American Meditation Institute SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2013
AVERILL PARK, NEW YORK
Self-Care for Healthy Living
Your Personal Tool Bag for a Healthy Mind and Body Contains 32 Health Tools Learned from AMI Meditation See page 8
Upcoming Classes and Events Inside this Issue: Beginner’s Meditation
Physicians’ CME Retreat
If you want to start and maintain a meditation practice, this course is perfect for you. / P. 2
This six week “self-care” program offers the complete science of Yoga, and lifelong support. / P. 3
Comprehensive training in Yoga Science as mind/body medicine (26 CMEs). / P. 4, 7, 14-15
Gentle Yoga & Breathing Reduce stress by learning two fundamental practices of traditional Yoga Science. / P. 5
Practical essays by respected Yoga scientists to support and deepen your meditation. / P. 8
Best Choices Ten Decision-Making Guidelines that give you confidence in making difficult choices. / P. 4
COMPLETE AMI CLASS SCHEDULE: Pages 2-5
AMI Classes for September - October 2013
BEGINNER’S MEDITATION: The Basics for Getting Started Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev), AMI Founder Level I: Have you ever thought about trying meditation, but didn’t know how to get started? In AMI’s two-session course, you’ll receive step-by-step guidance on how to start—and stick with—a daily meditation practice. It’s easy to learn the basics: how to deal with distractions, reduce stress, enhance your body’s immune system and become more focused, creative and content. This class includes a FREE “guided meditation” CD.
What is Meditation? In meditation you are fully alert, but the mind is relaxed and allowed to let go of its tendencies to think, analyze, remember, solve problems and focus on events of the past or expectations for the future. Meditation helps the mind to slow down its rapid series of thoughts and feelings that often lead to stress and dis-ease, and to replace that mental activity with a quiet, effortless, one-pointed focus of attention and awareness. Thus, meditation is not thinking about problems or analyzing a situation. Meditation is not having an internal conversation or argument with yourself. It is an inner attention that is concentrated, yet relaxed. It does not conflict with any religious tradition.
and body are calm and relaxed, dis-ease from a previously agitated system (that may have intensified issues such as high blood pressure, headaches, back pain, insomnia, digestive problems or PMS) is lessened, and you feel better. • Meditation can improve all relationships. By offering you tools to deal with stressful thoughts, meditation helps you remain calm, compassionate and skillful with others and to be more loving toward yourself. • Meditation makes you smarter. A 2005 Harvard Medical School study showed that meditation increased thickness in the regions of the brain associated with attention, sensory awareness and emotional processing.
Why Should I Meditate?
• Meditation makes you more creative. By
According to ABC World News Tonight, meditation is used today by many Americans including the U. S. Marines and students in classrooms all over the country. In 2011, 10% of U.S. adults (over 20 million) practiced meditation and 3 million patients, on the recommendation of their physicians, established their own meditation practice.
resting the mind from its habit of thinking, planning, judging and worrying, you create more space for new ideas to arise and to be noticed. Meditation also lowers resistance you may have to new concepts and ways of thinking.
• Meditation can make you healthier. Daily meditation is an essential ingredient in your own personal “self-care health program.” Scientific studies at the Mayo Clinic show that “meditating slows breathing rate, heart rate, lowers blood pressure and aids in the treatment of anxiety, depression and a range of other ailments.” • Meditation calms the mind. The mind and body are inter-connected. When the mind is calm, the body becomes stronger, more flexible, and less inflamed. When the mind 2
Meditating in a Chair: AMI teaches you to meditate in a straight-back chair. For proper posture, the head, neck and trunk should be comfortably erect (no slouching). For best back comfort, your buttocks should be slightly higher than your knees.
SATURDAY MORNINGS, 9:30 -10:30AM, $95. (2 WKS) SEP 21 & 28; NOV 16 & 23
Your entire $95 registration fee will be applied to your COMPREHENSIVE MEDITATION tuition should you decide to register for that additional class within one year.
americanmeditation.org • Tel. (518) 674-8714 TMTM
COMPREHENSIVE MEDITATION: The Heart and Science of Yoga Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev), AMI Founder
Level I: AMI’s acclaimed six-week course teaches you how to apply meditation principles to every situation. This complete “self-care health program” includes all the Beginner’s Meditation material plus breathing techniques, nutrition counseling, easy-gentle yoga exercises, instruction on how to make the best possible choices and lifelong support for your meditation practice. It provides you all the tools you’ll need to ease stress, reduce pain, boost your immune system, heal relationships, enhance your problem solving ability and find inner peace, happiness and security. A retrospective case study of former Heart and Science of Yoga TM students
recently found these positive, reproducible, long-term health-promoting changes: • Lowered blood pressure • Increased exercise capacity • Reduced stress and fear • Lowered heart rate • Improved restorative sleep • Eliminated irritable bowel • Reduced cholesterol levels • Improved energy levels • Enhanced happiness/optimism • Weight loss • Increased creative capacity • Diminished or extinguished • Increased breathing capacity • Diminished migraines acute and chronic pain TM
The Heart and Science of Yoga Curriculum is Endorsed by
Dr. Oz (Mehmet Oz MD), Dean Ornish MD, Bernie Siegel MD, Larry Dossey MD WEEK 1: YOGA SCIENCE How to use the mind for the best choices How to create new, healthier habits Understanding pain as an agent for healing Increasing energy, will power & creativity Antidotes for worry, stress and depression WEEK 2: MEDITATION Systematic procedure for meditation How to diminish distractions Learning the one-minute meditation Building focus, fearlessness, and strength WEEK 3: BREATHING TECHNIQUES Breath as Medicine How breathing irregularities foster dis-ease Complete (three-part) yogic breath
WEEK 4: PSYCHOLOGY & AYURVEDA How the mind supports optimal health The power of the present moment Building and healing relationships Introduction to Ayurveda WEEK 5: EASY-GENTLE YOGA Yoga stretches and exercises for: muscles, joints, glands and internal organs Physiological benefits of Hatha Yoga WEEK 6: MIND-BODY CARE PLAN The healing power of prayer The practical benefit of contemplation Creating a therapeutic care plan Learning to budget your time Integrating spiritual beliefs
PHYSICIAN ACCREDITATION (15 CMEs)
NURSING ACCREDITATION (15 contact hours)
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of Albany Medical College and The American Meditation Institute. Albany Medical College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses, Inc., an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialling Center's Commission on Accreditation.
The Albany Medical College designates this Live activity for a maximum of 15 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, 6:30 - 9:00PM, $475. (6 WKS) Physicians, Residents, Fellows, PAs, NPs: $775; RNs: $575 SEP 11 – OCT 16; NOV 13 – DEC 18
Registration Includes: Lifelong support for your meditation practice, a Guided Meditation CD, a complementary subscription to Transformation journal and a copy of The Physiology of EasyGentle Yoga. Required Texts: The Heart and Science of Yoga : A Blueprint for Peace, Happiness and Freedom from Fear, and The Art of Joyful Living. TM
americanmeditation.org • Tel. (518) 674-8714
Welcome to AMI Leonard and Jenness Perlmutter founded The American Meditation Institute in 1996 as a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization devoted to providing “self-care for healthy living.” In its holistic approach to wellness, AMI combines the best of ancient Eastern meditational wisdom and the practicality of modern Western science. By practicing the scientific, meditational techniques taught at AMI, students learn how to construct a practical bridge between their own inner, intuitive wisdom and their actions in the world. This bridge between the inner and outer worlds coordinates all our assets so that we can experience healthy, creative, loving, nurturing and rewarding relationships.
ENDORSEMENTS “Traditional medicine is very good at treating physical illness. However, studies show that the state of one’s health has more to do with lifestyle choices than with heredity or medical care. Patients need something beyond what we can offer them. Meditation relieves stress, allows clearer thinking and helps to control many chronic illnesses, all at very low cost and a small investment of time. We are fortunate to have the excellence of AMI in our area.” RICHARD RUBIN MD Internal Medicine, Slingerlands, NY
“The Heart and Science of Yoga comprehensively outlines the holistic benefits of Yoga and brought joy to this heart surgeon’s heart.” MEHMET OZ MD Host of “The Dr. Oz Show” The AMI Curriculum is also endorsed by:
Dean Ornish MD Bernie Siegel MD Larry Dossey MD
Directions to A MI • 60 Garner Road I-90 Exit #8 (Rt. 43 E). Take Rt. 43 for 4 1/2 miles. In W. Sand Lake, take a right turn at the lighted intersection onto Rt. 150. Go 1 mile on Rt. 150. Take a left turn on Cnty Rd #52/Sheer Rd (at stone wall). Go 1 mile on Sheer Rd and bear left at fork onto Garner Rd. AMI is the 3rd house on the right.
10 Guidelines for Inspired Decision-Making Leonard (Ram Lev) and Jenness Perlmutter Available by CDL (Computer Distance Learning) *Now available online. Call 518.674.8714 for details.
Level II : The ancient Yoga Sutras offer a practical system of 10 guidelines for decision-making, known as the Yamas and Niyamas. When you learn to employ these tools in daily living, you will be able to reliably access your own intuitive wisdom that will guide you to resolve every issue skillfully. These time-honored guidelines will teach you how to transform the contractive power of unhelpful, stress-provoking, negative emotions and habits into an expansive, creative and dynamic force. Real-life issues will be examined, including home, family, friends, work and recreation. THURSDAY NIGHTS, 6:30 - 8:30PM, $125 (3 WKS) OCT 10 - 24
PHYSICIANS’ RETREAT Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev), AMI Founder
November 6 -10, 2013 Cranwell Resort • Lenox, MA • 26 CMEs
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 1 in 3 Americans are now seeking mind/body healing therapies to supplement their conventional care, and a growing number of patients are seeking guidance about the value of various holistic modalities. This course (at one of the nation’s premier golf and spa resorts) provides an opportunity for physicians and other health care providers to deepen their understanding of Yoga Science as mind/body medicine in a stimulating immersion course led by Leonard Perlmutter and a panel of other leading medical experts. Physicians receive 26 CME credits; nurses receive 26 contact hours. FOR MORE INFORMATION: TEL. (518) 674-8714 OR VISIT: americanmeditation.org/cme.aspx
AMI Classes for September - October 2013
THE MEDITATION DIET
EASY-GENTLE YOGA & BREATHING
All the Body is in the Mind
Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev), AMI Founder
Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev) , AMI Founder Level I: Yes, you can lose weight without drugs, strenuous exercise, calorie counting or expensive gadgets that don’t work. Most overweight people have faced the frustration of trying to lose weight and failing time and again because they don’t understand that all the body is in the mind. The Meditation Diet approaches weight loss without making unrealistic starvation diet demands. This is not another fad diet. Rather it is a common sense approach, based on scientific principles, to help you lose weight naturally! The Meditation Diet provides permanent results through a painless method. Forget about old diet methods that never worked. AMI founder Leonard Perlmutter will share an ancient, revolutionary approach that guarantees positive results through the wisdom of Yoga Science. THURSDAY NIGHTS, 7:00 - 8:00PM, $75. (3 WKS) SEP 12 - 26
Your entire $75 registration fee will be applied to your COMPREHENSIVE MEDITATION tuition should you decide to register for that additional class within one year.
Level I: AMI’s easy-gentle yoga and breathing class is taught the same way it was thousands of years ago: as preliminary practices to prepare both the body and mind for daily meditation. Without difficulty or pain, you’ll learn the simple, therapeutic pleasures of focusing and stilling the mind, expanding your breathing capacity, relieving stiffness and stress, detoxifying the lymph system, stretching muscles and invigorating internal organs. Most students feel less stress and inflexibility after the very first class. You’ll move with more ease, gain physical confidence and enhance the flexibility and health of your body. When your body is stiff or in pain, the mind is often distracted and cannot help you experience the positive effects of meditation. This course is the perfect complement to our Comprehensive Meditation program. For beginners and experienced students.
SATURDAY MORNINGS, 9:30 - 10:45AM, $95. (4 WKS) OCT 5 - 26; NOV 30 - DEC 21 Drop ins welcome (with notice), $25.
Your entire $95 registration fee will be applied to your COMPREHENSIVE MEDITATION tuition should you decide to register for that additional class within one year.
The Gita’s Mind/Body Connection Leonard (Ram Lev) and Jenness Perlmutter Available by CDL (Computer Distance Learning) Study Yoga Psychology from your own home or anywhere in the world. Call 518.674.8714 for details. No additional computer software is necessary.
Level II: The Bhagavad Gita is the most revered scripture in the literature of Yoga Science. As a follow-up to the six-week Comprehensive Meditation course, the Gita will teach you how to further reduce stress and confidently enhance your personal health and creative abilities while providing you a new perspective on all your family and business relationships. MONDAY NIGHTS, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, $150. (6 WKS) SEP 16 - OCT 21; OCT 28, NOV 18 - DEC 16
PERSONAL COUNSELING Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev), AMI Founder Int’l. Association of Yoga Therapists Meditational Therapy is a powerful tool of mind/body medicine. With over 35 years of personal practice, Leonard will teach you how to live free from stress and illness. By observing and harnessing the power of your thoughts, desires and emotions, you can establish a state of personal contentment, creativity and bodily health. Each personal counseling session will teach you how to make choices that enhance your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. AMI HOME CENTER, By appointment. $125 /hr. 5
CALENDAR SUNDAY GUIDED MEDITATION & SATSANG Sundays 9:30-11:00 AM with Leonard (Ram Lev) and Jenness Perlmutter. Love donations appreciated.
SEP TEMBER 2013 SEPT 8: SPECIAL LECTURE: LEONARD PERLMUTTER
Sunday, 10:00 - 11:30 AM, Albany Hindu Temple
SEPT 11- OCT 16: COMPREHENSIVE MEDITATION see p. 3
AMI BOOKSTORE Or Shop Online at americanmeditation.org/Shop.aspx
Wed. Nights, 6:30 - 9:00 PM (6 weeks)
SEPT 12 - 26: MEDITATION DIET see p. 5 Thurs. Nights, 7:00 - 8:00 PM (3 weeks)
SEPT 16 - OCT 21: YOGA PSYCHOLOGY see p. 5 Mon. Nights, 6:30 - 8:30 PM (6 wk. Bhagavad Gita Study)
SEPT 21 & 28: BEGINNER’S MEDITATION
see p. 2
Sat. Mornings, 9:30 - 10:30 AM (2 weeks)
Books • Mugs • CDs Statuary • Yoga Mats Homeopathic Medicine GI Sustain Vitamins • Cold Buster Remedy Incense • Jewelry Neti Pots • Massage Oils
OCTOBER 2013 OCT 5 - 26: EASY-GENTLE YOGA see p.5 Sat. Mornings, 9:30 - 10:45 AM (4 weeks)
OCT 10 - 24: BEST CHOICES see p.4 Thurs. Nights, 6:30 - 8:30 PM (3 weeks)
OCT 28 - DEC 16: YOGA PSYCHOLOGY see p.5 Mon. Nights, 6:30 - 8:30 PM (6 wk. Bhagavad Gita Study) No classes on November 4 or 11
NOVEMBER 2013 NOV 6 - 10: PHYSICIANS’ RETREAT see p.4, 7, 14-15
PHYSICIANS’ RETREAT Also: RNs • NPs • PAs • Psychologists
Cranwell Resort & Spa, Lenox, MA
NOVEMBER 6-10, 2013
Wed. through Sun. Cranwell Resort, Lenox, MA
NOV 13 - DEC 18: COMPREHENSIVE MEDITATION see p.3 Wed. Nights, 6:30 - 9:00 PM (6 weeks)
NOV 16 & 23: BEGINNER’S MEDITATION see p. 2 Sat. Mornings, 9:30 - 10:30 AM (2 weeks)
26 CMEs • For Details: (518) 674-8714 www.americanmeditation.org/cme.aspx
Giving Campaign American Meditation Institute
Self-Care for Healthy Living September-October, 2013 • Vol. XVI No. 6 ©2013 60 Garner Road, Averill Park, NY 12018
Please support AMI with your generous donation.
americanmeditation.org \ Tel. (518) 674-8714 email@example.com
Thank you for your generosity.
AMI is a tax exempt, non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization. Donations are fully tax deductible.
MEDITATION NEWS Dr. Santilli practices Internal Medicine and Pulmonology in Melbourne, Florida. He was interviewed by meditational therapist Mary Helen Holloway. MHH: How did you start your meditation practice? Tony: I completed AMI’s Comprehensive Meditation course in January 2010, and as a physician, I received CME credits. The material had a very positive impact on both my personal and professional life. As I learned more, I shared the information with my wife, and when she saw the positive impact it was making on me, she took the very next class. MHH: Can you describe your practice? Tony: My lifestyle is such that an evening practice
works best for me. Each night I do Easy-Gentle Yoga and then sit to meditate. This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes total, depending on how much time and energy remain at the end of the day. When we first moved to Florida I neglected my meditation practice, but I could soon see that my life was headed in an undesireable direction as a result. I rededicated myself to practice and have been consistent for the past 18 months. MHH: How has meditation benefited your life? Tony: It has given me the tools to meet every challenge. Meditation has taught me how to rely on my own Inner Wisdom to make better choices, to focus my full
Tony Santilli, MD
attention, and to be a better listener. Patients now receive greater compassion from their physician––which is really the best medicine. As a pulmonologist, I deal with many patients who have compromised breathing. Just reminding them of the importance of slow, deep diaphragmatic breathing has made a huge difference for many in terms of their level of dependence on ventilators.
Rudolph Ballentine, MD Joins CME Faculty Dr. Rudolph Ballentine will join The American Meditation Institute (AMI) faculty at the fifth annual mind/body medicine CME course on meditation and yoga for physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, November 6 to 10, 2013 at the Cranwell Resort and Spa in Lenox, Massachusetts. Drawing on more than 40 years of study, medical practice, and clinical research, Dr. Ballentine will present two important new lectures: The Yoga of Eating as well as Understanding the Psychology of the Chakra System to Help Redefine the
Practice Model. Both talks will teach a comprehensive, practical system of dynamic healing that helps expand self-awareness on all levels and guides physicians and patients toward the restoration of wholeness. As part of AMI’s “Yoga of Medicine” program, this retreat is dedicated to providing quality, comprehensive and evidence based education on yoga, meditation, lymph system detoxification, diaphragmatic breathing, Functional Medicine, Epigenomics, mantra science, Chakra Psychology and Ayurveda. Faculty members
Rudolph Ballentine, MD
include AMI founder Leonard Perlmutter, Mark Pettus MD, Susan Lord MD, Beth Netter MD MT, and Anita BurockStotts MD. For more information visit
Transformation The Journal of Meditation as Mind/Body Medicine
If You Have the Right Tool, Every Job Is Easy By Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev)
Self-Care for Healthy Living Contains 32 Meditation Tools for Life
I learned many years ago from my neighbor and automobile mechanic, Kenny Tremont, that, “If you have the right tool, every job is easy.” Since he taught me that lesson, I’ve been applying Ken’s sage advice in many kinds of relationships. Once I took to meditation, I began to recognize that through my daily practice I was developing a number of new skills which were quickly becoming the tools I most relied on––especially when I found myself entangled in relationships with people who knew how to push my emotional buttons. And every time I tested Ken’s wisdom in different situations, I found that I felt better––physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Around that same time in my life, I read an enlightening passage from the ancient Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that changed my life forever. The scripture read: “You are your deepest driving desire. As your deepest driving desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” After contemplating the words, I thought to myself, “That’s it! Desire is the 8
key to happiness! Desire is the key to good health! Desire is the key to real security! Desires are neither good nor bad; they are simply the fuel for action and the means for consequences to develop.” For the first time I realized there was a definite correlation between what I desired and what I experienced in life. I had heard many times before from Swami Rama of the Himalayas that, “We are the architects of our lives. We determine our destiny,” but now I could suddenly see a practical way to employ my newly developed meditation tools to fulfill my deepest driving desire. Let’s assume that, like me, more than anything else you too want to be happy, healthy and secure in every relationship. If this is true, it’s important to investigate and then to create a list of the obstacles that inhibit your ability to fulfill this deep, driving desire. For example, your list (like mine) might contain impediments like fear, anger, worry, judgment, desire, attachment, expectation, regret, guilt, self-doubt, jealousy and sadness. Once you create a list like this (as I
have), you’ll also know that the main obstacles to your happiness, health and security reside in your mind. This discovery can mean only one thing: your mind is your problem. Once you too acknowledge that your mind is what separates you from your true fulfillment, you can conscientiously set about finding a solution. There are two kinds of solutions. First, if we lack something, the solution is found outside the problem. For example, if we feel cold; if we lack heat, we might put on a coat or move to Florida. The second kind of solution, however, is not based on lack, but rather on ignorance. In such a case, the solution is to be found within the problem itself––like in a jigsaw puzzle. Even though the jigsaw puzzle is the problem, the jigsaw puzzle is also the solution to the problem. In our present condition, the habit patterns and concepts stored in our unconscious mind are our problem. Therefore, if we examine and change the habits and concepts of the mind to better reflect the eternal Truth of our own inner wisdom, the mind can become the solution that removes the obstacles and helps us fulfill our deepest driving desire for happiness, health and security. The process of training the mind to become the solution to all our problems is the great benefit of meditation. The sources of all our problems lie unseen and unexamined in the deepest levels of the unconscious mind. These obstacles
continually skew our perceptions and perpetuate the delusion that we lack something. Under their influence, we readily believe that our happiness, health and security can only be experienced by attaining something outside of us. For example, in search of happiness and security, we might purchase financial securities. That’s all fine and dandy as long as the stock market goes up, but when the stock market goes down, we return to our habitual state of unhappiness and insecurity. This unresolved, mental conflict inevitably motivates us to make certain unwise lifestyle choices that eventually compromise the body’s immune system. As a result, mental dis-ease and stress begin to manifest as the body’s disease. It’s a vicious cycle––but one that can be reversed if we have the right tools. When we can lovingly convince the mind to willingly sit for meditation (even if it’s only for a couple of minutes every day), the mind begins to recognize, employ and trust its powerful new yogic tools. The following list is a brief description of the 32 tools I always carry with me in my Meditation Tool Bag. I rarely go anywhere without my bag of tools because I know––from personal experience––that although I have no control over what comes to me, I can always give my best effort to experience happiness, health and security if I open my bag, pull out an appropriate meditation tool, and use it skillfully.
32 Meditation Tools for Life 1. Ahimsa: Align every thought, word and action with Ahimsa (non-injury, non-harming). 2. Sankalpa Shakti Resolve: Before you meditate state this resolution: “I want to do it. I can do it. I have to do it. I am going to do it––no matter what!” 3. Buddhi: Align every thought, word and deed with your Buddhi (your discrimination/conscience). 4. Shreya: Align every thought, word and deed with the Shreya (that which leads you for your highest and greatest good). 5. Preya: Surrender each short-term ego or
sense gratification (that conflicts with Inner Wisdom) back to its Origin, then engage in a selfless act of love, giving away the fruit of your action. In the process you’ll gain Energy, Will Power and Creativity. 6. “Who am I?” Contemplate this question every day. It can bring you to the awareness that you are essentially spirit (Sat, Chit, Ananda: Eternal, Consciousness, Wisdom and Bliss) having a human experience. While centered in that awareness, act skillfully. 7. Mantra Japa: Listen to the mantra throughout the day and gain love, fearlessness and strength from it. 9
8. Mantra Walk: Take a 15 or 20 minute brisk walk while listening to your mantra. 9. Seated Silent Meditation: Meditate both morning and evening with your mantra–– even if only for a few minutes. 10. One Minute Meditation: To relax the mind, bring your attention to the breath at the bridge between the two nostrils (where the nose meets the upper lip) and listen to the so-hum mantra. 11. Meditation in Action: Base all your outer actions on your Inner Wisdom. 12. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Inhale: the belly swells, the rib cage and collarbones rise; exhale: the belly gently contracts. 13. “Alternate Nostril Breathing” (Nadi Shodhana): Practice before each meditation and before lunch and/or dinner. 14. Crocodile Posture: Use this posture to cultivate diaphragmatic breathing. 15. Corpse Posture: Lie on the floor in this posture, using a Breath Weight on the belly to strengthen your diaphragm. 16. Easy-Gentle Yoga I: This program stimulates and massages the lymph system, joints, glands and muscles. 17. Easy-Gentle Yoga II: Practice the Seven Standing Postures and receive the physiological benefits of 25 yoga postures. 18. Coordinate the Four Functions of the mind: Senses (Manas), Ego (Ahamkara), Unconscious (Chitta), Conscience (Buddhi). 19. Balance the Four Primitive Fountains: Food, Sex, Sleep and Self Preservation. 20. “Are you Dancing?” Remember always to ask this question whenever the personality experiences dis-ease.
21. Slow Down: Remember, without a space between the notes there’s only noise. 22. One-Pointed Attention: Multitasking is impossible. Do one thing at a time and experience greater health and creativity. 23. Survey of the Body: As you mindfully scan the body before meditation, vital energy (prana) can heal damaged cells. 24. Ayurvedic body type/dosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha): Respect your dosha when determining which foods to eat and when. 25. Contemplation: Do this practice at a time separate from your seated meditation. 26. Repentance: “I will not repeat my previous unskillful action which has served the preya and avoided the shreya.” 27. God Centered Prayer: According to your tradition, pray for strength to choose the Shreya over the Preya in thought, word and deed. 28. Vairagya (Detachment/Non-attachment): Detach from old habits that conflict with your Inner Wisdom before acting. 29. Abhyasa: Continuous Practice. You have to do the practice. You have to do the practice. You have to do the practice! 30. Read a portion of The Heart and Science of Yoga daily (or a scripture, or an inspiring book recommended by your teacher). 31. Satsang: Keep the company of like-minded seekers. The company you keep is stronger than the personality’s will. 32. (518) 674-8714: If you need clarification on your practice, call your teacher (the teacher is you––only in a different form).
Seva Yoga of the Hindu Cultural Center Presents
A Special Talk & Yoga Postures “All health, happiness and security begin with an understanding and coordination of the functions of the mind” Sunday, September 8, 2013 • 10 -11:30am Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev)
Albany Hindu Cultural Center • 450 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, NY
$10. Donation • Registration 9:30am • All proceeds go to HCC
For info and registration call Rita Ajmera: (518) 371-3737, or email firstname.lastname@example.org Pre-registration is encouraged. Bring yoga mat or blanket for comfort. Lunch is available for purchase after the talk.
I Think, Therefore, I Think I am By Linda Johnsen
Photo / 123rf.com
Cogito ergo sum. It was the first line of Latin I learned, the bedrock of Western philosophy, Rene Descartes’ famous dictum, “I think, therefore I am.” Strip away the entire external world, strip away even my body, Descartes wrote, and I still exist because I hear myself think. I communicate with myself, I understand what I’m saying to myself. The universe can be completely real or a total illusion—either way, I know for absolute sure that I exist. Really? Too bad Descarte never took a meditation class. The Yoga tradition challenges everything we think we are, and dares us to stop listening to ourselves. What happens if we stop paying attention to our thoughts? Are we still there? Let’s think about that for a minute. We all know there’s a gigantic rift running through our civilization. Western religion tells us we’re spiritual entities who have an immortal soul. Western science on the other hand claims the inner self we all experience is nothing more than the firing of neurons in our brain. When the brain stops flickering, consciousness is extinguished like a candle that’s run out of wick. This great divide in understanding our true nature is a huge source of confusion for many of us. We all know people who show up at church every Sunday but don’t really
believe anyone continues to exist after death. We also know people working in the fields of science and technology who, nevertheless, privately admit they suspect consciousness may be some sort of “field” that doesn’t necessarily have to be confined to a biological body. Everybody wonders who’s right but nobody knows for sure. The Yoga masters watch us chasing our tails running after an answer to this most maddening of mysteries and advise us, “You think too much,” or as Ram Lev teaches in his classes, “Thinking is overrated.” The mind, the very mechanism that poses the question, itself prevents us from finding the solution. For thinkers like Rene Descartes, this is a philosophical issue. For the rest of us though, it’s a very practical, even visceral problem. All of us experience considerable anxiety as we try to protect ourselves from threats “out there.” Someone tells us our behavior is “bad” and immediately our mind throws up a shield of excuses to defend us from the charge. We sweat and strain on the treadmill and contort ourselves into complicated hatha yoga postures in an endless effort to keep our body—the vehicle of our awareness—in good running condition. We are constantly preoccupied with acquiring enough money and resources to keep this sense of “me” alive and comfortable. The 11
ego eats up all of our time and energy, and is usually the single thing we value most in life. There’s a lot at stake here. Minding the Mind The greatest Yoga master I ever met, Swami Rama of the Himalayas, helped us understand our inner nature. He explained, “Man is the thinking being.” As he pointed out, the English word “man” derives from the ancient Sanskrit verb man, which literally means, “to think.” Animals respond to the events of life instinctually, but we humans think them through. The ability to think is the very thing that makes us human. Animals fight and feed, love and fear, but they don’t ask themselves, “If you took the entire universe away, even my physical body, would I still exist?” Thinking means communicating with oneself through the medium of internal language. Most Western Yoga Science students don’t know that the study of how language works (vyakarana) is a sacred science in India. Did you know the famous sage Patanjali (author of the text every serious Yoga student is familiar with, the Yoga Sutras) also composed a major text on language called the Mahabhashya? It was obvious to the Yoga masters that no one can understand the nature of the mind without understanding how we think. Thousands of years ago, these Yoga scientists asked how sounds reverberating inside our field of consciousness like “I hate my boss” or “The square root of 3136 is 56” go from being just “sounds” to becoming actual knowledge. These inner sounds could produce vikalpa, useful knowledge such as “fire burns” or “Downton Abbey is on tonight at 8:00 PM,” or kalpana, unhelpful knowledge such as “fire is wet” or “Downton Abbey is on this morning at 8:00 AM.” It is amazing the devastating impact kalpana, invalid knowledge, can have on our lives. “I’m so worthless I’ll never succeed at anything,” “I’m not too drunk to drive,” “All Democrats are evil,” “All Republicans are stupid,” these flashes of sound inside our heads can cut us off from our better nature and seriously undermine our ability to func12
tion evenhandedly and effectively in the world. Yoga masters urge us to use vichara, discriminating intelligence, to calmly examine the “sound bites” that vibrate in the field of our consciousness and discard those that don’t pass muster. In India a sound that conveys meaning is called shabda, while the meaning itself is called artha, the “wealth” conferred by a unit of sound like a word or sentence. Shakti is the power that transforms a sound into the actual experience of its meaning. Understanding this process is a big deal in the Yoga tradition for three reasons. 1. Your sense of identity is largely composed of words. Think about it. It is the stream of chatter constantly nattering through your mind that you think of as you. That self-talk (“I’ll finish writing up this report then I’ve got a meeting with the sales representative but if we finish early enough I’ll have time to shop for dinner before I pick up the kids...” etc., etc., etc.), for most of us, is our most direct experience of ourselves. 2. Some schools of yogic thought claim that the universe itself is composed entirely of language. The Supreme Reality is called Shabda Brahman, the source of all “words” (i.e., all types of vibrations) that convey information. This is an incredibly profound insight that ties in with the burgeoning Western discipline of Information Theory. Think about it. Genes, for example, are an immensely sophisticated way of coding organic matter using four basic “letters” A, C, G and T to create life. Also, the laws of physics organize matter and energy into a coherent cosmos much as the laws of grammar organize words into meaningful sentences. However, while Western science claims the universe formed randomly and purposelessly, this Eastern view is that our world from its inception was a truth spoken by a higher being, and therefore is filled with meaning and purpose. (Compare Genesis 1:3, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light,” and John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”) 3. We too use words to create our own world. Depending on the quality of our speech, inner and outer, we can make our
environs a heaven or a hell. What are we continually telling ourselves? What are we telling others? We shape our personal reality with the words we use to describe it. Never Mind While Patanjali described how language operates in his Mahabhashya, he also taught us how to transcend the limited sense of ego created by our incessant mental stream of words in his Yoga Sutras. Animals survive and thrive using instinct and practical intelligence, but they don’t build rocket ships to the moon. With our advanced language skills allowing us to think abstractly, we humans build cities, democratic institutions, rocket ships and nuclear bombs. We are vastly more adaptable than other species because we think through each new challenge we face. Our advanced thought processes allow us to solve problems animals can’t even conceive, and to create new problems for ourselves too. Patanjali invites us to take the next step in our evolution: to enter a state of being above and beyond the mind, a realm words can point toward but can’t themselves enter. Yogis like Patanjali would disagree with Descartes: we do not know we exist because we think. In reality when we finally stop thinking, when thought vanishes in deep meditation, we’re still there! Thoughts occur in consciousness, but consciousness recognizes itself whether we “think” or not. We “hear” our thoughts just as we hear sounds in our environment. Our secret identity is the one who hears the sound of our thoughts, not the thoughts themselves. Twenty-five hundred years ago another great yogi, the Buddha, taught the doctrine of anatta, non-self, in an effort to jar his disciples into understanding that they are not the ego-self of the thought stream. You can actually mentally step back and watch your thoughts flicker on the screen of your awareness like images on a television set. The Compassionate Buddha encouraged us to practice meditation and let go of the words and forms that shackle our awareness to the external world. As the 14th century Tibetan Buddhist master Dolpopa further explained, there is in us a root awareness that is not awareness of anything, it is simply bare
awareness. It is infinitely vast, completely unbound, unshakable, indivisible, and outside of time and space. To enter nirvana is to shift from our ordinary state of human consciousness into that expanded trans-human state of pure being. “What is unique in the human being is his power to gradually expand and deepen the realization of his immortal being,” Swami Rama told us. “It is easy to meet that infinity within you. To attain that awareness, you just have to be silent.” Meditation is the path beyond words, beyond even the mind itself. It introduces us to a level of reality Swami Rama called the “All-in-One.” Silence is the natural language of self-realization and intuitive knowledge. There everything merges in “no-thing,” its original source. A mass of wisdom we could never attain through our five senses or through a lifetime of sitting around thinking becomes instantly available. If you and I have far greater freedom and creativity than animals, imagine how much greater are the experiences of those masters who have made the leap to a level of being that surpasses all limitations of the human mind. Linda Johnsen is the award-winning author of eight books on yoga and meditation, including Meditation is Boring? Putting Life in Your Spiritual Practice.
American Meditation Institute’s Yoga of Medicine Program
5th Annual Retreat: Physicians • RNs • NPs • PAs • Psychologists Comprehensive Training in Yoga Science as
Holistic Mind/Body Medicine For Clinical and Personal Application (26 CMEs)
The Heart and Science of Yoga
Meditation • Mantra Science • Diaphragmatic Breathing • Yoga Psychology • Mind Function Optimization Chakras • Easy-Gentle Yoga • Lymph System Detox • Nutrition • Functional Medicine • Ayurvedic Medicine • Epigenomics
NOVEMBER 6 -10, 2013 PHYSICIAN ACCREDITATION (26 CMEs) This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of Albany Medical College and The American Meditation Institute. Albany Medical College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Self-Care For Healthy Living
The Albany Medical College designates this Live activity for a maximum of 26 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Albany Medical College
The only 4-Diamond Resort in the Berkshires
Space is LIMITED
Please Register EARLY!
Leonard Perlmutter, AMI Founder • Rudolph Ballentine MD Beth Netter MD • Susan Lord MD • Mark Pettus MD • Anita Burock-Stotts MD
americanmeditation.org/cme.aspx • Tel. (518) 674-8714
Curriculum Endorsed by: Mehmet Oz MD, Dean Ornish MD, Larry Dossey MD and Bernie Siegel MD
CME RETREAT SPEAKERS
Leonard Perlmutter, AMI Founder LEONARD PERLMUTTER is a noted educator and founder of the American Meditation Institute. He is the author of The Heart and Science of YogaTM and the mind/body medicine journal, Transformation. Leonard has served on the faculties of the New England Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine, the Himalayan Yoga Teachers Association and the College of Saint Rose. He is a disciple of Swami Rama––who, in laboratory conditions at the Menninger Institute, demonstrated that blood pressure, heart rate and the autonomic nervous system can be voluntarily controlled. Leonard has presented courses at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Albany Medical College and The New York Times Yoga Forum with Dean Ornish, MD.
Rudolph Ballentine, MD 2 NEW LECTURES for 2013: The Yoga of Eating • Understanding the Psychology of the Chakra System to Help Redefine the Practice Model RUDOLPH BALLENTINE, MD, is a graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine with specialty training in psychiatry, and a pioneer of the holistic health movement. He established the Centers for Holistic Medicine and served as its director for 25 years––offering an integrative approach to treatment using psychotherapy, meditation, homeopathy, Ayurveda and hatha yoga. Rudy served as president of the Himalayan Institute for 12 years and as director of its Combined Therapy Department for 18 years. He has authored numerous acclaimed books including Diet and Nutrition, Radical Healing, Transition to Vegetarianism and Science of Breath.
Mark Pettus, MD NEW for 2013: Epigenomics/Inflammation/Allostatic Load MARK PETTUS, MD, is a board-certified internist and nephrologist currently serving as Medical Director of Translational Education, Wellness and Population Health at Berkshire Health Systems, and Associate Dean of Medical Education at UMass Medical School’s western campus at Berkshire Medical Center. Mark is the author of The Savvy Patient and It’s All in Your Head: Change Your Mind, Change Your Health, & Change Your Life.
Susan Lord, MD East Meets West SUSAN B. LORD, MD, is currently a lecturer and holistic health consultant for Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She served as Associate Director for Professional Training at the Center for Mind/Body Medicine in Washington, DC from 1996-2007, and was the Course Director for the Food as Medicine program. Dr. Lord is in private practice as a family physician in complementary and alternative medicine.
Beth Netter, MD, MT Breath as Medicine BETH NETTER, MD, practices Holistic Medicine and acupuncture, and currently serves as Chief of the Division of Integrative and Holistic Medicine at St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany, NY. Beth graduated from UB’s School of Medicine, and completed her residency in anesthesiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. She serves as Chair of the AMI Medical Education Committee and is an AMI certified meditational therapist.
Anita Burock-Stotts, MD
The Yoga of Functional Medicine
ANITA BUROCK-STOTTS, MD, is board certified in Internal Medicine. She graduated from Penn State (Phi Beta Kappa) and the Medical College of Pennsylvania (Alpha Omega Alpha) where she also completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine. Anita has been practicing meditation and Yoga Science for 10 years and currently practices Functional Medicine in Guilderland, NY.
teaches us how “ Meditation to use the mind to go beyond the mind.” L P (R L ) EONARD
Founder, American Meditation Institute
Self-Care for Healthy Living Tel. 518.674.8714
americanmeditation.org 60 Garner Road, Averill Park, NY 12018