Blog Post: My Nephews College Paper
My nephew’s college professor gave this assignment with the instructions, have a relative answer these questions, one that has similar views and outlooks to your own. I feel honored that he chose me.
1.) Q.) Throughout your entire life and your pursuit to happiness, success, and knowledge. What obstacles and negligence occurred, were they overcome, and if overcoming them, did they result in a positive effect later on in your life?
A.)I think our entire life is but a series of obstacles that we overcome on a daily basis. To cover all of my obstacles and negligence which occurred and that were over come could take 1000 pages or more. That being said, I think life is broken up into two phases, the first phase being ambition; the second is the meaning phase of life. When I look back at the ambition phase I had a completely different set of values and goals. I was successful to a certain degree but true happiness or oneness was fleeting and rare. I was a nice person, I had fun, but deep down I am not sure I was very content, happy or satisfied.
On my second trip to Asia I found Yoga and Meditation on the same time in a 10 day silent retreat. I would not so much say that I found God at that time. I would more accurately say that I connected to spirit. I don’t think our spirit ever leaves us but it can become dislodged and we ca be influenced by outside entities when we are not at our full strength. At that retreat I was able to let go of all bitterness, inhibitions, judgments, resentment and all other fear based emotions which sap our strength and diminish our spirit.
All obstacles and negligence’s I then saw as learning lessons and stepping stones on my path to awakening. I felt grateful for all of the struggle, pain, sadness and sorrow. I realized these so called ‘hard times’ are what made me special, what gave me character and the wisdom as a teacher to guide others towards a happier existence.
Finding yoga, meditation and inspirational teachers who have a lot more experience and life wisdom than me has been the key to greater understanding. In order for us to grow we must seek out the masters, elders, Gurus and sages who have spent the time and done the work. It is said that you will become most like the 5 people you spend the most time with. I have found this to be true.
I recently was talking with a client/ colleague of mine and I commented on our mutual friends’ grandmother who just turned 96 and looked great! She grinned and said that her Granny was 103 and was just now going into a nursing home and has been independent up until now. She recently asked her Grandma what her secret was…. Grandma replied with great joy…”Deep Breathing!”
I have found this to be true as well. When I am connected to breath, all is good. When I am in fear or living unconsciously I am not giving my attention to my breathing. It is the key to all yoga, meditation, martial arts, singing, lovemaking, fitness and more…
Joseph Campbell told us… Follow Your Bliss… I try to do that every day. Life just seems to work out for me somehow. I try not to stress out about anything or take anything, especially myself too seriously.
When one door closes we often find three more will open. We just need to stay open in our hearts to find the next open door.
2.) Q.) What motivations and qualities reflective of who you are lead you to pursue the actions you made?
A.) I saw the life that my father had lived. He was of service to many young men as an ice hockey coach and a scout. He also was over worked and struggled with addictions. He had a devastating childhood and survived Canada’s silent holocaust as a Canadian Indian child in the notorious residential schools.
Observing his life and the lives of others motivated me to help and serve people and at the same time I promised myself I would do what I love and not work myself into an early grave. The qualities that helped me were my dissatisfaction with the system, my relentless pursuit of the truth and my deep desire to explore consciousness and travel the world.
3.) Q.) Are you now where you want to be? Or close to where you had envisioned?
A.)I am very close to where I want to be. I am not trying to get anywhere else. I have always envisioned living in a tropical paradise, bringing in people from all over the world and helping them open their hearts and elevate their spirits. That is what I do now….
4.) Q.) Do you hold regrets, or is there any change you wish you could have made, or current pursuits attempting? Share stories, events, or situations that may have changed your life.
A.) I have a million things I would have done differently but I hold no regrets. I have learned from everything I have done and accomplished and I have probably learned even more from my so called ‘failures’ than my greatest triumphs. My Dad died of cancer when I was 20 years old. He was sick for two years but lived 18 months longer than the Doctors predicted. I now know how to cure cancer, diabetes and heart disease and sometimes I think if my dad we alive now I could save him (by teaching the concept of prevention).
Unfortunately my immediate family is now ill with serious, debilitating diseases and pretty much none of them will take my advice or ask me for help. I have given them fasting kits, books, websites, phone numbers and long heart felt talks. They trust the doctors that stuff them full of pills, poke them with injections and perform surgery for profit. I have been teaching yoga, cleansing and meditating for 15 years, improving and sometimes saving the lives of strangers and setting spirits free. My very own siblings have never done a yoga class, gone to a meditation retreat nor done a natural cleanse for their body and its organs
I am not sure that my father would have listened to my advice either. I have learned that some people just get stuck in their ways and you can only so much to help them. At some point you have to let go and just hope for the best for your people. I have a teacher who likes to say, I preach all the time… and sometimes I even use words!”
Now I just try to walk the walk and keep working on myself, keep up my practices and let my life be my example, my teachings… The upside is those who want to evolve beyond the previous generations are listening and my sister in-law is an active fitness person who has done several yoga classes and her children have tried it as well. The kids are inspired by their mother’s healthy lifestyle which includes daily exercise and balanced nutrition. They are cleansing, doing yoga, eating organic foods and even growing their own organic gardens!
In my very first meditation retreat I was told that my family would be the hardest people to convince that awareness and loving kindness were the primary keys to a happy life. I am grateful to be of service and I appreciate everyone and I respect the path they have chosen… All paths lead to one, no matter which path you are on. There is no such thing as death, we have all been here before, our inspiration, intuition, insight and intellect all become a profound reminder of our inner wisdom when we go inward, get quiet and really listen.
I have no regrets; they would only slow me down. I do my best to be grateful and appreciate all of life’s lessons and delights. That keeps me moving forward, onward and upwards. I no longer practice like I am trying to get somewhere, which is a good thing. Seeking suggests that God or Spirit is absent. I don't believe we can ever be separate from out spirit or divine self, but we can become dislodged from our soul at times. The practices keep us sane, they bring us back home, into the heart, so we can feel more than we think. The mind can be a dangerous neighborhood. To maintain clarity and mental and emotion stability I feel It is good to spend time away from the brain in a daily practice.
The yoga I practice and teach is called, ' Three Hearts Yoga'. It has not set series or rigid set rules or dogmatic doctrine. It's insightful wisdom and lightly structured guidelines draw upon nearly two decades of yoga and meditation practices and a life time of monumental and sometimes epically challenging physical pursuits. It is an intuitive practice for connecting us to our natural meditative state by honoring the three heart bodies, Physical, Prana and Spirit. A "belief " is just a thought that has been repeated in your head over and over and over until you have a decisive feeling about this thought. It may have been given to you by someone you know or don't know, it may be true or false and it may be valid or pure lie. Beliefs will serve you up to a certain point . But an unshakable "knowing" comes from deep within, an intuition, your instincts, inspiration, a heart feeling or a gut instinct, goose bumps and shivers are all symptoms of connectedness to soul and divine purpose.
Great yogic techniques and progressive steps were laid out by the late Sri Krishnamacharya, a.k.a. "Teacher of the Teachers". He taught us that, "Breath Initiates Movement", and he also said, " Do your Asanas,(yoga postures), and they will engage the Energy Locks or "Bhandas" in the body. These locks will help you master seamless breathing techniques. These breathing skills will naturally bring you back into your heart allowing you to feel more than think and shed beliefs for a deep sense ok knowing. Postures, Locks and Breath practice in that order with vinyasa movement will ease you into your God given natural state which is meditation. The various practices just give us proven methods to try out. Hopefully, with a daily adherence, these meditative exercises help you reside more frequently in your natural blissful and loving state of heightened awareness. Another great saint from India, Naem Karoli Baba, once replied to his devotee Ram Dass that your life's purpose could be realized through feeding people and serving people. Another time when a westerner asked, " What should I do to serve God?", he simply replied, "Help People... And Tell The Truth."
Appreciation and gratitude keeps me in the moment… in the now. That is the only place I need to be these days, thank goodness.