Out of Bounds

Boundary issues are everywhere. How we define our boundaries is one thing; how we defend them is quite another. In this modern age we are seeking to break the boundaries that keep us from living in space. In this world, we find all kind of political turmoil over national boundaries, border disputes, and of course Trump’s Wall. The movement of people displaced by violence has the whole world questioning their cultural boundaries.

Those of us on a spiritual path (a healing path) also have to face this question of boundaries as we work with our students and teachers; and most importantly, with ourselves. Every social interaction faces this question of boundaries.

We typically think of strong boundaries as way to keep people from getting in, but they keep us from getting out. The boundary we put up defines the relationship we have with the other.

As Yogis we are often coached to look in the space between two things. We often call this space “the relationship,” but we could just as easily call it the boundary. I have my boundaries and you have your boundaries; the type and quality of relationship we have depends on how open or closed our boundaries are, as well as on how we approach or cross each other boundaries and the behaviour we exhibit once someone lets us in.

When we speak of boundaries in the healing community we typically use words and phrases like “surrender,” “let go,” “let yourself be vulnerable,” “be open to what the universe has to give;” in other words: “drop all your boundaries!”

From the other side we are told that we are boundless, we should forget everything we think we know and just follow our heart. There is often the assumption that acting like an idiot is acceptable if we are following our hearts (or “living in the moment” as we say). Since it was the divine voice of God commanded, go forth and act like an idiot, we expect to be absolved of personal responsibility.

Modern Tantra is especially vocal about dropping boundaries and the beauty of living spontaneously. It’s also known to be very dangerous since the mix of openness and spontaneity on one persons part is an opportunity for the other to conquer new territory unimpeded and later say that is way given to me them.

This is how the CIA and George Soros “make democracy” and spheres of influence and ultimately destroy countries, cultures and peoples lives. Even when they are preaching peace, love and belonging they are really only looking out for themselves.

It’s not so different from the toxic addictions that seem to alleviate our suffering but really only cast us more deeply into it.

We hear similar stories of toxic healers, Yogis and others who use their position and their skill to drop peoples boundaries so that they can manipulate them for their own benefit.

Manipulation is an ugly word, but it’s not the problem. We stay alive thru this manipulation. Just think of the baby screaming to make momma change the diaper or give some food. That’s emotional manipulation at its finest. The problem is when one acts for their own benefit without consideration or concern for how it will truly affect the other.

Manipulation is just an ugly way of talking about the diplomacy and negotiation that is on going between people and our numerous light bodies; each with their own boundaries and border controls. These boundaries maybe undergoing subtle changes moment to moment; person to person. Mostly we don’t notice this going on, it all happens fairly naturally and most people respect each other’s boundaries. But of course it’s not a perfect world.

Most of us are still fighting battles with this world, blaming others, pointing always at the other as a source of our misery when it’s our personal patterns, habits, mental narratives, and expectations that are the root causes of our suffering. All of these little things build up and define our boundaries.

Boundaries in themselves are not bad. Healthy boundaries actually empower us; it’s the unhealthy, unconscious, unrealistic boundaries that cause problems in our lives that leads us to seek healing.

Almost every human what’s more from life somehow. We want to expand our boundaries to include more land (more material prosperity), as well as our emotional boundaries to feel more vividly this life, and spiritual boundaries to feel more connected to the universe.

The key to such expansion is awareness. First we have to be aware of who we are. This will take us towards our innermost core. It’s a journey that takes us thru the fields of numerous personal identities. As we stare out the train window we see so many selves passing by: I am this, I am that, this I am, I am until we get to that “I” without a second.

After we have merged with the ultimate (or gone as deep as we can) we come back to a personal identity which has been reborn from a spiritual seed. Every breath cycle is an opportunity to realize such merger with the absolute followed by the rebirth of the individual.

Both sides of this coin represent truth, beauty and an expression of the divine. This is why Tantra says that liberation (moksha) is not a separate matter from enjoyment. Our enjoyment should be liberating in itself and liberation itself should be enjoyable. This does not mean decadent. It means that we want all parts of our universal self to enjoy equally. It means that nothing is isolated.

This is where boundaries get tricky. If the truth is that I am one with the universe; completely unbound then any harm at all that I cause to any part of nature will cause direct harm to myself. This is a spiritual truth suggest a greater degree of personal responsibility rather than the sort of careless way we treat objects and that are easily replaceable.

Such a grand sense of spiritual wonder actually suggest that we respect the boundaries between ourselves and the other to an even greater degree, as a way of respecting ourselves.

When we objectify our external experience, we typically see ourselves in this same way. We typically find some version of the conflicted mental narrative that sets man against nature. This boundary is an illusion and sows the seeds of war, pollution and toxicity. This war has been unleashed against the women of society as much as against Mother Nature herself.

Part 2

Truth and reality represent a similar energy applies to different experiences. You could say that both are representative of the absolute. Truth is The expression of transcendental experience and reality is an expression of immanent experience.

To experience transcendence we must realize ourselves as without boundaries. To experience reality we must realize the individual experience that necessarily occurs within the boundaries of time and space; the individual soul, the human body and the body of nature.

We need to know ourselves both ways: we are timeless, but we have also chosen to experience time by thru various limitations.

Being aware of different ways that we perceive time will help us to understand our limitations and who we are in this life and what is our path.

The linear experience of time allows us to logically understand our life: where we came from and where we are going. This allows us to make sense of our experience, and set expectations. When our expectations are too high we find much disappointment; when they are too low, we sabotage our own growth. We should work hard to find the balance in this so that what happens in the future in pretty much what we expect. This sort of time we experience in short duration. Today I have one story about who I am and tomorrow that story has changed, even just a little bit. The experience of time on this level is not absolute truth, but it should be more or less in accord with reality. This works thru our short term. This is one way of knowing the self.

We also experience time thru timeless emotional impressions. This is just the opposite of the mundane stories we are constantly changing and revising and telling ourselves in order to understand reality. These emotional impression have a very strong influence on our linear understanding of ourselves but the impression is often from a different time, maybe a different life-time. Mostly we recognize this thru our subtle gestures we make with our body (the way we hold ourselves) as well as thru the emotional boundaries and defensive (or offensive) strategies that shapes the story of who we are (linear time).

This is where much most deep transformative healing arts work. We seek to tap into that timeless side of ourselves to find the impressions affecting our present life that are holding us back or are simply inappropriate in some way. Typically it’s merely an inappropriate response to some particular subject. Physically we feel it as allergy; emotionally we feel it as trauma. In either case, the reaction is disproportionate with action; the trigger.

This kind of healing is very delicate since to access this memory with awareness and direct intention we need to drop all our guards despite the feeling of impending threat. We need to do this in a safe environment where there is no actual threat. One needs to follow a deep sense of trust and have that trust reinforced.

Just talking or thinking about a traumatic memory will take us into the past, and despite being no actual stimulus being present the nervous system along with the endocrine system will react to trigger some kind of inappropriate stress response (which brings all of our resources to defend against an enemy from another time).

Talking about these traumas and sharing stories, understanding it all as a part of our story is necessary, but as things fade into the past, we also have to be open to changing the story of who we are. It’s not that we lie, but for simple understanding a single traumatic event is lumped into a broader time frame in life thru which we faced learned from the trauma.

When fire burns us it does no good to try to put our every fire. We learn to place certain boundaries between fire and ourselves so that we can still enjoy the warmth and light of fire without getting burnt.

Many people actually find their life paths thru their traumas by turning them into wisdom. This is transformation; turning poison into nectar.

We also experience time thru change. This is where we measure time and our boundaries are measured by resources: life force, energy levels, moods, physical form, the seasons and all these thing we can see changing from day to day; year to year. We might even measure this time by how for we’ve walked or how much we’ve completed. If we are following our life path, we are typically comfortable here as we focus and meditate thru our work. If we love what we won’t actually think of the time here; we will only see time when we look back at the change or are considering some future actions.

A very important concept of time actually combines our awareness of change with a kind of timelessness that we cannot imagine. When we recognize that we are connected to a whole lineage of universal archetypes going back to some unimaginable beginning of time and stretching into some unimaginable future. Here, we find ourselves repeating the the same archetypical patters expressing themselves in a new time and place. Though this sense of time is eternal here, we are capable of making a plan to change the future. This is where we understand ourselves in our connection with the whole. This is our dharma, our truth, our path in life; that path we have be on since the beginning of time; our universal purpose and how we employ that in society.

This is where we need meditation, silence, deep relaxation and contemplation because nobody can tell us who we are or what is our purpose; we can only feel it and know it for ourselves.

This bring me to the final concept it time. Present time; just being here and now. For this we have to be capable of dropping all other concepts of time. We have to have great trust in God in nature. No thought of the past or the future perfectly at peace until some spontaneous activity is provoked. To reach this state we have to know who we are, what our purpose is and have the necessary skills and health to complete our destiny.

We are beings bound by time. By understanding our place in time and how each concept of time binds is in a different way forming different relationships with each other we can then begin a focused course in self realization that will allow us to empower us with healthy boundaries rather than victimizing us they our subconscious patterns.

2019 horoscope: Jupiter in Scorpio; Saturn & Ketu in Sagittarius; Rahu in Gemini.

As we change the calendar Jupiter is midpoint of Scorpio and Saturn is midpoint of Sagittarius. Rahu and Ketu are preparing to change signs. Ketu will enter Sagittarius with Saturn, and Rahu will go into Gemini.

Jupiter is Scorpio will bring an increase of wealth from drilling and diving. There might be some new knowledge from the depths. This placement favours academic research. Astrological and occult knowledge is likely to be abundant, but it’s not a favourable place for religious dogma which may get revealed. And it favours such revelation and redemption of mankind.

Jupiter in scorpio favours the water element with abundance, though it may also set off emergency situations due to congestion caused by that abundance.

Saturn is in Sagittarius with Ketu and they will be conjunct around May 20. The last time this happened was about 150 years ago when Bismarck Marched on Paris and unified the German Empire. The British colonies (and ex-colonies) all put forward various versions of the Indian Act in order to legalize the theft of their land and make the people slaves of the state. This is what empires do. A massive uprising by muslims in China sent waves of refugees to Russia. Many Chinese were immigrating to North America in what was described as caravans. Racial violence was no less than today. Interestingly enough this was around the same time that American naval ships visited isolationist Korea (who were of course one in those days). Some significant earthquakes and volcanos also erupted around February 1871.

Saturn and Ketu in Sagittarius can give atheism or shamanism depending on who is stronger. Empires apply the cold hard law to ones belief. We are still suffering by Prussian education systems designed to give belief in cold hard reality rather than allowing our mind to truly expand in a humanistic way. Ketu scatters that belief so that one suffers not only from cold, hard and punitive dogma of the empire, but also by the indifference, scattered, incoherent ideology that get repeated.

1871 was a difficult year for priests and people of wisdom as they would have felt the fear of Saturn and complete instability of Ketu. With the institution of the church broken they would have been dispersed, their earning where severely restricted, and there would have been some isolation.

We can expect similar results in 2019. Higher knowledge will be restricted, network connections will be limited, public assembly will be regulated. There may be a greater number of chronic complaint.

Rahu in Gemini brings an imposter into the messages and announcements. Gemini signifies arms and lungs. So there will be increased air pollution. And this position increases the likelihood that there will be use of unconventional arms or weapons.

This position of Rahu and Ketu go against dharma. It’s typically a material placement. Good for gain and getting. What you want, rahu’s mentality is essentially selfish, like a starving man who can not control himself. Typically a low caste or outcaste mentality. Greed, sexual desire, and unfair competition amongst brothers and teammates.

For a review of your personal horoscope for the upcoming year please contact.

Astrology Case Study: Self Portrait

Male

07 Dec 1976

09:10am

Calgary, AB, Canada

Moon is in Mrigrashira3 in the 8th house gives writing/research about astrology, occult, Tantra, secrets and the like.

Mars, Sun & Ascendant are all in Scorpio sign (Jyeshta Nakshatra) which highlights occultist leanings and, thru Indra’s rulership, gives a sense of divine right to go forth on ones mission; often a foolish and prideful mission. Jupiter is lending aspectual influence of 2nd and 5th to this ascendant placement.

Saturn in 9th is said to destroy what the Gita called the triple gates to hell. This Saturn in Cancer 9th also gives a very traditional belief relating with the rhythms of nature. Gives self sacrifice, faith thru experience; hard luck. Ketu in the 6th allows one to easily be of service to the disconnected people of this world who wish to move forward. Gives high tolerance for complaints and toxicity.

Scorpio ascendant with Aries in 6th are certainly going to suffer from heat and inflammation. A strong Mars even more so; and aspecting the Sun has no doubt influenced my broken bones, fevers, head-aches, exhaustion (or occasional burn out). Strong pitta constitution.

Ketu in 6th can causes one to disregard such “minor” complaints, inflammations, and accidents (“no big deal”). This Ketu has probably influenced a few Doctors to overlook things, and occasionally misdiagnose.

Venus, oh Venus, for Scorpio natives he gives an incredible imagination for relationship matters. A love for what is far away and loss of what is close at hand. In this chart Venus also gives a very pleasant brother/sisterly rapport with women from my 3rd house. This is what Shakti said to Vishnu: “you can be my brother,” and then she went off with Shiva.

I once asked my teacher: “Where is this traditional art and design that should be going on with this kind of Saturn/Venus 3rd house influence?” He flipped thru my note book full of charts drawn out surrounded by notes and other divisional charts. Very traditional repetitive design made the notebook look like art.

This Saturn/Venus also contributes to a love for the rules of communications and grammar, as well as influencing history, to say nothing of astrology, map and blue-print reading. And of course working with my hands with labour work is certainly influenced by this. I love this kind of work and have huge respect for the labouring classes. It could be noted with this Saturn that I’m also a strong follower of Shiva, Rudra, lord of beasts.

I mentioned communications and grammar which has more to do with Mercury who, from the 2nd house allows me to value communication. This Mercury in 7th from Moon highlights the sibling quality to many of my relationships; as well as my preference for “hand-shake” agreements.

Jupiter period brought studies in language (English grammar, French, Hindi, even touched on some Spanish and Urdu) history and philosophy (first western, some chinese, and great depth into Indian philosophy. I managed a restaurant, worked in a book store, and attained good pay and position as a project manager in civil construction thru the middle part of Jupiter period. Jupiter-Moon, Jupiter-Mars were golden years of making good money 6 months and traveling 6 months. When Rahu came, everything was lost: career was gone, relationships were finished, my past might as well have burnt to the ground. Foreign ambitions arose.

Throughout Jupiter period I had many love affairs, enjoyed life, squandered my money on the “finer thing in life”: books and education, good food and drink, comfortable travel. Always generous with money. Jupiter-Mercury: father was killed in a workplace fire. Jupiter-Moon: met my Guru. Jupiter -Mars: received first jolt of shakti that made me full devotee in a flash. Jupiter – Rahu I had an ill fated marriage.

About the time Saturn dasha started I received a second jolt of shakti and Vedic astrology became clear to me. My path as a yogi, a teacher, had become a samskara itself. I began to fully incorporate the sadhu path of India with my western background; following a belief in self-sacrifice for the greater good. Renunciation has been strong. Focus has become firm. Will, like iron. Luck making me harder and drier.

One would expect some stable prosperity from Mercury in the 2nd house. But there has been little in my life, even when I was making money I squandered it; much of it on travel adventure and education, which I have typically also left incomplete; without collecting the fruit. Money is typically just enough to keep me going.

Rahu in 12th likes to liberate me from everything. He wants to make backroom deals and gain recognition for foreign travel. Rahu period in my adolescence was intense. His ambition can be overwhelming. He has taught me to disattach from the result of my activity. By continually bringing me face to face with that which I cannot control, I have learned to let go. This is why Rahu in 12 can be considered good for those in a spiritual path. His ambition goes to meditation, understanding the subconscious, going into isolation.

Saturn period everything changed: divorce became final, bankruptcy became final, other relationship came to an end, astrology came together like it was always there, the sense of responsibility towards higher knowledge I had been gifted. Austerity and self sacrifice; a sense of service and duty towards the masses. My reaction to objects of the senses dried up. Teaching yoga and astrology have become my main drive and occupation.

Saturn-Mercury I went back to Canada, fractured three vertebrae, broke five ribs and then my ankle. Lived as and unknown in the forest for Canadian winter. Maintained a sound mind and the good luck to find a beautiful home at an infamous eco-village.

As Saturn Ketu begins I am in Goa, India. A rather unusual place for me.

Some general considerations from my chart:

Health: Good health, lots of accidents and injuries; broken bones and blood. Head-aches, fevers, grouchiness, (tantrums when I was very young). Kidney stones, smoker, drank until end of Jupiter period.

Parents: some distance from both at different periods of life. Also close to both in different ways. Father killed in fiery work accident 2003. Mother worked government job as Forensic Psych. nurse. Moved around a lot as a child. At 70 she is still traveling and moving home consistently.

Home life: Constantly moving since birth. Little sense of home and no answer to the question of where I’m from (mostly the middle part of Canada). Moved to Edmonton, Ab late Rahu period and that remained a “home base” of sorts until end of Jupiter period. Recently lived two years on the West Coast if Vancouver Island; which is the most settled I’ve been in over 15 years. Have been most contentedly returning to and staying in Varanasi, India since 2008.

Travel: I travelled extensively all around Canada and some USA for all of my life until 2007; then I went to India and spent at least six months per year outside of Canada. Made a homey-feel in Varanasi, fell in love with the Narmada River valley. Also travelled Central America, Thailand, Turkey, Egypt, Ireland and quickly visited another half dozen places around the world.

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I’m writing this both for myself and for students of astrology to help the learning process. I hope to continue to add to this. I’m happy to answer any questions.

I am Shiva this world is Shakti

When we say that our true self is Shiva, we are not talking about this self that is body, mind; limiter and ceaselessly changing. This I who is Shiva is the unchanging universal soul which is being expressed not just in this body, but in all bodies as an individual soul. This “I” is the eternal subject. We cannot change what is not subject to change; we cannot purify that which is already pure. There is light, we can see, we are and we exist; this is only subject to acceptance, not change. This topic is hardly even amenable to contemplation. If we can’t even imagine it, it’s best we don’t even consider changing it.

Everything outside of the scope of the Shiva soul is Shakti: our mind and body and all that can be perceived by the senses at any moment. This is the eternal other. Many of us would like to change this. We think we are the body and have control over our body and mind and seek to make changes here, but the truth is that we are all fools. This coming together of soul (Shiva), body and mind (Shakti) is the divine play that we are advised to approach as a witness. This is the field of karma; the interplay between subject and object. We have no freedom here.

But where are we free? Where can we affect change?

In our relationship between the subject and object; in the way we relate not only to the world, but to our own bodies. How do we use what we have to reach out to the world?! This starts with how we relate without own body, our own mind.

We are born from a mother and a father. We had and have no control over this time and place we find ourselves. Even our will is the will of god. If I trace back the origin of this yoga or astrology I practice, or even this writing I am doing now, it all comes back to a will, an innate propensity towards these things. In other words, I didn’t do anything to have any of this; it was freely given to me at birth (all the benefits and all the defects).

This is one of the primary mistakes that most western yogis are making. They think they are the yogi and they pat themselves on the back for the good job they are doing. They do not accept the gift of their body and physical conditioning; they think they are the architect. Small “i” with small minds; they have not even begun to imagine what truth might be. They go around saying how blessed they are without recognizing that every sentient being is equally blessed. They base their blessing on the ever changing material reality; their blessing is not likely to get them thru bad weather as they begin to ask why such a curse. ‘To be’ is to be blessed; to not recognize this is the curse.

When we focus on our relationships with things there is little outward change to be recognized, but inside we will feel it just like we feel anger or sadness or frustration; we will feel peace; we will feel the blessing of existence in every moment thru good times and bad. And this is the sort of change people are really looking for; this is the sort of change that changes everything.

 

 

Tribal Tour and Trekking in North East India

March 26 – April 20, 2019

This is a backpackers dream as we go far from the well worn tourist paths of India and immerse ourselves in some of the most ancient untouched civilizations on earth. The amazing bio and cultural diversity of North East India awaits. This could very well be the life changing trip that many people are looking for; it will certainly change the way you view the world.

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The itinerary will be subject to some slight fluctuation as we travel and things come up.

This trip will start in Guwahati but we would quickly go to Shillong and spend a few days in the area trekking and getting used to the area before taking the train to Tinsukia to visit Dbru Saikowa Nation Park by boat. We will then go by bus to Roing in Arunachel Pradesh and spend a few days on various day hikes. We’ll then hire a jeep and head up into the remote town of Anini and perhaps a little further into the Himalayas to the end of the road before making our way south again.

Manjuli Island is a must see since they figure it may be gone due to erosion within the next 20 years. However, depending on time, we might skip this one in order to spend more time in Nagaland: Mon to Longwa. We will take the treacherous mountain road down thru the middle of Nagaland to the capital Kohima, taking our time to visit several spots along the way. Just a bit south of Kohima is another short trek and then another short trip to Imphal. We will return to Gawahati and have a feast before parting ways.

Some of the things which sway us from this itinerary include: Kaziranja National park, opportunities to get more involved with the local tribes, and local infrastructure. This is not a resort holiday and all participants are expected to be in good physical and mental health. Nights in Arunachel may be as low as -5C, while the days down in the Bramaputra valley may be over +35C. We will take at least one train and perhaps a few local state buses where we will literally rub shoulders with the locals. Tourist infrastructure in some places will be non-existent and sleeping conditions will often be less than ideal. Hopefully we can make up for this with some more comfortable home-stays or eco-tourist lodges occasionally. It will also be possible to skip some day activities in order to take time along or just rest. I do not expect much wifi connectivity, though phones (including data) should find a connection for most of this trip.

Explore India, Arunachal Pradesh Tourism, Along, Anini, Anjaw, Bomdila

The cost of this trip will be $2450 which will include transportation within India, lodging, all group meals, permits, guides, and pretty much everything we will need on the trip. Maximum of 5 people for this trip. Currently accepting minimum deposit of $600 to hold your seat for this trip. I expect it to go fast.

The following are not included: Spending money, baksheesh/tips, flights, Visa for India, inoculations and other personal extras.

Highlights: There will be many, however, the root bridges around Cherrapunji and the sacred forest by Mawphalang will be among the first sights to open our eyes. This will also be our first contact with local tribals. The Bramaputra River surrounded by tea plantations as we make our way north. Majuli Island is the largest river island in the world. The ferry to get there will take about an hour. The biodiversity of Arunachel Pradesh and the opportunity to see several species of wild cat as well as a large array of birds, river dolphins, and other kinds of big game animals. We will be on the edge of snow leopard territory in Anini. The incredible cultural diversity including Khasi healers, Naga warriors, Ao merchants, Anini herdsmen and many others. The treks; unbelievable treks and the beauty of nature. Expect stunning picks from every angle.

Ideology

4a1f5-dsc_1055-version2-2009-12-20at09-55-19The main project of yoga is to ground us in reality so that we might be aware of the experience of truth. The truth is now; in the present moment. There is not other reality. The past and the future are merely mirages in the distance. We cannot be sure of either, though on some level, everything that takes form in nature or in our minds has some level of truth to it. As yogis our task is to recognize the truth and keep our awareness fixed there.

This is one of the primary differences between what I would call authentic yoga and and inauthentic yoga; between modern branded yoga and traditional lineage yoga. This is the difference between idealism and reality. You cannot get to reality thru idealism; that’s the first thing that needs to be dropped. Ideology is the mask we hide behind; a popular belief we profess in order to avoid the real work of unmasking ourselves so that we might recognize reality. We cannot even begin to see ourselves thru ideology for it only reflects our fears.

Reality is here and now, naked and vulnerable; a lamb before god. Once one understands that we are always and everywhere at the mercy of time and space, then we can rise above the fear and trembling that keeps so many cowering and gasping to their ideals like a tattered security blanket unable to face the natural rhythms of life and death.

Pilgrimage to the Heart of India 2018

19 day pilgrimage to Varanasi, Omkareshwar, Ellora & Ajanta Caves, Maheshwar, Mandu and Indore

20 November – 8 December 2018

Dear Friends,

It’s about time I bring a group of friends to see some of my favorite pilgrimage places in India: Varanasi, Shiva city, the spiritual centre of India famous for tantra and pilgrimage; Omkareshwar and Maheshwar on the Narmada river are major centres of the 3.5 year pilgrimage that sees a steady stream of devotion. Ellora and Ajanta are both ancient monuments of devotion and wonder. We will make a stop by Mandu for a day of cycling, frivolity and wandering thru villages and Mugul ruins scattered across the country side. The final stop will be in Indore to visit a couple important tantric temples and enjoy the comforts of the city before going our separate ways.

The trip will include:

  • Land travel within India, most meals, room, guided tours, yoga & astrology
  • Traditional Hatha Yoga practice including asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation. Bhakti, Raja, Hatha, Jnana, Tantra  and Kundalini yogas will all find expression over the course of this trip.
  • A detailed Vedic Astrology reading and remedy coaching.
  • Six nights in a simple, traditional forest ashram over-looking the  holy Narmada river
  • Five nights in Varanasi over looking the Holy Ganges river
  • A small group of six allows for deep integration of the practices and teachings.
  • Excellent introduction to India for those who wish to continue traveling the country
  • A unique yoga pilgrimage
  • Deep introduction to yogic philosophy and Vedic way of life.
  • Suitable for anyone who is a pilgrim at heart. No prior knowledge or experience is necessary. Sincerity towards the method is the most important attribute.

Basic Itinerary

20 November – 8 December 2018

20 November 2018: Arrival in Varanasi, rest, short evening yoga and meditation next to the river.

While in Varanasi: Morning yoga, site-seeing tours, boat rides, lots of free time, meeting Shiva devotees, astrology charts will be completed for each person.

25 November: Train to Khandwa; bus to Omkareshwar, take rest and get settled at the Gayatri Forest Ashram, easy evening yoga and meditation.

While in Omkareshwar: Two yoga classes per day. Learning traditional stories, parikrama (walk) around the island,  visiting important pilgrimage sites, pilgrims and sadhus. Spending time in nature, swimming, enjoying.

02 December: Jeep to Ajanta. While in Ellora/Ajanta trip we will take our yoga where we can get it. There is often an opportunity to practice among the caves.

03 December: Jeep to Ellora and then to Maheshwar, take rest, get settled in the guest house.

While in Maheshwar: One to two yoga classes per day, visiting special holy sites, boating, swimming, meeting pilgrims, singing, & enjoying nature.

07 December: Jeep to Mandu, cycling/site-seeing, and then jeep to Indore.

08 December: Visit Mahakala and Bhairava temple before departure. The tour will end on this day and departures will go from Indore.

  • Note: let us know if we can help to arrange transport and lodging before and after the trip.

By the end of this trip participants will have gained deep knowledge of Yogic, Vedic and Tantric practice and lifestyle. One will have gained an appreciation for simple, prayerful living and will have a good foundation to continue a personal sadhana (spiritual practice). You will also gain valuable travel experience and a deep humanistic education as we travel on and off the tourist trail thru the heart of India.

Anyone with a sincere desire for self knowledge thru yoga and traditional knowledge are welcome. Yoga classes are easily modified to be accessible to everyone as well as challenging for every level of fitness and concentration. Much of the philosophical content will be organic (arising from the circumstances and questions) so this too will be both accessible and challenging for most anyone.

India can be a challenging country and we will be living very simply as pilgrims ourselves for parts of trip. This simplicity of nature will hopefully counterbalance the sensory and emotional over-load that Delhi and Varanasi are known for in different ways. Travel can be slow and frustrating (most times) and there will a few arduous days of travel, lots of walking, and a group of eight people traveling and living together for 19 days (18 nights). We hope that lots of free time, optional tours and practices, and flexibility by everyone, will allow everyone to get the flavour they are seeking from life.


This package tour includes:

  1. 19 days/18 nights in various guest houses and ashrams may be shared occupancy
  2. Many meals, lots of chai and snacks
  3. Transportation
  4. Vedic Astrology consultation.
  5. Classical Hatha Yoga classes
  6. Guide fees
  7. Additional administrative fees, organization costs, booking fees, travel expenses, baksheesh & diksha donations to temples, pilgrims and ashrams in the name of the group

Total cost: 

  • $1950. A $600 deposit will hold this space for you

Stipulations

  • Limited to six people. Must have at least 4 people signed up by October 1 for the trip to proceed. Full refunds will be given if it’s cancelled for this reason. I expect it will sell out fast.
  • One place will have preference for someone with knowledge in Ayurveda and/or Jyotish and would like to do a mentorship in astrology over the 19 days of this pilgrimage.
  • Unless your seat can be sold to someone else we may only be able to refund 50% of the fee in case of cancellation. There will be an administrative fee retained in any case, but we look vary favorably upon those who find someone to fill their place for them.
  • Bring a friend and save $100 each (not available for early bird pricing). Bring two or more friends and save $200 while each of them save $100.

What is not included, and why?

  • Many meals, snacks and chai throughout the day since you will be on your own.
  • Baksheesh, diksha payments, tips to temples monks, sadhus and service people which are best given by your own heart & hand
  • Flight to India, travel insurance, immunizations are all your responsibility.
  • Souvenirs, personal items, personal travel or personal entertainment.
  • No certificates will be available as this pilgrimage is meant to be a personal healing, learning & potentially transformational journey. If you want a certificate, go to Rishikesh.
  • If you are unsure about what may or may not be included, please ask before departure.

Your host and guide:

Mike Holliday has had a deep spiritual and personal connection with Varanasi, Ganga & Narmada since 2007. He has been teaching yoga around the world for almost ten years and offering philosophical/spiritual coaching and counsel for over half that time. He has guided many people thru Varanasi and well as thru Indian culture and a few have even come to experience the magic of the Narmada river with him. He is an engaging teacher and story teller; a very knowledgeable guide thru the unknown; a sincere, grounded friend and adviser & he has a strong passion for sharing traditional knowledge. He is an off the beaten path teacher who mostly follows orthodoxy but does not not believe it is necessary.

For more information:

  • holliday.michael@gmail.com

Yoga Astrology Travel Pilgrimage

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