Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 153  Your True Nature
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Your True Nature

When you know yourself—your true Self—then you know everything, and you understand everyone. It’s not easy. It takes work and perseverance. But even that effort can be joyous, and when that realization dawns, you will enjoy your own true nature, which is always peaceful and happy.

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

This week we commemorate the 17th anniversary of Sri Swami Satchidananda's Mahasamadhi. As we pay tribute to Integral Yoga's founder on this anniversary, we reflect on the benefits and inspiration of the lineage tradition.
    Swami Satchidananda often explained that the easiest way to learn to master something is to train with an expert in one’s chosen field. All fields of training and learning come down to a succession of those who master the material—whether its mechanics, doctors, architects, athletes, musicians, and so on—who have studied with an expert in the field. Another example he often gave is that of someone who travels to unknown parts without the benefit of a guide or map. Theoretically, the person might one day reach their destination. But, it is advisable to look to those who have taken the same journey, who can point us in the right direction, guide, and encourage us. A living lineage serves as an example of how to accomplish what is possible. And, an example alone has the ability to uplift and energize us. The path of Yoga leads to the discovery of our inner peace and wisdom, of self-mastery, and to Self-realization. If we want to follow a path to freedom, we can seek out those who have followed the path and attained freedom in this way—through a path that is authentic, efficient, and reliable.  MORE

Happy Woodstock 50!

This weekend we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic festival. The US Postal Service has released a colorful postage stamp. Lots of new books, music releases, programs are happening in honor of this special occasion. Many feature Swami Satchidananda, who came to be known as the "Woodstock Guru." Among these are: Woodstock: Three Days that Rocked the World, LIFE magazine's "Woodstock at 50", Woodstock Revisited (50 stories from Woodstock, including one about Swamiji by our magazine editor!), The Woodstock Guru (featuring Peter Max artwork), Rhino Record's "Back to the Garden" CD series (includes Swamiji's opening address). If you're looking for a 50th anniversary edition of the famed "Woodstock" film by Michael Wadleigh there isn't one, but don't despair, there is the 40th anniversary edition director's cut! The late photographer Mark Goff's photos of the Festival (many unseen before, including some of Swamiji) are now on exhibit thanks to Nick Clemente's work restoring the long buried negatives. With thousands of reads/shares of the wonderful article by Philip Goldberg about the Woodstock Guru, and many more inclusions in news articles from around the globe—including Lebanonit's a wonderful and rich reminder to get ourselves "back to the garden." Thankfully, Yoga helps us do just that! (Thanks to Siva Wick who donated many of these items to our archives)
In honor of #Woodstock50, this is the extended version of the short film "The Woodstock Guru," that aired earlier this year. On August 15, 1969, Swami Satchidananda was asked to give an opening address at the famed Woodstock Music Festival to set a tone of peace and harmony for what became one of the largest gatherings in festival history. This film tells the story of his arrival, talk at Woodstock, and the legacy that unfolded after Woodstock. "To this day, many believe that Swami Satchidananda's good vibes averted what could have become a catastrophe as the festival anticipated." ~Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda. (Read Phil Goldberg's article "On Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary: Namaste to “The Woodstock Guru” in Elephant Journal). Special thanks to Les Anand Roberts, Peter Max, Victor Zurbel, Shanti Norris, Elliott Landy, Robert Altman, Sam Eberle, Prem Anjali and Integral Yoga Archives. (YouTube thumbnail photo: courtesy of Mark Goff.)

A Monk, Philosopher and Psychiatrist on What Matters Most
By Matthieu Ricard, Christophe Andre, and Alexandre Jollien

We all have a mixture of shadow and light within us, but that doesn’t mean that we are doomed to stay that way forever. Our habits only remain the same if we do nothing to change them. Saying, “I am the way I am, take it or leave it” is quitting the race before reaching the starting line. That approach comes from considerably underestimating the transforming power of our mind. Our ability to control the external world is, to be sure, very limited, but the same is not at all true of our inner world. What always amazes me is the incredible effort people make in everyday life pursuing goals that are as vain as they are exhausting, but they make no effort at all to find that which brings happiness. Many people think that it’s too long and difficult a project to train the mind. But by the same token, it takes years to learn to read, to write, to teach, to get an education, to learn a profession or to master an art or a sport. For what mysterious reason should training the mind be an exception to that? If we want to become more open, more altruistic, less confused, and find inner peace, we have to show some perseverance.  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 15, we near the end of Chapter 1 wherein Arjuna is overwhelmed with sorrow and has to face the first of two very challenging moments in his life that call for him to surrender his ego. Arjuna's dilemma is something that every sincere spiritual seeker must contemplate: can I allow myself to be broken open or do I want to stay in my old "ignorance is bliss" state of being?
In the summer of 1969, I had just turned 24. My ex-husband, Chris (Yoga name, Mahesh) and I had been married for just over a year and we were living at Ananda Ashram in Monroe, NY. The guru in residence, at the time, was our yoga instructor, Swami Satchidananda. We lived, worked, and practiced the different forms of Yoga, at the Ashram. We also played music. On the weekends the Ashram offered weekend retreats. Every Friday and Saturday night, Mahesh and I would “open” for the Swami with a set of our own original, spiritually oriented acoustic music. Afterwards, the Swami would speak informally to the guests, followed by group meditation and chanting. There were two disciples from NYC, who came to the Ashram pretty much every weekend, Steve (Sridhar) and Jeff (Ajathan). They were dyed in the wool New Yorkers, wheelers and dealers (but with a heart), who had been introduced to the Swami by Peter Max, a fellow disciple. Sridhar and Ajathan were big fans of our music, and told us that if we ever left the Ashram they wanted to manage us. Sridhar “knew people” in the music industry. Two of the people that Sridhar and Ajathan happened to be friends with were Mike Lang and Artie Kornfeld, the masterminds behind the Woodstock Festival. That summer, Sridhar and Ajathan couldn’t stop talking about Woodstock.  MORE

For more than twenty years, Dianne Bondy has been leading a Yoga revolution: empowering students to come to the mat as they are, educating teachers on the need for inclusivity in Yoga and leading systematic change within the Yoga industrial complex. In this video (from a talk in Yogaville), Bondy discusses her Yoga journey and lessons from the path.

As we move from the Woodstock Music & Peace Festival's 50th anniversary to Peace Day on September 21st, there are many celebrations to take part in. Several inspiring programs are being hosted by the Integral Yoga Centre of Gibraltar at the Hall of Fame, Gibraltar, on September 18th and the Integral Yoga Centre at George Harilela Hall (Sotogrande, Spain) on September 21. With talks, readings, and music, these events builds on the momentum of Woodstock 50 and celebrate the quest for inner and outer peace. The event in Spain benefits the Molokai Centre which offers services to children, teens, and adults with special needs.

Inside Yogaville

A few weeks ago, Yogaville had the pleasure of hosting Nalisha Harilela Dipshan, Aria Cavaliere Agri, and Laura Cavaliere, spiritual grandchildren of Swami Satchidananda. The three friends grew up together, though they now live in different states. Nalisha's late parents are Maya & Ramesh Dipshan (Maya was the eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Hari Harilela). Aria and Laura are the twin daughters of musician Felix Cavaliere (lead singer of The Rascals) and his late wife Theresa. They all grew up around Sri Swamiji as he was the Harilela family's Guru and the Guru of the Cavalieres as well. Nalisha, Aria, and Laura enjoyed a beautiful reunion weekend during which they participated in a weekend program here. Guests and residents are looking forward to enjoying the music of Felix Cavaliere in early September, when he will be offering a short concert in Yogaville. (photo l-r: Laura, Nalisha, and Aria).
Inspiring Meme of the Week
Copyright © Integral Yoga International/Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville,Inc. All rights reserved.
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