Alan Watts : “If you’re listening to this lecture then you’re ready to WAKE UP…”

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

 

The Art of Meditation by Alan Watts

Alan Watts talks about the art of meditation and why it is important to practice it, especially in the civilized world.

Meditation

Ram Dass

meditation


Posted 

Meditation is basic spiritual practice for quieting the mind and getting in touch with our deeper Self, the spirit. Meditation provides a deeper appreciation of the interrelatedness of all things and the part each person plays. The simple rules of this game are honesty with yourself about where you are in your life and learning and listening to hear how it is. Meditation is a way of listening more deeply, so you hear how it all is from a more profound place. Meditation enhances your insight, reveals your true nature, and brings you inner peace.A meditation practice is extremely useful in clearing stuff away and letting you see how your mind keeps creating your universe. The ego will keep you occupied with its endless story line of thought forms. Just keep watching them until they dissolve.

Most traditions require a regular practice in order to progress, to get ahead. On the other hand, there are traditions in which no regular practice is required and people do fine, so I can’t say it is necessary. But I certainly find it useful, and I encourage other people to do it.

Regularly practicing meditation, even when you don’t feel like it, will help you see how your thoughts impose limits and color your existence. Resistances to meditation are your mental prisons in miniature.

It’s delicate, because you have to practice from the place of really remembering why you’re doing it, with some joy and appreciation. If you go into it with, “Oh, I gotta do my practice,” the practice will eventually clean that resistance out of you, but I don’t necessarily feel that’s a good thing. That’s what happens to people when they have to go to church every Sunday. I would rather push you away from spiritual practices until you’re so hungry for them that you really want to do a practice, rather than give you a sense that you ought to do the practice or that you’re a bad person if you don’t do it, because you will end up hating the whole business. In the long run I don’t think it will be good for you. Spiritual practice is wonderful if you want to do it. And if you don’t, don’t.

There are many different forms of meditation from a host of spiritual traditions. I will share with you some of the methods that have been most effective for me over the years. They include Vipassana (or insight) meditation from the Southern Buddhist tradition, mantra from Hindu bhakti devotional practice (including how to practice mantra with a mala, or rosary), and guru kripa (grace of the guru) meditation.

Remember the story of a Westerner arriving at the ashram in India and asking Maharaj-ji how to meditate? Maharaj-ji became quiet and closed his eyes. After a few moments, a tear trickled down his cheek, and he said, “Meditate the way Christ meditated. He lost himself in Love. Christ lives in the hearts of all beings. He never died. He never died.” Lose yourself in love.

“When you are with someone you love very much,
you can talk and it is pleasant, but the reality 176
is not in the conversation.
It is simply in being together.
Meditation is the highest form of prayer.
In it you are so close to God that you don’t need to say a thing
It’s just great to be together.”
Swami Chetananda

Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana, or insight meditation, is a fundamental Buddhist meditation, drawn from Southern Buddhism. The focus or primary object of this meditation is the breath, and the beginning practice is just following the breath. Concentration on the breath is called anapanna, and it is just bringing you right here, now, through the breath. Everyone breathes. We all have our individual differences but we are all breathing in and breathing out.

Sit comfortably, with your body as straight as is comfortable, your head, neck, and chest aligned. Take two or three intentional slow, deep breaths, and close your eyes.

Focus on your breath going in and your breath coming out. Two ways you can do this are: By focusing on the muscle in the solar plexus, which every time you breathe in, moves in one direction, and every time you breathe out, moves in another direction rising, falling, rising, falling. And also by focusing on the inside of your nostrils at the tip of your nose as the air goes by, you will feel a slight whisper of air on the in breath, and as the air goes out, you will feel a slight whisper of air on the out breath.

Use whichever of those two spots is easiest for you to do. Pick one focus, either the rising and falling of the muscle in your abdomen or the air going by the tip of your nose, and stay with it for a period of at least fifteen minutes.

You are like a gatekeeper at the gate. Cars go in and cars go out. You don’t need to see where they go. You just notice the breath going in, breathing in, and the breath going out, breathing out. Your job is solely to focus your awareness on your primary object of the breath in the gentlest way possible.

Your awareness is going to wander; it is going to be grabbed by many stray thoughts. You’ll sit down and you’ll say, “Breathing in, breathing out,” or “Rising, falling.” Then the thought will come, “This will never work.” Now you can either take that thought, “This will never work,” and immediately go off on another train of thought, and even though you have instructions to follow, you just ignore them and then the meditation time is over. That’s okay. Or at some point when you get tired of that, you can say, “Gee, all I was going to do for these fifteen minutes was watch my breath.” This is just another thought. “Maybe I’ll just let it go, and I’ll go back to watching my breath.” See, that’s a strategy for gently bringing your mind back to the breath, for coming back to your awareness.

The art is to not get violent with your other thoughts. Don’t try to push them away. Don’t feel guilty because you are thinking them. They’re just thoughts. Very gently, again and again, simply bring your awareness back to the primary object of meditation: breathing in, breathing out. Just keep coming back to the focus of your meditation, back to the breath, back to awareness of the breath.

Whether your breathing gets fast or slow doesn’t matter; just notice it. Don’t try to change it, but just notice it. You are merely remaining aware, the gatekeeper watching the gate open and close. Any sounds, smells, or sensations, just let them come and let them go and bring your awareness back to either rising and falling or breathing in and breathing out.

If your mind wanders, just notice it, then very gently bring it back to breathing in and breathing out or rising and falling. Wherever your mind is now, just notice where it is and very gently bring it back to rising and falling or breathing in and breathing out. If it helps to think to yourself, “breathing in, breathing out,” with each breath, that is perfectly okay. If it helps to count breaths, try counting to ten, counting each in and out breath cycle as one, and then start over. If your mind wanders off in the middle, start over. Sometimes it can be really hard to get to ten! But don’t judge yourself, don’t get frustrated, there’s no success or failure, only your awareness of the breath.

All the sounds, everything that comes into your ears, just notice them as more thoughts and come back to your breath. There is nothing you need to think about now other than breathing in and breathing out or rising and falling.

Notice the shape and form as the breath goes by – the beginning, middle, and end of the in breath; the space in between; the beginning, middle, and end of the out breath; and again the space.

If you experience agitation or confusion or boredom or bliss or anything, just see it as another thought. Notice it and bring your awareness back to rising and falling or breathing in and breathing out.

If you begin to doze, take a few deep intentional breaths. Rising and falling or breathing in and breathing out. All the feelings in your body – the sounds, the sensations, the tastes, the smells, the sights – just notice them coming and going and bring your awareness back to the primary object of meditation.

Firm your seat, head straight, rising and falling or breathing in and breathing out. If you are getting to the end of your sit, use these last minutes consciously. There is no beginning and no end. Every breath is the first and last.

Gently but firmly each time your mind wanders bring it back to rising and falling or breathing in and breathing out. Be vigilant but gentle. Bring the awareness back to the basic primary object of meditation, basic attention to the breath.

If your mind becomes agitated in the course of the day bring it back to the breath, rising and falling, breathing in and breathing out.

OM

Meditation on the Guru

Imagine a realized being standing before you, someone to whom you feel particularly attuned, such as Christ, Mary, Mohammad, Ram, Hanuman, Anandamayi Ma, or your guru. This being is radiant, luminous, with eyes that are filled with compassion. You feel this being radiating the wisdom that comes from an intimate harmony with the universe.

It is just so incredibly gentle and beautiful to start a dialogue of love with a being who is love. Sit in your meditation area and gaze at a picture of a being whose love is pure, whose love reflects the light of God. Experience that love flowing back and forth between you and the picture. Just open yourself and surrender.

See yourself reflected in those compassionate, non-judging eyes, and allow yourself to open more and more. This is your Beloved. Sit before this being, or imagine such a being sitting in your heart. Just be with that being and return the love. Despite all of the impurities to which you cling, despite all your feelings of unworthiness, such a being loves you unconditionally. It’s OK to carry on imaginary conversations with this being; the exchange opens you to compassion, tranquility, warmth, patience – to all the qualities of a free being.

This interpersonal quality of devotional meditation allows you to start from your psychological need to love and to be loved and to bring it into the presence of wisdom, compassion, and peace. When you are with a being who embodies these qualities, they rub off, and you feel more evolved, even to the point of recognizing the radiant light within yourself. Acknowledging your own beauty allows you to open even more to the Beloved, until finally the lover and Beloved merge, and you find that what you had seen outwardly as perfection in your Beloved is a mirror of your own inner beauty.

Ultimately you become that kind of love. You’re living in that space and don’t need anybody to turn you on to love because you are it, and everybody that comes near you drinks of it. And as you become more and more the statement of love, you fall into love with everyone.

Mantra

A mantra is a repeated prayer, words, a holy name, or a sacred sound or sounds. It’s like a tape loop going on inside that reminds me of who I am. It’s like a niche in the wall where the candle flame never flickers. It always brings me right back into to my heart, into the eternal present.

A mantra can be a name or names of God, in Sanskrit or English or Spanish or whatever language you know. It is usually recited silently in the mind, though at times you may want to say it aloud or sub-vocally, still keeping it internalized and without intruding on other people’s psychic space. Sanskrit is interesting because it is based on seed syllables, or bij mantras, that set up vibrational fields through sound. They work even when recited silently, reverberating within.

Some mantras are more conceptual. All mantra works by repetition. Practiced consistently, mantra has the ability to steady the mind and transform consciousness. Mantra should be repeated frequently. It can be repeated any time, any place – when you’re walking, taking a shower, washing the dishes, waiting in line for the movies.

In Buddhism, the word “mantra” means “mind protecting.” A mantra protects the mind by preventing it from going into its usual mechanical habits, which often are not our optimal conscious perspective. Mantra is a powerful spiritual practice for centering and for letting go of strong emotions, such as fear, anxiety, and anger. The more you practice mantra, the more it becomes a part of you. When you need it on the psychological level – for example, when you feel afraid – using your witness, you notice the fear and replace the fear with your mantra. This will occur naturally once mantra becomes an established practice. Mantra is a daily reminder of the presence of the Divine within ourselves and in the universe.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The mantra becomes one’s staff of life and carries one through every ordeal. It is no empty repetition. For each repetition has a new meaning, carrying you nearer and nearer to God.””

Keep repeating your mantra consciously until it becomes a strong habit. Go for a walk and say the mantra all the time you are walking. Notice everything but keep the mantra going. Keep realizing that being with God is your focus – and therefore everything you see is part of God.

Maharaj-ji said, “The best form in which to worship God is in all forms.” Everyone you meet is Ram, who has come to teach you something. Mantra is remembering that place in the heart. Ram, Ram, Ram. Say it, mouth it, think it, feel it in your heart. You are continually meeting the Beloved and merging into perfection.

The Divine is present in the soul of all living beings and throughout the universe. God has been called by different names in different ages, countries, and religions. According to the Hindu view, an avatar is an incarnation of divine consciousness in human form. An avatar takes birth at a time when spiritual teaching is needed to establish new pathways for realization. Ram, Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus are all avatars in the Hindu view. Their names evoke divine power and are often used in mantra.

Once you choose a mantra and establish a practice, it is a good idea not to change mantras too much. If you stick with the same mantra, the practice will become deeper. Following are some mantras; you can select one that feels right for you or find one from a tradition that feels comfortable to you. Use whatever name you associate with the Divine.

My guru, Neem Karoli Baba, used Ram, and he often could be seen mouthing, “Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram . . .” Ram (or Rama) in the Ramayana is a being of great light, love, compassion, wisdom, and power, who lives in perfect harmony with the dharma, the One. Ram is the essence of who you are when you realize your true Self, the Atman.

Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai, Jai, Ram (“Beloved Ram, I honor you”)

If you use Ram when you meditate, say/think/feel Ram on the out breath. The out breath is the breath you will experience at the end of your life. Associate it with love, mercy, compassion, bliss, letting go. Train yourself into this Ram mind.

Another option is the maha-mantra (“great mantra”) to both Krishna and Ram:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,
Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare.
Hare Rama, Hare Rama,
Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare

Krishna represents many aspects of human love: parental love, romantic love, and love between friends. His instructions to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita are a complete teaching on living life as a spiritual practice.

Om is a sacred sound mantra, one of the bij (seed) syllables mentioned earlier, sometimes called the sound of the universe. It’s very primordial – think, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was God.””

Om Namah Shivaya (“I bow to Shiva.”)

Other mantras from Buddhism are:

Om mani padme hum (“I bow to the jewel in the lotus of the heart.”)

Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Swaha (“to the Mother in the form of Tara.”)

A mantra from the Greek Christian tradition, in the Philokalia:

Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Mantra can be practiced with a mala, a string of prayer beads. In the West, a mala is commonly called a rosary. A mala has 108 beads, plus a larger guru bead. A wrist mala has 27, 36, or 54 beads, plus a guru bead. All of these numbers – 108, 54, 36, and 27 – are sacred numbers in numerology, with digits that add up to nine. The mala is an external aid to doing mantra. You recite the mantra as you pass the beads through your fingers. The feeling of the beads moving through your fingers is a wonderful centering device.

In the traditional way I was taught to use a mala, you use your right hand, passing each bead between the thumb and the third finger, bead by bead, moving the beads toward you. With each bead repeat the name of Ram, or whatever your mantra is. Proceed to the guru bead, pause, and bring your guru or teacher to mind. Then turn the beads around and go the other way. Do not complete the circle. That helps you mark each cycle of 108.

Swami Ramdas, a devout Indian saint of the last century whose life revolved around listening to the will of Ram to guide his every activity, tells us, referring to mantra and kirtan (devotional chanting), “People do not know what the Name of God can do. Those who repeat it constantly alone know its power. It can purify our mind completely. . . . The Name can take us to the summit of spiritual experience.””

EXCERPTED FROM Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart by Ram Dass. Copyright © 2013 by the Love Serve Remember Foundation. Published by Sounds True.

OSHO: There Are No Devils

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

 

OSHO: There Are No Devils

 

Vedic Hinduism : “This Is IT_ Become What You Are – Know the SELF” by Alan Watts ॐ

Hinduism is the most Ancient religion in the world. It is also known as “Sanatan Dharma”, which means the eternal right path.

Hinduism is more than a religion; it is a way of life. It is not a man made religion, founded or created by any prophet. It has no origin and no end. It is a religion of freedom and, unlike most other religions it allows absolute freedom of one’s faith and mode of worship. Indeed, it is the only religion in the world, which respects the right of people to realize the Almighty by their own free will. The History of Hinduism has proved that it is a living force. Both hostile rulers and Foreign brutal religious aggressors could not banish it because it is a religion of Scholars and Warriors with self-experience and self-realization. It is not based on any dogmas or set of rules to be accepted with blind faith which is why atheism is also accepted in it. Yet, Hinduism has a very close understanding of and relationship with the Almighty God.

 

Excerpt from Wikipedia

The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan[27]/Sanskrit[28] root Sindhu.[28][29] The Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola.[30]

The use of the term Hinduism to describe a collection of practices and beliefs is a recent European construction, the term “Hindu” was coined in position to other religions and used to describe those that were not of the other religions. Before the British began to categorise communities strictly by religion, Indians generally did not define themselves exclusively through their religious beliefs; identities were segmented on the basis of locality, language, caste, occupation and sect.[31]

It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent (modern day Pakistan and Northern India).[28][note 7] According to Gavin Flood, “The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus (Sanskrit: Sindhu)”,[28] more specifically in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I (550–486 BCE).[32] The term Hindu in these ancient records is a geographical term and did not refer to a religion.[28] Among the earliest known records of ‘Hindu’ with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang,[32]and 14th-century Persian text Futuhu’s-salatin by ‘Abd al-Malik Isami.[note 8]

Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn (pronounced Hindustan) is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.[39] The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people who live across the River Indus.[40] This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the “land of Hindus”.[41][note 9]

The term Hindu was later used occasionally in some Sanskrit texts such as the later Rajataranginis of Kashmir (Hinduka, c. 1450) and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas (foreigners) or Mlecchas (barbarians), with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase “Hindu dharma“.[42] It was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus.

The term Hinduism, then spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions native to India.


Introduction To Yoga

If you are looking for a more flexible, strong, capable body and a clear, positive heart and mind then yoga is for you. It’s a great form of exercise that will improve your fitness, as well as aiding your mental well being.

‘Yoga’ is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘to join, unite or yoke together’, and the essential purpose of yoga is to bring together body, mind and spirit into a harmonious whole.

The central methods of yoga are physical postures or ‘asanas’ and movement, breathing techniques or ‘pranayama’ and meditation. Yoga includes guidance on healthy lifestyle, eating habits, mental attitude, and Ayurvedic medicine is also part of the Yogic path to health and balance.

Hatha yoga is the path of physical yoga, which is the most popular branch of yoga in the West. ‘HA’ means ‘SUN’, and ‘THA’, ’MOON’, so Hatha Yoga is the joining, or the yoking together of these different energies in harmonious equilibrium, positive and negative, active and receptive.

The yoga view of the human body

The body in yoga is the vehicle for the development of wisdom, of spiritual awakening, and as such the body is held to be sacred and mastery of our body is considered the foundation for spiritual progress. In yoga we learn a discipline of the body which comes out of awareness and attentiveness, tuning in to our body’s subtle energy flows and the life-giving rhythm of our breathing.

The idea is that through entering more deeply and subtly into our physical experience, we can become more connected with ourselves, more grounded, and less swayed by anxieties or neurotic cravings for things that will not truly satisfy us. This can be a very positive influence on our approach to life, offering an antidote to the alienated rushing and disconnection from ourselves that characterizes much of our modern world.

The origins of yoga

Originating in the ancient East, yoga has gained massive popularity in the modern western world. Its image has evolved from those photos we may have seen of the extraordinary practice of unbelievably flexible cotton-clad ascetics in India, or the seventies hobby of hippy types! Yoga has become part of the chosen lifestyle of thousands of westerners seeking some real balance, health and well-being in their lives.

Experiences of yoga can be close to nature, out of doors or on bumpy ground in large tents with slightly slippy carpets on summer retreats or at festivals. However, it is also common now to see the wonderfully tranquil and well-equipped yoga studios in the towns and cities too.

Yoga teachers seem to be possibly even hipper than DJs these days, making their own tracks by bicycle, scooter, or nippy Mini through city streets from one class to another, taking life at their own chosen pace, holidaying in stunning places, teaching the much-appreciated techniques and principles of yoga to grateful and enthusiastic city dwellers.

There are yoga magazines, gorgeous yoga holidays and a rainbow of great yoga kit you can buy. But when it comes down to it, all you really need to benefit from the ancient wisdom of yoga is your own body, mind and spirit, some self-discipline, and a decent teacher to get you started.

Who can practice yoga?

Everyone can do yoga. There is always a suitable way for an individual to practice yoga: whether they are old or young, injured, fit or unfit, supple or inflexible, male or female. You just need to find the right teacher for you.

Different types of yoga

There are many of different types of yoga and Iyengar, Astanga and Shadow yoga are three of the most well known and widely practiced traditional forms.

All the different types of yoga usually include a basis of postures common to all, but they vary in the style of movement, pace, and the kind of approach. It’s a good idea to start with a well-established style like Iyengar yoga to get a sense of the basics of yoga, so that you can build a foundation of experience from which to explore the many possibilities out there.

However, if you feel particularly drawn to a certain form, try a beginners’ level class and see how you like it! It’s helpful to have a sense of what you want to get out of learning yoga to start with, and then you can check out whether you feel what you’re learning is helping you with that. For example, one person might want yoga that helps release stress and tension, another might want to work with a symptom like backache or stiff shoulders, another might wish for a dynamic workout type class.

Iyengar Yoga

B.K.S. Iyengar’s well known school of yoga teaching is renowned for precision and attention to detail. His care for correct alignment in learning yoga postures led him to encourage the use of yoga ‘props’ so that the aspiring Iyengar yogi could get themselves into the best possible pose while minimising risk of injury. Iyengar teachers go through a rigorous two to five year training program to qualify, which makes them a confidence-inspiring choice to begin to learn with. Many yoga teachers developing new styles (such as ‘Shadow Yoga’) have a strong foundation in the Iyengar tradition and have developed different approaches from there.

Astanga Yoga

Astanga yoga has gained popularity in recent years. Not for the armchair yogi, in Astanga Yoga the practitioner ‘rides on the breath’ from one pose to another, jumping through a series of poses in a rhythmic flow. Physically demanding, Astanga builds strength, flexibility and stamina. The connection between movement and breath can be both cleansing and invigorating.

Shadow Yoga

Shadow Yoga is based upon the ancient Hatha Yoga texts and the view that all fixed forms should be designed to develop the practice of ‘freestyle’. Shadow yoga works to achieve an unobstructed flow of breath in the practitioner through a combination of positions and rhythmical movements, at a more ‘tai chi’ pace than the faster Astanga yoga form. The benefits of yoga

There are many benefits to the ancient practice of yoga both physical and mental, from better posture to greater self acceptance. Here are the main physical and mental benefits of yoga…

Physical benefits of yoga

  • Improved posture
  • Better sleep
  • Increased natural energy level and vitality
  • Greater flexibility, strength and stamina
  • Better balance
  • Stronger immune system
  • Pulse and respiratory rate decreases
  • Blood pressure decreases
  • Cardiovascular efficiency increases
  • Respiratory efficiency increases
  • Cholesterol decreases
  • Cleansing and regulating of all the body’s systems

Mental benefits of yoga

  • Calm and clarity
  • Greater confidence and generally more positive mood
  • Sense of inner well-being and ‘centredness’
  • Increased awareness of body and movement
  • Counters depression and anxiety
  • Ability to concentrate improves
  • More self-acceptance
  • Increased social skills

Yoga

 

Hinduism – Consciousness Explained by Sadhguru

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

 

Consciousness Explained by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Cosmic Consciousness – by Deepak Chopra

 

4 KEY WAYS TO BALANCE YOUR MIND, BODY, AND SOUL

4 Key Ways to Balance Your Mind, Body, and Soul

by: Sophia Smith

Nowadays it’s extremely common for people to find themselves living stress-ridden and hectic lives. We often find ourselves in a hurry to do and achieve so many things – trying to balance careers, families, side-hustles, social lives, workouts & more leave us feeling for lack of a better word – drained. It can be considered somewhat of a recent phenomenon for people to feel dissatisfied if we’re not experiencing complete happiness & fulfillment in every aspect of our lives.

How do we address this? Has balance become such a lofty goal that for most people it’s no longer feasible? Maybe a good place to start is by simply aiming to find holistic balance in regard to your overall health – aka your mind, body, and soul. Below are 4 ways to help you begin the process.

1. START WITH THE FOOD YOU EAT

Not everyone understands how big of an effect the food we consume has on our body as well as our mind. By fueling your body with healthy & nutrient-dense foods, you will ultimately feel more rested, energized and able to do tackle your to-do list without feeling like you need to reach for that second (or third) cup of coffee. Take it from this study that states there is a connection between eating fast food and chronic depression – what you put in your body matters.

The benefits don’t just stop there. Eating foods full of vitamins & nutrients have an amazing effect on your skin, hair, nails & more. Who doesn’t want stronger nails, shinier hair and clearer skin!? Remember these benefits next time you’re tempted to go through a drive-thru.

2. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO REST

It’s all too common to keep pushing on with your daily tasks and responsibilities, even when your body and mind are screaming at you to take a break. When you find yourself heading towards the point of burnout – the first step to do is to take a minute, recognize what your needs are and make those needs a priority. More & more companies are starting to recognize Mental Health Days as crucial for overall productivity & employee satisfaction. Taking 24 hours to spend time outdoors, go on a walk, get a massage or do some yoga can do wonders to your mind & spirit. Too often women view taking time for self-care as “selfish,” which is anything but the truth. How can you have the energy to take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself? Here’s your permission to spend an evening in the bathtub with a glass of wine, eating ice cream while watching your favorite movie or simply practicing a simple meditation. Which brings us to our next suggestion…

3. ARRANGE A SPA DAY IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME

woman applies eye mask on

Maybe you’re not able to visit the spa as often as you’d like due to your budget. No problemo – because it is possible to create a spa-like atmosphere in your own house or apartment! Start out by lighting some candles. Candlelight has a calming effect and combined with soothing scents such as lavender, vanilla or rose they can help you drop into a state of relaxation. From there, apply a face mask, drop some essential oils & epsom salt into your bath to help soothe sore muscles and voila – you’ve brought the spa to you. Aside from playing some calming music, leave your devices in a space where you’re not tempted to grab them and enjoy some screen-free time. Which leads us to our final topic…

4. DISCONNECT FROM TECHNOLOGY

We are a society that has become entirely too dependent on our laptops and smartphones. Our busy lifestyles have created an underlying urge to be connected at all times, but constantly engaging with our handheld devices can have detrimental effects on our overall health and wellbeing. Which is why people, especially millennials are tapping into the the concept of mindfulness in droves.

What does mindfulness look like? It can be as simple as going on a walk without your phone, focusing on one task at a time, and not constantly checking your phone while in social situations. Multitasking has been debunked as the way to get more done and be more productive – in reality it leaves us giving a small percentage of our attention & effort to a multitude of things. Allow this to serve as your wake up call to step away from the role of “multitasking extraordinaire” and become more present in your day-to-day activities. Not to mention, the constant scrolling on apps like instagram do nothing for our self-esteem & make us tap into comparison mode WAY more than we need to. If this is ringing a bell for you, time to disconnect for a bit in the name of self-love.

Taking care of ourselves is something that should always be on our to-do list, even if it means doing small things like leaving our phone at home or taking a bath. There are no wrong choices when it comes to what fills up your cup, so start to get in touch with your needs and re-prioritize accordingly. The goal is the balance between mind, body, and soul, but the fun part is the journey that gets us there.

Yoga und Fasten

           Yoga

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Hinduism – Dr David Frawley on Vegetarianism

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

 

Dr David Frawley on Vegetarianism

Dr David Frawley a.k.a. Pandit Vamadeva Shastri on Vegetarianism

 

David Frawley – Ayurveda and Yoga

David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) discusses the connection between Ayurveda and Yoga as ways to work with the healing powers of nature. In this interview with Swami Sitaramananda he introduces the Ayurveda and Yoga Wellness Counselor Certification course as a foundational course for therapeutically applying Ayurveda and Yoga.

 

MEDITATION 101: TECHNIQUES, BENEFITS, AND A BEGINNER’S HOW-TO

Meditation 101: Techniques, Benefits, and a Beginner’s How-to

by: Inner IDEA

Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. But many meditation techniques exist — so how do you learn how to meditate?

“In Buddhist tradition, the word ‘meditation’ is equivalent to a word like ‘sports’ in the U.S. It’s a family of activities, not a single thing,” University of Wisconsin neuroscience lab director Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., told The New York Times. And different meditation practices require different mental skills.

It’s extremely difficult for a beginner to sit for hours and think of nothing or have an “empty mind.” We have some tools such as a beginner mediation DVD or a brain sensing headband to help you through this process when you are starting out. In general, the easiest way to begin meditating is by focusing on the breath — an example of one of the most common approaches to meditation: concentration.

CONCENTRATION MEDITATION

Concentration meditation involves focusing on a single point. This could entail following the breath, repeating a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame, listening to a repetitive gong, or counting beads on a mala. Since focusing the mind is challenging, a beginner might meditate for only a few minutes and then work up to longer durations.

In this form of meditation, you simply refocus your awareness on the chosen object of attention each time you notice your mind wandering. Rather than pursuing random thoughts, you simply let them go. Through this process, your ability to concentrate improves.

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

Mindfulness meditation encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. The intention is not to get involved with the thoughts or to judge them, but simply to be aware of each mental note as it arises.

Through mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns. Over time, you can become more aware of the human tendency to quickly judge an experience as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. With practice, an inner balance develops.

In some schools of meditation, students practice a combination of concentration and mindfulness. Many disciplines call for stillness — to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the teacher.

OTHER MEDITATION TECHNIQUES

There are various other meditation techniques. For example, a daily meditation practice among Buddhist monks focuses directly on the cultivation of compassion. This involves envisioning negative events and recasting them in a positive light by transforming them through compassion. There are also moving meditation techniques, such as tai chi, qigong, and walking meditation.

BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

If relaxation is not the goal of meditation, it is often a result. In the 1970s, Herbert Benson, MD, a researcher at Harvard University Medical School, coined the term “relaxation response” after conducting research on people who practiced transcendental meditation. The relaxation response, in Benson’s words, is “an opposite, involuntary response that causes a reduction in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.”

Since then, studies on the relaxation response have documented the following short-term benefits to the nervous system:

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Improved blood circulation

  • Lower heart rate

  • Less perspiration

  • Slower respiratory rate

  • Less anxiety

  • Lower blood cortisol levels

  • More feelings of well-being

  • Less stress

  • Deeper relaxation

Contemporary researchers are now exploring whether a consistent meditation practice yields long-term benefits, and noting positive effects on brain and immune function among meditators. Yet it’s worth repeating that the purpose of meditation is not to achieve benefits. To put it as an Eastern philosopher may say, the goal of meditation is no goal. It’s simply to be present.

In Buddhist philosophy, the ultimate benefit of meditation is liberation of the mind from attachment to things it cannot control, such as external circumstances or strong internal emotions. The liberated or “enlightened” practitioner no longer needlessly follows desires or clings to experiences, but instead maintains a calm mind and sense of inner harmony.

HOW TO MEDITATE: SIMPLE MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS

This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation techniques.

  1. Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion.

  2. Close your eyes. We recommend using one of our Cooling Eye Masks or Restorative Eye Pillows if lying down. 

  3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.

  4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.

Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods. 

Hinduism – The Importance of Yoga with David Frawley

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

 

The Importance of Yoga with David Frawley

David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) discusses the importance of Yoga as a spiritual and healing tradition of classical yoga as a complete system of well-being. He explains authentic yoga as a science for bringing complete peace, harmony and balance to the mind and heart.

 

Yoga – 7 TEACHING TIPS

7 Teaching Tips Every Yoga Teacher Should Know

by: Manmohan Singh

Being a yoga teacher comes with a lot of responsibility, apart from just teaching the poses. Becoming a teacher is a life-transforming and astounding resolution that enables you to bestow the treasure of the ancient art of yoga to others. “Yoga Teacher” is someone who is liable for spreading yogic wisdom, and to become a certified yoga instructor, participating in a Yoga Teacher Training if the first step. YTT, as it’s often called is designed to provide the tools necessary to teach others about the ancient practice of yoga, teach you to provide major life-lessons to your students, and trains you to become a refined instructor.

Yoga itself is not only a physical practice, but a lifestyle lived off the mat as well. For many students, connecting with a teacher is the necessary medium to get introduced to this kind of life. To teach yoga successfully in this way, teachers should follow these suggested teaching tips.

1. KEEP YOURSELF BALANCED

As a yoga teacher, remaining balanced and patient emotionally, physically, and mentally is essential. This allows your students to rely on your teachings consistently from week to week, day to day, and vice versa. While we aim to find balance in certain postures on the mat, there is a kind of balance that goes beyond your asana practice. Emotional and mental balance helps you stay positive, sensitive, capable of forming a deep connection to yourself and others. It allows you to stay present in the moment and feel more centered. It also greatly impacts your teaching skills as you gain more experience, as it drives you towards being more humble and approachable.

2. DEMONSTRATE AND EXPLAIN IN DETAIL

Successful yoga teachers design a comprehensive class by building thoughtful sequences and delivering them clearly to their students. This doesn’t pertain to just the asanas, but corresponding breathwork and the anatomical breakdown of the body and message behind each pose as well. Additionally, always take every opportunity to be present in your teaching, be it watching your students and offering adjustments, giving anatomical cues, or opening up about experiences relevant to your theme, etc.

3. INCORPORATE THE ART OF BREATHING

Breath is the most important aspect of any yoga practice. By bringing conscious awareness to the breath, we activate an internal, deep-level change and bring balance to the body and mind. A conscious breathing practice, otherwise known as Pranayama, should be the key part of your class that’s incorporated during both the meditation and asana segments. By introducing this to your students, you can help them learn pranayama techniques and encourage them to practice it off the mat. This will ultimately help your students improve concentration, build focus, and enhances their asana practice.

4. DESIGN YOUR CLASS AROUND YOUR STUDENTS

Even after completing your YTT, there may be moments as a new teacher where a certain type of student walks into your class you don’t expect. This could include a pregnant woman, a yoga beginner, someone with a specific injury, etc. Investing time into taking workshops or continued education programs will help you instruct more confidently when this individual walks into your studio. These classes or programs will help you know what adjustments or modifications are ideal to offer in each unique situation. They will also help you to design a well-rounded sequence that includes various poses for flexibility, balance, stress-relief, muscle-strengthening, etc.

This kind of sequence should include a blend of warm-up poses, standing poses, twists, inversions, backbends, forward-bending poses, closing postures, and of course, savasana. Also, consider the students experience level and build accordingly. Then don’t forget to add a dash of your own unique style, whether it be through music or sharing a personal story relative to your theme.

5. ENGAGE IN EFFORTLESS COMMUNICATION

Teaching yoga requires you to be a great communicator. It’s important to think about the ways you address your class, whether it be speaking in a tone that everyone can hear, or inunciating your words so you are well understood. This can take practice and doesn’t always happen overnight, so practice teaching to your friends, family or coworkers! Eventually, you will get to a place where your communication seems unadorned and effortless.

6. COMMIT FULLY TO YOUR OWN PRACTICE

Self-practice is something that distinguishes a good teacher from a great one. To hold space for an amazing yoga class, it’s crucial to invest time in your own practice. Inner work and committing fully to your own practice encourages you to continuously grow in your teaching. The more you show integrity in your yoga journey, the more authentic you will be to your students.  Self-practice helps you connect internally and believe in yourself fully. And remember, people will only trust and believe in you once you start trusting yourself, and giving time to your own practice is the best way to achieve this level of self-trust.

7. ALWAYS KEEP LEARNING AND CONTINUE TO EVOLVE

Life never stops teaching us, on and off the mat. As a yoga teacher, do not stop being a student, regardless of how experienced you’ve become. To bring excitement to your practice and to be more innovative with your teachings, continue your education, whether it be through workshops, retreats, or trainings.

Yoga teachers have the ability to be the guiding light for their students by introducing them to self-love, self-awareness and the mind-body connection. Follow these tips and your teaching will be one that resonates with students for years to come.

 

Manmohan Singh is a passionate yogi, yoga teacher and traveler in India. He is currently working with rishikulyogshsla.org. This Yoga Alliance affiliated school organizes a number of yoga events such as yoga teacher trainings in India, yoga workshops, retreats, pranayama training and more.

Hinduism – Karma: Can You Control Your Destiny?

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

 

Karma is misunderstood word that is often thought to mean fatalism. Sadhguru explains that far from being fatalism, karma implies that you can take your life into your hands. It is the most dynamic way to exist.

 

“Who Was Paramhansa Yogananda in a Previous Life?”

This book, Two Souls: Four Lives, explores an astonishing statement made by Paramhansa Yogananda: that he was the historical figure, William the Conqueror, in a previous incarnation. The Norman Conquest of England was one of the pivotal moments in world history, a series of events that affects us even today. Is it possible that two of the greatest men of that era—William the Conqueror and his son, Henry I of England—have recently reincarnated as the great spiritual master Paramhansa Yogananda (author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi) and his close disciple, Swami Kriyananda? If so, what are the subtle connections between the Norman Conquest and modern times?

How I Became a Hindu: My Discovery of Vedic Dharma | David Frawley

Yoga

Kundalini Shakti

Hinduism – Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi a Mini Documentary

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

Since its release in 1946, Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi has inspired millions all over the world with its revolutionary spiritual teachings, and has had a profound impact on the modern day spiritual culture.

 

AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda TRAILER

Edgar Allen Poe: ‘The Raven’

This is for our resident poet, Gilbert Huntly, who says it’s his favorite poem. This is the best reading I could find. The prosody is perfect, i.e. the poem’s musicality derived from the correct use of rhythmical sound effects.

Read  by Christopher Lee
VIDEO   :   12 mins     

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The Indus Valley Civilization: The Masters of the River

This documentary, made by NHK (Japan) and Canadian TV, looks at the early Indus Valley civilisation, focusing on one of the lesser known sites at Dholavira, in what is now Gujarat, in western India. A well-done professional introduction to the city of Dholavira and an explanation of the irrigation and aqueduct system, collection of rain water and water reservoirs, with a CGI reconstruction of the city by NTV.

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Hinduism: How does nature come into existence?

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

How does nature come into existence? By J. Krishnamurti

Yoga

How to build a habit of consistent and meaningful home yoga practice

Last week we identified three major obstacles that get in our way of making a positive behavior change (whether it’s maintaining a consistent home yoga practice, or any other action that we want to become more regular):
  1. We need to repeat a behavior many times for it to become a habit.
  2. Our willpower is a limited resource, so any behavior change based on willpower alone is destined to fail.
  3. Every instance of a new behavior requires “activation energy” – an extra mental and physical effort that you need to overcome inertia and start a new positive habit.

Since willpower is a limited resource and we tend to run out of it quickly, Darren Hardy in his book The Compound Effect suggests replacing willpower with why-power. “Forget about willpower. It’s time for why-power. Your choices are only meaningful when you connect them to your desires and dreams. The wisest and most motivating choices are the ones aligned with that which you identify as your purpose, your core self, and your highest values. You’ve got to want something, and know why you want it, or you’ll end up giving up too easily.”

Take a moment now to articulate why you want to do your home yoga practice regularly. Statements like “It’s good for me” or “A yoga teacher should do it” are not particularly motivating. What motivates you right now and connects to your highest values, or has a sense of urgency? Pain somewhere in the body can be a great motivator. Or maybe you deeply value the connection that you make with your yoga students – you can use that to motivate you and inform your yoga practice. Or maybe you find yourself being antsy and mildly irritated lately and you don’t like to be that way – this can be motivating to do a regular yoga practice. Maybe you feel yourself dragging though your day and this is not how you want to be. What kind of great things could you accomplish if you had more energy? Imagine all the possibilities and use them as motivating factors. Personally, I am using my personal yoga practice to inspire myself. I think of myself as a creative person and I love coming up with new fresh ideas for my blog, my teaching, and for how I run my business – my personal yoga practice gives me that in spades. Right now, this is my why-factor. What is yours? You can write it down on a post-it and stick it somewhere where you will see it often (on a refrigerator, or your computer, or the bathroom mirror, etc.) This is also a great service that you can do for your students – to help them identify their why-power and motivate them to do their own home practice.

Once you have a specific inspiring reason to practice, you need to lower the amount of activation energy it takes to jump start your practice on any given day. Since it’s always easier to go with a default choice, you need to make your practice the default choice. For example, I like to start my day with a short walk to get some fresh air and get a clear picture of what I want to do during the day. But once I see my computer, start checking my email and so on, my walk goes right out the window. So at the beginning of the year I made a conscious effort to set up my morning walk so that it’s super easy to do. I always drop off my son at school in the morning, which is only few blocks away. I decided to hook my morning walk to his school drop-off and made several specific changes to my routine to accomplish that:
1. I moved my first morning client that I have every day to start 15 minutes later to give me some extra time – she didn’t mind.
2. I put on my walk clothes when I get dressed in the morning – that way I am always ready to go.
3. I put on my walking shoes when I go to drop off my son.

That’s it! Now all I have to do is turn left (to go for a walk) instead of turning right (to go home) every weekday after I drop my son off – it is so easy to do that I haven’t missed a single day since I started doing it on January 3. Now my morning walk is a default choice and doesn’t require any effort for me to maintain.

How can we apply this to the home yoga practice? You can make some decisions about your practice ahead of time and it will require much less mental and physical effort to get going:

1. Pick a specific time slot when you will do your home yoga practice and for how long. It is best to “hook it” to an activity that you are already doing – right after you get up, after shower, right before lunch, right after work, right before bed, etc. After activity generally works better than before. I like to have a backup slot, too. For example, I usually do my practice at 11.30am, right before lunch. If I happen to have other commitments during that time on some days, my back up slot is 3.15 pm, right after I pick up my son from school. It’s nice to have a backup.

2. Set up your space ahead of time. If you want to practice right when you get out of bed, roll out the mat next to you bed, so that all you have to do is step down on it. If you want to practice at some other time, roll out your mat in a place where you can see it, to serve as a visual reminder. Basically, put the mat in your way so that it’s easier to just step on it and practice than to avoid it. It doesn’t matter where you practice, as long as you do it.

3. Put your yoga clothes on ahead of time. Depending on your work arrangements and other commitments, you can either put on your yoga clothes first thing in the morning, or change into them at lunch, or put them on before you leave work, or first thing when you get home – this is just another reminder for you to get moving.

4. Have a plan for what you will do for your practice. That plan doesn’t have to be rigid, but it needs to be connected to your why-power. What will you do? Will you come up with a practice on the spot or will you use a pre-designed sequence? If you want to be more creative in your practice, then it makes sense to design a practice on the spot based on how you feel on that particular day. If you want to address a specific physical, energetic or emotional issue, it’s better to have a plan, so that you don’t end up drifting in the sea of possibilities. Predesign your practice, do the same practice for a while, or use my yoga app or any other practice resource you like to pick a targeted yoga practice that relates to your why-power.

5. Minimize distractions. Identify activities that get in the way of your practice and put intentional barriers to those habitual behaviors. Just make it harder for yourself to do it. If you get distracted by email on your computer, close your email client and only open it when you need to check email. Turn off your phone, hide your iPad, take the batteries out of your TV remote, etc. The barrier doesn’t need to be huge. If it takes 20 seconds longer to go find the iPad that you tucked away than it does to sit down on your mat, you are more likely to get to your mat.

6. Make conscious choices. If you catch yourself being occupied with other things and leaning toward skipping your practice on any given day, just close your eyes for a moment and ask yourself – what is more important right now? Should I watch another 15 minutes on Netflix (or whatever) or should I do 15 minutes of yoga? Which one will bring me closer to my why-power intention? Then make a conscious choice, whatever it is. Do it every time you find yourself reverting to your old habits.

Here is a succinct summary from Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage:

“The key to […] permanent, positive change is to create habits that automatically pay dividends, without continued concerted effort or extensive reserves of willpower. The key to creating these habits is ritual, repeated practice, until the actions become ingrained in your brain’s neural chemistry. And the key to daily practice is to put your desired actions as close to the path of least resistance as humanly possible. Identify the activation energy—the time, the choices, the mental and physical effort they require—and then reduce it.”

Here is a simple home yoga practice worksheet that you can use to help yourself establish a consistent meaningful home yoga practice. Good luck with building your new habit! Next week we will feature a short simple routine that you can use to jump-start your home yoga practice. Tune in!

OSHO: Miracles – Turning Water into Wine Without License

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

Miracles – Turning Water into Wine Without License


Gangaji – Beyond Practice.avi


School of Spirituality

UNIVERSAL MEDITATION

MEDITATION FOR ALL MANKIND

Universal Meditation is a natural method to place the human soul in conscious contact with God, who is within man and permeates the entire cosmos. According to the Scriptures of the major religions and the Masters of the Highest Order, God manifests Himself through the two primary forms of Celestial Light and Sound.

Meditation gives peace and quiet against the stresses of everyday life and opens the door to the deepest and divine part of ourselves.

THE LINK WITH THE INFINITE

When the Divine Power manifests, it assumes the primary form of Celestial Light and Sound:

  • “Suddenly from the sky came a potent sound like wind that filled the whole house they were in. And upon their heads appeared tongues of fire that divided and rested upon each one of them. And all of them were filled with the Holy Ghost.” – Pentecost, Acts of the Apostles 2:2-4
  • “Within you is the Light and within the Light is the Sound. And they shall lead you to God.” – Nanak (Founder of the Sikh religion, 1469-1538)
  • “The creative Word of God, or God into expression Power, manifests Itself as Light and Sound Principles.” – Sant Kirpal Singh (Master of spirituality and President of the World Fellowship of Religions, 1894–1974)

Since Celestial Light and Sound emanate from the plane of pure Divinity (the House of the Father, Superior Paradise, Immutable Permanence, Sat Lokh, Sach Khand, as it is called in the different religious traditions), entering in contact with them and following them toward their Source, one returns without fail to God, reaching liberation or salvation. It is a practical realization that the Masters have always invited human beings to realize during their lifetime.

 

WHY IS IT CALLED UNIVERSAL MEDITATION?

This Meditation, passed on by Masters of the Highest Order throughout the centuries, is called Universal for the following reasons that can be easily understood:

  1. It can be practiced universally. This meditation can be practiced by all humanity, without making distinctions between sex, age, social position or religion, and gives splendid spiritual results when practiced with regularity and devotion.
  2. It establishes contact with the Power that upholds the entire universe. Through the instructions imparted by the Master of Spirituality, the human soul is placed in contact with the Universal Spirit in Its primary manifestations of Celestial Light and Sound. Through the practice of Universal Meditation one is gradually lead back toward one’s original Source: the House of the Father.
  3. It is the base of all the great religions. The founders of the main religions and philosophies, that have withstood the trials of time, underwent this experience in a direct way. And they also imparted it to their disciples. It can be practiced by people belonging to any faith, without having to change religion.

All through time it has been called with different names, such as “Path of Spirituality” or in the East “Path of the Masters” (Sant Mat), “Meditation on the Divine Word” (Surat Shabd Yoga) and so on, but always meaning the same spiritual discipline.

HAPPINESS AS THE GOAL OF EXISTENCE

The human spirit is of divine nature and can achieve full happiness only when it has consciously realized its own divinity.

The world offers pleasure, money, success and power as icons to worship and to strive for, which do not lead to the permanent happiness that the human soul has been longing for since unmemorable times. All these achievements are temporary and therefore illusory, having to be abandoned the moment the world is left behind, during the final passing, which is everyone’s destiny.

Universal Meditation places the human being in contact with the eternal values within him, allowing him to enter the kingdom of Divine Light and Harmony while he is still alive. This way he gradually realizes eternal happiness, which will accompany him both in this life and in the afterlife.

HUMANITY IS ONE

Humanity is one big family under the Paternity of a sole Creator of all living beings and of the entire cosmos, called God, Brahman, Allah, or the Universal Spirit in the different religious traditions.

MAN IS A DIVINE BEING

Man is the most elevated being in the entire cosmos because Divinity itself resides within him, and he can reach full consciousness of It with the proper guide:

  • “The kingdom of God does not come from without, nor can one say: ‘It is here’ or ‘It is there’. In fact the kingdom of God is within you.”
    Luke 17:20-21
  • “Do you not know that you are the living temple of God, and that the spirit of God lives in you?”
    St. Paul: 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • “All glory and beauty is within you.
    Sant Kirpal Singh (1894-1974)

KNOWLEDGE OF ONESELF LEADS TO KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

OSHO: The Value of Religious Teachings

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

 

In this interview, Osho makes it crystal clear that beautiful words are often used to hide very ugly realities. Q: But haven’t there been some teachings handed down from Jesus which form the basis of much that is good in civilization today? “Nothing. Not a single thing has come out of Jesus which has helped humanity in any way. All those teachings have proved not blessings, but curses. They are beautiful words and because they have been repeated so often, you have – and everybody has – forgotten the implications of them.He says, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” It looks beautiful, but basically it is ugly. It is a consolation to the poor.”

 

PAPAJI – Consciousness alone is


Yoga und Fasten

Yoga

OSHO: There Is No Future for Religion

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

 

OSHO: There Is No Future for Religion: Is not it high time that we stop believing all these wonderful superstitions the organized religions are trying to sell us? – “You have to turn from politicians, from religious people, to the scientist. The whole humanity has to focus on science if it wants to get rid of misery. And my religion I call the science of the inner soul. It is not religion; it is exactly a science. Just as science functions in the objective world, this science functions in the subjective world.”


Sivananda Yoga


The Vedas

There are four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The Vedas are the primary texts of Hinduism. They also had a vast influence on Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Traditionally the text of the Vedas was coeval with the universe. Scholars have determined that the Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas, was composed about 1500 B.C., and codified about 600 B.C. It is unknown when it was finally committed to writing, but this probably was at some point after 300 B.C.

The Vedas contain hymns, incantations, and rituals from ancient India. Along with the Book of the Dead, the Enuma Elish, the I Ching, and the Avesta, they are among the most ancient religious texts still in existence. Besides their spiritual value, they also give a unique view of everyday life in India four thousand years ago. The Vedas are also the most ancient extensive texts in an Indo-European language, and as such are invaluable in the study of comparative linguistics.

Puranas

The Puranas are post-Vedic texts which typically contain a complete narrative of the history of the Universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of the kings, heroes and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology and geography. There are 17 or 18 canonical Puranas, divided into three categories, each named after a deity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There are also many other works termed Purana, known as ‘Upapuranas.’

The Epics

The Mahabharata and Ramayana are the national epics of India. They are probably the longest poems in any language. The Mahabharata, attributed to the sage Vyasa, was written down from 540 to 300 B.C. The Mahabharata tells the legends of the Bharatas, a Vedic Aryan group. The Ramayana, attributed to the poet Valmiki, was written down during the first century A.D., although it is based on oral traditions that go back six or seven centuries earlier. The Ramayana is a moving love story with moral and spiritual themes that has deep appeal in India to this day.

In addition, a key Hindu sacred text, the Bhagavad Gita, is embedded in Book Six of the Mahabharata.

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, usually considered part of the sixth book of the Mahabharata (dating from about 400 or 300 B.C.), is a central text of Hinduism, a philosphical dialog between the god Krishna and the warrior Arjuna. This is one of the most popular and accessible of all Hindu scriptures, required reading for anyone interested in Hinduism. The Gita discusses selflessness, duty, devotion, and meditation, integrating many different threads of Hindu philosophy.


A Short Introduction to Hinduism


 Meditation

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OSHO: I Do Not Believe in Believing

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

 

OSHO: I Do Not Believe in Believing

Did you ever ask yourself why all the religions of the world insist on believing, believing firmly, totally, passionately? Perhaps they have a suspicion, a good reason – that with a little intelligent inquiry, their foundations might not look so solid after all? “Nobody asks me, “Do you believe in the roseflower?” There is no need. You can see: the roseflower is there or it is not there. Only fictions, not facts, have to be believed. God is the greatest fiction that man has created. Hence you have to believe in him.”


Alan Watts – What if when we die we wake up?


How to build a habit of consistent and meaningful home yoga practice

Last week we identified three major obstacles that get in our way of making a positive behavior change (whether it’s maintaining a consistent home yoga practice, or any other action that we want to become more regular):

  1. We need to repeat a behavior many times for it to become a habit.
  2. Our willpower is a limited resource, so any behavior change based on willpower alone is destined to fail.
  3. Every instance of a new behavior requires “activation energy” – an extra mental and physical effort that you need to overcome inertia and start a new positive habit.

Since willpower is a limited resource and we tend to run out of it quickly, Darren Hardy in his book The Compound Effect suggests replacing willpower with why-power. “Forget about willpower. It’s time for why-power. Your choices are only meaningful when you connect them to your desires and dreams. The wisest and most motivating choices are the ones aligned with that which you identify as your purpose, your core self, and your highest values. You’ve got to want something, and know why you want it, or you’ll end up giving up too easily.”

Take a moment now to articulate why you want to do your home yoga practice regularly. Statements like “It’s good for me” or “A yoga teacher should do it” are not particularly motivating. What motivates you right now and connects to your highest values, or has a sense of urgency? Pain somewhere in the body can be a great motivator. Or maybe you deeply value the connection that you make with your yoga students – you can use that to motivate you and inform your yoga practice. Or maybe you find yourself being antsy and mildly irritated lately and you don’t like to be that way – this can be motivating to do a regular yoga practice. Maybe you feel yourself dragging though your day and this is not how you want to be. What kind of great things could you accomplish if you had more energy? Imagine all the possibilities and use them as motivating factors. Personally, I am using my personal yoga practice to inspire myself. I think of myself as a creative person and I love coming up with new fresh ideas for my blog, my teaching, and for how I run my business – my personal yoga practice gives me that in spades. Right now, this is my why-factor. What is yours? You can write it down on a post-it and stick it somewhere where you will see it often (on a refrigerator, or your computer, or the bathroom mirror, etc.) This is also a great service that you can do for your students – to help them identify their why-power and motivate them to do their own home practice.

Once you have a specific inspiring reason to practice, you need to lower the amount of activation energy it takes to jump start your practice on any given day. Since it’s always easier to go with a default choice, you need to make your practice the default choice. For example, I like to start my day with a short walk to get some fresh air and get a clear picture of what I want to do during the day. But once I see my computer, start checking my email and so on, my walk goes right out the window. So at the beginning of the year I made a conscious effort to set up my morning walk so that it’s super easy to do. I always drop off my son at school in the morning, which is only few blocks away. I decided to hook my morning walk to his school drop-off and made several specific changes to my routine to accomplish that:
1. I moved my first morning client that I have every day to start 15 minutes later to give me some extra time – she didn’t mind.
2. I put on my walk clothes when I get dressed in the morning – that way I am always ready to go.
3. I put on my walking shoes when I go to drop off my son.

That’s it! Now all I have to do is turn left (to go for a walk) instead of turning right (to go home) every weekday after I drop my son off – it is so easy to do that I haven’t missed a single day since I started doing it on January 3. Now my morning walk is a default choice and doesn’t require any effort for me to maintain.

How can we apply this to the home yoga practice? You can make some decisions about your practice ahead of time and it will require much less mental and physical effort to get going:

1. Pick a specific time slot when you will do your home yoga practice and for how long. It is best to “hook it” to an activity that you are already doing – right after you get up, after shower, right before lunch, right after work, right before bed, etc. After activity generally works better than before. I like to have a backup slot, too. For example, I usually do my practice at 11.30am, right before lunch. If I happen to have other commitments during that time on some days, my back up slot is 3.15 pm, right after I pick up my son from school. It’s nice to have a backup.

2. Set up your space ahead of time. If you want to practice right when you get out of bed, roll out the mat next to you bed, so that all you have to do is step down on it. If you want to practice at some other time, roll out your mat in a place where you can see it, to serve as a visual reminder. Basically, put the mat in your way so that it’s easier to just step on it and practice than to avoid it. It doesn’t matter where you practice, as long as you do it.

3. Put your yoga clothes on ahead of time. Depending on your work arrangements and other commitments, you can either put on your yoga clothes first thing in the morning, or change into them at lunch, or put them on before you leave work, or first thing when you get home – this is just another reminder for you to get moving.

4. Have a plan for what you will do for your practice. That plan doesn’t have to be rigid, but it needs to be connected to your why-power. What will you do? Will you come up with a practice on the spot or will you use a pre-designed sequence? If you want to be more creative in your practice, then it makes sense to design a practice on the spot based on how you feel on that particular day. If you want to address a specific physical, energetic or emotional issue, it’s better to have a plan, so that you don’t end up drifting in the sea of possibilities. Predesign your practice, do the same practice for a while, or use my yoga app or any other practice resource you like to pick a targeted yoga practice that relates to your why-power.

5. Minimize distractions. Identify activities that get in the way of your practice and put intentional barriers to those habitual behaviors. Just make it harder for yourself to do it. If you get distracted by email on your computer, close your email client and only open it when you need to check email. Turn off your phone, hide your iPad, take the batteries out of your TV remote, etc. The barrier doesn’t need to be huge. If it takes 20 seconds longer to go find the iPad that you tucked away than it does to sit down on your mat, you are more likely to get to your mat.

6. Make conscious choices. If you catch yourself being occupied with other things and leaning toward skipping your practice on any given day, just close your eyes for a moment and ask yourself – what is more important right now? Should I watch another 15 minutes on Netflix (or whatever) or should I do 15 minutes of yoga? Which one will bring me closer to my why-power intention? Then make a conscious choice, whatever it is. Do it every time you find yourself reverting to your old habits.

Here is a succinct summary from Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage:

“The key to […] permanent, positive change is to create habits that automatically pay dividends, without continued concerted effort or extensive reserves of willpower. The key to creating these habits is ritual, repeated practice, until the actions become ingrained in your brain’s neural chemistry. And the key to daily practice is to put your desired actions as close to the path of least resistance as humanly possible. Identify the activation energy—the time, the choices, the mental and physical effort they require—and then reduce it.”

Here is a simple home yoga practice worksheet that you can use to help yourself establish a consistent meaningful home yoga practice. Good luck with building your new habit! Next week we will feature a short simple routine that you can use to jump-start your home yoga practice. Tune in!


Ayurveda

Sadhguru about Mind as 4 parts -Touching the source of creation

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

Sadhguru about Mind as 4 parts -Touching the source of creation

-The Four Parts of the Mind -In the yogic culture There is a physical body, there is a mental body -what you call as mind is a certain combination of memory and intelligence. -Your body has a trillion times more memory than your so-called brain. -You can only think from the data that you already have gathered. That means you can never think anything new. -You can recycle it, you can rehash it, you can produce permutations and combinations of it but you cannot think something absolutely new. -mind as 4 parts. -One is the intellect -second one is called as ahankara.it means the identity. -Third is called as manas, which is a huge volume of memory. It is not here or there, entire body carries memory. -fourth dimension of the mind is called as chitta.Chitta means it’s pure intelligence. -If you touch this, then you have access to what you are referring as the source of creation

Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi Mini Documentary

Aum: Copyright J.B. Hare 1999, All Rights Reserved

Hinduism

Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi Mini Documentary

Since its release in 1946, Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi has inspired millions all over the world with its revolutionary spiritual teachings, and has had a profound impact on the modern day spiritual culture. This video offers an overview of the far-reaching influence of this spiritual classic.