‘Tapas’ – what on earth are the yogis talking about?

For some of us, especially those who are relatively new to the yogic path, may have heard of the term 'tapas'. But what, exactly, do people mean when they talk about practising tapas?... The term tapas originates from the Sanskrit root 'tap', which means to give off heat, to shine (like the sun), or to practice austerities. Tapas is often used to mean self control or cultivation of willpower. From a formal point of view,…

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Green Tara Mantra

A Tibetan Buddhist depiction of Green Tara Tara is the goddess of compassion. From the Sanskrit root 'tr'; 'Tara' means to 'take across', referring to Tara's role in helping us to traverse through samsara ('world of illusion'). Her mantra: 'Om tare tuttare ture svāhā', is one of the most well known mantras in the tantric tradition (there are over 72 million!). Mantras are sacred words with spiritual potency and are generally used to transport the…

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‘Self-realisation’- What is it?

Many of us have heard of the term but might be a bit confused as to what it actually means. A potential reason for confusion is that ‘self-realisation’ has very different meanings, depending on whether you are coming to the term from a common Western understanding or from an Oriental/Eastern understanding.The Western definition has been influenced by Western psychoanalysis. The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines ‘self-realisation’ as ‘the fact of using your skills and abilities and…

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The paradoxical isolation of omnipresence…

'The closest of dear friends, she makes one feel, yet an aura of remoteness was ever around her - the paradoxical isolation of omnipresence.’ Paramahansa Yogananda on Anandamayi Ma in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’.When we connect to Stillness, the underlying one reality of existence, we connect to the depth of our being, where love, compassion, peace and joy permeate our every cell. These qualities can be felt or experienced by us and by those around…

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