Link to a meditative Maha Mantra on YouTube: Maha Mantra
I read a great essay by Terra Greenbrier, titled, “Against Civilization For Reconnection to Life!” This essay confronts our attachments to the norms and why we need to break free from the current status quo in order to realize our true nature, which is connection to nature and each other. Science has started to prove that social relationships are just as crucial to health and longevity as exercise. We don’t need to wait for science to catch up to realize the importance of our connection to all of life and to Earth. Here are the highlights from the essay:
“School, work, media, science, medicine, religious institutions, the nation-state and its military, political systems, economies, concepts like Progress, patriarchy, domestication, reason, morality, and politics are institutions that separate us from directly experiencing the diversity and inter-relatedness of the living world. Living within the circle of life, as an integral part of a whole organism, forms a basis for our relationships with other humans.”
How can we free ourselves from our dependence on civilization and all of its destructive distractions from our True Nature?
1: create or participate in catalyzing situations
2: inspire people to question human-centered, control-oriented culture
3: move towards decentralized, anarcho-communist, worker-controlled, ecologically harmonious, classless, international networks of syndicates/affiliations
4: figure out which seeds to scatter that will sprout from the compost of current society and then scatter those seeds. For example, teach people how to grow their own food, compost, mend clothing, fermentation as food preservation, etc.
5: confront the subtle, psychic logic of Civilization within ourselves and reclaim our Self from the false self that we were taught to create and project into the world
6: share, cooperate
8: DIY, permaculture, edible landscaping
Yoga teaches us that we are either living in yoga, a spiritual connection, or bhoga, enjoyment of the senses. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna warns that the more we indulge in the senses the further entangled we become with maya, or the material. This inevitably always ends in misery because all material enjoyments are temporary and it hurts when we get separated from our attachments. If we find fulfillment in yoga, or this spiritual connection to the Supreme, which is infinite and unchanging, we find eternal contentment. The Srimad Bhagavatam asks us to turn away from all of maya’s distractions such as movies, politics, even friendships that aren’t based on spiritual connection, so that we might find meditation, which is defined in the Srimad Bhagavatam as an unbroken stream of one thought on the Supreme.
To solve our problems we must turn towards the divine, and with realization that all living entities and the Earth are marginal energies of the divine, then each act of preserving, respecting, connecting with life, becomes a devotional act that liberates us from climate chaos, from the binds of society and civilization, and ultimately from the Maya and its inevitable miseries.
At Yama Yoga (231 E. Buffalo St.)
March 23, 2018 7:00-8:30PM
$20 in advance, $25 at the door
The Spring Equinox is a time of balance between light and dark hours of the day. Times of darkness are times to dream up intentions, and times of light are the times in which we work to manifest these intentions into reality. Spring is a time of planting seeds, metaphorical and literal, and of nourishing the soil for these seeds to grow. This equinox yoga nidra practice will provide the opportunity to ceremoniously plant your intention seed and gather and focus your conscious and subconscious powers to nourish this intention seed into its maturity. This hour-long Yoga Nidra, similar to a guided meditation practiced in savasana, will be deeply relaxing and will allow you to access all of the layers of the Self to heal and grow.
Sign up in advance at http://yamayogastudio.com/workshops
According to the Bhagavad Gita, translated by Swami Prabhupada, in the Age of Kali, there is no process that allows one to realize the Supreme other than chanting ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’
Juniper berries. I continue practicing this lesson from every fruit-bearing tree, which is to selflessly offer the fruits of my labor without hoping to receive anything in return. Often when I do expect something in return, it ends up causing deep pain, because I am not living according to Truth and love. However, when giving without attachment to receiving anything, it leaves my mind and heart at peace. Right work done well and in the mood of serving the Lord without attachment to the fruits is a form of prayer. Through karma yoga, we can obtain mukti, or liberation. “Remain evenminded in success and failure. Evenmindedness is true yoga.”
You know how Genesis says God gave humanity dominion over the earth? I read in Igniting a Revolution that most of us misinterpreted that to mean we can use or abuse the land and animals however we deem most efficient, when in fact God used the word ‘dominion’ to actually mean ‘keep’ Earth as a gardener keeps their garden or has dominion of the garden. When we treat the myriad of miracles the divine gave us with respect, compassion, love, and protection, we act in gratitude and in accordance with how God intended for us to treat the Earth that he hired us as caretakers of. The way a gardener lovingly cares for each plant is the intention behind setting us up as caretakers. Through loving service to all of creation we serve the divine, our Source, the Source each meal, each breath, and we really begin to understand what yoga, or communion with the divine, is.
Can we embrace the challenges? Can we observe emotions as internal events rather than being taken for roller coaster rides through the impulsive reactions and decisions that result from getting swept away by our emotions?
The yogasana practice is the practice-lab that gives ample opportunities to learn to breathe through challenges and observe internal drama without letting it hijack your mind.
Once we have this resilience, the challenges in life will propel us into spiritual growth spurts rather than tear us up inside and set us back.
Here’s my challenge to you to try right now: hold chaturunga dandasana (the asana in the photo above) for 4 slow smooth breaths.
Start in plank, learn to chill out here, with hands directly beneath shoulders, heels above toes, the whole body straight as an arrow, bend the elbows as close to 90 degrees that you can hold and keep your slow smooth breathing going! To modify if the low back is straining, release knees on the floor creating a straight line from crown of head to knees.
Enjoy the challenge and feel your emotional resilience grow!