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Yoga Beyond Fitness Blog


About Karin

Yoga teacher, practicing yoga since 1997, teaching since 2003, writer/translator, global soul, world traveller (and sometimes beyond), passionate about eastern philosophy and western psychology, especially its application in mind-body practices such as yoga and somatic movement therapy, deeply in love with life, knows that our greatest teacher lies within, also sometimes a total mess - it's part of the package!

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    Recent Entries

    Samadhi - Transcending the Mind in Yoga

    Tuesday, May 11. 2010

    Our dualistic concept of reality is by nature limited. It is entirely based on our physical senses and our emotional and mental interpretation of our limited sensory perception. Consequently, reality as we know it, is subjective rather than objective because limited sensory perception is all we have to perceive it.

    Still, our limited nature does not prevent us from declaring objectivity in the material world. We objectively decide what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong, and what is true and what is false. Some of us might even assert that the idea of time passing by has objective reality and that it exists independently of our sensory perceptions and subsequent mental assertions, despite the fact that there is no real evidence of it. We forget that to believe in the reality of time and asserting it as objective truth is to be deluded by the mind’s relentless need to fix every perceived movement or phenomenal change between the beginning and end of something – usually in what appears to be an unpleasant current situation that the mind (the "I") must escape from.

    It may not be that obvious but what we interpret as movement in time is just a movement of thoughts in our mind to make sense of our limited sensory perceptions with regards to the relative movement and change of phenomena. In other words, our mind creates the movement of time in order to make sense of the dizzying pace of observed phenomenal change and then manipulates the seeming nature of it according to the context in which it is perceived (and best interpreted!). Thus, time is merely an instrument, a mental concept for understanding the unfolding of physical reality (phenomenal change taking place in space). Consequently, no movement in time can take place unless the mind (the "I") wants to believe it.

    Likewise the fear of there not being enough time, or the sense of having wasted time, will only come when we are at the mercy of our thoughts pulsing through our mind. Because when we identify with a persistent thought we literally merge with it. We become one with it and no longer see what it actually is – just a thought! Objectivity is lost. Subjectivity takes over. We no longer perceive WHAT IS REAL. We perceive WHAT IS UNREAL - an illusion of reality manipulated by our thoughts. This is the bomb in the foundation of our subjectively created "objective reality", unconsciously triggering the very thing that we desperately want to avoid, e.g. an unpleasant current situation or outcome.

    Paradoxically, when we take away the perspective of who is looking and interpreting (the "I") the meaninglessness and absurdity of the distinction between WHAT IS REAL and WHAT IS UNREAL become obvious. This is what happens to the yogi when he enters the state of Samadhi. For when the mental movie stops, there is no real or unreal, no true or false, no good or bad to define. In the real objective realm (Samadhi), the distinction between what is real and what is unreal, what is true and what is false, and what is good and what is bad, does not exist. As a matter of fact, the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity loses its significance as well. When the personal self (the "I") has died, or at least has become greatly diminished, all dualistic concepts will dissolve. This is called Advaita in Sanskrit, which means "not two." And as the dualistic concept of reality is thrown overboard, strangely enough, time is no longer needed to make sense of reality which underlies all creatures and all phenomena. Time simply disappears:
    Reality contemplated from the highest level of consciousness is experienced as a single, unchanging whole. At the lower level, we experience this same reality as a sequence of events – as changing positions in space and a continuous transition from one moment in time to the next.
    Mark S.G. Dyczkowski, "The Doctrine of Vibration"

    From Neurons to Nirvana

    Sunday, September 20. 2009

    On Dec. 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a renowned neurobiologist whose life is dedicated to the study of the human brain, woke up to a pounding pain behind her left eye and what she described as “the kind of caustic pain you get when you bite into ice-cream.“ Gradually, over a few hours, she watched as, one by one, her brain functions, speech, movement and comprehension began to leave her. She had suffered a stroke...

    Watch Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight on TED Talks.

    Why am I posting Jill's video link here?

    Each year, millions of people world-wide suffer a stroke. What was unique about Jill was that her stroke left her with a profound experience that not only changed her life and her work but probably that of millions of other people too as they watched her TED talk - a fascinating yet frightening description of a stroke in progress and her subsequent experience of absolute bliss. As she described it, “I found Nirvana. I remember thinking that there is no way that I can squeeze the enormousness of myself back inside this tiny little body.”

    Whilst many scientists would probably describe Jill's experience as a complex chemical and biological process, experienced yoga practitioners would readily recognize her "stroke of insight" as the dissolution of the "ego", "self" or "I". As the ego dissolves, the realization of emptiness comes into being, followed by an expansive state of universal oneness with all (yoga = union). In short: the yogi leaves the body and returns!

    And indeed, it sounds like Jill was - for a short period of time - free from the limitations of her body, merging effortlessly into all that IS. Her vivid description of her sensations and thoughts throughout this extraordinary experience come very close to the state of divine bliss that yogis feel when, after long and hard work on oneself, one enters this space called the "gap of non-being" or complete emptiness and nothingness. It's an experience that, by its very nature, defies description since there's only non-being. That's why Jill's video is well worth watching: it attempts to describe that which the conditioned mind can not measure, let alone understand.

    At the end of her talk, Jill speaks about the profound truth that lies at the very heart of yoga: “I realized that if I have found Nirvana, then anyone who is alive can find Nirvana … I pictured a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, loving, compassionate people who know that they could come to this space at any time, and that they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemispheres and find this peace.”

    And this is exactly what experienced yogis find in this state of non-being: tremendous peace and serenity, loving kindness and compassion for each and every creature and living thing, and a clarity of mind that frees us from our limited conditioning. In short: An experience of unconditional love that is a tremendous gift and that changes one's outlook on life - and death - forever.
    (Page 1 of 1, totaling 2 entries)


    Blogs I Like

    Leslie Kaminoff's blog, making waves in the yoga community since 1998

    AYP Forum
    Advanced Yoga Practices Support Forum

    AYP Main
    Advanced Yoga Practices Main Lessons

    AYP Tantra
    Advanced Yoga Practices Tantra Lessons

    My Teachers

    Godfrey Devereux
    Dynamic Astanga Vinyasa Flow Yoga

    Kira Balaskas
    Traditional Thai Yoga Massage

    Leslie Kaminoff
    Yoga and Breath Anatomy