The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Heart Board

In conversation with a dear friend, Patti, I mentioned  that it was hard to imagine a time when she wasn’t in my life.  We met a few years ago at another friend’s gathering and have been gigglng co-conspirators discussing various subjects ranging from family to sex, from food to music. She commented this morning that she wishes I lived closer so that we could get into all kinds of mischief together.  I told her that there are times when I feel as if I ‘collect’ people like those velcro dart boards that when you throw the velcro enwrapped balls at them, they stick.  We laughed as simultaneously, we referred to them as ‘heart boards’, since these friends attach themselves to our hearts.

Take a moment to think about the people in your life who ‘stick’ to you by making yourself an available heart board.  Who are the folks that so enrich your life by bringing out the highest and best in you and vice versa?  I would love to hear about that here.

 To all of my heart board friends, I am grateful that you came to play. <3

Veda Mystic

I am in awe of the ways life conspires to bring people together for a purpose beyond our understanding initially.  In my 20′s, circa 1980′s;  I met a man who shared my love of massage and we occasionally exchanged our services with each other. As a newly trained practitioner, I relished the opportunity to practice and as someone who believes that there is no such thing as too much massage, I was delighted to do so.
 
Fast forward to 2004 and my friend Greg Petitti asks if I want to take a Thai massage weekend training with a teacher who was coming to the area.  I was game and even more excited about it when I discovered that the teacher was my old friend Michael Buck (now called Mukti-meaning to ‘release/let go/liberation’)  Although I didn’t go on to incorporate this ancient art into my practice, I value having learned about it and am grateful that Mukti is out there sharing it in the world.
 

How do you live your bliss?
 
I live bliss by keeping everything simple. Material possessions included. Paperwork recycled immediately. Also I am a percussionist and as I lived alone my whole life, I have been able to practice. Now I have achieved a level of rhythm applications that categorizes me as funky and hot; yet how this aligns with bhajans is practically heretical!
 
My bliss is to love everyone; despite having a side which when challenged with injustice will not look like anything other than a leopard fight! And of course my bliss is Vedic Yoga Massage teachings.
 
What guided you to your life with Nuad Boran? In other words, how did a middle class kid from the ‘burbs’ in NJ become a world renown teacher of a mystical tradition from the other side of the globe?
 
My guidance to become a teacher in Vedic Yoga Massage is of course inner. After experiencing and growing from a very strict vedic lifestyle in The Hare Krishna Movement from 1976-1980, I needed a private dharma which turned out to be massage. My trainings in the ascetisms of Vedic monastic left me with a talent to put ALL my love into one person and know that this is in fact everybody all at once. From this, apparently, an expansion has occurred obviously. And it, all the glory, the accomplishments, the divinity feels like a distant remote promise fullfilled of some kind. Like a ‘thank you’ from a remote Deity. This is true. All I remember is that I didn’t feel confident giving a ‘good’ massage in the early days yet failure wasn’t an option and I ‘knew’ that all I needed to do was remember a vision of the Deity during the session to achieve IT ALL; which at that time was simply a fullfilling treatment.
 

How many students have you trained in Thai Massage over the years?Right now I estimate the the number of students who have been awarded from me a certificate of intiation is around 14-15 thousand. This isn’t including now the students trained those I have trained. This 15 thou may be a low number as for the longest time I was telling people that I haven’t eaten meat or fish for 30 years when in fact 10 years had passed and it was up to 40 years! My stated goal is 250,000…

 

What does it mean to be a yogic monk?

 

A yogic monk ..its meaning…first of all I suck at Hatha physical yoga. Yes I was a wrestler in high school and was also very dedicated martial artist for several years [silum gung fu style]…yet I give myself about a 5 on a 10 scale relating to physical yoga. Yet the spiritual yoga is my walk and talk; both fortunately and unfortunately because sometimes I cry to not want to be on the enlightenment path any longer…yet my breath and overlook is the divine yoga as repped by Bhagavad Gita and The Vedas.
 
Whether there is agreement or not with whoever else, to my own soul, I am the real yoga deal and I thank Goddess for Her interventions since I was 18 years old when I was savoring, relishing and distributing the Ram Das Book:  Be Here Now to everyone I could.  
 

How do Ayurvedic principles factor into your work?

 

AjurVed principals and life….as a guy in my late teens, my world suddenly became dislodged and I found myself on all levels without a culture, without roots, without groundings so like many, I sought and found The Vedic Culture with its no shoes in the house, ahimsa, gorgeous colors and interesting smart rituals ceremonies depicting some very alluring, attractive and exotic deities. I was able to dissolve my love for the ways of Catholicism and Judaism; my step dad from age 7 was Mortimer Jacobson and I loved him dearly! He worshipped my mum. The Vedic Culture may not be it all but it has given many an identity, a dharma, a life style…and we all know the value of an identity!
 
One of the most powerful experiences I had in your class was Tratak Meditation.  For those who are unfamiliar, please explain what it is.

 

Gratitude for your enquiry regarding TRATAK meditation….

 
As you well know that SHE is a dear friend, a confidant and a unimaginably beautiful guide which I have danced with each morning now for many years ‘religiously’! Tratak meditation is gazing at a light source such as a flame, the moon, a star, a waterfall, a gem, a flower, a mountain peak, a tree top…without blinking till the eyes release tears. It is customarily known also as Reblossoming the Third eye [which may be referred to as the first eye]. What ensues during this sacred ritual is a balancing of the endocrine system [the chakra constellations] as consequence to the ‘stirrings’ deliberately induced at the pineal/hypothalymus/pituitary area. Tratak is a must for our people as it is non sectarian and non religiuous. Tratak is a divine procedure, a privilege, to access contentment/satisfaction within.
 

You have a playful attitude event while teaching structured subjects. Do you find that it makes learning more approachable for students?

 
I am aware of my playful teaching style. I am proud of it though in the early years. as you well know, its survival was questionable. yet it did survive and I believe this to be a result of my already having been through ‘the heavy’ of yoga discipline with ISKCON. I conscientiously remove the dramatic, leave your first born or no progress, this will require a full life’s tapasia to continue’ ghosts surrounding our art. First…we learn that touch is ‘YOU’, that it is conspicuous by its dreadful absence, it is love…and now show me here in front of everybody. And if there is tentativeness with a person…now here comes the compassion from my soul…therein is the true family. First they need to be fed well with comfort, security and confidence. yes I agree that so many other teachers are hung up on ritual, ceremony, customs, superstitions. I see the interference this has upon a student’s soul….let the other teachers justify and represent and burden themselves with this ‘spirit’….to be we will have a laugh instead!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Golden Compass

On Christmas Eve, in the cozy living room of my friends Patti and Michael, snuggled on the sofa, basking in the warmth of the fireplace and dear friendship, I found myself immersed in a story that had me trekking across Northern Tundra, sailing on tumultuous seas and through darkened skies.  The Golden Compass  is based on the fantasy/adventure novel written by Philip Pullman.

I was fascinated with this ‘Hero’s Journey’ as Joseph Campbell would have described it, of the female protagonist, named Lyra Belacqua. A bit of a wild child who resists ‘being a lady’ early on in the movie, she runs the streets with a bevy of boys and clambers on roof tops: a skill that serves her well later in the film.

 

In this ‘alternate universe’, each person has a daemon which is more than merely a companion animal, but rather an extension of themselves, their soul that exists outside their bodies. Those of the children are shape-shifters and Lyra’s daemon at turns is an ermine, mouse, cat and bird. The daemons communicate with their hosts and each has a symbiotic relationship with the other.

Allegedly orphaned and raised by her uncle who is a college scholar, she discovers that children are disappearing and goes on a quest to find and rescue them.  What she uncovers is that there is a plot afoot to separate the children from their daemons for an insidious purpose, a portion of which is to prevent people from learning about ‘the dust’  which links together various realms and universes.

On her journey, Lyra encounters all manner of powerful beings of darkness and light, including an armored bear who becomes a guardian and protector, a aero-cowboy, as well as a beautiful, but wicked woman who turns out to be someone other than Lyra originally thought she was (not wanting to spoil the plot here).

I enjoyed deciphering the symbolism in the movie, even as I was carried away by the story.  The heroine’s name is from Greek  meaning ‘lyre’ (a small harp used by the ancient Greeks). The character seemed to be an instrument for good in the midst of evil intention even as her demeanor and actions flew in the face of the traditional church and political hierarchy.  The idea of being interlinked with the natural world as were the humans and their daemons (not to be confused with demons; although in the movie, the term was prounced that way) appeals to my sensibilities that we are not separate from any part of creation.  Lyra’s ability to ‘read’ The Golden Compass, a cosmic ‘truth-teller’,  also referred to as an alethiometer, points again to her ability to tap into the Universal grid. As she gazes into it, she holds a question in her mind and the images come to her. She uses this tool for good purposes and to assist her in locating and rescuing the missing children. I felt a kinship with this burgeoning young woman who allowed her inner compass to be her guide as well.

Like many films of a metaphysical bent, it had become a lightning rod for religious discussion.  I invite your conversation here.

 

 

Exploring Intimacy

This exploration into psycho-spirituality comes from the pen of Renaissance Woman, Suzann Robins.

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