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  • Yoga and Lent V: Ten Lenten Commandments — Christians Practicing Yoga
    withdrawal concentration meditation and indrawing II 29 When we get to the last three in the list we are at the heart of yoga but Patanjali wants us first to build our base with the five restraints yama non intention to harm truthfulness non stealing sexual restraint and non grasping 30 and five observances niyama purity contentment austerity personal study and dedication to the master II 32 Patanjali notes with respect to both sets of five as we Jesuits used to say agendo contra go against the grain strive to deflect those fixed activities of the mind that distract from the goal cultivate what leads us to our goal 33 How do we reorient our lives that we can actually pray with intensity The restraints are five When there is establishment in non intention to harm in proximity to such a one there will be an abandonment of hostility 35 That is when you are truly dedicated to non violence and no longer intend harm to any being the level of hostility around you decreases exponentially Be the peace you talk about When there is establishment in truthfulness there is a base for the fruits of action 36 For if we speak the truth and mean what we say we are free to do exactly as we know and speak Gandhi made a life of this When there is establishment in non stealing there is the arrival of all treasures 37 Perhaps this is the message of the Sermon But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well Matthew 6 33 When there is establishment in sexual restraint an obtaining of vigor 38 Brahmacarya sexual restraint amounts most of the time to celibacy though the yogis are reputed to go very deeply into internalizing sexuality potency not merely stopping sexual practices but turning the desire into a spiritual power I gestured in this direction in my recent rejoinder to Frank Bruni s heartfelt but nevertheless condescending piece on celibacy in the New York Times The world needs more celibates not fewer if they are of this yogic type not compelled not in disguise not angling for power When there is stability in non possession realization of how things are born 39 This somewhat obscure sutra is a plea that we let go stop clinging How things are born might refer to matters as large as birth and rebirth or as small as how it is that holding onto even one thing leads to a whole series of greater attachments The point of radical poverty says this professor surrounded with his books is that if we do not let go of possessions in some fundamental radical way we will start of accumulate lots of things over and over Owning one thing leads to owning many See Graham Hill s reflections on this theme how some possessions lead to many possessions in the March 10 New York Times The

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/2/16/yoga-and-lent-v-ten-lenten-commandments (2016-04-26)
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  • Yoga and Lent IV: To See As Wisdom Sees — Christians Practicing Yoga
    the ending of all obscuration the dawning of knowledge and a final wisdom rooted in discrimination that is in seeing things just as they are It seems fairly easy to affirm such goals as a Christian in Lent as long as we stay on a general level impurity is to be removed knowledge illumines our situation so that nothing is obscured or shadowed and this eventuates in a totally truthful encounter with reality just as it is There is nothing to this that a Christian need balk at even if one might be concerned at first lest the final state seem to be merely self produced So what are the limbs Here is a pared down list omitting for now the many explanatory verses that accompany the basic enumeration as always in an approximate translation largely of my own though indebted to many good translator The eight limbs are restraint observance sitting control of breath withdrawal concentration meditation and the unitive state II 29 The restraints are non intention to harm truthfulness non stealing sexual restraint and non grasping 30 The observances are purity contentment austerity one s own study and dedication to the master 32 Sitting is steady and with contentment 46 When that is in place a cutting off of the motions of in breath and out breath is control of breath 49 When there is no longer a close connection of the mind to its own contents then there is withdrawal of the senses as if in imitation of that mind s own form 54 Concentration is the fixing of the mind to a place Meditation is the practice of extending a single idea there When it shines forth simply as the object as if devoid of its own form there is the unitive state III 1 3 I will return to the list in future weeks between now and the end of Lent but for now I offer three comments First this is an extraordinarily comprehensive set of considerations An entire moral life is encompassed by the restraints and observances whereas posture and control of breath take up in a very simple fashion two of the things we all do all the time sit and breathe Withdrawing the senses a rather obscure practice if we depend on the verse defining it 54 has to do with inverting the mind turning it away from the endless array of external things it focuses on to dwell simply in itself All of this moral physical and mental work or non work clears the way for the threefold meditative practice concentrating on the self perhaps the light within holding one s attention there for longer and longer periods of time until one is in a sense nothing but that holding of attention a single long unwavering glance Second this impressive movement is of a piece the mundane and the lofty interconnected This is why the somewhat awkward word limb is preferable to steps since the latter gives the impression that

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/2/16/yoga-and-lent-iv-to-see-as-wisdom-sees (2016-04-26)
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  • Yoga and Lent III: Empty Wisdom — Christians Practicing Yoga
    a good idea but an empty throne seems a better idea than immediately settling another cardinal any cardinal into the Chair of Peter Let the roots of the problem wither for a good long while And so even on this Second Sunday of Lent a sutra we ended with last time bears repetition Unfaltering discriminative discernment is the means to ending this confusion between the self and the world II 26 This is about a discernment that discerns the difference between the lasting and what passes away between the spiritual and what is crass and selfish and violent in its ignorance This is an ongoing unfaltering seeing of things as they are a letting go of our obsessive clutching at power wealth pleasure even life itself Sound too negative Not incarnational enough Actually it sounds a lot like St Paul in the second reading for this Second Sunday of Lent Brothers and sisters join in imitating me and observe those who live according to the example you have in us For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ I have often told you of them and now I tell you even with tears Their end is destruction their god is the belly and their glory is in their shame their minds are set on earthly things By contrast our citizenship is in heaven and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior the Lord Jesus Christ 3 17 20 For Paul and in this second chapter of the Sutras the solution is not merely more effort or a firmer expression of sincerity and will power for it is a deeper transformation that must take place And so as Paul sees it Christ will effect a deeper and more powerful change that we can hardly have anticipated as he transforms the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself 3 21 It is not just the Christ of today s Gospel who is transfigured such is the destiny of us all Even if the work of Christ is never the same as the practice of yoga the deep change Paul envisions something no amount of activity can add up to is not entirely different from what the next sutra hints at His wisdom is sevenfold up to its very highest level II 27 Vyasa the first commentator on the Sutras explains the sevenfold nature of this wisdom beginning with these four new conditions 1 the evils that have caused suffering ego lust the craving for power violence the busy every day mind are now gone 2 their roots have been torn out and will not grow again 3 this radical change in life is manifest for all to see like a light in darkness and 4 discerning wisdom is recognized as the sole sufficient cause for this deep change The other three conditions of wisdom

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/2/16/yoga-and-lent-iii-empty-wisdom (2016-04-26)
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  • Yoga and Lent II: Sede Vacante — Christians Practicing Yoga
    root of karma is still there its ripening too is there birth the span of life and experience All three of these have fruits that are delightful or very painful because of merit and de merit II 12 14 A discerning reader may recall at this point the opening of the Book of Ecclesiastes Vanity of vanities says the Teacher vanity of vanities All is vanity What do people gain from all the toil at which they toil under the sun A generation goes and a generation comes but the earth remains forever The sun rises and the sun goes down and hurries to the place where it rises The wind blows to the south and goes round to the north round and round goes the wind and on its circuits the wind returns All streams run to the sea but the sea is not full to the place where the streams flow there they continue to flow All things are wearisome more than one can express the eye is not satisfied with seeing or the ear filled with hearing What has been is what will be and what has been done is what will be done there is nothing new under the sun I 2 9 Similarly the Yoga Sutras contemplate life as momentarily joyful and pleasurable sad and painful Due to change pain persisting impressions and suffering and because of obstacles that arise due to the movements of nature s constituents the discriminating person sees that all is nothing but suffering II 15 The constituents gunas mark nature as a bundle of energies and possibilities arising and decay even when the world is at peace it is changing devouring itself as its fuel coming to be and passing away This manner of contemplation of good and evil without and within as momentary states may be overwhelming for nothing is left out or to be taken for granted But the Sutras advise not passivity but a determination to change what can be changed It is future suffering that can be ended II 16 A sober unromantic attitude toward life enables one to see the future in a cold and clear light with a clear eyed freedom that changes one s relation to it It seems clear that Patanjali author of the Sutras is skeptical about unreflective actions no matter how energetic or sincere The Sutras will soon enough turn again to practices things to do and not do So why this very philosophical interlude It seems clear that Patanjali author of the Sutras is skeptical about unreflective actions no matter how energetic or sincere Action as karma may be intended to do good but just as easily or moreso makes us part of the problem not somehow a counterforce to it One cannot say that the goal is to turn away entirely from the world since the free person is simply the one who sees and there is no reason here at least to think that one closes one

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/2/16/yoga-and-lent-ii-sede-vacante (2016-04-26)
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  • Kevin Flynn — Christians Practicing Yoga
    yes Why I Teach and Practice Yoga and Jesus Body and Bread Yoga Deepened my Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact Christians Practicing Yoga Learn Overview Our Perspective History of Yoga and Christianity Can Yoga Help Me Pray Is Yoga a Religion The Eight Limbs of Yoga Are Yamas and Niyamas the same as the Commandments Is Pranayama compatible with Christianity What is the Christian Perspective on the Energy Body What is Christian Meditation What does chanting OM mean Additional Reading Discern Why Discern Is yoga right for me Can yoga help a Christian pray Chanting Kundalini Energy Reincarnation Practice Finding a yoga class Home Practice Christian Meditation Lectio Divina Find a Teacher Teacher Trainings Retreats and Workshops Personal Stories Saying yes Why I Teach and Practice Yoga and Jesus Body and Bread Yoga Deepened my Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/kevin-flynn/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Dayna Gelinas — Christians Practicing Yoga
    a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact Christians Practicing Yoga Learn Overview Our Perspective History of Yoga and Christianity Can Yoga Help Me Pray Is Yoga a Religion The Eight Limbs of Yoga Are Yamas and Niyamas the same as the Commandments Is Pranayama compatible with Christianity What is the Christian Perspective on the Energy Body What is Christian Meditation What does chanting OM mean Additional Reading Discern Why Discern Is yoga right for me Can yoga help a Christian pray Chanting Kundalini Energy Reincarnation Practice Finding a yoga class Home Practice Christian Meditation Lectio Divina Find a Teacher Teacher Trainings Retreats and Workshops Personal Stories Saying yes Why I Teach and Practice Yoga and Jesus Body and Bread Yoga Deepened my Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/dayna-gelinas/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Alice Latham — Christians Practicing Yoga
    Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact Christians Practicing Yoga Learn Overview Our Perspective History of Yoga and Christianity Can Yoga Help Me Pray Is Yoga a Religion The Eight Limbs of Yoga Are Yamas and Niyamas the same as the Commandments Is Pranayama compatible with Christianity What is the Christian Perspective on the Energy Body What is Christian Meditation What does chanting OM mean Additional Reading Discern Why Discern Is yoga right for me Can yoga help a Christian pray Chanting Kundalini Energy Reincarnation Practice Finding a yoga class Home Practice Christian Meditation Lectio Divina Find a Teacher Teacher Trainings Retreats and Workshops Personal Stories Saying yes Why I Teach and Practice Yoga and Jesus Body and Bread Yoga Deepened my Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/alice-latham/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Dana Moore — Christians Practicing Yoga
    as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact Christians Practicing Yoga Learn Overview Our Perspective History of Yoga and Christianity Can Yoga Help Me Pray Is Yoga a Religion The Eight Limbs of Yoga Are Yamas and Niyamas the same as the Commandments Is Pranayama compatible with Christianity What is the Christian Perspective on the Energy Body What is Christian Meditation What does chanting OM mean Additional Reading Discern Why Discern Is yoga right for me Can yoga help a Christian pray Chanting Kundalini Energy Reincarnation Practice Finding a yoga class Home Practice Christian Meditation Lectio Divina Find a Teacher Teacher Trainings Retreats and Workshops Personal Stories Saying yes Why I Teach and Practice Yoga and Jesus Body and Bread Yoga Deepened my Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/dana-moore/ (2016-04-26)
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