her experience and understanding about the process of spiritual development, and ability to articulate and guide one on the path. That is not to say she is alone in this category, but she is absolutely trustworthy according to my personal experience which continues today.

At the end of the day, Kundalini has one job – to evolve you. All of you, literally. She is not interested in if you feel good, are looking for a soul-mate, or seeking personal development so you can fulfill your worldly desires. She is for the one who seeks Liberation, or for the fettering of fools. This is a common warning Durga Ma freely distributed to any seeker who uttered the “k” word.

You may not agree or even like what I have to say, and I welcome it. I’m not sharing Durga Ma’s work with the intention of discouraging anyone, but sharing what she shared with me… knowledge is power, and power can be advantageous or destructive.

There were many times over the years that I initially felt diametrically opposed to something Durga Ma would share or say… but I accepted it (not to say I liked it, or agreed with it). What happened as a result of being willing to accept her unconditionally, was that it allowed her wisdom to begin to work on me from the inside out.

Our journey to traverse the infinite landscape of spiritual awakening is most likely not going to happen over a 3 day weekend retreat. I also regret to inform you that it isn’t all going to be “cherry berry Ben.” While there may be no real control over the outcome, we must first begin with taking responsibility for the outcome, which is where it seems appropriate to get some real grounded knowledge on what it is we are seeking.

Durga Ma told me once that if anyone said they understood kundalini, that I should run. I have only my personal experience that is validated by her teachings and scripture, so I will leave with you the second part of her discussion on kundalini here. If you are considering or pursuing kundalini awakening, or even in the midst of it already,  I invite you to this engaging discussion. There is nothing but wisdom to be gained by taking the time to listen and enjoy the simplicity and directness of her teachings.

May your journey be blessed in every direction and may you receive the knowledge you need to make conscious choices that support what it is you truly want.

Listen to Durga Ma’s talk on Kundalini – Part Two here.

With Love,

Anandi

P.S. There is an addendum I would like to add since this recording was nearly 30 years ago. At one point she mentions that her kundalini was not stationed in the head at the time she was taping this talk.

It was however, by all accounts firmly stationed and had transformed into maruti prior to her mahasamadhi in June, 2019. In the future I plan to share some of the information about this process from her account. However, I mention it at this time as a reminder to her students and initiates because a Guru can only take one as far as one has gone themselves, and I think it might bring great joy to us to be reminded of her completion of this sadhana when we feel or perceive any obstacle in our path.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God)!

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Please obtain my permission first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

 

 

Final Liberation

Durga porch
Devi Durga Ma at Nature’s Gate Retreat Center in upstate NY June, 2019

On Summer Solstice, Friday June 21st our beloved Devi Durga Ma entered mahasamadhi (final liberation). The world has lost a spiritual giant, whose life will silently live in the eternity of our hearts working tirelessly for our own Liberation through the power of love.

When a Self-Realized Master of yoga leaves the physical plane of existence, it is never a small matter. In the moments just before Durga Ma entered into the breathless state, a sudden storm came through briefly enough to gain our attention and reveal a full rainbow stretching itself across the property of Nature’s Gate. I invite and encourage you to allow yourself to experience the gifts she left for each of us, in our memories, minds, and hearts.

In many ways she is more available to us now then ever before, but we feel the deep grief of loosing this magnificent being from our physical worldly life. It is with firm conviction and a heart sunk with the gratitude of a million suns that I can understand and appreciate the value of a guru in physical form.

There is much ahead for all of us that Durga Ma planted in expectant joy to unravel and discover. Before it can bloom we are taking the opportunity, and a few months to go deep into the experience of being with, and receiving the teachings of a great soul, to be sure that her mission (to restore the worship of the Divine Feminine) is revealed in a way that will leave a legacy for generations to come.

Durga Ma was sure that her work, and this sadhana would be continued in her absence. At her request, I have agreed to receive her students and questions with the understanding that  I will maintain the guru lineage of shaktipat kundalini yoga and continue with traditional shaktipat kundalini yoga initiations for future students. It is my greatest honor in life, and although she saw something in me that I have yet to be convinced of myself, I accept this tremendous gift with an open heart. May I, in some way be fit to offer you even an ounce of the love, wisdom, and patience she gave me from the moment I met her.

I am eternally grateful for the grace of my guru, the last guru, Devi Durga Ma. 1008 pranams at your holy lotus feet, may you dance in the infinite bliss of the Absolute and may we never forget your love in the heart of our souls as the spark of Truth which guides us home.

Jaya Bhagavan (victory to God)!

With Boundless Love,

Anandi

To contact Anandi directly via email here.