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Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 169  "E-Go
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“E-Go”

What’s the difference between the big ‘I’ and the little ‘i’? Just the dot—a speck you have put there. That little speck is the egoistic ‘i.’ Erase it and you are big again. If you want to get rid of that selfish ego, just keep repeating its name slowly, ‘E-go, e-Go, e-GO!’ Note that the clue is in the name itself, ‘Go.’ Some riddles have their solution in the riddle itself. People tend to look elsewhere to solve problems when the answer is already here.

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

Meditation in Action
By Sri Swami Satchidananda

Continuous meditation is meditation in daily life. It reminds me of the well-known tea ceremony in Japan. It’s a way of welcoming a guest into your home. And when the guest comes, you just give them a cup of tea, which we normally do, but in Japan, giving a cup of tea becomes a ceremony, a sort of meditation. If you just sit and watch them, you see how carefully they pick up the ingredients, prepare the place, and put the pot on the stove. You notice how mindfully they pour the water from one bowl into the heating pot. Not even a single action misses their attention. Even after pouring the water, the spoon is cleaned and wiped with a small piece of tissue—even that is done so carefully. They pick the spoon up, wipe it out, and then gently, put it down. Sometimes, when we go into the kitchen, all the pots and pans, the spoons, and foods rattle around. But in a Japanese tea ceremony everything is done with total attention, total concentration. That’s a sample of how we should normally function. But of course you might wonder, “If I had to take the spoon, put it  down very slowly in one place, slowly bring it up and put it down in another place, the whole day will be spent only for that.  MORE

 

As we approach the shortest days of the year in the northern hemisphere, the need for light becomes more evident to us. Our world seems to be entering a dark period as well, characterized by the climate emergency, violence and protests, racial tensions, and an ever widening gap between political factions and the wealthy and poor. From a spiritual perspective, darkness represents our fundamental inability to experience the truth, and it is the resulting illusion of separation and incompleteness that has given rise to human suffering. Clouded by this ignorance, we seek happiness and fulfillment by acquiring and achieving things in an unending search for security and peace. Many of the holy days during December use light as a symbol for a Higher Power that can guide us through this spiritual darkness. For this reason, we chose to focus on seeking and holding onto the spiritual Light within, and as best we can, to live as a presence of Light in our world. This effort begins with some form of spiritual practice that clears away the selfishness, confusion and attachment that veils our true nature, exposing the Light that is already present.  MORE


Inner worlds, a meditative journey. Different paths lead into these worlds. Through sound or deep stillness, people reach other levels far away from matter toward the dissolution of their ego. Brother David Steindl-Rast, a close partner and pioneer of interfaith dialogue with Swami Satchidananda, is a Benedictine monk who enjoys immersing himself in deep stillness while being out in nature. In this meditative moment, he shares the inspiration of the inner journey.

Unionizing Yoga?
By Lauren Krauze

Recently, Tricycle Magazine (the Buddhist Review) ran a feature about a 100 Yoga teachers (from YogaWorks) filing a petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board to enable them to form a union. Yes, the very word "Yoga," means "union." Yet, what does this kind of unionizing mean and what do other Yoga teachers (and our readers) think about this?!   
    “Yoga happens on two levels: the individual and collective,” said YogaWorks teacher Nora Heilmann. “Our effort to unionize stemmed from our individual needs as teachers to make the profession more sustainable, and also from our collective belief that Yoga needs to stay the complex and beautiful practice that it is.”
It’s no secret that, over the past several decades, Yoga has exploded into a multibillion dollar industry. As of 2016, over 36 million people practice Yoga in the United States. With students filling up classes, many studios have expanded. But while profits are up for owners and managements, the unionizing teachers say that unclear hiring and business practices are a serious problem within the industry.  MORE

The first verse of Shantideva’s “Patience” chapter, in his Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, reads:

Whatever wholesome deeds,
Such as venerating the buddhas and [practicing] generosity,
That have been amassed over a thousand aeons,
Will all be destroyed in one moment of anger.

The implication of this first verse is that in order for the individual practitioner to be able to successfully cultivate patience and tolerance, what is required is a very strong enthusiasm, a strong desire, because the stronger one’s enthusiasm the greater the ability to withstand the hardships encountered in the process. Not only that, but one also will be prepared to voluntarily accept hardships that are a necessary part of the path. The first stage, then, is to generate this strong enthusiasm, and for that what is required is to reflect upon the destructive nature of anger and hatred, as well as the positive effects of patience and tolerance.  MORE


Swami Hamsananda, one of Integral Yoga's most beloved senior monastics, was recently celebrated on the special occasion of her 80th birthday. Known for her sharp wit and amazing storytelling, this beautiful and engaging video about her spiritual journey is sure to inspire! With deep thanks to Swami Hamsananda Ma for her inspiring service to all and to Jeff Ananda Kamen for this video. Enjoy!

Integral Yoga Europe announced that there will be a number of Integral Yoga programs and trainings held in 2020. These include: Raja Yoga Foundation course with Nalanie Chellaram in Sotogrande, Spain in January; a Healing, Meditation & Yoga Retreat in Andalucia, Spain in February with Nalanie Chellaram, Michelle Francis and Lillian Shaw; Heike Mayer will offer a 200-hour Teacher Training program, with the first half held in April in Portugal and the second half in August in Austria. This training will be conducted in German language. In May, Swami Karunananda will join Nalanie Chellaram and Luckshmi Cannon for a "Pranayama and Meditation Immersion Retreat" in Monchique, Portugal. A beautiful Yoga Vacation in Lesvos, Greece will take place in June, with Swami Divyananda and Ram Wiener conducting Yoga classes, leading meditations, and guiding excursions to Greek villages and other outings. More information on these, as well as programs coming up for Fall 2019  here.
 
Woods, a participant in the Ashram Yogi program, demonstrates his quite literal application of Integral Yoga teachings, when he integrated his Karma Yoga (the Yoga of selfless service) with Hatha Yoga during lunch clean-up last week.
Inspiring Meme of the Week
 
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