Introducing Yoga

January 22nd, 2010

The word yoga means to unite, to join together or to integrate. In regard to the practice known as Yoga, there are several spheres of reference – integration of the physical with the emotional nature –to co-ordinate emotional and mental aims – to integrate mind and body – and to join the individual soul to the Universal Life Source, or God.

The system known as Yoga is an integral part of the classical systems of Indian Philosophy, all of which stem from the ancient and profound Vedic teachings that are considered to have their origin in antiquity. The Vedas refer to all aspects of human life and the natural sciences, including those involved in the spiritual evolution and advancement of mankind.

yoga

It is believed that all our great western philosophers over the centuries have dipped into and adopted these Indian wisdom teachings with the result that many similar ideas permeate their doctrines.  Both the philosophic and the practical guidelines of old are a valued source of information that continues to inspire earnest scholars as well as all those who question life today.

What follows will help you, whether you are a beginner seeking to improve your physical and mental health, or you are an exponent seeking for new insights to encourage your continuing practice of Yoga.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF WOMAN

March 8th, 2017

To attempt to express in every endeavour the natural female qualities most sacred –beauty, peace and love.
To nurture and protect infant life – during gestation and following
To elevate the quality of life
To preserve natural beauty and to honour the kingdoms of all natural life
To foster idealism and refinement
To preside within the home over moral values and response to departures from ethics
To contribute to peace
To ensure education of children prepares them to cope with material, emotional and mental conditions.
To teach by home values rather than rely upon artificially generated values fostered in external indoctrinations and attitude of outside institutions.
To teach the subtle truths such as an innate belief in the inherent qualities residing in each person and to respect themselves as they do others.
To accept early responsibility to a large extent, for the health and well being of the whole family and to be aware that the grounding only is her care, not the decisions that are made by free choices of the child after reaching maturity.
To ensure that there is an equal emphasis placed upon the role of parents and to cultivate equal respect due to them.
To cherish the classical cultures teaching honesty, truth and positive creative actions whilst being helpful as to overcoming fears, mistrust and uncertainties.
To convey the spiritual realities and status of importance along with the material, psychological and intellectual goals.
To be loyal to her feminine nature and its gentle qualities and strengths and not seek to usurp those of men.
To refrain from assertions of her opinion, attitudes and female role other than that established as complementary to the male rather than antagonistic. Only co-operatively can peace be found in the home.

CORRECTIONS

March 1st, 2017

CORRECTIONS
Many of us ask, in the light of the current world chaos that exists within individual, social and global relationships – ‘where have we gone wrong as a people?’ and more importantly we follow it with ‘what can we do about it?’
Most of us are acutely aware of feeling distanced from great Nature in our materialistic modern world. It is clear enough that human culture once remembered and looked with reverence to Nature as the source of Creative Life but now neglects to accept it as a greater power within which humans live and demonstrate their wondrous material skills and mastery of a range of technologies.
In spite of these skills, a dedicated surgeon for instance, is still inclined to pray for higher assistance in performing his part before allowing Nature’s healing processes to function in their profound and mysterious healing ways that defy analysis by human reason. In spite of knowledge in chemistry, botany and organic sciences there is no human who can recreate the magic form and functions of a simple leaf or create the beauty of a perfumed rose. There are many aims that challenge human intelligence and skills and rekindle humility in the light of the wonders of Nature.
We become less as a people, if working without a conscious integration and awareness of forces greater than ourselves and upon which our lives are totally dependent.
Many attempts by visionaries have sought to persuade us to ‘return to Nature’ over the last couple of centuries of our times. Awareness has now increased to awaken us all to the scale of human desecration of natural life that has been and is still perpetrated. In this, we have been passive if not actively participating members of society.
It is also becoming clear across the whole world and its people that urgent and effective action is needed. We have failed to act earlier and any correction now will likely not be enough.Yet still let us look to the origins of each issue of our wrongdoing. We must look to the source of each cause of pollution, damage, or disease that involves interference with the natural balance of Nature and its laws.
Once identified it must be that cessation of the root cause is exacted. For example, to allow continued manufacture of lethal toxic substances that are proven a danger instead of being banned is not the answer as in the case of tobacco. Here the right of customers to freely purchase toxins is considered a democratic right that for political reasons is considered a greater ‘right’ than the responsibility to protect the public.
No longer do we look to more discussion, more sub-committees, or displays of ineffective management but we call for leadership and strong decisions and strong actions from government. Without this we are lost. We need statesmen and women not politicians. We need common sense. We need dedication to save our country. We need co-operation within and without all nations. We need to know our world is safe.
The issues we must deal with are many. What we achieve on one issue may be replicated in the next if our attitudes and judgements are intelligently applied now and our love and respect for great Nature is rekindled so that we can be allied and not alien.

KNOW YOUR OWN HEART

December 11th, 2016

The richer and wider your embrace and love for life, all that you love will belong to you.
This is the inspiration of the Bhakti – to grow in emotional capacity to love the whole world, in an embrace that does not alter or falter. It is thought this brings a human being closer in consciousness to the Mighty Reality of the Great Creator of the created Universe.
The sacred teachings of the ancient wisdom make us aware that our hearts must stretch and expand in flexibility as far as we find possible.
Our hearts must also be strong and capable of contracting to focus in devotion or upon fulfilling specific tasks required in helping other beings.
Just as the muscles of our body disciplines aim at flexibility as well as strength, so we are guided to develop a strong and loving heart.
What we love we can relate to with open heart and mind, generous and unstinting in affection that will help us to greater understanding just as any adverse contractions of feelings of self alone, make us mean and tend to stunt our development as a humane being.
The passive and constant state of the heart should ideally reflect feelings of loving kindness that allow us to slip deeper to our core where the soul is anchored. There in the permanent atom of the heart is where we find limitless light, wisdom and truth enabling us to link to the source of being.
It could be seen that by experiencing sincere love we bear for life, for people, things, creatures, nature, our country and all facets of human existence will bring us closer to a state of Universal Consciousness that establishes a more direct link with our mysterious Maker.

…………………..

The Guru

November 18th, 2016

Of all Gurus, Nature itself is supreme.

…………….

September 23rd, 2016

AHIMSA

Ahimsa or the principle of non-violence is the first of the ethical teachings of classical Yoga.
It is expected to be applied directly in the life of an individual, in thought, feelings and in action.

Some ethical factors would seem to require common sense and others require a little conscious consideration, importantly remembering that gentle persuasion is not weakness.

Commencing with our own physical training it relates to an attitude of quiet persuasion rather than a bullying of muscle and sinew. It is believed that the body intelligence responds to kindness and will co-operate to extraordinary extent to please in physical exercises and controls. This is why we should take care to elect the wisest path in the goal to control the
body and have a constructive purpose behind mastering Asanas, for instance. To do otherwise can open the door to mindless performances of physical skill.

In this present outer world of material ambition, hostility, aggression and violence beyond reason, gentleness is a rare quality and remains predominantly to be nurtured to expression in the female nature, through the Moon aspect of Hatha Yoga, just as strength is the province of the male.

Ahimsa is adopted in attitude towards others that can also be acceptance of differences but is not to be applied with sacrifice of one’s own values and freedoms. We must seek for wisdom in dealings with others and most of us need to find time to meditate upon the complexities social life presents.

Ahimsa symbolises the dissolving of any idea of hurting, harming or wishing to hurt, kill or harm any living creature whether by thought or action. This is sometimes resisted by our reluctant emotions or feelings in the course of self culture and self control encourage by the yogic teachings.

Ahimsa can be applied to indirect actions of others, such as the killing of innocent animals and creatures which have the capacity to give comfort on one hand when considered ‘pets’, or to provide food when eaten. However, it is not a conscious decision of an animal to offer itself for our table,so must be considered in the light of the human, its custodian. Those who understand and love animals wish no part in their slaughter and consumption refrain from eating meat,as demonstrated by the vegetarian who understands the spirit of Ahimsa.

Loving kindness inspires the life of spiritual people and is the heart of all human growth in culture. In this, we must be also kind to our own self and avoid harshness and cruelty of any kind and yet deal with the outer world that has different values.

In the face of all the concerns of material life, it is good to know that gentleness and kindness can pave the path to eventual peace, both within and without.

KNOW YOUR OWN HEART

May 9th, 2016

All that you love will belong to you …….the richer and wider your love for life …the richer you will come as you embrace the Whole world.
This is the inspiration of the Bhakti – to grow in emotional capacity to love the whole world, in an embrace that does not alter or falter but is closest a human being can become aware in consciousness of the Mighty Reality of the Creator.
The sacred teachings of the ancient wisdom make us aware that our hearts must stretch and expand as far as we find possible; our hearts must also be strong and capable of contracting to focus in devotion upon tasks or in helping other beings just as the muscles of our body preparations aim at flexibility and strength.
The passive and constant state of the heart should reflect feelings of loving kindness that allows us to slip deeper to our core where the soul is anchored in the permanent atom of the heart where we find limitless light, wisdom and truth of our source of being.
What one loves, one can relate to with open heart and mind, generous and unstinting in affection. And thereby we grow. We grow by expansion just as by adverse contraction in thoughts of ourselves alone will make us shrink in human qualities and make us mean.
Knowing and experiencing sincere love for life, for people, things, creatures, nature, our country throughout all facets of human existence brings us closer to the great Heart absolute.

Ahimsa Applied

April 30th, 2016

Ahimsa or the principle of non-violence is the first of the ethical
teachings of classical Yoga. It is expected to be applied directly
in the life of an individual, in thought, feelings and in action.

Some factors would seem to require common sense and others require a little
conscious consideration, importantly remembering that gentle persuasion
is not weakness.

Commencing with our own physical training it relates to an attitude of
quiet persuasion rather than a bullying of muscle and sinew. It is believed
that the body intelligence responds to kindness and will co-operate to
extraordinary extent to please in physical exercises and controls. This is
why we should take care to elect the wisest path in the goal to control the
body and have a constructive purpose behind mastering Asanas, for instance.
To do otherwise can open the door to mindless performances of physical skill.

In this present outer world of material ambition, hostility, aggression and
violence beyond reason,gentleness is a rare quality and remains predominantly
to be nurtured to expression in the female nature, through the Moon aspect of
Hatha Yoga, just as strength is the province of the male.

Ahimsa is adopted in attitude towards others that can also be acceptance of
differences but is not to be applied with sacrifice of one’s own values and
freedoms. We must seek for wisdom in dealings with others and most of us
need to find time to meditate upon the complexities social life presents.

Ahimsa symbolises the dissolving of any idea of hurting, harming or wishing to
hurt, kill or harm any living creature whether by thought or action. This is
sometimes resisted by our reluctant emotions or feelings in the course of
self culture and self control encourage by the yogic teachings.

Ahimsa can be applied to indirect actions of others, such as the killing of
innocent animals and creatures which have the capacity to give comfort on one
hand when considered ‘pets’, or to provide food when eaten. However, it is not a
conscious decision of an animal to offer itself for our table,so must be considered in
the light of the human, its custodian. Those who understand and love animals wish
no part in their slaughter and consumption refrain from eating meat,as demonstrated
by the vegetarian who understands the spirit of Ahimsa.

Loving kindness inspires the life of spiritual people and is the heart of all human
growth in culture. In this, we must be also kind to our own self and avoid harshness
and cruelty of any kind and yet deal with the outer world that has different values.

In the face of all the concerns of material life, it is good to know that gentleness
and kindness can pave the path to eventual peace, both within and without.

Spiritual Consciousness

March 9th, 2016

Sometimes on lying down on the sward, I first looked up at the sky, gazing for a long time till I could see deep into the azure and my eyes were full of the colour; then I turned my face to the grass and thyme, placing my hands at each side of my face so as to shut out everything and hid myself.

Having drunk deeply of the heaven above and felt the most glorious beauty of the day, and remembering the old, old sea, which (as it seemed to me) as but just yonder at the edge, I now became lost and absorbed into the being or existence of the universe.

I felt down deep into the earth under, and high above into the sky and farther still to the sun and stars. Still farther beyond the stars into the hollow of space, and losing thus my separateness of being, came to seem like a part of the whole.

Then I whispered to the earth beneath, through the grass and thyme down into the depth of it’s ear and again up to the starry space hid behind the blue of the day……

From “The Story of my Heart” Richard Jefferies

Illumination

March 6th, 2016

Thoughts on Illumination of Consciousness

“Illumination dissolves all material ties and binds men together with the golden chains of spiritual understanding; it acknowledges only the leadership of the Christ; it has no ritual or rule but the divine, impersonal universal Love; no other worship than the inner Flame that is ever lit at the shrine of Spirit.
This union is the free state of spiritual brotherhood.
The only restraint is the discipline of Soul, therefore we know liberty without license; a divine service to God without ceremony or creed. The illumined walk without fear – by Grace.”

from “The Infinite Way” pub. George Allen & Unwin

AHIMSA IS NON-VIOLENCE

February 3rd, 2016

The first stipulation in the system of Yoga that introduces Yama/Niyama, the disciplines of restraint of wrongs and the cultivation of virtues, is to curb and eradicate violence. It is obvious that as long as there is a propensity for violence in any form, there is potential for negative or destructive energies and actions that can harm ourselves, others or other living creatures.
Students of Yoga will be familiar with the application of practising non-violence when dealing with physical practices, even extreme disciplines that require the reminder not to strain or force the body, but rather cajole it. Obviously we must cleanse ourselves psychologically also that we do not wish to harm or hurt others by our feelings or thoughts.
There is never a time in human history to our knowledge, that instead of successful work towards creation of peace and well-being amongst the people of Earth, we are surrounded by violence to an extraordinary and appalling extent. From increased homicides, domestic violence, sexual aberrations and rape, torture and abuses inflicted even upon children, we are contending with the knowledge that our society is in grave danger of total disintegration of our previous values and philosophies of kindness, wisdom and peace. Our freedoms are at risk.
Disintegration is occurring from inside our civilization and from deliberate effort to destroy it from unidentified individuals claiming ‘responsibility’ by group admission, These are groups that however, are not brought to suffer from their admitted evils but have proven to be free as residents in countries other than their own, countries believing themselves to be humane by offering them refuge. That the compassionate suffer as victims of their kindness is far from acceptable and we know that countries are having at last to take a stance to defend the innocent from the traitors in their midst.
That these people are terrorists because of a desire to bully everyone else into ‘believing’ their own religion is a wake-up call that few in the democratic countries have come to realise, but too late, for what it is and responded in the way cowards do by not facing up to issues – in this case, having been persuaded that we must not ‘offend’ Muslims and those of these aggressive religious beliefs. Such an attitude is not applied to Christians, or Buddhists or any other religion and the argument does not comply with reasonable thought.
We must observe the insanity that rules violence and seek to curb it by healthy thought and reasonable methods.
Most of us are not placed in powerful positions enough to ‘do something’ about the traitors masquerading as refugees, or the fact that our nation and others have demonstrated generous harbourage to others at the cost of their own coffers. But we can each mind our own business and be sure that we study to understand all the implications of Ahimsa practised in our own lives and in our circle of society.
Our freedoms are at risk.