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  • Beginning to See Beyond the Mat  After I began practicing I began to seek out every book I could find on the topic of yoga. I read practice books which were written for the general public as well as more esoteric books which were seemingly written in some sort of code for the students of antiquity.......
  • Many students say that sometimes they have problems getting themselves to practice at home. Often I hear the statement, "I just don't have any discipline." I would like to redefine the concept of "discipline" by  contrasting it with the concept of "commitment"..... 
  • For Beginners: the Benefits of Yoga Practice  There is an old story in the ancient literature of India about a student attempting in vain to describe the taste of a mango. Listening to the futile words, the teacher shakes his head, smiles, and picking up a ripe luscious mango, bites into it. Writing about the benefits of hatha yoga is a little like this...(Thanks to ThriveOnline on Oxygen for providing "Benefits of Hatha Yoga". You can find ThriveOnline at www.thriveonline.com or on AOL with the AOL keyword: ThriveOnline)
  • Core Concerns in Teaching Yoga - One day as a child on a family outing, I was seated in a small motor boat facing backward as we cut a sharp path across an icy blue lake....

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  • The Ten Most Important Sutras - As a child, my experience of summer was that of an  endless progression of days filled with infinite time to pursue whatever seemed interesting to me and the gang of kids who gathered each morning on our street.. ..

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  • Swami Mommie - I squirmed impatiently in my seat as I  waited for the parenting expert to finish his talk at my children's school. I was eager to go up to the lectern to ask my personal question: How could I get my two older children to stop bickering all the time?

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  • Rediscovering Ease: Learning how to sit - A brief look at the chairs which are offered to us in schools, cars and on airplanes reveals that there seems to be little understanding of how our human anatomy functions in the sitting position...

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  • Beginning the Journey: Living the Yamas of Patanjali  - When our children were young, my husband and I would occasionally summon up enough courage to take them out for dinner. As we stood outside the selected restaurant, one of us would stare down into their upturned innocent faces and remind them, to “be good” or we would leave the restaurant...

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  • Practicing the Presence of God: Living the Niyamas of  Patanjali -Recent research has proven that not only are human beings inherently social creatures, our very health and longevity may depend upon our social ties....

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  • Embodying the Spirit: Understanding the Meaning of Asana - All I remember of my first asana (posture) class is the ceiling. Between movements we would be instructed to lie down on our mat and rest. I do not remember very much about what we did, but I do remember I wanted more....

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  • Breath of God: the breathing practices of pranayama - We usually take the ability to draw a simple breath for granted, but our everyday language reveals our intuitive awareness that breathing is critically important and powerful....

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  • Returning to the Self: the practice of pratyahara In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the second chapter is filled with teachings about the astanga or eight-limbed yoga system. The astanga system is presented as a series of practices which begin with external limbs like ethical precepts and move toward more internal limbs like meditation...
  • Returning to the Self: the practice of pratyahara - (part 5)I was sitting in my favorite chair, the chocolate brown one with the fringe along the bottom and I was engrossed in a Nancy Drew novel. I was eight years old, and I was completely mesmerized as I read about the daring exploits of my favorite heroine.....

Life Is Not To Be Lived On The Edges


Life is not to be lived on the edges.
 
Because we are only able to see one vista from the edge.

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Joy is Big

Your joy is too small, caged by the jailor of your thoughts.

It lives in the land beyond Infinity and is big beyond measure.

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“Make peace with the present moment.”

Too often our mental process is to judge ourselves for what we are thinking or feeling. A thought arises and our inner dialogue says something like, “Oh, I shouldn’t  be thinking that” or “How can I be thinking/feeling that when I am a yoga student, teacher or meditator?”.

Then we react to those judgments with even more judgments for judging, and we are caught in a repeating pattern from hell.

A practice I have been enjoying for some months now is to “make peace with the present moment”. That means that when thoughts arise followed by thoughts of judgment I tell myself that the whole process is part of my practice: the original thoughts and the secondary or following thoughts as well. I do this by saying to myself, “how human of me to have a thought of X”. This helps so much when I look at the behavior of others as well.

When I say silently to myself, “How human of him to act/react with anger or fear or disappointment” then there is a space for compassion to arise in me. And I like how that feels. Then I am at peace with the present moment.

JHL

Making the insights gained on the meditation cushion and yoga mat live in our lives is a great and wondrous challenge. One thought that helps me to do this is to think of myself as a “spiritual sociologist”. Whenever I can, I try to observe what is happening within me and around me using the curious mind of a sociologist. I observe what others say and do; I observe what I say and do, all with an open heart and non-judging mind. I sometimes use this phrase silently to myself, “isn’t that interesting?” as I observe. When I am able to remember to keep my perspective on myself and the others around me framed by an open heart, I like how I feel and how I chose to act in the world.

JHL

Let us be respectively aware, Life and death are of supreme importance. 

Time swiftly passes by, and with it our only chance.

Each of us must aspire to awaken. 
Be aware: do not squander our life. 

  (Buddhist prayer)
Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind, beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thoughts, like the relentless fury of the pounding waves in the infinite ocean of samsara. 
  (Khempo Jamyang Dorje) 
Meal Chant

First this food is for true practice.

Second it is for our teachers and parents.

Third it is for all nations and all beings.

Thus we eat this food with everyone, we eat to stop all harming, to practice serving and to accomplish the awakened way.
 

-Buddhist meal chant 

 

 

Copyright © 2010 Judith Lasater - All Rights Reserved