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Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

 

 

I’ve been listening to Tara Brach’s podcast entitled “Hands Off the Controls”.  Tara Brach is also the author of Radical Acceptance (highly recommend!).  I love her completely non-judgmental stance.  So many teachers use labels that inherently carry judgment.  Tara, particularly in her book, refers to the shadow.  Some of you may be familiar with this Jungian term also.  The shadow is only and ever those unloved parts of ourselves.  To reject the shadow, is to enable its presence even further.

In the podcast, Tara gives some concrete steps for dealing with suffering on any level.  I am going to detail them below.  If you listen to the podcast, I am not quoting verbatim, so you may hear things differently.  Certainly, it’s also a small piece of the podcast, so if you get a chance to listen to the whole of it, I don’t think you will regret it.

She recommends using these tools for the big stuff, when the sh*t really hits the fan, but I think it’s good practice to even start out with small things.  Then when the stuff really does hit the fan, you’ve already got a toe hold in something you’ve lent some practice to.

1) Resourcing: This is designed to calm the nervous system.  It also brings you instantly into the present moment.  Begin consciously breathing focusing longer on the in breath and extending the out breath, too.  Do this several times, consciously.  Now feel your feet on the floor, the weight of your body in a chair, or lying in bed.  This is about grounding yourself to the earth.  Now from here, ask: May I offer “metta” or loving kindness to self, or others? (You may choose whichever or both if it applies, but suggest offering loving kindness first to self.)

2) Letting go of controls: Explore not doing and just being with what comes up.  You can say (and this is a direct quote):

“This is suffering…other people experience it, too.  May I be kind.”

She also mentioned a version of a quote most of us have heard as Christians, but this is a unique version of it:

“Not my will, but my [awakened] heart’s will.”

3) Beyond not doing: Having completed the first two steps, now as the need arises, take the action steps that are necessary.  These steps now are being taken from a state of presence, rather than a reactive or fear-based stance.

J. Krishnumurti was once quoted as saying: “Life has an astonishing way of taking care of you when you no longer mind what happens.”  I would change that, because truly often we do mind what happens to us.  Life has an astonishing way of taking care of you, when you no longer try to control what happens.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  May peace and loving kindness enter your heart each and every breath of all your days.

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Well it’s the end of the month, time to ring out the old and bring in the new.
And time for a message from our sponsor!  Just kidding :) except you could
say this is a message from our Sponsor, of sorts.

The lyrics included below are from the only song I’ve ever sung solo in public.
I sang it acappella at a Religious Science Church in Dallas.  Notice that I haven’t
been invited back to sing it again.  :)

I originally heard Shivanand Thomas Amelio’s rendering of this song on his CD
entitled Inner Quest.  He is a yogi as well as a singer that I was introduced to at the
Kripalu Yoga Center in Massachusetts.

And so the message is:

Truly, you can relax now.

Love, Bethie

You can relax now
Come on and close your eyes
Breathe deeply now
I am with you.
Oh my sweet, sweet child
Who do you think you are
You are a child of God
And that will never change.

You can relax now
Come on and close your eyes
Breathe deeply now
I am with you.
You are the love of my life.
You are my own creation.
You are eternity
And that will never change.

You had a dream
You misunderstood
You thought we were separate
But now you hear my voice say:
You can relax now
Come on and close your eyes
breathe deeply now
I am with you.
Oh my sweet, sweet child
who do you think you are
you are a child of God
And that will never change.

You had a dream
You misunderstood
You thought we were separate
But now you hear my voice say:
You can relax now
Come on and close your eyes
Breathe deeply now
I am with you
You are the love of my life
You are my own creation
You are eternity
And that will never change.

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Beloved Child

My beloved child
break your heart no longer.
Each time you judge yourself
you break you own heart.

Excerpted from Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
Quoting Swami Shri Kriplalvanandji ‘Bapuji’ beloved
father of Kripalu Yoga

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As Socrates taught,

“The beginning of wisdom is the
acknowledgment of our own ignorance.”

We are encouraged to empty ourselves
of our posturing, of being the “one who knows,”
so that we can fill up with a new kind of knowing.

…as we let go of the pretense of knowing, our
vulnerabilities are exposed.

excerpted from Yoga and the Quest for the True Self~Stephen Cope

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The Divine Child

Inevitably, after we have these moments of recognizing who we really
are, we fall asleep again.  But some of us are never the same.  We’re
haunted by what we’ve experienced.  It echoes in everything we do.
Having experienced it once, we quicken to our truest nature when it is
revealed to us again –as it inevitably will be.  We feel the alienation
from this way of being when we’re not living from it.  We feel homesick
for our true nature.  We begin to long for it.

All mystical paths have taught that the union with God, or with the
Absolute, subtly transforms the self.  Each time we penetrate into
samadhi, we have a small death-rebirth experience.  Samadhi destroys
the world as we know it–it’s boundaries and categories.  The deeper
into union I penetrate, the less I am “I”, and the more I am “we”.  For
this reason, the merger with the One is known to create psychological
upheaval and world-shattering shifts in perception.

…These are the deaths that are necessary for the birth of what Carl
Jung called “the divine child” — the deeper layers of the spirtitual self.

excerpted from Yoga and the Quest for the True Self~Stephen Cope

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