Motorcycle Yogi May Be Back On The Road

So, part of my life outside of yoga is to teach motorcycle safety courses.  I end traveling all over Texas, and generally miss my family while I enjoy teaching people how to do what I love.

Last night, my boss drove down from Dallas to San Antonio to come talk to us about what needs to happen and how its gonna work.  So, on top of teaching at the Shriner Auditorium, I’ll be on the road again a couple of times a months to teach motorcycle safety in other towns.

This weekend’s destination – Midland, Texas!  I get to work with a company-renowned pain in the ass, and was offered the choice to work there on alternating weekends, so after this one time, I don’t have to work with him again!

I like to think that I am a pretty decent RiderCoach, with a good background with working with difficult folk, so I shouldn’t flip out.

This is a mixed bag.  On top of a fatter paycheck for going, I have the dubious comfort of staying at my deceased grandmother’s house. 

How I do is another story, but I will have to face up to the lingering issues concerning my grandmother on top of being professional.

So, on that note…

How to Purge Ghosts and Restore Intuition (a meditation with visualization)

In Easy Pose, raise your arms with palms facing each other and begin moving them together in a figure-eight pattern.  Your torso may rock some with this, but don’t let it be distracting.  Close your eyes and focus on your third eye point.  Allow the darkness behind your eyes to begin isolating yourself from your body, and find the dazzling white light.  Let it raise you up out of yourself.  (up to eleven minutes)

Visualize after you enter the light a vast desert, hot and beautiful.  As you traverse this desert in the air, allow the clinging pains of nagging doubts and regrets fall off into the wastes.  Let the heat purge you and make your pure.  (up to 15 minutes)

Now raise your arms to vertical, keeping the same motion.  In your visualization, let yourself fly up, over the clouds, into the blazing sunshine.  Let the last of the pains, guilts, and sorrows melt off of you.  If you feel the need to cry, let the pain out as you cry, to be purified and cleansed by the sun.  When you are pure and light, descend into a blissful rainforest, lush and full of life.  Let the scents of life fill your spirit as the cool rainforest soothes your purified soul. (up to eleven minutes)

Inhale deeply, and spread your arms wide.  Exhale.  Repeat.

Now see  yourself in the mountains after the snowfall.  Everything is pure and bright.  take in the purity of the fresh snow and allow to bring your soul’s purity to the light. (up to fifteen minutes)

Spread your arms wide again.  Inhale, and exhale.

Bring your hands to your lap, right over left.  Using a gong or recorded gong, allow the vibrations to penetrate as you review your school days, bringing back your most creative energies as you touch on your days from kindergarted, first grade, until you reach your senior year.    Let your incoporeal self absorb it all, until you are filled with your own creative energies.

Bring yourself back to your body.  Open your mouth and breathe through it, without your teeth touching. (3 minutes)

Begin breathing through your nose, inhaling and exhaling as slow as you can.  Let the purity, creativity, and sense of self merge back into your physical being, and reach out with your soul to God.  Bathe in the light of God, the love of God, the sense that God is with you. (3 minutes)

Praise God with heart and song.  If you would prefer, play Rakhe Rakhanhaar and try to follow the mantra.  (six minutes)

Deep breath in, pull all three body locks.  Exhale, and relax.




Death, Life, and Walking the Line

My grandmother passed on February 14th, 2012.  She was 95.  She died of uterine cancer, one that she had chosen about three years ago to not treat but to allow to run its course because she was not at a point where she was willing to trade the misery of chemo for a few more years.

Over the last few years, I’ve watched her go from a vibrant woman to a shut-in invalid who was waiting for death.  In the end, with hallucinations, confusion, and lots of tears, she lost consciousness on February 11th and never regained it. 

Last week was hard for me.  As a spiritual person, I turned to my faith in God, my connection to the Divine, capoeira, yoga… and promptly chucked it for a beer, smokes, and eating badly. 

Granted, this woman was a part of my life since I was born.  Her home was my sole refuge for nearly 20 years, and for many of my cousins, it was sanctuary.  Sanctuary meant that when the dogs bite, the bees sting, and the rest of the world turns their back, I always had a warm bed, a plate of hot food, and someone who would be there for me no matter what.

When I said ” F*** this” to my college life and ran for the hills and mountains of Colorado, my one stop on my mad flight away from the shambles of my life was my grandmother’s house.  She gave me $50  (and she was living on $286 from Social Security), a bag of burritos, and a plea to stay there.  Maybe I should have, but I was insistent that I had to go to Colorado.  She gave me a hug and told me that I was always welcome at her house.

Who else gives unconditional love like that? 

Yes, I fell apart.  My carefully constructed life of balace, harmony, and easy acceptance of my relationship with God and my eternal soul promptly fell apart like a sand sculpture before the ocean – instead of peace, all I had was an aching emptiness inside where a person’s life once comforted me.  Nothing felt more like a lie than trying to go through a sun salute with this hole blown through the middle of my life, not to mention eating healthy.  It was easier to smoke a cigarette and drink a beer to take the edge off then it was to accept the pain and move on.

A week afterwards, I have since carried her to her final resting place, and cried with my cousins, eaten so much greasy road food that I gained three pounds, and smoked an entire pack of cigarettes.  Self-destructive behavior was oddly pleasurable, as though each bite of greasy food, each drag on a coffin nail, each swallow of beer hurt and let go of a little bit of the horribly relentless pain, that hurt that nothing can ease… and each day I did it again.

This morning I finally was able to calm down enough to meditate, to turn my focus from my pain and try to reconnect with my soul and with God.  I didn’t follow a specified meditation, I just closed my eyes in the bath and followed the path to my soul and God.  Instead of regimented discipline,  I just floated in that peace for a moment, feeling a gold light surround me.  It was peaceful, and for the first time, I was at peace with my grandmother’s death.  She’s at peace, a more profound peace than I will ever find, no matter how much I meditate, no matter what yoga set I do.

Yogi Bhajan said that there are levels of afterlife.  Simplistically (relatively), it goes  like this:
1.  30 seconds before you die, you see your life flash before you.
2.  20 seconds before you die, you judge yourself.
3.  10 seconds before you die, you take your last breath and then die.
As you die, you enter a cylinder (the white light of Near Death Experiences) and you pass to a place to choose where to go – to the left and heat or or to the right and cold.  Yogi Bhajan says to go to the cold and not the hot part.  From there, you hang in Earth’s electromagnetic field for 17 days before you enter the blue ethers and go on to the next life, or stay in heaven.  Occasionally, some people just skip that and fly right through to the ethers, according to YB.

I personally think we simply go to God, and ask to stay there or occasionally ask to return.  Some souls seek to find heaven, others seek to wander because they have to see.

Back to my grandmother – I can feel, in my heart and in the core of my soul that she is with God, in the realm of pearly gates, streets of gold and precious stones, and where all is fulfilled.  She lived a hard life and made hard choices in the name of protecting, raising, and maintaining her family.  In the end, when she died, I am sure she cast aside her body, which must have been like shedding dirty, rank clothing and being free.

Yoda said, “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”

The night I left West Texas to go home, I stopped to eat on the road and looked at the stars… they were so bright and seemed like there were billions and billions of them.  I kept looking at them and wondering where the boundary between physical and spiritaul was, and how many people sat at that boundary, watching the people who go by.  Loved ones watching us and wondering if they loved us enough, held us enough, or otherwise did enough while they were here.  I know I wonder if I told her I loved her enough times, hugged her enough.

On a show that I follow on Netflix, one of the principal characters lost his dad.  He was sitting with his brothers as they shared profound statements that were the last words their father had said to him, and his last words were that “Crocodile Dundee 3 was worth watching, and it totally holds up.”  instead of revealing that his dad pocket dialed him and saying he loved his son.

My last words with my grandmother were when she hugged me, and said a blessing for me as I traveled home.  I kissed her forehead and told her that I loved her.  that was the last time I saw her, smiling and happy for me and my family. 

I love my grandmother and miss her dearly. Today I was able to reconnect with my soul and with God again.  It still hurts, and it will hurt for a long time.  No more beer, or smokes, or bad eating.  I’m done with my streak of self-destruction, and ready to move on.

In the path of my life, this is yet another stretch where there were only one set of footprints, although I think I’m ready to start walking on my own again.

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