A Heavy Curriculum by Ram Dass, Summer 1989

 

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I always post my own content but this piece in particular spoke to me and I’d like to share it with you. Written by Ram Dass, a long time ago..

If somebody is a problem for you, it’s not that they should change, it’s that you need to change. If they’re a problem for themselves that’s their karma, if they’re causing you trouble that’s your problem on yourself. So, in other words when Christ is crucified, he says “forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing”, they’re not a problem for him, he’s trying to get them out of being a problem for themselves, because he’s clear. Your job is to clear yourself. In ideal situations you would clear yourself within the situation, but very often it’s too thick and you can’t do that. Now, what you do then is you pull back and you do the stuff you do in the morning or at night before you go to work, you do the stuff on weekends, you do the stuff that quiets you down and then each time you go into the situation to where you have to work, you lose it again. And then you go home and you see how you lost it, and you examine it, and then you go the next day and you lose it again, and you go home and you keep a little diary “how did I lose it today”, and you saw that, and then you go and you do it again, and after a while as you’re starting to lose it you don’t buy in so much. You start to watch the mechanics of what it is that makes you lose it all the time.

If I’m not appreciated, that’s your problem that you don’t appreciate me. Unless I need your love, then it’s my problem. So my needs are what are giving you the power over me. Those people’s power over you to take you out of your equanimity and love and consciousness has to do with your own attachments and clingings of mind. That’s your work on yourself, that’s where you need to meditate more, it’s where you need to reflect more, it’s where you need a deeper philosophical framework, it’s where you need to cultivate the witness more, it’s where you need to work on practicing opening your heart more in circumstances that aren’t optimum. This is your work. You were given a heavy curriculum, that’s it. There’s no blame, it’s not even wrong, it’s just what you’re given. You hear what I’m saying? It’s interesting. Can you all hear that one?

-Ram Dass, Summer 1989 

 

Die Every Day

 

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Last year December was really a breaking point in my life.
My structured life literally had no room left for growth and expansion and all the systems I have built with great effort literally had to reach breaking point. On the physical level this meant that I broke my ankle. On an emotional and karmic level my relationship failed and broke. On a psychological level all my belief systems broke down as it had proven to be outdated. On a spiritual level my heart broke.
This ‘death’ of all my work and creation came on multiple levels all at once. I had held so tight to my comfort zone of how things were that there was no more room for energy to flow freely and for the miracles of rebirth to enter me. I had to die. My beliefs had to die, my plans had to die, my old self had to die completely. From an outsiders point of view this change must seem like chaos, but when you look inside this transformation is a great breakthrough. We must be willing to die every day, we must be willing to change the way we are if we really want to live a happy life.
Life starts when we break through our safe shell and approach the arduous road with a sense of adventure and childlike innocence. Our challenge is to try not to cling and grasp to anything and realise the impermanence of everything. Only with this realisation and the willingness to die every day, we can become free, lighthearted and happy.
It’s our clinging that causes us to suffer. Nothing stays the same. Embrace this and we can flow through life with grace and gratitude.

What to do with a Broken Heart

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We all want to prevent our hearts from breaking. As we grow older we protect our heart’s with all we’ve got. But life happens and if you love deeply you are bound to get your heart broken at some point. So what do we do when it happens? What do you do when your heart breaks in pieces?

Heartbreak is actually a very divine experience. When the heart breaks, it opens, the heart centre becomes open and vast. All this empty space needs to be filled, and when the heart breaks, the divine has an opportunity to manifest inside it. It’s a great spiritual opportunity.
You become raw, fragile, open, receptive. A closed heart cannot be receptive, it cannot receive the divine, a broken heart carries enough humility to accept the all encompassing energy of the universe.
This experience can make us more tolerant to our own mistakes and those of others. It creates a space where we can become gentle with ourselves. But for this gentleness to occur we must be brave enough to sit with this broken heart, to let it pierce through us so that we can recognise how much debt we have. If we sit with our broken heart we are sitting with some of our deepest fears. Feelings of abandonment, loneliness, betrayal, emotions that we’d do anything not to face, hate, love, attachment, grief, shock,despair. Most of us run from these emotions, they are too real, tears are too real and crying shows how weak we are. So to sit and work through these takes great courage, it will make you strong, you will come out eventually so much wiser, stronger and kinder if you can manage to explore the pain and study it.
To deny your own grief and run from it is to continue being aggressive towards yourself. And you cannot heal a broken heart by being violent towards yourself. A broken heart needs your kindness and compassion, and that mostly, includes yourself.  Take your time with your heart, nurture yourself and forgive yourself. Healing comes through being delicate with your wounds and nourishing your thoughts and feelings.  And healing is what is needed if we want to become whole.
It’s okay to be sad and to sit with yourself, to look at yourself with kindness and non judgement is a great spiritual gift. Learn from it. Nothing in this life stays the same and neither will your broken heart. Learn from it and then move on. You are here for a reason and you exist.
Time heals. But in the meantime, here is a wonderful meditation to heal the heart, for a broken heart or if you want to open your heart.
Sit in a comfortable meditative position
Beginning to breath gently and naturally and delicately place your awareness on the exhale
If thoughts occur in your mind let them gently pass by, do not grasp unto any of the thoughts arising in the mind, simply follow the exhale
After a while bring your full awareness to the crown of your head and gently observe the crown opening
On the next inhale breath white pure light energy in from the crown of the head to your heart centre
On the exhale, let that white light spread through the heart centre and settle
On the next inhale push up any negative or dark energy from the heart centre to the crown of the head
On the exhale, disperse that dark energy out from the crown of the head
Repeat this process 4-8
Then repeat this process another 4 times without thinking and instructing the mind, simply feel what you are doing
After this begin to repeat the following mantra “I AM”
On the inhale “I”
On the exhale “AM”
Repeat 4 – 8 times or more
Now just sit very silently and breathing delicately aware of the body and heart centre
Gently have your awareness on the out breath
Finish with this prayer
Prayer for a broken heart
 
Beloved father, mother, god of existence
fill me with the spirit of the divine
rise in me and fill my heart
fill my heart with divine essence
fill my heart with divine spirit
for I am the light of existence
I am the manifestations of all things holy
may my mission of holiness emerge through the experience of this broken heart,
so be it
 

Giving and Receiving

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We all give and receive differently. Giving is easy for some and hard for others,  the same goes for receiving.
We accept what we think we are worthy off and reject what we think we are not. Giving can take place in the form of material things like money and food and objects. Dinners out, clothes, statues, houses and cars, perfumes and gifts. But giving can also be in time and energy, like making a home cooked meal or giving someone your attention when they are talking to you. Listening to someone is a great gift, helping someone, comforting someone, taking genuine interest in someones thoughts and feelings.
A favourite old time quote of Kahlil Gibran says: You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
There is an interesting energy when we give whole heartedly. It opens our energy centres so we in fact receive lots of positive vibrations within our energy field but also within the body, there is a positive release of the right kind of chemicals that makes us feel good. So in truth when you give with a good intention and a pure heart, you receive plenty in return. No wonder many of us are addicted to giving and making others happy. We ourselves get to receive lots from it.
When you give out of obligation this chemistry does not occur. Therefor if you give out of obligation you will feel somewhat at lost. You will in fact give some energy away and feel less whole.
Receiving is similar and lots of it has to do with our self worth. We only open ourselves up to what we think we are worthy of receiving and energetically we confirm that. Receiving can be as simple as acknowledging a compliment or saying thank you for something wonderful instead of questioning the giver or making excuses as to why you should not receive something great.
This can go deeper and manifest on more subconscious levels in our lives where we often miss out on the pleasure and happiness of true giving and receiving. We subconsciously push this away due to our limiting believes on what we can give and how much we are worthy of receiving. We also do this and limit what we can give others.
Our society that is based on material success makes this even trickier as we constantly feel we are not enough if we do not have enough material things to give. When we feel we are not enough we can’t really give as we feel we have nothing to give and we can’t receive either as we feel unworthy.
The most precious gift you can give yourself and others are your presence. Energetically being attentive to the person who is in front of you opens an expansive energy where both the giver and receiver feels supported. Giving can be easy if we are present. When you are present you can look at the person in front of you and hear what they are saying. Listening is an active giving skill. When you are present you can see the good the other is doing for you, you can be aware and receive it with grace and gratitude.
Ultimately we have to come to the realisation that in ourselves we are already enough. Once you know this, you can never lose that which you give away, it will always flow from it and you will feel worthy of receiving good things in your life. We can become kinder to ourselves and others if we are here now.

January Yoga Offer: 1-2-1 Sessions

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Happy new year!

January is a great month to form new habits and work on reaching your potential to be happy, healthy and strong to take on the opportunities the new year can bring. If you have been wanting to deepen your yoga practice, private yoga can help you excel into a more fulfilling practice. With the attention and feedback of the teacher, as well as working on what you want to achieve out of your practice, results come easy.

I am offering special rate Private Sessions to get you on your way.

Join me for 1-2-1 yoga or meditation
Sessions are for 1.15minutes
We can work on creating a bespoke practice to suit your needs and goals.
Reach your full potential and feel great!
Session are available at discounted rates as you are coming to me, I am based in Little Venice, W9, London
Sessions are also available on Skype or FaceTime
Book 1 taster session for £60 only
And if you want to book a block of 4 Sessions it’s £200
*There is a 24 hour cancellation policy that applies with all bookings of 50%
To find out more or to make a booking get in touch by emailing me at
wilmien.bos@icloud.com
Your yoga journey awaits!

Autumn Awareness & Starting a Meditation Routine

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Autumn is my favourite time of year to practice yoga, Qi Gong and meditation. It is that calm feeling that comes when moving from the dynamic Yang energy of Summer to the Yin quietness of Winter. It’s like a deep sigh, a relief.

 

The inner awareness have a much calmer space to rest in, nature becomes quiet and meditative, everything starts to slow down. The quality of the energy creates the ideal environment to become more aware of our inner workings. Autumn is the harvest season, the time of year we pick the fruits of the seeds we planted in Spring.

 

It’s an ideal time to reflect, to sit with ourselves presently and to evaluate where we are on our personal journeys. Taking time to reflect on our path is as important as planning and executing. Taking time does not mean festering on the past, it means becoming present and sitting with what makes us happy and what does not serve us any longer. It is a time when we can let go of the things that need setting free, and to cultivate that which remains. Some seeds we plant bears fruits, others creates complications and needs adjusting or letting go.

 

This can be a really creative time if we allow ourselves the space to sit and reflect, meditate on our presence and leave that behind which weighs burdens in our life.

 

If you have never meditated before but have the desire to, Autumn is a perfect time to start.

 

Here is a short outline of a starting practice that can help centre and balance your body and mind. Start with 20 minutes, and work your way up. Be patient with yourself, your mind will find it challenging to let go at first, practice and all will come. The key to as successful meditation practice is consistency. Do a little every day and before you know it, you will have created a new habit in your daily routine.

 

Moving into stillness – Step by step

 

  1. Set your alarm 30 minutes before your usual wake up time
  2. When you wake up, get out of bed immediately and have a warm shower, clean your body
  3. Drink some hot water with lemon to alkalise the body
  4. Avoid reading emails or connecting to social media, do this after your practice. Emails and social media will contaminate your thinking
  5. Find a quiet and warm space and sit in a comfortable position
  6. Sit and make sure that your spine is erect and shoulders rested down
  7. Begin by listening to your breathing and tune into your body
  8. Focus your full awareness on becoming aware of your breath
  9. When you are feeling the breath, shift the awareness and from the crown of the head begin to scan your body from the inside. Scan down every cell, muscle vertebra, inner organ, skin
  10. After scanning begin to gently smile into the body. Look inside and smile at every cell, muscle, vertebra, organ, skin
  11. Let the inner smile spread through and relax the body. If any area comes up for you that feels tight or uncomfortable, smile at that area
  12. Once your body is in a relaxed and soft state, relax the mind and focus your awareness on the area of the brow, between the eyes
  13. Stay with your full awareness on this area bringing the focus there
  14. If thoughts arise in the mind, let them pass by but do not get involved in your thinking, do not pay attention to your thoughts, just take the energy back to the brow
  15. Stay with this awareness as long as you can comfortably
  16. Keep softening any area of the body that may tense up
  17. Ease into your being as much possible
  18. Finish by taking the hands to the eyes and gentle cover them, wash down your face, massage your neck and get up slowly
  19. Stretch a minute and you are ready to carry on with your usual daily routine

Collective Karma and the Environment

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Recently we are experiencing multiple phenomenas of our past karmic actions. We are seeing and experiencing the results of years of past choices and deeds. Our climate is changing, there are plenty of natural disasters, the planet is suffering , animals are suffering and as a result, we are suffering too. Mother Earth is desperately trying to show us that we are as much in need of her, as she is of us. She is crying trying to remind us that we are not separate from each other, but dependent on each other. We have been destroying the delicate nature of what is around us for years. We have been taking without giving back, thinking that everything belongs to us, that we have some sort of right over nature and animals and other human beings.

Karma can be divided into two groups, individual Karma relating to you, and collective Karma, relating to the Karma of all sentient beings. We as individuals are responsible, whether we like it or not, for the Karma of all of the human race. Blaming our governments and leaders are easy, taking responsibility for creating change to our circumstances, now that’s, our Karmic duty. As individuals we must make it our priority to create the correct Karmic actions for future generations, so that their suffering may be less.

The balance of nature has been greatly disturbed by us, and it is us and our children and their children who will pay the consequences of our actions. So where do we start? How do we fix this? The answer is we must start with ourselves, and we must act accordingly to what we know is right. Becoming aware of the laws of nature such as cause and effect is important. Meditating on who we really are is paramount. Extending loving kinds to all beings, humans and animals, earth, water and air is the only way we can create change. World peace starts with individual peace.

Put yourself in the position of the animals on the planet. How would you feel if you are being treated like that? How would you feel if you were put in a small cage next to thousands of other humans without water, fresh air, light? How would you feel if someone forced fed you to make you big enough so they can consume you to their delight?

How would you feel if your home got sprayed with deadly chemicals without any open windows? How would you feel if money was the reason behind your loved one dying so that someone somewhere could buy a new sports car?

The answer is you would feel desperate, dying, mistreated, scared and desolate. Is that really what you want to inflict on others?

These questions are piercing, but for change to occur we must first experience this pain and chaos. Times of great pain often precedes times of great joy. So let’s get honest, let’s bravely experience this pain so we can change it. Let’s not support those who disrespect life, let’s not follow what is wrong, consume what has caused suffering, or will cause suffering. Inform yourself and choose to do the right thing. What you eat, how you live, the energy you use, the clothes you wear, the governments you support, the health care you seek, your voice in the world, your footprint on the planet. How you treat your enemy and your friend. How you respect yourself and others.

Remember, you are contributing to Karma, your own and everyone else’s with every thought you think, every feeling, every word, and every action.

The only way to start gathering positive Karma and eventually end these negative results and suffering is to start extending loving kinds towards ourselves and all sentient beings. We must love and take responsibility for acting lovingly towards nature, towards animals and other human beings, whether we like them or not. To bring balance back to nature we must respect the balance of nature. We must respect all that is alive. We must love and respect each other.

So it doesn’t matter what religion or color, we can build the positive collective karma together by loving each other and having compassion towards all sentient beings. This will make things better in the future so the positive result will come from the positive attitude.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

― Lao Tzu

 

Meditate and let things come to You

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The concept of  ”non-action” has been my contemplation for the last few months.  Non doing is really not a laziness at all. It is being absolutely alert, conscious and open. This takes a lot of work. One has to be awake, present and conscious. To achieve this openness is a conscious effort. The path is that of meditation and practice. Qi Gong, Yoga and Meditation are all practices that helps us connect to the present moment. In our practice our mind is focussed on our breath, our body and our inner being. We stop planning outwards and we become mindful in the present moment.

 

Very often our own deliberation, can actually work against us. We naturally like to be in control and work deliberately for what we want to achieve. And this can be positive too, yet we can be much more effective if we also take time to let things happen and run it’s natural cause.

 

When we constantly work towards achieving goals our awareness are often in the future. This means that we miss quite a few details in the present moment. Our deliberateness often makes us miss opportunities in the present moment when they present themselves to us, as we are fixated on the future and we cling on to our plans. We are so convinced that our pre made plans are the only route that we sometimes fail to see golden opportunities for change when they present themselves to us.

 

This comes from rigidity in the mind and fear of the unknown. The best way to soften and stretch a rigid mind is through the practice of meditation. I am naturally very deliberate. I catch myself constantly making plans, thinking in the future, trying to create opportunities for work and life. It has been quite an effort to ease into the concept of non-action.  I have succeeded to some degree, and when I have, the results have been wonderous and great.

 

Knowing what we want is important, but keeping an open mind on how we are going to get there is equally valuable. Life is full of miracles and the whole universe conspires to help you when you are clear about what you want. The best way to really get clarity on what you want and what is indeed suitable for you, is to create a space within yourself where you can have clarity, creativity and focus. This space we can only create if we truly ease into our being, into the stillness of the heart. There you can relax and know all the answers. We cannot reach these answers through thought processes, true break-throughs comes from stillness and being present. Then you know yourself for who you truly are and you know what your true desires are.

 

In conclusion, I have observed surprisingly good results over the past few months practicing and applying non-action. Good things come to me when I am alert and present, yet content in my being and immersed in my work. Stripping away future worries and replacing it with present fulfillment actually creates a much richer experience, you can complete projects better with your full attention. You are able to converse and interact with people on a deeper level, see opportunities when they arise, and feel lighter and happy overall. You can live life with full attention, focus and awareness. I highly recommend it, meditate and let things come to you!

 

Why Private Yoga?

Wilmien Bos
Lately there sure is an abundance of yoga centres, group classes, yoga events and workshops to fill your calendar with. Most classes are an hour or seventy five minutes, and Vinyasa Flow classes are usually busy, popular and fast. For the experienced yogi who already have years of self practice, this means tapping into a class as an add-on to an already consistent practice, filling up you yoga cup.
For the beginner and intermediate student, this means furthering skills and establishing a yoga routine. But there are many disadvantages of Vinyasa group classes. Firstly, unless your technique is perfect, which from experience I can honestly say that nine out of ten times, it is not, Vinyasa sequences can prove to be quite dangerous for your body alignment. Students are for example often encouraged to jump back into plank pose. If you do not jump back correctly, this can cause hip discrepancies, and this can cause problems if repeated class after class, and add some years to that, you may even need a hip replacement.
Other than that, we are competitive human beings living in a competitive society. Our natural response is that we want to come into the same positions as the more advance practitioners, and in the general open classes, this can prove to be counter productive and again, if not down with great care, dangerous.
These elements defeats the purpose of the method. We all have different body types and we therefor need different styles of yoga. It’s definitely not a one size fits all scenario. If you look at the Krishnamacarya lineage and the students he taught, he varied the style to suit each student. Both Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vini and Yin yoga have stemmed from the same teacher, through different students, and it has been bought to the west not just as different styles and schools of yoga, but to teach different body types from the one school, which is yoga.
Private yoga therefor is a safe way for you to deepen your practice, tailor made for you. I see the difference in the depth of practice with my private students and those who have been attending group classes with me for a couple of years. The experience of my private clients are much more profound, safe and relevant to their life. They have been able to establish a self practice, and I see them week on week so they can deepen their practice even further, learn more, release more, undo more, and integrate this into their life.
If you are serious about your practice, it is worth investing into some private classes. If you are new and want a solid foundation, you will benefit greatly from private yoga. If you are injured or sick, this is an ideal safe environment to let go and heal.
Without a self practice, you cannot achieve the aims of yoga. Book a session with me and deepen your experience to make it real.
As a summer special, I am offering 4 Classes for £200, so you save £120.

What is Kickasana?

 

Image 3A few years ago master trainer and creator and owner of Kickstudio , Sophie Pittaway created the concept of Kickasana, a system of exercise based on Muay Thai Boxing and Yoga sequences, consisting of spurts of vigour and energetic movements with short periods of repose and rest. She bought in and Acro Yoga Expert  Anna Karides at the time to work with her on the yoga side of the system. They taught a masterclass to Reebok who received it extremely well.  In January this year, Kickstudio opened in London Fields and I joined the team and started working with Sophie on developing the concept further.

I have been teaching Kickasna now for about three months, and it has been a really inspiring journey. People are attending the classes and leaving them invigorated, inspired, empowered and fit. Kickasana is a great workout for the body and mind. Classes starts with rubbing a classic thai oil on the muscles, warming them and preparing them for exercise. We open with an intention setting short meditation, followed by a cleansing kriya. The class then picks up from warming up, to shadow boxing, partner work, asanas, counter stretches and then winds down to a closing meditation. You get to set your own goals, work on them, it brings focus, we use movement to work through obstacles, the mind get’s to direct it’s attention into your intentions, the movements creates a better awareness of your body, and an observer to your thoughts. Classes are strong and people work hard, but the reward is a sense of calm and balance when the class is over, and clients have said they sleep so much better. It’s great to get your fitness levels up, strengthen the body and  balance the mind.

 

Kickasana also promotes positive thinking, mindfulness and the power of intention. What we think we create and Kickasna focusses your mind to promote positive thinking. We know that what we repeatedly think, we do, and what we do, we become. By showing up week by week and working on positive thoughts and intentions , we manifest changes, in ourselves and subsequently, our environment.

 

So if you want to work on your health and fitness, feel positive about life to bring about positive changes, then this system is for you. It’s highly enjoyable, you get to work hard and play hard, music accompanies these classes to really create the perfect space to immerse yourself in your practice, meet like minded individuals and above all, do something positive for yourself.

 

Kickasna will be holding a master class at the annual Om Yoga Show this October,  we will keep you posted on the details.

 

To see a full list of classes please go to Kickstudio Timetable