Although yoga is most commonly thought of as being a means to attain physical fitness and health, people who are familiar with its broader scope, variously refer to yoga as being an understanding, a path, a lifestyle, a teaching, and sometimes it is simply called the ‘way’ or the natural way ~ the way of tuning into and acting on the truth. Continue reading The Way of Yoga ~ Tuning into Truth
It’s widely and correctly known that the word yoga means union or harmony, but one of the great misunderstandings of yoga teaching, is that this harmony has its ultimate expression in the harmony of your body, mind and spirit.
The relationship between the body and the soul is oftentimes explained in yoga teachings as being like the situation with a car and the driver of the car. You (the spirit/soul) are the driver, and the car you are driving is your physical body ~ and if we even briefly analyse the nature of this situation, it is not difficult to appreciate why the idea of body, mind spirit harmony is incorrect. Continue reading Yoga ~ Harmony of Body, Mind and Spirit?
Out of all the gifts that you’ve ever been given in your life, is there one that you value above all the others? For most of us, it’s a difficult question to answer. For example, someone may have given me a million dollars, but if there are strings attached to the ‘gift’ ~ some expectation of return, then I don’t really value it as a true gift of love. Rather, it’s just one side of a business equation.
How about the old cliché of what’s more valuable to a hungry person ~ food or the knowledge of how to grow food? Or say for example, someone has given me one hundred dollars, but it’s all they have. Isn’t that hundred dollars a greater gift than one thousand dollars which is given by a billionaire? Maybe, but the hundred dollar gift could be a ploy of some kind, while the thousand, may truly be a gift from the heart.
What about the gift of true and meaningful friendship? Shouldn’t that be valued above and beyond money or the things money can buy? Surely most of us would agree that the most valuable gift is not only one that is freely and loving given, but it is one that is given with due regard for what we really need. Continue reading Beyond the Days of Our Lives
I was recently asked a question about the importance of having a spiritual teacher. This provided a nice opportunity to explain in some detail that, yes, according to Yoga teaching it was important for a person wanting to advance in spiritual understanding to have a teacher.
In modern times however, the concept of a spiritual teacher is oftentimes unfortunately viewed with significant misgivings if not absolute dread. One of the major reasons for this kind of reticence is arrogance – not wanting to accept that someone else may know more than I do. Another reason is that many people have been put off by their knowledge or experience of charlatans of one stripe or another.
The matter of arrogance is something that each of us should try to become aware of in our own lives, and hopefully to see it as something that is undesirable. It’s not such an easy thing to do, but nevertheless we should try as much as possible to overcome our arrogance otherwise we will surely be deprived of the opportunity to gain spiritual knowledge. One aid in overcoming arrogance is to appreciate that in any field of knowledge or expertise we need a teacher who can provide us with information about that particular field. Continue reading A Question of Influence
Many people would have had the experience of being lost at least once in their lives, especially those of us who have visited a foreign country. It’s usually not a problem though because we can easily consult a map. Even better than that though – if we can get the help of a person who is familiar with that foreign place (a local resident, for example) then our anxiety can be immediately relieved. Whether we get it from a map, or a person, or perhaps a combination of these, the point is that we need a vision of the territory if we are ever going to get ‘un-lost’/ found.
Not so long ago I saw a movie where some people were lost in an Amazonian jungle. Although they were hopelessly lost, they got out of their predicament simply by climbing a tall tree and thus they were able to get their bearings. The movie reminded me of an almost identical experience I had many years ago, when I was lost in a rainforest in north Queensland. I had somehow wandered off a walking track in a remote area, and I had no idea where I was. The sun was of no use because it couldn’t be seen through the thick canopy of foliage, and so in that perpetual semi-darkness, I had absolutely no way of knowing which way to go. I may have been lucky enough to head in the right direction, but maybe not. I could have just as easily proceeded deeper and deeper into the forest. My panic was somewhat mitigated however, when I happened to come upon a huge tree, because attached to it, was a natural ladder made from some thick vines which, (after what must have taken many many years) had gradually grown and encircled the tree from the ground all the way to the top. Amazingly, I was able to climb this ladder without much difficulty, to a point where I was able to penetrate the forest canopy. Continue reading A Spectacular View