As I prepare myself to write this blog entry, I cannot but think of Krishna’s words to Arjuna when the brave warrior is despairing before battle: “You have the right to work but never to the fruit of your work”.

Dharma is a big word, maybe too big for us to understand its profound implications in just one lecture, a one-week seminar, or even in a lifetime. Most of us earthlings spend our lives trying to figure out what we are doing on this spinning rock– at least those of us who are curious enough to venture beyond the realm of the senses. And the answer always seems too vague, too unattainable, or maybe too simple for our relentless thirst for fame and adventure.

If we really want to discover which path we are to take on this mysterious journey, it is better we begin by letting go off any preconceptions about our route, illusions about our travel companions, and expectations about our destination. Once we do that, we should simply start walking and try to feel whether this is the right or wrong path for us. This can only be accomplished by stepping out of our comfort zone, which means bidding farewell to big brother Logic and his sister Memory who have been influencing our decisions since time immemorial. Fearful as it may seem, there may be no other way to understand the ways of Dharma but trusting our intuition. At this point, some may argue that their intuition is desperately in need of a good tune-up, but even those should not despair as the Eternal One has graciously arranged the stars, lines of the palm, and other elements in nature as pages in the book of Creation, where avid magic readers can dexterously decipher the original purpose of our trip to planet Earth.

Once the path is known, the wise words of the Gita can lead us into an aspect of the journey which is infinite times more important than the type of path we are walking on. The Gita’s words present a direct challenge to the highest thoughts of the lower mind, defying the ego to dissolve into the inscrutable mist of destiny. We are allowed any action without reservation but not what comes out of that action. This means living the eternal present without room for dreams, hopes, or expectations, simply hopping from one moment to the next, always unaware, always expectant, always starting afresh. Could we detain the inexorable flow of time and decay if we decided to remain in one moment at all times? Is that part of Krishna’s message? Just by pondering these questions, I am already jumping ahead and demanding the fruit of work. It seems awareness is key, full awareness at all times.

Knowing your Dharma can definitely alleviate a confused and confusing mind; of this, I have no doubt. However, following Krishna’s message of living life as it comes may as well help us uncover our ultimate purpose, for one who flows without reservations will eventually be taken to that place where he is most valuable, to himself and to the rest of creation. Becoming a flow-er (or a flower for that matter) appears to me as a sure, unmistakable way of fulfilling the totality of our personal agenda without forgetting any of the debts we have contracted during previous visits and the promises we have undertaken for this one.

Does this sound as too big a leap of faith? Let’s then return to the battlefield and listen to Krishna’s words of encouragement to the warrior that lives behind our physical heart: “It does not become you to yield to this weakness. Arise with a brave heart and destroy the enemy”.

Be Aware of the Urban Monk

The urban monk sees himself working on his personal evolution through his daily practice. He sees himself caring for his body temple by carefully picking out his daily food. He sees himself attending workshops and seminars to learn how to live an ethical and purposeful life. He sees himself dutifully studying books and attending lectures that help him elevate his spirit. And he sees himself devotedly offering prayers and gratitude to his chosen form of divinity.


Commendable as it looks from the outside, we need to pay close attention to this urban monk since, in his zealous quest to reach the ultimate goal, s/he may unconsciously be following a self-centered path that does ultimately drive him/her to isolation and depression. In this type of spiritual delusion, the urban monk may exclusively enjoy conversations on spiritual matters, avoid most social events, despise former hobbies, and, to a certain extent, see himself as superior on his chosen way of living life. The urban monk works and lives for his spiritual path, thinking that his personal spiritual evolution is all that matters and the only path to true realization.


However, the urban monk needs to understand that this path is the path of the mountain yogi, the renunciate, the wandering mendicant, and not the path of someone still being part of society. If the urban monk is still living in society, it means that his path is still here and needs to be adjusted to the demands of living in society. How does the urban monk understand all this? It may take years of hardships and suffering and denial. Pain is the ultimate teacher when everything else has failed.


A gentler and wiser approach is to start paying attention to the breath, slowly training the mind to focus and refocus on its harmonious rhythm. We follow it as pelicans follow their leader on their beautiful flying formations. One day, the breath gently invites us to notice our senses and later on to notice our emotions, and finally to notice how we interact with the world around us.


And it is then, and only then, that the urban monk will able to understand that all those years he had spent working on his personal evolution through daily practices and workshops and prayer and study and meditation had kept him blind from what was really being requested from him. And it is then that he will be able to finally see himself intentionally listening when his attention is needed; and he will see himself uninterestedly helping when his assistance is needed; and he will see himself preaching only when his counsel is needed; and he will see himself observing his emotions before he instinctively jumps into fear, anger or judgement. He will see the world around him as the divine coliseum where the game of his own evolution is being played.


And he will finally understand. He will understand that all those years of focusing on his personal growth have led him into a state of isolation, a most peculiar form of egotism where his quest for enlightenment or happiness had blinded him from the needs of any other creature beyond himself. And he will understand that, even though he was always preaching about the world being ONE, he was continually failing at the opportunity of placing the needs of others before his own needs. He will understand that too much “personal training” leads to separation whereas too much mindfulness on daily affairs leads to communion.


And then he will focus on mindfully observing every situation he faces in life. It is only there that he can put his training to work. He will still “train” whenever he can; when he has the time; when his mindful observation advises. Training will still be there but it won’t occupy the core of his being anymore. It will be replaced by involvement in the details and messages of life and the creatures that play a role in the game of life. He will no longer be lost in the technique, in himself. Things will finally start to make sense and then he will be able to understand that growth comes only from playing in front of an audience, not from eternally rehearsing in front of a mirror.




I heard that you were everywhere but I couldn’t even see you in front of my eyes. I heard that you were all powerful but I couldn’t understand how. I heard that you have always existed but I wasn’t there to witness it. I heard that you knew everything but I could never take a class from you.


Being so indoctrinated, I have always seen you as a separate reality. I heard them talk about all being ONE but, even though I wanted to believe it, I was never able to envision it. To me, you were always outside, above, beyond that ONENESS. Above everything, ruling, overseeing, witnessing, creating lives upon lives, worlds upon worlds…but not here, not actively participating, not de facto involved in my daily meaningless tasks that feel so meaningful to me. How can you know what I feel being human even if you know everything? Can you “know” my feelings, emotions, and states of mind as I experience them personally? Isn’t that more of an experience than a knowing? If we agree that emotions are universal archetypes and feelings my very own personal reaction to them, how can you partake of my human experience if you are separate from me? But you are not. Because you cannot be.


Because I am not. Because you are.


And now I know that I am you and you are me. Not that you are in me for that would imply a separation; you are me and I am you. And now, I can understand when I hear that you are omnipresent, eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient. Because I am too, as long as I agree to transcend this burning curiosity that is such a big part of my present human condition.


Then I am

Walking the True Walk

Have you ever read The Madman by Kahlil Gibran? A part of it has been resonating in my mind all day long prompting, almost urging me to sit at my desk and observe how this post starts to breathe life.


“One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen…I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, “Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves.”


Later on in the poem, the lucky madman thanks his robbers for taking away his masks as he starts to feel the warmth of the sun on his real face for the first time.  Fate is always capricious and there are people who actually are freed from their masks by some turn of events. For the rest of us, taking off our masks is a slow and methodical process that may even take several lifetimes. In any case, what is important is to understand that this may be the one piece of work that explains our existence on this planet. Not that everything else is unimportant but results kind of trivial when compared to the stature of this task.


Removing these masks equals to peeling off the many layers of fake personalities that we have been accumulating throughout the years, be it consciously or unconsciously. These insidious programs are so embedded, so ingrained in our minds that we end up believing them and acting according to their mandate. They have been nesting in our minds for so long that  identifying and exposing them (which means annihilating their power over us) requires a true detectivesque effort. The reward is, as in the case of our beloved Madman, freedom, life in truthfulness, understanding of our real nature, and consolidation of a peaceful mind and a compassionate heart.


Techniques to help us reach this balanced state run the gamut and are a staple on every single religion and philosophy of life. These techniques become extremely useful, mostly in the beginning of our quest, and offer both a foundation and a convenient lifesaver when things get too hairy. They include prayer, meditation, rituals, study of scriptures, routines such as yoga asana or tai chi, ceremonies, attendance to religious or spiritual services, spiritual cleansing, drumming, and many others.


However, as powerful as these techniques may be, they are nothing but a training for the real work and, I think, this is where many of us are getting very confused these days. You see, it is like training for the Olympics for four years but never participating in the games. Or rehearsing for the weekend play and never performing. We have become very good at religiously keeping up with our preferred technique (sometimes verging on addiction) but continue without doing the real work. Basically, we think the technique is the work. So, we need to take a good look at our relationship to it and decide whether we are using it as the means to and end or as the end itself. And if we are erroneously taking the technique for the end, what is the real end then?


Bluntly put, the real work is to really observe ourselves and start transforming everything that doesn’t belong to our personal, inner truth; beyond rules and regulations and traditions and any other external forms of indoctrination or knowledge. To delve into the dark side, the shadow, that part of us that we don’t like so much and usually try to hide from others. To acknowledge and embrace this shadow as a part of us, whether we like it or not. I said acknowledge, not indulge in it, just let it be part of your journey and things will be fine. This is the real work. A moment to moment, mindful observation of our behaviors, emotions, and reactions devoid of any charge of self-criticism, fear, or guiltiness. Do you want a clearer example? Every time an emotion such as fear, greed, anger, jealousy, envy, etc, surges, it is just an invitation to observe it and make a note of another aspect of your dark side. Remember, it has nothing to do with others, it is all about us and how we perceive reality.


Sounds too hard? Don’t worry, be MINDFUL!


  “And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.”

Winds of Karma

We cringe when we hear the word Karma.  Gloomy thoughts about past terrible deeds and fears about future pain and suffering assault our minds. We hear someone say “Oh, it was her karma”, and instantly we feel sorry for that poor soul, or fearful that one day they will say the same about us.


Karma is one of the least understood life components, at least for the average Joe. Endowed with different meanings, the word Karma is normally translated as “action” or “deed” (note here that it is “action” and not “curse” as we tend to understand it) and is usually explained according to the principle of causality (the law of cause and effect). We can also see examples of karma in other traditions such the popular “An eye for an eye” or “You reap what you sow”.


However, the ominous nature we attribute to karma is simply a misunderstanding of its original meaning and exquisite operation. Instead of seeing karma as our inevitable fate, deriving from all our bad past decisions and deeds, we can see karma as what it really represents: OPPORTUNITY.


Karma is, in fact, an opportunity, a beautiful opportunity which is presented to us every day so we can fully understand the real meaning of life and our personal lessons. We all have stuff to learn here, that’s why we pop up on this planet over and over, and will continue to do so until we have mastered “the human curriculum”. What we call enlightenment is basically the completion of this curriculum; what we call happiness is basically our voluntary commitment to fulfilling this curriculum.


That said, it is crucial to understand how it works so we can cultivate more and more of this thing called happiness. Among all the opportunities (karmic situations) we get during our life, there is one which stands out as the major component of our curriculum: it is probably the toughest but also the one that, when worked upon, will drench us with the most satisfaction. This one big assignment begins early in our life tenure, during our childhood, with an initial setup seemingly developed by family, friends, teachers and others around us. Then, the scenario repeats itself over and over and over during our lives, each time making use of different characters and settings but with the same ending. This end result will always bring suffering, making us frustrated and even depressed since we normally don’t understand why this is happening to us. Sounds familiar? Can you already identify that situation that seems to follow you wherever you go?


We live at a time when this opportunity is being recreated at a very intense and impossible to avoid pace. It is merciless, there is no place to hide, and it is making us feel stuck, trapped, and helpless. It is obvious that, for whatever reason, we need to face it now so we can integrate its message and jump over to our next assignment. We need to work on it because it is holding us down and is affecting our happiness and our evolution.


How can we identify our personal big Karma for this lifetime and work on it? We need to use something that goes beyond the study of the mind and how it works, for Karma belongs to a much higher rank, which is the meaning of life. Karma is about the essence, who we are and what we are doing here, and that is a game way beyond our petty minds (even though we can use the mind to understand part of it).


I guess there are different ways of getting to it. I use something called Karmalogy. And I am writing this post today because I have been noticing during my consultations for some months now that most of us could benefit from it. The problem is this big karma oftentimes comes in multiple layers that need to be identified and peeled off one by one until we get to the bottom of it. It does require a good deal of objectivity, patience and experience and, needless to say, it is always easier to see it in others and very difficult to see in ourselves. Once we untangle the plot, then we can start observing how it manifests in our life and take the appropriate measures to master it. Examples of this big karma include suffering from constant abuse (by different people and in different circumstances: physical, verbal, in terms of financial retribution) or constantly associating with the “wrong” people, or lacking support when mostly needed, or never being able to materialize dream projects, or being erroneously judged or blamed for things we haven’t done.


I invite you to try Karmalogy. It does work and it will help you land on the path to stopping these deceptively negative cycles and thrive in life. Karmalogy is done in one hour sessions (live or on Skype) until the person feels confident enough to identify the process and act accordingly. For more information and rates, just click on the Ayurveda section on the bar menu and then on Karmalogy and Rates links on the left side menu.

Darkness is kind but, be aware, it can also be deceiving

Namaste, my fellow tunnel captives!


As commented last week, darkness is kind but ONLY if we are able to understand it and keep in mind its true purpose. That means not allowing ourselves to become so entrapped in the shadows that we lose sight of our real life purpose and end up focusing only on our lower, selfish desires. This may represent quite a challenge as our lower nature likes to make us believe that our integrity is in danger. And in that spell of ignorance, we will do WHATEVER it takes to protect it, no matter how much damage we spread around ourselves. And the ripples from this negative wave will impact other tunnel captives, who subsequently will try to take advantage or bring others down in order to alleviate their own suffering.


I would like to reiterate that this is “the” time to focus on our hidden lessons, our surrendering to the present, our rising beyond our likes and dislikes (thank you Dida!), no matter how much unfair treatment we are presently receiving. Remember, it is never personal. Understand others may be in a similar or even more challenging position than you are. Have compassion, it is not so bad, at least you are not being vexed and crucified, are you?  Remember the darker it gets (and it can get really, really dark), the closer we are to the light and the greater the chances to learn the purpose of this situation.


This may not be the best time to help others, compassion will suffice, but, at least try to chip into the general cause by stopping the negative rippling effect and trusting those higher forces that will lead us out of the tunnel when the lesson is understood. There is no need to steal a little energy from other beings; life energy is plentiful if we just seek it with an open heart.


Smile, trust, and it will be given!

Do not weep mate, for darkness is kind

It is a familiar feeling, as familiar as unwanted. We have been here before, in this tunnel, many times. It is dark and cold and lonely. We have been in this tunnel many times before but it is different this time. Previous tunnels seemed shorter or maybe lighter; it was dark in there but we could still distinguish a faint light at the end of it: the light of hope, the end of pain, the end of suffering. At those times, we could feel the pressure but soon enough the shadows would lift up or there would be a helping hand to lead the way out of the uncertain situation.


It is different this time around: the tunnel is darker than ever before and we seem to have been stuck here for weeks, even for months for some. No light behind us, no way back; no light in front of us, nowhere to go. After patience, meditation, introspection, counseling, relaxation and countless similar techniques brought in to try not to succumb into despair, our nervous system is about to collapse. Sadness, despair, depression, and, of course, fear start crawling all over us. Fears as diverse as our personalities and stories: Fear of not being good enough, gentle enough, beautiful enough, charming enough, prosperous enough, (fill in the blank) enough. Why me?, why now?, what for?


Sleepless nights convince us of the futility of any further action. Now it is the turn of anxiety, resentment, and anger mixed with spells of overwhelming despair. And the darkness remains stout, thick, unflinching, not allowing a sliver of light to pierce through.  What is there to do?


The answer is easy albeit hard to digest for most of us:

  • “Surrender”, says the inner voice that knows everything
  • “Surrender to what?”, we yell back
  • “Surrender to the present”, the voice quietly reaffirms


As strange as it may seem, fighting our reality simply makes things worse as, in the process, we attract negative thoughts about not accepting our present situation. We are basically telling the universe we don’t agree with life, and by not agreeing with life, we switch ourselves immediately into negative mode, a place devoid of clarity and understanding. For, are we more intelligent than life itself? Every situation brings evolution, no matter how tough it is. Fighting it off will not only prove us incapable of solving the problem but will toss us into a spiraling of negativity and absolute lack of clarity to understand what is going on. Furthermore, trying to get out of it will have the same effect as that means we are still not accepting our present.


The tunnel is not about understanding it, or voicing its unfairness, or finding and exit door as soon as possible. It is not about seeking help, resorting to techniques, or pondering the meaning of life during endless nights. For, in all these situations, we are still denying our present reality.


The tunnel is about accepting our situation as it is, no matter how desperate or unfair. Admit it, there is simply nowhere to go so you’d better calm down and look at it in the eye. Our master move is simply to accept it, surrender to it, observe it quietly, with the trust that it is just another situation and that it will go away unannounced, exactly as it came in. That does not mean to give up but rather to face it with a resolute mind. Accept the darkness, the pain, the despair, the hopelessness. It is only in that empty mind and heart that we gather the clarity to understand the meaning of this tunnel and its teachings for the future. Then things will begin to make sense even if we can’t still see the light at the end of it. But wait, don’t rush. Walk slowly and live the whole experience so you don’t have to do it again.


Easier said than done? Maybe this is a good time to explore the realm of Mindfulness.

Raise the Divine Feminine…

Raise the Divine Feminine…Divine Masculine will follow


“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God” John 1.1


Everything originated from sound, the Word, OM…vibration. The one source vibrated and ripples of creation sputtered forth in all directions. The universe manifested in myriad forms, sounds and colors. Vibration, represented by ether in the five elements present in all forms, continues to stand as the most direct way of connection to the Divine. All senses (touch, smell, taste and vision) pale out in comparison to sound, that unique and overwhelming experience whose maximum expression is silence.


Sound, like everything else, is made up of feminine and masculine attributes. And like everything else for the last 5,000 years, it has been imbalanced by an overpowering load of masculine energy (not the pure Divine Masculine but impure, subjugating, judgmental masculine energy) and therefore a scarcity of feminine power. Before the imbalance took place, the Divine Feminine–the creative, compassionate, soothing, nurturing energy–enjoyed its natural status as the source of wisdom and equanimity on the planet. After its fall, we have been pushed into a convoluted time filled with unrest, chaos, and confusion that will not be straightened out until the two energies find their natural equilibrium once again.


A renaissance of the Divine Feminine is needed for this to occur. Divine Feminine differs from feminism in that Divine Feminine doesn’t need to equate with anything else, including the masculine. Divine Feminine is a phenomenal, powerful force by itself, with its own characteristics, expressions, and roles. A rebirth of the Divine Feminine is, by no means, a search for equality with the masculine or a vendetta for years of ostracism. This rebirth cannot be violent or extreme. It is simply a vindication of a natural status, of the original balance between the two forces that contributed to the creation of the universe.


In order to regain this balance at a time of so much confusion and despair, the natural approach calls for a return to the source. And the source is no other than sound, vibration. It is in the connection with the original sound that we will be able to regain our clarity, intuition, peace, and joy for life. And where is this vibration to be found? In the center of your chest, in the inner heart. That is where we understand who we really are. We normally connect to it through inner reflection, meditation, prayer and some other techniques. However, at this time in history, it seems to me that the most powerful and direct form would be through chanting. Chanting the myriad names of the Divine for in those names there is no distinction between the Masculine and the Feminine. And it is by focusing into it, by invoking it, by downloading it into our hearts and projecting it forth that the energies will regain their original place in creation.


The ancient tradition of gathering in circles offers us the perfect set-up for this type of communion. Circle chanting in an atmosphere of respect, equanimity, and spiritual awareness is a regenerating and healing experience that elevates consciousness, not only in participants but everywhere else, as vibration knows no barriers. This is one beautiful way of healing so many of the wounds we have been nursing and elevating the frequency of what Jung described as the collective unconscious.


We are helping people create circles where chanting takes the main role but it is also well supported by honest conversation, powerful messages that show uninvited, and a sense of bonding that we barely remember anymore. In circles, there is no talk from the ego, no personal advice, no leading roles based on stored information. Circles are a truthful exchange of wisdom, a celebration of communion that is both exhilarating and profound, a calm experience of the joy of life.


Join a chanting circle or create one. We will help you. It will have an impact in you and the world at large. In the words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”

On Devotion

In its rawest form, Devotion is nothing but the unobstructed manifestation of the energy of Love. And Love is nothing but the essence of everything that exists, and probably of the One that does and doesn’t exist. Devotion is the foundation of most religions although in most cases it may have not been interpreted in its purest form. Devotion, same as good actions, is totally unselfish; that means that when we exercise devotion, we are not doing it expecting something in return. That would rather be necessity with a lower or higher charge of faith. Neither are we giving thanks, for that would rather be appreciation for something we have received. And neither are we praising a higher being, for that would imply a type of separation that cannot be bridged.

In this world of relentless action and agitation, of continuous effort and goals, Devotion represents a firm belief in the power of the unknown. Regular devotional practice takes us to the gates of impossibility, that uncanny place of realization where we can attest that miracles are actually part of daily life. Used as your main practice, Devotion rushes you into the warm embrace with the Father or the Beloved or carefully places you into the loving lap of the Mother. As the invaluable adjunct to any other practice, Devotion provides the fresh juice of unspeakable bliss, drenching life with sweetness and compassion.

Depictions of fierce gods and abominable fates have prevented humanity to express true Devotion. As a result, Devotion is oftentimes expressed in a diluted form, watered down by fear of terrible eternal consequences. This has moved many to deny a certain figure as the source of creation. And still, Devotion is for everybody as it can be directed to any form you pick out. Let me explain: in expressing Devotion, you can direct pure, untainted love not only to an almighty god or council of gods but also to the union with your higher Self, to those that surround you, to the Earth and Sun that support your living, and, finally, to Life itself in its myriad forms, be it happiness, despair, pain or loneliness. It is in this last one when you totally abandon yourself to the river of Life, with absolute trust in the unknown, with absolute faith in “what is”.

Much can be written about Devotion and still we will never be able to grasp the slightest meaning of it. For Devotion is not for the meticulous student but for the impetuous explorer. Devotion is enthusiastic practice, abandonment with no expectations, and joy beyond the senses.

Devotion is not for the student. Explore it. You may become incredulously devoted to it.

The Game of Life

So how about if I propose you a game. How about if you start thinking about all the different personalities you could be, all the characters you could play if you were to exist eternally on this planet? (Did you just think of Highlander?). But there is more, let’s go a little deeper on this game and say that the reason for all this acting is to get to know ourselves inside out, all that we are capable of, good or bad, right or wrong; get to know ourselves so there is not the slightest part of us that is not fully experienced and properly assimilated.


So, let’s get started by playing an honest and kind school teacher who is not fully in accordance with the school system. He may be following his truth at first but how long can he continue until he falls in disgrace with the system or how much will he be ready to lose in order to be faithful to his ideals? Now, let’s play a young woman who rises beyond countless adversities to finally achieve public recognition and fame…and at that point finds herself completely alone in life. Next, let’s play a slave who is being brutally punished just for being a slave, or a raw soldier who deserts on his first battle, or a gambler fretting as his skills fade away. Let’s play the highly educated and brilliant but cold-hearted, the envious, the mischievous, the womanizer, the kindest lady in the neighborhood. Let’s play more complex characters, an explosive combination of the highest and lowest in morals. Let’s face off the antagonists, the old friends, the model couple. Let’s create a rambunctious plot packed with characters from different races, cultures, traditions, social strata and levels of education and play what each one of them would experience in relationship to the others. Are you tired already? Hang on tight, we have just started because the ride is…eternal.


Sounds like a fun game to play? Do you wanna know how it ends? Or would it simply come to a point when it would be impossible to make sense anymore? And, if that was the case, what about wiping everything off completely and starting afresh with a new background and new characters that would randomly start spouting out of your mind the moment you put yourself to the task? Wouldn’t you love watching the plot become alive by itself? Situations being created by the momentum of all the intermingled actions and reactions?


Now, how about if this was already happening and you were just one of these infinite expressions of the creator’s imagination? Which, by the way, as an expression would make you the creator itself. And what would happen to this one expression (that is YOU) if you were able to find out that the “reality” you are living is just a fun game played by your own imagination to investigate all the possibilities in your being?


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was…