Conversations on Healing

Maya Tiwari

Ayurvedic Practices: Tapping Into Earth’s Intelligence

Ayurvedic Matriarch and peace leader

Maya Tiwari is an Ayurvedic Matriarch and peace leader with over 35 years of experience in her field. She established the first school of Aruvedic medicine in North America in 1981. She also is the founder of Mother Om Mission (MOM), a charitable organization that brings whole life education to individuals and communities. Maya has also begun global humanitarian work with the World Peace Mandala to promote inner peace and tapping into ancestral wellness. She is also a frequent speaker at the Parliament of the World Religions and other faith and holistic conferences worldwide. Her work is focused on earth based Ayurvedic medicine, including the earth therapies of PanchaKarma, a traditional lunar education for women’s healing.

In today’s episode, host Shay Beider welcomes Maya Tiwari to discuss her journey with Ayurvedic medicine and how she was able to discover her life’s purpose and ancestral path at an early age. Maya shares how her diagnosis with ovarian cancer at 18 years old allowed her to take time away to tap back into Earth based intelligence and healing. She talks about the innate intelligence the Earth has and how creating a conscious relationship with nature can allow for healing. Maya also shares her work with healing and the lunar cycle, specifically for women. Maya and Shay discuss the importance of taking pauses in everyday life, and finding practical ways that allow you to come back to nature’s rhythms.

Introduction Welcome to the Conversations on Healing Podcast, where host Shay speaks with renowned healthcare leaders, practitioners, and thought leaders to explore the world of wellness, the incredible powers of self-care, and what it truly means to heal today. Join us on this journey to become more whole healed and connected.

Hello, everyone and thanks for joining me on the Conversations on Healing Podcast. I’m host, Shay Beider. And today I have the beautiful opportunity to have a lovely conversation with Maya Tiwari. Maya is an Ayurveda matriarch, peace leader, humanitarian, and a bestselling author. She established the first Ayurvedic school in North America in 1981, and found that the Mother Ohm mission or M.O.M is the acronym, a charitable organization which helps communities to transform disease and despair into wellness and joy. Through her global humanitarian work. With the world piece, Mandala and honor ancestors, conferences, participants are taught to spread practices that promote inner peace, ancestral wellness and create harmony with Mother Earth. Maya is a regular featured speaker at the Parliament of the world religions and other interfaith and holistic health conferences worldwide. Today we kick off our conversation with how her early diagnosis of ovarian cancer really shifted her life path, and focused her on her ancestral heritage and the deep Vedic tradition that ultimately supported her in fulfilling her life’s purpose. Maya is also known as the mother of Ahimsa for her worldwide peace, generating work through living, a Ahimsa which we discuss in the conversation she shares the profound power of earth, based intelligence, and how that is so critical to ayurvedic practice and the innate healing that Mother Earth offers to all of humankind. We discuss lunar medicine and natural rhythms that support women’s health, and well being in particular, and she offers insights for aligning our cycles with the moon cycles, and discusses how vital it is for us to slow down, pause, and be able to tap into our intuitive wisdom and the power of nature to gain a better capacity for personal attunement. Throughout the conversation we discussed topics from her many, many books, women’s power to heal secrets of healing, and the latest book, “I am Shakti” .I’m very excited to invite you to enjoy this thoughtful and insightful episode, so have a listen. Well, welcome to the Conversations on Healing Podcast. I’m so grateful that you could join me for the show today.

Maya Tiwari Thank you so much. It’s wonderful to be back with you.

And good. So, I wanted to begin by just saying, your life in so many ways has been a testament to spirituality, to what I would call kind of a soul force to aligning your being with a great respect for mother earth, for nature, for our connection to all things, both consciousness, but all life on earth as well. And I wanted to extend gratitude for the way you have used the challenges in your own life, which we’ll talk a little bit about in the podcast to really serve humanity and to honor how you’ve chosen to lead your life through fierce compassion and a commitment to supporting peace on this planet. So, I wanted to just start there, .

Thank you.

So I do want to go a little bit into your story and your background before we dive into your work and your book, which we’re going to discuss because you had a very profound event early in your life where you received a cancer diagnosis that was very transformative. So for our listeners to kind of paint the story of how you got into Ayurvedic medicine and some of the topics that we’ll be discussing in this conversation, I thought it would be good to kind of anchor first into this sort of transformative moment in your early life. So if you would share that story with our listeners.

Yes, of course. It, it always begins when we have a junctional point of difficulty, challenge. And mine was very steep. It was ovarian cancer at the age of 18. And through that period, at the time I became ill, I was a very well known fashion designer in New York City. And after my juncture with cancer, ovarian cancer, it changed my path back to the ancestral path. And that is in the Venus, of course, of a long history of vedic people. So cancer was the transformative point at which I stepped into what I truly believe to be my purpose, walking this earth. It took me back to India, to the Vedic tradition in India, to my studies, and then to extend my work to helping others, especially in the United States and later on throughout the world.

Very nice. I had read something that you had written and what you, I’m gonna synopsize, but you said you have written that “The greatest medicine is within us. We should not underestimate this.” So I would love for you to share a little bit more about how you see this as the greatest medicine is inside of each one of us.

Well, because I was given a death sentence at a very early age with ovarian cancer, having had several therapies including chemotherapy and many surgeries. And so I treated into a, a space of quiet in the wintry Vermont climate where in fact I had no idea that I would survive this incredible mystery. But when I came out several months later, I was alive and I was, well, not well enough to know that the cancer had retreated, which in and of itself is an incredible miracle. But the journey of the five years that I spent in trying to reclaim my life, first through medical procedures and then through withdrawal and an acceptance of the fate, whatever it might be, and in those, in those very dark moments thought it would definitely be death. It was not. But through that experience, I understood not that we are healing, but that I was, I felt healing into some form of death.

And when I came back alive, it, I understood I was healing into life again. So where is that healing? Where does it come from? Is it just a miracle? And I understood that the miracle is because we are a self-generating intelligence, our cells are generating, or in the complete withdrawal, I was able to step out of my doership my actions, my trying to find the next best regime to heal. I accepted that as the medical authority said it would be death, and wanted to come to terms with that, with whatever time I had remaining. It wasn’t so much what I tried to do during that time, but the most important element of my taking that retreat was a pause, a long deep pause with tears, with remorse, with all of the things that we are memory sort of stumble upon as we, as we go through that type of process.

But when I came out skin and bones in the spring after that winter period in, in the cabin in Vermont, I didn’t feel alive or dead. I still thought I was dying. But then my oncologist did test and said, this is a miracle. The cancer has completely retreated. And the the ensuing year was one of, of deep cogitation. I, they were surprised it was called a miracle. But in fact, the miracle is in ourselves. What I understood is that we as human beings have the power to heal ourselves, but also it’s in the divine hands as well. If it be that the purpose is to continue and to change our path. This event, certainly this odyssey certainly changed my path back to the ancestral one. When I first came to New York, I was related with, you know, a girl from a very small village in Guyana to study in Manhattan.

And, and discovered Manhattan discovered many talents as a creative designer at a very early age. All of these things were there with a great deal of success, early success. But cancer showed me that we are each born to a purpose and a path. If we’re fortunate, we discover it. But I also understand now at the age of 70, that we don’t discover this path without walking the fire. That was one of the major fires in my life. I’ve since had many fires, Shay. And the beauty of this one is that it actually gave me an internal voyage, that journey within the self that is so punishing when we go through it. But at the same time, in reflection, I understood that it gave me answers I’m still uncovering unearthing through the work.

And the reason I wanted to take a little time in the beginning to really sort of deepen into that early experience that you had is because I think so often in healing work, there is that tendency towards doing. And in my experience with healing, I feel so much actually happens in the doing, but in the listening, in the receiving, in the pause, in the quiet, in the reflection and just in finding oneself in a place of inner peace, no matter what the circumstance is, and sort of intentionally allowing your presence and your energy to just be with what is and not have to fix it or change it or transform it. And so it felt important to note that this shift in your healing story occurred when you went into retreat, when you took some, some time to be with, you know, that inner self and that inner experience.

Yes. Because life until then had been a few years of very busy, busy building a very well renowned name, the Maya name in the fashion industry with a store on Madison Avenue and 66th Street, and boutiques already in Bloomingdale, Neiman Marcus, the Maya boutique. And so it really, I had catapulted, you know, the, a very successful trajectory in at a very early age. And taking that pause was not accidental or incidental. It happened because I was forced to take that pause. That pause wasn’t about my trying to find out the right regime to live and survive. The pause was really accepting what comes with a great deal of remorse at a very young age. But I was also fortunate to have incredible mentors. My mentors was like Stella Adler of the American Theater. My mentors were Sally Kirkland of Life Magazine. My mentors was, you know, Diana Breland.

My mentors were my father who said to me, alright, the success of an early age is one thing, but this has nothing to do with the purpose and the path. And you know, if it is the divine will that you survive this, it’ll be to take your proper path and purpose. So we were reinforced, of course, the father’s knowledge and wisdom and word and guidance is always so huge in the life of, of women in particular. And, and I had that close relationship to my father before he died. And, and so there was it wasn’t a matter of loss. I felt no loss in losing the fashion industry or my previous work. I felt a sense of the unknown, not entirely happy, not entirely unhappy, just a knowledge that I’m going forward and I’m going to go forward in the way that I’m being guided.

If we could listen to that inner guidance. So it took me back to India. It took me back to the Vedic tradition, which is part of the Hindu tradition. But the, the elder tradition of Hinduism is Vedas and Sanskrit is its language. Andy first study, the end portion of the Vedas deals of self-knowledge. But I also understood that in this journey of healing, there were gems to be uncovered and, and to be rectified with and, and to be confirmed. And so my delving into Ayurveda at the time when India itself was losing that incredible science when Alopathic home had taken over India, and Ayurveda was really in, in a very decrepit state in, and this is going back 40 years. And so my understanding was I have to confirm what happened here. My, you know, this inner medicine ability to heal. What does it really mean? How do we use it? How do we utilize it? How do we bring it to the fore and make it work for us without subscribing to so many things that are tiresome and, and, and keep us in a state of, of discombobulation. You know, that that was the journey. The journey was how do we use our inner medicine. Hmm.

Wonderful. And at the point of this interview, at the point in time that you and I are speaking, you’ve been teaching in this field of Ayurvedic medicine now for more than 40 years. So you’ve had, you know, quite a career. And I also think it’s important to talk a little bit about how you speak about Ayurvedic medicine as an earth-based intelligence. And you’re very connected in your writings and in your work to lunar medicine and the lunar rhythms. And so I would love for you to share a little bit about that earth-based intelligence and just some of the fundamentals of how our bodies are connected to those lunar rhythms.

Yes, Shay, in “Women’s Power to Heal”, which is one of the books I’ve written, I felt it was necessary. It’s not just women’s medicine that I teach, but in particular I have a niche in, in the world market that is about women’s healing. It was my own healing. And so the camaraderie and, and the empathy for women became a very driving, a driving force to, to what I have been doing for the last 40 years. We have sacrificed so much in terms of our connection to Mother Earth. And we all know this. Every scientific newfound scientific technology takes us farther than farther away from the rhythms that, that, that feed us, that nourish our cells or tissue or memory. We’re so intertwined, so symbiotic with earth cellular memory, that we cannot separate that intelligence from how we are fed, how we are nourished, how it nurtures us.

And so Ayurveda brings us back into what we call earth’s intelligence, the intelligence of walking there for them, the earth, the intelligence, knowing the seasons when they’re changing, what grows in each season, and how we can participate in that, what we call farm to table, or whatever we call it today, organic farming, whatever, how we can participate. We can be part of the medicine that heals us. It isn’t food that heals us. It’s not yoga and breathing that heals us. It is our conscious relationship to the earth that heals us because the only vibration, the five elements in, in our nature and we know what they are; there’s air and fire and water and earth and space. These elements are part of the prana, the life force of each, each one of our millions of cells in the body. And when we understand that we are breathing in this medicine, we’re eating this medicine, we’re discharging this medicine, then we become more akin to how we live in nature.

Of course, we require simplifying our lives. We cannot have a complex life and take these medicines in, in all of its glory at the same time. So our relationship in Ayurveda to the Earth is primary. It’s totally primal. Also, it’s not just Ayurveda. Every ancient native medicine, Celtic medicine, Viking medicine, the ancient medicines of Europe, the ancient medicines of the native traditions of, of the entire earth is about living in earth’s intelligence. Because we or we cannot feed our cellular memory from being separated from that medicine. And every fast quick solution separates us. And I know this is a broad statement, but it’s one that needs deep and performed thought. Because in order to be fed by nature, we need to be able to realign our body, mind, spirit with her. And so earth medicine is about a Ayurveda earth medicine is every ancient tradition that we have stepped on, forgotten, overridden, modernized, whatever.

I’m not saying that all of science has defeated the purpose. Certainly there are incredible science and there’s always going to be a humanity of scientists. It’s part of the evolution of consciousness and the evolution of loss and the evolution of grief and the of victory. So we are all on this journey. We sometimes discover nature through battering her and then discover, oh, it’s, it’s like that. So it’s not about the negativity of what science is doing or going back to the stone age. It’s not about that at all. It’s about living in my very second book, I talked about living a life of balance. What is this balance for each one of us? It’s a different definition. What is the balance? How do we get back barefoot on the earth? How do we begin to recognize the seasons? And Shay, that’s a, that’s sort of a multi-question you’ve just asked because a lunar rhythm for women in particular, our medicines are held in the moon for women reproductive disorders, for instance, or women reproductive wellness, or the, you know, the womb, the earth is our major womb.

And the woman’s womb is, is what gives birth to our creation, to our creation of humanity that is. We we are the goddess of, of the creation, no matter which way we, we splice it. And so lunar medicine to inform our reproduction, to inform the health of our wounds, which is our centrifugal course, this is the core force of a woman. Whether we’ve had, like in myself a massive hysterectomy or not, we still have a wound space to care for. And so one of the earliest part of the work that I decided to bring back, apart from our relationship to the seasons and and seasonal rhythm, is our relationship as women to lunar rhythm. How does that work? With every turn of the moon, we have a specific medicine to harness

And I noticed as I read your book, “Women’s Power to Heal”, that you give a number of practices that women can do. Not only do you speak to the different stages of the moon cycle and where a woman’s cycle would track with those stages of the moon. So you discuss the new moon being, being the time of menstruation and the full moon being, being the time of ovulation and these different patterns that when we’re connected to those lunar rhythms, our body is, you know, organically sort of functioning in these appropriate kind of windows. And that through some of the interventions that we’ve created that we can get off track and then that can create those disruptions in our cycles. But you have detailed in your book a number of practices that women can do to help regain balance, and those range from everything to the foods that they eat, to baths, herbs, to all sorts of beautiful practices. So it might be interesting to hear you explain a little bit about how you are helping women to find that harmony again with the earth’s intelligence through some of these practices.

Absolutely. And first off, our women do need to understand the effect that the lunar wheel has on our, not only reproductive tissue, but on our health in general. Because the, the reproductive tissue is just a central part. The stratified part of our being is women and as girls and what we, and at every age, the lunar rhythm, even after our fertile years, we still have an allegiance to Mother Moon, because there’s still medicine that protects us through menopause, through after menopause, through the later years of our life, as we close our begin to close certain functions of our reproduction down, and we make peace with all of that. Life is so simple. It is so, it’s not linear, it’s lunar. It’s absolutely not so solid, but it’s solar. And so what, what we, one of the greatest practice, and we’ve had by now hundreds of thousands of women who’ve succeeded with it.

It’s a practice called Uttara Vasti. Now, Uttara Vasti is nourishing the womb. It has nothing to do with what is the, the common name for that practice, douching, nothing whatsoever to do with douching, except we do put decoction up the, the vaginal channel at the new moon the new moon, all the way to about seven days after the new Moon. We can do this, very simple. It’s made with a certain amount of herbs, like organic rose pets, for instance, that’s dried raspberry, dried raspberry leaves, that’s also organic. Or we can use a very common formula that’s very ancient in Ayurveda with alovera natural alovera gel. But basically, you could find this, by the way, ladies in Women’s parity here, we’re not selling the book. But the fact is that it is, it takes a bit of understanding of why we’re doing this with the new moon.

We’re doing this with the new moon and not with the full moon. Because at the time of the New Moon, when the moon is more solarized, we’re, it’s able to draw the endometrium from the lining of the womb that is and discharge it naturally. And what that does in and of itself, without a practice, without a therapy, a home therapy that actually revise the, the endometrium, the, the lining of the womb, it nature knows exactly what to do with that through medical sciences and being able, and, and our need to control birth and science have contributed to respond to that need in pushing your cycle to the full moon, because it’s the only way that they can control birth with the birth control pill or whatever devices we are using. There’s never been another way to control it, because you have to stop the cycle, the natural order of the cycle in order to, to stop that function.

So many women have lost touch with just naturally flowing with the new Moon and naturally ovulating with the full moon and these things. But we have to bring this back. We have to find other ways to control birth. And in another book of mine called “Secrets of Healing”, I talk about that those cycles at the very end of that book and how we could keep, we have to bring the body back in a state of status before it begins to respond to us with our wishes. And, so this is extremely important to know, but we cannot go into enough, into the efficacy, into the power of being able to move with the lunar rhythms. This has also given so much happiness, not only to the women who brought their cycle back with the New Moon, not only to women who are in their menopausal year, that now have a very different understanding.

And there comes a time when we don’t need to do an intrusive therapy in the vaginal channel. We just take a bath and, you know, and, just actually be able to absorb some of the bath water of rose and raspberry. It’s such exquisite self care. It takes so little, it is so inexpensive, but it’s some of the most precious thing that we can do. The external care is important, but our inner rhythm care, the care of using mother nature’s medicine, her lunar medicine, her seasonal medicine, the herb’s medicine, really altogether, as women, we are responsible not only for progeny, but for the safeguarding. In my book, my new book, which is called “I Am Shakti”, yet to be published, we talk about our Shakti force, that force within the mitochondria that is in every woman. That how that force becomes activated with lunar rhythms, how it becomes activated in a sense of balance. It’s such a quiet thing, healing it. It isn’t about the multi-choice pursuit that wastes so much of our time. I’m not saying we shouldn’t investigate and pursue, but we need to come back to understanding that our greatest lies in nature herself, and how do you use that mm-hmm.

And you also write and speak about the art of the pause and how important it is for all of us to take time to pause. And you were, had shared with me previously that even when you travel, you travel and you pause, and you travel and you pause, that you’ve really learned how to give yourself those times where you are pausing consciously and intentionally, so that you have that time to kind of absorb, reflect, listen, make sure you’re staying connected to those inner rhythms. And so I would love for you to share some of the ways that you, in your teachings, help others to remember to take those pauses in their lives as a practice.

In the busy lives that we live today, especially women’s lives, we have jobs, we have multitude of number of tasks to do in a day apart from our commitment or children or family or husbands or homes or career. It, it becomes very difficult because we are on a treadmill. And it’s even more important if we begin with minor pauses. Minor pauses can be five, six times a day, 15 minutes, 10 minutes sitting, just doing an alternate breathing of just deliberately breathing in, closing an nostril breathing out again, which goes very, very deeply. And alternate the solar lunar rhythm on each nose is related, the right, the right nostril to solar, the left lunar, and just to, to rebalance the body. The pause isn’t about, let me see how many tasks I have to get done, or let me see what else I can, you know, the, what are my stresses?

It’s not self investigation. The mind is overworked. The mind is overwrought. The mind in our modern culture is rarely addressed. A pause is about not only emptying mind, but having no mind. It’s simply just breathing, though. Just watch the birds on the sky, watch the clouds move, watch the tree, watch nature just be in nature. You know, I find it in the way that, I mean, my travels have been deep and, and many over the years, I lived in an airplane for more than 30 years. And that is not the healthiest way for a human person to go about their lives. But I was committed to the work I was doing, and so I had to find ways in which when I landed, I took time to get back into whatever schedule. Because time zones change, your sleep patterns change, your food patterns change all of it.

Fortunately, not all of us live on in an airplane, and I have since not been that much. But it’s more or less the same journey. We’re riding all day long into, into tasks. And it is much like riding on an airplane because basically we’re, we’re not taking the pause. We’re not breathing properly. We’re not, we’re rushing. One of the greatest dangers to our health, it’s not taking pause, is to be rushing, is to be worried. It’s to have the mind overwork itself. It’s to be stressed on all different levels. It’s, and you know, if we’re very occupied and stressed and then we say, okay, we’re going to take an hour of yoga and meditation, then I’ll de-stress. It works to some degree. But the greater medicine is to just every few hours, take a pause, go sit in nature, go look at the tree, just look at the bird, think of nothing.

Just leave. That is so much greater than having to push ourselves to another schedule, be it yoga, meditation, whatever it is we feel we’re doing to rectify the self. Because that sort of thinking that we’re going to take one hour a week or five hours a week, and we are going to run and we’re going to de-stress, that sort of thinking is like pushing the body into, into a prison, into a prison where, where we only have this much time to feed body and mind. And it, it doesn’t work. Life is an ever flowing set. You know, it’s a thing. It’s an absolutely gentle and soft and beautiful thing. When we are able to pause and then get back to our busy schedule and then pause again, get back to the busy schedule, and then pause again. And of course, you can have a drink at the end of the day if you want to. Of course you can have a cup of chi or tea or whatever. But those aren’t the only times that we take to de-stress, de-stressing is a process that we do throughout today, throughout the, the waking part of the day. Mm-Hmm.

And I know that you’ve expressed that in the West, we’re living in this culture of excess, which can make it even more challenging to contend with just doing these simple acts that you’re describing of taking a pause, being in nature, being in the present moment. And that this in many ways makes us more vulnerable because we can become less and less connected to that earth intelligence when we’re caught up in excess. And as you have mentioned in our conversation so far, it sounds that like in your view, part of the remedy is to do less, is to live a simpler life, is to be listening to that earth intelligence is to pay attention to our natural rhythms. What else are you identifying as some of the modern remedies for living in a culture of excess?

It is so important that we slow down. There is no way we can really recoup and enjoy the medicines that nature has to give us. And, and we need to understand one thing, nothing else, but nature’s rhythms, natural nature, rhythm, not the manipulated nature, rhythm, not the GMOs, not the, the cellular brilliance of of, of science. None of these things can feed us. Only nature can feed us nature in a state of being not disrupted because the cellular memory are synchronized to be fed that way. If we are nature, we are part of nature. We are nature. We’re not even just part of our, so if we understand that, then the simplification, it seems like, like a remedy, but it’s a vast remedy. Simplification, because the more connected, just, let’s say we go away for one week, not in a vacation, that makes us more tired when we come back and, and, and less wealthy when we come back.

But if we were to take one week and just sit in nature just quietly with our family or whatever, just do very little except walk and enjoy the markets, the open marketplace, whatever, just something simple, nothing touristic. Then you begin to become more akin to your own needs. This is simplification. And then it pros us to simplify our life. No one can teach you how to simplify your life except through your own intuitive need to do so. And that comes from being able to enjoy sitting in nature, being in nature, just for a little while, only to understand that yes, solutions come, solutions don’t come because we are reading books about solution. Solution come because our own innate medicine, our own innate intelligence, that intuitive thought of, oh my, so simple all along. I need to clear that closet out. I need to, I need to downsize into a place where I can be, I can have more time with my children.

I can have more time at dinner. I can have more time for myself. That is one of the most difficult things in the world to do. It isn’t a checklist, Shay, of how many things we can do to become real again. It is a shift in the mind as the mind becomes more fortified with our ability to be in and of nature and to accept that as, as the outstanding overwhelming over, you know, the most priority in our lives is to be fed by nature. When we accept that, we begin to feel less vulnerable, less fragile. And it’s not only in the West that we we’re living busy lives, we have marketed this busy life business throughout the entire world. Mm-Hmm. , every country in the world wants to be like America because America has, you know, she has this aphrodisiac that, that the rest of the world wants.

It’s the aphrodisiac of having plenty free will to do anything we want. Well, the basic thing is this, that we need to come to terms with what are the values for my family? What are my ancestral values? What are the belief systems that don’t have never served me, but yet they’re belief systems in our tradition that have served me and that I want to build upon. I want to strengthen those values for my children. I want to strengthen those values in myself. I want to avoid the, the systems that have gotten me into, into a sort of a train of thought that has not served me well. And that brings us to yet another thing of work, of doing the inner work.

And you mentioned in our conversation today that you’re currently working on another book called “I am Shakti”, which is, as I understand it, focuses on the feminine divine power and how that historically has been kind of controlled and impacted. And I’m wondering how this all fits into that complex history of how we’ve treated the feminine and the divine and how much we allow that these tendencies for quietude and inner listening and simplicity and not consumption, but just receptive sort of states of being. And so I’m curious about how all of this is coming together in what you’re working on and writing now.

Thank you for asking about, “I am Shakti”. “I Am Shakti” delves deeply into creating an understanding for us, not just women, but men as well as to how we found ourselves in the, the midst of this model in the first place, in this detri of issues that we generation after generation are dealing with. So it goes into the history of patriarchy, of course, in all of our traditions and in through all of the religions as well. And we talk about the original premise of the divine feminine fours, the warriors of our past that were women, the, the creators of our past and her history has been so slighted through, of course, we all know through patriarchy and also how we can best reclaim this. And it’s not just that it’s affected women’s divine force, it’s affected the masculine divine energies as well. We are all in the same boat.

And it’s also colonized the thinking of you know, the anomaly of the third gender as well, you know, and, and now the whole massive confusion about the 60 something genders and we need to bring, we need to take the reins back in and understand, look, there is Shiva gender, the masculine divine energy. There’s the Skatki, the feminine divine energy, words for, for overriding words for the divine masculine, the divine feminine, and the divine Third gender as well. In, nature we’ve got this anomaly in many species. We have the, the anomaly of the third gender. And originally in Vedic point of view, for instance, this anomaly of a third gender was to bless the mals of the Shiva-Shatki of the masculine feminine order. So the book delves into that as well, because it wants to clarify for us that there was a time in our human history when we came onto this earth to seek balance, the balance of the camaraderie and the unification between she shakti, the balance of, of all of nature and all of life within it.

And both the feminine force and masculine force have to reclaim their primordial powers, their right to that power. And so I show how it became denigrated over so many centuries, and also the solutions to, to reclaiming it, which is simply by understanding what has happened to us, we can now change that order. We can now go with the unified principle of not us and them, black and white, right and wrong, but the principle of of leaning in to understand each other, leaning in to meet each other regardless of our major differences. We have to, in the parliament world, religion where I’ve been a, a keynote speaker many times over the trust of this body wonderful body of of people is to bring not only conversation or dialogue, but to try and, and gap that. But I go further by saying it’s not the third way.

It’s the first way, the first way of accepting each other, of understanding each other. Even if we disagree with our philosophies, we need to strive for that understanding, especially between Shiva and Shakti forces, the masculine and feminine forces. We need to understand the power that we have innately, not only the power with through the nature that that feeds us and nourishes our cellular memory so that we can remember, so we can be intuitive so that we can use and harness this even more. But also our relationship to each other is very vital to how we go forward in building consciousness. The Vedic point of view in terms of the [inaudible] relationship, masculine feminine relationship through sexuality, through the understanding of this primordial relationship that not only brings forward progeny, but it is in fact essential to the development of human consciousness. And that is what this book deals about. It talks about coming back to, to the middle, to the midpoint of where we understand each other, we grow a better understanding of each other. We support each other, we support each other to reclaim our natural primordial powers, and at the same time, continued to evolve the consciousness of our humanity on earth, because that is our prime module overall, collective purpose for being here. Mm-Hmm. .

And when you think about this in the context of healing not only the healing of the planet, the healing of the impact of patriarchy, the healing on a more simple personal level in your own life of how you dealt with cancer early on, and you reflect in these kind of microcosms and micro both sort of microcosm, let me say that again, sorry. As you reflect on these microcosms and macrocosms of healing in yourself and in our world, how have you come to define or describe in your own words what healing is?

Healing is a very soft and gentle, a very quiet thing. We can never heal aloud. Pain is loud, suffering is very loud, but healing is very, very quiet. It’s very reflective. It’s totally, you know, there is no healing without the inner terrain being completely involved. We heal into life, we heal into birth, we heal into living, we heal into death, we heal into rebirth. We’re always healing. The amazing thing to understand about our human nature is that it is at in sanskrit, we describe the word dosha, especially in Ayurveda. Dosha means to air something that has a flawed system or system that is going to make mistakes. A system that is going to fall apart, a system that is going to rebuild itself, a system that has a million in it, and that is what dosha means. And so when we understand that living is about falling apart and getting back together and standing up stronger and, and understanding a deeper part of our, of our grace in humanity, then we are onto understanding what it is to rebirth in the consciousness at all times.

It isn’t just about re-envisioning our image and recreating our identity. We can use all of these very current new age terms, but more importantly, when we are talking about it from earth’s intelligence, we are saying that let us understand that there’s no perfection in the human life. And the only perfection we strive to is the development of senti sea consciousness. How aware are we? And this awareness, again, as I come back, and without being too theoretical about it, she, the awareness is what we develop simply by being fed by nature. We cannot take a class in wisdom, I’m sorry. We cannot take a class in how to develop awareness. We can do practices that make us, that send us into the inner inner terrain where this is developed. But the practices in and of themselves only help us to be more aware of something that nature herself takes care of.

We are a self-generating intelligent force. There is no other species as self intelligent generating as the human species, the species with the free will, with the intuitive ability with every cell and memory wised in divine grace. Therefore, we go back to nature. We simplify what we can in our lives. So we’re not working 24/7. So our children are not being pushed into 200 activities a week where we become their chauffeurs. And basically that we go back to understanding what is the value for my family? What were my ancestral values? What were the values that did serve me, the values that did not serve me? Because each ancestry shape has a particular set of values that has been formatted into our DNA, and it’s there. We can jump from tradi, we can jump from religion to religion. We can jump because we are universal beings.

We can be everything. We can be all religions, we can be in my hour of and still in. When I was going through cancer, my entire upbringing was innovative tradition, everything I’m brought up by the British and British Guyana. But the tradition continued and there’s luxury, the goddess of, well, [inaudible] the goddess of knowledge and durga, the warrior goddess and all of it. And yet, in the simplest of form, when I was going through the, the odyssey of cancer in those dark passages, it was Mother Mary that came to me twice in a very simple form. And then as a bluebird and, and later in a different crisis, es the elephant. God came in several shape. It matters not our psyche is not built in our people’s religion. Our psyche is built on the religion of the universe, which is one thing. You’re not separate from me or communication it.

What patriarchy did was, was develop this dumbing down science, which we are still doing today through all the media, through all the things that we of free will choose to go along with. So it’s not like they forced anybody to do it, it’s just that they’re the brilliance of how we encapsulate the human mind and take it hostage. It’s quite incredible. That’s another story. But what we need to understand is that we have to take back our primordial right to the destiny that we bear as a human person in that destiny is our cellular memories, which are fed by nature’s intelligence, natural nature intelligence, not the manipulated nature. And in doing so, we’re also protecting our earth. We’re protecting the body, which is our earth as well in, or we’re protecting our mind. This is very important. Then we also have to know that if we are being led to do that, we will naturally simplify our lives.

We don’t need a course in simplification of our life, because when we have things that are taken away from us, we hold on even more tenaciously. So that, that those type of lessons never work from the external teaching. It’s only your own internal teaching that will bring you to the point of simplifying your life in an intelligent way, in a way that gives you more time to enjoy nature’s medicine, be it lunar, be it seasonal, these very simple, simple things. So healing, yes, a long circuitous story answer I’ve given you shape. But healing really basically boils down to the simple act of learning how to use our awareness, where it supports our intelligence as human, as a human person.

And I want to give you an opportunity to speak a little bit about the work that you’re going to be doing in 2024 and 2025, where you’re planning to do the Living a Hemsa tour, where you make these beautiful peace mandalas that take really the shape of the community that is creating it. You’ve made more than a thousand of these and reached over a million people through this work. And so I’d love for you to share what has inspired this and why you’re committed to doing it at this stage in your life and career.

Oh, thank you for asking me that question. The peaceman is one of my most favorite work because it brings me in touch with so many individuals, so many beautiful souls who, who come to it. And I started this right after 911, actually, the first East Mandala was done on the shards of, of the World Trade Center. And I was in New York at that time, and then it, it sort of blossomed into this amazing world tour. I’ve done several tours in many different countries like Australia, Brazil, India, Europe, Canada, wherever. And what I’ll be doing in going forward, I’m now at the stage of my life where I feel that reaching out to the individual, not just training practitioners, I think I pretty much serve that role and finished with it, but, and they’re out there helping other people as well. So that’s great.

But now to go out and just touch the earth at every point I can touch the earth with the, we use the organic grains and seeds of Mother Nature. It’s free forming. We take what is called an oath to a Ahimsa or a vow to a Ahimsa. It’s not a vow that to anything else other than, not even to Mother Nature. It’s a vow to ourselves. It’s a vow that makes us remember that we are living Ahimsa is non-violent. So Ahimsa is the root of all that is good about our traditions. Ahisma is what builds awareness, and that is the common awareness we have with each other to hurt and to hurt, not, we do not hurt ourselves. We don’t want to hurt you, but there you and I become the none hurt, the the peaceful entity that is not separate, right? Ahimsa is the, is the, the thread that binds us, binds us in not a, an imprisoned way that binds us in the connected way, in the way that we are connected to each other.

Whatever. Okay, so what is this lens? The lens of Ahimsa is I can say I take the vow Ahimsa in a harmony, my first priority. Why am I in a harmony? Because if I have that, that I’m constantly developing in myself through my own response, my ancestral response, my habitual response can be sometimes sharp. And if I’m aware of that, it, the habits will come through anyway. But you are aware that that habit is coming through. If you’re doing something and you don’t like the fact that you’re doing it and you continue to do it, your awareness comes to the force after you’ve decided, okay, “Ahimsa will be my lens”. This building, inner harmony and inner piece is my foremost lens. So everything I do is going to be seen by that lens. It’s like having an inner witness that is witnessing for you.

It’s not that we change automatically, it’s just that we are aware that we’re doing something that needs to be changed. And cause of that awareness, it changes. And so this is the primal focus of it. But why the seeds? Why mother natures, because it’s been so battered, because we take seeds for granted because there are movements in food that, that actually nearly eight millions of seeds, and because they eat milk and they make their own milk out of it. I’m sorry, but I have to say that because we must be more conscious of the fact that each seed can give us a forest, and each forest can give us more of our medicine that we need for every human person, every species, every animal, every bird, every tree, every river can be fed by that, by that forest. And so it’s developing a sort of awareness that doesn’t get us strapped into movements, especially food movements, because they’ve never worked.

And I can talk about that in my next book, which is “Food is Memory”, but we’ll get to that later. Now, in the piece, Mandala, people just gather, they gather and they create this incredible Mandala on the ground usually, or on the floor that represents the ground. And some take the vow right away and say, take the vow by him, in a harmony, my first priority, I take the vow in my thoughts word and in my words, thoughts and action or thought, words and action. These are the areas that we express ourselves. These are the areas in which we become endangered species or we endanger someone else is to the thought, the word and the action. There’s never been a war without the thought, the word and the action. There’s never been a killing feel without the thought, the word and the action. And so basically, we’re looking at it large scale and small scale, just for our own awareness development.

We do this. The seeds are beautiful because you feel and you touch nature, and each that has been made, and I wish we had the pictures to show you, because each one takes on somehow the, the totem of that community. It is so amazing that in rural areas, in the vast Australia, for instance, or in in city areas in in America, how completely alike the city mandalas look and how completely alike the rural and, and, and more relaxed areas of our world look, and also I remember Australia was quite a discovery, and I love that country. It’s big and vast, and there’s tons of Aboriginal memory in that earth. Just like we have so much native memory in America in our American natives here, not how they’re doing and what they’re doing so much as the imprints they have left into that earth.

So the Mandala starts to take the shape. It’s free flowing, but it somehow, and it’s in it’s synchronicity, it cannot be a coincidence. It begins to take the shape of, of that. There was one in three places in Australia, in Perth, Australia, in Brisbane, and in Melbourne, the Mandela started to look like absolute aboriginal art. And we had one that looked exactly like an owl with all these seeds and beads. And, and the aboriginal leader just came and brought us a painting in the very next week that was almost identical to the Mandala. So there’s no coincidence there, there is energy in the earth. And so I understood that more than taking the vow, the basement. Now, we were, we were bringing communities together that was remembering the gifts and wisdom of their land. And that has been the most precious thing.

And so I’ve had time now, it’s been many years since 911 to really cogitate on this. And so I go back out next year with, with the Peace Mandala work. And in any community that wants to invite us, we come because it is a community event. It’s not a maari event. I’m there to guide, but we are welcomed by so many communities. So we’ll go out and, you know, we’ve worked through the yoga community through many different communities, not just new age communities. I try to take it to the people who need this work, who need to understand in a simple way how we could live our lives a little bit simpler than we have done before.

Beautiful. Well, as we begin to draw our conversation to a close, I wanted to ask you what I think can be a fun and thought provoking question, which is, if you were able to have a meal with anyone past or present who would it be? And, and why?

My father, because so often I know that the spirit is there, that he supported my journey. He died more than 30 years ago. He died. My journey began in Vedas, and my teacher, my spiritual master came right after my father’s death. So I thought the spirit of the father brought the father, the spiritual father. And the reason for that dining with my father is that in fact, he was so determined to have us be scholars at a very early age. At 16, I already had my BA and all of that. And when he came to New York to visit me right after my, my crisis with cancer, he came to spend some time with me. I was living in the West Village and across from me was a small park. It was called Jackson Square Park, actually. And there we took the liberty.

He did, he took the liberty of showing me how to bake bread in the earth. Now it’s a public park. I’m sure we can’t do it now, but in those years, we got away with a lot. And it was my first cooking course, the bread that we bake in the earth. So the doorman and everyone was so willing to help him get his lesson across. And, and oftentimes I wish I could sit with him, not necessarily over a meal, but a meal would be great because he did was the one that first sought me out to make bread in the earth to share with him the journey, which I know he’s already seeing.

That’s beautiful. Is there anything else that we didn’t have an opportunity to discuss in this conversation that you feel is important for our listeners to hear?

We’ve talked about many things, Shay and many of our listeners would say, okay, but how do I simplify it? And the mind will begin to take over and the mind will become more overwhelmed and “oh, my God, she said so many things”. And, and just simplify that. Just breathe. When I take pause, I really pause from my mind, actually. I have a very active mind, and the pauses for me is about having no active mind. It’s about having no mind. So what I’d like you to do is pretty much just to do any of the simple breathing practices, whether you hold your hand over your stomach, just to draw the breath in deeply and breathe and just let it out and understand that we call, you, call on your own intelligence, because we have that that is all right, or a birthright or a human right.

And we just begin to say to ourselves, I will bring this to me. I will bring this, which that, which I need to help me clarify, because the answers are always within myself. It’s not so much the question you ask yourself. It’s not so much the answers. You want to get. It’s usually what are the questions that we have? What, how do we ask it? Who do we ask these questions of? Usually we can call whomever we are addressing it to the divine force, the divine energy. But in fact, we are asking ourselves those questions, and that is how powerful we are. Just

Try to put everything we’ve talked about, Shay and I have talked about outta your mind, and just go and sit in nature. Take your shoes off, walk in a beautiful, go by a stream, put your feet in the stream, no matter how cold the stream is, and just sit. And if we can do something that profoundly beautiful and simple every day in a month’s time, we’ll find so many changes of our own inner intelligence supplying us. It is no, our vibration brings to us what we need. It is very true, but we also can’t blame our vibrations on, on how, which level it is at. We can’t force our vibrations to be vibratory and in the highest possible hurts, but we can go back to nature. Listen, listen to the silence. There’s never silence in, in nature, by the way. But there’s music in nature, and there’s music in ourselves, and it once starts to harmonize with each other. We are already on our way to wellness. And I know it’s sounds simple, but it is so true. Hmm.

This morning as I went on my walk in nature, which I love to do, I saw two birds. First it was a cardinal, very bright red, beautiful. And I just was so overjoyed to just look and sit and be and watch. And then another yellow breasted bird came up, and they had sort of a dance and an interaction between the two. And for whatever reason, I had the great good fortune in that moment of just being really fully present with those birds and enjoying the gift of life that they were bringing to all of us. And it felt like such a gift. And for me, I am so deeply aligned with their, that incredible power and wisdom that is freely available to us at all times. And it costs nothing other than that attunement and careful attention to what’s happening right here, right now. So I certainly appreciate your words and your wisdom and am very grateful for your taking the time to have this conversation with me today.

Thank you, Shay. It’s been an honor for me, and I’m so pleased with our conversation as well. It’s always beautiful, one woman to another, to talk about the things that are sacred for all of us and women. Remember, you, you are, you did provide humanity to the universe. So , basically, that’s how powerful you are.

Thank you.

Thank you.

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