Mother Maya –“We can't heal unless everyone is healing.”
Aubrey Hackman – “Yoga was my therapy.”

HeatherAsh Amara – “Many of us live in what I call ‘disaster mind.’”

HeatherAsh Amara is dedicated to inspiring depth, creativity, and joy. She studied extensively with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, and continues to teach with the Ruiz family. Raised in Southeast Asia, she began traveling the world as a child. HeatherAsh is ever inspired by the diversity and beauty of human expression and experience. She brings an openhearted, inclusive worldview to her teachings, which are a rich blend of Toltec wisdom, European shamanism, Buddhism, and Native American ceremony. HeatherAsh founded Toci -- the Toltec Center of Creative Intent, based in Austin, TX, which fosters local and global community that supports authenticity, awareness, and awakening. She is the author of Warrior Goddess Training, The Toltec Path of Transformation, and is the co-author of No Mistakes: How You Can Change Adversity into Abundance.
by Dawn MorningstarFebruary 10, 2016

My first experience with spirituality was when I was 7 years old.

I grew up in Asia and had an unusual childhood. We moved every couple years. When I was 7, my family and I lived in India.

I remember walking down the street one day with my parents and feeling very out of place. I wore a dress and had white shoes on. Up ahead I saw a young girl coming towards me. She was about the same height as I was, and the same age, but her dress was all tattered.

As we walked towards each other, our eyes met and I fell in love.

My whole being completely opened to this little girl. I could see that she was having the same experience that I was. There was this absolute connection.

As we walked towards each other, our eyes stayed connected, and then we passed. After we passed, I felt the lingering sense of unity. Of oneness. Of connection.

That was my first realization of oneness. That there really is no separation.  That something much greater is going on in the world. It doesn’t matter what our background, our age, that there is always the possibility for this beautiful connection of spirit to happen.

I forgot about that experience for many, many years until I moved to the states to go to college. When I first came to California I felt disconnected. I felt really out of sorts. I had a really hard time feeling settled in a space.

I became heavily into politics. It was my attempt to find a sense of connection.

Activism came at a time when I was angry. Angry about moving all the time. Angry that I didn’t have a good connection with my dad. Angry that I didn’t feel set. A couple of years into marching and being active for everything I could be an activist for, I recognized that not only was I angry, everyone was angry—and nothing was really changing.

What I saw from myself, and I think this is true for most of us humans, is that my inner anger got projected outward. I saw the world as an unjust place and that my job was to fix it. It became very personal. Passion, fueled by our own stuff, can be wonderful but I also felt like there was something missing. At the time, I couldn’t quite realize what it was.

That was when I started my spiritual path and exploring different traditions. I started my journey with European Shamanism, learning how to come back into harmony with the cycles of the seasons and with working between worlds. Between the physical realm and the spiritual realm.

Five years later I dreamed about a man. In this dream I knew that this man would change my life.

I woke up thinking, “wait, where am I going to find this man?”

A week later someone came into my office and said, “oh my god, you have to meet this man.”

My whole body said, “I’m not ready.”

That man ended up being don Miguel Ruiz.

I began a partnership with him in 1997. It completely changed my life and continues to be a beautiful relationship.

It wasn’t until I started studying with Miguel that I realized that we had become empowered victims. The anger was still there and we felt powerful because we were fighting for good. What I recognized as I started going inside and really unraveling my own agreements was that I had made agreements that were really limiting me and that caused me to see the world through eyes of, “life isn’t fair.”

“Life isn’t fair” was one big agreement I made as a child.

I began asking, “what’s my internal world?”

“Where are the places that I am hooked to old experiences and old expressions of who I have been?”

As I brought up all this old stuff, I was able to start cleaning it.

What I found through that cleaning is that we become much more effective at everything we’re doing. Instead of living from the past and what we’ve learned, we begin to live in that absolute current moment for inspiration. We are able to relate in the world from a place of passion, presence, and love. Rather than from fears, scarcity and anger.

It’s a huge shift. It’s one that I still work with and that all of us with this idea of cleaning our inner world, of cleaning our minds. This is what I now work with people on.

Many of us live in what I call “disaster mind.”

“Disaster minds” like to live in the past and look at all the things that went wrong and figure out how to not repeat it. Or go into the future and look at what might go wrong and figure out how we might avoid it. As a result, we rarely live in the present. We’re either in the past or the future.

Learning how to work with “disaster mind” is becoming aware of when we use our thinking against ourselves. When we’re in self-judgement. When we’re in fear. When we’re projecting our judgment outward. When we’re comparing ourselves to others.

I invite people to recognize that we are dreaming the world around us.

We’re filtering how we perceive the world subconsciously. We’re filtering according to the agreements that we’ve created or that we’ve taken on from our families, churchs or peers. Those agreements become the screen that we look through.

We perceive the world through the past. We’re chained to who we’ve been or who we think we’re supposed to be.

In order to come into the present moment—to come into the state we want to be in on the inside—takes a willingness to be honest with ourselves.

It takes a willingness to take responsibility for our own thoughts.

To be continued…

1st part of the Heatherash Amara interview series with Dawn Morningstar and Hung Tran.

HeatherAsh Amara 2016 Events

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Photo credit: Nicholas Rozsa and  Michelle LaViolette

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© 2016 The Yoga Blog

  • Wow, what a beautiful way of expressing! ‘Disaster mind’ is truly what is causing so much frustration in our lives today. We take everything to be personal. Totally agree that cleansing is the way to remove all the worries about the future and the present. The simple yoga technique of Pranayama is incredibly helpful in bringing the mind’s focus to the now and in the present.

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