Dear Yogis,

The OpShops in our town went back to work this week.. it reminded me of a story.  

A little girl came in to the store looking for a doll.  Her mother directed her to shelves with lovely dolls, tall dolls, baby dolls, fabric dolls, sparkly dolls, but this kittle girl was drawn to a doll in the throw-out bag.  You can imagine that a doll in an OpShop throw-out bag was less than beautiful.

It was faded, had only one shoe, the head was hanging on by only a thin thread of plastic, the clothes were torn, and one of the glass eyes was missing.  You get the message.  This baby had been discarded, disrespected, forgotten. As we say it was “on its last legs”.  This was the doll that the little girl wanted, and she was prepared to be stubborn, to take a risk to get it.

If her mother was like my mother she would have been strongly discouraged in her choice because the mother probably felt that if the daughter chose THAT doll it would be a reflection on the family, or on her suitability as a mother.  She probably was not thinking of the daughter, and certainly not at all about the doll.  She could have been thinking “What would people think if my daughter carries that doll around?” She hadn’t yet worked out how few people do think, and if they do it isn’t for long.   This lady wanted her daughter to have a beautiful doll not to please the daughter or to save the doll.  She wanted her friends to  know she was a good mother, and on some level even if not conscious, believed the doll was a negative reflection on her.

Too put a positive spin on it, she could have wanted her daughter to have THE BEST.

But the girl persisted in her need for the tattered doll.  The salesperson who was pretty pleased to sell any doll asked “Why do you want that particular doll?” and the little girl said “BECAUSE IF I DON’T TAKE HER, IF I DON’T LOVE HER, NO-ONE ELSE WILL”.

What do you love?  Will people think more of you, or less of you because of your choices? Does it matter?

Love is the ultimate reality.  Something has clicked in your being..  It is not about the little girl (or you) being convinced about your ideas.  It is not a conviction, it is not a conversion, it is a transformation.  A change from the inside out.  Looking into the others eyes, something happens without saying a word, something that you never dreamt of suddenly becomes a reality.

It isn’t about faith, because faith contains fictions – we have to search for arguments or evidence.

It is about trust.  Trust is the highest flowering of love.  There is no guide, and you probably will not meet anyone on the path no matter how many times you ask “are we there yet?”.  The little girl in the story above trusted her heart, because in the moment she experienced the flowering of love, and acted on it.

Once you have found that truth on your own, you will realise that nothing else is needed..  This little girl searched on her own, alone – risking, moving away from the crowd on a lonely path, trusting her heart. She chose freedom.  The question of belief does not arise.  She responded in sincerity, integrity and consciousness.  She responded to the highest quality of love and positioned herself for the greatest gifts that God has in store..

There are many powerful forces in this world, but nothing is more powerful than love.


HAVE A WONDERFUL SUNDAY. Be a NOW-PERSON, take a risk,  your destiny is calling you..



Dear Yogis

As my heart is seeking it finds you in every soul I meet. – Ibn’ Arabi

This morning we can consider LOVE, and the story of Rumi the Persian Poet, and his lover Shams.  It is a wonderful example of love, courage, service and duty.  Love and death.  When I listen to the words of Rumi, and the music,  my heart also calls for the desert,  but I have been put here to write to you, to be with you. I am not who you think I am.  Do you know about you?

Rumi started his adult life as an authoritarian teacher, head of a community, strong husband, feared and honoured by most. A Judge. But inside he knew this was not life.  Like the Christian Saint Peter, he was at heart a homosexual..  He had no passion, no love.   Trying to be the person his family and community wanted him to be,  he was strangling the person he was at his heart.  These things have a way of surfacing, and so they did when he met Shams, and we are told,  fell instantly in love..  (and that is another story – there are many).

This meeting with the Dervish, transformed Rumi from an accomplished teacher and jurist, to an ascetic.  He left behind everything solid, everything stable to be with his Lover.  We don’t know much about his wife and children, but at the end end he was buried with great honour in the family tomb. Reconciliation and acceptance  occurred, and his poetry changed a community,  a country, and then reached the world.  Such is life – only the angels would understand.

Shams Tabrizi,  Rumi’s love, an itinerant poet, mystic,  had travelled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could “endure my company”. A voice said to him, “What will you give in return?” Shams replied, “My head!” The voice then said, “The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din (known as Rumi) of Konya” and the music was born.

However, on the night of 5 December 1248, as Rumi and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. It is rumoured that Shams was murdered with the connivance of Rumi’s son, ‘Ala’ ud-Din; if so, Shams indeed gave his head for the privilege of mystical friendship.

Rumi’s love for, and his bereavement at the death of Shams found their expression in an outpouring of lyric poems, He himself went out searching for Shams and journeyed again to Damascus. There, he realised:

Why should I seek? I am the same as
He. His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself!

Rumi found another companion in Salaḥ ud-Din-e Zarkub, a goldsmith. After Salah ud-Din’s death, Rumi’s scribe and favourite student, Hussam-e Chalabi, assumed the role of Rumi’s companion. One day, the two of them were wandering through the Meram vineyards outside Konya when Hussam described to Rumi an idea he had had: “If you were to write a book like the Ilāhīnāma of Sanai or the Mantiq ut-Tayr of ‘Attar, it would become the companion of many troubadours. They would fill their hearts from your work and compose music to accompany it.” Rumi smiled and took out a piece of paper on which were written the opening eighteen lines of his Masnavi, beginning with:

Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,
How it sings of separation..

Hussam implored Rumi to write more. Rumi spent the next twelve years of his life in Anatolia dictating the six volumes of this masterwork, the Masnavi, to Hussam.

In December 1273, Rumi fell ill; he predicted his own death and composed the well-known ghazal, which begins with the verse:

How doest thou know what sort of king I have within me as companion?
Do not cast thy glance upon my golden face, for I have iron legs.

Rumi died on 17 December 1273 in Konya.  His death was mourned by the diverse community of Konya, with local Christians and Jews joining the crowd that converged to bid farewell as his body was carried through the city.  Rumi’s body was interred beside that of his father, and a splendid shrine, the Yeşil Türbe (Green Tomb, قبه الخضراء; today the Mevlana Museum, was erected over his place of burial. His epitaph reads:

When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.


HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY.  The sun is shining, and there is a gentle breeze where there has been an icy wind..  beautiful.

Open your eyes, for this world is only a dream – Rumi




Dear Yogis,

Each day brings us closer to what we used to think of as “normal”.  The question is, do you want to go there?   I am hoping that my newsletters will cause you to move forward in a yoga way.

We we speaking about CAUSE AND EFFECT.  Karma.  That everything you think, say or do has a consequence now,  and into a future you cannot even imagine.  These actions produce a karma greater than the action. Scarey yes? An action that is strong produces an imprint that is even stronger.  Love, hate, anger.

What would happen karmically if you did NOTHING?  You plan to hurt someone but don’t get around to carrying out the action.  Suppose you do this action in a moment of strong emotion, you do the deed but the person doesn’t die?  Is then the seed of killing another person implanted in your mind?  Not necessarily.  According to the Dalai Lama’s teachings, for an imprint to be perfect, for a seed to be planted perfectly (not just sit on top of the ground), it needs to be planted perfectly and deeply to grow into a perfect plant.   We must have a clear intention, and a steady emotion as we do the deed and then complete it as we desired, be aware of the completion and take ownership of the deed.  When all these conditions are met we will have a strong seed.  No matter what we do  seed is created.  How it grows depends on how it is planted.

Remember in the ‘Gita.  Arjuna and Krishna are on the battlefield and Arjuna is conflicted about fighting and karma.  Krishna tells him that they must fight, but it is how they fight that is important.  The battle has been fought many times before, it is HOW the battle is fought this time that is important. The enemy (in this case their relatives and friends from neighbouring villages)  has called the terms and is determined for war. Negotiation has won nothing, and now because Arjuna and Krishna know their “duty” (The Purushatras),  they must fight WITH LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING not with hate, knowing that this battle will be fought again in the next life.  We have time to get it right.

How are we going to deal with all these seeds we create every milli-second?  In the space of a second we have so many negative and positive thoughts, only a small fraction of which we are aware of, but ALL OF THEM are creating imprints.  The task seems impossible if everyone of them is precisely recorded in our consciousness.  On that basis we would all be doomed to an eternity of suffering, even if we only had to deal with the thoughts from this lifetime.

There is a way to clean negative imprints and we have talked of it before, whereby the imprint of killing a  person resulting in seeing oneself killed many times over many lifetimes, is reduced to a small headache.

The first step is grounding yourself in goodness.  There is a reason that Ghandi for instance chanted continuously the Name of God – lived in a constant vibration of his mantra.  Bring to your mind constantly the Enlightened Beings, your Heart Teacher, and by rededicating yourself to their care, bringing to mind constantly the lessons they have taught you, and remembering that by true service and compassion to EVERY LIVING THING (a virus is a living thing), you should for yourself master the path to freedom, and as a part of this service you will be able to show others the way.  (Covid?  Building your immunity is karmically better than killing the virus).

The second step, is to consider everything thought, word or deed, and remember the harm that it is doing to you.  The pain you are bringing upon yourself and others.  Think carefully before you bring any negative karma towards yourself, and cause the planting of negative seeds.  This a very subtle thing.  The effects of just one word for instance.  For instance, when people continuously swear without thinking,  just imagine the seeds piling up, that all have the possibility of growing into negative results many times bigger than the original seed.

The third step, is to VOW NEVER TO CONTINUE THE THOUGHT, WORD OR DEED, that would cause negative seeds.  This in itself is dangerous and difficult because none of us are evolved enough in our spiritual life that we could keep it, and to lapse would itself cause negative seeds and compound the problem.  Set an easier task.  A time frame, a curtailing of a certain action.  Saying “I promise I will not  swear for the next 24 hours (the “F” word?)” or “I promise I will not reply to…………….in anger for the next 24 hours”.    Something like that.  Difficult but achievable with honest effort.  Just imagine that every time, EVERY TIME, you said “F>>” you are piling up negative seeds,  which EACH have a result way in excess of the original seed.  Not smart.

The fourth step is to learn, to study yoga, contemplation and meditation, which will encourage you to dedicate yourself to a life of kindness and compassion to every being. To know what you are doing when you do it which allows for change.

The Dalai Lama demonstrates this every day.  If you think life for you is hard, watch the DVD “Kundun”, the early life of the Dalai Lama.    No matter what happens, he has kindness, compassion and trusts that all is as it should be.  That is why he is always happy no matter what happens. He controls his mind.  He knows how imprints work, and the relationship  between the imprints and emptiness.

Imprints do exists, they are what drives your existence and create your world, and to a great extent they can be removed or lessened depending on your motivation.

It is up to you.  Your life now and in the future, and the lives of others WILL BE changed by your actions. Even if you do nothing.  Now you have read this, you have an option… this in itself causes karma.