Apr 012014
 

Essential questions of self inquiry:

why have you come?
what do you want?
and who are you?

People are often initially led to Satsang for many different reasons. Initially they may be wanting help, or healing, or resolve on life’s situations. They may be wanting to feel better or to quieten the mind. There may even be a desire for freedom, usually ‘from’ life’s adversities, challenges or unpleasant feelings.

The purpose of Satsang is not to heal or fix or change, it is the process of inquiry into that which is true, that which is unchanging. Through the process of self inquiry, often a deeper longing is discovered, a calling to come home, home to yourself. Satsang is the confirmation of that which you are.
In direct inquiry one of the first essential questions to ask is ‘what do you want ?’ what do you really want ? and to speak the truth to yourself. If what you want is ‘respect’ or ‘love’ or ‘safety’ or ‘peace’ or fulfillment or ‘freedom from’ … this then is the starting point, where inquiry can begin, into what is deeper than those wants.


So this is the starting point, to really know what you want and to be totally honest, ruthlessly honest. For in that truthful inquiry and response a deeper truth can be uncovered, can be revealed.  These initial wants ( for health, attainment, freedom ‘from’ etc, ) give way to a deeper longing of the self calling the self home.


Then the question ‘who am i ?’ can be asked, ‘who is it that is wanting?’ ‘who is it that is desiring?’, ‘who is it that wants freedom?’, ‘who is it that is inquiring?’


My teacher Papaji and his teacher Ramana Marharshi asked this same essential question ‘who am I?’


This is the inquiry for Satsang…
Who am i? who is this ‘I’ that is arising? and where is it arising?
When we follow this question back, back to its source, follow the I back into the self, on the way we discover all that the “i” was seemed to be constructed of, the Identity, the form, body, mind, emotions, and the clinging to this identity as real.
When we meet in Satsang we come to discover who we are, our essential self, our true nature, this that is unobscured by the egoic self, this that is untouched by any ‘thing’.
This that we are is silence itself, awareness itself, this that all is arising and falling in, appearing and disappearing in, this that is you is this that is already free. This silent awareness.
When we really hear Papaji’s words “Satsang is not to do or undo anything” then we come together simply as we are, to tell the truth about what is already here, what is already free, this is the blessing and the opportunity of Satsang - let us meet here as this that we are – freedom itself
In Love and endless gratitude for this that you are ~ Namaste Yantra-ji

Mar 242014
 

Is there a Problem ?


Do you have a problem? What is the problem? Where is the problem? Does this problem need fixing? Is there even a problem? Where does it exist?

Most people take it for granted that there are problems in life, in our world. We see, hear, and experience numerous problems every day. Problems with the state of the world, health, war, famine, hygiene, the government, the system, personal problems, relationships, work, health, finances, the list goes on & on. There is even the problem of the Spiritual search, of becoming awake or enlightened.

Let us take some time to inquire into what this thing called ‘problem’ really is. Where does it come from? ..  and..  does it even actually exist?
This inquiry is not suggesting that action is not to be taken, or healing, kindness, love or care offered if a situation calls it forth. The fact that we can be compassionate and take action aligned with that is a wonderful human quality.

Human beings spend so much time on their problems, so much attention is given to avoiding or fixing something, either inside or outside of the individual self.
When it comes to the spiritual search this is no different. Often we will hear… “I just have to fix my self” , or “let go of my baggage” or “if i can just be still enough” or”quieten the mind”, or “if i can just earn enough money, be healthy” etc … “if i can just deal with my problems” .. THEN .. I will be free.

What really is a problem? it is interesting to have a look at the meaning of the word problem itself :

  1. a ‘matter or situation’ regarded as ‘unwelcome or harmful’ and needing to be ‘dealt with and overcome’
  2. a ‘thing’ that is difficult to achieve or accomplish
  3. an inquiry starting from ‘given conditions’ to investigate or demonstrate a fact, result, or law
  4. a proposition in which ‘something has to be constructed’
  5. (in various games, especially chess) an arrangement of pieces in which the solver has to achieve a ‘specified result’
  6. disagree with or have an objection to
  7. used to express one’s agreement or acquiescence
  8. (said with emphatic stress on pronoun) used to express one’s lack of interest in or sympathy with the problems or misfortunes of another person

When we really hear the words that are used here in these definitions, we begin to get a clue as to where the problem exists.

Who is the one that needs to alter, fix, heal, solve, object, change, achieve, acquiesce ? .. No matter what is perceived as a problem, even if there is an outer manifestation in physical form, it all arises in the MIND. The mind determines that something is not right, a thing, an event, a circumstance. The mind then goes on to determine a series of action(s) to fix the problem, however even if a solution is found for one problem, the mind continues to invent new or more problems. These problems continue to be given ‘attention’, and they continue to be validated by concretising in physical form. It is an endless cycle of ‘attention on problems, based in past and projected into future.’

My teacher Papaji would often say to those who brought tier problems to him ” where is the problem, show it to me , show it Here & Now, if you tell me you are not free, if you say you are bound, then show me the bondage, where are the fetters and chains ? ”

What happens when just for a moment we turn our attention away from the problem ( not in denial or suppression or in the hope that it will go away ) rather just turning the attention away from any problem or problem solving… and discover … where does the problem arise? follow it back to its source, what is it really made of? Follow that back to its source. … In this way you discover that which is untouched either by problem or solution. Here as you are, there is nothing that needs to be fixed, nothing that needs to be changed, altered, healed, here as you are, you are just as you are, already free – not just free of problems – free entirely, wholly, completely.
Then what was originally seen as a problem is seen to be the minds movement away from the self, the attention moving to object and form, to something that is named, called a problem .. all that is required is just for a moment that the attention is here and now. Where then is the problem? What is needed? what is discovered to be true?

Knowing beyond the mind, the endlessness of the self allows action to arise spontaneously, freely. Whatever is called for, arises out of this endless stream of self. All is seen and experienced as this self. Healing, love, compassion occurs not because it is needed to fix something or someone, rather just as an endless expression of this one self.

When we really hear Papaji’s words “Satsang is not to do or undo anything” then we come together simply as we are, to tell the truth about what is already here, what is already free, this is the blessing and the opportunity of Satsang - let us meet here as this that we are – freedom itself
In Love and endless gratitude for this that you are ~ Namaste Yantra-ji

Mar 172014
 

 

The ‘Story of Self’


Often the question arises in Satsang, ‘how can we live in this world, work in this world, what can we do, what can we offer, how can change occur? Just knowing who I am, how can that make any difference to anything, to the suffering, to the corruption, to the injustices of this world ?

To be caught in identifying yourself as a separate self, identifying with the world itself, causes suffering.

Charles Eisenstein, has written a book calledSacred Economics’ he shares that he “often speaks about the ‘story of self’, that every culture has, and it answers the question what are you? What is it to be human?  … This ‘story of self’ really creates our world .. the separate self ” … he says “if you are a separate self and if there are other separate selves out there, then other species are indifferent to you, even hostile, then you definitely want to control, you want to be able to have power over other beings, and over these whimsical arbitrary forces of nature, that could extinguish you at any time  …. he also goes on to add that ” this story is becoming obsolete , its becoming no longer true, we don’t resonate with it any more… its actually generating crisis. ” … This then, he says is …” clearing the space for us to step into a new story of self and a new story of the people.”

Click Here for the link to the 12minute short film called ‘There’s a new old way to think about money . Are you ready  for it?’ where Charles Eisenstein speaks about Sacred Economics and the Story of Self .


“We’ve all been given a gift, the gift of life. What we do with our lives is our gift back.” ~ Edo

In Satsang, in life, in any moment, we have the opportunity to ask the question ‘who am I’, to inquire into the ‘story of this self ‘that we have constructed, identified with and believed. To really ask the question ‘ who am i’ until even the ‘I’ is penetrated, the self then is discovered to be all, not a thing, not a someone, not a quality, this that everything ( world, beauty, suffering, separate identities ) all arise in.

As already mentioned, often the question arises in Satsang, ‘how can we live in this world, work in this world, what can we do, what can we offer, how can change occur? Just knowing who I am, how can that make any difference to anything, to the suffering, to the corruption, to the injustices of this world ?
These questions whilst valid, all arise in the mind.

 When you stop the identifying with mind, when you dis-identify with the ‘story of self, me & mine, you and yours, I,’ and experience the endless unbounded freedom of self, this then leaves no question of doubt as to who you are.

All action then comes easily, effortlessly through you, as you. Then change, if that is what is called for, occurs organically, naturally, spontaneously , not because something needs to change or should change, just because life itself is directing that particular movement, that particular action through you, freely, as freedom itself.

When we really hear Papaji’s words “Satsang is not to do or undo anything” then we come together simply as we are, to tell the truth about what is already here, what is already free, this is the blessing and the opportunity of Satsang - let us meet here as this that we are – freedom itself
In Love and endless gratitude for this that you are ~ Namaste Yantra-ji

Mar 102014
 

Self, Selfish, Selfless


” A few weeks ago on the weekend I had the opportunity to share socially with a group of people, some who I had never met. The conversation amongst a group of us started with one women asking the usual round of general questions with answers ” .. and so what do you do ?”  … When it came to me, this woman was extremely interested and on some levels confronted by our sharing about what ” I do”.  Satsang for me is not something that I do, it is something that is offered freely through me, through the grace that lives this life, called Yantra. This conversation became a deeper sharing and opening between us, with many revealing questions and insights .

One of the deeper questions she asked was :
“Surely to know the self, must mean one is ‘selfish’ ? And how then does one relate to the world or others, with any compassion, care or understanding, if there is only this ‘selfish’ desire to know ones self?

What a beautiful opening to explore and inquire into the truth.
A conversation can only be a starting point, a pointer.
Satsang offers the opportunity for this starting point of conversation to become deeper self-inquiry.


So the question: If there is only this ‘selfish’ desire to know ones self?
Let us inquire directly together what this selfishness, this desire, then really is?

Self inquiry as described by my teacher Papaji and his teacher Ramana Marharshi, “is to look inside and ask the question “Who Am I ?”, to find out where this “I” comes from. There is only one Master, and it is neither male nor female. You find one by having an intense desire for freedom. Death.”


Papaji mentions several events in his own life which serve to illustrate, in a general way, how the process of realisation of self comes about, he says:
” There must be a desire for God, a love for Him, OR a desire for liberation. Without that, nothing is possible.”
“This desire for God or realisation is like an inner flame. One must kindle it and then fan it until it becomes a raging fire which consumes all one’s other desires and interests.”
“If this inner fire rages for long enough, with sufficient inten­sity, it will finally consume that one, central, overwhelming desire for God or the Self.”

To know god or self, firstly desire is here, ultimately all desire dissolves and just this one self remains, as everything, everyone, all, nothing,  This self is where life appears, dances, sleeps, disappears and arises again. Who you are, is this same one self. Who you know & experience yourself to be is this one self, this play of life, this that the desirer and desirelessness appear in. To experience your self as one, there is then no ‘other’,  just the play of the seeming appearance and disappearance of life, of form. When you experience the truth of your-self, the self, there is only compassion and love, care and awareness, an allowing and accepting of the play of all of life, with all that it offers. There is then no problem with self, selfish, selfless, through direct inquiry it is discovered to be all one and the same.

When we really hear Papaji’s words “Satsang is not to do or undo anything” then we come together simply as we are, to tell the truth about what is already here, what is already free, this is the blessing and the opportunity of Satsang - let us meet here as this that we are – freedom itself
In Love and endless gratitude for this that you are ~ Namaste Yantra-ji

Feb 252014
 

” What is love?


There is never any right answer , only truthful and direct self Inquiry …..

The word love is used in many different ways.

For the purpose of Inquiry, let us first investigate this that is referred to as LOVE.


Most people want to be loved. This sense of love comes from the caring either received or deficient as a baby and child. As one grows and becomes an adult this sense of care ( called love ) is usually projected outward onto another, to give this love to us, creating a feeling of belonging, being cared for, or the opposite as rejection and abandonment.


Many people have a mental concept of love, an idea of what it is, or should be, as a set of events, circumstances, actions, beliefs. Others assume that Love is a feeling or a sensation, in the heart or body, a sensation of warmth, openness, and care for self or other, or this that is received from another. Often love is confused with lust, sensuality or sexuality. Some people have given up on the idea of love totally, replacing wanting Love with the feeling of care, like or respect. The commonality here is that Love is regarded as a thought, feeling or sensation and as coming from the outside.


How then do we reconcile this with the spiritual sayings, ‘who we are is love’, ‘love is all there is’ , ‘the truth is love’ ?


When the word Love is investigated and seen for what it is, then real inquiry can take place .


It is important to speak the truth to yourself. So first discover all that this word is for you, all the thoughts, feelings and sensations that you associate with it. Then for the purpose of inquiry, just for a moment, leave all that you have associated with the word love. Notice how when you experience love as a sensation or feeling that it comes and goes, allow it to come and go without trying to keep it or reject it. Then you can penetrate more deeply into what is untouched by this movement of the thoughts ,feelings, sensations.


Notice what remains?
Can you even name this?


You may find that the mind wants to name this and so names and sensations arise, feelings of love, bliss, space etc, notice that these sensations too will fall back into this that you are.


Again Notice what remains?
Can you even name this?
What then is your true experience of love?


Satsang gives the opportunity to inquire deeply into what is, past the illusion of thought, feelings and sensations … discover the self as you are … this that love is, without the need for anything to be added or subtracted … then love is free, fresh and unimagined.


When we really hear Papaji’s words “Satsang is not to do or undo anything” then we come together simply as we are, to tell the truth about what is already here, what is already free, this is the blessing and the opportunity of Satsang
- let us meet here as this that we are – freedom itself
In Love and endless gratitude for this that you are ~ Namaste Yantra-ji

Feb 182014
 

 

Where is your attention ?


There is no right or wrong answer to this question. There is a relevance in discovering the truth for yourself, of where you place your attention f
or the purpose of Inquiry into who you really are, In this inquiry and discovery it is important you speak the truth to yourself.


So, where is your attention?


Is your attention on the body, on the physical aspects of life? Is your attention on your thoughts, ideas, concepts, memories of the past or fantasies of the future? Is your attention on your emotions either pleasant or distressing? is your attention on the state of the outer world, or on your inner state? Is your attention on how you can, should, would, ought to change, fix, alter, what is, either who you are, how you show up, or the outer circumstances of your life? Is your attention on Suffering? ….
When you are ruthlessly honest with your self then you are at the starting point. Then you can also ask yourself what it is that you really want, deeper than all the superficial wants.

What do you want at the deepest level, at the core of your being?


Again there needs to be a willingness to be ruthlessly honest with yourself to speak the truth to yourself.
When you discover this, you are at a point of choice.
When what you want is unclear then it will seem as though you are not at choice rather at the whim of circumstance of thoughts and feelings.
This point of choice is now where you give your attention to the deepest desire. If that desire is for truth, for peace, for freedom, then this is where you place your attention!
You are now giving your allegiance, your attention, to this that is true. In this there is no suffering, just unwavering attention. In this there is peace, freedom, the spaciousness of your entire being. You are in alignment with the truth and you are free.


When we really hear Papaji’s words “Satsang is not to do or undo anything” then we come together simply as we are, to tell the truth about what is already here, what is already free, this is the blessing and the opportunity of Satsang
- let us meet here as this that we are – freedom itself
In Love and endless gratitude for this that you are ~ Namaste Yantra-ji

Aug 192013
 

 

As many of you are aware my beautiful 17 year old son Cohen passed from this life one year ago through a car accident on the 21st August 2012 and his funeral was held on the 31st august 2012.

To honor this time now, for ourselves, our family and friends we will be having a 10 day memorial and anniversary gathering  from the 21st-31st August 2013.

There will be no formal Satsang through this time however you are invited if you feel called to share in this time with us, please see details of this gathering below.

Satsang with Yantra will resume on Tuesday the 3rd September

21st-31st August 2013 – 10 Day Memorial & Anniversary Gathering for Cohen
We would love to invite you to join us for a 10 Day Memorial & Anniversary gathering for Cohen … 21st – 31st August 2013

As you know it will be a year since Cohen’s physical passing on the 21st of August and his funeral / celebration on the 31st August

We have received such incredible love and support from friends, family and loved ones throughout this year … and we would love the opportunity to really take the time to share deeply with you how this year has been for us and for you to share with us how it has been for you.

Throughout this 10 days we will have an open house:
You may like to join us for an hour,
an afternoon,
an evening,
a day,
a few days,
you may like to have tea,
or share a meal with us.
You can just drop in or call to make a time,
come on your own or together with others
or with family and friends.
You may like to join us in meditation or prayer at the accident site or just visit us at our home.
If you are traveling you are most welcome to stay with us.

We’d love you to share memories about your relationship with Cohen whist he was alive, and there may be things that may have arisen from Cohen’s death, the accident, or unanswered questions that you may have.

We have had ongoing continual contact with Cohen since his passing, which we are happy to share about with you.
If you have had similar contact with him you may like to share that with us.

Please feel free to share this invite with Cohen’s friends and families
Your beautiful company and sharing is most welcome..
many blessings
Yantra & Family
Mob: 0405 758 073  or  0407 383 368

Jun 042013
 

 

Writing a book about Meeting my teacher – Papaji

Exciting news.. my heart is bursting even wider in this love … I received permission  to use the beautiful cover photo of Papaji for the book.. and huge support for what i am writing from the Avadhuta foundation ( the foundation supports Papaji’s teaching , written works, DVDs articles etc ) … feeling so blessed and so grateful … what a wonderful Birthday present  !!!!  Om Shanti Shanti Shanti …. and as I am sitting here writing this to you, the beautiful chant Om Shanti shanti shanti is playing by our beloved friend Kirtana …

As many of you are aware I went to India again recently in March this year, with the intent of taking my sons ashes and being in retreat in Lucknow, with the beautiful spiritual teachers Gangaji and Eli in the home town of my spiritual teacher Papaji.

I also had the intent to spend time in retreat connecting with my son and the writing about death and suffering that has been coming through me since his passing in August last year.

Whilst I was in India this time, I had a profound conversation with Bharatmitra , he was the beautiful host of the retreat event runs Organic India – the farm that brings to us amazing auvedic herbs, and organic Tulsi teas. From this conversation, and through my meditations it became clear that I was to first finish writing a book about the experience of meeting my spiritual teacher Papaji…. and not only my meeting him, also the profound experience that others have who have also met him since he left his form in 1997 and and to share this profound awakening.

My initial meeting with Papaji occurred  5 years after he left his form, and has continued to deepen and transform my life over the last 10 years.

“Perfect awakening is possible here and now for every human being, regardless of background, practice or personal circumstances. You are already free! Anything gained afresh will be lost. What is eternal is always with you, as your own Self. This is the unchanging substratum on which your hopes and desires are reflected. It is hopes and desires which conceal the ever-pure consciousness. The Self will reveal itself to itself in the twinkling of an eye once you abandon all hope and desire, the age-old disease of the mind. Keep Quiet. Don’t allow a single thought to stir. Be effortless and in an instant you will discover that you have always been free. Om Tat Sat!” – Papaji

Your contribution is valuable – Can you Help?

I would love to include any direct experiences or stories of any ones own meeting of Papaji after he left his physical form.

The Book I am writing … or more accurately is being written through me … is called ‘Profound Awakening meeting Papaji now – Papaji’s presence and message of truth is as palpable and relevant today’ …

…   it is about Papaji and the profound meeting and awakening that is possible even though Papaji’s physical form died many years ago … so many people were blessed to experience his transmission, presence, grace, message and awakening through meeting him when he was alive …

and yet even now people are still encountering his presence,

they are still getting his message

and they are still waking up …!!

I would love to include any direct experiences or stories of any ones own meeting of Papaji after he left his physical form, as well as my own journey  includes others experiences of awakening.

My experience of Papaji has been so profound, liberating , life changing, and then on goingly deepening on my visits back to India .. and I have witnessed so many people who have been  just blown wide open by his invisible and yet palpable presence.

I have been offering Satsang in Sydney for over 10 years and am just so humbled and grateful for this beautiful opportunity to share in this.

If there is anyone who you think may like to contribute to this, could you either let them know or me know. Any q’s, can be via  email me or I am happy to do a skype call ..
There are some question suggestions below that may be helpful for someone who is willing to contribute:

When did you first hear of Papaji? how? through who?
was it an instant recognition of his message?
of the truth of yourself?
as Papaji as your teacher?
or was it a gradual process?
did it occur through hearing about Papaji or through watching his DVD’s or through anther teacher ( Ramana, Gangaji, Eli, Mooji, Janaki , Isaac, Catherine Ingram etc ) .. or did it occur / or deepen / by going to India? to Satsang Bhavan? to his house? do you have any experiences you want to share?
how has that transformed your life?
or what has been the realisation about yourself from meeting him after his form passed? …
just a few suggestions …
so grateful that this is wanting to be written and shared ..

I am so grateful for your assistance …
love & Blessings
Namaste Yantra xxx

Email is: yantra@livingalignment.com
Website: www.LivingAlignment.com
Private message via Face book : Yantra Lindon
Mobile phone:  +61 405758073

May 272013
 

Sharing in Sacred Circle

“Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats.  Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power.  Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done.  Arms to hold us when we falter.  A circle of healing.   A circle of friends someplace where we can be free.” ~Starhawk

Primitive peoples from all cultures throughout history and beyond have used the circle to define space for dwellings and for sacred ceremonies.  Stonehenge in England is one such example.  The medicine wheels of our North American Indians are another.  The myth of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table is one more example of the sense of equality, which is generated by the circle.

Circles are symbols of the eternity of life and they are as old as life. All spherical forms have no beginning and no end. They represent one-ness and wholeness, centered-ness and focus.  They also encompass all there is in thought and form, time and space, and beyond.  The circle is multi-dimensional, and yet it has only two dimensions:  the inside and the outside.  The inside contains energy and the outside radiates energy.

There are some basic concepts and principles that are found in many Aboriginal cultures. Some of the practices and ceremonies that express these principles and values have origins which come from the Prairie cultures of Canada, but have, over time, come to be used by other Aboriginal communities, For example, talking circles,  which are also now commonly used by many western communities.

The talking circle is a traditional way for Native American people to solve problems. It is a very effective way to remove barriers and to allow people to express themselves with complete freedom. For this reason, it is becoming more and more popular in mainstream society. The talking circle is making its appearance in schools, corporate board rooms and team dressing rooms around the world, for the simple reason that the technique works very well. The symbolism of the circle, with no beginning and with nobody in a position of prominence, serves to encourage people to speak freely and honestly about things that are on their minds.

Sitting in sacred circle can be both enlightening and humbling. It teaches us to Engage authentically and Build conscious community. It simply asks that we learn to speak and listen from the heart.The rewards are huge.

“If we were to learn that listening to each other was the key to opening each others hearts we would listen until there was peace on earth.” James O’ Dea

                              

                   Types of Sharing Circles or Sacred Circles:

 

There are many types of Talking, sharing or healing circles, The most common type of circle is a simple sharing circle, where people share whatever they have to say. They can be circles of women only, men only, mixed circles of men & woman, with or without children, birthing circles, couples circles, friends, circles of family members,  in organisations, in the work place, in schools and for the earth. There may or may not be any  particular purpose or theme.

 

Another common circle, and perhaps the most powerful, is the healing circle. The healing circle is a talking circle with the intention of specifically addressing or healing an individual or individuals. Often lead by an elder or spiritual leader, the healing circle is more formal than the talking circle. This is generally guided by the host or facilitator, and will deal with specific  issues that are bothering people,  or the circle may be called to simply allow everyone to get any problems off their chests. Very often, a simple chance to have a voice, and to have a problem heard in a sympathetic and supportive environment, is all that a person requires for healing. In addition, sharing amongst a group allows everyone to take a piece of the burden from the person with the problem, who then leaves the circle with a lighter load. However, since the problem does not belong to the other participants, they are able to lay down the piece of the burden they accepted and walk away without having increased their own loads. Sometimes healing rituals may be used in the healing circle to address the specific needs of one person. We may do healings for ourselves and for others within the circle.  Our prayers are answered, our wishes come true, and our life gets better when we acknowledge and worship our Divine heritage.

Another type of circle is used to mediate problems between people, either individuals or groups. Again, very often all that is required for a solution to such problems is the opportunity to hear and speak in complete honesty, so that both sides of the problem become aware of the impact of the problem on the other party. In these circles, the host or facilitator guides the participants toward finding their own equitable solution to their problem, since a solution that is created by the participants is the most likely to work over the long term.

How a Talking Circle Works:

Everyone sits in a circle.  A token, such as a feather or a special talking stick, is either passed  around the circle or is chosen by the one wanting to speak. As each person receives the token, they may speak for as long as they wish, including addressing a topic brought up by another in the circle. When they have finished, they pass the token along. If someone does not wish to speak, they simply pass the token. The token may go around several times; when everyone has had the opportunity to speak as many times as they wish, and there is completion, then the ends  circle.

Simple effective Guidelines:

There are a few very simple guidelines that allow a talking circle to function.

Introduce yourself – it is polite to introduce yourself in the first round. Use your spirit name, if you have one; otherwise, use your given name.

Only one person speaks at a time – only the person holding the feather or talking stick may speak. Dialogues are not part of the circle, as they can become confrontational.

Speak from the heart – the speaker should address the circle from the heart, and may speak for as long as they need to, with respect for the time of others.

Listen with respect – all people except the speaker listen attentively and give support to the speaker. Listening with the heart allows you to hear the true intent beneath what the speaker is saying. Listen in the way you expect others to hear you.

What is said in the circle stays in the circle – never repeat anything that is said within the circle, unless you have the permission of the speaker.

Rituals that may be used in a circle:

Sage or Cedar Smudging stick

During a circle, smudging the participants with sage will help dispel any negativity they may be carrying with them. In a way, it’s like ‘wiping’ your spiritual ‘feet’ before entering the circle. As well, keeping a sage smudge burning during the circle, particularly when emotions are intense, will help keep negativity from entering.

The Talking Piece or Talking Stick


You may like to Gather a sacred found object or create an object as a talking piece. This is an object used to call forth truth from anyone who holds it. Typically it is a stick or a rock, or crystal, but it can be anything you are drawn to.

In Native American Tradition it is usually carved with specific symbols such as the eagle and/or thunderbirds, the talking stick acts as the “law” of the circle. The person who has the talking stick is the only person who can talk in the circle.

Creating a simple Sacred Circle
Make a circle with floor cushions or chairs. Create a simple ‘altar’ at the center.

Place a candle there, perhaps some fresh flowers and your chosen ‘talking piece.’

Invite your guests into the circle and explain the principles of using a talking piece.

 

Only the person holding the talking piece speaks while others in the circle listen in silence.When you receive the talking piece, spend a moment in the silence. Connect with your heart. See what, if anything, comes to you to share.Speaking from the heart in circle is about being honest, sharing your feelings and your truth. It teaches you to trust your own authenticity. Doing so encourages others to do the same.If you have nothing to say, honor the silence – it can be your most authentic expression. Then, simply pass the talking piece on to the next person.As you wait for the talking piece, resist the temptation to rehearse what you are going to say.Instead, listen attentively and with an open heart to others. The quality of your listening is what helps draw forth another person’s truth. Learning to honor and receive what another is saying in silence, even if you disagree with their views, can impact every relationship in your life. Remember, the circle is a safe and sacred space in which anything shared is confidential.

Sacred Rituals
Begin your circle with a simple ritual. Sound a bell or a chime. Light a candle. Invite everyone to close their eyes as you speak a few words, such as: ‘I bless this circle and set the intention that every person here be empowered to discover and share more of their heart’s truth for the good of all.’ Remind the circle of your chosen theme. Say it’s, ‘What sustains you during difficult times?’ Place the talking piece in the hands of a circle member and let the process begin.
Depending on the number of people in your circle, and how much time you have, you may want to set a limit of say one or two minutes for each person’s sharing. This helps balance the circle. Two or three rounds with the talking piece works well. Bring it all to a close with a “gratitude round” where each participant gives thanks for whatever she’s grateful for. You might like to close by asking that the insights, blessings and gratitude of the circle be shared with all life.

Meditate, pray, do ritual energy work, or merely sit in silence, as you get a feel for your circle.  When you are comfortable in a certain direction it means you are comfortable with the energies and the issues pertaining to that direction.  Check the Direction list to see what these are as they help you to know yourself better.

Build the energy in the circle by using rattles, drums, bells, chimes, Tibetan bowls, singing, chanting, meditation, prayer, pipe ceremony, sacred objects, and offerings.  Build the fire in the center of the circle.  Have a bowl of water, burn sage or incense, use feathers, crystals, and copper wands.  Have many like-minded people in your circle since more positive people can generate more positive energy.

Do sacred ceremonies on the solstices, equinoxes, solar and lunar eclipses, new moons and full moons, planetary stations, birthdays, religious holidays.  Use this space for healings, baptisms or weddings. 

Be creative, but always be of a reverent and respectful mind.

 

I have had the pleasure of sharing in and facilitating many different forms of sacred circle over the years. We currently hold sacred women’s and men’s circle, Sacred circle with friends, with family, blessings way circles for women, for Birthing, healing circles and Solstice gatherings. Visit the list of Services and Satsang events on the website www.LivingAlignment.com

Take advantage of this rare opportunity and join others who are committed, all walking their path toward Self-Realization.  Sit in the Circle of those who come together to give and receive support as we walk our unique Path in truth and wholeness. Know Your Self, Be your Self,  Your SACRED Self!

Many Blessings Yantra

Jan 212013
 

  
Shayamdas 1953-2013 :

Today a beautiful beloved in India, Shyamdas passed into the world of formless … As we honor the life and passing of Shyamdas on the 21st of Jan 2013… I feel the preciousness and significance of this day ..as it is now 5 months since the passing of my beloved son at the age of 17 on the 21st of August 2012….  a precious day indeed to be writing about Shyamdas, and feeling the full opening of love and devotion in the one heart.

We met Shyamdas on our sacred pilgrimage (Yatra) to India whilst in Vrindavan ( the sacred place of worship of  Radha and Krishna , and the ashram of Neem Karoli Baba ) in 2007/2008. It was such a precious meeting with Shyamdas, such love and devotion and the presence of his beloved guru ..Neem karoli Baba … we were blessed to travel throughout Krishna town as it is affectionately know, to sit in Satsang, and to share in sacred chant together.  Shyamdas lived in India for nearly 40 years exploring the arts of puja and celebration. A prolific translator and writer, with more than 20 books on bhakti yoga—the yoga of devotion—and sacred chant, divine service, puja, and Vedanta. He originally studied with Neem Karoli Baba and later with His Holiness Goswami Prathameshji.

Shyamdas also studied classical Indian music and specialised in classical dhrupada music of the mystic poets of North India. His numerous CDs include ‘Beloved Chants’ ( which I am listening to and feeling him as I write ). Shyamdas  taught and performed internationally, including with Sting, Mike D, Paul Simon, and Madonna, and was  a dear friend of Krishna Das, Ram Das, Deva Premal & Miten and others in the Kirtan communities.

Ones life is such a precious thing, to live that life as it was destined however that may be, to the full, is an even more precious thing…. and in the case of Shyamdas a life of devotion to Krishna and his beloved Radhe. His was such an animated personality full of passion, I recall trying to get a still photo of him, he was always in movement, of raptured  bliss, passion, devotion, expression.  Touched profoundly by his life , his teachers life, and such deep love for having had that beautiful meeting.

Death opens us if we allow it, to that which is more real than what is perceived as the ‘Life of one’… moved to tears.. not by the passing of a life form… as all life changes… but moved to tears by the huge and indescribable love felt, for having been touched by this beautiful life in form… for having been graced by the presence of love itself… however that shows up, form, formless, all of life.

Forever now with his beloved Radhe, Krishna and his Guru Neem Karoli Baba ….. Radhe radhe radhe!!! Jai Shri Krishna!!!! Blessings.. Namaste.. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti … Yantra-ji  ♥