We review the year, take a beating and take a deep breath. I compare life to a stuffed bear I saw in a store, we mention nazis again, but right at the top to get it out of the way. But it's not all doom and gloom. Some thoughts on collaboration and a short, expanding meditation included.
Final in our series on the kleshas, we talk about death, life and liberation. Somehow I manage to describe the fear of death to a gross deli sandwich. I only mention sexual harassment once. And Moonstruck contains all the secrets to the meaning of life.
Here are past episodes on the kleshas:
Aversion Episode 48 - The Hazards of Aversion
Fourth in a series of five shows discussing the kleshas - the obstacles to liberation - this time we talk about two sides to the same distracting coin, aversion and attraction, and what happens when we let our dislikes dictate the way we are in the world around us. Plus, we play a fun game that isn't really either and I couldn't go a whole show without mentioning the patriarchy.
We discuss the Ayurvedic definition of health and, in this hellscape of relentless bad news, why tending to your whole health is not as futile and purposeless as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
It's Thanksgiving week and I am grateful for my health and for these notes by Seth Abramson about our current administrations tendencies to terrorize the citizenry, because they made me feel less alone.
The briefest of forays into Hinduism, Buddhism and Western selfishness allows us to examine how we define Self and how we behave in the world. We discuss the glorious Rube Goldberg machine that is the human embodied existence and whether or not there is an enduring candle flame amidst the winds of whatever.
The article by Robert Write, Buddhism Is More 'Western' Than You Think.
One example of a Rube Goldberg machine, a deliberately complicated contraption where a series of linked things interact in order to perform a relatively simply task. See also, life.
In our conversation about the kleshas (the obstacles to liberation) we talk about raga or desire and The Princess Bride. I also manage to take a sandwich metaphor way too far for my own good.
Here is a link to the book, The Dharma of 'The Princess Bride' by Ethan Nichtern, which I both quote in this episode and highly recommend.
There's a lot in here about whether desire is an obstacle to liberation - is it good or bad or neither? And through that discussion, I referenced a few back episodes that might be of interest.
Episode 33 - Attachment, Sam Wheat and Hamlet includes a discussion of attachment and its relationship to desire and liberation.
Both Episodes 41 and 44 are about the obstacles to liberation as put forth by Patanjali, while Episode 41 introduces the idea of the kleshas and mentions who Patanjali is and what the Yoga Sutras are.
How do you know your True Self? We talk about ego, the second of the five kleshas - or obstacles to liberation. How can we know what is self and what is outside of the self? There's some mistaken identity, we have some fun with labels and are horrified by looking through old pictures.
An easy article in Yoga Journal called, "Mistaken Identity"
A little bit more about labels from Yoga Hyde.
In Part 2 of our conversation with Adriene Boone of the Boonie Breakdown, we talk about real-life examples of using meditation as a tool in the real world, how yoga is not praying and that no one is trying to convert anybody. Except that I kind of am.
Here's where you can find The Boonie Breakdown.
We talk to the one and only Adriene Boone of the Boonie Breakdown in the first of a two part conversation about yoga and meditation - what got her back into her practice and where it might take her next. In this episode we also talk a little bit about lady podcasting and if there’s such a thing as a “good slave owner.”
When you're done listening to this episode, check out The Boonie Breakdown.
We mention Jessamyn Stanley in this show, author of Every Body Yoga and more.
And here's a link to Black Girl in Om, the podcast and online publication.
We talk about what yoga is actually for, and go over the four not-so-simple steps to liberation set out by Patanjali. The idea of the Kleshas are introduced as well as the yogic concept of Avidya, ignorance.
During the podcast, we reference the goal of Yoga: Sutra 2.2 states “The goal of Yoga is not to obtain something that is lacking: it is the realization of an already present reality. Yoga practice removes the obstacles that obstruct the experience of samadhi, or the state of complete absorption” (Jaganath Carrera, Inside the Yoga Sutras).
This translation is what was used. That link also contains some more information on the Kleshas for your reading pleasure.
What’s the definition of freedom, how do we deal with dissent and what’s the best way to go do sh*t in real life? We talk to Lindsay Kellner, Sr Wellness and Beauty Editor at Mind Body Green and founder of the Well Aware show.
During the show we tried to assess how many yoga teachers there are in NYC. I couldn't find an accurate stat on that, but I did find this vague but fun bit of info:
As of December 2015, 52,746 teachers and over 18,000 yoga schools were registered with the Alliance, and there are two people interested in becoming a yoga teacher for every one teacher in the U.S. (Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance 2016).
When the season goes from ‘too hot to handle’ to ‘too cold to hold’, we shift our food and lifestyle to accommodate the change. Ayurveda teaches us how - so we'll go over some basic guidelines, I'll say some sanskrit you don't have to remember and we'll go along our merry way.
Here are the 20 Gunas, or qualities, if you're interested:
Heavy (guru) Light in weight (laghu)
Slow or Dull (manda) Sharp, penetrating (tikshna)
Cold (hima or shita) Hot (ushna)
Oily (snigdha or sneha) Dry (ruksha)
Smooth (shlakshna) Rough (khara)
Dense or solid (sandra) Liquid (drava)
Soft (mridu) Hard (kathina)
Static or stable (sthira) Mobile or unstable (chala)
Gross or big (sthula) Subtle (sukshma)
Slimy or sticky (picchila) Clear or non-slimy (vishada)
We spend so much time trying to avoid what hurts. We dance around it, we look the other way. But when we ignore suffering, it just hurts more. So, what to do? The alternative to ignoring pain and suffering, is to meet it. We experiment with a brief Tonglen meditation - a Tibetan Buddhist practice focused on giving and receiving.
We're taught to disregard the wicked in order to calm the mind. But what happens when we ignore oppression under the guise of equanimity?
We talk about the pros and cons of gender domination and if we are, in fact, moving towards a more egalitarian future. Also, we unite the masculine and feminine within using alternate nostril breathing.
In this episode I refer to the research of Dr. Alice Eagly. This bio is from The Institute of Policy Research at Northwestern: "Alice Eagly is a social psychologist who has published widely on the psychology of gender and of attitudes, especially attitude change and attitude structure." And you can find the work I mention right here.
Here is more information on the Age of Aquarius. I chose less didactic source material here, so enjoy.
Today we are talking about the two things that might be keeping the wellness world from taking on social injustice. And we take a closer look at the context surrounding our own inner journey. Clue: The context is everyone else and all this sh*t that’s happening.
Here are some other voices I recommend:
Nazis march with torches and the world is upside down. We’ve been here before and we try to figure out what to do about that kind of thing. How do we learn from our history, how do we move forward, and do we even try to look inside for the icky darkness in ourselves?
As we continue on our every day, and to look at our own place in all of this, please also listen to and amplify the voices of people of color and others.
I found this article and its links helpful: White Feelings for Charlotte.
Read more about Black Lives Matter here.
Today we discuss Aparigraha, non-coveting or non-attachment, and how it applies to governing, dinner parties and revolution. Also, we do some holding on of our own with a brief breath work practice.
This episode we talk about what yoga has to say about celibacy and what a hot number Warren Harding really was. We also do a sound meditation to bring our energies up instead of letting them swirl in the sexy place.
Om Mantra Chanting audio available for download here.
Seems like a good time for another dip into Universal Morality. This episode, we talk about hoarding, stealing, wasting, wanting and more. We try to get behind why we want so much and do a brief meditation on letting it all go.
That meditation comes from Michael W. Taft and you can see it here.