Jaya Kula is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization offering opportunities to learn and practice in the traditions of direct realization Tantra and Anandamayi Ma. Shambhavi Sarasvati is the spiritual director.

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Struggling toward Surrender: A Titan Tale

“Struggling toward Surrender” was written by Jaya Kula student Lavinia Magliocco.

Lavinia

Lavinia in the Phillippines

I used take pride in the tremendous effort I put into the things I cared about.

My effort came loaded with the desire to be noticed, admired and deemed worthy. Pride worked pretty well for me as a dancer. I used the anxious, wound-up-tight feeling to fuel more effort. I didn’t recognize what was happening because I was so used to it.

I felt resentment doing things I didn’t enjoy so much – dusting, washing dishes and paying bills – because they took time away from the things that supposedly mattered. I made crises out of “interruptions” – such as unexpected medical bills. Read On…

Meditation and Parenting as Medicine

“Meditation and Parenting as Medicine” was written by Jaya Kula student Katie Rablin.

Being a mother to my son is a potent medicine that has opened my heart.

Through the process of mothering, a curiosity about life has blossomed inside me. I’ve been born into a larger version of myself through giving up who I thought I was and simply being myself with my son.

Katie and Ancil

Katie and her son Ancil

I was pregnant during a summer 2014 meditation retreat with my teacher in Maine. It was my first time practicing meditation, and I had a lot of nausea, dizziness, fear and all kinds of things coming up. Read On…

Death, Community and Continuity

“Death, Community and Continuity” was written by Jaya Kula student Matridarshana Lamb.

bonnie initiation

Bonnie, summer 2014

Our friend Bonnie Jo showed up at Kashi House in the spring of 2014. She fell instantly in love with Anandamayi Ma, with our teacher Shambhavi and with the entire Jaya Kula community. She was initiated that summer, cured of Hep C in the fall and diagnosed with liver cancer in April of 2015.

As any of us would, she tried hard to survive. There was chemo, then radical liver surgery, then rehab. In late August, she learned that the cancer had returned with a vengeance, and she began preparing to die. Read On…

Entering the Bardo of Death

Entering the Bardo of Death” was written by Jaya Kula student Ambika Beber.

An experience of the dissolution of the five elements

According to Tantra and Ayurveda, when we die, we go through a process of reverse manifestation. The five elements and the functions they govern withdraw in stages that are the reverse of how they appeared when we were being created. Earth element withdraws into water. Water withdraws into fire. Fire withdraws into air, and air dissolves into space. 

Ambika

Ambika

This post has been contributed by Ambika, a student of Jaya Kula. It movingly describes the passing of Ambika’s sister through the lens of the dissolution of the five elements.

My sister died last month. She was diagnosed with breast cancer about five years ago. Last summer it metastasized to her liver. She lived another 15 months with Stage IV cancer. Read On…

Ditching the High Horse

“Ditching the High Horse” was written by Jaya Kula student Matridarshana Lamb.

 

matrilamb

Matri Lamb

A few years back, a fellow Jaya Kula community member broke up with her boyfriend. She had her eyes on a new guy and didn’t appear to be wasting much time grieving the end of a long-time relationship. Not nearly enough time according to the High Court of Matri!

For some reason, Lord knows why, she asked my advice about going after the new crush—did I think it was too soon? I advised her to observe a properly respectful period of sober, celibate reflection.

When Shambhavi heard about this her comment was, “Why is that, so she can suffer even more?”

This was the moment when I realized that people are free to do whatever the fuck they want. There’s no script. You can have two lovers at once! You can train fleas to do trapeze! You can live in an underground bunker and eat canned beans! The playing field is wide open. Wide. Open.

Read On…