Radiance Sutras

Wildly Devoted

Be Wildly Devoted

Written by Dr. Lorin Roche. Used with permission from https://www.svarasa.com/layoga/articles/wildlydevoted.html.

A Meditation On Free-Flowing Love From The Radiance Sutras, A New Version Of The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra

Love has many splendors and each one is a lot of trouble. Our English word love is related to the Sanskrit lubh, – “perplexed, disturbed, to desire greatly, to long for.” Whether we are loving a woman, man, wave, song, guru, baby, cat or soccer team, we are in for a ride. There are going to be ups and downs. The ride is worth it because each joy and sorrow stretches our hearts open. Love is a way of connecting to the deep forces of life, a yoga. Each of the loves in our life is a different asana flow that asks for our full attention and breath.

The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra is a conversation between Devi, the Goddess Who Is the Creative Power of the Universe, and her lover Shiva, the Consciousness Who Permeates Everywhere. Devi dares Shiva to describe the practices for becoming at one with the sacred Reality. In reply, Shiva enumerates a hundred and twelve yogas. In Sutra 98 he gives a bhakti practice.

Be wildly devoted to someone
or something.
Cherish every perception.
At the same time, forget about control.Dr. Lorin Roche
Allow the Beloved to be itself
and to change.

Passion and compassion,
holding and letting go,
This ache in your heart is holy.
Accept it as the rise of intimacy
With life’s secret ways.

Devotion is the Divine streaming
through you
From that place in you before time.
Love’s energy flows through your body,
Toward a body, and into eternity again.
Surrender to this current of devotion
And become one with the Body of Love

bhaktyudrekād viraktasya yādṛśī jāyate matiḥ |
sā śaktiḥ śāṅkarī nityam bhavayet tāṃ tataḥ śivaḥ ||

Bhakti udrekaat viraktasya. Can you hear the way the sutra just rolls in and lays down the beat like a rock ‘n roll song? Bhakti, Shakti and nitya are chord sequences unto themselves, multidimensional, with layer upon layer of resonance. In a chanted tradition you are to say the words, whisper them, savor them; be carried away by their power. Sensing the words with full awareness is supposed to blow your mind and leave you speechless, in awe.

bhakti – attachment, devotion, fondness for, trust, homage, distribution, separation, that which belongs to or is contained in anything else, faith or love or devotion as a religious principle or means of salvation. udreka – abundance, excess. virakta – changed in color or disposition, indifferent, freedom from worldly attachment, impassioned, feeling excessive passion. yadrishe – just as, that which, the way by which. jayate – to take birth, emerge, arise. matih – devotion, prayer, worship, hymn, sacred utterance, thought, intention, wish, desire, to set the heart on, intuition. sa shakti – that shakti, divine energy, strength. shakti – power, ability, strength, might, effort, energy, capability, exerting all one’s strength, faculty, skill, the energy or active power of a deity personified as his wife and worshipped by the Shakta. shankara – fortunate, blessing-bestower (sam, blessing, auspiciousness, good fortune, happiness + kara, making, bestower), a name of Shiva. nityam – innate, native, one’s own, continual, perpetual, eternal, constantly dwelling or engaged in, intent upon, devoted to, used to, the sea, the ocean. bhavayet – become that, meditate on and realize your identity with That. tam tatah – there. shiva – “in whom all things lie,” auspicious, propitious, gracious, favorable, kind, benevolent, friendly, tenderly, happy, fortunate, liberation, final emancipation, the “disintegrating or destroying and reproducing deity.” The Lord of Yogis. A symbol of cosmic consciousness, the experience of being at one with the universe.

Love is daring. When we love someone or something, we risk everything by being in the flow of passion, with mysterious and divine energy gushing through our bodies toward another body. Passionate love is a divine madness, really. We need Yoga, we need meditation, we need continual prayer, we need all the serenity we can muster, to handle the wildness. A function of Yoga is to give us a time, place and skill set to witness the energies of love flowing through our bodies as shakti, divine energy.

Love’s energies are juicy. This juicy quality is called rasa, a word with a wonderful range of meaning: “the sap or juice of plants or fruit, an elixir or potion or liquor, also the best or finest part of anything.” More subtly, rasa is “the taste or character of a work of art.” When we savor life as art, this is rasa, aesthetic rapture.

The nectar of love has many flavors. The erotic flavor of love is called shringara rasa. Sakhya rasa is friendship, an intimate relationship among equals. Vatsalya rasa is parental love. Dasya rasa is slavery in the positive sense, being a servant to the Beloved. Shanta rasa is the sense of peace we experience in the flow of love, in being attached to someone, belonging to the Beloved. Within these broad categories, each rasa is a universe of ever-changing flavors.

When you love someone, you carry them inside you and will think of them during pranayama, savasana and meditation, even if you try not to. You can’t help but be bothered by your love. Your awareness is sneaking off to practice Bhakti Yoga, and will do so no matter what style of class you are in, no matter what you call your meditation system. In the Bhakti Yoga stories, otherwise honorable and diligent women (the Gopis) are always getting up in the middle of the night and slipping away to worship Krishna down by the river. In daily life, attention steals moments of Bhakti here and there to muse about the lover, baby, cat, dog or creative project. Loving any one being is devotion to your local part of the infinite universe. This is a tangible thing you can do, an act of power and creativity.

Every form of love is love of God, every relationship, temporary as it may be, teaches us about eternity. Bhakti Yoga says that you can be in an erotic, passionate relationship with God, you can be friends and equals with God; you can even feel parental and protective of God. All rivers flow to the ocean.

Dr. Lorin Roche has practiced and taught from the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra since 1968. He has a PhD from the University of California at Irvine, where his research focused on the language meditators generate to describe their inner experiences. The Radiance Sutras, a new version of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, is available from Lorin’s website: lorinroche.com. Email comments and questions to lorin@lorinroche.com. Become a fan of The Radiance Sutras on Facebook. Dr. Roche coaches individuals wishing to evolve their daily meditation practice, and trains Yoga teachers in how to teach meditation. Call (310) 570 – 2803. Find Lorin presenting The Radiance Sutras at Bhakti Fest in September or come to Esalen for weekend and weeks of Yoga energy practices – with Dr. Lorin Roche and his wild Dakini wife, Camille Maurine. Reservations: (831) 667-3005, or visit Esalen.org.

Kale Chips

Spicy Kale Chips

By Helen Mikuska

We are harvesting from the garden and enjoying the benefits and freshness of home grown veggies. Here is a wonderful nutritious snack you can create with Kale!

Ingredients:

Two large bunches of kale (or as many as you’d like to make)

Red Cayenne pepper

Nutritional Yeast

Instructions:

  1. Wash kale, spin it dry or pat dry with paper towel. You can also let it sit in the sun to dry.  Must be dry!  Remove stem and break into two inch pieces.
  2. Place parchment paper on cookie trays.
  3. Place kale in bowl & pour olive oil lightly over them. Mix up with hands.
  4. Place on trays leaving space between each piece. Do not pile up.
  5. Lightly shake red cayenne pepper of them and nutritional yeast. This chips are spicy, so what I did was do this for one tray, then the second tray just nutritional yeast.  And I kept alternating like this.  Then when I put them into a container/bowl, I alternate each of them.
  6. Oven 325 degrees and cook 16-24 minutes until the edges are crispy. For me 18 minutes worked great. (Do not turn your convection oven on as it will burn the kale.)

They are light as feathers when you pop them in your mouth, they just melt – all that nutrition is so good for you! You can also crumble up the kale in your hands and add it to your salads – delicious!

Asana’s for Balancing the Body

The 6 Kinds of Yoga Asanas for Balancing the Body

By Mugs McConnell, SOYA, E-RYT500

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika tells us there are 8,400,000 different Yoga poses due to so many ways to modify and deepen the asanas. This wonderful science of Yoga, born from the forests and caves of the Himalayas, is rich with healthy benefits for the practitioner. Swami Sivananda says,

“We do not practice yoga asanas in order to gain big muscles. Muscles do not necessarily mean health. The practice of Yoga asanas is to achieve the healthy and harmonious functioning of the endocrine glands and the internal viscera, the nervous system and the mind. This is what the regular practice of Yoga Asanas and Pranayama will bestow upon you.”

Each style of hatha yoga has a system or methodical approach to the asanas. The masters have designed these systems with a purpose to succeed. A common denominator to the practice of hatha yoga is that there are six kinds of poses one should incorporate to achieve the balance and health of the body. These poses are:

Side bend, Forward bend, Backbend, Twist, Inverted, Balance

By incorporating these six kinds of poses into each yoga session one will ensure optimum stimulation of the endocrine glands, nervous system, muscular system, and respiratory system, while including weight-bearing exercise for healthy, strong bones.

The 8,400,000 different asanas provide variety and the opportunity to continuously advance in your ability. These asanas will all fall within these 6 kinds of poses. The order in which one should do these poses will vary throughout the different hatha yoga styles. Below is one example of how to sequence the asanas together.

Side Bends give a lateral stretch to the spine. They stretch the hips and waist and keep the spine supple and healthy. The muscles in the trunk of the body are contracted, relaxed and stretched. Arms and legs are stretched and the chest is expanded. Pelvic organs are toned. The spinal nerves are thoroughly toned. (The spine is of the greatest importance to a yogi, as it is connected with the spinal cord, the sympathetic nervous system, and kundalini energy.)

Forward Bends often follow side bends, giving a counter-stretch to the hips and the lateral muscles of the spine. The hamstrings are stretched, which is essential to accomplish many of the advanced yoga asanas. The spine and back muscles are stretched and extended. The abdominal muscles are contracted, while the pelvic organs are massaged. The forward fold in the body squeezes and cleanses the internal organs of the body. The liver and spleen are stimulated. Forward bends are generally poses that quieten the emotions, and are considered excellent for an introverted mood.

Back Bends offer a counter stretch to forward bends, to balance the lengthening of the opposite set of muscles. Muscles in the front of the torso are lengthened. Back bends tone the deep and superficial muscles of the back, giving them an effective massage. Often these poses can relieve back pain due to overwork. The ovaries and uterus are toned, while digestion is energized. Some back bends lengthen the quadriceps in the thighs, balancing the stretch to the hamstrings achieved in forward bends.

Depending on the system of yoga, some classes have forwards bends after backbends, and some have backbends before forward bends.

Twists offer relief to the back after backbends. Again, we achieve a lateral stretch to the spinal column, keeping it elastic and toning the spinal nerves. Stiffness of the back, neck and shoulders are relieved. The abdominal organs receive a good massage, while the waist is trimmed. Often spinal discrepancies are aided. The abdominal viscera are massaged. Twists squeeze and nourish the nerves and muscles along the spinal column. Constipation and dyspepsia are aided. The pancreas, spleen, liver and kidneys are affected.

Inverted poses are considered invaluable. Turning the body upside down, countering the force of gravity, can result in many benefits. The heart does not have to exert itself so it can pump more slowly. Memory is improved. Neck and lungs are flushed and cleansed. Tonsils and ears receive nourishment from the increased circulation. Varicose veins and tired, aching legs are relieved of pressure. Hemorrhoids and the abdominal organs are relieved of excess pressure. The facial tissues are nourished and cleansed. Shoulderstand massages the thyroid gland. Headstand nourishes the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands. An even more subtle benefit is, we get a new perspective of things when we get upside down, which can help on get “unstuck” with their attitude.

Balance poses work with strength as well as our ability to focus the mind. One develops harmony, balance and poise. The breathing is slowed down, which gives relief from nervous tension. Equilibrium of mind automatically occurs as one deepens their focus. Balance poses can helpful near the beginning of an asana session to enhance the mind-body connection, assisting one to “let go” of outer concerns. They are also helpful at the end of a session, bringing one from a physical focus into the mind, preparing for the quiet of Savasana (relaxation) or meditation.

Beyond these six categories you have asanas, poses can be standing, kneeling, seated, and supine or prone laying down. These all give variety which strengthens and lengthens the body in numerous ways, so it is important to work with all these options. The next time you plan your asana class or your home practice, be sure to consider these six kinds of poses and include them all in every class, as well as the variations of standing, kneeling, etc.

Remember: Always work within your own capacity. Never move into pain. Enjoy the pose and listen to your body. This is your greatest protection for preventing injury.

Certain systems of yoga have a specific order in which to do poses. Since Yoga is a science, you can be sure there is good reason for the order of sequencing, so honour the work that the past masters have done and give their sequencing order a try for a while. As you develop an awareness of your body, you will soon find the most suitable system for you.

zucchini hummus

Zucchini Hummus

Spicy Zucchini Hummus

Submitted by Michelle Tsutsumi and slightly modified by Mugs

Makes: 3 cups hummus
What to do with all those zucchini coming up in the garden? This is a great dip for fresh veggies!

2 medium zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive or hemp seed oil
2 cloves garlic
2 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
2 Tbsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper OR ½ tsp paprika

– In a food processor, fitted with an s blade, blend zucchini, tahini, lemon juice, hemp seed oil, garlic, sea salt, cumin and cayenne pepper or paprika until smooth and creamy.
– Store in a glass container in a fridge for up to 1 week.
– Serve with a variety of fresh veggies such as baby carrots, celery, snap peas and cucumber slices, or make a healthy collard wrap filled with hummus and sprouts.