Posts tagged yoga

No fear in the familiar

P1080796

Sunset from Llyn Peninsula

Mysterious wisdom,
The hovering art,
The ‘all seeing eye!’

Beating the game through
A pack of propaganda.
Where are the super heroes we seek?

The infinite in the ordinary,
The wisdom of the ages
Ensnared by the daily grind,

In bodies, in minds.

Where is the siddhi of truth?
Lost in the foothills of the insane
Desire spirals in a consuming charade.

Have we thought it through?
You; the master who rules.
The mantle of a god is a curse.

No alarms, no surprises,
No shock and joy.
Will relates to the extraordinary.

True affection
In the humanity of petty existence;
Brilliant existence,
Existence for the sake of it.

Do not be disappointed
By the magical mornings
Of grey skies and cold toast.

No white robes or
Beatific folly can ease
The darkness drawn to your gaze.

Do not fear the familiar,
For the tired lines on your face
Are the brushstrokes of true grace.

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‘O Traveller! Listen!’ – Swami Sivananda

 

Swami Sivananda

All quotes here taken from the book ‘Voice of the Himalayas’ by Swami Sivananda, a true yogi, who was consumed for much of his life by ‘vairagya’, desirelessness born of love for the eternal.  His path was Karma Yoga, the yoga of selfless service.

LOVE AND KINDNESS GOES WITHOUT SAYING.

‘Make others happy and joyful, your own happiness will, multiply one thousand fold.’

‘Awaken thy heart.  O Man!  Happiness is here and now.  Become a friend of humanity.  Become a radiant yogi.  Strive.  Endeavour.’

‘Life is a play, play well thy part in the drama.’

‘You can elevate others only if you can elevate yourself.  A prisoner cannot liberate other prisoners.’

‘Absolute is free.  Know this and be free, free, free,,,,,,,,!’

‘Man needs sympathy, kindness and brotherhood.’

‘The mind will grow calmer and calmer, you will be able to see your defects.’

‘Think correctly.  Decide carefully.  Work diligently.’

‘Life a war between opposing forces, they are to be pacified in a high expansive consciousness.  They dissolve inner truth that melt into the bosom of the Reality with a paternal embrace.’

‘Senses given to be utilized consciously and deliberately for the attainment of something altogether above and beyond the farthest reaches of the senses.’

‘Thought is a shadow of truth, the shadow gives an idea of substance.  Illusion has to be pierced by illusion itself.’

‘The world is a product of your mind which is a product of ignorance.  You cannot expect lasting bliss here.  Look within and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul.’

‘We live in our emotions, in the lower mind, no idea of intuition.’

‘Drive this body car intelligently.  Relax perfectly.  Breathe rythmically.  Meditate regularly.  You will enjoy happiness, health and long life.’

‘Disharmony of word, thought and deed is the cause for all troubles, miseries and quarrels in this world.’

‘Do not bother about spiritual experience, go ahead with sadhana (service), knowledge dawns of its own accord.’

‘Do not tell anybody of your spiritual experience that you gain.’

‘Of what use is a sensuous life/ momentary enjoyment.  Seek the bliss eternal in your Atman (soul).’

‘Sensual pleasure is never complete or full.’

‘Crave for a thing, you’ll get it.  Renounce the craving, the object will follow you by itself.’

‘True selflessness is a constant meditation on reality, an intense and continuous affirmation of indivisible existence.’

‘The only way to progress is ethical perfection and selfless service, not to connect with the limited pleasures of asceticism.’

‘The Divine Life – a life in the centre, limitless, bliss and brilliance of the heart of Infinity.’

‘Tread the path of truth.  Meditate, hear the voice of silence.  Enter the silence.’

‘Comrade!  March fearlessly.  Be patient.  Success is sure!’

‘Come!  Learn the lesson in Yoga practice.  Meditate.  Tear the veil. Go.  Dwell in peace!’

BE GOOD, DO GOOD, SERVE, LOVE, GIVE, PURIFY, MEDITATE, REALISE…….

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Sweet Child on the Road

Oh Atman! Oh soul!
Sweet child on the road.

Oh mother who feeds
Her family with peace.

Oh father in sky,
Can’t you hear the lowly cry?

Oh truth, oh lies
All unfolding in time.

Oh existence, oh knowledge,
Oh bliss absolute.

Oh teacher, great silence,
So loving and wise.

Oh yoga, dissolution,
Ascend material resolution.

Oh guru, pure light,
Resting easy at your side.

Oh wisdom in life
So many ways to delight.

Oh death, take me home,
Leave with grace these skin and bones.

Oh Atman! Oh soul!
Forever love this mortal stone.

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Some Thoughts on Yoga and Yoga Asana


Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. (B.K.S. Iyengar)

Teach what is in you, not as it applies to you, to yourself, but as it applies to the other. (T. Krishnamacharya)

Before you’ve practised, the theory is useless. After you’ve practised, the theory is obvious.

Crave for a thing, you will get it. Renounce the craving and the object will follow you by itself. (Swami Sivananda)

The difference between yoga and bodybuilders is that bodybuilders have a body of a bull and the heart of gazelle – and yogis the heart of a bull and the body of a gazelle. (Sri Kartakeya)

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. (Swami Chidananda)

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds:
Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. (Patanjali)

The pose begins when you want to leave it.

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked. (Yoga Sutras)

In the lamp of the heart; put the oil of dispassion, insert the wick of devotion, and kindle the light of knowledge, by constant meditation; The darkness of ignorance will be dispelled and you will be fully illumined. (Swami Sivananda)

Do your practice, the rest is coming. (Patthabi Jois)

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(Grounded)

(Grounded)

Immovable intelligence

Fire ceremony

Dark shine

Enchanted (without magnification)

Sense perfection

Breathe

 

(Grounded)

Universal essence

Great one (Buddha)

Nameless and emptied

Golden

Formless

 

(Grounded)

Lotus throne

Thought cannot reach

Farthest branch

Gripped by breeze

Words dissolve

Truth

 

Crickets sunset chorus

 

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Children of the Soil

Painting by Seema Kohli

Children of the soil

One and all,

Wayward spirits stray

Far from the apple tree,

At play.

 

The shadows of leaves

Blot out the sun,

In this shade we shelter

And come undone.

 

The translucent veneer

Of the peace that we found,

Is born in the one,

Unifying sound.

 

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Do you want to be the creator or the victim? – An evening with Ram Dass

“Let’s trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let’s lay down our righteousness and just be together.”

“Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.”

“The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can’t be organized or regulated. It isn’t true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth.”

“What you meet in another being is the projection of your own level of evolution.”

“If you think you’re free, there’s no escape possible.”

Worth a watch just for the crochet story alone…….

“We’re all just walking each other home.”

“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.”

“The heart surrenders everything to the moment. The mind judges and holds back.”

“In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.”

“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can’t see how it is.”

“Be here now.”

Ram Dass

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Goodbye India

Sadhu at Gaumukh, Source of the Ganges

Sadhu at Gaumukh, Source of the Ganges

I’ve had India on my mind recently and dug out this piece of writing, written on an Air Egypt flight as we began our ascent, leaving Delhi far behind in the distance……

Goodbye India
26th August 2011

Goodbye India you cosmic illusionist, you loveable rogue, you raging metaphysical conundrum, you noxious gas and crippling poverty, you glutton, you fiend, you epic lover and timeless dreamer, you warm smiling believer.
You open to all comers, you wanton destroyer of hope, you countless idols cloaked in smoke, you desperate coin collector, you flower neglecter, you pile of burning plastic, you trip the light fantastic, you ever smoking gun, you bootless army of fun, you astronaut, you nuclear force, you lit funeral pyre, you heartless wanderer, you chai sipping trader, you spice baron philanderer, you playing the bamboo flute, you wind that passes between new leaves, you flaying the hay, you knee deep in rice, you who worship statues of cracked clay, you who knows not to think twice.

You river of tears, you quenched dry mouth resonating each year, you electric monsoon, you mountain caressed by light of full moon, you fork of twisted lightning, you dry starving masses, you burgeoning middle classes, you Technicolor Maya, you mango tree admirer.

You white horse wedding, you street sweeping Bedouin, you lucky boy child, you bejewelled blushing bride, you Goddess carried high, you feast ‘til morning light, you hopeless fool, you infinite bard, you wonderful emptiness, you sit motionless in deep bliss, you frenzied urban sprawl, you devout morning call.

You holy cow, you seat of all knowledge, you poetry in life, you path to all wisdom, you Mother, you Brother, you heartless lover, you bathing in a stream, you touch all spaces in-between, you the building blocks of greatest civilization, you the peak of mans endeavour, you the base of all oppression, you the seed of the great pollination, you the sweeping cosmic vibration.

You jagged granite giants, you ragged yet compliant, you Orange clad and defiant, you marauding Elephant army, you archer in the night, you God of war, of fire, of love, of wealth, wisdom, peace, of Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Shiva…belief.

You packs of Brahmin liars, you blissful mendicant inspired, you wandering sage, you yatra to the heavens, you not of living self, you path to destruction, you cry of newborn child, you doting Mother mild, you open galaxy, you closed book, you at the feet of your master, you who reciting ancient truth, you lost in the forest, reckless and aloof, you not to be understood, you with history drenched in blood.

You reclining lord in bloom, you of vast barren plain, you verdant deep forest, you of old blue tongue, you of forgotten traditions, you of highest ambitions, you tales of old, you colour, you light, you exotic princess reciting incantations to full moons from towers above souks in pale moonlight, you noble prince with sword in hand taming dragons with the flick of mighty hand, you dead in a rotting puddle, you limitless, you of family feud, you of drama, you of moods.

You wanting to be free, you craving for sanctity, you hangman of self, you executioner of suffrage, you monster of man, you demon harbouring lost souls, you hashish delusion, you opium filled lung, you vivid junky exhaling, you living in a cave, you marauder of faiths, you dinosaur, you sloth, you sweet heavenly offering, you street-side proffering, you steam rising from masala, you sumptuous maharajah, you lover on screen, you dancing banyan tree.

You stillness in life, you ever tooting trike, you flashing spinning top, you pilgrim with bells in hand, you prostrate on holy land, you everything touched with love, you temple on a hill, you pristine white dove, you thin desert sand, you the heart of the world, you the future of human-kind, you holding all the aces, you billion smiling faces, you nepotistic clown, you battle weary crown, you embracer of lost cause, you undying, ever glowing, candle in the storm, you lifting us all higher, you confused when rambling forth, you black crystal pond, you resting, gentle, perfect lotus, you India are the mighty force, you India will be the one, you India alone, know the tune to our song.

Buddha in the Himalayas, Langzha, Spiti Valley

Buddha in the Himalayas, Langzha, Spiti Valley

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Sri Hanuman Chalisa/ The Gates of Sweet Nectar – Krishna Das

Lord Hanuman – The epitome of bravery, loyalty, the warrior spirit….the original superhero!

“Calling out to hungry hearts

Everywhere through endless time,

You who wander, you who thirst,

I offer you this heart (bodhi) of mine.

Calling out to hungry spirits,

Everywhere through endless time,

Calling out to hungry hearts

All the lost and the left behind,

Gather round and share this meal,

Your joy and your sorrow

I make them mine.”

The Gates of Sweet Nectar – Sacred Zen Buddhist Invocation

This album by Krishna Das and particularly this song; became my soundtrack and mantra for my wanderings in the high Himalayas of India, particularly the words to ‘The Gates of Sweet Nectar’.  When I listen to this now, I am immediately carried to a magical time filled with mysticism, joy and inner discovery.

The ‘Sri Hanuman Chalisa’ is a hymn to Hanuman, the monkey God, who represents the strength to overcome all obstructions.  Joined with ‘The Gates of Sweet Nectar’, they become a powerful invocation to cleanse the mirror of our hearts and discover the power and strength that lies within us all.

Sri Hanuman Chalisa

Shree Guru charana saroja raja nija manu mukuru sudhari
Taking the dust of my Guru’s lotus feet to polish the mirror of my heart

Baranaun Raghubara bimala jasu jo daayaku phala chaari
I sing the pure fame of the best of Raghus, which bestows the four fruits of life.

Buddhi heena tanu jaanike sumiraun pawana kumaara
I don’t know anything, so I remember you, Son of the Wind

Bala budhi vidyaa dehu mohin harahu kalesa bikaara
Grant me strength, intelligence and wisdom and remove my impurities and sorrows

Krishna Das sings with Tetsugen Bernard Glassman, founder of the Zen Peacemakers and an American Zen Buddhist Roshi.  Here he explains the Chalisa and the Gates of Sweet Nectar.

Our ultimate goal is to open our heart”

Here Krishna Das sings to the hindu saint Anandamayi Ma.

Namaste and LightXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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Naked Yoga

This is an interesting subject.  The article is taken from the excellent Yoga Wellbeing site (www.yogawellbeing.co.uk).  They run classes and retreats in the U.K. and also organise international retreats.  
So, naked or not?
Naked yoga

Stripping off has been said to bring a certain intimacy to yoga, a feeling of freedom that can sometimes get lost in the a clinical studio in London.

What do you think? Do you think the naked yoga offers more freedom in our practice?

When asking one of our clients (who would prefer to remain anonymous) recently tried out a session in New York and spoke about the psychological benefits to naked yoga, but not physical ones. ” It made no difference to me practicing yoga naked, even though I The sense of freedom is not a physical, it’s a psychological.”

“If you’re wearing loose clothing or spandex, there’s nothing to stop you from doing all the postures or stretches or movements in yoga with the proper clothes,” said Janet Konefal, assistant dean for complementary and integrative medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

However, we have spoken to one an attendee of an all male naked yoga group. He admitted that you have to be selective when you choose your class but sees no harm in practising naked and prefers to attend all male groups as he would be slightly uneasy attending a mixed group.

All in all, I think Yoga Wellbeing and Holidays will remain fully clothed.

What do you think? Do you think the naked yoga offers more freedom in our practice?

I say, give it a try, you are bound to have more sensation.  Practice in the comfort of your own abode and always choose your naked yoga buddies wiselyX 

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