The story of “OM” …
“OM” (pronounced A-U-M) is a familiar mantra in the yogic community. It is often how we end yoga, meditation, pranayama, and kirtan gatherings. And, as many other commonly accepted yogic practices, it has its own story.
The Khândogya-upanishad (chapter of the Sama-Veda) begins with recommending meditation on the syllable Om, a sacred syllable that had to be pronounced at the beginning of each Veda and of every recitation of Vedic hymns.
The practice of yoga (most commonly seen as in the form of physical asana here in the west), along with the religions of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, comes from the Vedas, which are a large body of religious texts originating in the ancient India. The “Vedas” translates to “knowledge” or “wisdom”, and are considered by Hindus to be apauruṣeya, which means “not of a man, superhuman” and “impersonal, authorless”.
There are four Vedas: the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda. The Samhitas (part of the Samaveda) date to roughly 1700–1100 BCE, and the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature.
As connected with the Sâma-veda, that syllable Om is called udgîtha. Its more usual name is pranava. The object of this Upanishad is to explain the various meanings which the syllable Om may assume in the mind of a devotee, some of them being extremely artificial and senseless, till at last the highest meaning of Om is reached: Brahman, the intelligent cause of the universe.
2. LET a man meditate on the syllable Om, called the udgîtha; for the udgîtha (here referring to a portion of the Sâma-veda) is sung, beginning with Om.
The full account, however, of Om is this:
2. The essence of all beings is the earth, the essence of the earth is water, the essence of water the plants, the essence of plants man, the essence of man speech, the essence of speech the Rig-veda, the essence of the Rig-veda the Sâma-veda, the essence of the Sâma-veda the udgîtha (which is Om).
3. That udgîtha (Om) is the best of all essences, the highest, deserving the highest place, the eighth.
Essence, or rasa, is explained in different ways, as origin, support, end, cause, and effect. Rasa means originally the sap of trees. That sap may be conceived either as the essence extracted from the tree, or as what gives vigor and life to a tree. In the former case it might be transferred to the conception of effect, in the latter to that of cause. In this sentence it has sometimes the one, sometimes the other meaning. Earth is the support of all beings, water pervades the earth, plants arise from water, man lives by plants, speech is the best part of man, the Rig-veda the best part of speech, the Sâma-veda the best extract from the Rik, udgîtha, or the syllable Om, the crown of the Sâma-veda.
4. What then is the Rik? What is the Sâman? What is the udgîtha? ‘This is the question.
5. The Rik indeed is speech, Sâman is breath, the udgîtha is the syllable Om. Now speech and breath, or Rik and Sâman, form one couple.
6. And that couple is joined together in the syllable Om. When two people come together, they fulfil each other’s desire.
7. Thus he who knowing this, meditates on the syllable (Om), the udgîtha, becomes indeed a fulfiller of desires.
8. That syllable is a syllable of permission, for whenever we permit anything, we say Om, yes. Now permission is gratification. He who knowing this meditates on the syllable (Om), the udgîtha, becomes indeed a gratifier of desires.
9. By that syllable does the threefold knowledge (the sacrifice, more particularly the Soma-sacrifice, as founded on the three Vedas) proceed. When the Adhvaryu priest gives an order, he says Om. When the Hotri priest recites, he says Om. When the Udgâtri priest sings, he says Om, all for the glory of that syllable. The threefold knowledge (the sacrifice) proceeds by the greatness of that syllable (the vital breaths), and by its essence (the oblations).
These are allusions to sacrificial technicalities, all intended to show the importance of the syllable Om, partly as a mere word, used at the sacrifices, partly as the mysterious name of the Highest Self. The “Soma Sacrifice” referenced meant the offering of a medicinal plant tea or food first offered to the earth & the priests’ god before being ingested by the practitioner. This offering showed respect to the forces of nature much greater than human him/her self, and were usually accompanied by tapas or daylong/yearlong silent vigil and meditation as a sign of passing from the realm of the profane to that of the sacred. As every priest at the Soma-sacrifices, in which three classes of priests are always engaged, has to begin his part of the ceremonial with Om, therefore the whole sacrifice is said to be dependent on the syllable Om, and to be for the glory of that syllable, as an emblem of the Highest Self, a knowledge of whom is the indirect result of all sacrifices. The greatness of the syllable Om is explained by the vital breaths of the priest, the sacrificer, and his wife; its essence by rice, corn, which constitute the oblations. Why breath and food are due to the syllable Om is explained by the sacrifice, which is dependent on that syllable, ascending to the sun, the sun sending rain, rain producing food, and food producing breath and life.
He who simply pronounces the syllable Om as part of his recitation at a sacrifice, and he who knows the hidden meaning of that syllable, both may perform the same sacrifice. But that performed by the latter is more powerful, because knowledge is better than ignorance. This is, as usual, explained by some comparisons. It is true that both he who knows the quality of the harîtakî (Ayurvedic purgative medicinal plant) and he who does not, are purged alike if they take it. But on the other hand, if a jeweler and a mere clod sell a precious stone, the knowledge of the former bears better fruit than the ignorance of the latter.
10. Now therefore it would seem to follow, that both he who knows this (the true meaning of the syllable Om), and he who does not, perform the same sacrifice. But this is not so, for knowledge and ignorance are different. The sacrifice which a man performs with knowledge, faith, and the Upanishad is more powerful. This is the full account of the syllable Om.
This blog is a compilation of many resources & teachings, however the main text & translations are derived from The Upanishads, Part I (Sacred Books of the East) by Max Muller.
Photograph by Mike Smalley
Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation.
Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There is no middle ground.
Overgeneralization: You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once you expect it to happen over and over again.
Mind Reading: Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you are able to divine how people are feeling toward you.
Castastrophizing: You expect disaster. you notice or hear about a problem and start “what if’s”. What if tragedy strikes? What if it happens to you?”
Personalization: Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who’s smarter, better looking, etc.
Control Fallacies: If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.
Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what’s fair but other people won’t agree with you.
Blaming: You hold other people responsible for your pain, or take the other tack and blame yourself for every problem or reversal.
Should: You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the rules anger you and you feel guilty if you violate the rules.
Emotional Reasoning: You believe that what you feel must be true-automatically. If you feel stupid and boring, then you must be stupid and boring.
Fallacy of Change: You expect that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure or cajole them enough. You need to change people because your hope for happiness seem to depend entirely on them.
Global Labeling: You generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment.
Being Right: You are continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any length to demonstrate your rightness.
Heaven’s Reward Fallacy: You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. You feel better when the reward doesn’t come.
Gratitude for this work!
From Thoughts & Feelings by McKay, Davis, & Fanning. New Harbinger, 1981
Since I began following and orchestrating the structure of planetary frequencies as they directly relate with the human body, we have found that sound waves which mirror the pure vibration of blocked or burdened centers within the meridian system,create the same sloughing effect that earths fauna have mastered to accelerate healing.
So, what makes one facilitator more highly sought after than another?
Are there not enough individuals seeking internal knowledge and practices that accelerate and elongate periods of joy and wellbeing?
Is the popularity of sound healing a passing phase or might there be more to explore with the agreement that we are vibrational, energy based beings?
Within the animal kingdom, certain levels of injury can be literally “shaken” off and increased findings around conscious movement and spiral dynamics continue to prove to support the release of wounding and trauma through frequency and oscillation.
At the close of countless gatherings, there remains requests for “the play list” or copies of the files created of the soundscapes utilized as a base foundation for our pranayama work.
Many believe that they too can download and replay what has been created to utilize in self-work or to share with others during their classes. There is an element of truth to this and there is also misconception.
First and most important to understand is that nothing created or borrowed from another artist can be sold or traded without their permission. It lacks great integrity and character to sell someone else’s art as our own and its illegal.
After many years of requests for the “Sound Experience”, we made our second compilation appropriately titled “Just Ask”
which was a tongue in cheek reference to how long it took us to give people what they were asking for which was for the most part improvised.
I had not yet developed the confidence to get serious about recording. I always just sang whatever came through without knowing what, where or why it did. I didn’t think much of it until I really started to get out of my own way and began focusing on service to others. It was created for my soul, my son, all of my relations that haven’t had the opportunity or chance to and for those who suffer or are silenced in anyway. To me, it became the frequency of love and reassurance, a gateway to limitless possibilities and emotional intelligence.
The time has come again to share, as we are always patiently waiting to respond to that which is being requested. Due to the amount of interest that has been generated, we are offering a one time online workshop which features the process and frequency scale followed to Orchestrate Soundscape in “The Breath Centers” Breath work offerings.
In this course you will learn…
- The Laws of Frequencies
- How Vibration Effects Healing in the Body, Mind, & Spirit
- Inario & Icaro’s
- GarageBand Introduction
- Vocal Coaching
- Insight and music available by Michael Brian Baker of The Breath Center
- Utilizing Sound for Healing Practices, Self Discovery, & Personal Realization
- How to create your Unique Healing Soundtrack
Get the playlist, learn the medicine songs, music editing introduction, vocal empowerment, and dive deeper into the laws & implementation of sound frequencies.
An experimental exploration into the weaving of personal soundscape – a Sound Healer’s Training.
Early Bird! Sign Up Before Feb 25th and receive 150$ off of Admission
150$ off for those who have completed a Training Introduction (Heart Based Awakenings, Pranic Initiation or Integration) or Level 1 Training with Michael Brian Baker.
Payment Plans available. Please send questions to email@example.com
Much will be revealed. See you then.
“Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.” -Dr. Mitchell Gaynor
“Sound is the force of creation, the true whole. Music then, becomes the voice of the great cosmic oneness and therefore the optimal way to reach this final state of healing.” – Hazard Inayat Khan
“Rhythm is a means of organizing sound into specific energy formulas to harmonize the mind and body. Chanting, rhythmic breathing and drumming form an ancient technology for directly synchronizing the mind/body complex, creating conditions for psychological and physical healing.” – Layne Redmond
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” – Nikola Tesla
“Although all illnesses were imprinted during the gestation cycle, they can be healed through directly raising the frequency of your DNA.”
– Richard Rudd
“Sound therapy is one of the prototypical vibrational healing modalities. Sound produces measurable vibratory feelings throughout the body, depending upon the frequency and amplitude of the sound used. There have been a wide variety of sound healing developments over the last ten to twenty years. Certain sounds most likely have a healing influence upon the body because they influence the geometric patterns and organization of cells and living systems.”
– Dr. Richard Gerber, author of “Vibrational Medicine”
Hello practitioners, coaches and family,
I’ve been asked to write a bit about “highest and best practices” which support the professional facilitation of breath work.
Time and time again, in listening to those who have had “challenging” experiences receiving the gifts of breath work, we have been shown large gaps creating a distortion of professional standards in the practice of pranayama facilitation.
Bless the hearts of those who wish to share the experience of breath work with others. Please note, much damage has been done to the reputation of the work by those unskilled who choose to teach others while refusing training. We believe everyone deserves exposure to transformational practices. We are also calling for a more professional approach to a seemingly simple, sometimes “non-interactive” healing art.
We believe strongly that this gap in knowledge has been created due to the lack of yogic history, theory and training that accompanies trainings available to those interested in the power of the practice.
This “gap” provides many opportunities to increase the integrity surrounding current models and to share with some focus and intensity in The Breath Centers Trainings not only the expansive yogic history and Ayurvedic medical applications of breath work but also the moral and ethical standards that accompany a solid, safe practice.
Here is a peek into subjects that are covered in levels l – lll. Please take into account first, that most who are attracted to Breath Work, are experiencing challenges in their lives related to health, loss, lack and or life transitions. This means that assuming “neutral posturing” and addressing only the “power of the breath” and the fact that the actual healing that might accompany the practice lies between your partner and their higher selves, dreams and highest potential is of the utmost importance.
To take on more is dangerous and suggests you are in part, responsible for the participants outcome which compromises karmic lessons and life experiences that may serve better to integrate over time in the building of their “wisdom escrow”. No one who assists others in self-realization needs to be left “holding the bag” for someone else’s process.
All sessions should be met with deep, gentle, compassion and open with slow Socratic communication followed by acceptance and understanding of ones condition and current goals.
If trauma is to be cleared the facilitator must be prepared to hold space for as long as is necessary while simultaneously considering the container set to support their own needs and availability of time.
Touch must be a permission-based action that does not jeopardize the participants balance as re traumatization is quite common during emotional release. We also combine the “Yoga Alliance Standards” with the general guidelines of HIPAA and suggest strongly exercising the practice of doctor client confidentiality without ever diagnosing or acting as a medical professional.
It is imperative that no one relies on their experience in yoga therapy as an alterative to medical advice from their doctor. Our coaches are taught to vet their potential partners for a clear medical history and current use of medications prior to their sessions.
One of my closest friends recently transitioned after refusing Western Medical treatment. He had made the decision to exclusively utilize Yoga, Cleansing and Ayurveda in his treatment plan. It is difficult for me to reflect on how I supported him in this decision even though it did not “feel right”. Life is far too precious, now he is gone.
The Breath Center has defined with some success a solid portion of “highest and best practices” to share as a section of the current training programs offered. We have seen a level of great success for those who choose to apply these guidelines when practicing with others.
These are but a few points covered during level l and ll trainings. We commit to excel in upgrading and bringing to the forefront current issues not being addressed in the professional practice of breath work and pride ourselves on offering “solution based”, gentle practices that elevate the modality to an ever increasingly respected position within the wellness community.
Looking forward to our collective this month,
“Liberation can be accomplished by that pranayama which is attained by disjoining the course of inspiration and expiration.”
The question we often hear is, “If I am infinite & an expression of the Divine, if I am what I affirm of myself in my daily practice – then why do I sometimes feel so small, incapable, and fallible?”
Getting a taste of our limitlessness divinity creates multifaceted results. On one hand – we know we are more than just human. And on the other hand, we are still human.
The enlightenment process is a one of discovery, surprise, and even discomfort. Unwinding the layers of resistance, releasing stories we’ve wrapped around ourselves to comfort us from the winds of vulnerability – can sometimes come as a shock to us!
Breathwork Training with Michael Brian Baker has been called an enlightenment experience, and it is the full ride – moments of deep resonance and personal healing, bliss, awareness of self, and relief knowing that the secrets hidden from ourselves can be seen and profoundly loved on. It is deep, and even challenging as we face aspects of ourselves we have hidden away for fear of failure, success, or rejection.
This is why we laugh A LOT in our Teacher Trainings. In joy, we chuckle at our patterns, at the sweet, childlike nature we are striving in to “get it all right”, at the perfect, chaotic, mind-blowing, heartbreaking, beautiful insanity of it all.
We learn to see ourselves as love sees us.
We have created a container where you explore the hidden aspects of YOU, of the mystery schools, of mysticism, neuroscience, sacred earth practices, and the evolution of humanity.
We share the tools that are sometimes infamously sidestepped or even missed in the excitement of awakening.
What happens when someone goes into a cathartic release on your table? What is happening when YOU are going through a cathartic release? How do emotional, mental, spiritual, physical imbalances play out when exposed to breathwork? What stops you from sharing your gifts when the world is requesting you at its table?
What does it mean to practice breathwork & other healing modalities where the facilitator and the recipient feel safe to heal and hold space?
We want you to have a solid foundation in knowing yourself & your empathic depth, and how this can be either a powerful area of mastery or a leak in your container as a facilitator. We unveil the tools needed to have your feet, heart, and body firmly planted on earth, so that you can stretch high into the etheric worlds, and have your internal safe container to come back to when you have completed your work. We want you to have the scientific information behind this work, the lineage which formed the experience we have today with the practice, the teachers who have passed it down, and why they have passed it down at this time.
Breathwork has the capability, when practiced with integrity, grounded education, morals, & safety, to transform heal and bring lasting and sustainable peace for the recipient.
If you have stayed with us on this ride, you know from your own experience, that this is true. Or, if you haven’t yet had the experience, you may feel the stirring in your heart, the birthing of knowing within you that there there is something more to discover in this journey towards healing. We share the hunger to see awakening happen on planet earth, both for the future of the generations to come, and for the sake of all sentient life.
Deep within our genetics is a code that yearns for liberation, be it from the grind that life presents, from the disagreements in relationships, “current state of affairs”, technology overload, dramatic changes in Mother Earth’s environment, keeping the body alive and vital in often toxic living spaces, and even from ourselves.
Who are you? What are you curious about? What are you birthing in this moment? What area of your life is experiencing the trembling or shaking vibrations of change?
And know that whether you are emulating Durga with many arms managing your world with vigor, or are “stuck” a little or a lot – you are loved and appreciated.
“Offering inhaling breath into the outgoing breath, and offering the outgoing breath into the inhaling breath, the yogi neutralizes both these breaths; he thus releases the life force from the heart and brings it under his control.” 26-2 The interpretation is: “The yogi arrests decay in the body by an addition of life force, and arrests the mutations of growth in the body by apan (eliminating current). Thus neutralizing decay and growth, by quieting the heart, the yogi learns life control.” – Krishna quoted in the Bhagavad Gita, interpretation by Pramahansa Yogananda
In the mist of the morning, I look in the mirror and accept that one of the most deceptive enemies of the ‘Vital Arts Practitioner’ has caught up with me.
Age. At the very least, it is now in my field.
Silver grey has corroded the once deep brown whiskers on my face which detail the many sleepless nights working in realms I care not to revisit, although my exposure and travel through them has built a strength and knowledge within me that if ever called forward again would guarantee protection and a much softer landing after integration is actualized.
I sigh and am shifted into the gentle awareness that the time I am searching to reclaim, which has markedly “slipped away”, is actually chronicled on my chin, in the lines on my face, surrendered in my eyes. I have earned these “mortal” stripes and the compassion, clarity, magic, and wisdom that it brings cannot be traded for any amount of gold.
I witness two doves outside ascend harmoniously and land in unison atop a light post, and am reminded of the love in my life, partnerships and the commitment made when choosing this body: to experience, then share the reintegration of love and respect with the longing hearts that seek the blessings that come to those focused in service.
Having signed up for this journey, I have gone through quite a stunning process that has thinned the veils and revealed truths that remain less than comfortable for me. These realizations have placed me in precarious situations where clumsy behaviors have left me open to internal deception and parasitic intellects that derive their security from the most potent distortion bought, sold and accepted by the human race which is “fear”.
When first I began to open, I was working a somewhat “normal” job fueled by fear anchored firmly in keeping a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and clothes on my back. It makes perfect sense that those concerns would be embedded deep within me as a result of my direct caregivers being raised by souls subjected to war, famine, and rampant disease.
This realization forged the capacity to associate as “witness” to my outer experiences which slowly developed the internal compassion to dissolve the program and pattern of fear which was buried deep within my foundation. I knew it had been propagated from generation to generation with little or no real presence to what was “current” in “my” actual life. I was carrying the burden of those “too distracted to be proactive”, caught in the program of yesterday and unable to receive the present of the present.
By the age of three, I knew I was different. This awareness was amplified when, fairly early on in my youth, I was branded with the belief system that if I didn’t follow the model set forth for me by my care givers, I would suffer a long painful life. To quote verbatim the words that would insure my failure as a developing youth, “This is not Michael’s world, you cannot do things your way and you will never live up to your full potential, if you do not… (follow the demands we have placed on you with little or no attention given to your design, gifts or desires.”)
When I began following a life of loving service, my long lost childhood knowing of sustainable, benevolent magic was reawakened, which by the way, has much more to do with a deep connection to the earth’s cycles and, more than anything else, concentration and focus on peace and prosperity for prolonged periods of time. Some refer to it as meditation.
Here is a very loose time line that I have seen duplicated many times over by those who choose to apply themselves to and through The Breath Centers Gestation Package, which I lovingly have coined the “The Adult Hogwarts” of our time.
Dissatisfaction with life path, loosing connection to all relations and finding that those whose advice has been trusted and followed are just as or more lost than we.
Realization that the focus on developing a career to provide a better life for our families and us is a major distraction that creates critical separation between our vital internal connection and those we love.
Clarity that whatever we choose as a new direction in our lives must serve humanity in a way that we can really get behind and that it must include and secure within it a platform for our creative freedom, humor and continued stimulation. It must also be sustainable, meaning it can support no one else’s dreams but our own and has to serve others with such impact that there is little need for old structures that “normally” accompany building a fulfilling life.
Choosing a focus of study enveloped in one of the many and varied healing arts and then experiencing doubt and discomfort around the change and objections that accompany ones awakening and separation from mass group consciousness and the ignorance that fuels it. Along with this comes the realization that our ingrained fear around not being able to “make a living” at it is has been unsubstantiated, as we have survived quite nicely albeit a couple bumps which happen regardless in any new life experience.
After getting some traction and time under our belts as practitioners, we begin to believe deeply in the art, it’s power, and our ability to facilitate it.
Believing we are actually “the healer” and becoming so full of spirit in the right hemisphere and the etheric, we become quite disconnected from daily “real world” responsibility and sometimes even become critical of the process and the systems that are in place to provide contrast for the change coming in the future.
The Fall – Spirit can get loud when we are working out of alignment. This is what I call the “Shamanic Spanking” period, where the newly awakening and all high being is thrust back crashing down to earth, be it by loss of loved ones, health crisis, or relationship dissolve. This could be anything that doesn’t mirror the high and holy life experience one has made for themselves while conveniently overlooking their own spiritual bypass and ego as it allows them to check out of their own continued process.
Consideration of leaving the whole thing behind and returning to the matrix as a result of too much time spent in the esoteric. Becoming somewhat apathetic to the great numbers of those resolute in denial and distraction and the feeling that the dissolve of the savior complex has left one with little to prop themselves up on.
The Slow but Subtle Return
We have all of the connection to the earth, multiverse, spirit and etheric we could possibly need. We have learned that boundaries and permission are the only way we can survive in the assignment we can now really never back away from. Beginning to take interest in the workings and limited reality within the matrix and involving ourselves in discussion and group mind set at which ever frequency it is holding, knowing very well that this is what we came here for and that including all forms of reality at all levels of awareness is the only way to meet each where it is currently residing. We experience a reflecting back of increased possibilities for higher ways of evolving without judgment, critique, or adding to the very energetics that arrest the development we have committed to accelerate and support.
Number 9, the completion of cycles. I am in so much joy I am sometimes uncomfortable with it. It is overwhelming to have all things working together in a way that is abundant yet requires great character and integrity, lest the lesson get tremendously loud. Great gobs of gratitude for the “caregivers” that created the perfect contrast to the discovery of life’s greatest dreams for without their perfect balance of shadow, we would not be basking in such Clear, Sparkling, Benevolent Light.
Celebrating grey, it’s a perfect balance between light and dark…(Wink!)
For the good…
By Suzy Adra, Level 1 & 2 Graduate
I could begin this post by mentioning the beauty of Ojai and the amazing setting we were in. I could write about each person at the Teacher Training and how they contributed to my learning in ways that were seen and unseen. I could also write about what an amazing teacher Michael is and how grateful I am for his style of teaching and how he ties it all into one coherent whole. I shall choose to write about my own experience, as that is all I really know for sure.
In the training, Michael Brian Baker asked me if I would be okay getting on the massage table to demonstrate a “one on one” session as the rest of the participants watched. I have done breathwork sessions where I become one with the breath, with the music, or blended into nothingness where the breath just takes over, and breathes me. I have also had sessions where I would literally have to get up and go vomit my guts out.
This time with Michaelwas different then anything I had experienced before.
Emergence, Art by Suzy Adra
Michael guided me to begin the breath as usual. As I lay there, inhale inhale exhale, inhale inhale exhale…the familiar dry mouth began, my mind calmed down, and my body started the familiar tingle. I felt Michael working energetically. I could not see him because my eyes were closed but I could feel the energies moving in and around me.
Suddenly, this strange rumbling began from deep within my core… “Can this be for real?” I thought to myself…and then… I began to laugh uncontrollably!
“It’s all a cosmic joke”, kept flashing in my mind’s eye, accompanied by the urge to share it, so I said it outloud.
“It’s all a Cosmic joke!”
Seeds Never Ask Why They Grow, Art by Suzy Adra
More laughter followed, and the more I laughed, the funnier it got, and I just could not get myself to stop laughing.
I had the best laugh of my life!
As I laughed, I realized the extreme sadness that the laughter carried and I recognized that it was not foreign to me. I have always used laughter to distract myself from every misery. Sarcasm has always been one of my favorite things.
There she was, the wounded warrior laying with all the years of waging war with herself, and had she finally made it to this table. After a lifetime had passed, she finally said the battle had to end, laughing her guts out at the insanity of it all in front of twelve complete strangers.
I concluded, I will not accept this “self” abuse anymore.
I will not accept it on behalf of all the women who came before me and who will come after me.
I am not sure how long I was laughing, but it seemed that the entire creation was laughing with me.
The World is my Home, Art by Suzy Adra
I began to feel so much gratitude for the intensity of this release, gratitude for Michael for guiding so gently and holding space, for these strangers who were silently sitting and witnessing this healing with all the patience of a caring, nurturing of the attentive mother.
It is true that we all have the power to heal ourselves. Whenever we are ready, whenever it is ok to let go. When we have forgiven ourselves and integrated the reasons for our suffering. Having someone guide us and bear witness is necessary for this healing to occur and it is a privilege both ways.
I have travelled high and low, learned so many modalities, seeking, searching for resolution. I used the breath for so long and even used it in a recent retreat I facilitated, and yet it is beyond me why it took so long to recognize this breath as the gold.
Have you ever wondered why yoga is so powerful? Have you ever wondered why working out and sports are so powerful? Have you ever wondered why when you dance it feels so amazing?
The secret is the breath.
The breath is our direct connection to source.
The breath never lies, it is the healer, it is truth. It is holy.
Inhale… & Exhale Holy Laughter
To attend a Teacher Training with Michael Brian Baker’s The Breath Center, please go to: thebreathcenter.com/gatherings/trainings
This blog has been shortened and edited for content. To see Suzy’s full blog post, please visit her website here.
Suzy Adra is a student and practitioner of many disciplines and tools: archaeology, archives, fine art, ayurveda, yoga, meditation, breath work, metaphysics, creativity, consciousness, philosophy, energy healing, and trauma release techniques. Her current focus is on helping individuals access their creative self through several modalities. She believes, that for this to happen, there is a required need to release previously held beliefs about oneself, and the world. Suzy has studied with Michael Brian Baker’s The Breath Center starting in June 2016, and is a Level 1 & Level 2 Graduate. She is available for sessions at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Are Humans Inherently Destructive?
From a “spiritual” perspective, the answer to this could come easily. “No, we are part of a greater whole, we are one, we are in the Kali Yuga, we all have our dharmic path,” and even more commonly, “Destructiveness is a part of nature” and “Forgiveness and compassion is the only way to heal the past.”
But what about when the violence is still occurs – sometimes even disturbingly close to home? When it floods the media, and when “disharmony” is what drives many of us to our spiritual practice in the first place?
It leaves this important question sensitive and unanswered.
In the movie Wonder Woman, the lead character is faced with the same age-old dilemma. With all of the violence and hunger for war, it is a challenging, if not a completely overwhelming task, to look away from or find resolution for the suffering humanity has seemingly caused itself. Who is to blame? The Gods? Ourselves?
In a time where pointing fingers is more common than balancing or celebrating polarities, we as a society are stalled with unanswered questions.
The truth is, the rising feminine and Creator does not see things in black and white. It is not always us and them. The demons we see outside ourselves are in many ways amplified versions of the very war we battle within.
In the world of duality, each one of us experiences darkness and light within and around us. And every day, every moment, we have a new opportunity step into highest design and tap into “Universal Current” to bring our songs, books, paintings, and projects to the world for peace and transformation.
This IS the medicine to our unanswered questions. It can inspire us to reassess how we can step more confidently into our fullness, forgive AND STILL move forward in our lives with a sense of excitedness, creativity, and passion. We can take the ideas that pop into our heads for collaborations, music, and art and learn new ways share them with the community. This planet is a gift, and with it comes the responsibility of innovation to protect and amplify its beauty for generations to come.
Do you see it? Your Batman/Wonder Woman light is in the night sky, illuminating the many brilliant ideas streaming through our consciousness during these great times of transition.
So… How to capture and bring these ideas from a meeting over tea to form, function, and sustainability?
Next weekend in Santa Cruz, Michael Brian Baker with be sharing a 3 hour Breathwork immersion, with this as the focal point of the circle.
Topics covered will include…
*Highest and best use of idea flow, before function or form
*Tracking, Logging and Nursing as a channel for highest design
*Heart Based Step design – Birthing the either to substance, organically without force
*Designing your circle of influence to best match each individuals independent genius
No matter what you’re reading at this moment, something is being birthed through you. The way in which you take the reigns and nurture it into a reality is a vast and varied play ground of possibility sometimes daunting by it’s sheer magnitude.
Do not miss this opportunity to tap into “Universal Current” as the teacher to support, define and architect your next Earthly Master Piece!
“I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind. But then, I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learned that inside every one of them, there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves – something no hero will ever defeat. I’ve touched the darkness that lives in between the light. Seen the worst of this world, and the best. Seen the terrible things men do to each other in the name of hatred, and the lengths they’ll go to for love. Now I know. Only love can save this world. So I stay. I fight, and I give… for the world I know can be. This is my mission, now. Forever.”
Blessed be the Grand Creator through the Individual who Dares to Dream!
Sunday November 12th, 2017
Santa Cruz CA
For more information & to Sign up:
Sponsored by: Bodhi Addiction Treatment and Wellness
Won’t make it to Santa Cruz? Join us in Los Angles Next month for a 5 Hour immersion!
Sunday Dec 17th 2017
Mandala Yoga Center LA
Excerpt from Prem Baba’s Book
From Suffering to Joy – The Path of the Heart
Four Keys to Sustaining Ecstasy, Introduction
Question: Yesterday I had one of the most profound experiences of my life. I saw myself dissolved. My body had no limits and all the suffering in me was consumed by love. But when I returned to the world to relate with people, this blissful state dissipated and sadness grabbed ahold of me. How can I maintain the state of ecstasy I experienced?
Prem Baba: It seems that you experienced what Zen masters refer to as satori, or a glimpse of the eternal. Many people experience the eternal without being aware of it. However, if you are attentive and determined, you may use this experience as an arrow pointing towards liberation. Satori is attained by emptying the mind. When you perceive the real being, you are present, and from presence springs truth.
Today we heard some beautiful live devotional music. Some of you sang along and thus co-created music. Creativity, and even the ability to experience beauty, is only possible when the mind is peaceful. If the mind is loaded down with knowledge and thoughts, we can’t create anything new, and we remain numb to beauty. Beauty is an expression of the fresh energy of Being.
“If the mind is loaded down with knowledge and thoughts, we can’t create anything new, and we remain numb to beauty.”
When the mind becomes serene we experience a connection with the eternal that reveals beauty. The more intense the experience of Being, the more we are able to see the brilliance and the beauty around us. This experience of heightened beauty is a sign that we are in a state of Unity. We are able to realize Unity because we were never actually disconnected from the eternal.
Everything begins with presence, with quieting the mind. This is the foundation of the practice. It’s from silence that truth is born. But to abide in this silence we must understand that compulsive thinking is a disease that we need to treat. Western culture conditions us to think compulsively, so that we lose our connection with beauty and truth. We may look at a beautiful view of the countryside without really seeing it, and we may hear music but not really listen to it – because our minds are busy classifying, labeling, evaluating, and interpreting all that we see or hear. The most we ever do is mechanically interpret what the sense have registered: “How pretty!” But in truth we still aren’t listening or seeing because for that to occur we need to be empty, we need a serene mind.
The mind can become so agitated that we no longer perceive our connection to the divine presence. When the mind is agitated, it prevents us from perceiving beauty. It blinds us to our own beauty and so keeps us from creating beauty. The agitated mind will produce more agitation, be it in the form of art, music, or any other means of expression. All the ugliness we see in the world is a result of this agitation. Fear, hatred, suffering, and people’s stubborn insistence on having everything their way – all of these are automatic reactions caused by the agitated mind.
“The agitated mind will produce more agitation, be it in the form of art, music, or any other means of expression. All the ugliness we see in the world is a result of this agitation.”
On the contrary, true action emerges from the heart. Heart is another name for presence, for serenity. The heart is Being. When the mind is serene, you perceive Being. You see that you are connected to everything, and that the body is but a small aspect of reality. You are life itself, and the first quality of life is love. What is the nature of a flower? It’s to perfume and be beautiful. And what moves this flower to exude perfume and beauty? It is love, because love moves all of existence. Love is the essence of life.
When we get a glimpse of the eternal, we feel this love. We are engulfed in love. Naturally, we want to hold on to this feeling, and so we try to get love from others. In the process, we lose sight of our true nature, which is love itself. Maintaining presence when relating with one another is the human race’s greatest challenge. Mental agitation and, at a deeper level, your imprints and sanskaras (the latent mental and karmic tendencies that shape your current life) prevent you from sharing your love with others.
The experience of the eternal will dissolve these imprints. Little by little you will be freed from selfishness, the master thief of consciousness. The freedom to be yourself and to love selflessly will help you sustain this enlightened state.
“The experience of the eternal will dissolve these imprints.”
If you want to experience unity and sustain the ecstasy you have tasted, it may help you to think of your inner path as a series of phases through which you transition, on after another.
Sri Prem Baba is a master teacher in the Sachcha spiritual lineage of northern India. Born and raised in Brazil, Prem Baba worked as a humanistic psychologist, yoga teacher, and shaman before his arrival in India. Prem Baba offers a method of self-discovery he calls “The Path of the Heart,” which bridges psychology and spirituality, East & West. Through self-investigation, the path works towards purifying and integrating the lower self, until one is able to sustain joy. Pre Baba is dedicated to helping people become channels of divine love by sharing their talents and gifts with the world and thus fulfilling their true purpose in life.