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The Eight Limbs of Yoga

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

The first wealth is health. –Ralph Waldo Emerson When you regard your life as a trust, you realize that the first resource you have to take care of is your own body. This can be startling. Even your body is not really your own. It belongs to life, and it is your responsibility to take care of it. You cannot…

Pratyahara

Pratyahara

He insulted me, he cheated me, he beat me, he robbed me – those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. -The Buddha Resentment is nothing more than compulsive attachment to a set of memories. If you could peek through the window of the mind when you feel resentful, you would see a production line turning out the…

Patience

Patience

  One who holds back rising anger like a rolling chariot, that one I call a real driver; other people are but holding the reins. -The Buddha It takes two to quarrel: the other person can throw down the gauntlet, but we don’t have to pick it up. When someone criticizes us or contradicts us or speaks in an unpleasant…

Svadhyaya

Svadhyaya

The Buddhas do but tell the way, it is for you to labor at the task.  -The Buddha Spiritual teachers are like signposts pointing the way to immortality, but it is we who must make the journey. This is quite reasonable. After all, when we pass a signpost on the freeway, we don’t expect it to get into the driver’s…

Karma and the Yoga of Action

Karma and the Yoga of Action

Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.  -Norman Cousins Just as the example of Jesus inspired Francis of Assisi a millennium later, Francis inspired thousands of people during his own lifetime, and continues to do so today.…

Tapas, Dharana and Patience

Tapas, Dharana and Patience

A mind that is fast is sick. A mind that is slow is sound. A mind that is still is divine. -Meher Baba  Somehow, in our modern civilization, we have acquired the idea that the mind is working best when it runs at top speed. Yet a racing mind lacks time even to finish a thought, let alone to check…

Dharana

Dharana

Purity of heart is to will one thing.  -Soren Kierkegaard There is a Hindu story comparing the mind to the trunk of an elephant – restless, inquisitive, always straying. In our villages in India, elephants are sometimes taken in religious processions through the streets to the temple. The streets are crooked and narrow, lined on either side with fruit and…

Metta, Lovingkindness and Cheerfulness

Metta, Lovingkindness and Cheerfulness

Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life; therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits.   -Saint Philip of Neri  When things go wrong, that’s the time to be more cheerful. When things go right, of course we are cheerful. When nerves are getting frayed, that’s the time to smile. The practice…