Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No.130 "You are Liberated"
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You are Liberated

No mind is bad, no mind is dirty; it’s always crystal clear. But if you accumulate ugly things around the mind, the mind will appear to be ugly. The associations are so important. If you don’t allow those things to contaminate or color your mind, you are liberated.

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

(photo: Swami Satchidananda at a temple, South India, mid-1990s.)

What Does Moderation Really Mean?
Q & A with Sri Swami Satchidananda

Question: I’ve heard you say that everything is all right in moderation. Can you speak more about that, and does it apply to drinking alcohol and smoking?
Swami Satchidananda: There is a saying, in the Tirukkural, one of the oldest spiritual texts in Tamil, “You can even tell a lie if it doesn’t hurt anyone, and if it brings some benefit to somebody.” So, whatever you do in life, let there be no harm to anyone, and some benefit to someone. God created everything for a purpose, even poison. Don’t we use poison in medicine? If you don’t know how to use it, you can kill yourself. Alcohol, by itself, is not bad, but what is the purpose? Will it bring you some benefit? Oh, just a little bit is okay for me. The problem is that you don’t stop with just a little bit. That is only the first step and the next time, a little more, and again, even a little more. It doesn’t stay within the limit. The ultimate goal in doing anything should be that it does some benefit, and no harm. We don’t have that benefit in drinking alcohol. And alcohol is not natural. When you dig a well, do you get alcohol? It is man-made. Everything in nature is always good, if you know how to use it properly. In homeopathy, all kinds of poisons are used in the remedies.  MORE

The Medicine of Altruism
By H. H. the Dalai Lama

In Tibet, we say that many illnesses can be cured by the one medicine of love and compassion. These qualities are the ultimate source of human happiness, and the need for them lies at the very core of our being. Unfortunately, love and compassion have been omitted from too many spheres of social interaction for too long. Usually confined to family and home, their practice in public life is considered impractical, even naive. This is tragic. In my view, the practice of compassion is not just a symptom of unrealistic idealism but the most effective way to pursue the best interest of others as well as our own. The more we—as a nation, a group or as individuals—depend upon others, the more it is in our own best interests to ensure their well-being. Practicing altruism is the real source of compromise and cooperation; merely recognizing our need for harmony is not enough. A mind committed to compassion is like an overflowing reservoir—a constant source of energy, determination and kindness. This is like a seed; when cultivated, gives rise to many other good qualities, such as forgiveness, tolerance, inner strength and the confidence to overcome fear and insecurity.  MORE

Dubai is no exception to the growing trend [of Yoga] that has many people allocating from as little as five minutes to an hour a day of silence and self-reflection. Meet certified Yoga instructor Lina Zoghaib, founder of Yogi Truck, a mobile studio that connects the practice of Yoga and meditation to nature. “It allows nature lovers to practise everything from yoga and meditation to outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing and cycling in serene areas all around the UAE,” she said. Launched in 2015, the Yogi Truck is a project that aims to “get people in the UAE off their sofas and into the great outdoors,” she added. After being diagnosed with cancer and completing her treatment in early 2018, Zoghaib took a course and has also become certified to teach yoga to cancer patients.  MORE

In this brief video recorded in conjunction with the February 2019 "Teaching of the Month" (a monthly spiritual value or practice led by Swami Ramananda) on spiritual friendship, Swami Ramananda offers some thoughts on what differentiates "spiritual" friendship and why it is so valuable for true spiritual seekers. Swami Ramananda is director of the Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco. A senior monk and student of Swami Satchidananda, Ramanandaji is a highly sought after teacher and gives programs and leads teacher trainings around the globe.

When is the last time you had a good laugh? This was a question I used to ask myself from time to time. If I needed a chuckle, I would make up my mind to go see a funny movie or attend a party hoping to find a few laughs. This seemed a normal way to think about laughter—as a reaction to stimulus. When I became proactive in maintaining my own health, I heard that intentional laughter, like jogging and a healthy diet, was beneficial. Choosing to laugh independent of mood or emotional state was a new idea to me. Yet there is mounting scientific evidence that large doses of laughter, like vitamins taken in conjunction with a healthy dietary regime, can be effective in promoting healing and health. And much like any other practice, time and space must be made for it.... Society has intuitively known about the regenerative power of laughter long before science began to validate its positive physiological benefits. This is evidenced in common expressions such as “Laughter is the best medicine,” and even in Irish folk wisdom, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in a doctor’s book of remedies.” Validating our intuitive appreciation for the benefits of laughter, we now have gelotology—the study of humor and laughter and its psychological and physiological effects.  MORE

The New York IYI just announced the launch of its newest offering: the Ayurveda Academy. The inspiring mission of the Academy is three-fold: teaching students to create and support a vibrant, balanced lifestyle for themselves; training students for a career of service to others through the ancient art of Ayurveda; and inspiring students to become  pillars of health and education for their communities. The first program of the Academy is the Ayurveda Health Counselor Training Program led by Integral Yoga teacher and Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Cory Tixier. The program begins April 11th and is open to all health practitioners, licensed massage therapists, aromatherapists, homeopaths, practitioners of Oriental medicine, Yoga instructors, Yoga therapists, and everyone wishing to heal and focus on the self and/or to harness and ignite his or her own potential as a healer. The three modules include contact hours and online study for a flexible, personalized, and supported path. Each module is the prerequisite for the next. Upon completion of all three modules, students will have 650 hours of training (may be used toward Yoga Alliance 500-hour requirement; fully accredited by NAMA and makes you eligible for the NAMA health counselor certification exam).

"Let's Go Back 6,000 Years"

The Indus Valley Civilization is the subject of "Let's Go Back 6,000 Years," a song for children intended to supplement the popular History of Hindu India documentary "From Ancient Times." The documentary and song, the first of three for this time period, neatly supplement the study of India and the Hindu religion in American middle schools. An easy way for kids to get an overview of the largest civilization in ancient times. It covers Indian history from the Indus-Saraswati Civilization up to the Gupta period (to 300 ce). The Hindu concept of God is explained, along with the key concepts of karma, dharma, ahimsa and reincarnation, the practice of temple worship, major saints and the main Hindu scriptures.

Patanjali's Words: Impediments on the Path
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 30th sutra of Chapter 1 in which Patanjali begins to describe the nine main impediments or obstacles to spiritual practice and spiritual growth on the path toward Self-realization.
    The obstacles that distract the mind and disrupt practice are: Disease; Dullness, complacency, narrow-mindedness; Doubt; Carelessness; Laziness; Addiction to sense experiences; Confused, false, or shifting views on principles of life, wisdom teachings, and practice; Failure to reach firm ground; Slipping from the ground gained. Disease in Patanjali’s time included more than the disorders we know today. Disease was understood as any imbalance of the subtle energies or humors that cause anxiety, restlessness, low energy, and physical discomfort. The roots of this word suggest that a tamasic (lethargic, inert) state is fertile ground for the development of dullness. So doubt is not just the result of lacking sufficient information to make a decision, or of having too many choices, or conflicting goals or desires, it is born from a mind that lacks clarity and insight, a mind that has lost focus. We will see that lack of mental focus, which disables the mind’s ability to probe the object of its attention, is the root of almost all of the obstacles.  MORE

Last month, the popular magazine New York, contacted several Yoga studios in New York asking for their take for a feature they were doing on the best Yoga clothes for men. They also asked the Integral Yoga Institute of New York to weigh in. Here's what the magazine reported from their conversation with the IYI buyer who recommended a particular shirt: "A lot of the recommended Yoga gear leans towards the monochromatic, so this T-shirt is a great way to mix things up a little. Chandrika Shrobe, instructor at Integral Yoga and buyer for the studio’s shop, likes that it’s made from a natural blend of hemp and organic cotton, and she appreciates the meaning behind the design. ‘[It] features the root chakra, symbolizing stability and a sense of feeling grounded.'"
Inside Yogaville

Devendra is well known as a very joyful and effective Karma Yogi on the farm and serving in the ashram kitchen. But his true genius may be in the way he connects with kids. In this case, the super dynamic Eberle boys (dad Sam is Yogaville's webmaster and audio/video whiz; mom Leelavati, an Integral Yoga teacher, is overseeing development of the newly reopening Vidyalayam). When Devendra enters the space, Miles and little brother Max become very focused and calm waiting for the next cool thing they can do with Devendra. Today was Miles’ first time in the dish pit, helping with lunch clean-up. He loved it. (photo and report by: Jeff Ananda Kamen)

Inspiring Meme of the Week
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