My latest book is now available on Amazon! It’s a novel way to navigate the ageing process, and uses story to spread the teachings of yoga.
Buy your copy of ‘Home from OM – the last yoga retreat’ now! They’re selling fast…
Click on the cover to purchase.
‘Home from OM’ employs the ancient yoga technique of story-telling to put across spiritual teachings, the infinite wisdom. Following the progress of ten occupants of a residential home, we engage with their lives and their pasts. Can living in a yoga community bring grace and fulfillment to their last years? Could this be a way for the elderly to progress instead of diminish? Or will new challenges emerge from the experiment? Carole Kerton has been teaching yoga for forty-one years. She believes in using humour and anecdotes to facilitate learning. Whilst yoga supports all age groups, the elderly in Carole’s classes thrive on their practice.
When you look back over your life, you see that there are times when the lessons come in thick and fast. Some periods are incredibly colourful and rich, both in joyful experiences and sad ones. This was our experience in the early 80’s. We learned then about the agony of sudden bereavement. We learned about extreme, fluctuating emotions. I became the designated emotional ‘washing-machine’ for the entire family. I felt that, in some strange way, all the emotions came to me, and I churned them around and sought to cleanse them. We learned, as we moved to the other side of the globe, about letting go of our security and diving into a new adventure. We learned about culture shock. Our young family clung together through the turbulence and grew strong.
It’s at these times that yoga’s lessons are most valuable. The asanas help to keep you grounded, the meditation calms your mind, the breathing techniques keep you in the moment. You realise the strength of you inner Self.
It seemed to me, as a child, that I was not on a level playing field. My brother was clearly regarded as being more important than me on every level.One of my challenges was to live alongside that and to play out the hand that I had been dealt. I guess when I sat in Spirit World and planned this incarnation, I decided that I needed to learn about human dynamics. I must have had to learn about confusion, and about living the questions. I developed a little world of my own. It was a place where I felt safe and where I could listen to my intuition, teaching from within.
It is said that when we pray we talk to God (or Brahman,) when we meditate we listen to him.
At age seven, I learnt that your body manifests what is happening in your mind and your emotions. My brother was sent away to boarding school and I came out in a rash from head to foot. I found that very interesting, so my curiosity about health and well-being was stimulated. Curiosity is a great foundation for yoga practice.
I also learned about being alone, and I discovered that in quiet time you are never completely alone. I learnt to trust my Inner Self, my Inner Guru or teacher. Yoga was always waiting for me…
Brahman is the friend and the refuge of all…
The Self is hidden in the heart of all creatures..
If the truth of these scriptures are meditated upon by a man in the highest degree devoted to God, and to his Guru as to his God, they will shine forth. They will shine forth indeed!
.That brings us to the end of our study of the upanishads. When you train as a yoga teacher, you immerse yourself in three great works, ‘The Bhagavad Gita’, ‘Patanjali’s Sutras’, and ‘The Upanishads’. The ancient teachings guide our steps.
Brahman dwells within man, and within all other beings. He projects the universe, maintains it, and withdraws it into himself.
His eyes are everywhere: his face, his arms, his feet are in every place. Out of himself he has produced the heavens and the earth, and with his arms and his wings he holds them together…
This great being has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet. He envelops the universe. Though transcendent, he is to be meditated upon as resident in the lotus of the heart, at the centre of the body, ten fingers above the navel.
As a soiled piece of metal, when it has been cleaned, shines brightly, so the dweller in the body, when he has realised the truth of the Self, loses his sorrow and becomes radiant with bliss.
The yogi experiences directly the truth of Brahman by realising the light of the Self within. He is freed from all impurities – he the pure, the birthless, the bright.
Like oil in sesame seeds, butter in cream, water in the river bed, fire in tinder, the Self dwells within the soul. Realise him through truthfulness and meditation. Like butter in cream is the Self in everything. Knowledge of the Self is gained through meditation. The Self is Brahman. By Brahman is all ignorance destroyed.
To realise God (Brahman), first control the outgoing senses and harness the mind. Then meditate upon the light in the heart of the fire – meditate, that is, upon pure consciousness as distinct from the ordinary consciousness of the intellect. Thus the Self, the Inner Reality, may be seen behind physical appearance.
Fire, though present in the firesticks, is not perceived until one stick is rubbed against another. The Self is like that fire: it is realised in the body by meditation on the sacred syllable OM.
Let your body be the stick that is rubbed, the sacred syllable OM the stick that is rubbed against it. Thus shall you realise God, who is hidden within the body as fire is hidden within the wood.
Like oil in sesame seeds, butter in cream, water in the river bed, fire in tinder, the Self dwells within the soul. Realise him through truthfulness and meditation.
This teaching begins with the statement: “Meditation can be learned, and it must be practised according to accepted rules. By its means it is possible to realise the personal Brahman, who, in union with Maya, creates, preserves, and dissolves the universe, and likewise the impersonal Brahman, who transcends all forms of being, who eternally is, without attribute and without action.”