Yoga e' di particolare beneficio per il benessere fisico emotivo e mentale. Sono qualificata con Dona Holleman ETTY e Orit Sen-Gupta VIJNANA Yoga International.
Rest in natural great peace
This exhausted mind,
By karma and neurotic thoughts,
Like the unceasing fury
of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in the natural great peace.
Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
WE THINK WE’RE CONSCIOUS BUT WE’RE NOT
The nature of emotional pride is such that you go around with your nose in the air. You never want to see what’s in front of you or look down. The antidote is to do prostrations.
When I talk about prostrations I don’t mean that you prostrate to only the Buddha. As Shantideva said, we can also prostrate to all mother sentient beings by remembering that the basic, fundamental nature of their minds is as equally pure as that of an enlightened being.
Furthermore, doing prostrations doesn’t necessarily mean doing either the full-length or five-point ones. If you’re out on a busy city street and suddenly go down on the sidewalk people are going to freak out. Instead of doing that you can simply make mental prostrations. Remember, there are three ways of prostrating: with body, speech and mind.
The Buddha was so skillful. He gave us methods for every situation. So even if you’re on a crowded street and want to make prostrations, instead of putting on a big show and doing them physically, where everybody’s going to think, “What on earth is that?” you can just prostrate mentally.
If you do things with understanding, it’s so worthwhile. If you do them without understanding and then ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” you’ll conclude that you’re going backwards instead of advancing. Practicing with understanding is helpful in treating your uncontrolled mind. If you practice like that everything will become worthwhile.
The same applies to making offerings. We don’t offer food to the Buddha because he’s hungry. We do it as part of training our mind to release emotional miserliness. The way we should look at charity is that no matter what the material value of what we give, the real value of generosity is in what we gain: knowledge-wisdom. Of course, it depends on your attitude. Even if you offer only one dollar you can still gain a lot. Basically you have to understand the psychology of the various Dharma practices you do, especially those that automatically make you uncomfortable.
But everything has meaning. For example, incense symbolizes the pure energy of body, speech and mind, especially pure thoughts. The real essence of incense is within you and the sticks we burn are external symbols of that. The real incense is in your mind. You have to know that, otherwise when you offer incense you’re just imitating people you’ve seen doing it, just copying Easterners. That’s not right. The real incense is your pure thought that gives pure vibrations to others.
It’s the same when you’re offering light. External lights have the function of destroying darkness, of making things clear. But the real candlelight is within you—it’s your wisdom. So whenever you offer incense or light you should do so with a dedication like, “May my mind and those of all mother sentient beings be filled with the light of knowledge wisdom and completely purified of the darkness shadow that makes us totally unconscious and causes all suffering.”
In other words, everything we do that might look like ritual is actually training our mind and freeing us from agitated states and impulses. It’s very useful.
Then why do we have all these physical objects on our altars? Buddhists are supposed to renounce material things and then we put all these statues and paintings here? That’s kind of strange. Well, we think it’s far preferable to having pictures of fashion models and rock stars on our walls. Those things automatically draw our attention and stimulate attachment. It’s like when we’re in the supermarket and see all these desirable foods and think, “Fantastic! How much money do I have? Oh, not enough, how can I get some?” and then we go, “Mom, Dad, can I have some money please?” “No, you can’t!” and we’re so disappointed.
That’s all visualization. Expert marketers know how to display products in order to trigger our attachment and make us want to buy them. They understand people’s basic psychological energy and how the combination of appealing object and craving desire reacts. That association makes us go pam! There’s contact and we go berserk. We lose wisdom and become unconscious.
We have to know this. We think we’re conscious but we’re not. When we’re overwhelmed by attraction and attachment we actually become unconscious. If you check carefully at such times you’ll find that perhaps at first your mind is very clear but as attachment takes over, something dark seems to envelop your mind. Check up. That’s experience. You see, Lord Buddha’s psychology is not about what you believe but what you experience. Go into town right now and see what happens! That’s reality.
And that’s why I always say that Lord Buddha’s teachings are so scientific. They’re very different from Western modes of religious expression. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying that Buddhist psychology and teachings may be different from what you were brought up with. They’re not about believing certain things and then going to heaven when you die; not about doing something now and waiting for a long time to experience the result. No! If you act correctly with wisdom right now you can see the result in the next second. It’s so simple.
Lama Yeshe gave this teaching at a weekend seminar in Christchurch, New Zealand, 14 June, 1975. Edited by Nicholas Ribush.
Image of Lama Yeshe teaching with Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 1975 at a two-week course at Louie-Bob Wood's Bodhicitta Center in Brown County, Indiana.#biglovelamayeshe
Many of us live under the medical myth that the heart is only a pump, an idea borne of an industrialised culture that views the body as a machine.
The heart however is so much more beautiful and fascinating than we ever could have imagined!
“Modern analysis of the heart has shown that in spite of the fact that the most powerful ventricle of the heart can shoot water six feet into the air, the amount of pressure actually needed to force the blood through the entire length of the body’s blood vessels would have to be able to lift a one hundred pound weight one mile high” - Stephen Buhner
So how does the blood move around the labyrinth-like vessels of our body?
It moves of its own accord.
You see, blood flow is not a simple stream like we once thought.
It is in fact composed of two streams, spiralling around each other much like the image of a DNA double helix, at the centre of which is a vacuum.
“Blood flow through living vessels is much more like a tornado than anything else: Such a vacuum is necessary for producing a vortex” - Stephen Buhner
How cool is that?
This spiral dance is not only found in the bloodstream, but also in the blood cell itself!
Blood cells in fact spin on their own individual axes of rotation. They are smaller spinning cells in a larger spinning vortex.
If your mind is not blown yet, let’s go back to the heart.
The heart itself has recently been discovered not to be a mass of muscle, but rather a ‘helicoidal myocardial band’ that has spiralled in upon itself, creating its unique shape and its separate chambers.
This is called the Helical Heart, and you can see doctors unravel it by searching ‘Helical Heart’ on Youtube.
Pair this with discoveries that the heart functions as an endocrine gland, has its own nervous system that makes and releases its own neurotransmitters, and emits an electromagnetic field that is far stronger than the brain’s, and we begin to move from the idea that the heart is simply a mechanical pump.
It is a spiralling organ of perception.
If that’s not beautiful, we don’t know what is.
Incredible Art by Gabriel Keleman
~ Evidence-Based Research:
~ Watch them un-ravel the Heart here:
To reflect upon 🙏🏽
The History of Yoga
The saying, "What's in the past, should stay in the past" - doesn't work here.
We might already have an idea of what Yoga is but to understand it better, we have to know what it has become as well as its roots and beginnings. A quick look at the history of Yoga will help us appreciate its rich tradition and who knows, it might help us incorporate Yoga into our lives.
Although Yoga is said to be as old as civilization, there is no physical evidence to support this claim. Earliest archaeological evidence of Yoga's existence could be found in stone seals which depict figures of Yoga Poses. The stone seals place Yoga's existence around 3000 B.C.
Scholars, however, have a reason to believe that Yoga existed long before that and traced its beginnings in Stone Age Shamanism. Both Shamanism and Yoga have similar characteristics particularly in their efforts to improve the human condition at that time. Also, they aim to heal community members and the practitioners act as religious mediators. Though we know Yoga as focusing more on the self, it started out as community-oriented before it turned inward.
For a better discussion of the history of Yoga, we could divide it into four periods: the Vedic Period, Pre-Classical Period, Classical Period, and Post-Classical Period.
The existence of the Vedas marks this period. The Vedas is the sacred scripture of Brahmanism that is the basis of modern-day Hinduism. It is a collection of hymns which praise a divine power. The Vedas contains the oldest known Yogic teachings and as such, teachings found in the Vedas are called Vedic Yoga. This is characterized by rituals and ceremonies that strive to surpass the limitations of the mind.
During this time, the Vedic people relied on rishis or dedicated Vedic Yogis to teach them how to live in divine harmony. Rishis were also gifted with the ability to see the ultimate reality through their intensive spiritual practice. It was also during this time that Yogis living in seclusion (in forests) were recorded.
The creation of the Upanishads marks the Pre-Classical Yoga. The 200 scriptures of the Upanishads (the conclusion of the revealed literature) describe the inner vision of reality resulting from devotion to Brahman. These explain three subjects: the ultimate reality (Brahman), the transcendental self (atman), and the relationship between the two. The Upanishads further explain the teachings of the Vedas.
Yoga shares some characteristics not only with Hinduism but also with Buddhism that we can trace in its history. During the sixth century B.C., Buddha started teaching Buddhism, which stresses the importance of Meditation and the practice of physical postures. Siddharta Gautama, the first Buddhist to study Yoga, achieved enlightenment at the age of 35.
Later, around 500" class="related_products_container" B.C., the Bhagavad-Gita or Lord's Song was created and this is currently the oldest known Yoga scripture. It is devoted entirely to Yoga and has confirmed that it has been an old practice for some time. However, it doesn't point to a specific time wherein Yoga could have started. The central point to the Gita is that - to be alive means to be active and in order to avoid difficulties in our lives and in others, our actions have to benign and have to exceed our egos.
Just as the Upanishads further the Vedas, the Gita builds on and incorporates the doctrines found in the Upanishads. In the Gita, three facets must be brought together in our lifestyle: Bhakti or loving devotion, Jnana which is knowledge or contemplation, and Karma which is about selfless actions. The Gita then tried to unify Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Karma Yoga and it is because of this that it has gained importance. The Gita was a conversation between Prince Arjuna and God-man Krishna and it basically stresses the importance of opposing evil.
The Classical Period is marked by another creation - the Yoga Sutra. Written by Patanjali around the second century, it was an attempt to define and standardize Classical Yoga. It is composed of 195 aphorisms or sutras (from the Sanskrit word which means thread) that expound upon the Raja Yoga and its underlying principle, Patanjali's Eightfold path of Yoga (also called Eight Limbs of Classical Yoga). These are:
Yama, which means social restraints or ethical values;
Niyama, which is personal observance of purity, tolerance, and study;
Asanas or physical exercises;
Pranayama, which means breath control or regulation;
Pratyahara or sense withdrawal in preparation for Meditation;
Dharana, which is about concentration;
Dhyana, which means Meditation; and
Samadhi, which means ecstasy.
Patanjali believed that each individual is a composite of matter (prakriti) and spirit (purusha). He further believed that the two must be separated in order to cleanse the spirit - a stark contrast to Vedic and Pre-Classical Yoga that signify the union of body and spirit.
Patanjali's concept was dominant for some centuries that some Yogis focused exclusively on Meditation and neglected their Asanas. It was only later that the belief of the body as a temple was rekindled and attention to the importance of the Asana was revived. This time, Yogis attempted to use Yoga techniques to change the body and make it immortal.
At this point, we see a proliferation of literature as well as the practice of Yoga. Post-classical Yoga differs from the first three since its focus is more on the present. It no longer strives to liberate a person from reality but rather teaches one to accept it and live at the moment.
Yoga was introduced in the West during the early 19th century. It was first studied as part of Eastern Philosophy and began as a movement for health and vegetarianism around the 1930's. By the 1960's, there was an influx of Indian teachers who expounded on Yoga. One of them was Maharishi Mahesh, the Yogi who popularized Transcendental Meditation. Another one is a prominent Yoga Guru Swami Sivananda. Sivananda was a doctor in Malaysia and he later opened schools in America and Europe. The most prominent of his works is his modified Five Principles of Yoga which are:
Savasana or proper relaxation;
Asanas or proper exercise;
Pranayama or proper breathing;
Proper diet; and
Dhyana or positive thinking and Meditation
Sivananda wrote more than 200 books on Yoga and Philosophy and had many disciples who furthered Yoga.
Some of them were Swami Satchitananda who introduced chanting and Yoga to Woodstock; Swami Sivananada Radha who explored the connection between psychology and Yoga, and Yogi Bhajan who started teaching Kundalini Yoga in the 70's.
Up to this day, Yoga continues to proliferate and spread its teachings, crossing the boundaries of culture and language.
Practice practice practice
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Sitting in meditation for 15 minutes or an hour each morning is important dharma practice. More important is the other 23+ hours of the day. Being aware of our inner world of thoughts and emotions is where the rubber hits the road. Observe negative judgment towards ourselves or others, jealousy, anger, pride, or self-criticism, is the beginning. Rather than reacting and playing out the negativity, we respond by analyzing the situation and moving our response to appreciation, compassion, humility, and healthy self-confidence. Remove the ego from the equation. Then we are cooking. This is genuine dharma practice. Emaho!
Seer & Seeing 🕉
Seer & Seeing 🕉
In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other:
“Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”
The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”
The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”
The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”
The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”
“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”
The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”
The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”
Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”
To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”
- Útmutató a Léleknek
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