Tag Archive: yoga philosophy

Yoga Philosophy Word of the Day

Avidya–ignorance or delusion.

Very roughly stated, the yoga philosophies and guides to practice teach that it is ignorance or delusion that is the root cause of evil and suffering.  When we act from ignorance of our essential nature–it’s divinity (whatever that might mean to you)–then we act in ways that move away from spirit rather than towards it (one way of describing evil).

As I interpret the teachings, the point of the practices for a householder is to help us act and respond informed by consciousness of this essential “divinity” in everything we do, including how we care for ourselves, our community, and the ecosystem that we inhabit.  The closer we come to achieving this state of acting consciousness, though there will still be pain and loss in this human embodiment, the less we will be the cause of suffering for ourselves and others.

Note:  You might say or think it, but I will refrain from actually articulating why this is the word that comes to mind for contemplation today.

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Spam, Praise, Criticism, and the Pairs of Opposites

The yoga teachings say that we need to be unattached to the pairs of opposites–pleasure (sukha) and pain (dukha).  When all of our motivations come from seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, we suffer.  Even the tantric yogis, who invite us to fully engage in the vast array of experience that is being human, say we need to  turn to the auspicious and recognize the divine play in all experience and not get entangled in thinking what we desire is all that is.

Today’s spam is a nice illustration of why taking any praise or criticism as a reflection of how one should feel about one’s creative output is a recipe for suffering:

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