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8 Yoga Texts Every Student Should Read

These excerpts are taken from the handout to our 20-hour YA-approved “Yoga Humanities” course: Intro to the History of Yoga: Philosophy, Practice, Transformation. Each excerpt is followed by a reflection question for use in class or individual study based on reflection questions in the course. Each of these excerpts is from a text that is central to its particular era, …

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Buddhism & Yoga: Integrating the Traditions

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 …

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Typing Sanskrit diacritics using OSX press-and-hold

(This is an Apple-only post, because it’s all I know, but if someone wants to write down the process for Windows and post it in the comments, please do). There are a few decent methods for entering Sanskrit (and other languages’) diacritical marks (accents, vowel marks, alternate characters, etc), but if you use them daily, you want your method to …

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Organic Intelligence basics for yoga & meditation practice

Four talks on the basics of Organic Intelligence (OI) as it might be applied to yoga and meditation practice. These talks were given in the context of a “Trauma-Sensitive Yoga” weekend at Namaste (June 2018), and look at the building blocks of OI using the common practice of yoga class and posture work as the main examples. Some of what …

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Intervention vs Observation in Mindfulness Meditation

A short talk and discussion given at Spirit Rock during a Thursday morning yoga and meditation class. I talked about the difference between Bare Awareness styles of instruction and Cultivating Wholesome States styles, and how they relate to each other. Talked a bit about how understanding them as different ways of engaging in practice shines a light on some of …

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A new meditation and yoga retreat format

If you’ve sat a meditation retreat at Spirit Rock, IMS, Insight Retreat Center, or any of the other Insight Meditation spots around, you know the standard retreat schedule well: basically a day of alternating 45 minute sitting and walking meditation periods, dharma talk in the evenings. All in silence except for a 15 minute check-in with a teacher every other …

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Buddhist & Hindu Yogas are less separate than you think

A month of talks exploring the relationship between Buddhism and Yoga, or between the many “Buddhist and Hindu Yogas” plural. I wove in some history, but tried to stay close to actual practice issues. 1. Embodiment. (9.5.17) Meditation: Orientation through the senses 2. Focus & tranquillity: the practices of jhāna/samādhi, and the pleasure of Rapture (pīti). Child Gotama under the …

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