Vivekan of Bodhisattva Yoga reminds us...
Hi Bodhisattva Yoga Community!
Bodhisattva Yoga practitioner Eduardo wrote a beautiful, original poem inspired by his experiences doing Vivekan's unique system of yoga, and his own growing #BodhisattvaYoga practice and cultivations...
Enjoy and share this inspiration!
Feel free to post your words, poems, art, music, etc. inspired by your #BodhisattvaYoga practice journey, in the comments section below...
WOULD WE GO TO WAR FOR YOGA
Orginal Poem by Eduardo
what if there was no difference
between theory and practice and doctrines
were lived in like a night without stars
what if practice was merely
the exertion of the body a teacher leading
your breathing expanding the ribcage
learning the things you’re born with like breathing
so that there would be no doctrinal disputes among nations
would we go to war for yoga
across the table our opinions
would matter less than the postures of our bodies
alone or interlocked
and belief would be a form of wisdom
gliding across the generations
like a flat pebble skipping on the water of a lake
We Are Warm-Hearted by Nature
H.H., the Dalai Lama often says that we are essentially warm-heartened by nature; yet, when many of us hear H.H. say such things we cynically think to ourselves, “He’s obviously not talking about me. I mean, if he only knew what I was thinking just a moment ago…!”
This kind of thinking is destructive as it keeps us from recognizing that we are indeed capable of positive change, let alone if we adopt the mind-training methods that effectively lead us to becoming more warm-hearted.
Research Provides Evidence That We Are…
Fortunately, we now find ourselves living in an era whereby good science is providing corroboration to the statement that, “We are essentially warm-heartened by nature.”
After exploring the areas of the brain that fuel our empathetic impulses -- and temporarily disabling other regions that oppose those impulses -- two UCLA neuroscientists are coming down on the optimistic side of human nature.
"Our altruism may be more hard-wired than previously thought," said Leonardo Christov-Moore, a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA's Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
"It's almost like these areas of the brain behave according to a neural Golden Rule," Christov-Moore said. "The more we tend to vicariously experience the states of others, the more we appear to be inclined to treat them as we would ourselves."
Hard-wired to be Altruistic
Although these researchers discuss using methods to block regions of the brain habituated to impulsivity, their findings can aid the doubtful in trusting the ultimate efficacy of time-honored Buddhist mind training methods geared to experientially develop - in the mind the yogi/yogini - a genuine, non-biased empathy and loving/kindness. Thus, the neural potential to infinite altruism is now substantiated on the verity that our “brain[s] behave according to a neural Golden Rule."
So, for the Mahayana aspirants, there should no longer be an excuse to grasp at a false notion of self, that mistakenly believes oneself to be incapable of amounting to more than being a self-centered, selfish, piece of crap.
Ahem! That means no more kicking up dust on the road... Evidence heralds the time to train our hearts and minds like real Bodhisattva Yoga yogis and yoginis. It’s in your code…
This is a regular posting of reflections from Bodhisattva Yoga founder Vivekan on all manner of topics related to the broad path of Yoga.
On the weekend of September 18-20th, I led the Bodhisattva Yoga at DNKL: New England in the Fall Weekend Yoga Retreat in Redding, Connecticut. It was hands down my favorite retreat yet.
There are a number of reasons for this, but here’s several...
Firstly, it was a coming home of sorts... The first retreat I ever led was at the very same location, 11-years ago this month. At the time, it was under the auspices of another organization and going by a different name.
Since that time the center has come under the spiritual guidance of a real master, someone I consider among my teachers, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa - whom has been very kind to me. Additionally, the center's name has changed to DNKL - Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace.
Secondly, I love the work that I do… It’s always a pleasure sharing my Bodhisattva Yoga system of instruction with open and enthusiastic people. I was surrounded by some of the longest running and most sincere practitioners Bodhisattva Yoga has. (There are yet other keen and special Bodhisattva Yoga practitioners that were interested, but couldn’t make it this time around.)
Each of the yogasana sessions that I led were themed around one of the first 4-perfections of a bodhisattva, i.e., giving (Dhana), moral discipline (Shila), patient tolerance (Kshanti) and enthusiastic effort (Virya). Everyone seemed interested in my presentation of the given perfection and how I related it to the practice and life in general, which pleased me immensely.
Thirdly, DNKL's resident teacher, the learned Geshe Lobsang Dhargey - Rinpoche's heart student who has visited and spoken at Bodhisattva Yoga on several occasions - led Dharma talks and instruction in between my yogasana sessions. All of the retreat participants found Geshela's guidance and manner helpful, accessible and disarmingly fun.
For myself, as the retreat leader, it was helpful – and fun - working with Geshela as it afforded me some windows of downtime and the opportunity to keep my own practices.
Lastly, it as an absolute pleasure to lead a Bodhisattva Yoga retreat at a setting teaming with life and beauty and that supports genuine Dharma study and practice. The food was delicious and made with love and the weather was perfect… In summary, it was an enchanting retreat.
Warm thanks to all of my participants who took time out from their busy schedules to make quality time for themselves. Thank you also to Geshe Dhargey and the team at DNKL. I look forward to leading more retreats at this special location in the future. Join me!
Founder of Bodhisattva Yoga
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Read the full quote from Bodhisattva Yoga founder Vivekan below:
“There is no contradiction with the outside weather being gloomy by description and yet inside there is a certain kind of radiance, a certain effulgence, from our inner glow. In Sanskrit that would be called Prakasha. And that is what really shines bright when we are in Ananda (bliss)… When we are experiencing higher states of Sukha (ease), beyond the comfort and ease states of Sukha, when we are embodying Virya – the noble form of zeal. When we do this we become that individual that’s embodying that exhortation from Buddha, i.e., to delight in existence.
And if your motivation is to be of benefit to beings, a lot of people clip their own wings by wondering how will I benefit beings?
When really, it’s delighting in existence… Just simply being a person who is more happy in nature, more light, and that shouldn’t have to mean that the sun is out… Because in New York, that’s about one third of the year!”
Ananda Class at Bodhisattva Yoga, April 22, 2015
Park Slope, Brooklyn