Fall in Love with October

October Delights
Offerings from
Karusia Nirmala

Beloved Reader!

This month finds me in a reflective mood. My beloved spiritual teacher, Baba Hari Dass, left his body on September 25, and I am contemplating the topics of death, impermanence and reality.

He lived a full life for 95 years, sharing the whole spectrum of Yogic wisdom with thousands of people. When I met him 20 years ago, I was well-established in the physical practices of dance and asana. Through Babaji, as he is affectionately known, I came to know the precious inner practices of Yoga, namely philosophy, psychology, pranayama, meditation, radical compassion and chanting.These teachings changed my life. Now I have the privilege and the duty of sharing them with others. And so the cycle continues... 

Yoga has specific teachings about death that are both practical and liberating. Until we accept that death is a natural and beautiful part of our life cycle, we cannot truly be free. 

Generally, we ignore or fear death... and take great pains to keep it as far away as possible. This fear of death also manifests in a clinging to life. This gives birth to tensions that impede our spiritual maturity and liberation.

Simply put, whatever is born will die. And whatever is eternal has no beginning or ending. Our bodies are temporary vessels, whereas our spirits are infinite and boundless. These natural laws are simple and straightforward, but they are not necessarily easy to absorb. It takes practice, willingness and discipline to release ingrained thoughts and patterns. Luckily, the inner practices of Yoga (such as conscious breathing and meditation) give us the medicines we need to turn within, to relax, and to soften into accepting the way things are. It is said that even the greatest souls must face this too.

There is a story told of a great Indian woman saint, Sarada Devi, who was rebuked by one of her disciples for crying at the death of a beloved spiritual friend. "How can you cry, when you of all people, know that the soul is untouched?!", he scolded. Her answer was this: "My soul is serene, while my human side cries." This is true for all of us.

My spiritual community is in the midst of a twelve day cycle of prayers, chants and ceremonies that are prescribed to support Babaji's spirit back into Source Energy. These practices are really more for us, the living, to help us grieve and process the loss of our teacher. But have we really lost him, or is this another illusion? 

Through the memorial practices, I find myself reawakened and recommitted to the practices that Babaji gave me. I am experiencing epiphanies and new understandings. Our community is gathering and reconnecting in person and through some of the best uses of social media. I sense his guiding hand and playful example in all of this.

Most of all, I feel profound gratitude. Gratitude for the mysterious grace that brought Baba Hari Dass into may life. Gratitude for the wealth of time-honoured wisdom he shared so freely and skilfully. Gratitude for an unblemished example of what these teachings look like in action. Gratitude for the soul friends I have made. Gratitude for the refining practices he gave us; I have more than enough to keep me well-occupied in this lifetime.

Baba Hari Dass lived a life of tireless cultivation, discipline, vision, love, generosity and joy. Such a big life spills far beyond a small body. His spirit lives on through his teachings and inspiration. May we all rise up to live our lives to the fullest, and to make such ourselves into channels of positive impact.  

Sending Blessings and Radiant Love to You. May all beings know Peace.

~ Karusia Nirmala

Blessings and gratitude to the one who shows how to remove the veils of illusion and reveal truth. Read about the remarkable life and works of Baba Hari Dass here.
Photo from Salt Spring Centre.
October Public Classes

All classes are held in the Amenity Room at 21 Nassau St. Please enter through the garden pathway west of the main doors. The door is unlocked 15 minutes before each class. Mats and props are supplied.

Mondays (no classes on Thanksgiving, October 8)
Hatha Yoga 5:30-6:45pm. By donation.
Women's QiGong  7-8:15pm. $15.

Restorative Yoga 5-6:30pm. $15.

Hatha Yoga 5:30-6:45pm. $15
Yoga Nidra 7-8:15pm. $20.

Satsangkirtan, pranayama, reflection & community   
Wednesday October 3, 7:30-9pm. Free.

(see details below)
Satsang to Celebrate the Spirit and Teachings of Baba Hari Dass
Wednesday October 3 from 7:30-9pm
in Kensington Market.
~ chanting, pranayama, stories, stillness ~
Please email me to RSVP and for location details.
Free. Flowers or sweets are welcome.
My Offerings
I help people move, think and breathe in new ways that free them to be the best they can be. For this, I draw on a lifetime of exploration in dance, experiential anatomy, prayer, healing, yoga and qigong. I bring the sensibility of the artist and the mystic into your healing journey. My services include: 

Hatha Yoga
Women's QiGong
Yoga Nidra
Restorative Yoga
Tarot and Oracle Card Readings
Yoga Therapy
Stress Management

~ Private sessions, corporate classes, speaking engagements by appointment~

My training as a yoga therapist gives me many tools to help you balance your biomechanics, your nerves, your hormones and your emotions while having fun and learning new skills that will boost your vitality and well-being. My background as an artist helps you to find beauty, harmony and magic on your path. 
Tarot: Transformation (Death)

Do not be frightened of me when I am called Death... I am full of Love.

I mark the inevitable ending of a cycle, perhaps even a shedding of physical form.

If you have tears, allow them to flow freely. And know that the pure essence within is as close as a prayer or a thought. We are connected eternally.

Release makes space for Rebirth. Something new and beautiful lies ahead, reach out and embrace it! We are navigating towards the Light together. Always remembered, never forgotten.

card from The Good Tarot, by Colette Baron-Reid
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