Delight your child and find other great Kiwi gifts

"Humans are the only species with the potential to become free of karma." ~ David"

Life is meant to be blissful
Learn how by reading; Inner Engineering - A Yogi's Guide to Joy


A gradual process

lodAt social gatherings in much of the English speaking world, once names have been shared, the next question is what do you do? This question refers to occupation enabling both categorisation and potential avenues for conversation.

Telling people I was a yogi often stopped these conversations dead in their tracks making for some very short conversations. But rather than delve into this aspect of sociology, how did it all begin?

I recall as a child that I found life confusing as the attitudes of my peers seemed to be about promoting egoism and acquiring social and economic advantage over others. I was coerced into attending church and Sunday school for a time, but the morality being presented conflicted with adult behaviour which remains relevant today.

I immersed myself in books and yet I didn’t see the relevance of education because the focus was more about economic and social goals instead of addressing the wonder of life. It was through books that I discovered the freedom of mind and in school I did the minimum amount of work to get by.

My intellectual life was counterbalanced by immersion and nature and life on the farm. The processes of nature provided intellectual clarity and balm for my spirit. About the time I was 12 years old I had some rather disconcerting out of body experiences but there was no one to talk to about such things, after all society was more focused on rooting out evil doing good without strings attached.

When I was about 14, I had many out of body experiences and one where I passed by two Bhairavas, (wrathful deities) that I met formerly many years later. When I was 15 years old I began to spend time with some of those so-called hippy types where we talked about spirituality and phenomenon more likely to be discussed in Hindu culture.

I got glimpses into the Akashic records and a sense that all life was interconnected. I began reading Carlos Castaneda and practising using the powers that he described. These practices gave me experiences of distorting time and space, but while they were interesting, they had no immediate purpose then.

My reading progressed to Alice Bailey and the writings from theosophy, I dipped into Alan Watts and other Buddhist writings but I also had to struggle with basic survival. Fortunately in those days work was very easy to find. I wandered about New Zealand and Australia for a time enjoying freedom and conversations with like-minded travellers.

I met Swami Sytchidananda in Australia and sometime after that I went to England. I got on well with other travellers but the most enjoyable experience was the inner-city wilderness, the cobblestone streets and the foxes illuminated by moonlight.

My return flight to Australia was via Dubai, in those days the airport was a ramshackle collection of tin sheds with nervous looking soldiers standing around. The second leg of that flight was enlightening in that I has an epiphany relating to time and space: I made a note in my diary that our concept of ‘time is an awareness of life passing us by’. This is because we are dying to live instead of being alive although time is useful.

Back in New Zealand I took up karate for a time and had the good fortune to connect with the force several times by transcending effort into a state of effortlessness which made doing push-ups unbelievably easy. It also enabled me to disable my teacher and later, the full majesty of that force was demonstrated by Hanshi Andy Barber.

The necessity to earn a living separated me from karate and a year later I attended a Yoga weekend workshop. I’d read about similarities between yoga and martial arts as well as the fact that many of the theosophists had spent time studying in India. By then I’d also heard about the idea of Jesus spending his missing years in India.

The Yoga workshop I found pleasant but very ordinary, but the pleasantness and a sense of well-being stayed with me for three months afterwards. When that pleasantness began to subside amidst the normal trials of earning a living and maintaining the semblance of a social life, I understood that there was something awesome about yoga.

So I packed up my bags and moved to the Lotus Centre in Wellington and I immersed myself into the world of yoga. Much of what was taught was incomprehensible and I got the impression that many people were simply making up their own understanding because the teachings were far too rich in Sanskrit terms for anyone to understand.

Even the simple practices of asana and pranayama were contradictory and everyone had different opinions about meditation. But I was literally thrown into teaching but found the best inspiration coming from BKS Iyengar via the teachers who had spent time with him.

It seemed somewhat improbable as I was immersing myself into a world of yoga, massage and meditation that my family were reminding me that I should be working for my economic and social well-being. By then I was coming to enjoy the structure of Iyengar Yoga as it’s very logical – scientific and also has clear medical implications beyond basic well-being.

A couple of years later I moved to Sydney and spent several years at the Australian School of yoga which was mostly about refining the techniques of asana. But I was also fortunate to spend almost a year travelling through Asia with six months in India.

Everyone says that New Zealand is a friendly country, but I was and continue to be humbled by the kindness and generosity that I experienced in Asia. The highlights of the strip included the unbelievable chaos and ancient wisdom of India that permeates life. In a way it’ like I absorbed the wisdom – the nature of India.  I had a momentary eye contact with a holy man, a connection that would require a library to describe.

I spent two months trekking in the Himalayas and they can only be described as one of the most awesome experiences in life. Later in Rajasthan I stayed in the small town of Pushkar. One afternoon I walked up the small hill just out of town. It was such a pleasant day that I sat to take in the scene and it felt like two or three minutes had passed, but almost 2 hours had actually passed. I’d not thought about that event much since then, but I was recently reminded by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev describing a similar experience that he’d had.

By the time I was ready to leave India I felt completely at home there and returning to Australia was something of a culture shock. Then mostly for economic reasons I returned to New Zealand where I found life was a struggle. I had some interesting moments remembering Carlos Castanada and discovered that I could create out of body experiences at will, but there seemed little point to it.

I was teaching yoga in Christchurch, still trying to assimilate my Indian experience and understanding the nature of life in a world that was all about controlling and capitalising on life. The most popular form of yoga in Christchurch was Buddhism so I became a little more involved. After some pleasant experiences with Buddhist meditation I moved down to the Dhargey Centre in Dunedin.

The teachings were all in Tibetan which was something of a challenge, but it had a similar taste to Sanskrit. After the initiation into the Tantric aspect of the Tara sadhana, I did this meditation practice in my room. In essence I became the deity and my entire body felt as if it was pure light for a time.  I wasn’t sure what to make of the experience although I felt wonderful and somehow it seemed to help my perception.

I’d also come to know Denie Heistand, a rather charismatic and wacky new age self-styled guru. I’d done a retreat with him in Canterbury where I’d enjoyed going out into the bush and seeing nature spirits. A few people around him were into channelling extraterrestrials which was interesting although I didn’t take them too seriously.

A few months after Geshe Dhargey passed away, Denie advertised another workshop on the West Coast. So I went and during a group meditation we were asked to travel through our own inner space and find someone wise to talk to.  I found myself flying across what now from having seen some of the Martian photos, the scene in my meditation looked like a Tibetan or Martian landscape. As I was approaching a large red lake (the water was red and the landscape similar to that of lake Manosavar), I saw a figure coming across the lake towards me. From the far distance he was just a small speck, but as we met at the shore, it was Geshe Dhargey sitting in a lotus blossom boat.

We both recognised each other and fell into what I can only describe as the best laugh of my life. We both laughed so hard that he almost fell out of his boat. Geshe turned and left, but I came out of that meditation laughing my head off which left the rest of our group rather puzzled and perhaps disturbed that I had disrupted their meditation. As footnotes to that story, I drove home by the same route in the same vehicle and it cost me $20 less in fuel. When I arrived back in Dunedin I began to tell the story to people at the Buddhist Centre only to be met with hostility because no one else had such an experience.

Years have passed since then, I have continued teaching and doing my own sadhana as well as blending into modern society.  During meditation I have learned to control the inclination to slip away for extended periods because unlike in India, there is no understanding of samadhi in this culture and intervention can be dangerous. Within the yoga tradition it is very common for yogis to spend weeks or even months in meditation. If that was to happen in Western culture, meditators would either be inadvertently killed during transport to a medical facility or they would wake up on a hospital bed with all manner of wires and tubes plugged into them.

Over the past 20 years I have been more aware of the accelerated decay within human civilisation. Everyone seems to want more stuff and people are less inclined to look inwards. As a yogi, people look to me to resolve their unhappiness and get irritated because they can’t get it like a supermarket product, but I can only point the way.

Most of us are familiar with the Internet, but years ago I discovered the yogi net. It works just like the Internet and I found that what I was teaching was also being written about in peer-reviewed journals. Quantum physics is easy to understand and actually, yogis have been saying these things for centuries.

As a yoga teacher I have been reluctant to accept the term guru, I teach yoga as a grounding mechanism because yoga itself is a technology of being human and it supports health and fitness. It’s abundantly clear that when the mind becomes totally involved in the practice of just one asana, and that asana is structured in a way that supports the entire metabolism of the human body, then the practitioner will grow and have a greater capacity to know life.

For myself, the perfection of asana is a window into experiencing the universe as myself, but people today are looking for the extra ordinary so much so that they are overlooking the very ordinary things that makes life truly extraordinary.

Enlightenment happens incrementally, enlightenment is about realising the nature of one’s self (self realisation) and through realising one’s own inner nature, life becomes in a way transparent, joyful and ecstatic.  Self-realisation and enlightenment is a vitally important aspiration for every human being and I agree with the yogis of old who said that only when every person in their own hearts will there be peace on earth.

But when we look at life, peace is only the foundation. It is from peace that happiness and joy can grow. From joy, bliss and ecstasy can emerge but those who do not yet know peace exist in a state of suffering that is subhuman.

This is the condition of our leadership, pleasure and happiness arises from other people’s suffering. Not only is their pleasure and happiness temporary, it also carries karmic consequences.

If you still think why yoga? It is only when everything else has failed that people turn to yoga expecting miracles. But yoga is a work that requires your attention and your passion. In the West people have used various yogic practices to gain insight into aspects of life to become successful. A great many people have used yoga to restore their health and find a more equitable life balance.

The colour of India

The colour of India

But to truly appreciate yoga, one must look back to the culture of India, a country that has produced an uncountable number of enlightened beings. Only a very small number have become famous because most became extraordinarily ordinary. But if you look at India and its culture that Islamist’s, colonialists and now capitalism is trying to destroy, there is a genuine joy amongst the people because they know what life is and they cannot but help celebrate life.

You may be happy if you have created a situation of relative peace, a niche where you can live out your days without being too troubled by the politics of society. But if you have yet to find that peace, then you need to turn to some form of yoga.

The path of yoga is a path of self response ability (responsibility), it is developing an ability to know one’s self and respond to life in a way that supports life.  This path is rather scary for many people because the thrust of modern society is anti-life.

In 2015 I came across the treasure trove of talks by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasadev. I was so blown away that first day listening to his talks – information everyone needs to understand – it was as if he was in the room with me and he continues to inspire me as he puts words together so much better than me.

Me and Cousin Paula

Me and Cousin Paula

Should you be fortunate enough to reside in Christchurch, you are most welcome to join me to meditate, learn how to meditate and practise yoga, learn massage, give talks or conduct lessons at your facility.

If you live elsewhere, and if you want to be happy and know life, look up Sadhguru Jaggi Vasadev on youtube. Life is a nonsense, but the only way to find enduring happiness is to see through the nonsense to the truth of existence.

If you are interested in the power of healing, I also teach the art of massage from a holistic perspective.

I saw myself as the source of existence
I was there in the beginning
And I was the spirit of LOVE.

~ Rumi

Critics question the validity of this life experience, however in reply I can only say that my experience, understanding and teaching is aligned with those who have walked before and shared their truth. It is a path of peace and harmony with nature because in truth, all is one.



2 comments to Enlightenment

  • Wallace Mikovec

    Sounds like some journey but I think for myself that every time I get an inkling of that great beyond, something more urgent in the world and stuff that I have to do takes precedence. How can you go into this other world?

    • Admin

      Hi Wallace, many call it a journey although it’s more like becoming completely still. All that is really required is complete relaxation and to generate that, a modest amount of exercise, healthy diet, doing nothing and especially avoiding beliefs all help.

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