“Time & Ethics” is the theme for September 2014
September marks the change of seasons, the end of summer the start of something new. This month we are focused on time and transitions, as well as exploring ethics that can carry us steadily through the various phases of our lives. Thanks to the Yasodhara Yoga group in Spokane for offering these reflections. Submitted by Swami Yasodananda, Janet Brown, Sharon Wobker and Frances Becker.
In this video from March 2007, Swami Radhananda speaks about transition and how the spiritual practices and awarenesses can help bring meaning and joy into our lives.
Swami Radha, using the symbol of the Tibetan drum (the damaru) challenges us to reflect deeply about time and our choices.
- Read the chapter on “Time” in Time to be Holy. Choose one or two questions to reflect on or use the following reflection:“What have you done with the time you have already had? If you realize that it is time-consuming to make significant changes in thinking, significant changes in attitude, in putting what you understand intellectually into practice, then time becomes something extremely precious.”
- The Dance of Siva Sakti is a timeless one. Read the mantra for the Muladhara Cakra in Kundalini Yoga for the West along with Swami Radha’s commentary. Reflect on the timeless interplay of Siva and Sakti and how it is revealed in your life.
- To get a new concept of time we have to empty our minds of old concepts. This will create space to receive new concepts. Using the symbol of the skull held by the goddesses in the first, fourth, and sixth cakras [Kundalini Yoga for the West] reflect on letting go of your concepts of time. Create space for something new to emerge.
- In the Hidden Language what can we learn from the plant poses about time, timelessness, and transition?
- Reflect on the time and seasons in your life, in the Tree Pose. How can you become aware of life span, continual growth, integrity, and silent giving? How are you sustained by life? For what purpose?
- The Lotus represents past, present and future, since the plant contains buds, flowers and fruit at the same time. How do you contain your past present and future in the present moment?
- Reflect on a transition you had or are experiencing. Consider:
- What’s ending? What are you moving toward? What are the challenges? The opportunities? What do you need to learn?
- Are there perceived limitations that hold you back from a current need for transition? “There will always be another step. Be ready to explore and take a risk.” (Living the Practice, Steps to Freedom by Swami Radhananda, p.52)
- In the teachings of Patanjali’s yoga the moral foundation or ethics come first for the yoga practitioner. Choose a yama and a niyama to reflect on for the month.
- Yamas: non-injury, non-lying, non-stealing, celibacy, non-greed or non-possessiveness
- Niyamas: Cleanliness, Contentment, Austerity, Self-study, surrender to the Divine
Sources on the Yamas and Niyamas recommended by the Yasodhara Calgary group are:
- Ernest Wood: Practical Yoga Ancient and Modern
- Chip Hartranft: The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali, Shambhala Publ., 2003
- Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as interpreted by Mukunda Stiles, Red Wheel/Weiser, 2002
- Nischala Joy Devi: The Secret Power of Yoga: a Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras, Three Rivers Press, 2007
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Gratefully submitted by Yasodhara Yoga Spokane – Swami Yasodananda, Janet Brown, Sharon Wobker and Frances Becker.