Archive for the ‘Yoga and Meditation’ Category

impermanence and occasions of experience - how I see it

Friday, November 21st, 2008

While not the next post I thought I would have in this series of blogs on impermanence, it works nonetheless.

for part 1 click here

This past Sunday I attended a one day vipassana meditation retreat.  A full day spent on my cushion from 10am to 5pm.  It was wonderful!

As always it was difficult, yet liberating and it further strengthened my resolve to continue to take steps on the path of the Dharma/Dhamma.

Which brings me to my experience… during the course, every hour or so we would have a 10 min break to stretch and of course answers any calls of nature.

It was during one of these 10 min breaks I had a visualization of some elements of impermanence and the numerous occassions of experience that arise and pass at startingly super speeds in the mindfield.

While nothing noted below is really mind boggling, it was the actual visual metaphor that popped into my head after the fact that really clarified the experience.

I won’t spend a long time describing this, as either it will make sense or it won’t (for anyone reading this that is familiar with the 5 aggregates/skandhas you can apply them to this picture)

While standing and staring blankly at a wall across from me, into my field of vision came the form of a person walking by. I noted this visual experience and then noted that the form and pattern of this person was familiar to me and one that was accompanied by pleasant feelings. It was here I noticed a slew of memories quickly form in my mind further confirming that his person is a “friend”.. I noted this.  Less than a second later my friend had walked outside the field of my vision.

TO my surprise, that was it. Awareness just returned to “staring” at the wall with all the accompanying sensations. It was as if nothing had happened. A whole experience came into being and then dissipated into..???

At that moment a picture popped into my mind’s eye that summarized all of what I just described.. and then I allowed it to play out..
So, what was this?

It was a process, within a myriad of processes. “I” am too a process.. an ever changing flux and flow of processes without a a stable permanent rooted fixture to contain them.

An AHA!! moment.

(warning..the pictures below are VERY simple and not that pretty. The do however serve as a basic approximation of what I experienced..not to mention I could really never get a grasp of the whole photoshop thingy)

If this at all intrigues you….turn on the visualizer in your music player and allow it to enlighten looks much cooler that way  :)

below is the occasion of experience where my friend walked through my awareness.. entering the field of vision..the feeling and thought process plateau and then the moving out of awareness..

this next graph illustrates the numerous smaller occasions of experience that arise and pass in awareness continuously.. the breath, the blinks of an eye, a brief thought, a sound etc ..  The large rise and fall you see in the graph could also represent the larger occasion of experience of my friend walking by

this final picture is my visual approximation of what perhaps a very highly aware/enlightened individual might be able to hold in their awarenes.. a multidimensional multiple spectrum of occasions. 

Holding the small occasions in awareness, then seeing the rise and fall of the larger personal occasions of experience, then seeing how larger collective occasions arise and pass away.. i.e. the ability to hold fourth person perspectives, see the collective group think, additional dimensions etc.. 



Impermanence Anitya Anicca part I

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

So I am thinking I might do a little series of blogs around the notion of impermanence as it is the main focus of my practice/life right now (although that will change ;)  )

In order to start.. we’ll need a definition



Sanskrit: अनित्य anitya; Pāli: अनिच्चा anicca; Tibetan: མི་​རྟག་​པ་ mi rtag pa; Chinese: wúcháng; Japanese: 無常 mujō; Thai: อนิจจัง anitchang) is one of the essential doctrines or Three marks of existence in Buddhism. The term expresses the Buddhist notion that every conditioned existence, without exception, is inconstant and in flux, even gods.

According to the impermanence doctrine, human life embodies this flux in the aging process, the cycle of birth and rebirth (samsara), and in any experience of loss. The doctrine further asserts that because things are impermanent, attachment to them is futile, and leads to suffering (dukkha). Under the impermanence doctrine, all compounded and constructed things and states are impermanent.

stay tuned for more…

Lululemon Community Yoga Class with Sebastian - RYT

Monday, July 9th, 2007

In the case that I do actually have local blog readers…

I’m leading a FREE community yoga class at Lululemon (Yonge and Briar Hill Location) this Sunday July 15 @ 6:30.

Bring your mat and come say hi!! 

For more info please see the lululemon link below…



Sebastian Kowalik RYT Registered Yoga Teacher

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

While I subscribe to the buddhist philosophical notion of Anatta (Pali) or NON-SELF, I am now formerly recognizing/admitting my attachment to a new mental concept that further attempts to solidify “Sebastian’s” independent existence. 

So Who Am I? Of course I don’t know the answer to that very deep profound question, but in the meantime I’m including Yoga Instructor in my self-identity.

In other words I’m extending an invite to anyone that reads this to come and attend a class with me!   :)

I’m currently teaching a Vinyasa class Monday evenings 6:30-7:45 PM at the Bosnar Centre For Health located at 2462 Yonge Street, Second Floor, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2H5  416.487.9056

My classes tend to be Ashtanga influenced and geared towards beginners with some basic yoga experience.

I’m also hoping to add another class on Thursday nights at 7:15-8:30 pm starting in mid May.

The Bosnar clinic provides all your holistic needs from chiropractic, massage, physio, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine to of course yoga.  

The little studio is wonderful! Given the size of it, most of my classes wind up feeling like a semi-private lesson. 

So come on out and visit!

I’ve attached my little bio that you can find on the Bosnar Health website below:

Sebastian Kowalik - Yoga Instructor Toronto

Sebastian’s love for yoga only came about after years of practice in both Vipassana and in Korean Zen Meditation.  After experiencing the joy of finding stillness and peace in the heart of movement, he decided to complete his yoga teacher training at the Yoga Sanctuary with Cynthia Funk and Karusia Wroblewski (to whom he is eternally grateful).

Sebastian’s approach to yoga is constantly evolving as he has realized that in order to teach one must always be a humble student.

His practice has also inspired him to create and the Sati-Collection of environmentally friendly yoga and meditation supplies.


“May you awaken your awareness to the Truth…the Truth that lies within you, in the world around you and in this very moment”

My philosophy on teaching is to create a safe and non-competitive atmosphere that honours the body, mind and Spirit.  I strive to teach a well balanced class that provides students with the tools and knowledge that help bring focus, awareness and balance to their lives both on and off the mat.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa or Flow Yoga links postures together with a rhythmical fluidity. The continuous wave of motion creates a moving meditation as each posture flows smoothly and seamlessly into the next.

Bosnar Centre For Health
2462 Yonge Street, Second Floor
Toronto, Ontario M4P 2H5

Organics in our fashion and triplegem yoga bolsters in Toronto

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

In the past few months it seems like everywhere I turn  some store or other is bringing in an organic or eco friendly line..even the big ones!!

Here’s just a small list i’ve composed (note the Canadian content)

Roots Canada.. yup…they’ve had their bamboo and organic cotton products for quite a while. If you haven’t felt a nice bamboo fabric you should. It’s soo soft and silky!

Lululemon (originally Canadian) has launched OQOQO. The current line is at least 75% natural, organic or sutainable and all their gear is all made in Canada. Sweet!

Cotton Ginny.. remember them from back in the days? Well this (Canadian) chain is attempting to make a little come back and doing so with a ECO-GANIC line.

H&M will soon be stocking a new organic cotton fashion range. The new collection will include jeans, t-shirts, dresses and even maternity wear.

The Gap,  first RED and now stores in North America have started carrying organic-cotton T-shirts for men—unbleached, and without adding any chemical dyes.

Anyways, that’s some great news.  However, or But…. a question pops into my head

What about HEMP?

It’s pretty obvious given my line of meditation and yoga supplies, I’m a big fan of hemp.   I’m not going to bother going into all of its wonderful uses but will make a few notes about Hemp v.s. Organic Cotton


  • is more naturally resistent to herbicides and pests than cotton
  • can be grown in most climates and a variety of soil types.. cotton.. I don’t think so
  • is fast growing and matures very quickly
  • blocks UV rays more effictively than other fabrics.. read cotton
  • has a greater tensile strength
  • requires less water  compared to cotton where developing countries drain large amounts of precious water and lose fertile land to grow it, often contributing to the shortages of agricultural land and water for food crops to feed the people who live there

So IMHO Organic Cotton yay!! but I think (at least in North America, hemp should lead the way)

So speaking of HEMP and new products..

Yoga Bolster Toronto - Sati-Bolster

I mentioned in a previous blog about being busy with creating and introducing some new products to my Sati-Collection.. it’s been a long time coming.. 

drum roll please…

I’m very pleased to introduce my new line of Sati Yoga Bolsters (with durable, removable, washable and sustainable hemp cover of course)! 

So if you are looking for yoga bolsters in toronto, or yoga bolsters in general…you know where to find me :)