September 15, 2011

How do you understand the meaning of the word enlightenment?

Hello and welcome back to the blog! This week I would like to talk about the meaning of the word enlightenment. Apparently for different people it means different thing. What does it mean to you? How do you see it? Many of you have heard of it, so much has been written about it. But what is it truly ?
Widely in eastern tradition  enlightenment or "mukti" or also "nirvana" is known as the primordial goal of life. According to the yogic teachings, it is ultimate liberation which every human being is longing for, knowingly or unknowingly. When I encountered Sadhguru for the first time in Atlanta about 7 years ago, I did not speak much English, but one thing I remember; he asked the audience "How much do you want? how much will settle you for good? How much  tell Me?!" People started shouting numbers, one after another, million, ten million, ten billion it went on building up. Finally some gentleman said: INFINITE!

Isn't that truly what we want ? if only we look deep enough within our self to see it. This is what a spiritual seeker wants, however. He's not willing to settle for just a small portion, he or she wants everything. Infinity is our nature, nothing even spiritual or mystical about it. Modern science is very clear today saying that every atom in our body is in constant transaction with the rest of the existence. Not only that, it says that our very bodies are made out of star dust. Now that's sounds pretty exciting, I'm made out of stars, but it's important to remember what Sadhguru is constantly repeating, there is distance between possibility and reality. That distance is the spiritual process that's offered to us

For me, enlightenment is just a word that I don't pay much attention to. All I know is as I am getting more and more in to the meditation, moments are coming when I clearly see that I know nothing, absolutely nothing about the way the body and every aspect of it is functioning. The very fact that I'm alive doesn't seem to make any sense, yet it is happening, and I don't have to do anything for it to happen, isn't that cool? Now, it isn't quite infinite yet, but it sure feels pretty vast :)

Swami Nisarga says 

Enlightenment is not the first step on the spiritual path. Nor is it the last. Yet, the word captures the imagination of people like neverbefore. There was a time, not very long ago, when spiritual seekers began their quest by asking to see God. Not anymore. Questions like, “Does God exist?,” “Have you seen God?,” “Can you show God to me?” don’t seem to bother people anymore as much as questions about Enlightenment do. “What is Enlightenment?,” “Are you Enlightened?,” “Can you give Enlightenment to me?”- are the questions that a Guru in today’s world is more likely to encounter from the spiritual aspirant.

 A casual Google search on the word “Enlightenment” reflects its popularity: something like 15 million word hits; 5 million images; 23,000 videos; and 30,000 books registered in a matter of seconds.For a moment, you would think it is a pity that Buddha, the one who brought the word into vogue, is not around to see it. But a closer look at the modern usage of the term is not so flattering. Starting from a purely technical description of the lighting of a light bulb, to some New-Agey people selling soaps, shampoos and incense sticks — everybody has staked their claim to the word. It seems as though most people have come to a conclusion that no such thing as Enlightenment exists, and have therefore decided to make the most of it by putting the word to market savvy uses. Surely, this would not impress Gautama the Buddha, for whom the word and the path was his life and breath.

"If you are not aware of this, for over 90% of the people, the moment of Enlightenment and the moment of leaving the body are same. Only those people who know the tricks of the body, who know the mechanics of the body, who understand the nuts and bolts of the body, can hold on to it. Of the people who manage to stay back, a majority of them spend the rest of their lives in silence. Only a very few are stupid enough to try to do something with people around them because it is so hopeless talking about another dimension which is not in people’s experience. These people are trying to be logically sensible, but it is quite a hopeless thing... "


September 8, 2011

Yoga for Marine Corps and Corporatives

Marine Yoga
Several studies suggest that these changes through meditation can make you happier, less stressed -- even nicer to other people. It can help you control your eating habits and even reduce chronic pain, all the while without taking prescription medication. A quiet explosion of new research indicating that meditation can physically change the brain in astonishing ways has started to push into mainstream. Meditation is an intimate and intense exercise that can be done solo or in a group, and one study showed that 20 million Americans say they practice meditation. It has been used to help treat addictions, to clear psoriasis and even to treat men with impotence.The U.S. Marines are testing meditation to see if it makes more focused, effective warriors. 

Weezer Yoga
Corporate executives at Google, General Mills, Target and Aetna Insurance, as well as students in some of the nation's classrooms have used meditation.Various celebrities also are known meditators, including shock jock Howard Stern, actors Richard Gere, Goldie Hawn and Heather Graham, and Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of the band Weezer. In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants' brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.             


September 4, 2011

Pranav Manem: My experience with Isha Yoga

Dear readers, this week's post is a story of a young yogi from Atlanta. Don't you think it's great to have young people taking interest in yoga? At an early age it's such an advantage! I'm not worried about the future of anyone who kick starts his life with a powerful support of kriya. Enjoy Pranav's story and remember, commenting is highly appreciated!


Isha Yoga Experience
 Pranav Manem
"My name is Pranav Manem and I am a 14 year old who currently attends Milton High School in Georgia. For the latter part of my life I have been pretty involved in Isha Foundation and it has changed me greatly. My first major experience with Isha was going to the Home School in Coimbatore for one semester in 6th grade. The time I was there was the best time of my life. Everything from the martial arts to playing sports everyday was fantastic. During the time there, I also learned the Isha children’s yoga, which benefited me both physically and emotionally. Throughout the Isha Home School experience, I learned numerous skills and was changed into a completely different person.

My other major Isha experience occurred just a few months ago when I took the Shambhavi course with Sadhguru in May. At first I wasn’t really sure what would happen if I took the course, but after it was over I soon saw the benefits involved with the practice. Soon after the course was completed, I saw that I was able to concentrate more, was doing better in school, I was much calmer and peaceful, and I needed a lot less sleep to power through the day. One example that proved that the program was beneficial occurred just two days after the program ended. My family and I had decided to go to the Isha center in McMinnville, Tennessee for Buddha Paurnami because Sadhguru was giving a lecture there. Even though I would have to come back the next day for school, I chose to go anyways. When I was at the center, I felt very full of energy. I was able to stay up till one o’clock in the morning without getting tired. My family left the center at one and arrived home at five. The only sleep I had gotten that night was within those four hours. I expected to be extremely tired at school, but instead I felt even more alert than normal and was able to go through the day without any fatigue at all. In addition to the boost in energy, I did very well on a final exam I had that day. This experience truly changed my view of doing yoga and ever since, I have seen numerous benefits that enhance my daily life. I have come to realize that the Isha experience is one of the most beneficial events that I have ever experienced and will most likely help me for the rest of my life."

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-Study: Yoga beneficial for Kids with Autism -Isha Yoga camp for children-Oak Park schools try to 'cool down' students with yoga