Tryambakam Chant:
Om Try-Ambakam Yajaamahe 

Sugandhim Pusstti-Vardhanam
Urvaarukam-Iva Bandhanaan 
Mrtyor-Mukssiiya Mamrtaat

This mantra is a poetic description of how enlightenment happens.  The mantra describes the moment that the cucumber falls from the vine.  There is a moment when it would no longer serve the cucumber to stay attached to the vine and it would also, no longer serve the vine for the cucumber to stay there. Just as in our own lives, there are moments when we must let go. Moments when it no longer serves us to stay attached AND it also no longer serves what we are attached to, for us to stay there.  

When we buy a cucumber from the store there is a little mark where the cucumber was cut from the vine,  an umbilicus. BUT, if left to ripen in the sun and rain and wind and water, the cucumber becomes “pushti” so fat that it falls gently to the ground.  It will appear self-originating, whole and complete, like the enlightened soul that has gone through all the experiences of life and is now liberated, with the appearance that it was never in bondage at all. 

The Guillotine, Truth, Grief & The Hardship of Realization

In the Chinese custom, it is during the Autumn that criminals are beheaded. All of the harvest is in and there is only a certain amount of food that will feed the village through the winter. They must make the choice between the children and the criminals, how many criminals can they feed, and which ones must go. 

We have to look at our attachments and decide whether they are serving the truths that we know in our heart and serving our vision or not. If they are not, it’s time to let go. Sometimes it can feel really good to realize a truth and let it go, like someone just took a big hammer to the bell of truth and you feel it’s reverberation of relief though your body. Sometimes it brings up a lot of grief, they call this “the hardship of realization,” because once you have this understanding you cannot go back, you must make hard choices that might mean giving up someone or something you love.  The very definition of grief is to let go of something that you don’t want to let go of.  

Loneliness, Insecurity, and the Heart:
A conversation between my teacher & I

I sent my shiatsu teacher the tryambakum chant and this is our conversation: 

Nini – “What parts are still connected to the vine and what parts have let go?”

Me – “Well, I’ve got this attachment to insecurity, feeling like I’m separate… this conflict between independence and loneliness. I sometimes love my independence, and other times feel like I’ve designed my life to be alone and that everyone else is having a better life…. connected and in little tribes of friends that have adventures and fall in love with each other and have a sense of purpose…. That group heart.  Sometimes I feel so disconnected… Like I’m not a part of a group heart….

Nini – “Your heart has a great connection to the universal group heart, way bigger than the small personal circles of humans.  Letting go of the vine does not mean disconnecting from source. Only letting go of that one attachment to the physical connection through the stem. Once you are free of that you are in relation to all source, all essence, all heart. “

Yoga Sequence for the Heart:
Intermediate / Advanced Level Sequence

  1. Viparitta Dandasana in the Chair (10-20 minutes)
  2. Drop backs over chair railing – walk hands down the wall (hold each one for 1 minute)
  3. Handstand x 3
  4. Pinchamayurasana x 3
  5. Pinchamayurasana dropping back to legs onto a chair seat
  6. Wheel Pose x 3
  7. Handstand Kick Over – walk Legs down wall into wheel and walk legs back up and out
  8. Handstand into Wheel (Kick up and over, land in wheel)
  9. Drop Backs into Wheel (x5)
  10. Sirsasana drop backs, walk legs out to Dwi Pada Viparitta Dandasana
  11. Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 
  12. Pigeon – folding forward
  13. Shoulderstand
  14. Jathara (twist)
  15. Savanna

About: This sequence STRONGLY opens up the heart. It stretches all the muscles and fibers that get tight around the heart in self-defense and self-protection. It also opens up the heart meridians.  In the yoga philosophy, truth is contained within the heart. This is the kind of sequence that will bring up vulnerability and anything standing in the way of ones connection to their heart. Be open to experiencing some intense emotions. (or not! maybe nothing will come up!)


“All you need is already within you, only you must approach your self with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self distrust are grievous errors.  Your constant flight from pain and search for pleasure is a sign of the love that you bear for yourself.  All I plead with you is this: make love of your self perfect. Deny yourself nothing — give yourself infinity and eternity and discover that you do not need them; you are beyond.”
-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj