Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 138 A Simple Formula
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A Simple Formula

Simply take it easy, trust in God, do your best, and leave the rest.

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

(photo: Swami Satchidananda meditating in North India, 1980s)

Learning the Method of Direct Inquiry
By Sri Swami Satchidananda

It’s nearly impossible to calm the waves of the mind completely, but we can learn to dive under them. You don’t have to make all the waves calm. The Bhagavad Gita says that the mind gets tossed like a boat on the surface of wavy water. It’s very hard to keep the mind quiet, so don’t fight it too much. Instead, become the observer, the inner witness. It is in meditation that you can learn to become a witness, an observer. In meditation you can observe your own happiness, unhappiness, frustrations, and joy. As a witness, you are putting yourself into a different level. You are not identifying with your thoughts or your mind. You are detaching yourself from the mind, and become an observer. This was the approach of sage Ramana Maharshi. Whatever the problem, whatever was asked of him, he would say, “Who is that asking?” When somebody comes and says, “Oh, I’m really unhappy, what am I to do?”, he will reply, “Oh, you are unhappy?” “Yes.” Then he will ask, “Who is that? How do you know you are unhappy?” The person who knows that they are unhappy must be different then the person who says, “I am unhappy.” Find out who is unhappy, who is hungry, who lost something, who gained something. Ask, “Who am I, who am I?” It’s a direct inquiry. This idea is explained in the Vedic scriptures. It says to inquire directly, like a bird shooting itself toward a fruit.  MORE


With Earth Day still in our minds and Mother’s Day approaching, we chose honoring the Divine Feminine as our practice for May. We embrace this intention in order to develop, express, and honor the female aspect of our spiritual nature. The Divine Feminine refers to the creative energies that bring Spirit into expression and all the manifestations of Spirit into form. Honoring it need not imply worshiping a Hindu goddess with 6 arms — it can be as simple as appreciating the natural beauty around us and as practical as recycling. On Earth Day, we honor Mother Nature and reaffirm the precious nature of our planet that supports us with all our basics needs for air, nourishment, and shelter. Working cooperatively with the earth, caring for the soil and sharing its abundance, is a beautiful way to honor Mother Earth. Likewise, we honor the earth by caring for our natural environment, preventing waste and pollution, and supporting green energy. Spending time in nature can be deeply healing. Being in contact with the earth, such as walking barefoot or lying in the grass, grounds us, relieves tension and alleviates stress. We often talk about being in nature as if we are separate from it.  MORE


Insight Meditation teacher Tara Brach’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. In this video, she discusses how the Buddha taught that we suffer because we forget who we are. When we are caught in our stories of shame and personal deficiency, we lose contact with the tender heart that wants to love fully, without holding back. Remembering the gold—our truest, deepest loving nature—is the very foundation of what Tara calls, "Radical Acceptance." Her full talk can be watched here.

Integral Yoga® International is pleased to announce the recognition through accreditation by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) of the 800-hour Integral Yoga Therapy Certification Program. Integral Yoga has been a pioneer in Yoga Therapy since Swami Satchidananda brought these Yoga teachings to the West in the late 1960s. This new certification program will enable teachers to share the health and wellness teachings of Swami Satchidananda in a variety of healing institutions. Participants in the program may select either the Integral Yoga Institute of New York, the Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco, or Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville as their “Home Center.” They will be encouraged to take modules across all three locations. The development team spent many years creating the program to meet the strict guidelines of IAYT. The certification is open to all 200-hour certified Yoga instructors with a year of teaching experience and will accept its first cohort later this year. More about this program is available here.

 Neuroscientist Sara Lazar, of Mass General and Harvard Medical School, started studying meditation by accident. She sustained running injuries training for the Boston Marathon, and her physical therapist told her to stretch. So Lazar took up Yoga. "The Yoga teacher made all sorts of claims, that Yoga would increase your compassion and open your heart," said Lazar. "And I'd think, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm here to stretch.' But I started noticing that I was calmer. I was better able to handle more difficult situations. I was more compassionate and open-hearted, and able to see things from others' points of view." Eventually, she looked up the scientific literature on mindfulness meditation (a category into which Yoga can fall). She found the ever-increasing body of evidence that shows that meditation decreases stress, depression, and anxiety, reduces pain and insomnia, and increases quality of life.... In her first study, she looked at long-term meditators (those with seven to nine years of experience) versus a control group. The results showed that those with a strong meditation background had increased gray matter in several areas of the brain, including the auditory and sensory cortex, as well as insula and sensory regions.  MORE
Although it is well-suited to the present era, Integral Yoga, as taught by Swami Satchidananda, is part of a lineage with a long history. This lineage contributes to the beauty of the Integral Yoga tradition, in that it is part of a tradition. Today, with the popularity of Yoga and its many different adaptations in the West, there has been a movement to erase and downplay its historical roots. And, in response, there has been sharp criticism, mainly by Hindus, about the movement’s expropriation of the term, “Yoga.” So, what does it mean to be part of a lineage and what value does this hold for the tradition and for students who follow it? The first mention of Yoga appears in the Rig Veda, a sacred Indian text that is believed to have been composed around 1500 BCE, but it has been speculated that Yoga may even pre-date the Vedic texts by thousands of years. Despite its ancient origins, Yoga has been passed on from generation to generation, surviving the test of time. Lineage has played an integral role in the dissemination of Yoga wisdom throughout the ages. In Eastern traditions, lineage refers to the descent of spiritual teachings from Guru (teacher) to student over time. “When you study Hindu scriptures, it’s difficult to avoid the topic of lineage,” says Integral Yoga teacher Satyam Penn...  MORE

Mission Be, Mindful Education brings mindfulness, compassion and altruism to schools in Northern California and New York, bringing our mindful education program to a total of: 60+ schools in NYC and the Bay Area, trained over 2,000 teacher, and reached over 42,000 children. On May 24th, Mission Be is sponsoring, "Be in Grace: A Mindful Concert and Sound Healing Immersion at Grace Cathedral, in San Francisco. The "Mission Be Mindful Heroes Award" will be presented to Thich Nhat Hahn and the Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism for spreading mindfulness around the world. The Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco is helping to promote the concert and Integral Yoga teachers receive a 20% discount using the promo code: IYIteachers20. Integral Yoga students can also receive a 10% discount with the code: IYIstudents10.

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 sutras 2.9 through 2.11 where Patanjali addresses the 5th klesa (spiritual impediment): abhinivesah (clinging to life) and also pratiprasava (the restoration of the mind to its original state). Patanjali explains that this goal of Yoga may be accomplished through meditation. 
     The will to live (or fear of annihilation) is carried from birth to birth by its own power. In other words, it is a fear that is considered as part of human nature. Abhinivesah, the desire for continuity of life, pops up repeatedly. It is the major source of existential angst.... Nothing in any of the Hindu philosophies admits to nonexistence. Something that exists, that manifests, eventually returns to the unmanifest state from which it arose. Matter never becomes nonexistent. The same is true for the mind, which is subtle matter. This means that the essence of the mind can never be truly nonexistent, but it can return to its source. This returning to the source is pratiprasava. Pratiprasava is the end game of spirituality, the mind resolving back into its source, unmanifest matter.... Pratiprasava does not describe the end of the universe. Instead, it is a personal transcendent experience in which the mind, by ending its misidentification with prakriti, is resolved or returns to its origin — unmanifest prakriti.  MORE

Yoga Life Training: June 1 - August 31, 2019

The Integral Yoga Institute of New York is sponsoring a Yoga Life Training program: an immersion to deepen your knowledge of Yoga and integrate Yoga practice into your life. YLT is for anyone interested in exploring and gaining a better understanding of the more subtle teachings of Yoga, the ancient practices that are a gateway to inner peace. Participants will explore a broad range of Yoga practices that give insight into the inner workings of the mind and will inspire you to make them a regular part of your life. More information about this program is available here. And, for those who would like a residential immersion experience, Yogaville offers a variety of Living Yoga programs.
Inside Yogaville

Scenes from a Seder: Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus shared Passover joy this past week. Passover, the foundational Jewish celebration of freedom by the Hand of God from brutal bondage in Egypt, was offered as symbolic for yogis pursuing their souls’ liberation from ignorance and attachment. Presented by the Lotus Center for All Faiths, it was a lovely event that touched the spiritual heart.  (Photos and report by Jeff Ananda Kamen)

Inspiring Meme of the Week
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