When my little one was born I gave him the middle name of Ösel. When people ask me what it means I usually say “clear light or luminosity” it’s easier to understand but the truth it’s not an easy one to translate as it is a state rather than a physical thing. My other half who was not keen on an “unusual” name prefers to tell people it’s a Scandinavian word, the umlaut somehow disguising the heavier meaning. Most people are happy with that answer! BUT it’s actually Tibetan and refers to the “nothingness” of mind where everything is still and the connection with the divine happens. For somebody that has suffered with a very active mind, it feels right that my son has helped me on the path to finding this peaceful state. In Sanskrit it’s prabhāsvara. It describes the nature of mind experienced in deep sleep and death. In Ösel yoga the practitioner trains to consciously enter the deep sleep state and the idea is that if one has the ability to remain conscious during deep sleep, one will be able to recognise the luminosity of death and gain Buddhahood or enlightenment. So the theory goes. This is called the meeting of mother and child luminosities, resulting in the state of thuktam at death.
I am currently reading Rod Stryker’s Four Desires book and also studying to become yoga teacher, I feel I could be gently being directed towards Yoga Nidra teaching. Yoga Nidra is yogic sleep – a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the “going-to-sleep” stage. It is a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions. This state of consciousness (yoga nidra) is different from meditation in which concentration on a single focus is required. In yoga nidra the practitioner remains in a state of light pratyahara (withdrawal from external world, inwards) with only the hearing connecting to the instructions. The yogic goal of both paths, deep relaxation (yoga nidra) and meditation are the same, a state called samadhi (awareness).
Rod Stryker runs Yoga Nidra intensives in the UK in conjunction with my teacher training school, this year is fully booked but I hope to attend next year. So you see,Ösel is a very auspicious name and I hope my little cub will become curious to its meaning and it might help guide him towards his own clarity of mind and greater awareness. Love and light.