Archive for July, 2009

A new home and yoga as science

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Hello all,

It has been a long time since my last post..

I have had many exciting adventures and major changes in my life.  The largest of which is that I am now a Home “Condo” Owner and am also certified to teach acroyoga  (more on that later).

The many years renting gave me a sense of freedom, but I realized, I love Toronto and I am quite comfortable with the idea of “nesting” here.  Of course I’m always open to change but in the meantime come Fall, I will have my “own” place right in the heart of the city..and I mean heart of the city.  I don’t think I could be more central!

But enough about that.. I’d like to move on to more spiritual matters :)

In my last yoga class that I taught, I spoke to the fact that yoga is indeed a science and a valid one as far as I am concerned. It is a science that is most concerned with interiors and the exploration of consciousnesss.  We can employ a consistent method…we have the tools (asana, pranayama, meditation), and we have the resulting data which can be cross checked with a group of peers or masters that can support, confirm or reject the observations and conclusions based on duplicating the same experiments using the same tools. 

Is there not hundreds if not thousands of years of cross cultural data to support?  Yoga, Buddhism, Christianity, Kaballah.. etc..  they all speak to actual practices (ever hear about sitting in a cave or in the desert for 40 days in contemplation ;) which reveal certain common experiences and insights. 

As luck would have it.. did I ever pick the right time to raise this issue.  I had a Yoga Teacher in Training observing my class and it turns out she is a scientist.  She approached me after class and was very enthusiastic about this notion as it seems she has experienced some sort of conflict (whether internal/external or both i’m not sure) about being drawn to this practice and perhaps its “mystical” and esoteric aspects. 

We then wound up speaking a little bit around the fact that some of the interior experiences can have an external correlation that can also be objectively observed i.e. changes in brain states, different areas of the brain being stimulated during the course of various states of absorbtion/consciousness/meditation etc..

It’s nice to know that I can be of service by offering some questions or examples for people to ponder :)

Seriously.. there are alot of intelligent people out there that think this yoga/meditation stuff is just a subjective personal rollercoaster ride..maybe they are right…but then can’t the same be said of mathematics? 

As I believe Ken Wilber has said..

“Nobody has ever seen the square root of negative one”.

Yet, mathematicians will agree on an answer no?

Man, I love this stuff!

So during the course of my recent readings i’ve come across some interesting quotes that I’d like to share …

“There is no one who even for a trice fails to experience the SELF. In deep sleep you exist; awake you remain. The same SELF is in both states. The difference is only in the awareness and the non-awareness of the world. The world rises with the mind and sets with the mind.  That which rises and sets is NOT the SELF.

The individual is miserable because he confounds the mind and the body with the SELF.  It is the nature of the mind to wander.  But you are not the mind.  The mind springs up and sinks down.  It is impermanent, transitory, whereas YOu are eternal.  There is nothing but the SELF.  TO abide as the SELF is the thing.  Never mind the  mind. If the mind’s source is sought, the mind will vanish leaving the SELF unaffected.”

~ Ramana Maharshi


“When one is no longer concerned with the Where, the When , the Why and What-for of things, but only and alone with the What, and lets go even of all abstract thoughts about them, intelletual concepts and consciousness, but instead of all that, gives over the whole force of one’s spirit to the act of preceiving, becomes absorbed in it and lets every bit of one’s consciousness be filled in the quite contemplation of the natural object immediately present - be it a landscapte, a tree, a rock, a building, or anything else at all; actually and fully losing oneself in the object: forgetting one’s individuality, one’s will , and remaining there only as a pure subject, a clear mirror to the object-so that it is as though the object alone were there, without anyone regarding it, and to such a degree that one migh no longer distinguish the beholder from the act of beholding, the two have become one… ”

“The person absorbed in this mode of seeing is no longer an individual-the individual has lost himself in the perception-but is a pure, will-less, painless, timeless, Subject of Apprehension.”

~ philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer

Doesn’t that sound exactly like a definition of samadhi or for the more contemporary, Tolle’s “NOW” or “Presence”??  :)
Since i’m on the topic of interesting things i’ve come across that i’d like to share..

As a child in the 80s, I loved Depeche Mode and so I picked up the latest album out of curiousity.  I was VERY pleasantly suprised as they maintained the sound that I am accustomed to but with lyrics that reflect a personal growth and spiritual depth that I can really relate to.  Sweet! 

Hope to have more time to blog again soon!