Monthly theme

A new theme, every month

Theme of the Month July: Yoga of Hidden Treasure

Monthly theme by Reinier Dorrepaal

June 2019

While knowledge of the self (selfless action or karma yoga) is revealed in the first six chapters of the Bhagavad Gita, knowledge of the union of the self through devotion in love (devotional yoga or bhakti yoga) is revealed in chapters seven to twelve. Krishna begins Chapter 9 with three verses to draw Arjuna’s undivided attention because the knowledge he is going to reveal is very important; it is the ‘Hidden Treasure’. Verse 1 Krishna says: “O Arjuna, you are non-envious, and therefore I shall impart this supreme secret to you, in terms of both theory and experience, knowing which you shall be free from inauspiciousness.”  He mentions that Arjuna is non-envious. Arjuna never gets tired of listening and he is characterized as sincere and self-controlled. He has unlimited faith. This means that Arjuna has the opportunity to access the knowledge of pure devotion. If the mind accepts knowledge, our inner resistance can prevent us from really letting it penetrate through our mind. Therefore, the most confidential knowledge is the knowledge of pure devotion. Verse 2 Krishna says: “This is the king of knowledge, the king of secrets, the ultimate purifier. It is directly perceivable, easy to practice, and imperishable.”  What is the knowledge of kings? What is the hidden secret? Bhakti Yoga is the practical knowledge that results in the magical effect of developing a loving relationship with the divine (in this case Krishna). It is the magic that transforms all things by unveiling their connection with their spiritual origin. Verse 3 Krishna says: “People who do not have faith in this dharma do not attain me.”  This means faith is the base for bhakti. Those who lack faith, remain in samsara or illusion. Verse 34 Krishna concludes with: “Fix your mind on me. Be my devotee! Sacrifice for me. Offer obeisance unto me. Absorbed thus in me alone, you shall come to me.”  Krishna says here that a devotee should surrender completely to him.  ‘Be my devotee’ – this symbolizes the offering of one’s heart as the basis of love. ‘Offer obeisance unto me’ – symbolizing the offering of the entire self, mind, body and speech.   Conclusion This reminds us of the power of devotion, sacrifice and humility (I like the Dutch translation ‘nederigheid’). Verse 34 can be seen as the essence and conclusion of the Bhagavad Gita. The essence is that devotion, love - the heart’s domain - rules over all, which means that the practice of devotional yoga is developing a relationship with the divine or ‘god’. I like to see this divine as love or humility. It is about the dismantling of the self. Taking away the selflessness and making you realize that we are all connected.   To write this article I made use of two Bhagavad Gita’s: The Bhagavad Gita, it's feeling and philosophy by Swami B. V. Tripurari Walking with the Bhagavad Gita by Mansukh Patel.    

Theme of the Month June : Separating the Real from the Unreal

Monthly theme by Rolandjan Van Mulligen

May 2019

Separating the Real from the Unreal   Every month we will dive into a chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. The story of the Bhagavad Gita takes place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, where two sides of a family are preparing for battle. The conversation involves two characters: Krishna and Arjuna. Krishna represents our True Self and Arjuna represents the human identification with body and mind (ego).    The battlefield is symbolic and stands for the struggle that goes on in our own minds that can be full of worries and judgments when it comes down to how to live a life in truth and purpose. Somehow I never deeply studied the Gita but while reading the verses of chapter 8 of the Bhagavad Gita one verse, in particular, inspires me (Krishna talking to Arjuna); 315. At the time of leaving the body if anyone thinks of Me, definitely, he attains Me. What struck me is that every now and then I find myself in this spontaneous contemplation: What if this is my last day in this body? It is a revealing reality check; it shows me what I am giving my attention to, what is truly important to me, what would fall away if this would be my last day? And also; during the event of death, who or what is exactly dying? And what perhaps remains untouched by death? This question about having one more day to live exposes a lot to me. It shows immediately what I'm holding onto, giving my attention. Would I still worry about tomorrow and regret yesterday? Will I still check my social media accounts 20 times a day? Would I continue comparing myself with another 'more successful' yoga teacher according to my mind? Would I want to hold on to a judgment towards a family member or friend? This contemplative question separates the real from the unreal, shows the difference between Universal inclusive Love and the mind's dualistic nature that results in judgments and apparent separation. Am I living today, in this very Moment, my deepest realization or am I under the hypnosis of limiting thought patterns? Am I following my heart and living my purpose, abiding in my true nature or am I holding back because of fear for so-called failure and the unknown? What do you see when you ask yourself this question? Another contemplation arises with this question: who or what dies at the time of death? If we look around us or within us in this very moment is there any experience that is not under the influence of life and death? Every experience takes birth, exists for a while and perishes. Look at a flower, a cloud, a relationship, your bike... We can see clearly that all life experiences are within the cycle of birth and death, therefore they cannot give us any security for everlasting happiness or unfading peace at all. It forces us to look deeper within. When I sense into death, even literally holding my breath for a little while, letting everything drop; my ideas about myself and the world, letting go of the effort of controlling or resisting any experience, softening my body as a willingness to give it back to the elements...Then it becomes so clear that something is still Here. Eternity is our real nature; that Principle is not under the influence of birth and death. It doesn't come or go, it is not affected by the changing conditions of the body. That Unborn Principle, the Brahman, the Absolute, is imperishable. We are that which is beyond birth and death. The body dies but we don't die. So if you deeply know that you do not die, then how would you live? We can be aware of the Absolute while being in a body and abiding in it and recognize it as our True Nature. But when the body is gradually aging, perhaps intense discomforts and pains are manifesting, or there is a sudden disease or crisis in our life, can we still discern between the form and the Formless? How strong our attachment and our identification with form is, becomes clear when something threatening happens to our body or our life circumstances; money, work, relationship... Or let's take it to the yoga mat or our meditation cushion; when the body is in a challenging asana or emotions arise in our meditation and the mind's habit is to react with resistance, can you still remember your true unborn Nature or do you forget? In some scriptures it is said that your last thought will determine whether and how you will incarnate after this body drops.. some revealing words from Papaji (Guru of Mooji): ''At the last moment of being in this body all dormant tendencies, fears, and anxieties of the dream (perishable existence) will manifest before you. The one that you are most interested in, the dearest thought that you see in this stream of mental events, will be your next birth! Any footprints in your memory will be your next birth. At this moment remember only Self (Krishna).'' Yoga and meditation help us to practice this spiritual muscle of discernment. When strong discomforts and emotions in our practice are arising can we still see clearly what we truly are, or are we getting lost in duality? So at the time of physical death, it will be likely that you will be in the recognition of Krishna, the Divine within, instead of deeply identified with the body and mind. Now you can peacefully and happily surrender into the Unknown. 

Theme of the Month May : Knowledge of the Absolute

Monthly theme by Peter Roussel

May 2019

The practitioner in yoga strives to understand the right action, this is the theme in Hatha Yoga and Bakhti Yoga as it is in the epic story of Arjuna, the Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita is compiled from stories dating from before Christ and up to about 600 years after His death. Many edits by those in power have incorporated developing ideas of society and of how to understand life. One of the things it covers is Knowledge of the Absolute and tries to provide values for how to live; right attitude for spiritual practice, for worldly duty and for war. Many alternative practices are given in Bhagavad-Gita as “…the best way” to live. Chapter 7 focuses on ‘Knowledge of the Absolute’, or Yoga of Self Knowledge. The practice of recognizing self-experience, the sense of “I” as the Witness or Krishna Consciousness. It is reminding us to remain impartial to the content of this moment, to the likes and dislikes of our personal makeup and conditioning. It’s calling us to see a bigger picture. With clear seeing we can act from a deeper place, creating beauty and goodness.  Acknowledgement of the Absolute helps us to know our Dharma, to know our personal truth, to face the battles we must fight. So yogic practice is helping us to be sensitive within our sensory experience, within our mental experience and to discriminate between the two and what is neither. This is helping us to be orientated in life. When we rely on the mental and sensory faculties as our sole guide in life we are at risks of overlooking some of the most precious aspects of our own being and the beings we find living with us. For me, contemplation of the Eternal, the Impersonal; the things that transcend my lifetime, my story, brings a sense of awe and wonder. Recognition of the Timeless gives a context and perspective on the fleeting moments of our life, highlighting the beauty of each moment as it passes, for better or worse. Even with the best texts, we can end up with mind wrapped up concepts. A busy mind can be exhausting as we try to contemplate the Absolute. Sensing the existence of something unmanifest is effortless but to try and make sense of the significance of it in our choices is a real challenge and moral obligation. One favourite practice to bring this integration is watching the breath. Watching the breath (So Hum) is an amazing tool. I find it fascinating that doing something so timid, easy and personal can be a bridge to recognizing the Absolute! Great technology! When we watch the breath, the mind (the place where our individual identity is created and maintained) is placed in direct connection with the life force. This is profoundly settling. Profoundly gratifying. And brings simplicity and a sense of connection at this moment to a larger picture.

Theme of the Month April : The True Yoga

Monthly theme by Jurre Twijnstra

April 2019

Chapter 6, Verse 34-53   Arjuna asks Krishna: “O Krishna the mind is flickering unstable, strong and stubborn. I think it is as difficult as to control the wind.” Krishna explains to Arjuna: “Without doubt Arjuna, the mind is difficult to curb and is restless but it can be controlled by constant practice and non-attachment.”   Reading in the Bhagavad Gita brings me back into moments and places in India every time. Since 2007, Jurre has been visiting India, teachers, trainings, studies, Gurus, and experiences across. India, where The Gita is been lived. Indian culture has small moments and values are often created based on the understanding of the Bhagavad Gita; the coconut man being happy and no other longings than chopping coconuts and serving them to the people.   Where the previous chapters are closed here with renouncing the desire and lust created longings to come to the Self, the chapter continues with disciplined action to have the working mind as a friend and not as an enemy. Only then we can bring the mind in the Self to Bliss.   This chapter shares the qualities of the yogi mind, teachings, explanation of techniques, and even meditation space is being described. He, the yogi who is satisfied with wisdom and knowledge, masters the senses as a clod, a stone and a piece of gold, all are the same to him. Equal minded to all friends, companions, saints, and sinners.   To me, the verses 11-17 are remarkable explanations of space, techniques, and moderation to have yoga rising in our lives. As a clean space, a firm seat, not too high nor too low, covered with sacred grass, a deerskin and a clod, one over the other. So I think we have to give some attention to the place we practice in. Taking place on the seat, making the mind one-pointed and controlling his thought and sense, let him practice yoga for the purification of the soul. The body, head, and neck, erect and still, looking fixed at the tip of the nose (nasagrai dristi), without looking around. Moderation is been taught on food, as well as on sleep, a disciplined mind destroys all sorrow.   With determent practice of concentration to have the thoughts at rest and find supreme delight, perceived by the intelligence and beyond the reach of the senses; he will then no longer fall away from the truth. However, the mind will wander away but we can bring it back to the control of the Self. We would gain little by little by controlling and fixing the mind on the Self. When the mind is peaceful, the passions at rest, then the supreme happiness will come to the yogin.   The mind is as difficult as the wind to control. What will happen to the ones who keep falling to attain perfection in yoga? At least with our effort of righteous living, we will be reborn in a house of pure and prosperous or a house of yogins full of wisdom.   Live in Bhakti, Devotion into this Oneness.   To the Force of the One is All within You.   Jurre Twijnstra 

Theme of the Month March: 'Action in Pure Awareness'

Monthly theme by Sido Wijga

February 2019

Chapter 5 Karma Vairagya Yoga Action in pure awareness Chapter 5, Verse 8-9 Krishna explains to Arjuna: “The knower of the truth thinks “I do not do anything at all” - though seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, moving about, sleeping, breathing, speaking, emptying, accepting, opening and closing of eyes. He is convinced that only the sense organs of the body are engaged in sense objects and the soul is actionless.” My Journey with the Bhagavad Gita started when I did ‘The Heart’ teacher training with Delight Yoga in Bali more than 5 years ago. For a full month we dived into the teachings of the ‘Song of God’ on the island where the Gita is so alive and is deeply rooted in its culture. For me it was the start of a beautiful journey back to the Self. The beauty about this book is that it has so many layers. The apparent dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna is actually a monologue of the Self talking to the Self, about the Self. It is our higher self, talking to our believed self or ego. It is that divine essence that we all are guiding us back home to our true nature. This chapters starts with Arjuna asking Krishna the question: What is better, renouncing all actions and become like a monk, or performing actions as a karma yogi? Krishna tells Arjuna that yoga trough action (karma yoga) is better than refraining from action. When one can maintain evenness and neither hates nor desires and performs action without expectations of the result one will be liberated. True renunciation is very difficult and only for sages. When one can remain even and unattached to the result of the action, the sense of doership will start to diminish. Then Krishna tells Arjuna that a liberated one (yogi) will see that he is not doing anything, but that it is the sense organs of the body that are engaged in the sense object and that he himself is actionless. He is like a lotus leaf, unattached by water. In our everyday life we breathe, digest food, circulate blood, and all these things happen without us being aware of it. This complex system we call ‘body’ is not in our control. We don’t control our hormones or raise our heartrate when we get excited. The body works with a high intelligence that we are not aware of. But when we act upon something, we claim to be the doer.  When you turn your awareness inward and start to investigate your own existence, you will come to the conclusion that everything you can observe (body, mind and everything that appears in it) cannot be what you ultimately are because you can observe it, therefore there must be a distance between you and what you can observe. When you confirm your position as awareness only you will see that things are just happening, and you are not doing anything at all. It is only when we start to identify with that what appears in pure awareness that we create the illusion of doership. “All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it first comes into existence. It does not rest with You to accept or reject them. The only freedom You have is to turn Your mind inward and renounce activities there.” – Ramana Maharshi May all beings be released from suffering by realizing their true nature.

Theme of the Month February: 'Diving Into the Bhagavad Gita'

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

January 2019

     Chapter 2, verse 7 Arjuna speaks to Krishna: "Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition, I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me."     This is the beginning of a new year's dive into the deep Yogic and spiritual treasure of the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita is translated as "The Song of God", and it is a collection of beautiful ancient Sanskrit verses from the much larger Mahabharata coming from the wisdom of India. It is the foundation and the most important yogic text along with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali giving guidance and inspiration to practitioners of yoga for centuries. The Gita is a dialogue between the mighty warrior Arjuna and the Divine Person Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. In this story, we are given the precious teachings of liberation from suffering by Krishna (our inner divine teacher) to Arjuna (who is the symbol of ourselves). At its heart, the Gita is a teaching from the universal love and consciousness to help the human being in search of truth and liberation. Many consider the Gita to be the most important spiritual document coming from the vast wisdom of India. In short, the Gita starts with the description of a vast battlefield where Krishna, the driver of the chariot, and Arjuna face an enormous army consisting of many great warriors and also beloved friends, teachers and family. In facing the prospect of fighting everyone he knows and loves, because of the greed of an evil-minded king, he loses heart and drops his bow refusing to fight. wherein Krishna gives his loving guidance on the spiritual path. So with humbleness and gratitude, I will share the significance of the setting of the battlefield and the essential message at the beginning of the Gita as I understand it. For the yogi, the battlefield of the Bhagavad Gita is an inner story about spiritual confidence and perseverance with the guidance of Krishna (the Divine inner teacher), in the face of overwhelming and insurmountable inner and outer difficulties. It is trusting the soul's small voice of truth and light in the midst of the darkness of inner confusion and challenges of life. Life often feels like a confusing battle between opposing inner forces and outer situations that disturb our peace. The opposing armies represent our sense distractions, social conditioning, attachments and aversions and when a soul, like Arjuna, has finally seen the futility of this battle with one's self, there is deep despair and a feeling of giving up the fight. That is when the Divine voice of Krishna comes to guide the soul back to the light. We are all in this situation of inner conflict that seems like a battle, and a few of us, perhaps yourself, are now unable to move without the Divine guidance of Krishna to come out of the ignorance into divine love and freedom. The Gita is the voice of our inner teacher may you find inspiration from this amazing text in the coming year. May you open your heart and listen to the words of the Gita so that you will find the door to the infinite! Namaste, Kevin Sahaj     Gandhi on Bhagavad Gita: 
"The Gita is the universal mother. She turns away nobody. Her door is wide open to anyone who knocks. A true votary of Gita does not know what disappointment is. He ever dwells in perennial joy and peace that passeth understanding. But that peace and joy come not to the sceptic or to him who is proud of his intellect or learning. It is reserved only for the humble in spirit who brings to her worship a fullness of faith and an undivided singleness of mind. There never was a man who worshipped her in that spirit and went disappointed. I find solace in the Bhagavad-Gita that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount. When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad-Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there, and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies -- and my life has been full of external tragedies -- and if they have left no visible or indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teaching of Bhagavad-Gita."  

Theme of the Month January: The 13th Moon in January

Monthly theme by Katiza Satya

December 2018

'You are — the moment you decide to Be' by Satya   After a wonderful journey of 12 moons, here we are at this invisible gate entering the last moon cycle of the year “the 13th moon in January”.  With a heart full of gratitude and wisdom gathered from all the different aspects we have learned and shared in our walk on earth moment by moment, deep in ourselves we feel the Yes! We are ready to Be! To enter this invisible gate it’s like entering the space between inhaling and exhaling, we need to enter the space that is nearer than near, closer than close. We give ourselves without a thought, without reservation or separation to this journey where we meet stillness and silence. This is the ground where all becomes, all is manifested and all returns.  Here on this ground, we surrender. We rest in the unknown, we are carried by the wisdom winds of the 5 elements. A trust beyond thought is born, knowing that we are home and what will be revealed to us is who we really are. Resting in silence and stillness is the key that opens the invisible gate of separation; here the wisdom pranas reveal their magic dance and all the infinite ways they manifest in the universe. Their unlimited, spontaneous, eternal nature is nakedly revealed. There is not two, all is happening simultaneously in the here and now! In the here and now all is transmitted directly mind to mind in silence, giving birth to seeing clear, without words or thoughts the beauty of this pure knowing of perfection is revealed. This is a place where no words can touch. Words of freedom, peace, and love are sounds roaring in the wind like the wings of a butterfly near flowers or an eagle flying in the sky.  The Gate is Here and Now. It is a gate to pass through for anyone that wants to see their true face,  for anyone who wants to be re-born in freedom, light, space, for anyone who is ready to move beyond the veils of the mind, and for anyone who after all that has been learned and gathered in our human walk, feels the gratitude and richness of all that has been given and finally only wants to Be! I feel deep gratitude and feelings of great honour to be the one to write and share with you all about the wisdom of this last moon cycle. I have been guided to enter this gate-less gate in my search for truth by life, by my masters and the teachings I have humbly followed, all that is left of me is only Being and this life manifests only from here and now. The Great Vision we see is pure Being. This is not the end nor a beginning, this is the continuation and celebration of the divine play called “Life”, may all enjoy the totality of this magnificent play.   Within Love, Peace and Joy, Satya  PS: I am so happy to pass the torch of wisdom for the next moon cycles of the next year to the “Song of God”, the teachings of the Bhaghavad Gita.  LOVE SATYA   

Theme of the Month December: Give Praise

Monthly theme by Daphne Luttger

December 2018

Life is inevitably a process of learning and maybe at some point in life’s journey, you come to the realization of the necessity of unlearning or changing the habitual patterns that we call conditioning. The importance of change for growth and transformation. We all build our personalities on the experiences we have. Our thoughts, beliefs, and desires control our everyday life and most of the time we are not even conscious of the fact that we are driven by something we call the subconscious mind. We are influenced by our surroundings and it forms the way we look at ourselves, each other and the world around us for what we believe it is to be true. We all have the need to feel safe and we all want to meet. But how is that even a possibility if we hardly know ourselves on different levels of awareness? At some point in your life you come to the question; What and who am I and why am I here? If you really have the desire to discover the full truth of 'you', you have to be willing to embrace and surrender to that what 'is' right in front of you, that what wants to flow through you and wants to be acknowledged. Even if that includes re-living the pain of our wounded hearts. We first have to become aware that we addictively repress or deny our wounding, which causes us to feel shame, helplessness, fragmentation, anxiety etc., and suppresses our sense of curiosity, wonderment, joy, spontaneity, humour, trust and connectedness. This conditioned behaviour is based on our biological, social history that causes us to chronically behave in an almost intoxicated predictable manner, cognitive loops that cause the feeling of dissatisfaction towards our immediate experience with life itself. We don’t feel joy if we can’t feel gratitude when we are in resistance all the time. So how can we even be thankful and praise each moment of every day if we resist the wonder of life to flow through us? To be willing to meet with the fullness of creation means that you are willing to meet with that what is. Believing that we should suffer our way through life is the ultimate illusion. Gratitude is simple and instantly healing. As we start to learn to give thanks to the miracles that are happening right in front of our eyes, we learn that magic is everywhere. The air that you breathe, the light and life-giving warmth of the sun, mother earth that provides you with all that you need. From nutrition to the roof over your head and even the water that is running from your tap straight in your cup is quite miraculous and something to be thankful for. We are so blessed just because we are here in the fullness of it all. To discover that there is no light without darkness. That it is the illusion of separation that makes us suffer. Abundance, all in and around and the beauty of it is that you don’t need to do your best or have to work hard to get some it. No, it just is! Count your blessings and I am sure you will feel better right away. I’ve always been a great admirer of the poet 'Kahlil Gibran' who wrote The Prophet, ages ago. One of the chapters is about love and in the last few sentences he points out the very essence of what I try to put into words for you.   Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night; To know the pain of too much tenderness; To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips. — Kahlil Gibran Share your abundant heart. Be humble, be nice. Give praise. Love, Daphne Luttger  

Theme of the Month November: Walk Tall, Woman

Monthly theme by Patricia Veltri

October 2018

By Patricia Veltri The first time I heard the expression ‘She walks what she talks’ I was impressed by a powerful woman. She had so much integrity and coherence, she was so honest in the way she presented herself. With her, I understood the difference between being honest and carrying the truth. The truth has different aspects, can be seen from different perspectives. Be honest is to choose not to fake. Quite a strong statement nowadays when fake news and fake bodies are everywhere around us.   This month, I was invited to write about ‘The 13 Original Clan Mothers’ or ’Walk Tall Woman’. Again I was presented to a woman who walks her talks, who makes from her path and the way she moves through it a living example to others.   ‘Walk Tall Woman’ chooses to let her actions speak for her intentions. With her I learned that when we walk our personal truth, we don’t need many words, nothing really needs to be explained, because the actions will speak louder than words. Words tell us WHAT to DO. Walking Tall Woman, being a living example teaches us HOW to BE.   When we walk with our truth we don’t carry fear with us, neither its opposite: hope. If there is a more appropriate way of doing things, instead of becoming afraid of changes or contradictions, we apply the innovations to find out if they support our walk.   The Eleven Clan Mother teaches us the value of Health because she knows that to be able to walk our path through Earth we need a body, a physical home. And like any other home, the body needs care and attention. Like any other house, the body is sacred and needs to be honoured with a proper attitude, proper food, adequate sleep and habits. Treating the body with care is not a luxury, is a primordial condition of existence. The body that plays the actions and walks the path has an instant honesty. It is not busy with the illusions that seduce the mind. It doesn’t fake and will tell us what we need, not what we want. And when we caught ourselves being so busy running between appointments and laundry, deadlines and supermarket. When we full ourselves feeding the ambition to become a ‘super-human-doing’ instead of a ‘simple-human-being’, the body will remember us that we are loosing more than our balance. We are covering our humanity with the layer of disconnection and forgetting something very precious: to embrace inactivity and rest.   ‘Walk Tall Human’ has a friend, the Mountain Lion. He is there to protect her from covering her human needs with the mask of action. He told her about the value of taking rest and going on retreat. Like ‘Walk Tall Woman’ we all need support to realise the importance of slowing down. Because when we slow down and take rest, Truth catches up with us, uncovering our vulnerability. It might take some time until we are strong enough to be vulnerable. It might take even more time until we understand that being vulnerable is different from being weak. The last lesson that ‘Walk Tall Woman’ taught me was to release the illusion of being a perfect example and not be afraid of showing my vulnerability to others. Her teachings supported me to visit stillness every time it’s needed. And from there to illuminate my shades, my hidden fears as much as my strengths. To drop my armours and face my nakedness.   When we discover the healing power that comes along with taking a retreat, we finally allow ourselves to show our vulnerability to others. We start to trust others because we eventually learn to trust ourselves. Only then we can combine becoming a strong person and a vulnerable being. This day our feet start to walk a new path and truth can arrive in our heart.   ‘I stand in your presence, I hold my head up high, With my feet rooted in Mother Earth, My arms embracing Father Sky.’  

Theme of the Month October: Weaving the Web

Monthly theme by Tianjin Lawless-Jennings

October 2018

The Woman of the Tenth Moon Cycle weaves the creative web of life. She shows us that 'Mothers' come in many different forms: Aunt, Godmother, Guru, Friend. She is the special woman that you turn to for guidance, to steer you from the path of destruction, showing you the way back onto the path of creating and manifesting your dreams... of birthing your true potential through your creativity. She is the Clan Mother we turn to when we are afraid of failure or lack of self-expression. She teaches her children how to use their hands to create beauty and truth in tangible forms and shows them how to use crafts and art to create ideas and dreams in the physical world. Weaves the Web Clan Mother reminds us that creativity is within us all. We are all born with it, and we need this creativity if we want to live our truth. She helps us express our creativity in a positive manner and use the energy available to us. She reminds us that we are the creators of our own web of experiences. As I sit here writing this, I am also watching my two children play in our garden. I can’t help but admire their freedom of expression and imagination, and how wonderfully creative and playful they are. It made me wonder why as 'grown-ups' we tend to lose this childlike ability to be playful, to fully express our true selves, and be creative. We seem to get so busy, to have weaved our web so tight that we have no space for our creativity to flow. Can you remember the last time you were lost in the creative process? What a feeling that is. There is magic in it! Giving birth to our dreams is always accomplished by having the desire to create, deciding to create and taking the actions necessary by using the flow of life-force to give birth to the dream in the tangible world. Weaves the Web is the Clan Mother we turn to when we need the skills to make our dreams real. She shows us how to take the actions necessary to tap into our creativity and go with the flow. The practice of Yoga comes instantly to mind and just shows us how prevalent and powerful our yoga practice is today. When we step on to our Yoga mat we are giving ourselves space and time to step away from the busyness, to quieten the mind, to release and let go in order to make space for creativity to flow. When we make space in our body and mind, we can start to tap into our creative source by pausing and listening in, which allows us to tune into our higher power, our true potential. We live in a world where we are constantly being pulled out of ourselves and are often too busy to dream, and too busy to believe in ourselves and our creativity. We have forgotten our true untouchable innocence. Weaves the Web encourages us to remember. And then teaches us how to weave the reality from our true self, always spontaneous and free, so that they become our creative threads of self-expression.

Theme of the Month September: shaping tomorrow's dream

Monthly theme by Dolores Mae Höppener

August 2018

The moon of September is the ninth moon cycle, the ninth month, that we share about the wisdom of the moon according to the native traditions. This moon is asking us to be aware that we are influencing tomorrow’s dreams; to be proactive to ensure the abundance of the future. The abundance of our children's children.

Theme of the Month August: She who heals

Monthly theme by Victoria (Tory) Hyndman

July 2018

Theme of the Month August: She who heals by Victoria (Tory) Hyndman This month’s theme is about “She who heals”. When we look at “she who heals`’, is this an individual like a mother, a grand-mother, an energy of the Divine Mother or perhaps our true mirror? There is a girl, a woman really.  She is standing on a bridge, one we all come to at some point in  life. On the one side of the bridge is the land of the innocent and playful girl, on the other side lies the land of womanhood.  But she is caught in a web, the web of her past stories, which makes her believe that she is neither a woman nor has the potential of being Woman. That she is not worth being honored, loved and being seen for the beauty she truly is.   When she and I spend time together we are both children and women. We play, we act silly, we  dance, we make crude jokes and dive into deep reflective talks. We have shared tears of laughter and tears of deep sharing. When we are together, I see her essence shining. A beauty that is graceful, humble and radiant. When I watch her being with her partner, I see how he is one of the individuals who treats her like the girl that is not a woman, supporting her to stay in the web of the past hurts of childhood, of not being worthy of love or respect, of not being seen. I see the sadness in her deep eyes of wanting him to see her for the grand beauty that she is. Her grand Spirit, her grand sense of humor, her grand femininity flowing through her expressed in how she carries her body, how she worships the Feminine healer within her shamanic nature through her offerings and deep connection to flowers, as those flowers mirror the flower she is so desperate to open but not giving her self the permission to flower.  Her deep compassionate and forgiving nature makes her constantly look at herself of where SHE needs to improve/heal. She takes herbs to calm and tame her wild woman nature that wants to scream out the deep emotions of frustration and rage for not being seen and honored by him, constantly thinking it’s something inside of HER that she needs to fix and heal, suppressing this deep momentum that is building up to flower. Flowering is stepping through the door of expansiveness, crossing that bridge, dropping the shackles of our past, our stories, to step into the new, the unknown, the place where there are no stories. It’s our home, our true Self. It’s the place where we tap into the deep wisdom that lies inside for us to trust.  Trusting the call of the heart. Becoming quiet to hear her whisper from our heart. Trusting in our Self to guide us.  How do we know when to trust this voice? When it scares the shit out of us, yet at the same time gives us a feeling of a deep sigh of relief of radiant peace and freedom at the same time. The beautiful ancient classic texts of Ayurveda write that healing can only take place through active participation of the Vaidya (the word Vaidya comes from the word Veda, meaning wisdom, so it is often translated into healer/physician) and the patient. Meaning the patient needs to want, really want, to heal.  That Vaidya is also that wisdom in our heart. Often we say we want to heal,  we want to grow. But when we are confronted with having to leave our stories behind, which sometimes means leaving those people behind, for healing to take place, our old self starts to go into withdrawal and fear of letting go of the old. Even if we “know” something isn’t supporting us, it is our familiar and safe story. When we take our true seat, our throne within our body, our vehicle in this journey of human life, we take ownership of our self. Then we are well seated, svastha, in our self, no one can throw us off, no one can throw us out of our throne. When we start seeing our Self, we do not need to be seen by others because we see our Self. We do not need anything from anyone as we see that we are full, whole, content. Content with the content and then naturally the way others will see us and treat us changes. When is it that time? When we are fed up with suffering. When we have the courage to rise above our stories of blaming others for not treating us right and taking responsibility, ownership of our life, of our happiness.   Seeing that crossing the bridge from childhood into adulthood is not leaving one world behind, but merging the youthfulness with the wisdom that comes through maturity while maintaining our childlike nature.  May we all wake up to the happiness we truly are.   

Theme of the Month July: Intimacy with all that is

Monthly theme by Katka Jacz

June 2018

Theme of the Month July: Intimacy with all that is by Katka Jacz     To be at home with yourself and the world around you, happy and intimate with whatever is. Those of you who have had this experience know this is a possibility. But to live like this more constantly, is this possible?

Theme of the Month June: Storyteller

Monthly theme by Lidewij Severins

May 2018

Theme of the Month June: Storyteller   She who speaks the Truth by Lidewij Severins The Moon of June represents the woman who speaks the Truth. She who shares from her heart; truthfully, concise and clear. Through stories, we learn to have faith, to be humble and to keep our innocence.

Theme of the Month May: Listen to your inner voice

Monthly theme by Martine van Beusekom

April 2018

Theme of the Month May: Listen to your Inner Voice   Every month the theme of the month is inspired by the book 'The 13 Clan Mothers', in which the writer, Jamie Sams, shares her Native American wisdom on what the moon teaches us, all 13 moons have their own teaching, helping us to Truth. Martine wrote about what the 5th moon brings us.

Theme of the Month April: 'Looks far Woman'

Monthly theme by Ira Hardjosusono

March 2018

Living the Mandala of Life. First of all, I’m grateful and happy to have been asked to write about the theme of the 4th April moon. Inspired by the many stories of women on the path, I started writing directly from the heart, inviting you to join me to go back in time.

March 2018: Weighs the truth

Monthly theme by Ingeborg Timmerman

February 2018

She who sees the truth The third moon of the year teaches us that truth has many different faces. We need to look at all sides of a situation to find out what is real and accept this truth although we may not like it. It teaches us that we can find our own personal truth by seeing and accepting the consequences of our actions and life experience. We need to look at what we can learn from our deeds.

February 2018: Wisdom Keeper

Monthly theme by Alixe van Ogtrop

January 2018

As honoring nature's rhythms and cycles connect us more easily with our own True Nature, we will write about the 13 lunar cycles. This year 13 women have been asked to write about the 13 lunar cycles. I have been asked to write about the second moon of the year with the theme 'Wisdom Keeper'.

January 2018: Talks with Relations

Monthly theme by Kristin Vikjord Paternotte

December 2017

NATURE “Weaving the rhythms of the seasons, She rides the Winds of Change” I was born under the Aurora Borealis. Under the dancing Lights of winter. I grew up in moonlit darkness. In the land of the midnight sun, a land where the sun never sets. Where the silence is more still than the first stillness. And time is present, like moments that never pass. Blue hours of vastness. Raw. Pure. Where heaven meets earth in winds as wild as your wildest dreams.

Delight Yoga’s Theme of The Month: why and what?

Monthly theme by Delight Yoga

December 2017

yoga as a sacred path a way of life   To inspire ourselves and each other we share a theme of the month, helping us to understand who we really are. This year, we love to give our attention to the moon's cycles, honoring and being inspired by the feminine source of wisdom - embodying the gifts, talents, abilities, and principles of the womanhood.

December: The Light within

Monthly theme by Katiza Satya

November 2017

The heart of Christmas time   We are the very source of all what we are searching for; healing, happiness, peacefulness, freedom or perfection, but it is so easy to be missed. Even when we try to point towards it is already too far, because you can't point to that which is already here, and what you really are.

November: Inner Peace

Monthly theme by Dolores Mae Höppener

October 2017

  Inner Peace   “What’s above is as below. What’s below is as above.”   With the second edition of the Inner Peace Conference in our hearts, I feel a lot of gratitude for this months' theme. Since we started the event last year, inner peace has become my number one priority in life. 

October: Ishvara Pranidhana: Surrender to the divine

Monthly theme by Wessel Paternotte

September 2017

Surrender to the divine The theme of this month is Ishvara Pranidhana, the last one in the series of niyamas. Ishvara refers to God, and Pranidhana generally means self-surrender. Ishvara Pranidhana is the practice of self-surrender in deep contemplation on the eternal source of all. In the practice of Ishvara Pranidhana, we let go of our thoughts, beliefs and ideas. We let go of achieving, striving, and trying to figure things out, and surrender to the divine. 

Svadhyaya: Studying the Self

Monthly theme by Wessel Paternotte

August 2017

The theme of the month is Svadhyaya, the fourth of the niyamas from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The term Svadhyaya stems from the words Sva (Self or Soul) and Shyaya, which comes from dhyia (to meditate, study or contemplate) and so Svadhyaya means Studying the Self. DJ Khaled would call this a Holy Key, as knowing your Self, and being your Self, is what yoga is all about. I write 'self' with capital S because the Self Patanjali is referring to, goes beyond our persona with its preferences, desires, and aversions.

August: Tapas - Inner Fire and Selfless Love

Monthly theme by Wessel Paternotte

July 2017

TĀPAS   Inner Fire & Selfless Love Tāpas, the third of the niyamas from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, has been translated into English as heat, spiritual austerities, self-discipline and inner fire. Through Tāpas, mastery of the body, mind and senses can be achieved. Think of Tāpas as a flame inside of you, which motivates you and keeps you on track with what is really important in life.

July: Santosha - Contentment

Monthly theme by Wessel Paternotte

June 2017

- SANTOSHA -   This month we focus on the practice of Santosha, developing contentment and equanimity of mind. I believe the first time I heard the word equanimity was during my first vipassana retreat. The teacher, S.N. Goenka, was speaking about it a lot. He told me that I should keep a calm, content and equanimous mind, no matter what the circumstances may be.

June: Saucha - purity, cleanliness and clearness

Monthly theme by Wessel Paternotte

May 2017

When I first heard about the niyamas as being the rules of yoga, I was not a fan. I never liked rules and I had a slight tendency of breaking them. Luckily, over the years my perception changed, and I began to understand that the niyamas are not meant as rules that you simply must follow to be a good person. I began to appreciate them as spiritual, mystical and yet very practical guidelines for a happy life. And I love being happy.

May: Aparigraha - Non-attachment

Monthly theme by Maarten van Huijstee

April 2017

In the Theme of the Month of May I will reflect on the fifth and last Yama: Aparigraha. The Yamas, “the don’ts”, are considered the natural laws of Yoga and thus Aparigraha is one of the five essential restraints.  The word Aparigraha stems from the word parigrah which means ‘to crave’, ‘to seek’ and 'to seize’ possessions. It not only means the action but also includes the intent; the attitude of craving and possessiveness.

April: Brahmacharya - Follow the Universal self inside

Monthly theme by Maarten van Huijstee

March 2017

Brahmacharya In this Theme of the Month I will reflect on the fourth Yama “Brahmacharya”. The Yamas are an integral part of the path of Yoga and are seen as the natural laws of life which are guiding our action, words and thoughts.

March: Asteya - Non-stealing

Monthly theme by Maarten van Huijstee

February 2017

Asteya In the Theme of the Month of March I'll be continuing my exploration of the Yamas, which are seen as the natural laws of Yoga and apply to all aspects of life, including restraints in one's actions, words and thoughts. This month we will reflect on the third Yamas, "Asteya", which translates to "non-stealing".

February: Satya - Truthfulness

Monthly theme by Maarten van Huijstee

February 2017

Satya As mentioned in the January, I’ll be writing the Theme of the Months in 2017 about the five Yamas, an integral part of the eightfold path of Yoga. The Yamas are seen as the natural laws of Yoga which apply broadly in life and include self-restraints in one's action, words and thoughts. In February we’ll be having a closer look at the second Yama “Satya” which translates to “Truthfulness”

January: Ahimsa - non violence, non harming

Monthly theme by Maarten van Huijstee

December 2016

Ahimsa Several weeks ago, my teacher, Katiza Satya asked me to write the Theme of the Month for the first months of 2017. I was asked to write about the five "Yamas", one of the limbs of the eightfold path of Yoga. The Yamas are seen as the natural laws of Yoga which apply broadly in life and include self-restraints in one's action, words and thoughts. In January we start with "Ahimsa" which literally means "do not harm".

December: Just being is enough

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

November 2016

Maybe you have this experience that you are thinking to much. We are always planning, worrying, solving some problem, judging what we see as good or bad, liking or disliking. Is there ever a time when we are just being? Simply experiencing life as it is in whatever colour, sound, taste and touch is unfolding NOW by NOW, is a rare event.

November: The importance of self practice

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

October 2016

Do you have a practice of yoga that you do regularly at home by yourself? If the answer is yes then you may have understood what is the real meaning of yoga practice: to dive deeply into yourself and find what is truth.

October: Hatha Yoga Part 4 of 4

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

September 2016

Hatha Yoga Part 4 Mudra, Bandha and Kundalini Energy udghāṭayetkapāṭaṃ tu yathā kuṃchikayā haṭhāt |
kuṇḍalinyā tathā yoghī mokṣhadvāraṃ vibhedayet || 105 ||   As a door is opened with a key, so the Yogî opens the door of mukti by opening Kuṇḍalinî by means of Haṭha Yoga.

September: Hatha Yoga Part 3 of 4

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

August 2016

Hatha Yoga part 3 Part 3. Pranayama practice according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika: athāsane dṝdhe yoghī vaśī hita-mitāśanaḥ | ghurūpadiṣhṭa-mārgheṇa prāṇāyāmānsamabhyaset || 1 ||

August: Hatha Yoga Part 2 of 4

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

July 2016

Hatha Yoga part 2 Part 2. Asana practice according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika: The second chapter of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika explains asana as the foundation of the Hatha Yoga training.

July: Hatha Yoga Part 1 of 4

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

July 2016

The purpose of Yoga according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika Hatha Yoga is the system of yoga we follow when we practice yoga asanas, pranayamas, bandhas etc. Any practice that involves these aspects is Hatha Yoga, every "style" of yoga you are practicing it is directly related to Hatha Yoga.

May: Bhakti Yoga Part 2 of 2

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

June 2016

The way of the heart, devotion and sacred space. This month's theme from the Bhagavad Gita is a continuation of last months theme: the path of "Bhakti " yoga, the yoga of opening the heart in devotion.

June: Jñana Yoga, or the Yoga of Knowledge

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

April 2016

Theme of the month May 2016 jñāna yoga, or the yoga of knowledge This month's theme from the Bhagavad Gita is the path of jñāna yoga, or the yoga of knowledge. jñāna is not knowledge in the same way we normally understand the word. jñāna is like a fire that burns away that which is not true.

April: Bhakti Yoga Part 1 of 2

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

March 2016

Bhakti Yoga This month we continue with the paths of yoga as described by the Bhagavad-gītā. The path of Bhakti Yoga is described in the Gita as the quickest and most powerful of the paths of Yoga. The whole of the Bhagavad-gītā is a dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna.

March: Karma Yoga

Monthly theme by Kevin Sahaj

March 2016

Theme of the month March 2016 We will start this month with the first of the Yogas from the Bhagavad Gītā: Karma Yoga.  Karma Yoga is the path to realization by acting selflessly in the world with the knowledge of our inherent interdependence with all things.