Brief Introduction to Yoga

 

Yoga has become very popular the world over, unfortunately however, its true meaning, purpose and significance are often forgotten or ignored. As such, the benefit that one gets from the practice is not optimum. In order to fully benefit from yoga practice, one must go back to its ancient roots and define the very word “Yoga”.

The word Yoga is commonly understood to have derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj, meaning “to unite”. As the Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi pointed out, ...

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Dynamism vs Agressiveness

Aggression is the human race’s biggest failing and it ‘threatens to destroy us all’, Stephen Hawking has said, urging people to be more empathetic.” – Nick Clark | The Independent, UK | Thursday 19 February 2015

We have been taught by our parents, our society, our educational institutions, and lately by the “professional” motivators, law-of-attraction pundits and etcetera to become aggressive.

“When you want to achieve or get something, just focus (meaning, concentrate) on what you want to achieve, what ...

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The “Focus” Mantra

“Focus” – this is the most popular mantra among the modern “professional” motivators and law-of-attraction pundits. What they mean by focus is actually “concentrate”.

“Focus, or, rather concentrate on wealth….. oopsss, be specific, focus on money, on the specific amount you want to have. Make a wish, ask, and behold! You get it. Believe…”

And, one can wish for just about anything, from a sedan to a spouse… Yet, I still have to meet someone who is really contented and ...

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The “Here and Now” Myth

‘Now’ is not only a cognitive illusion but also a mathematical trick, related to how we define space and time quantitatively. One way of seeing this is to recognize that the notion of ‘present,’ as sandwiched between past and future, is simply a useful hoax. After all, if the present is a moment in time without duration, it can’t exist. What does exist is the recent memory of the immediate past and the expectation of the near future. We link ...

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Mindfulness, No-Mind, Meditation, and Yoga

A monk asked Baso, ‘Why do you teach that Mind is Buddha?’
Baso replied, ‘To stop a baby’s crying.’
The monk asked, ‘What is it like when the baby stops crying?’
Baso answered, ‘No Mind, no Buddha.'” – Zenkei Shibayama. Zen Comments on the Mumonkan

Hence, the phrase “Mindfulness Meditation” could well be a misnomer. At least so in the Buddhist context, whether one claims to be following the Eastern or Western; the Indian or Chinese or Japanese, Thai, Burmese, or ...

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The Myth of Body/Mind/Soul Healing

The soul is never born, nor it ever dies; nor does it become only after being born. For, it is unborn, eternal, everlasting and primeval; even though the body is slain, the soul is not. (Bhagavad Gita II:20)

Certainly this immortal soul cannot get sick, cannot get ill so as to require some kind of healing.

And, mind, in my opinion, is so powerful that it can make us “feel” sick. In other words, it is the body alone that gets sick ...

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“Neat” Spirituality on the Rocks…

Our watchword, then, will be acceptance, and not exclusion. Not only toleration, for so-called toleration is often blasphemy, and I do not believe in it. I believe in acceptance. Why should I tolerate? Toleration means that I think that you are wrong and I am just allowing you to live. Is it not a blasphemy to think that you and I are allowing others to live?

“I accept all religions that were in the past, and worship with them ...

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International Yoga Day

With an unprecedented 177 of the total 193 member states of the UN co-sponsoring a resolution on the International Yoga Day – it is indeed a feather in the cap of Indian Diplomacy, as seen by the politicians and diplomats. To the Real, True Practitioners of Yoga, it is an International Acknowledgement of Yoga by the World Community.

At the same time, however, one wonders if the following lines spoken by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the UN ...

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Yoga Used, Misused, and Abused

by Anand Krishna

The 1st International Day of Yoga to be celebrated worldwide on June 21st is being seen as the International Acknowledgement of Yoga by the World Community; as well as an Additional Tool for Marketing Yoga as Commodity. It depends upon our perspective.

Sometime Back, Al-Jazeera aired two shows on Yoga. I am very much surprised as well as disturbed by the comments made by the prominent that Yoga is “this” and also “that”. I believe they are referring to ...

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Dhyana and Meditation

The Sanskrit Word Dhyana, the Pali Jhana, Chinese Chang, and Japanese Zen (meaning the same) has been translated as “Meditation” in English for want of a better word.

The Word “Meditation” is derived from the Latin “Meditationem”, meaning to “think over” or “to reflect upon” – hence the expression “to meditate on something”.

Whereas, the Word Dhyana and all its avatars as mentioned above is rightfully used as an adjective. Hence, the Hindi expression to this date, “dhyana se” – eat dhyana ...

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