Buddhism and Yoga are two major branches on the family tree of South Asian spiritual practice, whose roots we can glimpse in ancient texts called upaniṣads. Both branches focus on transformative practice aimed at the end of suffering and stress. From a deeply interwoven beginning, each tradition branched into many different schools and practice systems, remaining in dialogue and sharing ideas and practices for 1500 years.
While it is common to think of meditation and mindfulness as Buddhist, but postures and breathwork as Hindu, the relationship between these modes of practice is much more interwoven. In this study and practice day, which I offer regularly as part of teacher training programs, we look at new historical evidence of the deep relationship between the Buddhist and Hindu systems, and learn beautiful, gentle practices that are shared by the two systems.
My aim in this series of talks is to change what you think yoga and meditation are, and give you tools to deepen your practice, whether your primary practice is Yoga postures or Buddhist meditation and mindfulness. For an example of how I work with physical practice, influenced by my study in both lineages, see the Haṭha Yoga Sadhana form.
Talks given at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA on 4.27.19 to the participants in the Dharma Yoga Program, a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program based in Buddhist practice, and experienced students of meditation and āsana.