Unchallenged Assumptions Lead to Poor Outcomes

Here is a conversation I had recently with a student:

Nothing external can cause an internal response

What causes our emotional reaction is the black box full of assumptions (in the mind) by which we make inferences about how we should behave, emotionally and socially. Continue reading

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The Conundrum of Discipline and Letting Go

Here Sarasvati discusses the problems of actually living a Yogic life.  The first conundrum is, “What is surrender?” (not what  you might think)

Sarasvati supervises Anatomy and Asana teacher training for the Australian College of Classical Yoga.  Her own Yoga school is Waverley Yoga, where you can find other writings on her Blog. Continue reading

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Thinking about Choice

Thinking about choice…do you take responsibility for the choices you make?

Choice newTo become aware of the choices we make and being upfront about them – this is one way of getting to know ourselves better. Our choices are a clear reflection of us for all to see – we had better have a handle on them ourselves.  But there are other ways of looking at choice – try these mind-bogglers.

Pre-determined?

There are many aspects to choice.  Determinism would suggest that choice is an illusion and you really haven’t got any choice. Its position is that a long chain of cause and effect accounts entirely for the decisions we make, and the feeling of choice that goes with them. Can’t stand the thought of that?  Determinism would say, “Well, of course not!” Your reaction was fully predictable because already determined by the pre-existing causes in your life (and of the stream of pre-existing causes preceding your entry into the world),

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Comfort, Discomfort, Both OK

Generally we choose comfort over discomfort, and that seems wonderfully reasonable, doesn’t it?  But just consider, whenever  you choose comfort you are pushing away about 99.9% of what is available.  Reality is vast, while your comfort area is tiny and constrictive.  Recognising that both comfort and discomfort are valid experiences is a big leap into a broader, more flexible mind. And that happens when we recognise also that comfort and discomfort are about preference, not reality. Continue reading

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Noxious guru

Supposing that you find you have a noxious guru, what do you do?

How might you discover it?

You may have encountered unpalatable aspects of his personality, but assumed that he was a high-functioning narcissist Continue reading

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Yoga Retreat, or Yoga Treat?

When I was in fourth grade, our teacher left the room for a bit, and told us to be very quiet as we were now on retreat. Another teacher came in, and I proudly wrote her a note saying that we couldn’t talk because we were having a treat! Continue reading

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Hurting and Growing

I owe much to guru and lineage. Without having had a guru, I would not have discovered this yogic path,  nor ventured far upon it. Without his guru, I would not have met him. Without the great Nityananda, none of us would have made this journey at all. Nevertheless, many years ago I was disillusioned with my guru. It hurt soooo much, I was soooo disappointed, I cried many, many bitter tears and it took years to heal from it. For anyone who might be suffering or might have suffered, this is the story of my healing.

It took years to heal from it. But something much better came from the process than I was able to imagine during the hurtful years. I found in insight that disillusionment is not so much an indictment of another person or institution, it is an indictment of my own illusions, and I am much better off without them.  There is spiritual restoration in that. And in the end, I am profoundly grateful for having had a guru. His personality is his business, and mine is my spiritual life. But disillusionment really does hurt Continue reading

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End 2014, Year of Changes

Changes – some painful, some joyful or even ecstatic, some that come simply with the turning  of the Earth.This time last  year, somehow I had a feeling that 2014 would be a year of changes… and I was right. Maybe,on reflection, any 12 month period will see change anyway. But this one was fully charged… quite glad to start on a new one tomorrow. Continue reading

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Sit with your anger, dive deep through pain

A few days ago I sat with a spiritual community in trauma.  Their spiritual leader was in disgrace from allegations of sexual impropriety. The hall that is normally full was half-empty, and of those attending, half were quietly weeping.  The session was taken by the leader’s life partner, the woman sweetly and affectionately known as Divine Mother. She was left to carry not only her own pain but that of the community. Such pain, such grief, such betrayal.                 Continue reading

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Yoga and Women

Shivashakti

Shivashakti

Prior to Vedic times, women were fully equal participants in ritual celebration – then along came Vedic Brahmanism and women were not even permitted to hear the vedas recited. We were told so recently by the renowned scholar of Yoga and Sanskrit, Dr Mark Dyczkowski. But, he said, while women have been cruelly repressed, we are now seeing the “re-vindication” of women. It is a pleasant thought… do you see it around you? Continue reading

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