‘Home from OM – the last yoga retreat’

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.

mumyoga

‘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.

Smiling is infectious

How powerful is the simple smile! It brings about connection. I learnt, as a child, that when you approach someone with your heart open you break down barriers. We’ve been doing a series of heart meditations at the end of this term. Sitting in your heart, and smiling from your heart, can change your world, and the world of everyone around you. In the beginning, it takes a conscious effort, and then it becomes the norm. Even my dog knows that, when I smile at him, all is well in his world.

Perhaps having an open heart and smiling is a signal to Spirit World that we are ready to serve. There are forces at play which guide us. growing and developing allows us to meet our destinies with commitment and enthusiasm.

When we take a photograph, catching a moment in time, we say, “Smile!” And every time someone looks at that photograph they smile too! Smiling is infectious…

Brahman is the friend and the refuge

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!

OM…Peace-peace-peace

Svetasvarara Upanishad.

.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.

His eyes are everywhere

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.

Svetasvatara Upanishad

The yogi is pure

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.

Eternal bliss

Strive earnestly for eternal bliss…

Be purified by the light of the Inner Reality…

The wise control their minds, and unite their hearts with the infinite…

Control the vital force…

Unite the light within you with the light of Brahman…

Turn the senses and the mind inward to the lotus of the heart…

Meditate on Brahman with the help of the syllable OM…

The first signs of progress on the path of yoga are health, a sense of physical lightness, clearness of complexion, a beautiful voice, an agreeable odour of the person, and freedom from craving…

Svetasvatara Upanishad

Retire into solitude

Retire into solitude. Seat yourself on a clean spot and in erect posture, with the head and neck in a straight line. Be indifferent to the world. Control all the sense organs. Bow down in devotion to your Guru. Then enter the lotus of the heart, and there meditate on the presence of Brahman – the pure, the blissful…

The mind may be compared to a firestick, the syllable OM to another. Rub the two sticks together by repeating the sacred syllable and meditating on Brahman, and the flame of knowledge will be kindled in your heart and all impurities will be burnt away.

Kaivalya Upanishad

To and fro

In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Yagnavalkya tells us: ” The self-luminous being who dwells within the lotus of the heart, surrounded by the senses and the sense organs, and who is the light of the intellect, that is the Self. Becoming identified with the intellect, he moves to and fro, through birth and death, between this world and the next. Becoming identified with the intellect, the Self appears to be thinking, appears to be moving. While the mind is dreaming, the Self also appears to be dreaming, and to be beyond the next world as well as this.

When man, the individual soul is born, and assumes relationship with the body and the sense organs, he becomes associated with the evils of the world. When at death he gives up the body, he leaves all evils behind.”

The Self is honey for all beings

The sun, the space, the moon, the lightning, the thunder, the ether, the law, the truth, the race of men, are all described as being ‘honey for all beings’. And then we learn that, “This Self is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this Self. The intelligent, immortal being, the soul of this Self, and the intelligent, immortal being, the soul in the individual being – each is honey to the other. Brahman is the soul in each; he indeed is the Self in all. He is all…As the spokes of a wheel are held together in the hub and in the felly of a wheel, just so all beings, all creatures, all gods, all worlds, all lives, are held together in the Self.

He made bodies with two feet, he made bodies with four feet. He entered into all bodies, and because he dwells in the lotus of the heart, he is known as PURUSHA. There is nothing that is not surrounded by him, nothing that is not filled with him.”

The sleeping man

Ajatasatru led Gargya to a sleeping man and said: “This man, who is a conscious, intelligent being – where was he when he was thus asleep, and how did he thus wake up? When this man, who is a conscious, intelligent being, is thus in deep sleep, he enters into the Self, within the lotus of the heart, having withdrawn into himself both his senses and his mind. When his senses and his mind are thus withdrawn, he is said to be absorbed in the Self.

In this state he knows nothing; he enters into the seventy-two thousand nerves which go out from the lotus of the heart. Even as a young man, or an emperor, or the best of Brahmins, when he has experienced the ecstasy of love, straightway takes sweet repose, so does a man deep in sleep find rest.

But when he sleeps, but also dreams, he lives in a world of his own. He may dream that he is a king, or that he is the best of Brahmins; he may dream that he is an angel, or that he is a beast. As an emperor, having obtained the objects of enjoyment, moves about at will in his dominions, so the sleeper, gathering up the impressions of sense, compounds them into dreams according to his desires.

As threads come out of the spider, as little sparks come out of the fire, so all the senses, all the worlds, all the gods, yea, all beings issue forth from the Self. His secret name is Truth of the Truth.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad