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Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No.128 "Our Happiness"
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Our Happiness

Only if our happiness doesn’t come at the expense of someone else’s can we be truly happy, live harmoniously, live without anxiety or fear. And, know that the greatest joy in life is doing something for somebody else.

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

(photo: Swami Satchidananda in Deer Park, Nara, Japan, late-1950s.)


Facing Tests
By Sri Swami Satchidananda

There are continuous, constant tests on a spiritual path. A person who wants to get a degree is given tests. Those who are not interested in learning, do not need to be tested. Teachers will not even want to give a test to a person who doesn’t want to learn. And, the biggest degree one can get is to reach the goal of spiritual life: to know your True Self and to experience the peace that is your true nature. For that, we have to face millions of tests. If you don’t get tested, you should be sad about it, because that means you have been forgotten. The proof that God remembers you, and knows you are trying to grow, is that you are given more tests in life. Tests are a way  to make sure that you are growing in the right direction, that you are keeping up some zeal, faith, and devotion. It’s a continuous constant education. It’s as simple as planting a post. At every moment, you want to make sure that the post is strong, steady, and well planted. How would you know? Just try to shake it and if it shakes you would put a few stones around the base, hit it with a crowbar, jam it in, and then shake it again. If it is still shaky, put some more stones around it and jam and pound another time. When would that jamming stop? Only when you are sure the post is steady.  MORE

That was the Washington Post headline the day before Marianne Williamson formally announced that she was a candidate for president of the United States. CBS news described her bid in these words: "The spiritual guru, best-selling author and friend of Oprah Winfrey says she intends to make a bid for the White House." In the CBS video, Williamson discusses why she wants to be president. Williamson is, of course, well known in spiritual circles for her self-help books, which includes her bestseller, A Return to Love. Less well known perhaps, is that she has also been an activist for many years. She is the founder of Project Angel Food, a volunteer food delivery program that serves home-bound people with AIDS and other life challenging illnesses. She is also the co-founder of The Peace Alliance, a nonprofit grassroots education and advocacy organization supporting peace-building projects. In 2014, she ran for Congress, unsuccessfully. She decided to run in 2020 because, as she states on her campaign website, "My campaign for the presidency is dedicated to this search for higher wisdom. Its purpose is to create a new political possibility in America—where citizens awaken, our hearts and minds are uplifted, and our democracy once more becomes a thing about which we can all feel proud."

Patanjali's Words: Guru
By Reverend Jaganath Carrera
 

Rev. Jaganath, Integral Yoga Minister and Raja Yoga master teacher, has spent a lifetime delving into the deepest layers of meaning in Patanjali’s words within the Yoga Sutras. Our series continues with the 26th sutra of Chapter 1 in which Patanjali now talks about Ishvara as the “Guru or teacher of the most ancient Gurus.” In the prior sutra (1.25) Patanjali describes Ishvara as “omniscient.” So, what role does such a master teacher play in the life of Yoga student? This is what is now analyzed in this sutra.
    Ishvara is not limited or conditioned by time and that the teachings, guidance, and wisdom of all Gurus are a reflection of the omniscience of Ishvara. The focus of this sutra is on the omnipresence of wisdom and that the same wisdom, found in even the most ancient of Gurus, still flows through the masters of today, waiting to be fully awakened in us. One benefit of this understanding is to keep the mind from longing for a past age of wisdom or of past great masters, now lost. Spiritual truths and the path to their realization, like love, eternally pierce through the layers of ignorance that veil every age and every place. Ishvara is the source of all redemptive knowledge and practices. The same enlightening, redemptive wisdom found in the great Gurus is within all beings. Once kindled, this light continues to expand and grow brighter, purifying the mind and heart of ignorance.  MORE

 
Enlightenment: An Unlearning Process
A Conversation with Marianne Williamson 

In 2013, Integral Yoga Magazine’s editor, Reverend Prem Anjali, Ph.D., shared an in-depth conversation on enlightenment with renowned author and spiritual activist, Marianne Williamson. We are sharing this article just after Williamson announced her 2020 bid for president.
PA: In your book, Return to Love, you wrote, “Enlightened people don’t have anything we don’t have. They have perfect love inside, and so do we. The difference is that they don’t have anything else.” Have your views about enlightenment changed over the years?
MW: That’s actually from A Course in Miracles (ACIM) where Jesus says, “The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you.” Light, in ACIM, is defined as understanding. So the enlightened person is someone with total and complete understanding of who they are and why they’re on the earth. It’s as though there is a lock—their level of understanding of who they are has moved into such a level of consistency and constancy that they are now enlightened, whether it’s Jesus or it’s anyone else. )So, I don’t think that’s a universal principle that’s going to be changing [laughs].  MORE  (photo: Swami Satchidananda and Marianne Williamson in Atlanta, Georgia, late 1990s.)


Yogaville Environmental Solutions Co-Sponsors Special Event
Rev. Dr. Barber and Former Vice President Gore Visit Buckingham

On February 19th, YES was one of the organizers of “The Moral Call for Ecological Justice in Buckingham”—a rally against the compressor station proposed to be built in the Union Hill community. The program featured Rev. Dr. Barber, President of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and Vice President Gore, founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit devoted to solving the climate crisis. Yogaville and Buckingham residents, and other Virginians shared stories of the impacts of environmental injustice, and scientific experts discussed the health threats and ecological devastation of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and compressor station. The proposed station is also very close in proximity to Yogaville. Dr. Lakshmi Fjord (pictured in glasses, standing behind Mr. Gore; Kareena Gore, far left), a Yogaville founding member, has led a years-long effort to document and highlight the history and demographics of the Union Hill community founded by freedmen. All enthusiastically applauded when Vice President Gore affirmed, "We're here to say Union Hill, you are not standing alone. We are standing with you."  MORE
Last week, The Telegraph reported that, "the Prince of Wales has said Yoga could help save 'precious and expensive' NHS resources because of its effectiveness as a tool for 'health and healing.' The Prince, who is known to be a firm believer in the power of alternative medicine, said the ancient practice of Yoga had 'proven beneficial effects on both body and mind.' His statement came as one of England's top health chiefs promised to ensure more government funding for Yoga classes, reiterating the Prince's message that the activity was proven to help health and well-being. In a written address to the Yoga in Healthcare conference, the Prince said: 'For thousands of years, millions of people have experienced yoga's ability to improve their lives … The development of therapeutic, evidence-based Yoga is, I believe, an excellent example of how Yoga can contribute to health and healing.'" Several years ago, Prince Charles invited Dr. Dean Ornish, a longtime student of Swami Satchidananda, to England to consult with him on his pioneering work in lifestyle medicine, including his research utilizing Yoga and meditation in preventing and reversing heart disease and cancer.  MORE  (Thanks to Luckshmi Cannon for contributing this article.)
 
In January, Dr. Mala Cunningham and Dr. Shirley Telles gave a weekend workshop in Yogaville on Yoga therapy. Dr. Cunningham, an Integral Yoga teacher and minister, and Yoga therapist, is the founder of the Cardiac Medical Yoga Teacher Training and a clinical assistant professor in the school of nursing at the University of Virginia. In this video, Dr. Cunningham introduces Dr. Telles, who gives a talk on her Yoga therapy work and answers questions, including about the physiologic effects of different Yoga postures. Dr. Telles directs research at Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, India. She has extensively published research articles and contributed to numerous books. She received an award from The John Templeton Foundation and a Fulbright Fellowship to study “Functional magnetic resonance imaging in meditators.”

New LOTUS Website Launch!

The Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS – www.lotus.org) has a newly redesigned website. The website has been updated and features beautiful photos, a virtual tour, a sacred design guided tour, and information regarding the history and construction of the LOTUS. The website also offers inspiration and information on the various faiths represented in the Shrine. Coming soon will be a blog featuring news, events, and more inspiration about the LOTUS. Grateful thanks goes to Karen Karuna Kreps of Net Ingenuity for the design and maintenance of the original website and to Sam Eberle for the redesign.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, the cold and flu season begins as we start to transition from the hot, bright and intense summer (governed by pitta) months of June through September into the fall (vata) season of October through January. In the fall, the qualities in and around us become cooler, drier, lighter, and windier. This transition can weaken our immunity and make us more susceptible to illness. When the winter (kapha) season (February-May) arrives with its qualities of cold, wet and damp, heaviness and stagnation—the onset of illness can increase. According to Ayurveda, the Vata dosha is responsible for regulating the immune system and Kapha dosha is responsible for regulating the respiratory and nasal systems as well as the stomach. In Ayurvedic theory; like increases like and an energetic quality is brought into balance with the opposite qualities....The first step to staying healthy is to balance and strengthen the vata dosha during the fall season. We do this by favoring vata’s opposite actions of warmth, wetness, heaviness, and stability. Doing so grounds the body, mind, and spirit and strengthens the immune system for winter. When winter arrives, you could introduce some of kapha’s opposite actions which are: warmth, dryness, lightness, and mobility.  MORE
 
Inside Yogaville

The literal "inside" of Yogaville, well Sivananda Hall reception area, is getting a freshening up! A deep clean, patching and painting, as well as other cosmetic improvements are taking place this past week—all thanks to Eden Ishwara Tolton and the wonderful maintenance crew and Operations Department. The reception area is the home of the reception desks, where guests and visitors first arrive. It houses the bookstore, as well as program information displays and staff/community mailboxes.

Inspiring Meme of the Week
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