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We Are All Spiritual Beings

“Because you have a little body, you call yourself a child.  Because you have a wrinkled body, you call yourself old.  So you are associating yourself with the body and mind.  That is what creates all the problems.  If we really want to know who we are, we must rise above all the things and say, “We are all spiritual beings.  We are the image of God.  We are all lights, burning, shining, through different bulbs.”

The Golden Present, Sri Swami Satchidananda

2017-09-12T21:18:15+00:00 September 12th, 2017|1 Comment

Teaching of the Month: Compassionate Action

Many of us are deeply concerned about the recent violence in Charlottesville and the potential for more such divisive conflicts in the future. The residents wanted to identify a Yoga teaching that would inspire us to actively embody our values as we move through our community.  We chose Compassionate Action as a practice for the month of September.

Yoga teaches us that underneath all the names and forms in creation, including our human bodies and minds, is an unchanging Spirit or Consciousness.  Our inability to experience that subtle level of interconnection results in identification with our gross individual selves.  We draw a psychic line between ourselves and others that may seem very real to us, but is created by our limited minds that perceive only the gross levels of reality.

An effective Yoga practice, done regularly, reveals that unchanging Spiritual Presence within, and gradually erases these boundaries we’ve drawn, exposing our oneness with the world around us.  In this way, a spiritual practice lays the foundation for a natural compassion to arise as we begin to experience our deepest selves.

But we don’t need to wait for this natural awakening of compassion to believe that all peoples are equally deserving of our respect, and to actively practice interacting with that intention in our hearts.  The very first of the classical eight limbs of Yoga prompts us to bring no harm to anyone, in any form.

Compassionate action goes beyond simply refraining from harming others.  It implies that we make a genuine effort to treat others with kindness, regardless of their appearance or personality, and it can take many forms.  It can mean speaking up in public when we witness some form of discrimination or participating in a protest against some policy that we feel is unjust.  It can mean actively soliciting the participation of people of color on a committee or praying for marginalized populations who are suffering far away from us.

I believe that an effort to embrace this practice makes a real contribution to the collective consciousness of our world. The harmony we want to see in the world begins with today’s conversation.  When we bring even a little more compassion into our interactions, we make our communities and planet a more peaceful place.

2017-09-07T23:31:08+00:00 September 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Love to ALL

We at Integral Yoga believe in an underlying spiritual oneness behind all of the external ways in which we differ. Everyone of every shape, size, color, race, and orientation is equally deserving of compassion and respect. In light of the recent turmoil in our culture we, at Integral Yoga Institute SF, want to send our love to ALL.

We encourage everyone to meet the dark energies of divisiveness with compassion in your hearts, and we pray that all those who discriminate, and those who suffer from discrimination, be freed from the illusions of separation. As Sri Swami Satchidananda says “Hatred will not eliminate hatred. Let your nature be loving and giving.”

2017-09-05T20:38:28+00:00 September 5th, 2017|0 Comments

You are the Awareness

With awareness comes dis identification from thoughts, emotions, and reactions. This is not to be confused with denial. The thoughts, emotions, or reactions are recognized, and in the moment of recognizing, dis identification happens automatically. Your sense of self, of who you are, then undergoes a shift: Before you were the thoughts, emotions, and reactions; now you are the awareness, the conscious Presence that witnesses those states.
-Eckhart Tolle

2017-08-24T23:20:33+00:00 August 24th, 2017|Comments Off on You are the Awareness