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Author: sascha

Severe PMS is no joke: Change The Narrative!

Woman: The Dance – S Akhtar

I was so glad to see this article (Severe PMS May Cause Psychosis) in a British mainstream newspaper.

Glad, why? Because I have suffered in the dark for most of my life from severe PMS, not knowing I was.

There was no avenue to get help/ I didn’t know I needed help. Us, women, we just soldier on, and our mothers have also just soldiered on. No real knowledge has been available to us. Over the centuries, respect for the power of woman has all but evaporated. In ancient times, there was much more respect for the inner trials and tribulations women endure, from girlhood till we die.

Don't Feel Lonely

A great deal of it has to do with the dominant narrative surrounding this issue. The attitude women have towards other women, is the pits. This is a trickle-down effect from fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, boyfriends and husbands.

In my experience, men just have no tools to truly grasp what women experience. Yes, I generalise, and this is because I have experienced it myself with men for over 40 years and so speak from a place of knowledge. I will not man-bash here. It is only through education that attitudes can change. It is up to women to change the dominant narrative, to seek out ancient knowledge, to understand just how IMMENSE the power of women is and what our bodies, psyches and minds have been created to do.

Life and Death dwell within us. A constant cycle. Every month, there is the potential of life and then there is a death. The death of an egg. And yes, there is bleeding. Stop burying this! Its always alarming. How can the sight of blood not be? We as women develop very strong psyches, and have the potential to develop even further. By NOT feeling ashamed, guilty or inferior IN ANY WAY by the processes we endure.

Puberty. Onset of Menstruation. Menstruation. Pregnancy. ChildBirth AND the one that almost trumps them all – Menopause.

I shall be posting more…

If you’re a woman and you’re not particularly interested in this, that too is fine, but just keep yourself informed so that you do not belittle another woman. Sure I get it, there are those of us who would rather not have this shouted about because we’ve fought so hard in the workplace to be seen as NOT ruled by their hormones. What I’m saying is why have we had to fight so hard.

Severe PMS or PMDD causes Anxiety, Depression but these are just words – how it can FEEL is like this

– Like you’re a completely different person: Feelings of Borderline Personality Disorder, Feelings of Schizophrenia
-Like no-one understands you: Alienation, Isolation.
– Like you want to die: Suicide

Of course, there will be those who will misuse this information, but you know what? Those people have been misusing women for centuries. Its the same attitude that dominates. You HAVE to stand for WHO you are.

#ChangeTheNarrative

Sound Healing

I have been collecting indigenous and hand-crafted instruments for about ten years. Some of you may remember them from various poetry readings. Now they are intrinsic to my meditation workshops. Over a period of time, learning, immersing, understanding, experiencing I came to get close to ideas of sound vs. no sound. I have been studying papers and research done on the psychological effects of the “unnatural,” sounds we hear on a daily basis. Unnatural meaning – not of nature…they are of course part of our natural albeit man-made environment – the Metropolis.My instruments bring sounds of nature closer to us. Sounds that resonate on a level, very different from anything else, in a part of us, perhaps even we do not know exists.

After a workshop, I find people are very excited by them. However, it is important to say the following: If you sense that you would like to introduce sound to your practice, I would do so very carefully & with great consideration. I look at my instruments as tools. You may of course choose to have an orchestra, but I would perhaps start with an elemental enquiry & choose from that point. Which element do you feel you need more of? Earth, Fire, Water, Ether or Air…then once you are aware of that start a search accordingly. If you like, you can let me know what you come up with & I can suggest instruments to you. Finding them is part of the journey as well. Working with one at a time is what I recommend.Otherwise, the effectiveness of these instruments to my mind is not what I intended. If they become further objects for Mind to grasp and cling to, then I have not done my job.

Here are some photographs of my instruments post-workshop, being saged, and then wrapped up and put back into the Suitcase of Sound.If you would like to know more about anything, want a consultation, a one-one-one meditation lesson, or can share knowledge of an instrument with me, do let me know! Email: sascha@be-meditation.uk

How Mindfulness Can Enter Your Life

Mindfulness PracticeMindfulness Practice – When asked how to “learn,” mindfulness – I always teach this. Here is a Mindfulness Practice, developed and built on from the wonderful teaching of Paramabandhu Groves.

Go to the market, buy some carrots, take them to your kitchen, clean & clear the space, and approaching the act with intent… cut them! Use a good knife, as this will help. Do nothing, except cut the carrots. Let’s try not to think about cutting the carrots. Just cut the carrots. Let’s try not to think about what you’re going to do AFTER cutting the carrots, just cut the carrots. Let’s try not to go over the details of what went before you cut the carrots. Just cut the carrots.

With any meditative practice, struggling with our thoughts is definitely NOT the direction we want to go in. We may be gently hoping not to get carried away by the tide of our thoughts, however, if we do, all we need to do is return, with kindness to the centre and to the carrots and the chopping.

Perhaps over time, the “isness,” of things becomes apparent. The skin of the carrots, the texture of the chopping board, the slicing action of the knife. You can choose to cut anything you want, however, I recommend you start with carrots. There is a reason, believe it or not.

Be in the moment, be in the sound of the knife as it hits the board, the light rolling away of the piece of cut carrot, the sensation of the carrot under your hand, the aroma of fresh carrot…all of it. And repeat… as a lifelong practice. There is no such thing as getting “good,” at it. It just IS. And so what appears as the mundane in life, is elevated to the extraordinary.

I share here some photographs of my own personal Mindfulness practice, my hope is to show you how I see things. The point in transmitting my practice through photographs is NOT to do what we do with social media i.e. scroll through. Examine each photo. Chopping has been a conscious practice of mine for about ten years! I love everything about it. Here I found some black carrots and thoroughly enjoyed the “isness,” of them and their journey further into a beautiful liquid of glowing Amaranth. This day, I also cut onions (C’mon don’t tell me that isn’t exquisite!) and made the carrot juice w/ blood oranges. #MindfulnessInDailyLife  #Zen #MindfulnessPractices #TheIsnessOfThings – This was a Public Service Message from Be – www.be-meditation.uk

Be Here. Be Now. Be.

"black carrot"

“black carrot”

"As Above, So Below"

“As Above, So Below”

"chopp'd black carrot"

“chopp’d black carrot”

“quartered”

"then there were two"

“then there were two”

"black carrot universe"

“black carrot universe”

 

"amaranth liquid on a silver kitchen knife"

“amaranth liquid on a silver kitchen knife”

"blood.orange"

“blood.orange”

"universe in onion"

“universe in onion”

"universes colliding"

“universes colliding”

"you become me"

“you become me”

"Amaranth, I love you"

“Amaranth, I love you”

Welcoming Healing: Rites of Spring

Artist UnknownFree satsang one hour meditation class at Sangye Yoga (formerly JivaMukti Yoga London) on Feb 28th 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm with Sascha Aurora Akhtar.

In order to invite the healing energies of the universe two things can be worked on first. Grounding and the ability to accept self-love. We will first do a guided grounding meditation followed by a metta practice. A final meditation will then send healing to ourselves.

Sascha Akhtar has recently set up Be meditation – Be Here. Be Now. Just Be. She is a trained meditation teacher having completed studies in Meditation, Stress Management, Applied Psychology & Eastern Philosophy with Alexander Filmer-Lorch (Inside Meditation)- who she is eternally indebted to for his
teaching.

Sascha Akhtar synthesizes her Yoga and Butoh training with her background in Buddhist Mindfulness practice and Sufi healing work, approaching the teaching of Meditation in a creative manner
with a grounding in neuroscience.

“It is hard not to pay attention to the fact that neuroscientists
are publishing papers with regularity on the effects of Meditation practices on the human brain. Its wonderful for us, already absorbed in this work that the whole world is finally coming around to the ways of the ancient teachings! It only took us centuries to get there…” – Sascha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mind Leak

What the hell is that Oh just my mind

Artist Unknown

On Negativity

London Workshop (Past)

This magnificent piece of art, both encapsulates and transmits completely how I feel about Meditation and also the workshop I will be teaching. In addition, it is a woman which makes it so much more personal for me. I wish I knew who the artist was. I have tried to find her/him, but the only clue is the distinctive signature in the lower-right corner. Thank you for creating this gorgeous image, whoever you are.

Going Deeper: Stillness and Silence Through Movement and Sound

What: Immersive Workshop with Sascha Aurora Akhtar

Where: Treehouse Yoga Studio,

Engadine Street, London SW18 5BH

Tel:  07900070888

linda@treehouseyoga.co.uk

 When: September 19; 11 am to 1:30 pm. Booking necessary via email. sascha@be-meditation.uk

How Long: 02:30

How Much: £ 40 concessions available

Elements: Deep relaxation of both physical body and mind, Mind-uncluttering and space clearing, Not working from Ego, Learning of new techniques with which to approach meditative practice, Fun! Possibilities are there to clear blockages at energetic centres and have a transformative experience, depending on how much intent, attention and awareness you put into it.

Teachings: Embracing Stillness, Tuning into different frequencies through sound, Finding that centre-point in your being, Stepping outside one’s own experience of life, Creating space to allow new possibilities in, Moving into different parts of the mind (i.e. from intellectual to emotional to movement/instinctive brain) to try to harmonize and balance.

Techniques and Methods:  Guided Meditation, Movement and breathwork with both specific guidelines (initially) leading into open movement/transformation through movement. Deep inner work, utilising life cycles imagery. Non-rhythmic, non-linear, non-structured dance.

Schools: Mindfulness, Butoh, Zen, Yoga (including Nada yoga), Sufi meditation techniques.

Keywords: Breath, Body, Natural Sound/Music, Meditation, Free Movement.

Will suit: Intermediate meditation practitioners (but not if you are wedded to a specific way or method). Asana practitioners who may want to explore a different way of moving and/or want to go deeper with their meditation practice. Anyone interested in MindBody work referencing dance and physical theatre with a meditative dimension. Those who are willing to do anything to slow down and experience some kind of stillness. Visual artists and Writers of any kind who are up for something involving movement and of course…the incurably curious.  

All sounds will be natural sounds coming from hand-crafted instruments. Some of the tools I use are chimes, bells, cactus rainstick, seed shakers and meditation chimes.

About Sascha: Sascha Akhtar has lived many lives, in Pakistan, America and in London. She has endured incredible heartache, loss, depression, anxiety, stress but you would not know this to meet her. She learnt about yoga and meditation from her Grandmother who was an actress in 1950’s London who later immigrated to Pakistan to become the first white woman in a remote village. This was for love. Sascha’s mother then went on to become the first Aerobics Instructress in Islamabad, Pakistan and then a Sivananda yoga teacher and Sascha’s Aunt the first female black-belt in Pakistan to have a full-contact fight with a male.

Sascha feels it is this lineage that has led her to where she is today. For more about Sascha please visit: www.be-meditation.uk

Email: sascha@be-meditation.uk

 

 

To Be or Not to Be- There is no question

Ink on Paper: Sascha Akhtar 2015.

Ink on Paper: Sascha Akhtar 2015.

“Being Not Doing”. Hmmm. This crops up a lot in Mindfulness and Meditation. It is related to a crucial part of these mind practices which is learning to be Present.

It is definitely not an immediately accessible concept. For most of us, we are defined by what we ” do”. In fact, we define ourselves that way. I’m a chef, I’m an attorney, I’m an entrepenuer, I’m a Mom (although thats a tough one!) but thats not really who      you       ARE. Is it? Who are we when we’re born? What do we come with? And which parts of us are created personality?

Personality is not who you ARE. Its what you’re being at the time. Different facets emerge in different situations. We are an amalgam of facets.

And if we’re not Doing? What are we like, doing? Hmmm. Everything seems to be functioning fine. Nothing is “happening,” and you are not “doing” – Welcome to Being.

Don’t worry. Its not that hard to get there! If you’re here reading this you’re already on your way.