Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Facilitated Practice Time at Rushing Water Yoga



Greetings Students and Friends of Rushing Water Yoga,
I hope this note finds you and yours well.
An amazing student has offered to facilitate a practice time at RWY on Thursdays from 9:30-11 am. This will be as a pilot for September depending on participation.
She will open the studio, do a reading, lead the invocation to Patanjali and then guide a group practice using some of the asana sheets or other tools that are available at the studio. I would call this “facilitating practice” rather than teaching since she not qualified to teach. Students would need to to rely on their own body awareness and experience to modify poses as needed. It would be free but I request that people make a donation to the studio so that you can help contribute to the costs of renting the space during my absence.
You do not have to register for this offering. Just show up. The student who is facilitating this is Elisa Wells, email: eswells@comcast.net; cell: 360-931-1442
If there are other students would would like to help facilitate other times please let me know.
Love, Light and Blessings.
paul

Monday, June 27, 2016

Oneness

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering Oneness.

Love, and do what you like.
                                                            - Saint Augustine

Learning to love in the way Saint Augustine is talking about is the most demanding, the most delightful, and the most daring of disciplines. It does not mean loving only two or three members of your family. It does not mean loving only those who share your views, read the same newspapers, or play the same sports. Love, as Jesus puts it, means blessing those that curse you, doing good to those that harm you.

Most of us do not begin by blessing those that curse us. That is graduate school. We start with first grade - being kind to people in our family when they get resentful. Eventually comes high school, where we learn to move closer to those who are trying to shut themselves off from us. College means returning good will for ill will. Finally, we enter graduate school. There we learn to give our love to all - to people of different races, countries, and religions, different outlooks and strata of society, without any sense of distinction or difference.

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

The homework is to consider that the practices of Yoga are centered around the idea of oneness.  Oneness in the pose, oneness with our environment, oneness with each other, oneness with God.  Learn for yourself how practicing the eight limbs of Yoga moves you towards a state of detachment and how that places you in a position to experience oneness.  What would this experience of oneness be like?

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 23, 2016

Karma and the Yoga of Action

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering Karma and the Yoga of Action.

God loves a cheerful giver.                                 
                                                            - II Corinthians

In India we have a story about a man who was the perfect model of respectability, who always did what the letter of the law demanded. When he died, he was taken before the cosmic auditor. The auditor looked at the man's record. There was not a single entry on the debit page. The auditor was impressed. Then he turned to the credit page and stared in astonishment. This page, too, was completely blank. He didn't know what to do. The man had never helped anybody; never hurt anybody; never offended anybody; never loved anybody. He couldn't be sent to heaven, but he couldn't be sent to hell, either.

So the cosmic keeper of the books took him to the god of creation, and said, "You made this guy. What shall I do with him?"

The Creator looked at the statute books and couldn't find a precedent to cover the case. And since this is a Hindu story, he said, "Take him to Krishna."

Krishna said, "The buck stops here." He examined the record very carefully and there, almost illegible, was an ancient credit entry: "Gave two cents to a beggar at the age of six." "There," Sri Krishna said, "return his two cents and send him back to earth to try again." Until we have learned to give freely of ourselves, we have not learned how to live.

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

The homework is to review Karma and the Yoga of Action as presented in the Bhagavad Gita (mostly chapter 5). Karma is the universal law of cause and effect, the Yoga of action, for every action there is a consequence or reaction.  This means we are responsible for our actions knowing that we may face them again in some way. Evaluate your present situation in light of Karma and the Yoga of Action and consider what it would mean to become a more “cheerful giver”.

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 17, 2016

Aparigraha, the Fifth Yama

Greetings Sadhakas,



Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering Aparigraha, the fifth Yama.

It is no little wisdom for you to keep yourself in silence and in good peace when evil words are spoken to you, and to turn your heart to God and not to be troubled with the judgment of others.                                    
                                                            - Thomas a Kempis

Most of us appreciate praise, but it is disastrous to become dependent on it. If we are going to allow our security to be bolstered up by the praise, appreciation, and applause of others, we are done for. I have heard about a well-known movie star who goes to sleep at night with a tape of recorded applause playing. This is going to make him more and more insecure.

Why should we get agitated if someone ignores us? There are, after all, advantages to being ignored. We can go anywhere in freedom. Nobody recognizes us - how good it is! In life, there are occasions when we are ignored and sometimes forgotten. That is the time for us to remind ourselves, "Why do I need anybody's attention?" This attitude can be cultivated skillfully.

Even those of us who are the most sensitive to praise and appreciation can learn to be so secure within ourselves that the word rejected can be expelled from our dictionary. The one person who will never reject us is the divine Self within, and that is enough to make up for all the rejections we may have to undergo at the hands of everyone else.

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

The homework is to review Aparigraha, the fifth Yama. *Parigraha means hoarding or collecting.  To be free from hoarding is aparigraha. By the observance of Aparigraha, the yogini makes her life as simple as possible and trains her mind to not feel the loss or the lack of anything.  Then everything she really needs will come to her by itself at the proper time.  The life of an ordinary woman is filled with an unending series of disturbances and frustrations and with her reaction to them.  Thus there is hardly any possibility of keeping the mind in a state of equilibrium.  The sadhaka (seeker, aspirant) has developed the capacity to remain satisfied with whatever happens to her.  Thus she obtains the peace which takes her beyond the realms of illusion and misery with which our world is saturated.

*Paraphrased from BKS Iyengar

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 10, 2016

Tapas


Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering Tapas.

People say, "What is the sense of our small effort?" They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.                                                       
                                                            - Dorothy Day

It is repeated acts of unkindness that make us unloving and repeated acts of kindness that can make us loving. How do I become patient? By trying to be patient every day, little by little, poco a poco.

We shouldn't expect to go to bed one night the most impatient man or woman in the county and get up in the morning flooded with patience. Every day, every night, it takes continuous practice, continuous striving. If you are doing everything to be patient, you are going to become inexhaustibly patient. If you are struggling everywhere to become loving, you are going to be unfailingly loving.

In the gradual development on the spiritual path, it is better to concede that most of us start with a good deal of inertia. This shows itself as an attitude of avoiding challenges, shutting our eyes to the problems that confront the world. This inertia is slowly transformed into energy, just as ice when heated becomes water that flows - which can be used for irrigation and harnessed for any useful purpose that we approve of. In the same way, all of that locked-up energy can be released. But it requires steady effort, one step at a time.

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Mantram and Dharana

Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering mastering the thinking process through a Mantram and Dharana.

The mantram becomes one's staff of life, and carries one through every ordeal. It is no empty repetition. For each repetition has a new meaning, carrying you nearer and nearer to God.                                             
                                                            - Mahatma Gandhi

The mantram, in some traditions called a prayer word, is the living symbol of the profoundest ideal that the human being can conceive of, the highest that we can respond to and love. When we repeat the mantram in our mind, we are reminding ourselves of the Supreme Reality enshrined in our hearts. The more we repeat the mantram, the deeper it sinks into our consciousness. As it begins to connect with this Reality, it strengthens our will, heals old sources of conflict and turmoil, and gives us access to deeper sources of strength, patience, and love.

In every religious tradition we find hallowed prayer words and mantrams. In the Christian tradition, the name of Jesus is precious; in India we have the name of Rama; in Buddhism Om mani padme hum is an ancient mantram.

The mantram or prayer word can be repeated in the mind at any time, anywhere. But to meditate we must sit in a quiet place and concentrate on a memorized inspirational passage.

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

The homework is to discover for yourself what word or phrase you can use to slow the mind down when it begins to race. Look to your traditions and values and choose something that really means something to you. Use this mantram whenever you need a tool to slow things down and regain your focused attention. This is another way of practicing Dharana, the sixth limb of Yoga, which means one-pointed concentration.

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 11, 2016

Mastering the Thinking Process


Greetings Sadhakas,

This week in class we are considering mastering the thinking process.

In deep meditation the flow of concentration is continuous like the flow of oil.                                                                          
                                                            - Yoga Sutras

There are two basic tools for mastering the thinking process. The first is meditation, which is described in the yoga texts with a beautifully precise image: there should be a smooth, unbroken flow of attention on a single subject, like the flow of oil poured from one vessel to another. My method of meditation is to make the mind go slowly through the words of a particular passage from the scriptures or great mystics, as slowly as possible. Whenever the mind wants to slip off on another line of thought, bring the attention back to the words of the passage. It may take practice, but eventually thought flows smoothly without interruption.

The other tool is the mantram, or mantra, which is a name or phrase with spiritual meaning and power.  Meditation on an inspirational passage for half an hour every morning slows down the thinking process. Then during the day, the mantram keeps the mind from speeding up again. The mantram keeps the stream of concentrated thought flowing throughout the day.

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

The homework is to figure out for yourself what technique or practice you can use when you notice the mind speeding up. Use this process to learn to master the thinking process, slowing it down. Review the 5th, 6th and 7th limbs of Yoga for inspiration.

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