Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 150  The World is for Our Enjoyment
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The World is for Our Enjoyment

The world is for our enjoyment. If we know how to make use of everything in the proper light and with the proper attitude, then everything will bring us health, happiness and joy. But even the begging bowl will bring pain if the renunciate is going to attach his or her identity to it.

God bless you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.”    Sri Swami Satchidananda

(photo: Swami Satchidananda and students at Iguazu Falls, Argentina-Brazil border, 1990)

Spiritual Practice: Never Give Up!
By Sri Swami Satchidananda

Recently I was asked the question, “What can I do when I find I am lacking the discipline to practice my disciplines?” Follow the spirit: The spirit vs. the mind—that means your own inner consciousness and your outer mind. There is always a tug of war between those two. So which side do you want to take? Do you want to take the side of the spirit? Then, ignore the argument of the mind. It has been well spoiled and wants to use the same old route. So don’t give in. Either control it, or, ignore it if you can’t control it. How to control the mind is the eternal question in all the spiritual approaches. One of the great Indian saints, Adi Shankaracharya (see photo), expresses the same idea when he says the mind is like a wild monkey running around that is hard to control. So, we have a monkey mind. But, with persistence, you will always be successful. Don’t give up. When the mind wants to do something that is not to your benefit, try to do the opposite to control the mind. You will win one day, no doubt. It’s not something new. Many people have achieved this discipline and control. If one person achieves something in the world at any time, it can be done the same way by everybody.  MORE

Yoga teachers step into a profession that comes with a lifelong trajectory of learning, inquiry, and continued education. The first few years—or decades—of a new teacher’s career are vital in planting the seeds for long-term success. While a yoga teacher training program or certification course may offer a starting point for leading classes, the true depth of understanding of the nuances of practice and how to teach only come with time. Having a mentor to guide and refine one’s skills is imperative to the growth process post-teacher training. It is also a recognition that to be a good teacher means making a commitment to being a lifelong student. This feels especially important in the yoga community today. After all, now more people are practicing yoga than ever before, teacher training programs are expanding, and ethical issues are at the forefront of the conversation. The relationship between mentor/teacher and student is one that can be both intimate and profoundly transformative. For most of yoga’s history, this has been the primary mode in which people have studied to become a teacher.  MORE

By 1971, Alice Coltrane had gained a reputation as a major music innovator and was developing her own musical language. On Journey in Satchidananda, she still made use of the compositional structures of her previous acclaimed Impulse! albums. However, this LP was also deeply influenced by the teachings of guru Swami Satchidananda, whose huge popularity at the end of the ‘60s became a symbol for America’s growing search for peace at the end of a particularly violent decade. Journey in Satchidananda created space for a meeting of cultures; its music was of great spiritual depth and a psychedelic fusion of modal jazz with Indian, African and Middle Eastern styles. It also featured a blend of instruments from the East and the West, with the former headed by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders (whose name appears on the covers) and the latter represented by the presence of such instruments as the oud and the tamboura, plus Coltrane herself leading and providing a modal core on piano or harp.
"You can do it, you can undo it, and you can do it differently." –Sri Swami Satchidananda
I smiled as I took in the view of the 17 plants, nearly two flats, of ajuga, often known as carpet bugleweed. It is a beautiful ground cover that, well, carpets land by underground runners that root the plant into the surrounding soil. Ajuga is perfect for crowding out weeds; it thrives in poor soil, doesn't need regular attention, possesses a colorful, shiny foliage, and it's late spring to early summer bluish to purple blossoms are bee, butterfly and bird favorites. In fact, our beloved dog, Rusty, who has since passed over to his eternal yard, loved to sit in the middle of the ajuga blooms, snatch the bees into his mouth, and eat them (he always was a one-of-kind dog!). Shaking my head out of the Rusty-reverie, I settled down to the business of planting. Sliding on my purple gardening gloves, I glanced around at the bright begonias and geraniums that were recently potted, pruned, and plucked of dead or yellowing leaves and buds. The new plants' cheery reds and glossy greens radiated with the joy of roots freed to spread, expand, and grow. It was as if they came home from a hard day of work at the green house, put on their comfy pants, and sighed an audible, "Ah..."  MORE


Here's a Secret: You Already Know How to Meditate
By Odette Hughes

When people think about meditation, often an image of a blissed-out figure sitting cross-legged on a soft pillow comes to mind. Ahh, total peace, quiet, and comfort. Wouldn’t that be nice! While meditating in a quiet place without distraction is an amazing experience, it isn’t always feasible. And if we think our practice has to look this way, we can feel frustrated. Maybe we don’t have the perfectly shaped cushion or the perfect candles, and maybe we aren’t lucky enough to have space in the bedroom to claim for ourselves, let alone create an entire sanctuary. And when we finally get a moment to spare, the dog whines, a message notification dings on our phone, or our foot falls asleep. I guess this meditation thing just isn’t for me. But what if there was another way? What if we could use our daily activities to meditate and experience the same benefits? What if meditation didn’t have to be so formal, so condition-dependent, so picture-perfect? Here’s a secret: you already know how to meditate and you do it all the time without realizing it. Whenever you are absorbed in what you are doing and feeling positive emotions like peace, interest, satisfaction, and joy, you are meditating.  MORE

In this series of short talks, Swami Asokananda (Integral Yoga) shares his insights from years of study and contemplation on the great Indian scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. In part 12, Swami Asokananda utilizes reflections on his own life and the example of Arjuna and his relationship to his Guru, Sri Krishna, to illustrate an important lesson for sincere spiritual seekers.

The IYI of San Francisco will kick off its 50th anniversary with a series of programs, including an inaugural event on October 5th, 2019.  It was in October of 1969 that the first Integral Yoga classes were started in San Francisco, and then in 1970, the beautiful building on Dolores Street that still houses the IYI was purchased and the Institute established. Thus, the celebrations continue in 2020 with several programs in March and a grand celebration weekend in October that features some of the IYI founding members and other special guest presenters, including Dr. Dean Ornish. See more details here.

Inside Yogaville

For the month of July, Yogaville has enjoyed the company and Karma Yoga (selfless service) of Barry Siva Wick. Siva, who lives in Colorado, traveled to Yogaville for the first time since the LOTUS opening in 1986. Siva was the first executive director of the Integral Yoga Institute of New York soon after it moved to its current location in the early 1970s on West 13th Street. In this video, he speaks about that time and his experience receiving mantra initiation from Swami Satchidananda. (Introduction and video by Jeff Ananda Kamen)
Yoga Meme of the Week
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