Category: <span>philosophy</span>

The Yogi, whose mind is in harmony,

finds rest in the spirit within and deep communion with the whole

Free from restlessmess her soul is like a lamp whose flame burns steady in a shelter where no winds blow.

Bhagavad Gita VI: 16-21

wind chimes

What happens when you add the element of sound to a hatha yoga practice? We’ve been exploring that in my classes for months now. After our centering and some preliminary pranayama, we’ve practiced ‘toning’ using various vowel sounds. During savasana, we’ve practiced toning the bij mantras for each chakra. I’ve noticed a remarkable difference in my students at the end of these classes.

The ancient yogi’s understood the world to be made up of vibration or sound. Vibrations exist outside the body and inside the body. Frequently our inner vibratory rate is mis-matche3d with the external vibrations. This creates imbalance, dis-harmony, chaos and of course stress. When we integrate the aspect of sound into our yoga, things begin to smooth out and harmonize……………..physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually.

Don’t take my word for it though…………..discover the gifts of nada yoga yourself.

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The differences between Eastern & Western Astrology parallel the differences in the cultures.

In the East spirituality is a priority in one’s life. And, spiritual practices can be performed in solitary, in groups, in organized religions, in beautiful architecture, nature, or any place one may find oneself. Spirit is a constant priority, sometimes surpassing food.

Western astrology  is more focused on the material world and seekers ask a lot of ‘how & when’ questions of life rather than the who, what, or why questions of the East.  Of course, that is ‘this’ astrologer’s perspective to date.  Astrology can be very ‘fluid’, allowing for reversals, retrogrades, and repetitious activity.

Western astrology uses a hypothetical division of the cosmos and their charts look like this.

Western charta western style chart

Eastern astrology measures it’s cycles from what can be actually seen in the sky. It’s a question of what is real and what is unreal…..the eternal questions of spirit. Their charts of the cosmos look like this.

Vedic Chartan eastern style chart

Western astrology recognizes technology as a force in the world and that is symbolized by it’s recognition of the Outer Planets….those that require a telescope to be seen. Eastern Astrology continues to respect Saturn as the outermost boundary of our universe. What cannot be seen with the naked eye, does not exist. Sounds like another profound question for those on a spiritual path. If you can’t see it, is it there? Reminds me of the sound of a tree falling in the woods, or one hand clapping.

Perhaps you can now understand that the study of astrology can be a study of life in the same profound way as philosophy or law.

And yet, the practical application of astrological data can also make one’s life much easier in many mundane ways. Choosing good times, understanding people and our relationships, finding suitable locations, and discovering insights about oneself are more ways in which astrology can help.

……………………….to be continued

Astrology philosophy

It’s a metaphysical concept that what we see has more to do with what we want to see, than what’s actually there. Perception is a funny thing and it can alter everything. Once you’ve begun to ponder this concept and apply it to your life, you begin to ask the question, so what is real? What is the truth?

Sigh. The philosophers, yogi’s, astrologer’s, and other wisdom seekers are still pondering the answer to these questions.

So, what do you see in the picture below?

bunnyduck?

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gurjieff

“When one’s body revolts against work, fatigue soon sets in; then one must not rest for it would be a victory for the body. When the body desires to rest, don’t; when the mind knows it ought to rest, do so, but one must know and distinguish language of body and mind, and be honest.”

G. I. Gurdjieff

ps…..I’m still in the ‘balsamic phase’ of my lunar cycle……………..just popped ‘out’ to do my blog post! I’m not sure I agree with Mr. Gurdjieff’s suggestions here.

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Gurdjieff said,

“Change depends on you, and it will not come about through study.You can know everything and yet remain where you are.It is like a man who knows all about
money and the laws of banking, but has no money of his own in the bank. What does all his knowledge do for him?”

institut17.jpg

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Lao Tzu

I have just three things to teach:

Simplicity, patience, compassion.

These three are your greatest treasures.

Simple in actions and in thoughts,

You return to the source of being.

Patient with both friends and enemies,

You accord with the way things are.

Compassionate toward yourself,

You reconcile all beings in the world.

Thus the wise man residing in the tao

Sets an example for all beings.

Because he doesn’t display himself,

People can see his light.

Because he has nothing to prove,

People can trust his words.

Because he doesn’t know who he is

People recognize themselves in him.

Because he has no goal in mind,

Everything he does succeeds.

Tao te Ching

Lao Tzu

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In the beginning there was no existence.
Existence appeared and grew.
It became an egg.
The egg broke open.

Broken Egg

One if its halves was of silver, the other gold.
The silver half became this earth.
The golden half became the sky.
The membrane surrounding the white of the egg became the mountains.
The membrane surrounding the yolk became mist and clouds.
The blood vessels rivers.
The white became the sea.
And the yolk was the sun.

Indian Upanishad

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zafuIn 2001, I had the great good fortune to meet Sylvia Boorstein, a meditation teacher from the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. I loved her at first sight. She was the epitome of The GrandMother archetype for me. Round, jolly, sparkling, and chock full of the kind of everyday wisdom that only comes from deep study and years of personal practice. I assisted her with her 5-day program at Kripalu Center and became enamoured of Metta Meditation as a spiritual practice. Every summer for the following four years I returned to Kripalu to assist, practice and learn from Sylvia all about metta and the practice of lovingkindness.

Metta Meditation is a practice that was given to the Buddah’s students whereby particular phrases are repeated over and over, as in a mantra practice. The difference is that the phrases are first oriented towards oneself, then directed towards someone else, and finally for the well being of All beings. Beginning with oneself is critically important as the following quote of Gautama Buddah suggests.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”

Nice.

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We talk about the Edge in yoga class a lot. It’s a place that’s easy to find…..you’re on the mat, stretching, and then you hit the wall, you can’t go any farther. You’ve reached your edge. Everyone handles that spot differently. Some push, forcing their bodies to go further. Others, back off, fearing the sensations that occur there, worrying about injury or something like that. Regardless of what category you fall in, it’s an interesting place because it clearly shows you how you “do your life”……..pushing forward or backing off.

In Kripalu yoga, and in my classes particularly the lesson is to “explore” it. Discover, here and now, your relationship to the edge. The yoga lesson is to “be comfortable with what is”…..definitly easier said than done. If you are experiencing discomfort in the stretch, can you simply breathe into it and let it be okay? If you choose to back off and not approach the discomfort zone, can you let that be okay? Pushing past the edge is okay if you are edging forward slowly with mindful awareness and keen sensitivity to the sensations in your body. Forcing or pushing is definitly not okay.

How you do your yoga is how you do your life.

Did you practice yoga today?

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On the Tightrope

 

He said, “Come to the Edge.”
I said, “I can’t, I’m afraid.”

He said, “Come to the Edge.”
I said, “I can’t, I’ll fall off.”
He said, finally, “Come to the Edge.”
And I came to the Edge.
And he pushed me.
And I flew.
Guillaume Apollinaire
(1880-1918)

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