Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Highlights from my diary

(recently moved into a new apartment with no internet yet, so blog posts might be less frequent till I get connected)

I just got back from The Uncle Uncanny’s Music Festival. It was a wonderful experience full of shri (beauty) and Lila (play). I danced to music, made new friends, played/ got stung by a bee, taught yoga, hula hooped, reiki, swam in a river, smelled the earth, smelled flowers, watched the sky….
Once I returned home to my new apartment I arranged my books on my bookshelf and came across my journal from a few months back, that I had temporarily packed. I looked through some of my entries and thought I would briefly share (these are just highlights from some of the topics I have been studying, if one interests you leave a comment and I would love to elaborate more fully.)

1. Yoga Sutras 2:3 discusses the 5 Kleshas (pains/blockages to spirit)
a. Avidya: ignorance (a =not, vidya=truth) associated with tamas
Asmita: “I-ness” “ego” a false sense of self. The person you think you are is not the person others think you to be. Makes it hard to learn from karma.
Raga: attachment. It’s not nessisarily your physical possession of something it is that things possession of you. Attachment of the mind (I find this kleshas fascinating, it is very interesting to observe)
Dvesa: repulsion, fear of the new/unusual/different (closed minded, judgmental)
Abhinivesah: fear of loss, clinging to one’s life

Thinking of maya reminds me of the freedom we have in our life. I heard Douglas Brooks say (roughly) its great we have freedom! The problem is everyone else has freedom too. This freedom allows us to fully enjoy life and choose our perspectives. We can choose to be negative; we can choose to pick at everything, point out and notice the bad. We can choose to see the darkest side of every situation. I think most people choose these perspectives because it is easy, it is easy to notice the bad. We also are free to choose another perspective. We can choose to be positive, we can choose to see the goodness in life we can even choose to see that everything in its essence is imbedded with goodness, everything is intrinsically good. We can choose to look at the brightest side of every situation.
Question: How can we use the kleshas to see the beauty and goodness in life?

2. The 3 A’s of Anusara yoga and Karma, Jnana, Bhakti...

a. I have been re reading the Bhagavad Gita and reading other translations (which is always fascinating to look at someone else’s perspectives). I think Krishna’s main teachings in The Gita are the Three Ways to “God”. Krishna tells Arjuna that you can connect with the heart and with God through Karma (action), Jnana (knowledge), and Bhakti (devotion). What I love to much about Anusara yoga is that it offers an invitation not to pick one of these ways to know and connect more fully with your heart, but Anusara yoga is an invitation to practice all three of these ways at once, we call these the 3 A’s of Anusara yoga. The three A’s and how they relate to the three forms of yoga:
• Attitude (the Will to be, know and to do)= Bhakti
Alignment (knowing the Will) = Jnana
Action (manifesting the Will) = Karma

3. The Highest purpse of Anusara Yoga
a. CHIT: Self-Knowledge to know oneself
b. SHIVA: Awakening, recognition, remembrance, self-realization, enlightenment
c. ANANDA: Creative expression, to enjoy the freedom of being
d. SHAKTI: Make beauty, serve the increased joy of the whole, exulting in the Goodness, celebration, flowing with the heart

4. Pranayama is formed by two Sanskrit words. Prana= Life force energy, Yama= The control of. Pranayama is really cool because when we use and control our breath we can conrol our life force energy.

a. These are five main movements of Prana:
• Prana: rising in-drawing energy, from foundation and extending up
• Apana: downward rooting energy, rooting into foundation
• Samana: contracts to the core, hugging into the midline
• Udana: Rises and moved outward, extending out from midlife, organic energy

b. These five movements of Prana underlie every movement we see around us. Everything is an extension of Prana…The way we move, a tree grows, a car moves, the planets swirl, our heart beats… Prana this vital life force energy is marvelous because it is the fabric of everything. It is like the oneness we can merge and experience our self with. Through the experience and control of our breath we can begin to experience our pranic body. This experience opens us up to something bigger. First principle.

c. “All that exists in the three heavens rests in the control of Prana. As a mother her children, oh Prana, protect us and give us splendor and wisdom” Prashna Upanishad 2.13

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