Beloved Friends! I”m happy to offer a great 2 hr Workshop at New Earth Fest this Sunday 11am “The Art of Creating Ceremonial Dances” I will be sharing powerful tools & elements that I utilize in my life-long study of devotional and ritual dances. I’m so honored to share this magical format. I invite you to come dance and share your heart felt movement prayers with me! P.S scroll to bottom for info
I took the time to carefully write out this article I discovered in an old book I found in a used book store the other day. “Vedanta” for the Western World by Christopher Isherwood ( coprywrite 1945!) This is truly a inspiration that has struck the chord of my soul perfectly ringing to the depth beyond words of what my heart is seeking in spiritual attainment and practice………
Many and varied are the forms of meditation. One form is that in which Brahman is likened to a boundless ocean, and the jiva to a fish, swimming happily about, feeling the soothing, living presence everywhere. In another form the body is regarded as a vessel, and the mind as water-pure as crystal-upon which is reflected the sun of satchitananda-Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. Yet again, Brahman may be meditated upon as the limitless ocean, and jiva as the vessel submerged in it, the water of Brahman within and without- everywhere. Again one may think of oneself as a bird soaring blissfully through the sky of satchidananda. These and many other forms are known to the followers of the path of knowledge.
God is with form and without form. God in his absolute, formless aspect is mediated upon by the followers of the path of knowledge; but the devotee holds on to the name and form of God, and meditates upon him with form. Various are the names and forms of God, which are but different aspects of one reality. The Guru and the Avataras are also forms of God, and the devotee takes one form and mediates upon that as his chosen ideal. While absorbed in meditation the devotee may have different visions of the many forms of God. These must be regarded as but different aspects of the one chosen ideal. Forms are many, but the Reality is one. To emphasize this truth Sri Ramakrishna would give the smile of chameleon-which changes it color, yet remains the same. Thus by devotion to the choosen ideal the devotee soon realizes that god assumes many forms , and yet is also formless.
The Devotee meditates on the holy name and form of God, and the follower of the path of knowledge mediates on the relation and identity with jiva and Brahman. But what ever path is followed the one and the same state of spiritual consciousness is attained by each. When by meditating on the name and form one attains a depth in meditation, relation also vanishes. There remains in both a spiritual current that words cannot describe.
Sri Ramakrishna once said that in the depths of mediation there arises the consciousness of the impartial, the indivisible reality. Body is forgotten, mind ceases to function –there remains pure consciousness.
There is a difference between ecstasy and Samadhi. In ecstasy the aspirant experiences bliss, he sees the play of the divine; in Samadhi, the aspirant becomes blissful. The experiencer, the experience and the experienced become One.
To see the light in vision during meditation is not enough, though it is true that such a vision or any other vision serves to strengthen faith, and encourage the aspirant to go deeper and deeper. Only when the physical consciousness is gone, when the heart becomes pure, can one really know that there is a deeper and vaster realm beyond the realm of spiritual visions.
The knowledge of existence of this realm cannot be grasped by the human mind, nor can words define it. The grace of the guru alone can open the gates to that blissful realm. One day while massaging the head of Sri Ramakrishna the door to that realm suddenly opened before me. What I saw the eyes could not hold, what I tasted the tongue could not express. It was a definite experience beyond all expression.
If you would know and enter into that kingdom, let the tongue tirelessly chant the name of God, let the heart and mind become absorbed in his meditation. Sooner or later, through his grace, you will surely know and enter into that blissful realm.
Be absorbed in mediation. Be absorbed so that the world becomes annihilated, and only you exist, you and your beloved shining in your heart. As one becomes established in the meditative life there comes a control over the mind. Then alone one can know his own mind, how and in what devious ways it works. He becomes immediately aware of any tricks the mind would try to play. The old habits of the hatred, jealousy, and all the passions will no longer have the power to raise any wave in the mind. The will gradually recede, and eventually disappear.
Many changes come in one who lives the contemplative life. The character becomes transformed, the body also changes, the voice becomes sweet; he breathes differently. A truly meditative man can be recognized by his movements, his face, his eyes. He has wonderful poise, his mind is tranquil. With eyes opened or with eyes closed, engaged in whatever occupations, he meditates constantly and continuously. The current of thought flows unceasingly toward his beloved. Just as a person suffering from acute toothache is constantly reminded of it, so is the aspirant constantly aware of the living presence.
Do not sleep the sleep of ignorance. Keep yourself constantly awake by the practice of spiritual disciplines. Without spiritual practice life is meaningless, the truth of God remains unknown. People quarrel over theories and dogmas of religion, but those who devote their lives to the attainment of the bliss of God, and know the Reality, have no quarrel with other faiths, nor do they antagonize them, for they speak the same tongue.
Friday 10 am at 7th Heaven in Berkeley Class has changed description and now has a new focus!
Venus Vinyasa for Women
This is a class sanctuary for women who want to practice together while focusing personally on strengthening virtues of feminine empowerment in the world. Classes will begin with Chanting/toning and breathing exercises while sequencing fluidly through movements that build stamina, flexibility & inner-grace. Venus Vinyasa is a space that encourages womb wisdom through educating women about their sexual organs as well as cyclical natures.
Hi Friends I’m happy to Announce My New ALL-LEVEL Vinyasa Yoga Classes Starting this week in JUNE!! I’m shying away from using the name “Anusara” in my title but classes will remain the same….
1NEW ALL-Levels VINYASA YOGA CLASSES!! Hey Friends, So I got a new class slots and no time to pre-advertise for month of JUNE, if you see this message please check in with me when u arrive and I will Comp you for your first class with me
Friday mornings 10am
Sunday eve 5:30 pm
Ayah’s classes embody themes of personal empowerment, she inspires self expression while sequencing through postures that emphasize strong inner body awareness. Integrative alignment principals are introduced which aims to encourage each student’s highest goals in attaining anatomical alignment with integrity in practice. As a musician she enjoys interweaving the quality of sound, chants, and often live tunes to accompany her classes.
Born July 10th, 1984 in Boston Massachusetts, my mother named me Vanessa, If you look in a name dictionary Vanessa actually means “Butterfly”, and this is what was foremost intended for me. As an adolescent middle child, I was often approached by butterflies which directly spoke to me. I listened intently….” your free like a butterfly fly away!”. And so I did. I ran away allot from the constraints of conflicted family life. Right before I turned 18, I officially left home beginning my healing metamorphosis as a medicine woman embodying a more fit name as I am now known. Ayah is an echo that continuously sings to me from afar . Ayah is a primordial goddess that carries resonance into a strongly loving dream. I chanted to Ayah because I loved this sound, and one day I realized, “I am Ayah!”……
I grew up in the surrounding towns of Salem Massachusetts, notoriously known for the Salem Witch Trials. this historical event attracted a new age scene of pagans, witches and extreme metaphysical commercialism. I become influenced by this culture involving myself in earth-based spiritualities leading me to my history of apprenticing in ritual and ceremonial arts.
In childhood I can remember having imaginary friends and apparitions, the spirit realm occupied me. I always felt vague memories of something beyond this world. By the time I was 12, I learned about earth bound spirits and decided I was what they called ” a medium” and could help guide these stagnate beings, I helped friends. Maybe I was just making it all up, but when I was 19yrs old I had a confirmed experience which closed this door for awhile.
Going through the rights of passage which puberty presented, my parents divorced and it was at this time my lost soul came across a book I will never forget…”Wicca a solitary practitioner’s guide”, by Scott Cunningham. This book explained to me the religion of Wicca through pagan origins. I learned for the first time that witches were not evil but wise people that cared for the wellbeing of the earth. Up until this moment in my life it never occurred to me that any other religions existed, nor that people worshiped gods, elements and the seasons of nature. My Soul opened as I cried with relief knowing these ways existed, I felt connected to my spirit again.
As a little girl, I danced ballet, tap and gymnastics, making my way through adolescence on ecstatic dance floors and beyond. I witnessed my first belly dancer at a renaissance fair when i was 13yrs old, and become fascinated with her graceful movements that expressed to me the secrets of the divine feminine. My mother took me to my first yoga class during that same age. Yoga became the way in which I to responsibility of my healing process into my own body. Dance is what would elevate my spirit.
On spring equinox of my junior year in high school, my girlfriend Jenna and I created a ritual to the goddess Isis asking her to guide our lives more specifically. A week later we were both in the most traumatic car accident of our lives, and ended up in intensive care with weeks upon months of recovery. We received every answer that we had asked of Isis through the recovery and out come of the accident! Jenna and I would always joke that we had been hung together as witches in a previous life. A highway was built over the region of Old Salem, as it turns out, the exact area of the highway where our car crashed was distinctly the same spot where accused witches were once hung!
When I turned 18 I traveled to Europe and across America’s, and then I arrived in Hawaii, staying for 7 months. I worked on organic farms, stayed in a Hare Krishna community, and spent time on nude beaches learning how to fast and meditate. Then, I had my first experience of Ayahausca, re-birthing me into Supreme Spiritual Vitality. With attempts to focus my new spiritual awareness, I went to Prescott College in Arizona for a year to study environmental awareness, eco-psychology and dance.
For awhile nothing in life made sense but my Yoga practice. So I dropped out of college and moved to Cali enrolling in my first Yoga course At Greenpath Yoga in SF. Again Yoga remained my template for stabilizing and taking care of my inner world. I found strength and meaning in my studies which encouraged me to become a Teacher.
In California I moved in with my former Hawaii friend, Griffin who inspired me to continue my studies of Magick. We moved one season to Lake Tahoe where I was offered opportunity to apprentice with the lady of the lake, a real high priestess by the name of “Debbi le Faye’. It was my first time involved in an established coven, and Debbie taught me foremost about the power of the moon ritual, I had practices with the elements , and we celebrated all the pagan holidays.
Nomadic lifestyle took a hold of me, and all that made sense was deepening into yoga, dancing and discovering the magick of other cultures….primarily the jungles and sacred sites of central and south America. I followed my visions of dancing in temples and ended up in Guatemala, Invited by Mayan elders to hold space in their ceremonies with my sacred dances. I was given permission on the during the winter solstice ceremony to position these dances on the actual pyramids of Tikal, Guatemala. I continued working in a local Guatemalan community teaching dance and expressive arts to the children of Project Ixcanaan.
Engaging in Native American and Indigenous traditions I have learned to utilize prayer through sacred fire ceremonies, vision quests, sweat lodge, and sacred plant medicines. I’m on my third year of vision quest Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan. I am a pipe carrier of the female moondance tradition of Mexico. My teacher Carmen Vicente is a Vision Quest leader, Sun Dance chief, and Road Women of the Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan. Working with these traditions, I have gained values, insights and lessons providing a foundation for the ways in which I facilitate “Embodying Healing” through my career in teaching dance and yoga.
I moved out to grass valley region, and My life forever changed when I met Grace Fae. We resurrected our life-times of pain into the Goddess Temple and Created sanctuary for women to gather, feel safe and heal. we created new moon circles for women. We brought our vision of the red tent goddess temple to festivals, as we also created belly dance shows together offering our dances to the mother “ISIS”… Kalita Initiated us into the red-tent at women’s camp when I was 22 years old, and that’s when I celebrated what the meaning of my first blood was to me. …..
I went twice now to Brazil to work with the spiritual music of umbhanda, the tradition of the orixas. I returned to study medium-ship with the spiritual healer John of God, and again to continue my studies in dance and music. I found myself serving and singing in the temple Mae Da Agua translated “Mother of the Waters” in Brazil, where it was confirmed for me that I was a daughter of Yemanja. In devotion I Dedicate myself to the Primmordial Ocean Goddess Yemanja, carrier of emotions, mother of the Orixas…….
I am a ceremonial water Carrier, with knowledge, prayers and songs I teach others how to create water Altars, and have a sustaining reflective relationship with the absorbent power of Water.
I am now prepared to take on the crown of the Priestess of ISIS
I dedicate my self to The Goddess ISIS , The Great mother who appears to me as all that is, all that was and all that ever shall be……
I dedicate myself to HAthor….Hete Heru…..embracing her gifts of music of dance, joy, and sexual healing…….
It is said that every women walks backwards into her mother and forward into her daughter. I look forward to the day that I can share this story with a daughter a watch the tapestry unfold that has been woven through many wombs centering with-in my own.