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Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No.133 "Peace and Joy!"
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Peace and Joy!

Only in peace do we have joy. When you are in peace, you are in God.
God bless you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.”  —Sri Swami Satchidananda

 
The World is Your Projection
By Sri Swami Satchidananda


The entire world is nothing but your projection. Each person sees the world with his or her own color, and that’s their world. You cannot insist and say that things are this way or that way just because this is the way you see it. The other person will always say, “No, no, that’s not the way that I see it.” There is a story that illustrates this point. Two men were each given an assignment by their Guru. The first man was told to go around and find the worst fellow possible for a certain kind of job. He should have no conscience at all and be ready to do whatever is asked of him. He should be a dull-headed man, like a thug, a sort of hit man. “I need that kind of person,” said the Guru to the first man. The disciple hesitated, “Sir, do you really mean that?” “Yes, please find the worst fellow in the area.” “Well, I don’t know if I can find someone like that, but because you asked, I’ll try.” He went away. Then the Guru called the other disciple and told him, “I have a very good job that needs to be done and I need a totally honest and clean person. He must be absolutely clean. Go look for him and bring him to me.” “Do you really think I can find a 100% clean person in the outside world?”  MORE

 

It has been over a hundred years since the birth of beloved world teacher Paramahansa Yoganandya, and in this time he has made an impressive impact on Western society by bringing India’s ancient wisdom to light. Today, in 2019, his life and teachings still bring inspiration to people of all races, cultures and creeds. Here are nine pieces of advice from Paramahansa Yogananda on meditation.

1. “In meditation, you must go beyond thought. As long as you are busy thinking, you are in your rational mind, on the conscious plane. When you sleep and dream, you are on the subconscious plane. And when your mind is fully withdrawn in superconsciousness, it becomes centered in the bliss of the spine. That is the level of the soul’s existence.”
2. “Do not be anxious if you don’t have meditative experiences. The path to the Divine Spirit is not a circus! Don’t even be anxious about such fruits of meditation as inner joy and peace. Everything will come in time. Meanwhile, consider meditation, too, as a form of Karma Yoga: action without desire for the fruits of action. Meditate above all to please your higher self, not your ego.”  MORE


Like many Westerners, I always assumed that meditation was a “spiritual” phenomenon, which I took to mean that it somehow had to do with realms beyond the physical.... At the same time, it is also obvious that meditation practice actually tended to lead me in the direction of deeper engagement with the physical. Especially in intensives or on retreat, I would feel a considerable amount of physical discomfort, which I saw as an unfortunate and unnecessary diversion from what I was “really” supposed to be doing. I thought that if I could get rid of my discomfort, I would be able to progress more quickly in my practice.... The great Buddhist saint Saraha remarked, “In my wanderings, I have visited shrines and other places of pilgrimage, but I have not seen another shrine as blissful as my body.” We need to realize that our body is not a beginning point, not a jumping off point to something else. Rather, the body is itself the pathway to realization, and, at its deepest level, the embodiment of enlightenment itself. To know the body is to meet the awakened state.  MORE

Recently the Integral Yoga Teachers Association (IYTA) hosted a webinar with Mataji (Swami Gurucharananda Ma) for members. In this excerpt, Mataji answers a question about what Integral Yoga means to her. Integral Yoga's most senior Swami, we will celebrate her 90th birth anniversary on April 1st (and no, it's not an April Fools prank, that is her actually birthday!) as well as the 70th anniversary of her first monastic vows—taken as a Catholic nun—and then later as a Swami. If you'd like to send a birthday message to Mataji, please send email here.

Buddha once said of meditation that “it is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.” It doesn’t take much to understand the truth of this statement, especially when it comes to teaching stressed out little kids how to be mindful of their actions. For the past three years, the staff at Robert W. Coleman Elementary in Baltimore, Maryland have sent unruly children to the meditation room instead of detention. The unusual disciplinary method has seen remarkable results. Since the program was put into practice, RWCE has seen a sharp decrease in referrals and zero suspensions. In an interview with CNN, an RWCE student who had been ejected from his classroom after getting into a fight said that he went to the room, “did some deep breathing, had a little snack, and I got myself together,” before going back and apologizing to his class. The idea of sending kids to meditation and not punishing them with isolation is also a way to combat the negative and often racialized effects of school suspensions often driven by various zero-tolerance policies.  MORE

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 34th–39th sutras of Chapter 1. In sutra 1.33, Patanjali described how to cultivate "citta-prasādanam," a calm and clear mind. In sutras 1.34–39, Patanjali continues to describe various ways to cultivate citta-prasādanam.
    Manas, most often translated as mind, does not represent the totality of the mind (citta is the word for the totality of the mind). Manas, closely associated with the senses, is one of the three basic functions of citta. It is that aspect of individual consciousness that takes in impressions as part of citta’s effort to discover which objects and situations are pleasant and which bring pain and suffering. The impressions taken in by manas are directed to the buddhi (intelligence, discriminative faculty) which categorizes the impressions it receives. When the mind is peaceful, clear, and one-pointed, buddhi acts as the intuitive faculty, revealing insights into subtle aspects of the universe and self. The third aspect of the mind is ahamkara, the ego sense.... the self created by ahamkara is not the Self, Seer, or Purusha, but the body/mind misperceived as the Self.  MORE
 
April is just about here, and will bring us a new teaching of the month. But, just in case you missed March's teaching of the month from Swami Ramananda, he's recorded a short video, offering some reflections on renunciation and making the "conscious choice to let go of anything that would disturb our natural state of peace and ease."

Swami Asokananda, president of the Integral Yoga Institute of New York, recently announced some changes in this Institute's leadership and administration.
    When I took the vows in joining the Holy Order of Sannyas in 1975, I had no idea that I would be in charge of Yoga centers and ashrams for the next 44 years. I envisaged myself meditating, if not in a cave, at least in a hut “far from the madding crowd.” Sri Gurudev, Swami Satchidananda, knowing what I really needed, had other plans for me. And luckily I had the faith in him to follow his recommendations for me (though he never pushed me one way or another). By not running away from all the challenges of running organizations, I feel much more grounded and strong. And now I feel directed by the Guru within to change my role at the New York IYI.... Going forward, while I will remain president, my true role will be of spiritual director of the New York IYI, and I will step back from the day-to-day administration. It only makes sense to formalize this, since my traveling takes me away from IYI so often. This will allow me more time to be available for teaching, counseling, and mentoring at IYI and also to be an ambassador for our Guru, Sri Swami Satchidananda, in the U.S.A. and abroad.  MORE


Swami Vidyananda, senior Integral Yoga monk and master teacher, will be offering a series of programs from April 6–14 at the Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco. In addition to a satsang that she will lead, she'll be teaching a weekend workshop, "Surfing the Sea of Change," a one-day program on "Yoga for Emotional Balance," and a one-day program on "Meditation for the Active Mind." Swami Vidyananda lives at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville, where she teaches all branches of Integral Yoga, including Hatha, Raja, and Jnana Yoga, meditation, and yogic lifestyle. She continues to travel widely, training Yoga teachers and offering specialized workshops on Yoga and the emotions, stress management, and mid-life meaning. Find more information about her programs in San Francisco here.
 
Inside Yogaville

Satchidananda Farm opened its 2019 spring season with a Q'ero Despacho Ceremony blessing the earth and honoring the nearly completed 30x100 foot hoop house. The Q’ero are a Quechua-speaking, indigenous people of South central Peru. They believe that everything in nature is animate and in perfect harmony. They call this ayni, or reciprocity.  The despacho prayer bundles are prepared for both general and specific purposes, such as blessings of gratitude, for prosperity, or for healing.


A despacho is an act of love and a reminder of the connections we share with all beings, elements, spirits, and sacred places. It harmonizes a community through the sharing of prayers, which strengthen the luminous fibers that connect us all. Reciprocity was also strengthened by joining all Ashram Yogis in a day of Karma Yoga focused on planting and serving the farm. The spring seeds, transplants, and new hoop house soil preparations were the focus. Afterward, the group met for pizza and a hike.  (Despacho photo by Janaka Avallone.)
Inspiring Meme of the Week
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