A Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year to All! This month being January – the start of a new year - I am willing to bet that you had thought that this newsletter would be all about resolutions and affirmations! But not so. At least, not directly! I began to write this ‘blurb’ while surrounded by water on all four sides! Lots and lots of water......indeed, we are just returned from a 4,500 mile cruise which began in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, traversed the amazing Panama Canal, and finally ended up in the very heavy seas along coastal Mexico on the Pacific side.
The ship was much akin to a floating world, self-sufficient, and insulated from the outside world, very much like Pratyahara! No cell phones, extremely sporadic access to email. Aah. A wonderful time to truly relax, and to become re-energized. Generous time was spent just gazing at the oceans, the horizon in the distance, and the sky above.
The water itself was (and is) remarkable. Constantly moving. Splashing playfully. Frothy spumes. Sometimes seemingly still or even stagnating. Babbling. Each individual wave surfaced, remained aloft for a second, and then dissolved back into the ocean.....just like we do. How alike we are to the ocean! We blend in from the Great Somewhere, surface for a bit, do our thing WARM NEW YEAR WISHES, ALL! (hopefully!), then blend back out into the Somewhere, each one of us individual, specific and unique....yet ultimately connected - just like the waves in the ocean.
I was reminded over and over again of the Water Element in the world – all the seas and lakes, streams and rivers, dewdrops, raindrops, snow and ice. And of the Water Element within all of us – saliva and blood, synovial fluid and lymph, tears and sweat and interstitial fluid – the liquid filling and surrounding every cell in the body. Drinking in and filling up, letting go, and feeling drained. Full, empty. Sometimes high and sometimes low, like the tides.
And, too, I was reminded of Svadisthana Chakra, the second or ‘sacral’ chakra – so named as it is located between the navel and the root chakra, at the area of the sacrum. It is said to correspond to the Prostatic plexus. (A plexus is a central location where many nerves intersect.) Yoga Tradition teaches us that Svadhistana Chakra is associated with our relationship with that part of our consciousness - and the organs - that are concerned with reproduction, elimination, digestion...and with the ability to flow......to let go of resistance to the various obstacles in our lives, to accept change, to step back from negativity and be able to see all as the whole experience of life.
So, meditating on all this I was. The word flow kept coming to mind. Why cannot we be more like water, and move with the path of least resistance (and perhaps forge new pathways, discover new ways of being?!) Why do we feel the need to so strongly be ‘in control?’ Why are we so resistant to change? If all that happens in our lifetime is pre-ordained (as we are taught).....if the Universe has knowingly placed ‘obstacles’ in our way so that we may live and learn......why have so many of us lost faith?
We have been blessed in this life with sound, sight, smell, taste, touch, intelligence, the ability to know right from wrong, and much much more. In David’s 23rd Psalm, we read ‘...He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still water. He restoreth my soul: and further .....Thou annointest my head with oil.....’ In ancient Near Eastern culture, at a banquet it was customary to anoint a person with fragrant oil as a lotion. Hosts were also expected to protect their guests at all costs. Do you think maybe that the ‘oil’ is the olde tyme word for the blessings and protection aforementioned?! Something to think about.
The colour orange is associated with Svadhistana Chakra....and the Bija sound is ‘Fvum’. Wearing orange clothing especially at the lower part of the body, and chanting the sound of Svadhistana will help to stimulate this important centre. You might also practice hand mudras associated with Svadhistana. These are East Indian ritual postures of the hands that are used to reinvigorate chakras, to cure disease, to tell stories and to indicate moods. There is a tremendous flow of energy in our hands, and each finger represents one of the five elements. The little finger is jai – water.