Words by Blaise Angel As a Yoga Teacher and Life Coach in Switzerland, I teach relaxation and meditation techniques. I have been doing that job for many years and am a highly experienced practitioner. I teach classes in my studio,…
Add up all the stories told from deathbeds; the regrets, confessions, sorrows, secrets, petitions for forgiveness, and desperate calls to turn back the clock, and we have an infinite library of tragedy.
I must change my life so that I can live it. Not wait for it.
— Susan Sontag
Death’s Day is coming — today, tomorrow, or it could be decades away.
Good health and youth do not protect anyone from death’s decision.
When death calls your name, you must go.
In my late teens, I almost died in a car accident, but death let me off the hook.
Not long after, death called my best friend, then my father.
I pushed their deaths into the shadow and ran into the light but soon discovered that chasing light created too many fears and even bigger shadows.
Then I found a wise teacher and teachings that led me back to the darkness to befriend death. Since that time I have allowed myself to remain with the awareness of death and this has driven me to interact with life more purposefully and joyfully.
In this essay, I reveal the 7 things I have learned about regret and death:
- Take a leaf from the Top 5 Regrets
- Explore other cultures
- Break the silence around death in daily life
- Learn the skill of change and letting go
- Meditate on death
- Interact with myths, art, and symbols of death
- Express your experience of death
1. Take A Leaf From The Top 5 Regrets
What we can learn from those near death, is that regret is the greatest pain.
Nurse Bronnie Ware spent 12 years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She collected stories and published a book, The Top Five Regrets Of Dying.
My friend Ann Marie is a nurse who worked in palliative care for twenty years. She carries her patient’s stories so deeply that being with her is sometimes heartbreaking.
Together these nurses have thousands of stories, and yet their top 5 regrets are identical.
Just as Biddulph’s book Manhood, aimed at fathers and sons, was an informative read for women (I gifted many copies to women to better understand their fathers, sons, brothers, and lovers), his new book offers illuminating insights for women and men of all ages.
For me, the book offers visceral insights into the state of the feminine in current western culture. Regrettably, it ain’t particularly pretty.
What are the 10 things girls need most?
Tantra is the ancient empirical philosophy and science of liberating energy in order to expand consciousness and realize one’s inherent spiritual power.
Consciousness and energy are united and made available for health, mental peace, emotional resilience, creativity and spiritual realization.
Tantra is a practical, empirical and experiential science that lights the torch and shows the way to self-transformation through psychological, psychic and spiritual growth and fulfillment.
Tantra and Yoga are intimately related. Many yogic techniques are used as part of tantric practice and ritual. Both yoga and tantra share the common goal of uniting our individual awareness with the highest Self.
The word tantra is derived from the Sanskrit roots tan and tra. The root tan means extension, expansion, a stretching and pulling, as you pull rubber. Tra means to liberate, to release, to emancipate, and to make free. Energy is liberated so that it can be united with consciousness.
Yoga means connection or union. In this context, it refers to techniques that enable the union of consciousness and energy, of Shiva and Shakti.
Yoga-tantra, therefore, is the “liberation of energy (trapped in matter and neurotic psychological patterns) in order to expand individual consciousness and unite it with universal consciousness”
Energy is often trapped in tensions, old unconscious habits, and patterns within the body-mind. We may feel small, powerless, and out of touch with our true Self.
The Sanskrit word sankalpa means “a resolve or intention formed in the heart”.
We’re greatly heartened to know that so many of our students have been empowered to make meaningful changes in their lives, some small, some large, all significant.
The ability to make a powerful Sankalpa – one that empowers us to manifest our intention is difficult to achieve because the mind is innately unstable, full of doubts, and conflicting desires.
To counteract these conflicts and doubts, students of our course are given various tools and exercises to examine each desire. Using Yogic Knowledge, Meditation Practices and Integration Exercises students test their desires and intentions through different perspectives or lenses. For example, how each desire fits into a particular stage of life and how to cognize the different desires that arise from each of the seven chakras. This results in an ability to form a holistic relationship with desires.
If we only listen to what one part of us wants we are silencing another part of us, and sooner or later this part will demand to be heard.
The Clarifying Power Of Adversity
Sometimes it takes a negative experience to stir up a powerful Sankalpa. In this way, adversity can be a blessing because it thrusts us into reconnecting with our will to survive, to overcome the odds, to heal, or to repair. And it is the aim of the course to support all of our students being able to remain on track while facing difficult, challenging and powerful life experiences, experiences that have the potential if they are managed wisely, to change your life for the better.
In our moment of truth we either collapse under the weight of the adversity or, if we are lucky and able, we muster all of our internal resources to rise to the challenge. The course will help you do this.
Case Study: How our student overcame a near death experience and taught her doctors about the power of Sankalpa
The story by Sanyasi Yogamitra epitomizes what we can do, even when faced with life-threatening illness, in what appears to be insurmountable odds.
If you want to find life purpose and live a full and healthy inner life, it is essential to bring your ego-mind into relationship with your soul-self. It is common for our sense of who we are, and our sense…