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

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Fifth Yama Aparigraha - Non-Covetousness or Greedlessness

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering the fifth Yama Aparigraha - non-covetousness or greedlessness.

My life is an indivisible whole, and all my attitudes run into one another; and they all have their rise in my insatiable love for mankind.
                    -Mahatma Gandhi

We should be able to make all sorts of graceful concessions on things that do not matter in life and yet stand unshakable on essentials.

To do this, we have to be detached from our opinions. I'm not recommending that we be wishy-washy, or lack strength in our convictions, but that we cultivate the forbearance not to force our opinions on others. When we have strength of conviction we will not get rattled when people question or contradict us. Mahatma Gandhi, for example, was not in favor of tea or coffee, but he would make a cup of tea for his wife each morning just the way she liked it. This is bending gracefully on nonessentials.

When it came to essentials, however, Gandhi was unshakable. His dedication to nonviolence was so absolute that he would abruptly call off a successful nationwide program of noncooperation with the British if he heard any reports of violence committed by his countrymen, even those who did not acknowledge him as their leader.

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

The homework is to consider the fifth Yama, Aparigraha - non-covetousness or greedlessness.  Write down some of your opinions that you identify with.  Apply the practice of Aparigraha and pick one or two opinions and work to detach yourself from these opinions. Also consider what it means to be “unshakeable on essentials” and how your Yoga practices can help you understand what your “essentials” are and how these practices support your in remaining “unshakable”.

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, March 27, 2017

Myself and the Rest of the World

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering the original duality of “myself” and “the rest of the world”.

To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that.
                                    -Saint Teresa of Avila

For the majority of us, uncertainty is worse than disaster, because disaster comes to us only rarely; worry depletes us often. We never know whether we are going to get a brick or a bouquet. If we knew for certain a brick was on its way, there would be no anxiety. We would just say, "Throw it and be done with it."

We can learn how to handle both bricks and bouquets, praise and censure, success and defeat. When we can say, "Whatever comes, we will not be afraid because the divine Self is within us," then this resoluteness and faith will enable us to work free from tension, agitation, and fear of defeat. The person who works in this way is at peace, because he or she is not anxious about results.

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

The homework is to consider our habit of dividing the world into comparative pieces and our original division of life into the duality of “myself” and “the rest of the world.” Relate this pattern of self-prescribed dualities to Easwaran’s commentary especially in terms of certainty vs uncertainty. Would you be at peace if you were able to experientially transcend this duality? How do the practices of Yoga help move you in this general direction?

Reference: The Secret of the Yamas, A Spiritual Guide to Yoga - John McAfee. 

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, March 20, 2017

Simplicity, the Important Things in Life and Consistent Practice

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering simplicity, the important things in life and consistent practice.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours.
-William Wordsworth

Our modern way of life seems to be making us busier and busier about less and less. It is only after we begin to taste the joy of simple living that we realize how much all this frantic activity can stand between us and our fulfillment. The more we divide our interests, our allegiances, our activities, the less time we have for living.

Loving, loyal personal relationships take time. We cannot get to know someone intimately in a day or establish a lasting relationship during a weekend conference. If we spend eight hours a day at our job and the evening watching television, where is the time for cultivating close friendships? If we simplify our lives, we shall find the time and energy to be together with our family and friends, or to give our time to a worthy cause that needs our contribution. The simple life doesn't mean bearing with a drab routine; it means giving our time and attention to what is most important.

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

The homework is to consider how the many practices of Yoga can support you in uncovering what is “really important in life”.  See if having a consistent practice has the effect of helping cultivate simplicity and if in this simplicity the things that are really important come to the surface?  The only way to answer this question is from your own experience, to practice. 

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