My friend Dan just posted on his blog a great Gary Snyder quote on the need to do maintenance (of the self) in order to be most creative. The idea that we need to maintain our tools and toolbox, as it were, in order to be most creative, is exactly what we are taught about the tantric yoga sadhana — practice. With our yoga practice, diet, lifestyle, work, consumption, participation in community, we seek to live progressively more in alignment with the undulating fabric of space, time, and apparent world so that we have maximum well-being best to serve ourselves and others with delight. In our sadhana, we include both study and experience (experience includes meditation, asana, and pranayama). As both John Friend and Paul Muller-Ortega teach, we engage in the practices and studies to learn with ever expanding insight how to see and experience the highest first and live from that place. Living and practicing with such an intention is, I think, the maintenance done so we can live out all of our lives as a reverential and creative act.
Dan–I look forward to reading the sermon.
Puree in a blender or food processor:
peeled cucumber (seeded if necessary; use peels to garnish drinks if peels aren’t bitter)
tomatoes of any mix of colors:
assorted garden herbs and greens (based on taste and availability);
a sweet pepper of any color or variety (and a jalapeno or other hot pepper to taste)
a little minced sweet onion, white of scallion and a hint of garlic if desired (even if you are a garlic junky be gentle with the garlic lest it overwhelm the subtlety of the other flavors)
chilled vegetable stock or water
a little fresh lime or lemon juice (the acid in the juice helps keep the avocado from discoloring when the soup is chilling; a splash of white wine would also serve)
Chill the soup for 1-2 hours; do not let sit longer; garnish with chopped herbs–chive flowers are nice
I turn myself in-
to a rainstick; shake myself
at the white hot sky.
Hello Guru, what entice you to post an article. This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.
isn’t crucial, at the least possibly not from the outset, in addition to awareness
Everything is very open
I think it’s essential for other to do this. I’m sure it will guide them in doing the right thing.
I heard about that last week. I just want to check if this thing is real. It’s just like with the politics in our world
not a problem. not as long stride when the untrained man or women will try
It is lovely worth sufficient for me.
It goes without saying I will be back again tomorrow,
maybe it was the roses.” Thank you to all my neighbors who make their front gardens an offering of beauty.
My top word for the week is “dank,” which evokes so much in so little space.
I was attending a conference for much of the early part of the week and simultaneously needed to meet a combination of expected and unexpected deadlines.
I had the delight and nourishment, though, of my daily practice and teaching.
Through making art — however we do it — we find the beauty that is there. Even in the circa 1974, tied for the second ugliest building on the National Mall, Frances Perkins Department of Labor Building before 8am on another dank morning.
Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.
On Friday night, Professor Douglas Brooks offered a satsang that was hosted by District Kula. One of the attendees, who said that she did no yoga, but taught Argentinian tango, wanted to know about what she had heard of yoga talking about the dance of masculine and feminine because that’s what tango is all about.
Douglas gave a quick overview of the idea of the tattvas as a foundation for an answer to the tango dancer’s question. As part of this background, he discussed the numerological aspect of the tattvas, saying that Shiva and Shakti relate like this: one is two becomes three becomes five. The two must separate, and the space between them makes three and teaches us the one. Because of the spaces between, we do not have one to two to four, but two (one because inseparable) to three to five. We know the one only when we know two, and the one is therefore part of three. (“Lovely dance of numbers; that makes perfect sense,” I thought, having a happy geekfest in my own mind. “I’ll enjoy pondering how that might be an explanation for there being five top tattvas and not six or four and wondering whether I had even begun finding an understanding, even though what Douglas was talking about is something I have been contemplating for years in various ways and contexts.)
Douglas then led into a description of the inseparable, inextricably intertwined nature of Shiva and Shakti. “It is like that in tango,” the dancer interjected at multiple points. “The better the leader, the more he is listening to the follower, thus allowing the follower to be the leader.” Each time Douglas refined his response, the dancer offered something else about her experience with tango. “Right, when they are dancing well, the man takes on some of the characteristics of the feminine, and the woman that of the man. The difference between them starts to dissolve into the dance itself.” Her eyes lit up, and she bubbled up with speech, in her excitement at finding in the tantric philosophy what appeared to be an explanation of what she experiences in the tango.
The tango dancer and the yoga texts assign specific roles and attributes to the masculine and the feminine, and we tend to fall into that tradition when we discuss the tantric philosophy. As much as the traditional tantrika or tango dancer might say that the masculine and feminine (when embodied) take on/have characteristics of each other, they have assigned masculine/feminine roles to play, and they are still stuck in a paradigm that keeps real humans in assigned roles. These assigned roles impact how male and female are permitted to act in society, regardless of any recognition that who is actually, rather than technically, in charge may be in flux on different levels.
The paradigm of tango dancing kept Friday night’s discussion within the context of typical and rigid roles for male and female, but I do not think that is a required way for us to think of how to bring the tantric yoga philosophy into our lives. When we think of the tattvas as abstract principles, we do not have to privilege in our lives or own thinking the traditional divide between male and female roles as the basis for understanding the play of opposites (though to be true to the text in its historical context we do).
I believe that the dance of shiva and shakti is as much about the dance between the universal and multiplicitous individuality as it is about the specific play between masculine and feminine in assigned roles. The one is two. The two (one) separates into three; when the two separate we discover the one (two), and after that the three becomes five. I remember a friend saying in our college days, “There are three of us in it: there is me, there is my loved one, and then there is our relationship.” To be in the world and relate fully, the tattvas (and dances with partners of either sex) teach us that two are inseparable by being in relationship. By recognizing the appearance of separation, the dance of Shiva and Shakti tattvas shows us the relationship — the oneness. Thus, all consciousness is one, but two, and then three, and yet still one.
How this informs me, other than enjoyable thoughts in my head, is that when we try to be spaciously and openly aware in all of our relationships of this elemental play of individual identity, separability, and indivisible unity, we see the other in ourselves and ourselves in the other. This helps much to inspire friendliness, understanding, and compassion. It also helps bring understanding of the leader when we are following, which it makes it easier to follow with discrimination, but without judgment. When it is our turn to lead, it helps us know that for those who might choose to or be required to follow us for some particular project, that to lead well we must listen to the followers. As the the Grateful Dead taught me decades ago, “you who choose to lead must follow.”