June 12, 2013
June 7, 2013
Why “GIVING” often depleting us
by Shakti Mhi
I was sitting in a beautiful cafe in Bali, hearing over my shoulder a young woman complaining to her friend, “I keep giving and giving and giving so that now i feel completely depleted. Now it is MY time to give to myself.”
Many of us had or maybe have the feelings we give too much to people in our lives. As a result we may feel: depleted, empty, consumed, exhausted, drained etc.
The question is, do we really give when we “think” we give?
Giving is an action.
In general there are two types of giving. The first one is an action that comes with the definition of “giving”. In this case, “giving” is trapped in time and space; it has a beginning and an end. It has a reason. In this type of “giving”, the giver is fully aware that she gives.
Because this type of giving comes with a reason, often we as givers hold expectations for certain outcomes and recognitions. On top of it we do not let go of “the giving”. We hold on to it, we write it down in our invisible little inventories of giving and every now and then, like a bookkeepers, we make all kind of calculations around our giving.
How many times we gave against what we received?
What did we get as an exchange to what we gave?
How much acknowledgment we received for our giving if at all?
Was the recognition we received for our “giving” in the right proportion for what we gave?
And it goes on and on…
In the above category of “giving” it could be us as parents that keep reminding our children how much we gave them by sacrificing our selves and our lives for them and how little we receive as an exchange.
It can be us as lovers complaining to our partners and spouses how much we gave them and we got very little in return.
It can be us as friends becoming bitter for “being always there for you but when I needed you, you never showed up”
In other words, when we give as the above we do not let go of the action of giving, we keep holding on to the action as if we own it.
The other way of giving is a selfless giving. It has nothing to do with us. Giving goes through us, we manifest it without ownership. It is a giving through service. You do what needs to be done and no trace of it remains in you.
As a metaphor for the two actions of giving :
You are walking on the street and there is a small rock sitting in the middle of the way that you are aware can be a hazard for people that may stumble on it. So you move it to the side and you keep going with no trace of thought about it.
After you moved the small rock to the side you write your name on the rock, in big letters, so every one knows you are the one that did it.
Then you stand beside it and anyone that comes by it you let them know you moved the rock to the side for their benefit. When some people do not thank you or not appreciate your action you get disappointed and even bitter and you tell yourself that you will never do such thing again as people do not deserve your “giving”.
To the people that didn’t return your gesture of giving the way you expected they will, you keep reminding them about the rock and compare it with the little they give you as a return.
As spiritual seekers we should have a commitment that every day we give more than we take. As giving through service is the greatest way for taming the mind and ego. When you give as a servant you become secondary, it is not about you anymore, it is about the universe. And the universe may present itself as a cat or as a dog, or a person you do not know, your children, or your lover, or the person that stands beside you in in this moment.
One of my brilliant students asked me: “so how do you know you give more than you take if you are not supposed to hold an inventory of your “Givings”?.
Well, if you constantly feel depleted or in doubt or you are full of heaviness while you give to the world then you know your giving is lacking in giving. In this case giving is more of an enhancement for your state of being a victim.
When you give as a service without owning it, you flow on high frequency energy. Your heart may be heavy from time to time due to circumstances, but never your spirit.
May 16, 2013
I was utterly devastated when I heard Angelina Jolie removed her HEALTHY breast so she won’t have a cancer in the future.
I am not easily taken by horrifying news but I must say this story took my sleep away for the night. Two aspects contributed to my devastation; one was Angelina Jolie herself, as it would be with any other woman that would go through such a non-sense horrifying procedure. I feel as if they were my own daughters.
Angelina, a beautiful, powerful, and HEALTHY woman, that is an example for so many women with her unique and authentic life, allowed doctors to cut off her HEALTHY breasts!!!… And this based on ignorant medical misinformation that promotes fear for financial gain.
THEY call it prevention procedure. In prevention you don’t cut the brunches of a tree so they wont get sick, instead you take care of the whole tree so the branches remain well.
Angelina did not have cancer!!!, but her doctors said she had 87 percent risk of cancer because of a genetics. If you dive into the gene story you learn that unlike what scientists believed in the past, now it is clear that it is not enough to have a risky gene; you need to TURN IT ON.
How can you talk blindly about percentages! People are unique and so individual in the way they live life. You can talk percentage about robots. You can say “this generation of robots came out with a fault and may have a high risk of malfunction”… but people???
Even if Angelina’s mother had cancer, did she live and perceive life the way Angelina does? We are talking about a beautiful free woman who lives her life with contentment and awareness and as a result became a living example for so many women… why would she manifest cancer? Unlike holistic medicine, our medical system deals with cases instead of people, and treats everyone the same. They seem to have never heard about consciousness, mind and awareness… and these are such a big part of who we are.
If someone’s father had cancer in his leg would you cut off the son’s healthy leg? Just in case? Our medical system is based on money, it is not about healing people; it is about financial gains that happen through and on the account of people’s bodies.
My heart is crying for a healthy beautiful young woman that got trapped in the fear the system planted in her, while taking away her power. In holistic approach you empower the woman so she is part of the healing process. She is in charge so she can dive into the cause of the problem and not the mere symptoms.
My other devastation is about the message Angelina gives to so many young women. In a way without her intending it, she is telling women not to bother taking care of their health and well being, but instead eliminate body parts at risk… after all it is only breasts.
If the truth is so simple: once you have cancer in the family you are going to get it and you have no power to do anything to prevent it but chop your breast off… in this case why wait until these women are in their thirties and not cut off the breast of any 14 year old teenager because her mom or her aunt or her grandma had cancer? In this way they won’t even get used to live in a complete body. After all it is only breasts… and on top of everything they will be considered brave young women!
Why is Angelina considered brave, as mentioned in so many FB comments and other articles? Take any person, put a gun to their head and threaten them with death and you will see what they would be willing to do to reverse the situation. This is not braveness. Yes it is very understandable. No judging.
Braveness is to show the finger to the medical system and say I am a healthy woman, and I am going to keep it like that. Why fix something that is not broken? Yes I will be aware of the potential risk I may have but I am not going to manifest it.
We are heading into a future where the terms “health” and “well being” will be replaced with “the latest procedures’” and “don’t take the risk, remove your organ with ease” advertisements.
More than ever Holistic healers and therapists should reach out and educate people, who could be our daughters, sisters and friends, that there are powerful ancient methods to maintain a healthy body without violence. The first approach of any holistic healing is not to scare the patient and take away all hope from her, but empower the woman and her body, so together they strive for better health.
Angelina is one of the greatest feminists… I take my hat off for her. My concern is: if such a brilliant woman with vast awareness falls prey to the doctor’s manipulations based on fear and is brought to a place where she fixes something that wasn’t broken… by breaking it… what does this mean for the ones that know less?
Because of her powerful status in the community (and she’s deserved every inch of it), without being aware, in a way Angelina turns out to be a great promoter of the medical marketing machine by promoting surgical procedures for healthy bodies… with the slogan, you never know, just in case…
Prana Yoga College
May 14, 2013
By Shakti Mhi
For three decades that I’ve been teaching yoga teacher trainings and for three decades my heart expands again and again when I see my students concentrate on their studies and share their knowledge with each other, genuinely and passionately. I love their thirst for knowledge rather than mere information. None of them joined the yoga teacher training courses because their parents or family pushed them to ;-) They chose to be a yoga teacher and they made the effort to get there, some with support and some with zero support. Teaching people who love what they study is true bliss.
Every year the numbers of young students that study subjects they have no interest in grow rapidly in universities, under the pressure of society, families, and parents, that convince the youngsters to let go of their dreams and passion and instead go and “get” a secure profession that will equip them with status, money, and the magic corporate word: “BENEFITS.” Once they complete their degrees they join a massive human network that collectively hates Mondays, hates getting up in the morning, start developing health conditions from a young age because they feel they are trapped in a nightmare of a life where they spend 8 to 10 hours a day in a job they don’t care about, in a work space they hate, with colleagues they mostly do not appreciate, working for corporations that consume all their dreams and energies.
From time to time I have brave students in my yoga courses that escaped the hell after spending already a few years at university studying accounting, business, law, and other subjects they didn’t care about. One day they woke up and left the system behind to do what they really want to do.
No one should live life away form their dreams. We should support the young generations so they can take off and live life fully, whatever that means to them. The idea that work should be separate from our hobbies and passions while the latter is done only on weekends and the yearly vacation is a false one and does not serve anyone as an individual. It only serves the “system.”
The sky is the limit… so be it.
Prana Yoga College
April 26, 2013
Horny Gurus and Gullible Devotees
by Shakti Mhi
I am not even sure how I stumbled upon “Pamela Dyson” declaration, where she declares and describes, under oath, that she was sexually abused by her Guru, Yogi Bhajan, the Master of the Sikh Kundalini Yoga institution.
The above specific story is not the subject of my article, since I have no details about the story except reading the declaration. However, when I read her story it brought up all the claims and blames of spiritual females who were sexually “abused” by their so called teachers/Gurus through the 36 years I am involved in the “yoga world.”
I am actually not here to condemn all the male yoga gurus that abuse their power and took and still take advantage of their female disciples. This would be too easy, too simple, too predictable and totally futile.
What I would like to discuss is the issue from the point of view of the female “victims” that often, after years of voluntarily serving their so-called “Gurus” sexually, they suddenly have a story to tell. I need to ask: why did you stay there in the first place!?
After reading the declaration of Pamela Dyson about her relationship with her Guru Yogi Bhajan I can only say: if this is a true story, then it is more embarrassing for the female gender than for the yoga male “GURUS.”
In general, spiritual seekers seem very liable to lose their sense of self-knowing when in the presence of a male with long beard and a turban on his head, or just a bald male that declares he is realized.
It is quite easy to understand (understand… not justify!) the male gurus, who using their superior status, are quite happy to entertain their second chakra. Many of these “Gurus” declare they are celibate because it sounds good, and I guess this is what is expected from them in the “pretend” spiritual/yoga world. The problem is that just becoming celibate is far from enough. If a male yogi does not know how to master his sexual energy and channel it to his higher chakras, the increased powerful prana as a result of the intense practice keeps stimulating the first and second chakra and you end up with a permanently “Horny Guru” with a constant fire between his legs. Add to this already poor situation numerous beautiful female disciples (they are beautiful because they sincerely practice yoga :-), and here we have, predictably, a “Guru” that all too easily will fall to the temptation.
But my wonder is about the women that fell into the “spiritual sexual trap.”
What the hell did you think when your Guru told you he will help to open your heart chakra if you take off your bra?
Where the hell was your brain when your spiritual teacher said that he could awaken your Kundalini if you will take your underwear off?
Where did you leave your intelligence when your Guru told you that serving him sexually is Karma Yoga?
It is one thing if we dealing with rape, or with vulnerable minors… then it is a totally different subject… but we don’t! Most of the guru’s sexual abuses involve mature women that, along with their underwear, they dropped their ability to judge between right and wrong. Where is the responsibility?
Why would a woman in a yoga class accept her “Master” rubbing his genitals on her body as demonstrated above? Is this because he is Mr. Iyengar and he is considered an enlightened being? I am sure she would not allow anyone else to rub himself against her body.
Why any woman in the world would allow her teacher to park his fingers in her vagina as shown above, and pretend this is a usual thing to do for spiritual awakening? Because he is Pattabhi Joise, an enlightened Guru?
Every now and then you hear about another Guru that slept around with his female disciples and everybody is shaking their head from side to side with disgust, condemning the “GURU.” I found the fuss around these predictable stories such pretension. Why would he not sleep with his students?
If he has low consciousness and his awareness is mainly between his legs, why wouldn’t he feed his sexual hunger by devouring his lovely female disciples?
After all, they are all falling at his feet so easily, willing to satisfy his sexual needs as if this were the thing to do.
You may argue that he is a spiritual teacher and he should walk his talk. No one is a spiritual teacher until he/she has students that take him/her as spiritual teacher! The students are the ones that make the teacher! So if one day you “wake up” to find out that your Guru / Master is the opposite to what you perceive as a Teacher, what does this say about you?… your choices?… your intuition, and your desperation to have a Guru at any price?
I refuse to take the side of the female disciples that often appear as victims (taking in consideration that no physical or other threats were involved). What does it mean about us as women if we keep taking away the female disciple’s responsibility and keep defending them as hopeless victims? It means women have no brains, intuition or any self power!
The aspect of surrendering to your Guru/teacher is very deep, important, and sincere on the spiritual path… if you are full of yourself and your ego, the teacher cannot pour her/his wisdom into your cup… BUT!!!!… surrendering to your teacher does not mean you need to lose your sense of self or your power of discrimination. Choose your teacher wisely…otherwise do not complain! ;-)
Prana Yoga College
April 13, 2013
By Shakti Mhi
In the yoga system we have seven chakras, seven energy centers. The first 3 chakras are located at the base of the spine, in the sex organs and in the navel. These chakras have to do with our survival state of consciousness. The first, second and third chakras are predominantly our animalistic instincts and drives.
The upper chakras start from the heart area, all the way to the crown, and govern our spiritual evolution, beyond the physical body and the programmed mind.
To experience ourselves as higher beings, beyond and above our animalistic natures, the higher chakras must be open and balanced, so prana can flow through the energy centers with ease.
A rapist is a human being who has a tremendous amount of prana (energy) in his second chakra while the upper chakras are completely blocked. This position of the chakras creates a stagnant energy with the force of a “pressure pot” in the second chakra which amplifies the animalistic state of consciousness in that person. As a result, the rapist acts as an animal, driven only by the force of survival. The main part of it is ejaculation with no awareness; he is fully controlled by his sexual drive.
Have you ever seen a monkey or a dog or a lion coming gently to a female of their kind and asking for permission for sexual intercourse? It does not happen in the animal kingdom because sexual drive is the strongest force among animals.
The same is true for rapists. Like animals, they simply take by the act of forcing.
As the rapist’s higher chakras are blocked, the energy does not reach Anahata, the heart chakra, so a rapist does not have any compassion towards his victim.
Because his energy does not reach the fifth chakra, Vishuddha, a rapist does not have the ability to “hear” his victim, all he hears is his own animalistic pulse.
Because a rapist’s energy does not reach the sixth chakra, Ajna, he has no perception of oneness beyond the forms and as a result he trapped in his identification with his animalistic male form and cannot “see” that the victim is his sister, his daughter, his mother, and as well himself.
From the beginning of our humans’ spiritual evolution it was obvious for the yogis and many other spiritual disciplines that the fuel for high consciousness is a high frequency prana. Within all spiritual disciplines if you have the ability to tap into the prana experience you can change realities. This fact is unknown to most of the western people.
Recognizing prana, experiencing it and mastering it is not a subject that is taught in any western public schools. Our priorities when it comes to the school systems are to stuff our children with a lot of useless information rather than teach them about energy and the mastering of that energy as a tool for spiritual evolution.
As a result, we arrive at a very worrisome formula where in extreme cases a low consciousness combined with powerful stagnant lower energy and a strong identification with the physical form, ends up with the tragedy of women getting raped and abused all over the world.
This article is dedicated to 17 year old Rehtaeh Parsons from Nova Scotia, Canada. “She was raped! The rape was photographed and the photos were shared around her Nova Scotia community. She was called a slut. She was bullied. She faced depression, and now she’s gone!”
Until (and if) humanity raises its consciousness to its highest we need to force protection on women by stopping the rapists. As in most rape cases such as Rehtaeh’s rape, police investigate for a year, but say there is not enough evidence to lay charges.
Please sign the petition below so together we create a voice for this criminal neglect.
April 5, 2013
I received the below email from a beautiful sensitive student of mine that demonstrates a common concern of many sensitive spiritual seekers and you may be one of them.
These people have huge “antennas” and as a result they feel the pain and suffering of the world around them. Usually they do not know what to do with these heavy feelings that often paralyze them.
My reply is below her email.
I have been experiencing things very “common” to me…that have been extreme since I met you. I need help processing all of this….I am one of the antennae people that you described and it is getting too much to process. I know you can help!
Since the teacher training, however, it’s like the frequency has turned right up and I wish I had a built in dial to turn it down or off. Sometimes my stomach and chest feels so full of other people’s feelings that it’s extreme and overwhelming. Am I supposed to be doing something with all this? It seems like there is a big black mental/emotional wall if front of me and if I could just get to the other side everything will be clear and my life will take off. there isn’t anything terrible about this but it’s feeling very consuming.”
As a metaphor imagine that before you took the course you were living in a room that had constant steam fogging up the windows and you couldn’t see anything through them.
It bothered you for years but you didn’t know where this steam was coming from or what to do about it.
In the course your awareness expanded and you realized that there is a huge pot of water boiling on a stove that cannot turn off, in the middle of the room.
The pot is your mind, and the boiled water is the sum of your feelings, emotions, thoughts perceptions etc. The stove is life that keeps generating heat in different intensities and “cooking” our minds ;-)
Now that you are aware of the situation, but you have no clue what to do with it, it becomes even more intense.
“Sometimes my stomach and chest feels so full of other people’s feelings that it’s extreme and overwhelming. “
This is the reason why from the beginning you started boiling the water, so the steam would cover the windows and you wouldn’t need too see what happens out there with other people, as every time you looked out you saw pain and suffering.
“It seems like there is a big black mental/emotional wall if front of me and if I could just get to the other side everything will be clear and my life will take off.”
You don’t even need to go to the other side, you just need to clear the steam that your mind creates so you can see through the window with clarity ;-)
Am I supposed to be doing something with all this? YES!!! :-)
In our metaphor we are dealing with a huge pot with boiling water that steams up your windows (An intense mind that creates fogginess and walls between you and seeing reality as it is)
So the question is how in a practical way you can not only change this situation but also turn it to be beneficial for you and the universe?
The answer is: If there is already boiling water in a pot all you need to do is adding fresh vegetables and turn it to a delicious soup you can feed yourself and others with.
And don’t forget to cover the pot so it does not keep steaming your windows to the outside world ;-)
If you are aware of peoples pain, it means people are in need. Instead of getting overwhelmed by your reaction to this pain which paralyzes you and makes you useless for yourself and others, use your powerful mind and get out there and serve, and give, and hug, and listen and observe and support. Become the chef that nourishes people.
I am encouraging you to continue with teaching, as teaching is a very grounding. Being grounded forces you to come out of your mind and move into actions. Working with people or animals or nature takes our minds away from ourselves. This is why serving in all forms is the best way to stop the mind from “bothering” us ;-)
Anytime you observe yourself going into despair or being overwhelmed, you know you are not doing what needs to be done and instead you are indulging with your own mind.
There is so much to do in terms of giving. Go and teach women in shelters, create more teaching opportunities for you… your students will keep you busy with their own needs. The more you give, the more you smile, the more you empower yourself. Serving others is the way to stop our own suffering.
The world needs love and attention, so it is a waste that sensitive caring people such as you, instead of reaching out and sharing love in action, get lost in themselves. Keep yourself busy, put yourself second to the world through serving and you won’t have the time to be confused.
This is not a philosophy; this is a practical way of spiritual living.
March 16, 2013
Below is my reply to an email I received from “A” that commented on my “Goodbye Vancouver” letter. The email said:
“I think that was a very negative email. You should always leave on a good note and not cut down others. You are a business as well.”
Thank you for taking the time and sharing with me your thoughts.
As for your observation of my email as a negative one:
I guess negativity is a perception, like everything else. By now I received, unexpectedly, 97 replies to my goodbye email, and only two of them considered my email as negative. Yours is one of the two. Nonetheless, these two emails are not less important to my heart than the rest. Somehow the other people didn’t perceive my letter as negative. Both perceptions are valued.
If you are interested in my perception ;-) my letter was simply an observation, only from my personal experience of the yoga world, today, and not anyone else’s. So you can either agree with it, or not agree, or be indifferent to it…
I started practicing yoga 36 years ago and I can tell you the practice was very different. Yes, the world is changing, as everything else, but I can share with you that one of the things we did with yoga, as westerners, is that instead of changing ourselves through the spiritual practice, we changed the practice to suit our restless mind and lifestyle, as it makes things easier ;-). In this way we do not need to go through the transformation that spiritual discipline requires, and we all know how challenging this transformation can be.
And yes you are right, I am a business my self. You can call any exchange a business. The question is: what is coming as first priority… the business or the teaching.
From my humble point of view the distinction is between giving our students what they want so they keep coming to us and keep our profits rolling, or giving students what they need, without the fear that we may lose them if they can’t handle the transformational power of the deeper spiritual teachings of Yoga. The “job” of a spiritual teacher is to do whatever needs to be done without the thought of being either popular or loved.
But as I said, this is only my humble observation and experience as a yogini, and I accept with love that it does not resonate with everyone.
March 11, 2013
The wind changed direction, it is time to leave. Leaving means going away and going away means arriving… so we are leaving to arrive.
17 years ago i arrived in Vancouver from Israel to open a yoga center. I remember walking on the streets with no idea where is what. I was lonely but not lost. I was looking for a location for a yoga center. A couple was chatting in the entrance of a store. I walked to them and asked where do they “think is a good neighborhood for a yoga center?” they both looked at me strangely and said: “Yoga? there is no yoga in Vancouver. Vancouver is an outdoor kind of a place, people ski and climb mountains, but they do not do yoga.”
Shortly after i opened Prana yoga center in Yaletown. I called the Georgia Straight and asked to have an advertisement in the “mind and body” section of the paper. As yoga wasn’t one of the categories in the section i asked to have a Yoga title above my add, the same as massage therapy and martial arts had. Kathy, the wonderful mind and body’s editor told me she can not put a yoga title as i will be the only one that advertises Yoga in the section. She had her reasoning but i wanted my Yoga title ;-) so i said: give me a yoga title and within a year you will have a list of yoga adds under the yoga section… and the rest is an history… :-)
In the last 17 years yoga boomed in north America and became the hottest trend.
In the last 17 years i observed many beautiful, sincere students that opened their hearts and lives to the yoga practice, expanded their consciousness and connected with their inner powers. As well, I observed many students and yoga teachers that embraced yoga as a pure work out that creates hot bodies ;-).
As yoga grew up and got established as the “THING” to do i watched many yoga teachers that turned into yoga celebrities, moving in the yoga world as divas and giving the impression that it is an honor for the world to be in their presence ;-)
I as well watched many yogis that became dedicated humble teachers, serving their students genuinely with the intent to share their love and gratitude to the practice.
I watched many lovely yoga centers open as mushrooms after a rainy day, with owners and dedicated teams of teachers that hold the space for students to grow and transform. These wonderful centers are like sanctuaries in the desert of our fast paced existence.
Sadly i was witnessing as well, yoga centers opened by business people that have no idea about the practice and that transformed yoga centers into commercial spas with white towels and zero spiritual teaching, for the single purpose of making profit. These so call “yoga centers” lead astray innocent students from the spiritual path, leading them into the illusion that we are only physical bodies ;-)
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all our students, graduates, teachers and wonderful people that came on our path and became our energetic family.
For now we are going to teach in other destinations: Bali, Israel and Montenegro in Europe. Pepe and myself are inviting you to come and share with us the bliss of the Path, wherever we are. We are coming back to Vancouver for a short teaching visit in March 2014. Please stay in touch with us through the Prana website, Facebook and emails to the office, that will be run by Su.
We are now in Bali for teaching 200 teacher training starting March 25 and 300 course starting April 22. After Bali we are heading to Israel to open a yoga college. If you are in the neighborhood please come and visit, otherwise, if you would like to connect with us, please do so as we are fully available to you in our hearts.
Thanks for being in our lives