- Last night I was blessed in many ways to spend time with Manorma, an amazing teacher, at the BhaktiShop. Blessed in one way because yogis trust one another. My wallet was stolen on Thursday. I had to cancel all my cards and thus, have no access to my money until the bank sends me a new ATM card. The very sweet BhaktiShop received and e-mail from me explaining the situation and immediately extended the offer to pay them when I could. I don't practice here and don't know these people, but yogis CAN trust one another because yogis are bound by ahimsa, satya, and asteya to not harm each other, not lie, and not steal; we can trust each other. I will send them the money AND a thank you card when I can.
- On the greater level, I am blessed that Manorma (which translates as charming to the heart, delight to the mind), comes to Portland from New York at all. Here is some of what I took away from just two hours. I highly recommend that you go see Ma even if you have little interest in Sanskrit at all. Her spiritual knowledge is the best. Check out sankritstudies.org.
- Manorma talked about the point of yoga: Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah. (Sutra 1.2) Stop fueling the spinning of the mind. Without giving it energy it can't keep turning. Asana, chanting, meditation pranayama-these are all tools we are given to achieve this task. Eventually you will drop all tools. The mind and the body are also tools. We should use them to play, but remember that they too are merely tools for this lifetime. DON'T do anything that doesn't come naturally-the point is not to be crazy. The point of yoga is to come closer to answering the question "who am I?", not loose yourself. How to do this? Have some formal practice using the tool(s) of your choice-go all the way with that particular tool. Manorma highly recommends meditation. I really should do more of that. No one likes meditation, especially me! This is because it is the height of intimacy and you might get TMI from yourself. The point of meditation is to cultivate witness consciousness. this witness helps you function in the world without becoming controlled by your mind and body, but rather control them. The best way to answer the question "Who am I?" and stop the spinning of the mind is two-fold:
1. Have a formal practice of some kind. Do this every day. Why? YOU are different every day. If this is true, then you need to expose every piece of yourself to the practice to learn more about YOU.
2. Be conscious in your life. Notice what your mind does in every waking moment and don't let it carry you, you carry it in its like/don't like duality. Use it as the tool that it is. Meditation helps with this.
- Always keep your rhythm. It will hold you steady. The rhythm is breath, mantra, heartbeat.