The tribal wisdom of the Earth was sealed off, like an insect caught in amber, for 40,000 years, then given to us in the form of Aboriginal Wisdom.
The indigenous Australians have 230 languages and countless dialects, but all of them speak of The Dreaming. The Aboriginal people did not use letters or write books, they did not separate their intellect from the earth or try to dominate their environment, instead they kept oral histories and bloodlines, told stories, danced and created art.
It would be a mistake to think this made their communication less sophisticated, because the indigenous Australians understood certain things modern people continue to have trouble grasping; how to live in balance with nature and how to avoid war.
The Aboriginal language speaks of connection to the earth and all creatures and things upon the earth. Each tribe is descended from the dreamtime and each person has a bloodline and animal totem, which structures their society to ensure continuity of life and land.
Gary Simon Jagamarra is a wisdom holder and a guardian of aboriginal sacred knowledge. In his late teens he began to research his aboriginal background to discover his heritage and identity. His father is believed to be from the Biripi tribe of Northern, New South Wales.
In 1996, a senior elder of the central desert, Rex Granite Japanuka, from Walpiri Tribe, Northern Territory, adopted Gary. He was given the Aboriginal skin name of Jagamarra (Snake Dreaming) and learned all the stories, songs, ceremonies and dances associated with the Walpiri people. Because Gary’s skin group totem is the snake, he is not allowed to eat it.
Gary is a receptacle for the dreamings of his ancestors according to Aboriginal law and his main dreamings are the Rainbow Serpent, Milky Way and Seven Sisters, Goanna Dreaming, Snake Dreaming, Frog Dreaming and Naapa (Water Dreaming).
As an artist, Gary uses acrylics on canvas to tell his stories; aerial depictions following the tradition of his ancestor’s works in the sand and was commissioned by Australia Post to organise 2000 paintings from different central desert artists, which were used on 2000 stamps to coincide with the year 2000 and the Olympic Games.
My teacher Sri Krishnamacharya took considerable pains to teach the Yoga Sutras to his students. He also wanted his students to study and be familiar with other orthodox philosophies like Samkhya, and Vedanta. The several Upanishads, the Gita and Brahma sutra he taught to explain the rather tricky, involved vedanta philosophy, usually following the visishta-advaita approach, though he also was adept in advaita philosophy. He once said in the Brahma Sutra class to the effect that while Advaita could be intellectually stimulating it is visishta advaita that will be emotionally satisfying.
Perhaps the most widely read orthodox Indian Philosophy is Vedanta and especially the Advaita school. There are tons of material available on this philosophy and many people interested in vedic thought study this and gradually become lifelong students of Vedanta. Many long time Hata Yoga practitioners have taken up the study of Yoga as a philosophical system and considerable material is available from both old and contemporary writers in different languages especially English. And some among the the yoga practitioners have taken an interest in studying the vedanta philosophy also especially the advaitic interpretation. In this however, the published material on Advaita Vedanta available is so technical and involved that the difficult subject is made more inaccessible by several portions which are very technical.
Profound and daring, albeit very ancient, this philosophy stands out among all the vedic philosophies. I thought I could write very briefly on the basic tenets of this thought process. There are at least two things we need to have an experience, a subject and an object. When you and I sit at a table over a cup of coffee or a can of beer or a more yogic glass of goat’s or cow’s milk, I am the subject and you are the object and it is the other way from your point of view. We are two different entities and what does advaita say about our relationship? Advaita says that there is only one principle , the observer which is pure consciousness. It implies that there is only one principle or entity that is pure consciousness that can be termed as one having “Existence” (satya). Nothing else qualifies to be termed “It exists“. So the term advaita refers to that one principle that alone exists. Of course it appears to contradict our experience as we converse as you and I. [Read more…]
An ordinary person behaves like a dog, which upon entering the hall of mirrors, barks at all the other dogs. The Sage, entering the hall of mirrors, sees only herself —Unknown
I work with the homeless. Although I hate clichés, I am going to start out by saying “all our struggles are the same.” Now, most people don’t know what it is like to sleep on the street or beg for money. But part of being human is to carry pain. Look around you to understand pain, and you’ll see we all share a common struggle. The margin between “me” and “homeless guy on the street” is a bit less wide.
The jargon in my field calls my clients “high risk” or “vulnerable.” A lot of them live on the street. Some are housed, usually in shelters or transitional living programs and struggle with basic necessities. Some of them use illegal substances. A large number have a mental illness. All of them have been consumed by poverty at some point in their lives.
Poverty means much more than being broke. Poverty is multifaceted and soul killing. It is handed down from generation to generation. It weighs the impoverished down like heavy stones. From day one, the clients I work with have been fated to endure some of the most malicious aspects of humanity, sometimes at the hand of their own parents.
Understanding vulnerable and underprivileged populations is difficult. Many will look at my clients and wonder, “Why can’t he just stop using drugs? Whatever happened to ‘Just Say No!’” or “Why does she keep going back to her pimp? Can’t she just get a job?” Before you can understand why someone would seemingly choose to inject a dangerous substance into their arm, one needs to understand the pain that made that idea appealing in the first place. Logically, needles are not fun and often dangerous. Can anyone logically conceive of someone waking up and saying “Hey, you know what would be fun: taking heroin intravenously.” When you try to understand pain, you begin to see deeper and deeper layers of trauma nesting inside a person and driving them towards certain decisions. [Read more…]
For the Chaldean Magi or priest scribes, magic and science were not at odds. Math was a divine language used to describe the movements of the cosmos and a way to decode the esoteric meaning behind existence. The Chaldeans devised ancient divination systems such as astrology and numerology and introduced important mathematical principles including positional numeration (decimals) and the sexagesimal system (dividing circles, such as a minute into 60 seconds).
In Numerology, places, events, letters, names and objects are translated into numbers. Each number represents an energy that possesses certain qualities and manifests in distinct forms. In magical systems, names are sacred— to understand the arcane meaning of an object’s name grants the knower mystical access to deeper levels of meaning and purpose.
In modern Numerology, each life is divided into Nine-Year-Cycles. As we come into a new year, take a moment to calculate where you are in the cycle, then read the corresponding number and meditate on how best to apply your energies this year. [Read more…]