Thursday, May 1, 2014

From ‘The Creative Habit. Learn it and use it for life’ by Twyla Tharp

Leon Battista Alberti, a fifteenth-century architectural theorist, said, “Errors accumulate in the sketch and compound in the model.”

When he needed an idea, Thomas Edison liked to sit in a “thinking chair” holding a metail ball bearing in each palm, with his hands closed. On the floor, directly under his hands, were two metal pie pans. Edison would close his eyes and allow his body to relax. Somewhere between consciousness and dreaming his hands would relax and open without effort, letting the ball bearing fall noisily into the pie pans. That’s when he would wake up and write down whatever idea was in his head at that moment. It was his way of coming up with ideas without his conscious mind censoring them.

As Goethe said, “He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.”

The great painters are incomparable draftsmen. They also know how to mix their own paint, grind it, put in the fixative; no task is too small to be worthy of their attention.
The great composers are usually dazzling musicians. They have to know their instrument before they can make it sing the tune in their head. Johann Sebastian Bach took this further, learning how to build organs as a young man and becoming one of Europe’s leading experts on its sound. He literally knew the instrument inside and out.
A great chef can chop and dice better than anyone in his kitchen.

One dancer I know insists her greatest skill is a talent for seduction. She told me that she grew up with a Siamese cat and a Great Dane, and she spent hours watching the cat gain control over the vastly larger dog. It was a life lesson in seduction, and she brings that skill with her every time she takes the stage.

Hemingway ….said, “The thing is to become a master and in your old age to acquire the courage to do what children did when they knew nothing.”

Analyze your own skill set. See where you’re strong and where you need dramatic improvement, and tackle those lagging skills first. …..In A Book of Five Rings, the sixteenth-century Japanese swordfighter Miyamoto Musashi counseled, “Never have a favourite weapon.”

The poet Paul Valery said, “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”

From ‘Play of Consciousness. A Spiritual Autobiography’ by Swami Muktananda

The temple of the goddess Vajreshwari is a place of great spiritual force. It is a unique siddha pitha. Many Siddha yogis and great sages lived there in ancient times. According to legend, Lord Rama also visited this place. It is surrounded on all sides by hills, and around it there are a number of hot springs whose waters have the power of healing.

….wherever someone is practicing yoga sadhana, there is always some sign of Shiva, the Lord of Yoga. The cobra is a definite sign of Paramashiva……. Cobras have psychic instruments and show great respect for holy men.

When the svadhisthana chakra is pierced, sexual desire becomes very strong, but this happens so that the flow of sexual fluid may be turned upward and the sadhaka’s lust destroyed forever.

….grace, or shaktipat, of a great saint. When you receive such a great blessing, these processes occur. It is normal to see a great conflagration, ghosts, demons, yakshas, cobras, kinnaras, and all the phantoms of Shiva’s army …. When I asked him about my trouble with lust, he answered, “Only with rare aspirants does the generative organ erect itself and dig into the navel. It is due to the extraordinary divine grace of yoga. Don’t underestimate the generative organ. … A man should respect his generative organ; he should restrain and control it as much as possible. When it digs into the navel and remains there for a length of time, all the seminal fluid in the testicles starts to flow upward toward the heart. It is heated in the gastric fire and passes right up to the brain, where it strengthens the sensory nerves. By its strength, the yogi’s memory and intelligence are increased.”

I came across a recommendation that yogis should wear sweet-smelling flowers, because they and their scent alleviate the heat generated in yoga. ….This was the reason why flowers are placed on the Lord in the Indian ritual of worship ….why devotees take expensive, fragrant flowers when they go for the darshan of a saint. ….why sandalwood paste is applied to the feet. …..khus or hina scent.

…I found a book about sadhana from which I learned that a snakebite [vision] during meditation is a great sign of fearlessness on the path of Siddha Yoga and an important vision. It indicates that the aspirant will steadily advance in meditation.

When a sadhaka of Siddha Yoga becomes such a great lover of God, he can sanctify the three worlds. ….He makes every place where he meditates a holy place. By his presence, such a devotee sanctifies even the holy centres of pilgrimage. Because the vibrations of Chiti [Chiti Kundalini, Chiti Shakti] in his heart appear in his words, his words are scripture and prove the truth of the scriptures. ….Chiti inspires everything men do. Chiti flows from their leftover food. Even in their bathrooms, there are thick concentrations of the Chiti of all blessings….
I have a very beautiful and well-kept bathroom. Not only do I not let anyone else bathe there, but I do not even let anyone else clean it except for my dear disciple Venkappa ….. Yogis who give shaktipat must have pure and beautiful bathrooms. We used to drink my Gurudev’s bathwater as holy water because it is saturated with rays of Chiti…… If he [a Siddha] merely touches someone with his finger, Shakti will enter him. Anybody who is touched by a Siddha’s body receives Shakti, and anybody who wears a Siddha’s old clothes will be entered by Shakti…….

You should preserve your seminal fluid, which is your radiance…..

In Pitruloka I saw some old people I had known in childhood. It is a unique world. There can be no doubts that the various ritual offerings of water and foodstuffs that we make to our ancestors do actually reach them in a subtle form. It is true that they eat what we give them, that they accept our offerings and give their blessings to their descendents, so we should please them by giving them offerings.