An eclectic spiritual & inspirational place to heal, learn, feel & expand. Heart & soul first. Miraculous experiences from India as well as the life & times of a spiritual healer/teacher in the U.S. Miracles, saints, sages, gurus, healing, life & death... and more...!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita & Shiva... the destroyer....

shiva yantra
Originally uploaded by alxindia.
Shiva, in the Vedic pantheon, is the member of the divine triad, the G-O-D (Generator, Operator, Destroyer) who is responsible for destruction. destruction of what, one might ask, since Shiva is depicted as a pleasant guy if somewhat bizarre (sitting covered in cremation ground ash, wearing an animal skin around his mid-section and covered in live cobras) mostly meditating.

St. Julian of Norwich, a Medieval British mystic nun, referred to this quality of god not as the destroyer but as the Lover.

aha, the plot thickens.

my observation, rightly or wrongly, is that every person in America -- especially the 'spiritual' people, whatever that really means, -- is feeling the disturbances that are going on in Nature right now.

(if Nature is simply a mirror of us, or a macrocosmic response to our microcosmic actions, then those disturbances ARE, in a sense, going on inside us as well.)

I can't tell you how many, many people I'm in contact with lately who are 'sensitive' to energy and to finely tuned subtler forces, who are baffled by their own emotional overload lately.

I'm thinking: of course you're overloaded. thousands of people in your own country, on this land, our own Gulf Coast, were suffering a few weeks ago and continue to suffer in fear, searching for lost family members, for food and shelter, in loss of loved ones who'll never come back, or who did actually die under dreadful circumstances like drowning or starvation.

all of that sadness, shock, horror, suffering, pain and attachment -- a collective mass of fear and frustration, anger and loss -- it's with us all. those vibrations were released into Nature when this all happened -- and are still vibrating.

and now -- Rita is coming hard on Katrina's heels.

I think many many many of us are responding to and taking care of other souls on the subtle level, with or (largely) without our conscious notice -- and we're all feeling the weight of that energy, of those vibrations.

based on what people are sharing with me, and my own experiences, I suspect that many many many healers, right now, esp in America, are helping process the grief and pain and suffering energy of our brothers and sisters along the Gulf Coast.

so, yes, many healers are themselves suffering and registering a lot of painful emotions they might not usually notice or succumb to.

it's a trite-ism but also a truism -- we're all connected.

it's one of those cusp times of human evolution and development -- there's this internal knowing that the world will never be the same in the wake of all these natural disasters over the last few years (remember the tsuami waves that leveled Banda Aceh and Thai beaches was only last year)...

it's a huge illusion, I think, for all of us in this affluent American society (talk about an embarassment of riches!) to think that anything ever is or will be 'the same'.

yet it's an unspoken ideal that we've all grown up with, or clung to, somehow hoping or believing or being conditioned to aspire to a comforting degree of stasis.

but stasis isn't a principle of Nature.

decay is.

things are born, or sprout, they grow to a certain point, and then they begin to wither and die.

it is natural.

it is Nature.

the change, the transforming, on the material level, is all about LOSS.

we lose our bodies.

plants lose their flowers, then their fruit, then the seeds.

animals lose their bodies.

we grow old.

in a sense, you might consider that once we're born into this world, we're dying. we're on the track of -- what? work, marriage, making children, living... and then what?

the illusion is that the body matters or that life in this world is permanent.

we're so attached to this material illusion that we think it's unspeakably tragic that we die. that others die.

but... what is the real illusion?

and what is really being altered or destroyed when things are changing and not being allowed to 'stay the same'?

what are we being asked to aspire to, really, in all this tumult and change, challenge and transformation -- in all this loss?

Shiva is really destroying Illusion.

Illusion is really synonymous with Creation -- ie, the attachment to and investment in the reality of this creation as something permanent.

when this illusion is broken, and with it all the material attachments and dependencies, what's left is the soul.

which brings me back to the idea of the Destroyer as the Lover -- if the soul's awareness and emergence is the result of destruction... isn't that an expression of the high divine love?

I mean, we lose the material to gain the spiritual.

which one is going to last longer?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

deep spiritual questions...

I seem to be surrounded by people who are quite seriously interested in spiritual matters and have read a lot about all sorts of different teachings, philosophies, and traditions... and they ask a LOT of questions.

intense, complicated questions.

today I'm thinking about the very simple counsel of a beautiful Zen master, Kobin Roshi, who used to preside, sort of, over Jikoji -- a Zen center in Los Gatos, CA.

people would come to him with all kinds of complex issues, and philosophical questions, mostly based in stuff they'd read in books and were seriously and sincerely breaking their heads over, trying to understand... and no matter how difficult or challenging the question was, or that it took five minutes to even articulate the actual question, his gentle response was the same:

"I just really think that everyone should have a warm place to sleep at night."

I think no matter how much people share ideas about this kind of enlightenment or that kind of enlightenment, or try to confirm their own enlightenment experiences or ideas or whatever it is -- ultimately it's a lot of mind-powered chatter that confuses people, divides them in some cases, and indulges the (already well-developed) Western tendency to try to use the mind to get 'there.'

it seems to me that the most useful way to understand enlightenment is through spiritual practice and meditation -- becoming it rather than learning about it or intellectualizing it to death.

and how important it is, practically, to make sure that all people have a warm place to sleep at night.

especially in these days, as reports of the devastation of the American Gulf Coast are still pouring in, evacuees from New Orleans and Mississippi and other Louisiana hurricane sites are being relocated all over America, many in refugee centers run by the American Red Cross in the south...

people need less talk about enlightenment right now.

we all just need a warm place to sleep at night.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

the Sri Chakra Yantra

Sri Chakra Yantra
Originally uploaded by alxindia.
people have been asking a lot of questions about the Sri Chakra Yantra, since we've been hanging a huge version of this (7' by 7') at events lately.

I thought I'd post a copy of the yantra, here, for folks to enjoy the energy of this structure.

in a nutshell (one can talk for days about this yantra and its immense spiritual technology), the Sri Chakra Yantra is the home of the Mother Divine, in all Her forms and all Her angles.

it's like a blueprint of the manifest creation (including all of us, the souls).

I'm looking forward to teaching another Sri Chakra class soon -- it's really an invaluable healing tool that brings a lot of relief and understanding to people.

sitting under the Sri Chakra ...

Originally uploaded by alxindia.
alas, this is one of the only decent photos that survived the event (courtesy of Pamela's new and previously untried digital camera)...

there's me, sitting under the enormous 7 foot Sri Chakra Yantra that filled the room with healing energy and the Mother Divine's presence that night.

it was amazing.

between the full moon, the music, & Mother's vibrating presence there on the wall...

it was a powerful night!

in fact, it was such a wild success we're doing it again THIS month, on September 17th in Santa Cruz.

for more details


you can hear some of the music!

Mystic JAMMS Band concert!

JAMMS altar aug05
Originally uploaded by alxindia.

On Friday night, the 19th of August, in Santa Cruz, California, we celebrated the launch of a new healing project, called Music As Medicine: Lifting Body & Soul Through Sacred Song. 

Billed as a "full moon concert healing experience," featuring The Mystic JAMMS Band, the event was a powerful and beautiful night of sing-along and stand-alone bhajans, kirtans, and mantras for healing and lifting the souls.

The next concert healing experience is scheduled for the 17th September, Saturday night (ANOTHER FULL MOON!) also at Body & Soul Yoga Studio, in Santa Cruz.

You can see more information about The Mystic JAMMS at

and you can even hear the music on this site!

The Mystic JAMMS Band is comprised of Jonathan Rosen, Alx Uttermann, Martin Lawrence, Maya & Sage -- all Santa Cruz-area musicians with long histories of sacred song composition, performance, recording and production.

The peace-and-trance-inducing accompaniment included digiridoo, guitars, drums, harmonium, bells, and many other instruments from this diverse & talented band of players!

We transformed Body & Soul, the yoga studio where we usually teach and do weekly satsangs -- with saris, roses, altars.... &....  a 7-foot by 7-foot Sri Chakra Yantra painting on cloth, complete with GLITTER on
all the angles and important points!

We hung the Sri Chakra Yantra in the yoga studio as a backdrop for the concert --
along with many altars and candles and healing yantras and rose petals all over the floor, etc.  It was COMPLETELY vibrating and filled the room with Her energy and blessings........

A -  ma - zing......!

The event attracted a full house -- not one seat was empty, and there was a tiny space in the back for the two people who decided to get up and dance....

The music really did convey the healing energy, and we saw many people going into the blissful state, and into deep deep meditative trance -- all while singing and swaying along with the music.  Wow!

The evening provided a profound confirmation of many spiritual
principles for all of us in the band. (For instance, the drummer noticed that at certain times, every stroke he played was spreading
into the audience, and moving them from within. Waves of shakti, waves of bliss.)

At the end, after the last song, people were just sitting, in silence, drifting into deep meditation states.  The whole room was glowing!

Look for The Mystic JAMMS coming soon to a neighborhood near you! 
You'll recognize us instantly -- we're the folks leading a herd of stampeding Ganesha elephants into town by the sound of the digiridoo!

We are so grateful to have the opportunity to
share this sacred music with all of you. May the healing vibrations from these songs infuse this troubled world with peace, love and relief from pain and suffering.

Loka samasta sukino bhavantu
Loka samasta sukino bhavantu
Loka samasta sukino bhavantu
Om shanti shanti shanti-hi...

See you on September 17th!

Monday, September 05, 2005

from New Orleans today

Originally uploaded by alxindia.
I'm not sure exactly why, but this is my favorite photo out of New Orleans today -- Broussard made a controversial (but I think quite intelligent) decision to let Jefferson Parish residents return to their homes for 12 hours today, to rescue belongings and survey their damage, etc.

given the thousands of abandoned animals (mostly dogs and cats) in New Orleans currently -- and the many that have died in the floodwaters -- there's something about the love this lady has for her guinea pig and the sheer innocent ridiculousness (in the face of the thousands of dead and suffering) that it survived....

it's just beautiful, to me.

(the text that accompanied this photo read:

Carroll Zehner kisses her pet Guinea Pig after returning home Monday, Sept. 5, 2005, in Old Metairie, La. Residents of Jefferson Parish who fleed from Hurricane Katrina were allowed to return home Monday for the first time since the storm.)

this photo appeared alongside many, many other fine photos on the New Orleans Times-Picayune site at -- a FINE newspaper produced by a brave bunch of dedicated New Orleans-ers who kept on going until the floodwaters were too high on Tuesday, so they evacuated themselves (and their families who'd spent the hurricane night in the offices) by using their newspaper delivery trucks!

even though many of the staff have lost their homes, they're continuing to keep the paper going, both online and now again in print version.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

homa for hurricane relief

Originally uploaded by alxindia.
yesterday, Saturday the 3rd of September, we did what any American sadhus could do for the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, hard hit by the storm and flooding in the wake of the hurricane:

we did a homa, a healing fire ceremony, blessing all their souls -- of both the living and those who've died as a result of this tragedy.

earlier in the day, Jonathan and I had eagerly contacted our local Red Cross office to see about donating blood. we may not have excess funds at our disposal, to give, we reasoned, but of course we have our own lifeblood and they're in sore need of it.

it seemed like a perfect fit.

alas, it turns out that if you've been outside the US within the last year, they won't let you donate blood. we returned from India in March '05, so we can't give our blood.

well, okay.

we'd already scheduled a homa and knew people would be coming ready to give a donation for the healing energy and effort of the homa fire...

so we decided to give all the donations for the homa to the American Red Cross.

we raised $207 -- about three times what we normally receive for a homa -- and proudly made our credit card donation today on behalf of the Boulder Creekers and Santa Cruzans who came out for the fire yesterday.

it's a drop in the ocean of this calamity, of course.

but we all do what we can, where we can, to the extent we can, no matter where we are.

hopefully we'll be able to give more as time goes on.

the people of the Gulf Coast of America are in our prayers and blessings, our meditations and our hearts today.

my sincere hope is that Americans and people all over the world, in response to this and the other epic tragedies that are rocking the world so often these days, will keep praying to see beyond the veil of illusion; beyond the suffering and the life and the death, to the Reality beyond.

I am praying that these wake-up calls don't go unanswered.

the cosmic phone is ringing: are we going to pick it up and listen?

in the case of America versus Nature...

Kali statue
Originally uploaded by alxindia.
"Katrina has shown that the emperor has no clothes. The world's superpower is powerless when confronted with nature's fury."

--from France's Le Progres

just two weeks before the storm, the silence

August 23rd was a little interesting; my mate & I cruised up the hill here in Santa Cruz, and met the silent saint Baba Hari Dass -- an Indian divine soul in his 80s who's been presiding over this area, building incredible spiritual centers and strong community, for more than 30 years. ( )

he's been in silence for about 50 years, although he writes eloquently & simply on a whiteboard he carries with him.

it was a lovely and sweet meeting -- we asked him to bless our work here in this area, and he was happy to do so. he spanked us on our very bad Sanskrit pronunciation... *grinning* ...and it seemed that we made him laugh quite a lot both inside & out.

he's a Hanuman character, simple and powerful, motivated by love and service -- and he models incredible unconditional love. very spry at 80-something, he still works up at Mount Madonna, his spiritual retreat center, almost daily, carrying stuff around and initiating new building projects, etc.

we both felt quite honored to have the chance to spend some time with such a beautiful soul.

I came away inspired to keep more of a lid on my volatile temperament than I usually do -- perhaps he blessed us with some ahimsa...

he asked a lot of questions about the healing work we do, and how we do it, and even where we do our work. he wrote his stock statement on the board -- 'heal the world' -- as a response to our answers.


at one point I thought I saw my own master's grin peeking through his face -- that was a little unsettling & at the same time, delicious.

we got the chance to ask him some questions about the five elements & other principles. (mostly he avoided direct questions & busted us on our bad Sanskrit!)

at one point he pointed inquiringly to Jonathan's bracelet, a copper bracelet with 'om namah shivaya' written in Sanskrit on it, and when Jonathan replied, "it's copper -- to keep the earth element's disturbed vibrations from hitting... the earth is very disturbed, right now, isn't it?"

he wrote: "disturbance is a law of Nature."

now, watching the reports of the American Gulf Coast under water and under siege from Nature... of course I can't help thinking that he knew what was coming.

it's a profound and powerful spiritual statement: