S pecial F eatures : • Learning from the Yoga Masters • Lost Masters: the Ancient Greek Philosophers • Integral Yoga Therapy and more . . . WINTER 2017
Allan Hunter, Ph.D.
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His Holiness Sri Swami Satchidananda (Sri Gurudev) is one of the most revered Yoga Masters of our time. Sri Gurudev’s teachings and spirit guide us toward a life of peace and religious harmony among all people. For more than forty-five years, Sri Gurudev sponsored interfaith worship services and conferences. His teachings advocate respecting and honoring all faiths and he was invited to share his message of peace with many world leaders and dignitaries. Over the years, Sri Gurudev received many honors for his public service. Among recent awards: the 1994 Juliet Hollister Interfaith Award presented at the United Nations and the 2002 U Thant Peace Award. In honor of his birth centennial in 2014, he was posthumously awarded the James Parks Morton Interfaith Award. In addition, he served on the advisory boards of many world peace and interfaith organizations. Sri Gurudev founded, and is the guiding light for, the worldwide Integral Yoga® organization. Integral Yoga, as taught by Sri Gurudev, combines various methods of Yoga, including Hatha Yoga, selfless service, meditation, prayer, and a 5,000-year-old philosophy that helps one find the peace and joy within. Integral Yoga is the foundation for Dr. Dean Ornish’s landmark work in reversing
heart disease and Dr. Michael Lerner’s noted Commonweal Cancer Help program. Today more than 25 Integral Yoga Institutes and Integral Yoga Teaching Centers throughout the United States and abroad offer classes and training programs in all aspects of Integral Yoga. In 1979, Sri Gurudev was inspired to establish Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville, a large residential community in Virginia based on his teachings. Guest stays, retreats, and programs on all aspects of Integral Yoga are available. At the center of Yogaville® is the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (lotus), dedicated in 1986. This unique interfaith shrine honors the Spirit that unites all the world religions, while celebrating their diversity. Sri Gurudev is the author of many books, including Integral Yoga Hatha, To Know Your Self, The Living Gita, and The Golden Present. He is the subject of three biographies, Apostle of Peace, Portrait of a Modern Sage, and Boundless Giving, and the documentary, Living Yoga. Integral Yoga Publications disseminates the teachings of Sri Gurudev through books and Shakticom through audio-video programs. Integral Yoga Distribution also makes available books, tapes, and gift items from a wide variety of spiritual paths and well-being resources. In August 2002, Sri Gurudev took Mahasamadhi (a God-realized soul’s conscious final exit from the body). Chidambaram, his Mahasamadhi Shrine, is open for prayer and meditation.
6 The Guru Within By H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda 8 The Divine Life of H. H. Sri Swami Sivananda
By Swami Suryadevananda
10 Liberation By Swami Sivananda Radha
12 4 Locks, 4 Keys: A Simple Approach to Relationships By Beth Hinnen
15 Letters from the Yoga Masters: A New Book by Marion (Mugs) McConnell 18 A Conversation in the Spirit with Swami Satchidananda and Lex Hixon Allan Hunter, Ph.D.
22 Pretzel Up with Family Yoga By Meryl Davids Landau
24 The Teachings: A Matter of Life and Death By Karuna Scarola 26 Lost Masters: Rediscovering the Mysticism of
Ancient Greek Philosophers By Linda Johnsen
28 The Inner and Outer Guru By Amanda Hayden 30 From Behind Prison Bars: An Easter Reflection
Cross and Criminal Justice By Jens Soering
32 Rediscovering the Cosmic Music of My Life By Carol Bodhini Mahan 33 Integral Yoga Therapy: A Progress Report
Carole Nathan 34 Books, CDs, and More: Whatâ€™s New? 36 Integral Yoga Multimedia
T S phi er i G tu u ar lu H Wui nt ghie nr An Interview with By Allan H. Hunter, H. Sri Swami Ph.D. Satchidananda by Sevika Laura Douglass, Ph.D.
atchidananda” “ Allan Hunter is a professorisatthe Curry common College name and for author all of of The Path Don’t of Synchronicity, allow the monkey The Six mind Archetypes or the egoofwithin Love, to Stories guide We Needustoand Know, everySpiritual thing. Satchidananda Hunger, and many is yourother owninspirational you;texts. it will Hedrag is a renowned you into the lecturer, ditch.teacher, That’s and whattherapist you see with a heartfelt essentialbelief name. in the Andpower that is of the writing, real Guru myth, within. and the arts toinenhance the great personal scripture, growth. Bhagavad He is currently Gita. The working princeon Arjuna the film, The That essence Wisdom is whatofyou the call Heart. Satchidananda. In this interview, It is divided he discusses thewas rolesupposed of spiritualtohunger fight the in North war, face American the world. culture Butand he was offers suggestions into three parts: on howSat, we Chid, can nourish Ananda. ourSat soul. is existence, Chid is puzzled. He brought all kinds of arguments. They are knowledge; the Truth revealed. And then by knowing that, all sound arguments. But they were nothing but sound. the outcome s a child is Ananda I hadoranbliss. aversion to gym class. I was Having exhausted his arguments, he realized his foolishness unable to catch—or hit—any ball thrown and told Krishna, “Sir, I am foolish enough to bring out all For example, in my wood direction, pulp exists. and That was always is the Sat. the last Then oneit my ignorance. It is not in my hands anymore. I give up my chosen forasteam expresses a piece sports. of paper. It wasThe onlyexistence years later expresses, that myso arguments. I know the simple way is to let you guide me. vision you getproblems, the Chid,which the knowledge had co of it. And then when you You tell me what to do, and I do it. I surrender to you.” use it, you have the Ananda. So, existence-knowledge-bliss. Arjuna stands there as an ego. Ego surrenders ultimately. The Guru within you is Satchidananda. It directs you When you completely give up your ego, you hear the voice continuously. It advises you. Sometimes you listen. within. You hear the Guru within. Then it becomes very Sometimes you don’t and then you get burned and cry. easy to face the life, to win the battle. We are constantly It will say, “Please next time be careful.” We call that the facing a battle in life. We cannot do it all by ourselves. Let antar Atma, the inner Self that constantly guides you. It is God do that. As you know, the Father knows best. Leave it your conscience. “Be true to your Self,” we say. That is the to God. Leave it to Beaver. Did I say Beaver? No. I meant Self. Listen to that Self. to say Be-er. Leave it to the Be-er. Let God handle it, let God guide you. You don’t even have to look for a Guru outside. If you still want to, that Guru will ultimately tell you, “You have a This reminds me of a great verse that was sung in a beautiful Guru within. Learn to listen.” Sometimes we hear people work called Thiruvasagam by the great Saint Manickavasagar. saying, “The Guru is giving me knowledge.” Nobody can He addresses God, “Lord, You know what I need. You will ever give you anything. If somebody gives you something, give what I need. But when I want to face You, see You, You somebody else will knock it out. Don’t live on borrowed escape me. If even the devas try to face You, see You, You things. It won’t stay long. A real Guru is one who tells you don’t show yourself to them. But You pulled me out. You that you have that person within you. It’s almost like a made me your instrument. With all that, if there is any want mirror. When you go in front of a mirror the mirror will in my mind, I know even that want is created by You. I can’t tell you, “Hey, you have a face.” Is it not so? The mirror is even want something without Your wanting me to want. So I not giving you a face. The mirror simply reflects what you give myself completely in Your Hands.” are, how you are. In the next verse he says, “Lord, I remember, a long The Guru will simply reflect you as you are. Sometimes time back, You took me—my body, my intelligence, my that’s the reason why people don’t like to go in front of a everything—under Your Feet. I know that everything Guru. Because everything is exposed. “Oh boy, if he sees happens because of You. I am only a humble instrument. my ugly heart what could I do?” If that’s what you have, it As such it doesn’t matter to me what You will be doing has to show. And it’s better that it shows, so that you will with this tool. People might say I am doing great know. Because you don’t know your own face. You never achievements. Others may say I’m a rogue, doing nothing see your face. You know that you have a face but you don’t good. If some praise me and some blame me, am I see it. To see your face you have to have a mirror. responsible for it? No. Why? Because You are the one who is working through me.” That is what. Like that, you are the Guru. You have not seen it. The external Guru is to point out the Guru within you. Guru The Guru means Gu-ru. “Gu” is the darkness. “Ru” is the is the omnipresent consciousness that pervades everywhere, remover. Guru removes the darkness of our ignorance. which guides the entire universe constantly. But because Put complete faith in the inner Guru. And follow the the Guru is within you, and you have never seen it, you teachings. My Master Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj put want to see it with a reflection. It is there the external it in simple tablet form—because he was a doctor. Even Guru or the teaching comes. With the help of the teacher Moses got two tablets with Ten Commandments. Swami and teaching, you will realize your own Guru within. And Sivanandaji gave us four commandments. He simplified that Guru constantly guides you in all your efforts in life. the entire Yoga philosophy in that. What is it? Serve. Love. Realize that Guru. Meditate. Realize. 6 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
Allan Hunter, Ph.D.
Realizing comes automatically. You don’t have to do anything in the name of realization. All we should do is serve with love and meditate on it. Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga—our lives should be based on serving others with love. That’s what the entire universe teaches us. We learn this lesson from anything and everything other than human beings. I don’t know why God created human beings. Maybe God wanted to have some fun. God allowed us to make all mischiefs. But look at the entire universe— animals, plants, minerals. They are all there to serve others. They don’t exist for themselves. Their only purpose is to be useful to others. Everything, everything that you see. That is the book of knowledge, the universal message that we learn from the cosmos itself. Let our motive be service, service, service. And of course service goes with love. Without love you cannot serve. And when you serve there is no room for ego. That is what the essential teachings of all the religions are. Serve, serve, serve, without looking for any reward. That was the teaching of the Bible. The one and only advice given by God to the first boy created is, “Adam, do not eat the fruit.” The very same thing is
said in the Bhagavad Gita, by Lord Krishna: “You are free to do things, and you are entitled to perform actions. But beware, don’t look for the fruit.” They use the same word! That one sloka is enough. Out of the whole Bible just one piece, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and “Blessed are the pure in heart. They shall see God.” For me that is enough. Apply it. That’s why practice is the most important thing. That’s why we offer fruit to God. That means the fruit of my life is at Your Feet. Because without You I wouldn’t have performed anything, done anything. That is what is called sacrifice—you sacrifice the result of your actions. Only that makes real service. All other things are business. You do something, you get something in return. Instead of that, life should be motivated this way: “I am here to serve.” Or, in other words, “I am made to serve—I am Carole only a tool.” Nathan Then, your heart is always peaceful. There is nothing to disturb your peace. As one of the saints said, “I have eternal peace and bliss. I have no suffering at all. Because all the sufferings are created by ‘me’ wanting to get the reward. Once I give that up, I have no suffering at all. I am always in bliss.’” Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 7
T h e D i v i n e L ifSep ior fi tHu .a lH H . Su rni g Se w r a mi S i v a n a n d a An Interview with Allan ByHunter, Swami Ph.D. Suryadevananda by Sevika Laura Douglass, Ph.D.
Allan Hunter eading is athe professor DivineatLife Curry is leading College aand lifeauthor of discovery of The Path then of Synchronicity, suggests what will Thequickly Six Archetypes rectify the ofsituation Love, Stories and We Needand to Know, transformation SpiritualatHunger, the sameand time. many Weother are inspirational being texts. so He caught is a up renowned in this lecturer, self-imposed teacher, unhappiness—we and therapist with a heartfelt busy throughout belief in thethe power day—every of writing, moment myth, and we are the arts toact enhance againstpersonal our highest growth. interest. He is currently Sheddingworking limitations on the forms film, The doing something Wisdomorofthe theother. Heart. Even In this notinterview, doing something he discusses thethe roletrue, of spiritual protective hunger armor, in North a disentangling American culture from the andpast offers suggestions is “doing nothing.” on how weIncan a few nourish terse our sentences, soul. Swami or habit. It is necessary for us to act differently so the Sivananda tells us what Divine Life is: “To lead the Divine resulting experience can be known. Life is to shed s a child all limitations, I had an aversion act in the to gym spiritclass. of the I was unity of all things, unable be ever to catch—or Self-centered hit—any and letball these thrown be evident 2. Acting in the Spirit of the Unity of Things in the daily inbattles my direction, of life.” and was always the last one There is a supreme unity that harmoniously contains chosen for team sports. It was only years later that my infinite diversity without affecting the unity that alone vision or Goals problems, aims have which to behad fueled co by aspiration and guided by is. It is the source, the substratum, diversity itself and the precepts. When aspiration enters life, life enters aspiration. knower of all—we can call this supreme oneness by any Without life, all this remains as just nice things to talk name: God is the simplest. To live our life in accordance about sitting around the coffee table, but it cannot help with the unity of all things is to joyfully live the Divine Life. you. The cultivation of virtue is not a social nicety but a broad 1. Shedding Limitations leap beyond the flawed limitations of conditioning. When Discovery is always in the present and its unfolding is not I am good, when I do good—goodness resides in me! possible if the past keeps interfering with the present. Most Swami Sivananda’s dictum, “Be Good. Do Good,” should friction in life is the refusal to accept the present for what be etched firmly on the heart tablet. When you are good, it is. The past insists on wanting things its way. This causes doing good is natural, but one can do some good in the much stress and consumes tremendous energy, fatiguing eyes of others and not be good. us unnecessarily. This can and should be avoided. Swami Sivananda taught: “To shed the animal in man and to The cultivation of virtue is a choice to grow into sublimate the human in him into the divine, to express this goodness by larger measures consciously. The old will sublimation in his daily, hourly, life in thought, word and drop away just as the slough on a snake when its new deed—that is truly divine life.” skin has formed. Fighting old habits is futile because they reappear with redoubled force. It is wise to stay Why do things have to be our way or any certain way? We away from situations that are not conducive to the new are a part of everything, part of this grand world—is it aspiration, but at the very same time—there must be a reasonable for the part to expect the whole to be a certain ready new channel for old energies. way? Can a drop expect the ocean to be a certain way? What does one do with these hidden wants? How does one The force of old habits is the movement of energy in old handle them? patterns. This energy must already have a new channel before restricting the old. Farmers of old who use natural The ongoing awareness of the movement of all thought canal irrigation, open new pathways before closing off old while we are doing what needs to be done, itself is dispathways so water is not wasted. The very same principles identification with them—you are not what you are aware apply here. Yoga calls this vairagya (absence of passion) of! It is not difficult to shed limitations and gain clarity and abhyasa (repetition of new effort. Swami Sivananda when situations are “serious,” so to say, but once things are calls these, “Detach and Attach: detach the mind from to our preference, the awareness drops and habit regains the world and attach the mind to God.” It is important to control. There is a cost for vigilance to be established beyond note the words “detach the mind” and “attach the mind” situational use. One must be convinced beyond doubt of as these tell us that the Divine Life can be practiced by the utter futility and harmfulness of careless living—and this anyone—anywhere. registers as an indelible image in the mind’s eye. One has to see very clearly that the only evil is the content of one’s own The practice of virtue until it is natural and spontaneous mind, which insists on certain reactions. is acting in light of the truth of things—the existing unity that alone is. The practice of virtue cannot be selective Self-justification and reason are two cunning, potent when convenient. Selective application is exactly that; weapons of the mind to prevent your interference. You application, like makeup, does not stand the test of time yourself are made to participate in your bondage! In short, and gives rise to hypocrisy. Once you embrace the path of you are made to express and experience unhappiness. The virtue, your life will become greatly simplified, as the path mind says it is unhappy and experiences unhappiness. It of virtue is simple in essence. 8 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
Allan Hunter, Ph.D.
3. Be Ever Self-centered Being Self-centered is to always abide in the Self that is existence itself. Beneath the body, mind and ego, you are still there, you exist, and this existential aspect or element is the same in all beings and things. It is not limited to any particular form or personality. The center has everything outside it but is never disturbed by their presence. Swami Sivananda wrote: “To be ever in communion with the Lord by annihilating mineness and egoism through faith, devotion and self-surrender is Divine Life.” Spiritual life is hard work because success rises out of the ashes of defeat—the very ashes of defeat spark the embers of the flame of success. This is something we are not used to or prepared for. All our lives we have known victory as success in achievements, both external and internal. What we worked so hard for has come, and the personality that worked hard can bask in the achievement. The feeling of gain is rooted in a sense of increase—more now that there has been achievement. But spiritual life is life in the spirit—That which pervades all—and for this, all divisions must be let go. Just like a sculptor chisels away what does not belong to reveal the beauty that has always been, life becomes an adventure of removal of limitations. Mineness and egoism are at the root of all division or ideas of separateness.
Divine Life is living in such a way that ideas of “I” and “mine” are continually weakened. There is expansion at each step, as each action is a blow to limitations so that we can enter into the largeness they hide. Spiritual practices take on a wide scope and are not limited to a room of prayer. One may ask what practice is, and how one practices, in the context of living. If life is being lived, what is the need for practice? Practice is a steady stream of renewed and energetic effort until the aim is achieved. Here, the aim is not external—the means are. One keeps practicing in life until one can be established in living without limitation—and thereby without sorrow or confusion. Spiritual practices done in a room of prayer are concentrated practices in a quieter setting towards the same aim—self-mastery. 4. Dynamic Spiritual Evolution To realize is to make real to oneself—not conceptually but by direct experience. Expansion of being brings this realization within the individual with reference to everything. Gradually, division becomes only a concept and unity becomes a reality!—it becomes natural to want Carole to play Nathan one’s part well in life. As Swami Sivananda taught: “Your whole life should be a perennial worship. That is the dynamic way of spiritual evolution, of spiritual unfoldment, and highest experience.” ~Courtesy of suryadevananda.org Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 9
S p i rLi itbuearla tHi ou n g e r An Interview with Allan By Hunter, Swami Sivananda Ph.D. by Sevika RadhaLaura Douglass, Ph.D.
Allan Hunter ogais isa professor a path ofatliberation, Curry College and liberation and authorhas of The to Path have of to Synchronicity, define and layThe outSix forArchetypes yourself because of Love, it isStories your We Need begin to Know, in theSpiritual here andHunger, now of our and daily manylives. otherWe inspirational pathtexts. and He it isisyour a renowned life—then lecturer, you have teacher, to take andresponsibility therapist with a heartfelt have tobelief liberate in the ourselves power of from writing, our own myth, self-made and the arts tofor enhance what you personal do. And growth. you He must is currently try your very working best on notthe to film, TheThese prisons. Wisdom are prisons of the Heart. of attachments, In this interview, conceptsheand discusses therepeat role ofpast spiritual mistakes, hunger even in ifNorth you occasionally American culture slip. Ifand youoffers do suggestions habits, andonthehow compelling we can nourish forces our of mechanical soul. reactions slip, forgive yourself but carry on. It is important to make and untested beliefs. a clear decision of will. If you can turn your stubbornness s a child I had an aversion to gym class. I was into properly directed willpower, you will be successful in Where areunable you imprisoned? to catch—or You hit—any may feelball there thrown are areas, reaching your spiritual goal because perseverance is needed. such as your in work my direction, situation,and where wasyou always didn’t thecreate last one the chosen for team prison—the eight-hour sports. It workday was only fiveyears dayslater a week, that the my Spiritual liberation is not possible unless you lay a good, vision boss, tough problems, the lack which of recognition, had co the low salary, or solid foundation in your daily life— building character and whatever the situation is. But do you have to stay in that taking responsibility for yourself. Daydreaming will not prison? No. Sometimes it is your own lack of courage that lead to liberation. You can’t just think about it. You have keeps you prisoner. Many people feel comfortable in the to take action. You have to take your life very firmly into security they’ve created and yet are angry at themselves your own hands. for needing such security because it prevents them from trying something new. They also How can we become aware? Where may have spent whatever they’ve shall we begin? Again, we want earned, leaving no money to pay to be practical. Look into your for additional training or education. habits. Look into those mechanical Or they may have become lazy in reactions, things that you do over their thinking and blame life or and over again with little change. destiny for circumstances that they Keep a daily diary in which you themselves have created. write your reflections on your daily actions and become aware of how Always remember you are the doer, mechanical, almost robot-like you and you can undo. You have the can be. Observe how difficult it is power of choice, which is often not to drop your grudges and negative recognized. Take responsibility for thinking. Not only do we have to the choices you have made in your undo the selfishness from this life, life—for your job, your education, but we also have an accumulation your marriage partner, your desire of karma from many lives. Life for spiritual life. The power of choice is the battleground of the Gita. is yours. You even have the power Wherever you are, you battle your to make changes if you discover that own selfishness, you battle your own your original choices did not meet many personality aspects and you your expectations. battle your illusions. How can new decisions be made? First, get all of the facts together about what you want to do. Generate options. Pay attention to your emotional responses to the various possibilities because where your joy is the greatest, there you will succeed—even if you think you have little to offer or you have little capital to enter into any new business or professional venture. We learn by trial and error, and all great things in life have been achieved by trial and error. So we have to try. Your past mistakes are also not important. We have all made our mistakes. I have made my own, therefore I would never be in a position to judge others. But what is it you want to do now? Where do you want to go from here? If you step onto the royal highway towards a spiritual goal—which you 10 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
As you work on yourself ask, Have I changed? What have I accomplished in my attempts towards self-mastery? When you begin to clearly see your self-made prisons and limitations, then you will slowly start to understand what the word “liberation” means. Usually we have a theoretical understanding. We intellectualize very cleverly about all these things but haven’t necessarily accomplished anything. So we have to be clear. Tell yourself the truth about yourself—that you are just starting out on the path. The liberation that you’re aiming for will come by degrees, and so will meditation. Without the ability to concentrate, there is very little possibility of results. Making the mind a blank is not meditation. Triggering yourself into a state
of trance is not meditation. Meditation comes when the mind is calm, and that calmness comes only when you stop scheming to fulfill selfish desires. There is no sudden miracle where all of your negative characteristics just drop away. It is a Western misconception that if you meditate eight hours a day like the yogis in India all your shortcomings will disappear. They won’t. We have to work on ourselves. God will not do it for us. No true teacher will do it for you. You must take responsibility for yourself. You are the doer of the wrong actions in the past, so you are also the one who can undo them. It is my prayer that you all have the courage, the determination, and the persistence to undo your self-made prisons. Awareness is the key. Recognize the key. Find the door, put the key in the lock, and open the door. Courageously step into that new freedom. In his farewell address to me when I left India, Swami Sivananda said, “Don’t worry about the absolute and the ultimate. Selfless service alone will make you divine.” Allan Hunter, Ph.D.
Selfless service means doing work without self-gratification, not just because you like it. You work without waiting for approval, without praise. You do the work that needs to be done simply because it needs to be done, putting high quality into your efforts and expecting nothing in return. Even my words imply it is difficult, but if you can do it you will grow very strong inwardly. Selfless service brings very good results. You should not object even if you are taken for granted because if you sit down and look at your entire life, you’ll see how much you have taken for granted. If you had to pay a dollar for every time you took something for granted, you would owe a lot of dollars. In other words, there’s a lot to be repaid. Selfless service helps us repay our debts. Besides making a living, everybody should do some kind of selfless service. There’s no limit to the opportunities. Even if you are in an office from 9 to 5, when you hear the siren of a fire truck or an ambulance, you can think Om Namah Sivaya or repeat the Lord’s Prayer—it doesn’t really matter which—for anybody who is in danger and for whatever help they may need. It takes only a minute and then you can continue your work. The problem is that we are so wrapped up in ourselves that when we hear a siren we think, What a disturbing noise! But we have the power of choice. We can choose to send a blessing. Cultivating concern is a very important thing. It helps to counteract all the criticism that we usually generate.
Swami Sivananda garlands his new disciple whom he names “Radha.”
One of the first Western disciples of Sri Swami Sivananda, he initiated her into monkhood as, Swami Sivananda Radha in 1956. She was a pioneer in bringing Yoga to the West, establishing the Yasodhara Ashram in Canada and later, branches around the world. Swami Sivananda Radha is the author of 10 classic books on Yoga, including Kundalini Yoga for the West and Hatha Yoga: The Hidden Language. Her teachings focus on developing awareness and quality in life. For more information: www.yasodhara.org. This article has been adapted by Ascent magazine from a talk given in 1974. Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 11
A S im p l e
4 Locks, 4 Keys: A p p r o a c h t o R e l a t i o n s hi p s By Beth Hinnen
hen I first studied Raja Yoga, or Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, in my Yoga Teacher Training Class of 2001 at the Integral Yoga Institute, New York City, I clearly remember Swami Ramananda saying something like, “First your mind talked you into eating the ice cream, then it started saying you shouldn’t have eaten the ice cream (dramatic pause)—how can you trust your mind?” I have been asking myself that question ever since. Lucky for me, the Yoga Sutras give clear instructions on bypassing the mind, not getting caught up in its whirlwinds of “do it; no, don’t do it; do it; ah, you shouldn’t have done that.” The Yoga Sutra’s aim is to help calm those whirlwinds, slow them way down so I can see, hear between the gaps for other options of action, options I like to think come from life, Divine Consciousness, True Self. I became so enamored with the Sutras that I received Teacher Training for them and taught several Raja Yoga classes to new Yoga Teacher Trainers in New York. Each time, I was amazed at the wisdom, the simplicity, the practicality, of the Sutras. Of course, the most well known Sutra is the second one, Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodah, the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga. To me, this is the lynchpin around which all other sutras revolve. No matter what sutra we look at, it comes back to this truth. We experience union, or Yoga, when the mind’s whirlwinds calm down. However, as Patanjali proceeds through the first pada, or section of the Sutras, “On Contemplation,” there arises what Swami Satchidananda called the “Four Locks, Four Keys” sutra. Amidst the encouragement to practice devotion to God (Ishvara Pranidhana) followed by other devotional and contemplative practices, we find the Four Locks, Four Keys, a practical-as-can-be sutra that gives responses to four major types of behavior people exhibit.
The sutra (as translated by Reverend Jaganath Carrera) reads, “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and equanimity toward the non-virtuous, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.” Here, Patanjali is giving us attitudes to cultivate, not actions to take. We focus on how our heart approaches a situation, not on what our mind says we should do. Let’s look at cultivating friendliness toward the happy. This one seems like a no-brainer. I am walking down the street and a fellow whistling and smiling comes toward me. If I were in an undisturbed calmness of mind, I could keep that state, according to the sutra, by responding to such behavior with friendliness, which might be a smile, nod, or even a hello. That seems simple enough. However, what if the fellow’s happiness triggers a sense of comparison in me, that I am not that happy, only calm. I can just hear the vrittis now, “What’s he so happy about? Did he win some money? Get a big promotion? What’s wrong with me?” It is easy to see how quickly the vrittis can spin a calm mind into a whirlwind of stories! And imagine if I meet this fellow and I don’t have a calm mind. Instead, I’m thinking about a million things, including how to get a very important report out by the end of the day. I’m worried and unhappy, invisible vrittis encircling me much like Pigpen’s dirt cloud in the Peanuts comic strip, saying, “you are a failure, you won’t get the project done, everything is going to blow up! And why is that person so happy?” My mind could become even more agitated seeing a happy person.
The lock is a human behavior that can trigger whirlwinds; the key is what keeps the mind unlocked from the whirlwinds to experience Yoga.
However, if I heeded Patanjali’s words, trusted them and responded without thought, and felt friendly toward this fellow, what might happen? A smile might break my agitated thought pattern, my body reading a signal of happiness, and suddenly, my mind might calm (or at least there would be a break in the vrittis) and I am in a position to experience Yoga, or union, joining a fellow human in a happy feeling.
In this sutra, Patanjali isn’t talking about practicing contemplation, he’s offering a quick fix, an immediate response to everyday situations, a simple approach to relationships. To keep our mind calm, we need only practice the key that fits the lock.
Two exciting things come from the example above. First, this sutra can work both ways. We can keep a calm mind showing friendliness toward the happy, and, we can calm a whirlwind mind by doing the same thing! Second, when we use it to calm our minds, it can happen
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instantly. It only takes a moment to drop the vrittis and experience Yoga. Amid all the concentration guidance in the first pada of the Sutras, which can sometimes sound challenging, Patanjali gives us this chance to experience instant Yoga (or not fall out of it) simply by responding with a particular attitude to a particular behavior. The second lock and key is cultivating compassion toward the sad. Again, this seems so straight forward. Yet, many of us have different definitions of compassion. To some it means to be “nice,” to others it might mean “tough love.” Again, Patanjali doesn’t give us any guidance on action, only on attitude so it would be helpful here to explore what compassion means. According to Merriam-Webster, compassion is “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” Pema Chodron has been know to define compassion as “an armless mother watching her child fall into a raging river.” Brene Brown suggests compassion is “allowing another to be vulnerable, exposed, loved, and accepted all at the same time;” and also that, “compassion is a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.” For me, compassion has a sense of suffering alongside, without having to do anything to fix the other person. And while this may sound contrary to the dictionary definition, I don’t believe it is. I believe that suffering alongside and allowing someone to have the very human experiences of sadness, grief, trauma, and not push those emotions aside to feel better or get over them, can be the most healing, transformative, helpful action (or perhaps, non-action) we can share. However, I project that in our Western society, this may be one of the most challenging behaviors to exhibit, as being sad seems to indicated being a loser. Typical vrittis might sound like, “Get over it! Ugh, how miserable this person is. Why do I have to hear this?” Hardly anyone wants to recall their own sad times to feel compassion for someone else going through it. Mostly we want to drag that person out of sadness so we don’t have to acknowledge our own grief.
However, I have found being alongside someone who is sad, knowing I don’t have to change them, the situation, or fix anything allows me to experience compassion—I can relax and allow, let the person be vulnerable and exposed while still loving and accepting them. We are equals, and it feels natural, even easy, and from that, my mind clears and calms. I don’t have to do anything except be there, be compassion. And, as we saw before, it can work the other way. Say I have been practicing the contemplations Patanjali offered in the first pada; devotion to God, mantra repetition, pranayama, and meditation, and from those I have a calm mind. Now I can be alongside another person who feels depressed, anxious, lost, or hopeless without my mind racing with vrittis, and I can hold space for that person to experience very real, deep and human emotions without being judged. And with that calm mind, in the absence of vrittis, life or Divine Consciousness can drop in (like an insight or an intuition) an action that might be helpful; holding the person’s hand, praying, singing and dancing, listening, sitting in silence, asking how to help. Compassion can be expressed in unlimited ways. The third lock/key is delight toward the virtuous. Again, this seems simple, especially when it comes to heroes
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like Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and Sri Swami Satchidananda. It becomes much more challenging when it hits closer to home. If my friend and I decide to eat healthier, and my friend sticks to the commitment and I don’t, can I show delight toward my friend? Typical vrittis would most likely attack me and my friend! “She’s a show-off, a goody-two-shoes. I’m lame, a loser, and fat.” Again, I turn to Merriam-Webster for a definition of the attitude ofs adelight: withtojoy; child I “recognition had an aversion gymafter class.(de-) I was light.” Light shines and we de-light! Patanjali is offering unable to catch—or hit—any ball thrown that by dropping the vrittisand in each of thesethe locks in my direction, was always last and one keys wefor canteam resonate experience, True chosen sports.with, It was only yearsbe, later thatNature. my Ivision imagine life, Divine delighting when my problems, whichConsciousness had co friend sticks to her commitment to eat healthy. And I can choose to experience the same. And it all can happen in an instant!
The more we explore this, the more it appears that the Four Keys: friendliness, compassion, delight, and equanimity (which we are getting to) could all be included in the definition of True Nature. It could be that Patanjali’s attitudes are simply discreet aspects of experiencing Yoga. In this instance then, delighting in my friend’s success could calm the vrittis and give me the energy to recommit! In some ways, I see the keys continually unlocking the mind (or keeping it unlocked), so that the mind gets out of the way for the next key to work in a new situation! The last lock/key is equanimity toward the non-virtuous. In all my years of teaching, this one seems to cause the most head shakes and grumblings. “When someone cuts me off in traffic (or on the way to the subway), I’m supposed to smile and be nice?” In a word, yes. Because Patanjali’s whole point of the Sutras is for you to experience Yoga, union. It doesn’t comment on what other people are supposed to experience, be or do. For me in particular, with respect to this part of the sutra, it doesn’t matter what someone else’s behavior is, I can always maintain a calm, peaceful mind. It is important what I do, not what anyone else does. My well-being is not at the mercy of someone else; it is all up to me. And yet, when I look at Merriam-Webster’s definition of equanimity: “awareness of mind; right disposition, even mind,” smiling and being nice, actions, are not part of it. Again, Patanjali wants us to cultivate a heartfelt attitude. Perhaps what strikes me most about this lock and key is to not make things worse, to not spiral down. Mostly I want to maintain a calm mind in this situation, because out of all the “lock behaviors,” this one has the highest likelihood of turning harmful.
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And what I’ve discovered when I can keep a calm mind is that no matter what the behavior is, happy, sad, virtuous, non-virtuous, that behavior becomes information, not a judgment or a statement on who we are as humans. It’s only the vrittis that want to come up with a story, judgment or critique about what happened. For instance, if I say something to my spouse who instantly gives me a look that I have always interpreted as severe disapproval, rather than going to a knee-jerk reaction of anger I can choose to interpret that look as information. Something caused my spouse to have that expression. Was it really what I said? By practicing equanimity, I can calmly ask about the “look” and it could easily be that while I was talking, my spouse had a moment of extreme pain from an old knee injury that caused the expression! Which leads to another beautiful part of this sutra; I don’t have to figure anything out. I need only respond how Patanjali suggests, show equanimity, even mind, toward the “look” and keep my calmness at which point, I can ask for clarification. And if it is disapproval, that equanimity can allow for endless response options that don’t include anger and may even lead to an openhearted discussion that could benefit the relationship. In the end, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are aimed at encouraging me, and all spiritual students, to experience Yoga, Divine Consciousness, a calm mind. There is no quicker way for me to do that than to practice this sutra and above all, to practice it toward myself. For what more important relationship is there in my life, than the one I have with myself? When I’m happy, I shall treat myself with friendliness and not let vrittis try to shame me out of feeling happy—same with sadness, virtuous, and nonvirtuous behaviors. Whatever I practice with others, I practice with myself, for I am as deserving as any other human being to be approached with friendliness, compassion, delight, and equanimity. Beth Hinnen began her Yoga teaching path with the Integral Yoga Teacher Training Program in 2001. Afterward, she took the Intermediate, Advanced, Raja, and Prenatal trainings. With over 1,000 hours in Yoga certifications (including Structural Yoga Therapy), Beth taught in the New York City area for over 10 years, both privately and in classes. In 2013 she moved back to her native state, Colorado, to open a common-denominational spiritual center named Samaya (“right timing” in Sanskrit) following Sri Swami Satchidananda’s teaching, “Truth is one, paths are many.” She currently also studies Buddhism.
from the Yoga Masters A New Book by Marion (Mugs) McConnell
his intimate and insightful account of the life of Dr. Harry (Hari) Dickman, referred to by Swami Sivananda as “the Yogi of the West,” features more than fifty years of correspondence between Dickman and well-known Yoga masters such as Swami Sivananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Satchidananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and almost one hundred others. Marion (Mugs) McConnell, Dickman’s student, has created a brilliant and loving tribute to her teacher, who founded the Latvian Yoga Society in the early 1930s and later spread his knowledge in the U.S. with the blessings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Offering a broad range of information on Yoga history, theory, and techniques from a variety of different paths, Letters from the Yoga Masters contains a treasure trove of previously unavailable material and presents detailed teachings about pranayama, mudras, diet, and much more, all interwoven with stories and personal anecdotes.
Taken together, the rare correspondence and personal chronicles provide an unparalleled glimpse into the life of a yogi, the development of Yoga in the West, and the ways that spiritual wealth is disseminated across generations. We are fortunate that Ms. McConnell has taken good care of Dr. Dickman’s archives and has provided us with copies of some of the correspondence between Swami Satchidananda and Dr. Dickman, which we reprint here (along with a typed transcript of the handwritten letter from 1954).
Allan Hunter, Ph.D.
OM Namah Sivanandaya. OM.
You’re very kind letter and the contents. Thanks very much. First of all I am very eager to congratulate you for having been awarded the title, “Master of Hatha Yoga” by our beloved Gurudev. May you live long to train several more Masters for the world. Now coming to the query about the flushing kriya. It may be done with lukewarm water once in a week.
The path of Yoga starts with the will power, proceeds with the same power which is made stronger and stronger while practising the eight fold path and ends in Kaivalya where the will power is transformed into or absorbed by the power of the Rasi Purusha. Therefore we may assume that every practice in Raja Yoga cultivates will power. Particularly Prathyahara and Dharana improve the power.
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In Hatha Yoga, Pranayam practices increase will power to a very great extent. Pratipaksha Bhavana may be practised as long as the mind takes the Bhavana easily and comfortably. When it gets tired it is better to stop that sitting. It is not advisable to wrestle with the mind. Hence the time depends upon one’s own nature & stage. Regarding Sutra 41 of Ch I of Yoga sutra, I would like to advise you to go through the previous Sutra, No. 17 of Ch I. Swamy Vivekanandaji’s commentary on No. 17 and that of our Swamiji’s [Sivananda] on Nos. 41 & 42 will give you better light. Meditation on the knower, knowable and knowledge at one time is not possible till the mind becomes pure like crystal. This meditation is only the result of the previous meditations given in sutra No. 17. One should practise meditation upon an external object to its perfection. Then it is almost easy to meditate on his own mental reactions about that object, i.e., to observe how it receives that idea of that particular object and what sort of modifications take place in the mind regarding that object. This will be meditation on the
knowledge. Then the meditation on the knower will be automatic. Therefore please see the quality of your meditation on the known – external object and make it perfect. Then the others are easy. Regarding my lectures on Raja Yoga, I regret very much to say that it is not possible as I am giving those lessons in the local language [Tamil] and there is no proper person to translate this in english. Some one or two are trying to do that but it may take time. When it gets ready by His Grace I will certainly send it. Still, you please let me know the routine of yours as well as the same given to your students, if it is convenient. Appreciating you for your intense desire and effort in the Path of Yoga and congratulating once again for having made yourself fit to receive the title “Master of Hatha Yoga” and wishing you all everything good in the Path of Yoga. OM Shanti
I am, Yours ever in OM, Satchidananda
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A C o n Sv pe irrs iattui ao ln Hi nu ntgheer S p i r i t An Interview with WithAllan Swami Hunter, Satchidananda Ph.D. by Sevika and LexLaura Hixon Douglass, Ph.D. Armed with a generous heart, subtle mind, and a Ph.D. in comparative religion from Columbia, Lex Hixon, as host for WBAI’s Allan show, radio HunterInisthe a professor Spirit, was at Curry able toCollege interview andand author skillfully of The probe Paththeofleading Synchronicity, spiritual The lightsSix of the Archetypes 1970s. Roughly of Love,34Stories We Need to (including Swami Know, Satchidananda, Spiritual Hunger, Alan and Watts, many Allen other Ginsberg, inspirational St. Teresa texts.ofHe Calcutta, is a renowned Swami lecturer, Muktananda, teacher,Ram andDass) therapist of with ainterviews those heartfelt belief appearinfor thethe power first of time writing, in print myth, in the andbook, the arts Conversations to enhance personal in the Spirit: growth. LexHeHixon’s is currently WBAI working “In the onSpirit” the film, The Wisdom Interviews: A Chronicle of theofHeart. the Seventies In this interview, Spiritual Revolution. he discusses the Swami role ofSatchidananda’s spiritual hunger1975 in North interview American (one of culture severaland he offers gave suggestions as a guest on onother how shows), we can is nourish reprinted our here. soul. Swami Satchidananda: s a child I hadDon’t an aversion forsaketo your gympeace, class.even I wasfor the sake ofunable the whole to catch—or world. Peace hit—any is veryball important. thrown If you lose your peace, in myeven direction, if you’re and going was to always get the thewhole last one world chosen for yourself, for team you’re sports. not going It wastoonly enjoy years it. It’s later something that my like avision man problems, wanting towhich buy a had painting co and the price he paid is his own eyes. He paid his eyes as the price, and he bought the painting—how is he going to appreciate it? Likewise, you pay your peace as a price and you get the whole world. What are you going to do with that? Don’t pawn your peace for anything. If you’re contented, if you were peaceful, everybody will recognize that peace in you. And they will love to be with you. Name, fame, success, friends—everything will come to you. So practice what is the God in us. Peace in us is the God in us. Seek ye that kingdom first. And everything else will be added unto it. It is exactly the same saying that you see in the Bible that is given in the form of a proverb. Just be contented! Don’t run after things!
a boy.” See? So you have a name and a form, a masculine form, and a name, Jacob. But, unfortunately, the masculine form and the name will go away again. But satchidananda will remain, Even when you get into powder form. So the name and form change constantly. When you were born, you were called the baby. Then you grow into a young boy, then a teenager, then a student. Then probably later on, you become a boyfriend. And then after some time you become a hubby. You get all the different names. And after hubby, you become a father, then a grandpa and a greatgrandpa, and an old, old man, and, ultimately, you become a dead body. The common element is satchidananda, but it expresses itself on the worldly level with different names and forms. That is what you see. So, if you have the proper eyes, you can use the name and form for your convenience, but you will also go deep into the satchidananda and see the oneness in everybody.
Lex Hixon: Thank you, Swami. There is something that I am curious about, Swami, what is “Satchidananda?”
Lex Hixon: Why does the satchidananda express itself in name and form?
Swami Satchidananda: That’s a very good question! Because many people think that there is a person by the name Satchidananda, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall, long beard, and this and that. No! What you see is a composition of the elements. You don’t see the satchidananda. But you can experience it. It’s a combination of three words: sat, chid, and ananda. Sat means existence, or the truth the one that always is. Chid is the expression of that existence. And ananda is the bliss that you get out of it. So existence, knowledge, and bliss is what we mean by satchidananda. It could be compared with the holy Trinity. The father exists always and he expresses himself as the son. So through the son, you know the father. If he doesn’t express himself, you can’t know the father. So, satchidananda—when you know [your life as] that, you get the bliss of it. It is everywhere, in everything. That is the common name for everything. See, we are all common in satchidananda. I’m not talking about only human beings. Everything, even dust is satchidananda. It expresses as dust and brings some kind of joy. So everything is satchidananda. If you see everything as satchidananda, you have the vision of spirit. But on the worldly level, we are the name and form.
Swami Satchidananda: Well, if everything is going to be just satchidananda, without a name and form, don’t you think the whole world will be boring? We are all the same. You just take a big piece of wood, maybe you even chop it into small pieces. But there is no fun, there’s no game. Only when you carve it into a king, a queen, a pawn, a knight, a castle, and a bishop, then you have a nice game of chess.
If somebody asked you, who are you, you just don’t say, “ I am satchidananda.” The answer is, “Oh, I am Jacob. I am 18 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
Lex Hixon: But why would satchidananda want to play games? Swami Satchidananda: Satchidananda must have been simply satchidananda for a long time and got bored, and he just wanted to play a game, so he multiplied himself. That’s why, even the Bible said, “In the beginning there was only God and nothing but God.” Probably God got bored and said, “Come on, let me multiply myself. Let me separate myself into different names and forms, and let’s just have fun.” So it’s the Lord’s play. It’s fun. Lex Hixon: Do you think you’ll ever get sick of this game? Swami Satchidananda: Well, probably. Sometimes we get tired of it if we don’t play the game well. If we make a serious thing of defeat, then we get tired of it. Otherwise,
Allan Hunter, Ph.D.
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we always enjoy the game. See, we do! People play different games. There’s no winner or loser. At the end of the game, they shake hands with each other, and then go have coffee together. But in the worldly game, we don’t play that well. We take it seriously, and we fight. An enemy remains an enemy, and opponent remains an opponent. Lex Hixon: Is there any reason to wish to be liberated from this game? Swami Satchidananda: the only time will be when you get tired of it. When you really feel caught in it, then you sit back and think, “Why did I get caught? Ah, I forgot. That is all just for our enjoyment. And ultimately we are all one. We just took different names and forms to play the game. I forgot the common spirit behind everything. I gave too much importance to the differences, which is the name and form, so now I am in a terrible state. So let me go down to the deep root of it.” That is when you become a religious person. Because, what is religion? You are trying to bind your self back to the original. The word “religion” [comes from the Latin verb ligare, which] means “to go back” or “to bind back.” Just for the sake of fun, you have some names and forms, but you forgot the satchidananda because it is not always there visibly. So you just catch the superficial things. Then when you are tired of it, when you trying to go back, you are called a religious person. You are going back. You’re trying to get reunion with your original self. Lex Hixon: You mentioned that satchidananda is sort of like the Christian Trinity. But Christians regard the Trinity as having a personhood apart from the world. Is there anything personal about satchidananda? Swami Satchidananda: God is not personal. God is unlimited. God is infinite. Everything that is infinite cannot be a person. You just name it, you’ve given a form to it, and then you miss the spirit of it. In Hinduism, it clearly says, “He is nameless and formless.” Because we are limited, our thinking is finite. We cannot understand something infinite. So for our convenience’s sake, we bring that infinite one to the finite state. What if you wanted to bring a little sea to your house? How will you bring it? The Sea is infinite. If you want to bring it to your home, you will have to just bring it in a bucket. So the bucket limits the sea and you say, “Hey, I have a bucket full of sea.” It’s a bucket of sea; It’s no more the real sea. You have limited it. So due to our own limitations, we limit. Each mind has its own capacity and limitation. According to each mind, you perceive God in your own way. As there are so many minds, you see so many perceptions of God. But when we forget that originally God is nameless and formless, and because of our limitations, we limit it, we forget the truth and then we fight. We say, “My God is the real God.” Then you say the same thing to me. And for God’s sake, there is no ending to the quarrel. That is why even in the name of God, we see so 20 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
many fights, because we lost the original truth. Lex Hixon: Talking about going to the sea with buckets, is there any way to bring the sea back to your house without using a bucket? Swami Satchidananda: You cannot bring the sea into the house. You can get into the sea and become the sea. Then you are in the sea, not as a separate you, but as the sea. I get lost in the sea. I am no more separate. It is something like a drop [of water] wanting to know the depth of the sea. As long as it’s outside the sea as a drop it can never fathom the sea. And if it jumps into the sea to see the depth it loses itself as a drop. It’s no more a drop, but it has understood the depth of the sea by becoming the sea. We cannot understand something by staying outside as a different entity. The real way to know something is to become it. That’s why there is a very simple proverb in India, a Tamil proverb. The meaning of it is, “a snake will know this snake’s leg.” That means, only a snake will know how the other snake crawls. We cannot. We can theorize. But if you want to really know how a snake could crawl, you have to become a snake. That’s why God knows God. A guru knows a guru. A thief knows a thief. It takes a thief to catch a thief; in the same way, it takes a God to catch a God. If you are something different, there is no real understanding possible. You can get an idea. And that is the reason why the Bible says, “Who can see God? Blessed are the pure in heart. They shall see God.” Because God is pure, only when you become that purity will you know God. So to know God is to become God. Lex Hixon: But even if one has the best intentions and wakes up in the morning and says, “I’m going to know God today,” one finds it very difficult. Swami Satchidananda: That’s it. You are trying to know with your limited mind. See? It’s not within the grasp of the mind. You have to understand it, know it without the help of the mind. Mind has its limitations. I must rise above my mind. Or at least I must use a clean and pure mind, which is almost similar to the God in you. And you should also listen with the same clarity. Then we understand each other. So the best way to know ourselves is to keep our mind clean and crystal-clear. That’s the only way. We don’t need to worry about God at all. God is there always within, without, everywhere. It will just shine by itself, if we could clean the mind. Something like, if you keep cleaning the surface of a wall—polish it—all of a sudden you get the reflection. Lex Hixon: Are there techniques to polish the mind? Or is it just by this kind of thinking itself that the mind polishes itself? Swami Satchidananda: The direct away is just to analyze. But not everyone is clever in doing that, so they have to
slowly remove themselves from the binding definitions to other definitions, which will not ultimately bind them. So, instead of doing the wrong, undesirable thing, you do something right. You do some holy practices like your mantra, your japa, your prayers. But the truth is truth. You cannot even depend on your mantra and prayer. Then you are still not independent. You are not free. If you want to be free, you have to one day completely free yourself from the gurus, from Yoga practices, from everything. Just be alone. Be free. The scriptures talk about it clearly. By renouncing everything you are going to achieve God or the immortal principle in you. Everything includes all your practices. But until we come to that level we still have to have some hold somewhere. That’s the reason why you do something useful for people. So from bad to good, from good to something neutral— that’s the process. Because, ultimately God is neutral. What is the core of God? The very central part of the word God, G-O-D? the center of God is O. What does O stand for? It could be of completeness, or it could be a zero. So God is a zero. God, have mercy on me. Sometimes I feel that I am insulting God or something. You know I am telling the truth because God is neutral to everything. God is that big O. O is either full or empty or both extremes. God is complete—God is nothing. Lex Hixon: What if someone heard your talk and was so impressed by this that they decided that they wouldn’t engage in any spiritual practices at all, but they would just go right to the zero? Swami Satchidananda: Fine, if they can do that, fine. If they can go right to the zero, they are immediately enlightened. I hope there will be 1000 people, at least, like that. If they become zero, what happens? They become completely neutral and it’s the neutral people that are going to be very useful for everybody because they are not taking sides. Take, for example, a judge. He should be completely neutral. A politician should be completely neutral. Anybody who wants to serve the world should be completely neutral. He cannot be prejudiced by anything. He cannot have anything as his own because if I say, “My country is in India,” then I look at America at something different. I am limited to my country, and I say, “That’s your country, that’s my country.” If I am neutral, everything is mine and nothing is mine. Then I serve everybody equally. I’m not prejudiced. I don’t see one man is different from the other man. I don’t have a friend or a foe. God is like that. God never distinguishes between people. God serves. God blesses both a thief and the policeman. Otherwise, why should the God allow the thief to get away with that thing? But the time will come when policemen will catch the thief. God remains neutral. God blesses everybody. God hates nobody. That kind of neutrality is very, very important. To judge people, to weigh people, and to serve them equally, like a judge. Where do you have justice? In the balance, is it not? The symbol of justice is a scale. In very many courts we see that. What is it? She is a balanced woman. She never swings to the defendant’s side or the offender’s side. She is neutral, impartial. God is like that.
A poster of Swami Satchidananda on the wall of the WBAI studio.
Lex Hixon: We’ve been talking on a high plane. Can you give us a sense of some of the practices that one might adopt in this spirit? Swami Satchidananda: We should know first what ultimately is going to happen. We have to renounce everything and be completely neutral. When we cannot do it right away, then what is the next alternative? That means we will have some practices. And that is where there are many names with the same aim; names such as prayer, meditation, mantra, japa, chanting, and doing everything as service to humanity, which we call Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is just serving humanity, serving everybody— the path of service. And Bhakti Yoga is the devotional path. You use your devotional aspect and perform services, puja or worship, pray, repeat holy names, praise God. This is very good. Lex Hixon: Thank you, Swami, for taking us to a high plane and then delivering us safely back to earth with the reminder of the spiritual value of service to our fellow beings and praising God. Reprinted here from Conversations in the Spirit: Lex Hixon’s WBAI “In the Spirit” Interviews: A Chronicle of the Seventies Spiritual Revolution by kind permission of Monkfish Book Publishing Company, Rhinebeck, NY. Listen here to Swami Satchidananda’s interview, as well as many of the other interviews conducted by Lex Hixon that appear in this book. Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 21
P r e t z eSl p iUr pi t W u ai lt hH F ua n mi g e lry Y o g a An Interview with AllanBy Hunter, Meryl Ph.D. DavidsbyLandau Sevika Laura Douglass, Ph.D.
remember my first Yoga class as vividly as Allan Hunter if it were is a professor weeks ago, at Curry instead College of more andthan author two of The Path of Synchronicity, The Six Archetypes of Love, Stories We Needdecades. to Know, Actually, Spiritual what Hunger, I recalland is the many going other to inspirational and texts. He is a renowned lecturer, teacher, and therapist with a heartfelt coming from that belief firstinclass. the power Details of writing, of the session myth, itself and the arearts to enhance personal growth. He is currently working on the afilm, blur.The What Wisdom I easilyofconjure the Heart. is the In tension this interview, in my shoulders he discusses the role of spiritual hunger in North American culture and offers suggestions and stomach on as how I raced we can to nourish the gymour onsoul. my lunch break during that particularly harried day, visions of papers piled on my office desk swirling in my mind. Cars honked and pedestrians nudged me as I navigated the frenzied New York City street crossings. Smog filled the air and vendors loudly hawked merchandise from the street corners, the cacophony further fraying my nerves. When I entered the room in my gym where the Yoga class was held, I felt desperate for a little soothing. After a variety of stretching and strengthening movements and calming breathing, the class concluded with a progressive relaxation. I remember as I lay there during the silence envisioning myself lying on a puffy cloud in a placid sky. When the teacher signaled the end of the session by ringing a soft bell, I felt connected to my higher Self in a way I’d never experienced before. As I headed back to my office, the cars were still honking, people still jostling, smog still making it hard to breathe, vendors yelling just as loudly. But I felt removed, encased in a bubble of tranquility that nothing could disturb. I went back to my stack of papers and finished the day with a sense of calm. The class had been even more than I’d hoped for—and my expectations had been high. I had decided to try the Yoga because a few days earlier at the gym I had been pedaling away on my stationary exercise bicycle when the Yoga teacher walked by—or, I should say, floated by. She moved like a gazelle; serenity personified. Although she was solidly middle aged, she looked young and limber. What’s more, her inner peace radiated out like the glow from a soft light bulb. I wanted what she was offering. I found out during the next few months as I regularly took her wonderful classes that she was a student of Swami Satchidananda. When I finally got up the nerve to ask her for suggestions of books I might read to better understand Yoga, I expected her to give me a book about the asanas. Instead, she handed me Swamiji’s classic, To Know Your Self. The book opened up a whole new vista for me about the ways Yoga impacts your life that goes well beyond the poses. During the next few years, after I met my husband at a lecture given by Swamiji when he came to New York in the 1980s, he and I took many classes at the Integral Yoga Institute (IYI) of New York. Eventually, we took teacher training and intermediate teacher training with Swamis Asokananda, Ramananda, and Divyananda, and became Yoga instructors ourselves at the IYI. 22 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
Then we had babies, and our beloved Yoga fell victim to time. Who can race off to classes, or even find the energy to do more than a pose or two in the bedroom before bed when you’re sleep deprived and exhausted? Once our kids got a little older, though, we decided we wanted to get it together enough to incorporate Yoga at least occasionally into our family’s routine. The best approached seemed to be to make Yoga a family affair. Doing Yoga with young kids is obviously different than being in a room full of focused adults. But experiencing Yoga with your family offers its own rewards, with the practice enhanced as you breathe and move with the people you love. Children can begin to do Yoga at pretty much any age (after their first months of life, once they gain control over their head and neck). It’s not that babies need Yoga—they are born naturally flexible—although gentle Yoga movements can help flow energy (and gas!) through their little bodies. It’s that baby Yoga, like that for older kids, is a terrific way to strengthen the bond between parent and child.
Kids who are preschool or grade-school age are ready to take full advantage. Most children naturally respond to the way many poses imitate animals, from lions and snakes to monkeys and crows. There’s a great DVD of Swamiji leading a class of kids from Yogaville, Yoga for Children with Swami Satchidananda, that really shows how easily kids take to the asanas. When my daughter was young, she and I did many traditional Integral Yoga poses showcased in that video. But we also took our mini sessions one step further. Modeling our joint practice after “partner Yoga,” typically done with similarly sized adults, we adapted a few physically interconnected poses that we could do as a unit. Maybe you’d like to give our favorites a try: • Helpful camel: “Stand” on your knees facing one another and take hold of the other person’s hands. As you both inhale, arch your backs (bending in opposite directions), your faces looking up to the ceiling in your quest to make camel humps. Breathing deeply, hold for as long as comfortable, then gently pull each other up by the hands. (Giggles at this stage are fine, and make the pose fun!) Repeat several times. • Loving turtle: Sit facing one another, legs straddled wide, your feet nearly touching your child’s. Both of you bend the knees slightly and bring the forearms from the front under the knees. Lower your head towards the ground. As you simultaneously inhale, each lift your head, neck, and upper back toward one another. Don’t be shy about making eye contact or even blowing kisses. After a few moments, return to your “shells.” Repeat several times. • Adoring cat: Come on all fours, facing one another, knees under the hips and hands under the shoulders. Interlock your “paws” with those of your child’s and flatten them on the floor. As you exhale, simultaneously round your backs and tuck your chins towards the chest. Hold briefly. Next, simultaneously flatten your backs and bring your heads level, gazing at one another and silently sending your love. Now, as you inhale, each continues raising their head upward and curving the back like a stretching cat. Continue alternating rounding, flattening/gazing, and curving several times. • Resting snake: You can do this with your own children and even their friends. The first person (usually the adult) lies on their back, legs extended and arms resting gently by their side as in savasana. The next person puts their head on the first person’s abdomen, also assuming a relaxed position. Continue until all children have their head on another person’s belly. The last child can put a favorite stuffed animal or doll on their abdomen. Everyone closes their eyes, breathing deeply and raising the tummy as they inhale, lowering as they exhale, all the while sending love through their belly to the person resting on it, and
to all the others in the snake chain. Continue for several minutes. You may find that your child loses interest in the Yoga after a few minutes, especially the first few times. What I learned from Swamiji and from his disciples during my teacher training is that the main practice of Yoga is acceptance of what is—whether that’s your body’s inability to stretch as far over your legs as you’d like or your children’s desire to jump on your back if you continue your practice after they are finished. Sending out loving energy rather than frustration during these situations is even more true to Yoga than doing a perfect scorpion or other challenging pose. I am clear that while most people think Yoga is about flexibility, it’s foremost about flexibility of mind, not body. Embrace whatever comes out of your family sessions. We ended our family Yoga practice with pranayama, the deep breathing further quieting the mind and connecting us with our higher Selves. You can do this sitting crosslegged, back-to-back with your child, which is more likely to keep them interested in the practice. You can do the simple three-part breathing, where each of you takes a long, slow inhalation through the nose, filling up the abdomen, then continuing to take in air to the mid-chest region and finally the upper chest. Exhale slowly in reverse order before repeating several times. Now that my kids are in college and beyond, I am once again able to treasure my adult Yoga classes unencumbered. But the time I spent sharing this practice with my son and daughter were my favorite Yoga moments. After even a short session with my kids, I felt that same bubble of tranquility I had experienced after my first Yoga class in the gym—but now I had my precious children inside it with me. Meryl Davids Landau is the author of the new book Enlightened Parenting: A Mom Reflects on Living Spiritually With Kids. Her prior book, Downward Dog, Upward Fog, is a spiritual women’s novel with a Yoga theme. She’s also an award-winning magazine writer, having been published in Parents, Glamour, O: The Oprah Magazine, Redbook and many others. She blogs regularly on Huffington Post (find her blogs here.). Meryl and her husband Gary Landau are certified Integral Yoga teachers living in South Florida, although they haven’t taught in many years. This article was adapted, by Meryl, from her new book. Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 23
T h e T e a c hi n g s : A M a t t e r
L if e
By Karuna Scarola
hen I became a disciple of Swami Satchidananda (Gurudev), many years ago, my husband Dominick, got pulled along as well. The spiritual name that Gurudev gave him, Sevaka, means “the one who serves all,” which not surprisingly, captured the true essence of my husband. Sevaka came to Gurudev through me and for me. An open minded and adventurous individual, Sevaka supported me in my spiritual quest. I remember taking him to the Integral Yoga Institute (IYI) of New York on Thirteenth Street one Saturday evening for satsang back in the early 1980s. The sounds of Hari Om reverberated throughout the stairway as we climbed to the satsang room. Sevaka, with his amazing and quirky sense of humor looked at me, eyes raised, and said, “What the heck did you get me into!?” Into indeed! He loved Gurudev and respected him with all his heart, yet always kept a step away. He never called himself a disciple, never took initiation, and was not on board with all of Gurudev’s advice and teachings. Yet, Sevaka supported and encouraged me through the years as I took Teacher Training, taught classes at the IYI, and lived the yogic lifestyle. He loved our frequent trips to Yogaville, and never complained about the eight hours’ drive with our two young children for Guru Poornima, which was how we spent our summer vacations. We both agreed that having our children in Gurudev’s presence was the most important place for them to be! Sevaka’s path was one of service; we met when we were both working with emotionally disturbed children. Later he became a respiratory therapist working at Bellevue Hospital, and later Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. He loved his work, and was always going above and beyond for his patients and co-workers. He often spoke of Yogaville and Gurudev with his friends and co-workers. Before Yoga and vegetarianism became mainstream, he was often teased about his lifestyle. But, Sevaka was lighthearted about it and proud of his choices. As the years passed, Sevaka continued to support me in all things, including my spiritual path. We attended many of Gurudev’s satsangs in New York City. Sevaka was especially impressed by Gurudev’s practical and humorous way of viewing things. We would often sit with other disciples at the airport, waiting with Gurudev for his flight. This close contact with Gurudev was a treasure beyond belief! I needed, and was blessed to have, Gurudev to illuminate the teachings. His constant examples of complete acceptance of every moment as it manifested, changed my entire perspective. Never ruffled, always at ease, here was another human—a charming, accessible person, emanating holiness and love 24 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
with every word and gesture. During one airport visit there was a torrential rainstorm; planes were delayed, roads flooded. I commented on the “terrible” rain to Gurudev. His response? “It’s rain.” I remember our family visiting Yogaville shortly after the events of 9/11. My older daughter had been at school in New York City that day, and was one of the masses trying to get as far away from Manhattan as she could. We were talking with Gurudev about the horrifying events we had all witnessed that day. I was at first a bit shocked by his response, “It’s all a part of God’s play.” A second later, I got it! Nothing is “good” or “terrible,” it all is a part of the cosmic plan. This important lesson stayed with me, and would provide me with much support and understanding as the years unfolded. After Gurudev’s passing, going to Yogaville on Gurudev’s Mahasamadhi anniversary became our custom. If I were dragging my feet about the long trip and the expense of it, Sevaka would encourage me and remind me that I would regret not going. How right he was! I always returned home spiritually refreshed, and ever so grateful for my Guru and his gift of the LOTUS and the Yogaville community! Sevaka connected with spirit through nature. His favorite spot in Yogaville was Kailash. He would sit there for long stretches of time, mesmerized by the beauty and peace of the view from Kailash. He would look out at the LOTUS and Chidambaram or sit near the Nataraja Shrine and watch the sunset, basking in the quiet and beauty. Sevaka retired from his work in 2013 and took on a new job of service that he loved: babysitting for his first grandchild, Saveria (Sadie) Jyoti. She was the light of his eyes! He also volunteered for our local rescue squad. In the summer of 2014 he began to experience some unusual symptoms. He Googled them and thought he might have ALS. His appointment with the doctor would not be for several weeks, but he was determined, more than ever, that we should make our yearly trip to Yogaville. He had much faith and trust in Gurudev, and the healing energy of Yogaville. Not that he felt he would necessarily be “healed” or spared a frightening diagnosis, but he knew it would certainly help him on some level. As the next few months passed his symptoms worsened and that December he was diagnosed with ALS. We were devastated! Yet underneath this tremendous sadness, Gurudev’s words played in my head: “It’s all His name, it’s all His deed, it’s all His form and it’s all for good.” After the initial shock, we both focused on the positive and remained hopeful that he could maintain at his current
The Scarola family with Swami Satchidananda at the airport, 1980s.
state of the disease. This was not the case, and the disease progressed quickly and aggressively. In retrospect, I often think this was the blessing Sevaka received. ALS is a disease that robs one of everything, except one’s mind. It exhausts the patient and caregivers emotionally and financially due to the amount of care needed. Sevaka required help to the point of even moving a finger. One becomes literally entombed in the body. Sevaka had worked with patients with this diagnosis and was well aware of what he was up against. He confided in me that he was “terrified,” yet he remained upbeat and gracious on the outside. We had some of the best talks of our marriage during this period, and were so grateful for the life we had together. After all these years of sitting at Gurudev’s feet, the teachings had become the fiber of my being. Gurudev’s example of acceptance and faith nourished my soul, and Sevaka’s as well. Sevaka called himself an “agnostic.” He also was uncertain about an afterlife or reincarnation, and he did not have a deathbed conversion. I reminded him of Gurudev’s talks about death, and how he spoke of it as a natural part of life. Gurudev spoke of the body as being released, like a bird from its cage, able to move freely: “Death is a release from the body prison.” I encouraged Sevaka in the thought that he was going to a better place, free of the prison his body had become. Despite his fear, Sevaka and I looked forward to his passing as a release from this torturous illness. Sevaka told a visitor that Gurudev’s teachings, shared through me, helped him enormously to get through
this period. The abiding faith that everything happens for our ultimate good, that the karmic plan is always in place, helped me to remain strong and support Sevaka. Family, friends, and his former co-workers all came to see Sevaka in those last few weeks. He was always laughing with them, never feeling sorry for himself even as he knew he would never see them again. He kept his sense of humor to the end, and when I would massage his legs, just days before he passed, he was concerned that my hands may be hurting. He cared for us all, despite the fact that death was imminent. He knew from his work exactly what was happening in his body. In the final days, as he lost his capacity to speak, he managed to mumble to me, “Be happy.” Sevaka didn’t realize it, but he was serving up to the end. My sister, commenting on his bravery in accepting his fate, remarked, “He is teaching us how to die.” Sevaka had always carried a picture of Gurudev in his wallet. Now as he lay totally entombed in his body, he asked for a picture of Gurudev to be placed near his bed where he could see it. He trusted in the power of Gurudev and of the mantra. The Shiva-Shakti mantra played continuously the final day of his life. As Sevaka took his last breath, the mantra was playing, I was at his side and I had no doubt that Gurudev was with us carrying Sevaka on his journey. Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 25
Lost Masters: Rediscovering the Mysticism of the Ancient Greek Philosophers By Linda Johnsen
shrams in Europe twenty-five hundred years ago? Greek philosophers studying in India? Meditation classes in ancient Rome? It sounds unbelievable, but it’s historically true. Alexander the Great had an Indian Guru. Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plotinus all encouraged their students to meditate. Apollonius, the most famous Western sage of the first century C.E., visited both India and Egypt—and claimed that Egyptian wisdom was rooted in India. In Lost Masters, author Linda Johnsen, digging deep into classical sources, uncovers evidence of astonishing similarities between some of the ancient Western world’s greatest thinkers and India’s yogis, including a belief in karma and reincarnation. Today ancient Greek philosophers are remembered as the founders of Western science and civilization. We’ve forgotten that for over a thousand years they were revered as sages, masters of spiritual wisdom. Lost Masters is an exploration of our long-lost Western spiritual heritage and the surprising insights it can offer us today. Alexander the Great Meets His Guru Though Aristotle was Alexander’s teacher, the Indian yogi Kalyana was his Guru. It’s a remarkable story recorded by Plutarch, Strabo, and other ancient Greek writers. Alexander’s effort to conquer India was a total failure—his first. Yet it was here that Alexander met several of India’s legendary sadhus—ascetic yogis who devote their lives to the exploration of consciousness and its energies. Aristotle had taught him about the external world, and he had set out to conquer it. These yogis, who so astounded the Greeks, had mastered the inner world. Another world to conquer! Alexander, like many travelers to India even today, was looking for a Guru. We’re told Alexander’s men soon met a yogi they called Dadamis—probably a Danda Swami, a Hindu ascetic who owns nothing but a danda or walking stick. Hoping to learn his doctrines, Alexander sent an emissary with this message: “Alexander, son of Zeus and sovereign of the entire earth, commands you to come at once. If he is pleased with you, you will be richly rewarded. If not, you will die.” “There is only one supreme king,” Danda answered calmly, “the one who created light and life. This is the only king I obey, and he abhors war. “How can this Alexander be supreme ruler as 26 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
long as he himself is subject to the King of Death? And what can he offer me when my mother the Earth already provides everything I need? I have no possessions I need to guard, so I sleep peacefully at night. “Alexander can kill my body, but he can’t touch my soul. Tell your king that at the time of death each of us is called to account for our deeds. Ask him how he’s going to explain the agony of those he has murdered and oppressed. He can tempt those who crave gold, he can terrify those who fear death, but we yogis care for neither. Tell your Alexander he has nothing I want, and I will not come to him.” When Alexander heard this reply, he exclaimed, “I conquered the world, but this naked old man has conquered me!”
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. There is nothing impossible to him who will try. I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.
—Alexander the Great (photo: right) By suspending judgment, by confining oneself to phenomena or objects as they appear, and by asserting nothing definite as to how they really are, one can escape the perplexities of life and attain an imperturbable peace of mind.
—Pyrrho (photo: left) Alexander also tried approaching a yogi the Greeks called Kalanos (probably Kalyana in Sanskrit) but the elderly sadhu would have nothing to do with him. “Strip naked or I won’t say a word to you, not even if God sent you himself!” Kalyana commanded. No doubt he hoped to teach the arrogant young ruler a little humility. Perhaps he was also hinting at the level of renunciation required for real spiritual growth—that one must strip off one’s outer identity in order to experience the true Self within. Luckily for Alexander, one of Kalyana’s disciples persuaded the aged master that it might be a good thing for the world that a great emperor like Alexander came to India seeking spiritual wisdom. So Kalyana agreed to accompany Alexander back to Greece as his Guru. We don’t know the details of Alexander’s discipleship, but he probably made a poor student. The young conqueror was a raging alcoholic, uncontrollably addicted to power and its perks. By the time the retreating army reached the province of Persis (today’s Fars in Iran), Kalyana had had enough. He announced he was leaving his body. He gave away the numerous gifts Alexander had lavished on him, and ordered the Greeks to build him a pyre. Then, chanting mantras and wearing only a garland of flowers, Kalyana stepped into the flames. To the Greeks’ complete astonishment, he showed no sign of discomfort as the fire consumed his body. Alexander could not control him; to the very last moment, Kalyana was a total master of himself. Stories like these of the wisdom, renunciation, and unshakable equanimity of the yogis electrified the Greeks, who carried tales of the extraordinary wise men of India back to their homeland. Some of the Greeks who accompanied Alexander to India apparently decided to become yogis themselves. The most famous of these was Pyrrho of Elis, who lived in India for a year and a half. Returning to Greece, Pyrrho taught that it’s not enough to talk philosophy as the Greeks so loved to
do; one has to live it. A true philosopher is at peace with himself and the universe, unaffected by the conditions of his life and the events around him, like the yogis who never surrendered their state of tranquility. . . The real truth, [Pyrrho] explained, is beyond the reach of rational inquiry. Therefore it is best not to lose oneself in logical analysis, but rather to cultivate a state of inner peace, free from craving and attachment. There is a well-known story that one day Pyrrho was attacked by a wild dog and involuntarily leapt back in fear. He ruefully admitted that maintaining perfect tranquility—as Danda had done before Alexander’s soldiers and Kalyana had done in the funeral pyre—wasn’t so easy. Nevertheless, Pyrrho’s example of an ethical yet serene and nonattached lifestyle had a significant impact in Greece. The tradition Pyrrho founded endured in the Western world for centuries. Excerpted from the book Lost Masters. Copyright ©2006, 2016. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com Linda Johnsen, author of Lost Masters is a longtime student of religious philosophy. She holds degrees in Eastern and Western psychology, and has post-graduate training in theology and Sanskrit. She is the award-winning author of eight books on spirituality including Daughters of the Goddess: The Women Saints of India, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hinduism. Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 27
and Outer By Amanda Hayden
s I hiked the trail toward the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine, the unusual sound of a motor vehicle rumbled through the woods. As I emerged into the clearing, a russet grandfather’s face turned toward me through the rolled down window. His enormous palm lifted near his long, gray beard, his slender fingers extraordinarily long. He waved at me enthusiastically and smiled, then honked the horn, beep beep. It was…Swami Satchidananda (Gurudev). I was in my early twenties and I loved Yoga with a youthful, unbridled passion. But until coming to Yogaville, I had not thought too much about Gurus. Literally a “dispeller of darkness,” the Guru shines a kind of spiritual flashlight into the darkness of one’s emotional world. All I knew was that he was a bearded Indian man who wore orange robes and had led the people at Woodstock to chant “OM.” This was, of course, very cool to me at 23. However, I would soon see there was much more to Sri Gurudev and that he was a very highly venerated figure. Every room had portraits of him, his face wise and serious. The teachers spoke of him constantly, their face aglow whenever his name was invoked. A few days into my teacher training, after cleaning the hall from ceiling to floor, we gathered for our first meeting with Gurudev. He walked slowly into the room clad in his signature orange robes and long beard and sat on a large wicker chair at the front of the room as our Hatha teacher, Satya, gave him a small glass of tea. He gave a brief talk, his voice calm and steady, speaking of meditation and how we must see ourselves clearly if we are going to have peace. After his talk, he bowed in Namaste and left a room full of beaming smiles. I didn’t know if it was all the smiling, Gurudev’s presence, or the fact that the space was so darn clean, but I had to admit, the room felt really good. We all took our time standing up, wanting to absorb this feeling as long as we could. Throughout my month long immersion at Yogaville, I was soaking in all I was learning about Yoga. It was so much more than just what we did on the mat and I found my strongest passion was in Yoga philosophy (Vedanta) and kirtan (chanting). All the while, I kept thinking about Sri Gurudev and the role he played in all of this, still not quite sure how to reconcile my Western skepticism with the Eastern emphasis on the Guru. During our graduation ceremony as we received our diplomas, each of us had a moment to bow or kneel in front of Gurudev. When it was my turn, I made my way onto the stage, accepting my certificate. I bowed toward him and said a simple gratitude in my mind, Thank you for your teachings. As I stood back up, we locked eyes for a moment. I instantly felt a rush of energy shoot up my spine into the top of my 28 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
head. A little dizzy, I made my way off the stage, feeling like I had just been zapped. After I went back home, I continued to practice Yoga religiously and get additional trainings, pursue my study in the Yoga Sutras, teach, participate in kirtans and eventually learn the harmonium. Almost exactly a year after my Ashram stay and teacher certification, Swami Satchidananda went into Mahasamadhi while in his homeland of India. In my mind, I could picture the Ashram devotees walking around, tears streaming down their faces, hugging each other in solace, having prayer and meditation circles for his journey to the other side. I had some reflection that day on the enigma that Gurudev was to me and the mixed emotions I was feeling, some of which were that now maybe it was too late to truly embrace him as everyone else at the Ashram did. One afternoon soon after, in a spring cleaning feng shui attack, I came across a slim copy of Kailash Journal, a diary Gurudev kept of his pilgrimage to the sacred Mt. Kailash in Tibet. I picked it up and read it ferociously, immersing myself in his treacherous eight hundred mile journey (on foot!) to this sacred site, revered by Hindus and Buddhists pilgrims. Reading his reflections of his extraordinary pilgrimage, the tremendous physical exertion, his vulnerability and strength against the elements, and the sacred experience that was both his journey and destination—this was my first real connection with him, through our mutual love of travel and pilgrimage. I began bringing this book to my Eastern religions class I teach at a local college campus, sharing it during our section on pilgrimage and Hindu ritual. I read passages to my students, finding myself excited to share his journey to Kailash with them. They would ask questions about him and I was enthusiastic in telling them everything I knew. That’s when I realized there was so much more I didn’t know about him, so I began reading more and more, curious about his life and his Yoga practice. When I went to India, I made a pilgrimage to the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, where Gurudev had studied in his early 30s, and found it was my favorite place to experience Yoga in all of India! It was as if I could feel the presence of the youthful Gurudev there among the Sivananda grounds, the marble temple, the meditation halls, and the scampering monkeys, encouraging me in my practice and also chuckling at me while I swatted at the Volkswagen-sized mosquitoes that tried to distract me. A few years later, there was a very dark time I went through with a loved one. There were many hopeless days and nights of despair. On one of these in particular, I had a dream that I was sitting on a rock ledge over a waterfall. Hundreds
of huge boulders filtered the rushing stream. As I sat on the ledge, I was overcome with feelings of sadness and helplessness. In frustration, I began sobbing uncontrollably. Then, I felt a leathered hand on mine and long fingers gently curled around my own. I looked up and Gurudev was sitting next to me, his orange robes flapping in the wind and mist. He smiled at me sweetly, so beatifically and genuinely, it made me giggle in the middle of my sobs. He bobbled his head back and forth and said, “Let’s jump” and then looked down at the rocky water. I looked at him, eyes wide, “What? We can’t jump down there!” He smiled again, “Trust me.” He pointed at my heart, “Trust yourself.” He squeezed my hand. I closed my eyes and then felt the sensation of falling, his hand still wrapped around my own. I awoke before we landed. I was surprised at how moved I was by his presence in my dream. How real it felt. How real the feelings of comfort and solace I felt, in a time when I needed it desperately. I wondered, Was it really him? Or perhaps he symbolized the Sat Guru—the Guru within us all—and that we have the wisdom and strength ourselves to overcome any obstacles. This dream was a game changer in my Yoga practice. Now, Sri Gurudev was on my mind and more than that, was in my heart. I remember toward the end of our training at the Ashram, a fellow teacher trainee named Tori had said to me, “You know, I’ve struggled so much with this Guru stuff too. But, I’ll tell you what . . .” she paused and shook her head, “When I’m in my room, I can’t do Yoga without facing his picture. I just can’t bring myself to do my Sun Salutations with my back to him.” Over a decade later, I’ve come to find those words ringing true for me as well. I cannot turn my back on him. On
my Yoga altar, he stands along with many other images, including Ganesh, Jesus, Buddha, Shiva Rea, Kwan Yin, my great-grandmother, etc. The picture I chose is the black and white image of Gurudev on his Kailash pilgrimage. In it, he stands at ease, holding a long walking stick that mirrors his lean, lanky, stretched body. His beard is unruly and still dark in its youth, his turban is wrapped snugly around the crown of his head and his hip sunglasses shield him from the bright sun high in the Himalayas. He stands with an ease and satisfaction, his face content, looking out over the beauty of the trail. It is my absolute favorite picture of him—not only because Gurus in sunglasses make me smile—but because it reminds me that like him, I am a pilgrim too. Much like with our own grandparents, our youth comes at the most inopportune time—it is often only years later that many of us appreciate what these story keepers have to offer, their libraries of history and family tradition. Though Swami Satchidananda is “gone,” he is more present to me now than he was 13 years ago at the Ashram when he was in body, just a few feet from me. My Guru is the one who takes my hand when I need it, the one whose voice I hear when I chant, the one who explains the Yoga Sutras to me in a way that I understand and can relate to my own students, the one who spent a childhood eating idli and dosa in Southern India, running around on knotty knees and bony feet. My Guru is the rugged backpacker and pilgrim, the Woodstock Guru, the “Om” leader, the adorable driver, the devotee of Sivananda, and the one who opened the door to a deeper sadhana. Sri Gurudev taught me that the Guru is within. And perhaps this Guru is just as real and powerful as any “living” one. Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 29
F r o m B e hi n d P r i s o n B a r s : R e f l e c t i o n o n t h e C ro s s a n d C r imi n a l J u s t i c e By Jens Soering
he New Testament tells us that when God chose to take on human flesh, he did not become a priest or a monk, a king or a general, a poet or a philosopher. Instead, he became a death row prisoner, a condemned criminal executed alongside two thieves. Yet we somehow manage to overlook this central fact of the Christian faith. When we think of Jesus, we think of the beautiful baby in Mary’s arms, the miracle worker, the eloquent preacher, or the resurrected Son sitting on a cloud next to his Father. Christ is indeed all of these— but he saved his believers by submitting himself to capital punishment as a convicted felon. His most important work was to die as a common criminal. Of course we know that Jesus broke neither God’s nor man’s law, but mere innocence is no protection against the vagaries of human justice. Christ was tried by a properly authorized court, made a prisoner just like any other sentenced defendant, and put to death as part of a random group of three outlaws. “If he were not a criminal, … we would not have handed him over to you,” the Sanhedrin told Pontius Pilate (John 18:30). And, indeed, having his Son classed as a felon was part of God’s plan, as Christ explained at the Last Supper: “It is written, ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment” (Luke 22.37; Isa. 53:12). Moreover, becoming a convict was not merely a role that Jesus assumed like a divine play-actor, as though he were not “really” a prisoner. In the parable of the sheep and the goats, he said explicitly, “I was in prison and you came to visit me. . . . [W]hatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:36, 40). Just as Christ became a full, true human being at birth, he became a full, true jailbird at death. For the earliest Christians, becoming a prisoner was nothing to be ashamed of. “Whoever serves me must follow me,” their master told them, and virtually all the apostles did time behind bars and were eventually executed by the state—just like Jesus. In the Roman amphitheaters thousands of 1st- and 2nd-century believers died as criminals, members of an illegal revolutionary movement. Perhaps those early followers of the Way accepted a convict’s death so readily because they had a deeper insight into the full meaning of the Cross than we do today. Of course, all Christians then and now understand that, through the crucifixion, Christ revealed the self-sacrificial nature of divine love: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son” (John 3:16). 30 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
However, the Cross also illustrates perfectly the human sin for which the Son of God died in expiation. At the Last Supper, he told his disciples that “this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason’” (John 15:25; Psalms 35:19, 69:4). The “this” to which Christ referred here was “persecute [ion by] the world”: his imminent trial, conviction, sentencing, and execution (John 15:20, 18). Because “they have hated … me,” Jesus’ opponents deliberately put him to death as part of a judicial proceeding and thus stand “guilty of sin [and] have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22). So perhaps we can complete the apostle John’s thought in his above-quoted letter by saying, “This is how we know what sin is: hating Jesus Christ enough to execute him. And we ought to refrain from doing the same to our brothers.” That is a provocative restatement of the meaning of the Cross, of course. To see Christ’s self-sacrificial death as the ultimate expression of love is comfortable and familiar— though not especially challenging, since none of us really expect to have to give our own lives for our brothers. But to see Jesus’ execution as the sum and substance of evil is strange and unsettling, since it calls into question our own criminal justice system. For how can we justify using police and court procedures today that are virtually identical to those used to prosecute Christ 2,000 years ago? In our own, supposedly more civilized age, the authorities still hire undercover informants—just like Judas. Tactical squads still go out at night to make arrests—just like the soldiers at Gethsemane. And under certain circumstances, interrogators still slap suspects around to obtain confessions—just like the Sanhedrin. All of us still enjoy a nice, spectacular, high profile trial— just like the crowd outside Pilate’s palace. Judges are still sometimes swayed by public opinion to find defendants guilty despite their own doubts—just like Pilate. Appeal courts still tend to uphold a trial court’s verdict even when there are procedural errors—just like Herod, who refused to overturn Pilate’s decision. Unfortunately, some prison guards still humiliate and abuse convicts—just like the soldiers who had charge of Jesus. And in some cases, we still cheer when the death penalty is imposed on an especially heinous criminal—just like the rabble at Golgotha. Are we supposed to believe it was wrong to do all this to Jesus, but right to do it to the two thieves, “one on his right, the other on his left” (Luke 23:33)? Or is it possible that God wants to teach us, through the Cross, that we should not do such things to any of his children? Christ
himself answers those questions directly and explicitly in the Gospels: • At the very beginning of his public ministry, immediately after his temptation in the desert by the devil, Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth and laid out a detailed campaign platform for his mission: “to preach good news to the poor, … to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, [and] to release the oppressed” (Luke 4:18). • “Freedom for the prisoners” apparently referred not only to metaphorical prisoners of sin, but to a literal convict jailed for assault: the Gerasene demoniac, who “had often been chained hand and foot” but was now freed by Christ from the improvised jail in the town cemetery (Mark 5:4; cf. Matt. 8:28). • When confronted with an ordinary criminal found guilty of a capital offense—the woman caught in adultery— God’s Son did not hesitate to intervene and released her from death row (John 8:1-11). • Perhaps in reaction to incidents like these, Jesus evinced a low opinion of man’s justice: his parable of the persistent widow featured an “unjust judge,” and he advised his disciples to “settle matters quickly with your adversary” on the way to court because human judges must be assumed to be merciless (Luke 18:6; Matt. 5:25-26). • In the parable of the sheep and the goats, mentioned earlier, Christ explicitly threatens us with the “eternal fire prepared for the devil” if we fail to recognize his face in the faces of “the least of these brothers of mine … in prison” (Matt. 25:41-45). • Perhaps most significantly, the Son of God described the Holy Spirit as a defense lawyer (parakleitos in Greek, advocatus in Latin) who protects us from an accuser or adversary (satanos in Greek) (John 14:16, 25-26, 15:26, and 16:7-15). • During his final moments on earth, knowing he was about to die, Jesus did not utter a few last words of wisdom to his disciples or cure one last leper, but instead ministered to the two common crooks on the crosses next to his—and succeeded in saving one (Luke 23:38-43). Those final actions of Jesus are the most eloquent answer to our earlier question, whether the Cross is meant to tell us something specific about sin and criminal justice. The very first person whom God’s Son took “with me [to] paradise” was a convicted thief (Luke 23:43). Just a coincidence? And if it was not a coincidence, how are we answering the challenge of the Cross in concrete, practical ways today? Do we hire ex-prisoners in our own businesses—the way Christ hired the Gerasene demoniac
as his missionary “in the Decapolis” (Mark 5:20)? Do we actively oppose the death penalty and other excessively punitive sentences, such as mandatory minimums and “three strikes, you’re out”—the way Jesus did with the woman caught in adultery? Are we working to reform a court system that sends African-American men to jail at seven times the rate of Caucasian men—the way God’s Son spoke out against the “unjust judges” of his own time? Have we joined the “sheep” who visit prisoners, or are we still “goats” who fail to recognize the Lord’s face even in those difficult, broken, angry people behind bars? Do we approach any of these issues as a parakleitos —a defense lawyer—or as a satanos —a prosecutor? If we conduct a weekly 12-step program at a local jail and have a success rate of “only” 50 percent—just as Jesus saved “only” one of the two thieves—is that cause for joy, or too little reward for our precious time? How are we living out the Easter message—the message of the convict Christ? Jens Soering is a prizewinning author of nine books who has been unjustly imprisoned since 1986. In 2016, new DNA evidence came to light that conclusively proves his innocence. Satchidananda Prison Project has been supporting his petition for an absolute pardon, which is currently pending with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. www.jenssoering.com. Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 31
R e di s c o v e r i n g
t h e C o s mi c M u s i c By Carol Bodhini Mahan
M y L if e
ver the course of the last several years I was introduced to Integral Yoga and eventually took a Raja Yoga course followed by Yoga Teacher Training. I learned about chanting and mantras in my Yoga classes and then through the process of Raja and Yoga Teacher training I learned much more about the history of chanting, the meanings behind the chants, and meanings of a lot of Sanskrit words used in Yoga. I have been listening to a lot of music from various decades and realized that some of my favorite songs that I remember from childhood actually have some mantras and chanting in them. Before I learned about chanting I never knew what I was singing. It is interesting now to come across these songs and know what they mean. Singing them now is a completely different experience for me. One of these songs is by George Harrison and is called “My Sweet Lord.” I remember singing: My sweet Lord (hallelujah) Hm, my Lord (hallelujah) My sweet Lord (hallelujah) Then I realized that the song included these lyrics: My, my, my Lord (Hare Krishna) My sweet Lord (Hare Krishna) My sweet Lord (Krishna Krishna) My Lord (Hare Hare) Hm, hm (Gurur Brahma) Hm, hm (Gurur Vishnu) Hm, hm (Gurur Devo) Hm, hm (Maheshvara) and so on. . . As a child of the 70’s, I never realized when I was singing Hare Krishna that I was asking God to remove my sorrow and pain and to give me joy and bliss. It was simply a catchy tune that I loved to sing over and over. No wonder I loved that song so much! I remember singing the song “Across the Universe” by the Beatles and I think back now that I did not know all the words, but sang along as best I could. It turns out this song was inspired by a fairly negative experience John Lennon had with his then-wife Cynthia. One evening she was ranting on incessantly about something and long after she moved on and went to sleep, John allowed those words to run around in his mind causing him a lot of anxiety and he was not able to sleep. He started to formulate the first few lines of the song more as a distraction from the thoughts of this situation frustrating him. As he and Paul McCartney collaborated on the rest of the words, they decided to add the mantra “Jai Guru Deva Om.” John Lennon mentioned in an interview that he wanted to add the mantra as a way to turn it into a cosmic song rather than an irritated song. 32 | Integral Yoga Magazine Winter 2017
When I began my journey of taking Yoga Teacher Training and Raja Yoga I learned about pratipaksha bhavanam, which is the practice of cultivating the opposite of something negative. The mantra John and Paul added means “glory to the shining remover of darkness.” It is so amazing to me that I stumbled over these words repeatedly as a child. Now I can sing this song and know exactly what the intention is and can use it to help me chant my way out of a bad mood when needed. There are many more mainstream songs that include mantras and other chants, as I found out while doing some research on this topic including, but definitely not limited to, Madonna, Boy George, Sting, and the list goes on. I invite anyone and everyone to do their own research to find other songs like this that we have been singing over the years that have wonderfully positive and healing effects on our lives. Carol Bodhini Mahan is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She completed the 200 hours of Integral Yoga Teacher Training in 2016 at the Integral Yoga Center of Richmond. She teaches a class called “Yoga is for EveryBODY,” which focuses on those individuals who may not know that Yoga is, in fact, for every shape, size and age. She is also participating in the current teacher training program at the IYC as a mentor.
Integral Yoga Therapy: A Progress Report Yoga Therapy Certification
Integral Yoga Therapy Clinic (IYTC)
In 2012, the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) Board first approved the Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists. In 2014, the first Yoga Therapy schools were accredited. Updates were made to the Standards in 2016 after receiving input from many member schools, including Integral Yoga International. The draft standards were twice presented to IAYT Member Schools and practitioners and the practitioner community in order to ensure that the final set of standards would be widely acceptable and allow for a diversity of Yoga philosophies and training approaches.
Inspired by the New York IYI’s Wellness Spa, the San Francisco IYI just opened the IYTC. Rev. Jivana explained that, “We have these great Yoga therapists who have just been certified through IAYT’s grandfathering program and we wanted them to be able to offer services thru the IYI. So, we opened the IYTC to offer one-on-one private sessions for our current student base who have issues that can’t be addressed in a general Yoga class.” Rev. Jivana gave an example of a student who has advanced arthritis and is unable to go to a regular drop in class and practice in a way that feels comfortable. Now, they can go to the IYTC and get tips on how to practice that they can bring into a class. They can work with a therapist for few sessions to learn a home routine or they can continue with the therapist. Other candidates for IYTC services include seniors, people with an injury, with MS, Parkinson’s, and any other physical challenges. IYTC will also serve those with emotional challenges—like PTSD and other anxiety disorders—who want to delve into spiritual practices as a way to deal with those challenges.
As of September 2016, some of the Integral Yoga teachers who had applied for certification under the IAYT grandfathering policy began receiving their Yoga therapy certificates. In early 2017, Integral Yoga applied to IAYT for accreditation for a new 800-hour Integral Yoga Therapy (IYT) certification program that, when approved, will launch in early 2018. This program was developed by the IYT governing board, which includes: Lakshmi Sutter, Rev. Jivana Heyman, Swami Ramananda, Chandra Sgammato, Swami Sarvaananda, and Ram Wiener. Part of the application to IAYT is a proposal to create the IYT certification program as an international program— enabling applicants to take the program at either Satchidananda Ashram, New York IYI, or San Francisco IYI. And, with the further possibility of trainees being able to take modules with faculty who are part of IYT at any location where the module is being offered around the world. The proposed new program would include many of our current Yoga Therapy programs, such as Yoga of the Heart (Nischala Devi), Yoga for Depression (Amy Weintraub), YCat (Jnani Chapman), Yoga for Arthritis (Steffany Moonaz), Therapeutic Yoga (Cheri Clampett), Yoga for the Special Child (Sonia Sumar), and more. Also, for those teachers who have been practicing Yoga Therapy for over ten years—you can apply for grandfathering as part of the IYT certification process through the end of June. More details will be announced once IYT receives approval from the IAYT. For the latest details, subscribe to the free weekly Integral Yoga Newsletter (signup at: www.integralyogamagazine.org). Those who are interested in certification can also contact Rev. Jivana: email@example.com.
Rev. Jivana emphasized that, “Empowering students to do the practices on their own is the goal of Integral Yoga Therapy. It’s about using the Yoga practices and applying them in a specific way, based on a student’s particular ability. What’s great about IYT is that we have all the branches of Yoga at our disposal. What makes IYT unique is that we can bring in Raja Yoga, chanting, selfinquiry, and so on. All those practices are brought into the session depending on the needs of the student.” There will also be the opportunity for those who enroll in the IYT certification program to be able to do their practicum requirement at the IYTC. Find more information about the IYTC here.
Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 33
Books, CDs, & More: What’s New? Spiritual Hunger An Interview with Allan Hunter, Ph.D. by Sevika Laura Douglass, Ph.D. Quantum Resonance — CD Allan Hunter is a professor at Curry College and author ofGoldman, The PathHealing of Synchronicity, The Sixand Archetypes of Love, presenter, Stories From Jonathan Sounds® pioneer regular Yogaville We Need to Know, Spiritual Hunger, comes and many other inspirational texts. He a renowned and therapist Quantum Resonance: Chants & isRhythms of thelecturer, Cosmos.teacher, The CD features with a heartfelt belief in the power of writing, myth,Laraaji and the arts to enhance personal growth. He is currently working on the Jonathan, and other well-known sonic luminaries. It includes “Tomorrow film, The Wisdom of the Heart. In thisNever interview, he discusses roletheof Beatle’s spiritualalbum hungerRevolver, in Northbased American and offers Knows,” a song the from uponculture the Tibetan suggestions on how we can nourish our soul. Book of the Dead. It was John Lennon’s desire that this song sound like the Dalai Lama chanting from a mountaintop. Lennon’s vision inspired the CD and its eight offerings of sacred sounds from different traditions resonating together for s a child I had an aversion tomovement, gym class. Ihealing, was and transformation. unable to catch—or hit—any ball thrown in my direction, and was always last one The the Teacher Appears: 108 Prompts to Power Your Yoga Practice — chosen for team sports. It was only years later that my Journal vision problems, which had co An illustrated journal of 108 prompts from such luminaries as Krishna Das, Elena Brower, Jack Kornfield, Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Gretchen Rubin, and more. Acclaimed author Brian Leaf guides readers to deepen their Yoga practice with dristi, mudra, and pranayama; to explore their uncomfortable edges; to cultivate intuition; and, simply, to long for the divine, as they experience the true meaning of Yoga. Readers discover a new depth to their Yoga practice and a new level of dedication, meaning, and happiness in their lives.
The Art of Vinyasa: Awakening Body and Mind through the Practice of Ashtanga Yoga — Book Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor are the first couple of Yoga, and are two of the most senior and respected Yoga teachers in the US who helped usher in the current Yoga popularity. In this book, they present a radical approach to the form of Ashtanga Yoga—one that is based on the subtle internal forms of the practice. With warmth, humor, and wisdom, Freeman and Taylor provide the groundwork for establishing an internally rooted and spiritually enlightening Yoga practice that goes far beyond the mat and into the core of one’s life.
The New Vegan — Cookbook Going vegan can be a daunting prospect. Top vegan author Áine Carlin guides you through the process of adopting a vegan lifestyle, with tips on what to tell people about your new diet, what you can eat at a restaurant, dealing with cravings and her take on vegan-friendly fashion. The 90 tempting recipes in the book are carefully tailored to people giving up meat, fish, and dairy for the first time, including JerkMarinated Cauliflower Steaks for a main course and Macadamia Cream Blueberry Pie for dessert.
Anatomy and Yoga: A Guide for Teachers and Students — Book Structures of the body—muscles, bones, joints, nerves and connective tissue—are described by author Ellen Saltonstall in a user-friendly style, with short, interactive practice sessions to bring the information alive in the moment. This book presents anatomical information in a progressive and practical sequence, with chapters on each major body part that contain illustrations, Yoga references, innovative exercises, therapeutic tips, and study questions. Throughout the book, anatomical details are balanced with the holistic perspective of Yoga as an integrative, transformational lifelong practice.
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Yummy Yogi — Cookie Cutters & Cutting Board Amy Dube, a mom and practicing yogi, created the Yummi Yogi™ collection after being inspired by Yoga. It is the only Yoga shaped cutter on the market with five immediately recognizable Yoga postures. Yummy Yogi also recently added a new product: the Yoga Cutting/Serving Board, made from top quality Ash wood with an exclusive driftwood teak oil finish. All of the Yummy Yogi materials are sourced in the US and the cookie cutters are made in Vermont. Visit YummiYogi.com for more information.
Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose (2nd edition) — Book The medical clairvoyant Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) left the world a wealth of intuitive readings on everything from health and spirituality to psychology and past lives. Now the most significant teacher of Cayce’s teachings, Mark Thurston, updates and revises his classic book, Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose, to help you use the Cayce teachings in the twenty-first century to find greater purpose in your relationships, career, and overall mission in life.
The Yoga Kitchen — Cookbook Kimberly Parsons brings her healthful recipes and yogic principles straight into your kitchen. All her recipes are vegetarian and gluten-free, allowing you to improve your health, build your inner core, increase your energy, and support your spiritual development. The recipes are divided into chakra-based chapters: Ground, Flow, Vitalize, Nurture, Strengthen, Calm, and Pure. It has never been easier to eat in a balanced way with these delicious and inspiring Yoga-based recipes.
Yoga FAQ — Book
Allan Hunter, Ph.D.
Here are answers to all the questions that come up in your Yoga practice and study! Richard Rosen, renowned Yoga teacher and friend of Integral Yoga, has asked—and been asked—nearly every Yoga-related question that there is, and his wonderfully practical, helpful answers will give you a thorough explanation of the tradition’s key concepts, and the nuts and bolts of Yoga philosophy and practice, including: Yoga’s main texts, including the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras, among others; yamas and niyamas; the subtle body; the evolution of asanas, and much more.
Meditation Studio — App Named one of Apple’s Top 10 Apps of the year and one of TIME magazine’s top 50 apps of 2016, this app features experts leading guided meditations to help reduce stress and anxiety, sleep better, deal with pain, boost confidence, power up performance, and more. Whether you want to deepen your practice, Caroleprefer a Nathan short break, or a deep dive, Meditation Studio has over 200 meditations from renowned teachers, all in one place. Thousands of users have discovered the newest way to reap the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of meditation.
Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 35
I n t e g r a l Y o g a M u l t im e di a Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville Coloring Book This coloring book tells the story of Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville, the Yoga ashram and community in central Virginia. It was founded in 1979 by Swami Satchidananda, who is also the founder of Integral Yoga. Yogaville is a place where people of different faiths and backgrounds can come to study and practice Yoga and realize their essential oneness. It is also the home of the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS). This unique interfaith shrine honors the Spirit that unites all the world religions, while it celebrates their diversity. This coloring book is a wonderful way for children to discover the joy of Yoga and explore Yogaville!
The Daily Guru — App This inspirational free app is now available on all platforms: It’s a quote-a-day by Yoga master Swami Satchidananda. Select a day of the month to enjoy daily inspiration or swipe through all the 365 quotes of wisdom to gain insights into universal truths that help you live your best life. Features a search function: Put in a keyword and find quotes on a particular subject. Share the inspiration: You can post quotes to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and also email quotes to friends. Find it on iTunes, Google Play Store, and Amazon.
The Golden Present — App Enjoy and be inspired by this new app, which is based on the bestselling book The Golden Present, by Sri Swami Satchidananda. This app includes a reading for each day from the book and it also includes a perpetual calendar so you can select each reading by the month and day. Created by the Integral Yoga Institute of Coimbatore in South India, the app also features beautiful photos of the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS), which was opened in India in 2014, on the occasion of the birth centennial of Sri Swami Satchidananda. Available now in the Google Play Store. Stay tuned for iOS and Amazon versions coming soon.
Integral Yoga Magazine — Back Issues Archive Many of our back issues are still available in print and make a great resource. Issues are available on a wide variety of specialized themes including: The Yoga Sutras, Yoga therapy, Teaching Yoga, Yoga for Grief and Loss, Inside the Niyamas, Overcoming Obstacles to Yoga Practice, Meditation, Pranayama, Yoga and the Emotional Body.
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Yoga Wisdom with Swami Satchidananda — Podcast This weekly (new episodes every Thursday) podcast features a short talk (1525 minutes) by Swami Satchidananda on a variety of topics, and often includes answers to questions posed by his students. Listen online or download via SoundCloud or on iTunes. You can also listen via the SoundCloud app on iTunes and Android devices.
Integral Yoga YouTube — Video This channel also features a short talk (15-25 minutes) by Swami Satchidananda, with new uploads each Tuesday, on a variety of topics, with questions and answers included. Subscribe for notification of new uploads and explore videos organized into playlists (by subject).
Explore Integral Yoga — Magazine In honor of Integral Yoga’s 50th, a new publication titled Explore Integral Yoga offers a comprehensive overview of this organization founded by Sri Swami Satchidananda in 1966. This elegant, full color magazine showcases Integral Yoga teachings, programs, and services. It also includes a timeline of Integral Yoga milestones over the past 50 years. Available as an e-zine and also in hard copy.
IntegralYoga.org — Website A new website devoted to all aspects of the Integral Yoga organization—from teachings to programs to services. It also includes a directory to Integral Yoga centers and teachers around the globe.
Integral Yoga Newsletter — eNewsletter A new, free weekly newsletter that combines the ever-popular “Weekly Words of Wisdom” with news, events, and Yoga resources and information for the global Integral Yoga community. Subscribe to the Newsletter via IntegralYoga.org.
Integral Yoga Distribution — Shop In addition to its wholesale website, Integral Yoga Distribution recently launched YogaCatalog.com, which they describe as “Ikea for Yogis!” Featuring their huge 2016 catalog of books, CDs, DVDs, Yoga props, etc., as well as free giveaways, and more.
Shakticom — Shop Integral Yoga’s online shop for all of Swami Satchidananda’s books, CDs, DVDs, and featuring instant digital downloads of a range of titles. Also features books by Sri Swami Sivananda, and Integral Yoga master teachers.
Winter 2017 Integral Yoga Magazine | 37
M a rc h
Y o g a v i l l e® P r o g r a m C a l e n d a r 2 0 1 7 Spiritual Hunger
Yoga for An Life:Interview Cultivating a Conscious Relationship Yourself with Gary Kraftsow, E-RYT 500, M.A. with Allan Hunter, Ph.D.with by Sevika Laura Douglass, Ph.D.
Brain Science and Yoga: Why (and How) Yoga Works with Rev. M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D.
10-12 Heart of Caring with Susan RN, CYN, RYTThe 500Six Archetypes of Love, Stories Allan HunterYogaNursing: is a professor atThe Curry College and author of TheTurnage, Path of Synchronicity, We Need to Yoga Know, Hunger, and many other inspirational texts. He500 is a renowned lecturer, teacher, and therapist 10-12 forSpiritual People Over 50 with Bhavani Marcia Miller, E-RYT with a heartfelt belief in the power of writing, myth, and the arts to enhance personal growth. He is currently working on the 10-12 Yoga for Spring Cleaning for Body and Mind with Satya Greenstone, 500 film, The Wisdom of Detox: the Heart. In this interview, he discusses the role of spiritual hunger in E-RYT North American culture and offers suggestions onAshtanga how we can nourish ourand soul.Asana with Tim Feldmann 17-19 Yoga: Breath 17-19
3-Day Laugha Yoga Leader Certification with Bharata Wingham, E-RYT 200, CLYT
Haris Harini and Rev. Sam Rudra Swartz s a Family child I Yoga had anWeekend aversion with to gym class. I wasLender catch—or hit—any ball thrownIllness: 17-26 unable YogatoTherapy in Cancer and Chronic YCat Level 1 inwith my direction, and wasE-RYT always500, the last Jnani Chapman, RN,one BSN and Senior YCAT Intern Teachers chosen for team sports. It was only years later that my 24-26 Relieving vision problems, whichAnxiety: had co CBT and Yoga with Boris Bhagavan Pisman, LMHC 27- Apr. 2 Weeklong Raja Yoga Retreat with Swami Karunananda, E-RYT 500 28- Apr. 2 Yoga for Autism Teacher Training with Sharanya Sharon Manner, E-RYT 500, RCYT, Margabandhu Martarano, E-RYT 500, B.A., and Dr. Marc Rosenbaum, Psy.D. 31- Apr. 2 Marketing and Outreach for Yoga Teachers with Ram Bhakt, E-RYT 500
Enter the AUM: The Healing Power of Sound with Paradiso and Rasamayi
LifeForce Yoga® to Manage Your Mood with Amy Weintraub, E-RYT 500, MFA, C-IAYT, YACEP
9- May 7
Integral Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training: Spring with Satya Greenstone, E-RYT 500
A Course in Miracles Retreat with Bharata Wingham, E-RYT 200, CLYT
Spring Silent Retreat: Budding Potential with Prakasha Capen Retreat Director and Senior Staff
Taking Ayurveda to the Mat with Letícia Padmasri, E-RYT 500, ALC, M.A.
Yoga Anatomy for Graceful Living: How to Remain Supple and Agile on Life’s Journey with Aramati Akke Hulburt, E-RYT 500
Mindfulness, Compassion and Difficult Emotions with Susan Carol Stone, Ph.D.
Kid’s Yoga Program with Nitya Griffith and Shakti Love Liebe
Building Your Sadhana:The Sweetness of Steady Practice with Prashanti Carroll Ann Friedmann, E-RYT 500
Spiritually Fly/Master Your Soul with Faith Hunter, E-RYT 500
Family Time at Yogaville with Gita Zember, E-RYT 200
Accessible Yoga Training with Rev. Jivana Heyman, E-RYT 500, IYM
iRest® Personal Practice Immersion with Robin Carnes, E-RYT 500, MBA, C-IAYT
Peaceful Weight Loss with Brandt Bhanu and Anna Neiman Passalacqua
Yoga of Devotion: A Retreat with Krishna Das
Kid’s Yoga Program with Nitya Griffith and Shakti Love Liebe
30- June 11 Meditation Teacher Training with Swami Karunananda, E-RYT 500
For more information on any program or to register, call: 1-800-858-YOGA (9642) or go online to: www.yogaville.org