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Journal Post

“Yoga is a science which liberates one's mind from the bondage of the body and leads it towards the soul." – BKS Iyengar, Tree of YogaMany scholars have searched for the date of the first reference to yoga, but BKS Iyengar reminds us in The Tree of Yoga, that Yoga, like Ayurveda, is apauruseya, not given by man. "Brahma is the Founder of Yoga” and also "Lord Siva is the Founder of Yoga, which he first taught to his wife, Parvati." (156). Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy, which was organized by Patanjali, in his classical work, the Yoga Sutras.“Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”
Whether it was a good idea or not, I did something pretty out of character yesterday. Instead of cranking away at the end of my work day, continuing my search for new employment, and/or finishing up my taxes, I chose to stop what I was doing, go outside and sit in the sun. You see, the past few weeks have been very tiring and with the change I can feel coming, I decided to take advantage of an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and springtime.
A couple of newsletters back I wrote about how the Unity Woods logo came into being and what my thinking was in creating it, and the significance of the various components. As there wasn't space then to talk about the three words that appear at the points of the triangle, I said I would do so in subsequent newsletters. In the last newsletter, I discussed the relevance of the first of the three words: health. Now we come to the second: serenity.
NAMASTE,
It's such a cliché to remark on the speedy passage of time. Nonetheless, I have to trot out the "how time flies" line to comment on the arrival this year of Unity Woods' 30th anniversary. To tell you the truth, things are tumbling by so fast and there so much going on that I might have missed noticing it altogether had I not been prompted by the ubiquitous accolades to local (and national) media star, Diane Rehm, on her 30th anniversary. That's when I said to myself, "Hey, Unity Woods has been around for 30 years, too."
Kirtan is the practice of devotional chanting, the coming together to sing God’s glories and elevate one’s consciousness from the mundane to the Divine. The uplifting vibrations created by singing the names of the Lord purifies the mind and stirs the heart.
Kirtan gives strength and awakens nobility. It harmonizes the nerves and eradicates doubt. By reflection and worship of God, love, serenity and compassion are greatly increased, promoting a positive and pleasant temperament. The cosmic harmony and divine intoxication the Sadhaka acquires through Kirtan removes the erroneous ideas of birth, death, bondage, and all dualities.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna imparts that all of nature is composed of three forces—Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, collectively known as the Gunas. Continually in flux and intermingling, these three forces manifest in the material world as conditions present everywhere, existing in varying degrees of concentration and combination.
Depending on their singular or intermingled strength, they determine the nature, actions, and behavior in the material realm. They create delusion, desires, and attachment.
All of us at Human Kindness Foundation had a rare privilege when we brought the Vietnamese Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced Tic Not Hon), into his first American prison to talk with inmates and staff about the practice of deep mindfulness. We chose Maryland Correctional Institution at Hagerstown for this special event because Bo had been there recently and had been very moved by the spiritual sincerity and strength of the prisoner community. Many of the prisoners have taken the Alternatives to Violence Project training and have been involved with our books and tapes as well. (Special thanks to Emma Lou Davis, of CCSC in Hagerstown, for coordinating the whole event).
Transcribed from a sermon Bo gave at Unity of the Triangle Church in Raleigh, NC.
When I teach meditation, I'm a stickler for keeping the body still. In the Old Testament there is a curious passage that says, "Be still and know that I am God." Isn't that curious? Be still, not "be righteous," not "be busy," not "be productive," not even "be kind," but "be still" to know God. Do we make enough room for stillness in our lives to know God?
It's not too late to start over! Did you rise on January 1, 2012! with the best of intentions and then life just started to take over and you lost some steam? This is just a reminder that you can start your new year over anytime you want! In fact, it may feel more authentic to you to take this time now between the full moon and the upcoming new moon to reset your intentions. This is when the Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first new moon of the year.
Louies KidsSaturday, Oct. 13th from 12:00 to 3 p.m. in Marion Square, Downtown Charleston, SC.
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