The ancient Chinese character for Clarity shows a flying bird, and a net to capture it. Birds are messengers; this one represents flashes of insight, the way things can light up and shine out clearly. We weave a net of concepts to grasp the message and hold its meaning in awareness. This is not passive seeing, but a meeting of outer and inner light.
Seeing the truth and holding to it with constancy bears fruit. Then the moment of insight can become lasting awareness, so that we enter into creative communication with the signs and messages around us, and truly see other people.
I Ching, Hexagram 30
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~~ from my teacher, Devarshi Steven Hartman
Yoga is a transmission. It always has been and always will be. It happens from person, to person, to person, from teacher, to student. When you think of your “Kripalu Experience” know that it was about a person, or a group of people, who transmitted the very real experience of the Path of Love to you, and through you. Yoga and Love can never be held in bricks and mortar. It is never about a place, a name, an organization, a brand; it is an EXPERIENCE that one must have received in order to embody it and pass it on.
The Kripalu Lineage lives on. It’s light can never be put out. It lives in the heats of every person who has been touched by the transformative power of authentic love from one person to another. This specific lineage began with Bapuji, Swami Kripalu, and has touched YOU! It comes in every form, available for every person. Having studied yoga for forty years now, I find it humorous when someone asks the question, “What kind of yoga do you teach?”
When I started studying yoga, I studied YOGA. When Bapuji and Amrit studied yoga, they studied YOGA. There were no brands, no group classes, no yoga mats, yoga clothes or yoga industry. Only one-on-one transmission. Only when yoga met American business and marketing models did the “branding”, marketing and organization of YOGA seem to happen. But do not be deceived.
Yoga, like Zen, is beyond name, and form, and organization. The moment you name it, it is NOT IT! The moment you claim it, you have lost it. This is why all the early “brands” of yoga were not brands at all, but teachers names; Kripalu, Iyengar, Bikrim, Shivananda. The question back then was not what kind of yoga do you do?, but who is your teacher?
Swami Kripalu, Bapuji, was a student of Santana Dharma – Which means the religion-less religion. That which cannot be named. The truth behind all truths. It is a living experience and transmission of Union/yoga and love. No place or organization can claim control of it.
Names and brands are important. The first thing I had to do when deciding to create my own yoga school and teacher training was to come up with a name. I chose the word Pranotthan – which means the awakening of Prana and the natural intuitive intelligence within us. It is a word and experience that Bapuji spoke of and wrote about. It has meaning. But without the transformative experience provided, it is meaningless. And we encourage each student to find and create their OWN expression of yoga. Once you begin the endless practice of love, truth, awareness, authenticity, health in every moment – you immediately become a teacher and there are always students specifically designed for you.
It seems one of life’s lessons will always be that whenever we put stake in any form, place, or label – we will eventually be disappointed in it – either because it changes or because it doesn’t change in the ways we wish for it to. The good news is that Sanatana Dharma lives on always! The Path of Love is endless, and the practice of YOGA/union is always in the right here and now. You are either present to the infinite wonder of love expressing itself NOW…. Or you’re not! Now? Or not? Now? Or not? Big smiles to all.
I suggest you take refuge in your in-breath, surrender to your in-breath, identify with your in-breath. Don’t take refuge in anything abstract. Take refuge in something very concrete: your in-breath. Taking refuge like that, your fear, anger and restlessness will disappear.
~~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“Did you eat enough today?”
“Are you still hungry?”
“How much sleep did you get last night?”
“I’m worried about you.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Do you need me to spend the night?”
“My phone will be right by my pillow.”
“Call me, please.”
“Your smile is beautiful.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it for you.”
“I’ve got your back.”
“I appreciate what you do for me.”
“Don’t forget to buckle up.”
“Put the phone away while you’re driving.”
“Call me when you get there.”
HUG ~~ Human Universal Greeting ~~
Istanbul, Turkey ~~
Just live that life. It doesn’t matter whether it is
life or hell, life of the hungry ghost, life of the animal
it’s okay; just live that life, see.
And as a matter of fact no other way.
Where you stand, where you are, that’s what your life is
right there, regardless of how painful it is or how
enjoyable it is. That’s what it is.
at the Zen Center for Complementary Care, NYC
The Only One Who Knows ~~
The main thing about this practice, and about all practice, is that you’re the only one who knows what is opening and what is closing down; you’re the only one who knows.
There’s a slogan: “Of the two witnesses, hold the principal one.” What it’s saying is that one witness is everybody else giving you their feedback and opinions (which is worth listening to; there’s some truth in what people say), but the principal witness is yourself.
You’re the only one who knows when you’re opening and when you’re closing. You’re the only one who knows when you’re using things to protect yourself and keep your ego together and when you’re opening and letting things fall apart, letting the world come as it is ~~ working with it rather than struggling against it.
~~ excerpted from – Start Where You Are, by Pema Chödrön, page 89