Monday, September 18, 2017

Ahimsa

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering Ahimsa.

The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best of a good man's life.

 -William Wordsworth

Our lives affect others, whether directly, through the environment, or by the force of our example.

For instance, we could say that smoking shows a lack of love. First, our capacity for love is actually caught in the compulsion to smoke. But more than that, the example tells even casual passersby, "Don't worry about what your doctor says. Don't worry about the consequences. If it feels good, do it!"

Pele, the Brazilian soccer star, was in a position to command a king's ransom for endorsing commercial products. He never gave his endorsement to any cigarette, putting the reason in simple words: "I love kids." That is a perfect choice of words. He does love kids. He knows that in most of the world they will buy anything with his name on it. Therefore, though he came from a poor family, no amount of money can tempt him to do something that will mislead young people or injure their health.

To love is to be responsible like this in everything: the work we do, the things we buy, the food we eat, the people we look up to, the movies we see, the words we use, every choice we make from morning till night. That is the real measure of love; it is a wonderfully demanding responsibility.

Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran

The homework is to revisit the first Yama: Ahimsa. “The word ahimsa is made up of the particle ‘a’ meaning ‘not’ and the noun himsa meaning killing or violence.  It is more than a negative command not to kill, for it has a wider positive meaning, love.  This loves embraces all creation…….BKS Iyengar. "Ahimsa is an intelligent, harmonious relationship.  Harmony is the essence of nonviolence." V. Thakar. "The yogi, grounded in the practice of ahimsa, acts from a place of love and respect for all beings, including himself. This begins a new cycle of love and respect instead of harm and pain." BKS Iyengar. See how you can make Ahimsa come alive in your lives.

Blessings,

paul cheek
Rushing Water Yoga
417 NE Birch St., Camas, WA 98607
360.834.5994
www.rushingwateryoga.com
info@rushingwateryoga.com


Serving Yoga to Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver Washington since 2003

Monday, September 11, 2017

Selfless Action

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering selfless action.

Those whose consciousness is unified abandon all attachment to the results of action and attain supreme peace. But those whose desires are fragmented, who are selfishly attached to the results of their work, are bound in everything they do.

 -Bhagavad Gita

It is not so much work that tires us, but ego-driven work. When we are selfishly involved, we cannot help worrying, we cannot help getting overly concerned about our success or failure. The preoccupation with results makes us tense, and our anxiety exhausts us.

The Gita is essentially a call to action. But it is a call to selfless action, that is, action without any selfish attachments to the results. It asks us to do our best, yet never allow ourselves to become involved in whether things work out the way we want.

It takes practice to learn this skill, but once you have it, as Gandhi says, you will never lose your nerve. The sense of inadequacy goes, and the question "Am I equal to this job?" will not arise. It is enough that the job needs to be done and that you are doing your best to get it done.

Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran

The homework is to consider that through selfless action we can learn to not become attached to the action or to the fruits of the action. “Action done in selflessness is nourishing. You nourish yourself and you nourish the other person….Whatever you do, do it without self. Do it with selflessness.”1

1 Excerpts from Time to be Holy – Swami Sivananda Radha

Blessings,

paul cheek
Rushing Water Yoga
417 NE Birch St., Camas, WA 98607
360.834.5994
www.rushingwateryoga.com
info@rushingwateryoga.com


Serving Yoga to Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver Washington since 2003

Monday, August 28, 2017

Living a Life of Selfless Service

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering our legacy and living a life of selfless service.

I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift, this possibility of developing myself and of writing, of expressing all that is in me. I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.
 -Anne Frank

When you discover that everyone is contained in you and you are contained in everyone, you have realized the unity of life, which is the divine ground of existence. Then you are not just a person; you have become a beneficial force. Wherever you go, wherever you live, those around you will benefit from your life.

The life of such a person, such as Mahatma Gandhi in our own times, becomes a permanent, selfless force on this earth, because even after death his influence continues to bring people together, to make them aware of their trusteeship for the resources of the earth and for all creatures. Gandhi is still alive because he is still at work as a real force, advancing peace, good will, and unity.

Even one unassuming man or woman leading a selfless life, though he or she may live only a few years on earth, enriches all life for all time to come. Even if one person in a community is leading a selfless life, he will make his contribution, and she will slowly inspire others to make the same contribution, because human nature responds to such an example.

Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran

The homework is to consider what your legacy is, what your contribution is. Challenge yourself to lead a more selfless life – like Jesus, like Gandhi. Through your own experience explore how the many practices of Yoga support you in this endeavor.

Blessings,

paul cheek
Rushing Water Yoga
417 NE Birch St., Camas, WA 98607
360.834.5994
www.rushingwateryoga.com
info@rushingwateryoga.com


Serving Yoga to Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver Washington since 2003

Monday, May 22, 2017

Can't Have Enough of "Tapas" !

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering Tapas - to use burning effort under all circumstances to achieve ones goal in life.

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

 -Mahatma Gandhi

What counts most in life is not IQ but WQ, "Will Quotient." No one can plead that he or she lacks will. There is will in every desire. Every desire carries with it the will to bring that desire to fruition. When it comes to something we like, we have all the will we need. Someone says, "Hey, come on, we're going skiing!" and that is enough. We will get out of bed at three in the morning, drive for hours, stand cheerfully in the snow waiting for the ski lift, and in general suffer all kinds of discomfort with a will of iron. Yet as small a challenge as a letter to Aunt Gertrude will find the will against us.

To control our destiny, we need to harness our will, to do not what we like, but what is in our long-term best interest. If the will is strong enough, great things can be accomplished; if the will is weak, very little. In every endeavor, it is the man or woman with a firm will who excels.

Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran

The homework is to experiment with yourself to see if bringing more consistency and dedication (Tapas) to your Yoga practices increases your ability to harness your will. In harnessing your will, learn how to recognize what is in the best interest of the people around you and work towards realizing this “best interest.”

Blessings,

paul cheek
Rushing Water Yoga
417 NE Birch St., Camas, WA 98607
360.834.5994
www.rushingwateryoga.com
info@rushingwateryoga.com

Serving Yoga to Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver Washington since 2003

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tapas

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering Tapas - to use burning effort under all circumstances to achieve ones goal in life.

If someone takes your coat, give him your cloak as well; if he makes you go a mile with him, go with him two.

    -The Gospel According to Saint Matthew

If you really want to land a blow at a compulsion, defy it. Do just the opposite of what it says. It is a daring approach which appeals to everyone with a sense of adventure. If somebody has been unkind to you, go out of your way to be kind to him. It can require a lot of endurance simply to be patient with such a person, but we're talking about more than endurance now; we're talking about daring.

Try it: there is an exhilaration in it, and a special delight in seeing the other person rub his eyes in disbelief, "I was just rude to him, and now he's being thoughtful. What's wrong with him?"

Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran

The homework is to learn how the discipline we bring to our Yoga practice - part of our Tapas can help us move through life as described above.  Tapas means to use burning effort under all circumstances to achieve ones goal in life.  Tapas needs to be applied in three areas: body, speech and mind.  Practicing non-violence towards your own body is one way to practice tapas of body.  Speaking kindly and truthfully can be one way to practice tapas of speech.  Developing an even mind that stays balanced in sorrow and joy and practicing self-discipline is tapas of mind. 

Blessings,

paul cheek
Rushing Water Yoga
417 NE Birch St., Camas, WA 98607
360.834.5994
www.rushingwateryoga.com
info@rushingwateryoga.com


Serving Yoga to Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver Washington since 2003

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Seventh Limb of Yoga, Dhyana (Meditation).

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering the seventh limb of Yoga, Dhyana (meditation).

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or a bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.

 -Meister Eckhart

Below the relatively superficial levels of the mind - beneath the emotions we are ordinarily aware of – lie layer on layer of the unconscious mind. This is the "cloud of unknowing," where primordial instincts, fears, and urges cover our understanding. The deepest flaw in the mind is what Einstein called the "kind of optical delusion of consciousness" that makes us see ourselves as separate from the rest of life. Like a crack in glasses that we must wear every moment of
our lives, this division is built into the mind. "I" versus "not-I" runs through everything we see.

To see life as it is, the mind must be made pure: everything that distorts must be quieted or removed. When the mind is completely still, unstirred even in its depths, we see straight through to the ground of our being, which is divine.

Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran

The homework is to note that the first six limbs of Yoga prepare you for the next two limbs of Yoga: Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (a state of super-consciousness or absorption). If you do not have a meditation or contemplation practice consider what it takes to start one. See if through systematic effort in meditation you can succeed in breaking through the surface level of consciousness.  Below this is the unconscious where our habits of thinking and acting live and the obstacles we create through self-will: the fierce, driving compulsion to have our own way, get what we want, and stamp ourselves separate from the rest of life. Then learn for yourself how contemplation can lead us to transcend all duality and experience the unitive state, where nothing is separate.  This state is shanti, perfect peace. 

Blessings,

paul cheek
Rushing Water Yoga
417 NE Birch St., Camas, WA 98607
360.834.5994
www.rushingwateryoga.com
info@rushingwateryoga.com


Serving Yoga to Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver Washington since 2003

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Middle Path

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering how the practices of Yoga help us maintain the middle path.

He that can have patience, can have what he will.                  

 -Benjamin Franklin

Here is a tip for keeping the palate on the middle path. When it is craving candy or a hot fudge sundae, go for a walk repeating the mantram you have chosen, and bargain for time. Tell your mind, "In two hours, on our way home we can go to an ice cream parlor for a deluxe sundae." Interestingly enough, two hours later the mind has forgotten ice cream sundaes and is thinking about the movie it will enjoy tomorrow evening. All you need do is put just a little break of time between the palate and its desire, for you can count on the mind to change its desires.

Treat the mind gently, patiently, and compassionately. Since it has been allowed free license for so many years, it is not fair to expect it to come round in a day or two.

Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran

The homework is to discover for yourself how to “keep the palate on the middle path”. Consider what it means to “put just a little break of time between the palate and its desire”. Work to generalize this concept to other areas of life like your behavior or any time you go on automatic. Remember that the “goal” of Yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind and that the practices of Yoga should move you in this direction.

Blessings,

paul cheek
Rushing Water Yoga
417 NE Birch St., Camas, WA 98607
360.834.5994
www.rushingwateryoga.com
info@rushingwateryoga.com


Serving Yoga to Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver Washington since 2003