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Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 172  Every Minute is New
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“Every Minute is New”

The real way to celebrate the happy New Year is not to run after happiness outside of yourself. Try to find that hiding happiness within you. If you don’t have happiness in you, you won’t find happiness anywhere outside. Essentially we are all happy, we are all joyful, we are all peaceful. Nobody and nothing can make you happy. It is up to you to enjoy your own happiness or to run after borrowed or temporary happiness. So may this new year make you realize your own happiness and to celebrate not only the new year, but to celebrate new minutes, because every minute is new.

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


In this short video, Swami Satchidananda was asked to give the New Year’s Eve closing message at the end of year silent retreat in 1996, during which Swami Vidyananda had just given the evening talk. During his message, Sri Swamiji suggested that the best New Year’s resolutions are not resolves we keep for a few weeks or those that bring temporary happiness. He advised that the best goal for the new year is to make a commitment to real happiness, which only comes when we gain mastery over our own mind. 

 

Make Your New Year’s Resolution Last: The Four A's
By Swami Gurucharanananda (Mataji)

Mataji is a senior swami (monk) and has seen 90 (yes, ninety!) New Years come and go! When asked how we can fulfill our New Year’s resolutions, Mataji created a simple, yet profound, guide modeled after the teachings of Swami Satchidananda’s own Guru, Sri Swami Sivananda. Mataji calls these: "The Four A's." Aspire: First, choose a quality within yourself that you aspire to change. Something that will help you to move forward on your life’s path. Rather than having a long list of goals, focus on just one important aspiration that will positively affect all aspects of your life. Develop a strong motivation to achieve it. Ask: The next step is to ask others for information, guidance, and support that will encourage your growth. Action: Action or practice is the most important and often most difficult step. Achieve: Achieve closes the cycle and is the rewarding transformation as you establish a new pattern or drop a bad habit. (However, Mataji reminds us that achievement does not end the need for practice. Instead, it serves as an incentive to continue making positive choices for growth.) As she says: “The dictionary is the only place where 'achievement’ comes before ‘practice’!” Mataji is offering a Jan. 17–19 workshop on the Four A's. More info here.

Integral Yoga Magazine pays tribute to one of the great spiritual luminaries of our time: Baba Ram Dass. Ram Dass left the body on Dec. 22, 2019 (which is also the day of our founder Swami Satchidananda's 105th birth anniversary). Swami Satchidananda and Ram Dass enjoyed a long friendship (photo is of a meeting in the 1970s) and shared platforms together during programs over many years. Ram Dass was a wayshower, a trailblazer, an inspiration to countless numbers of seekers. Ram Dass introduced Bhakti Yoga and the mystical Guru-disciple relationship to many Westerners. He helped awaken a generation. Over the years, our editors have had the good fortune of interviewing Ram Dass. He was always so generous with his time and spirit! We are featuring one of those interviews here. We also are grateful to include in this tribute a very moving sharing from Maloah Mallika Stillwater (a close student of Swami Satchidananda and close spiritual friend and supporter of Ram Dass): "Beloved friends, I had the deep and profoundly moving blessing of being with Ram Dass for his final hours. I’ve enclosed some pictures for you, but the deepest blessing was upstairs, in his sanctuary, where he was lying on blankets covered with roses...  MORE

 
Questions and Answers with Ram Dass
An Interview by Sridhar Silberfein
 
Sridhar Silberfein, an early student of Swami Satchidananda, went on to organize a number of spiritual events, including Swami Muktananda's first USA tour, opening one of the first health food stores in California, and then founding Bhakti Fest, the annual Yoga and kirtan festival. Now known as “The Godfather” of spiritual life in Los Angeles, Sridhar was a close friend of Ram Dass, whom he interviewed annually. In this archival video, Sridhar approached sensitive topics with ease and candor—from the spiritual significance of psychedelics to contemplating one's own death. Always poised, Ram Dass (who spoke with some challenge as a result of a stroke), handled each hard-to-touch-area with grace and wisdom.

More Black Men Embracing Yoga
By Patricia Gaines

When he was sick from cancer, Baba Groden told his wife, Sherri Doucette, that once he got better he wanted the couple to advise black men how to eat well and practice Yoga and meditation. Doucette, a Yoga practitioner herself, was thrilled. But Groden did not get better; he died four years ago. "Better did not come for him," Doucette said. Still, after Groden’s death, Doucette has become a certified Yoga instructor who teaches wellness, Yoga and meditation to black men "in the heart of the hood" in Dallas. Doucette has joined a growing number of black Yoga practitioners who view the ancient discipline as a way for black men to address the emotional and physical health disparities of their community. The statistics are alarming. Black men are 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease and 60 percent more likely to die from stroke than non-Hispanic white men, according to the Black Men's Health Project, an effort to develop strategies to resolve the disparities. And black men have the lowest life expectancy in the United States.  MORE
 

Dr. Sandra Amrita McLanahan, founder of Integral Health Services—America's first integrative health center, which opened in Connecticut in 1976—noted that her alma mater is making its own history.
    Wayne State University of Medicine in Detroit has just held its first whole-food plant-based nutrition course. 300 medical students have now completed the course—which was launched in collaboration with the university’s Plant Based Nutrition Group (PBNG). Over the course of one month, the first year students were taught the science behind a whole-food vegan diet, and challenged on how to integrate this knowledge into their work. “The success of PBNG’s Plant-Based Curriculum Enhancement will have national implications for the future of clinical care and medical education” said Lakshman Mulpuri, the president of PBNG. “Armed with a more comprehensive understanding of plant-based nutrition, these future physicians will be better prepared to combat the devastating effects of chronic disease that millions of Americans face every year.”  MORE

New Year's GIVE-OLUTIONS
By Paul C. Pritchard

Whether you are someone who makes New Year's resolutions or not, Paul Pritchard would like to suggest 12 "Give-olutions" for the New Year!
    I’ve changed all my resolutions to Give-olutions. How can I be of service to the greater whole? It is refreshingly effective … just the act of giving and considering others opens my whole way of seeing and being in the world. Effortlessly, I can stay engaged with the bigger picture. And to be honest, even if some goals aren’t achieved, my intentions and prayers for the greater good have already had a solid impact on the frequency of LOVE. It takes the pressure off. Here are my Give-olution themes for the year ahead …. I’ll focus on one per month and move the order around to stay in a harmonious flow. Like this past year, I will just pin the month’s Give-olution on the fridge (it’s the doorway I open the most) and let them work their magic. It’s about keeping the awareness and intentions alive. Keeping my heart open is an antidote to my shadow aspects like self-doubt, lack of self-worth, feeling down or getting off-purpose. I’ve realised that if I’m focused on the act of giving, both internally and externally, I can never be too far off track. 1) Nourishment: I will Nourish myself first. Then once my cup is full, pass the nourishment on to others.  MORE

Inside Yogaville

End of the year is always filled with wonderful programs overflowing with inspiration. A glimpse of "December in Yogaville," which also includes the "Seek the Light Within" New Year's Silent Retreat underway now.
Inspiring Meme of the Week
 
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