This is my very first blog entry here! Tuning in this past week to what would be most helpful to write to get things going, I felt it would be best to tell you about one of my favorite and most inspirational spiritual teachers, Master Mikhaël Aïvanhov, and why we will be specifically delving into his life and work during our upcoming yoga immersion at the Spirit of Aloha…
A very interesting synchronicity happened when we were in the initial planning stages of our yoga retreat…I met a beautiful, wise, and otherwise altogether remarkable young woman from Haiti, Naïma Audant, who expressed interest in doing her yoga teacher training this year, and — she lives on Maui and was willing to help us get the program together and spread the word. This felt like a goddessend to me ; ) , so I was already feeling very blessed to have our connection.
Then I went back to Florida, only to return just a couple of weeks later to attend the Mystic Island Festival (which was amazing!) where I offered Ecstatic Breath & Flying Yoga sessions (with Meenakshi Angel Honig). After the festival, Naïma and I got back together at her place, and it was there that I saw her bookshelves full of Master Omraam’s books! As it turns out, Naïma’s father is a very serious student of Omraam’s work, and he brought Naïma up with his teachings.
This was all so fascinating to me because I have for the past 12 years looked to Omraam as one of my greatest sources of spiritual inspiration, ever since I first heard about him from an Ammachi devotee in Philadelphia, and read Georg Feuerstein’s biography of him, The Mystery of Light, a book I very highly recommend. I immediately said to my lovely new friend Naïma that this felt like a strong sign that we would want to really focus on Omraam’s teachings during our training, and that would be a fulfillment for me as I have known for a long time that I needed to bring this great master’s teachings into our yoga teacher training programs. I hesitated until now because not only did I feel that his teachings might be too intense for some, but to be honest, I didn’t really feel that I was truly living up to the high ideals that Omraam stressed in his life, and there was certainly a part of myself, too, that was resistant to following anyone’s teachings, no matter how holy or wise they seemed.
In any case, and to make a long process short, I do feel that I/we are ready now, and that in fact,there’s no better time or place to bring Master Aïvanhov’s teachings to light. There are elements that Aivanhov emphasized in his teachings which we will also inform our yoga program. I will list these as 3 foundational principles.
First, as I mentioned, Aivanhov spoke of the great importance of having a “High Ideal” (“Le Haute Ideal,” in French), and that he expressed in the following words (gifted him by his teacher, Peter Deunov):
May your heart be as pure as crystal,
Your intellect as luminous as the sun,
Your soul, as vast as the Universe,
and your Spirit, as powerful as, and united with God.
Pretty tall order, right? And yet, no doubt, like anything we can imagine, it is possible. I do feel that great living masters like Omraam did attain to such a high ideal, and in my heart of hearts, know that I am called to this, too. Perhaps if you are still reading this, you are feeling the same call…
Another key element of Omraam’s teachings was what he called “Solar Yoga” (or, Surya Yoga, “surya” meaning “sun” in Sanskrit) the practice of consciously absorbing the sun’s immense prana, meditating upon it, and “becoming a human sun,” as one recent teacher has put it. Omraam stressed the sun and light so much in his teachings that there are whole websites dedicated to this aspect of his work, check out THIS ONE.
One final element of Omraam’s teachings that I would like to highlight is his emphasis on the ancient ideal of bringing heaven to earth. For him, this did not mean denying the earth element — almost more that the two would be meeting halfway, so there would be a balance of the two. For example, in regard to sexuality, the master did not recommend either suppression of the sexual impulse, nor its abuse through overuse. He taught, rather, that if we could bring our intimacy to a higher and deeper space of meeting first and foremost at the heart and soul level (what we in yoga call “namaste'”), then we could truly divinize our love.
So what does all of this have to do with a Yoga Teacher Training Program, isn’t this guy long since passed on, and what value could these teachings have for us now in our current postmodern, 2012, Quantum-Shift era — some questions you might rightfully be wondering, I certainly am. And so the answer is, I don’t know, really, I just feel that at the very least, Aïvanhov’s teachings will be a good starting place for our discussions and satsangs, helping us to ground us more in the wisdom of the past spiritual teachers of humankind, as we do the continual work of translating cosmic principles and eternal spiritual truths into our current 2012 reality, co-creating heaven on earth as we do.
BABA NEEM KAROLI BABA
There’s one last really interesting connection I feel is important to mention here, and that is Omraam’s connection with India and yoga. Without going into a lot of details (I may in a subsequent blog), it appears that Omraam went through quite a transformation in the year 1959-1960 when he visited India. Not much is known of what happened to him there, but it is documented that he lived as a sadhu (wandering yogi) and was welcomed as a great sage from another land by many of the great Indian masters of the day there, including Swami Sivananda (who apparently shouted in delight when he showed up at his ashram), Sri Ramana Maharishi, the great master Babaji, and Neem Karoli Baba. From my understanding, it was the latter that gave him the name “Omraam.” When I first learned this, I found it very interesting because ever since the beginning of my yoga journey, I have felt a strong resonance with Ram Dass and the Neem Karoli Baba path. Part of the draw of coming to Hawaii for me was to meet Ram Dass (who lives on Maui), and I finally did, as fate would have it, at the Mystic Island Festival this year on my 42nd birthday, how cool is that?
So anyway, in a nutshell, I feel good about all of this, I feel like this is a fulfillment of something and like I said, it’s time…
In the Spirit of Aloha…One Love ❤ Allowah
“GOD IS 1, LOVE IS 1…GOD IS LOVE.” ~ Master Omraam