Many yogis do sun salutations as a warm-up prior to their normal yoga asana routine. I am the complete opposite in this regard. Almost every yoga session that I do is in preparation for Surya Namaskar. I find sun salutations for be utterly transformative. Not necessarily the 12 asanas themselves, but the breath control and the movements in-between the basic poses. It is a movement based meditation.
Once you delve deeply into Surya Namaskar, every inch of movement gains meaning; all of the muscles in your body guiding you, like steps on a journey inward. The twelve asanas eventually cease to be poses at all, and the whole thing becomes a wondrous flow of the body, mind and spirit at once.
There are many variations of Surya Namaskar. This is the version that I first learned, and the one that I reflexively perform.
I’ve been doing lots of meditation lately, but haven’t been getting as much out of it as I have in the past. To mix things up a bit, I decided to do some chakra meditation. This has set me on the path of learning about the chakras, which I think will turn into a summer-long study. Lots and lots to learn. Very interesting stuff.
Is it strange that I love to practice my yoga at home to Pink Floyd music? Mostly just Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon, Animals and Wish You Were Here. The Wall and The Final Cut are just too morose for bliss.
Practicing both yoga and Buddhism is absolutely amazing. When done right, it’s very hard to see where one ends and the other begins. The practical application of both is really quite complimentary. I think that’s why I feel so strongly about them. Unlike religion, and in their purest forms, neither Buddhism nor yoga tells me to reject the other. They only provide assistance in finding my own best path.
I saw this picture while surfing the web one night, and instantly fell in love with it. It took me another 2 days to find its origin. It turns out that it’s a music CD cover for Energy And Sound Healers. A good catchy tune, with an excellent message. Totally worth the 99 cents.
This quote really struck a note with me when I first read it, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I call myself a Buddhist, but I’ve been influenced by a number of philosophies and religions, including Christianity, Taoism, Hindi, Buddhism, etc, and the writings of many people. Each has certain aspects that I truly believe in, as well as certain cultural baggage that has little or no meaning to me. The idea of creating a compendium for my beliefs is truly marvelous.
I went out and picked up a large blank Moleskine journal, and printed out a writing template based on a Golden section ( http://rodgraves.com/moleskine/ ). I’ll be using the journal to hand write quotes and ideas that truly resound within my heart. The margins will be free for me to add notes and drawings over time.
It will be interesting to see what makes it into the journal. Even more interesting will be to look back at it years from now, to see how my beliefs and priorities have slowly evolved over time.
This is my little brass Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles. It’s only about an inch tall, and pretty much travels everywhere with me these days. I’m not a believer in personified Gods, but the Ganesha metaphor for me is a powerful one. Being able to gaze upon the embodiment of this metaphor makes it much easier for me to allow the change I want in my life. Visual cues can be so powerful.
I’m currently contemplating a tiny meditation alter. A sort of portable kit that I can travel with. Something very small to throw in my pack. Maybe a few items contained in a small box or bag. My little Ganesha looks to be a perfect beginning for this kit. Any ideas on what else I should include?