Monday, February 20, 2012

What makes a yogi, a yogi? On going blog entries in February 19-21, 2012

19 February 2012       Yogis find a routine that creates happiness

A routine has developed. Every day that the weather and temperature permit, I go to the beach after I finish work in the Boutique. I usually lie on the sand where the sun is still shining, moving a few times as the shadows from the palm trees fall longer and longer onto the beach. If it is warm enough I take a dip in the sea wearing goggles to see the light patterning on the sandy bottom. When I was first assigned to the Boutique and realized the hours would prevent me from the best hours for sunning, I was not so happy. Now as the routine has entered my life, I enjoy the gentle rays of the late afternoon hours to sun and to swim.

Evening Shadow

20 February 2012    Yogis like rituals and ceremonies

"Today is the beginning of Maha Sivaratri, the night of Lord Siva. It is one of the most sacred nights on the yogic calendar. We will celebrate this auspicious night with homas and pujas (traditional ceremonies) conducted throughout the night by Krishnan Namboodiri, the Ashram’s Tantric priest from South India. Senior staff of the Ashram will lead us in continuous Siva chants from dusk until dawn, following which we will all gather to enjoy a variety of prasads (offerings) in the morning." from Sivananda Bahamas Brochure

Shiva Pose with Ashram Priest in background (L) and photo of Swami Vishnu-Devananda (R), who was sent to the West by Swami Sivananda to established Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Ashrams around the world.
I will be making coconut macaroons with chocolate chips as an offering. We will stay up all night in the Temple and then feast the next day.

Yogis know that man does not live by bread or sleep, or anything such thing, alone. Yogis live on Prana, also mis-understood as breath. How long can you live without food? Quite a while. Without water? Not quite so long. Without breath? Not long at all. Breath is the first and most essential nourishment. Prana is much more than breath. Here is the third link that google presented:

21 February 2012    Yogis harness the power of Now.

I have a new respect for cookie chefs and makers of macaroons. It is quite a sticky mess to roll the coconut batter into balls.  After baking the spheres of coconut longer than the recipe suggested, and having added chocolate chips and a bit of orange peel, I thought that they would not hold together. It was suggested that we meditate on our mantra while preparing the prasod. I sang OM, sometimes just humming the notes G to C the whole time I was preparing the offering. This morning at 6 AM when the macaroons were displayed with the rest of the prasod, they had all firmed up nicely. Tasty too. Maybe it was the Grace of the Guru and all of the blessings they had during the all night vigil?

Yogis are sometimes called "bogis" which means they love to partake of sensual pleasures--eschewing the idea of Pratyahara, or withdrawl from the senses:

Maha Sivaratri is a feast of the senses: sound, sight, smell, taste and are all meant to delight. And ritualized actions bring concepts manifest. The continual chanting kept the mind from reaching out beyond what is happening at the moment and brought expanded breath into the body.

Yogis are in the Now.

Each day via email I receive a thought for the day. Another heart connection.

Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
--Emily Dickinson

We often hum and sing to ourselves because it makes us feel content. It is the melody itself that makes us feel good - words and thoughts do not matter.

Having hope for ourselves and for our universe is like having a melody always moving inside us. The melody may be calm or exciting, but most of all it brings with it beauty and a sense of peace. Hope can overcome the need for words and thoughts and promises. Hope is the melody that keeps us going, the hum that continues even when there are no words to the song. Hope is not a melody we think about - it must come when we believe in the goodness of our world.

If we have faith in a power greater than ourselves, we will be able to find the melody of hope inside us at all times.

 Om shanti

No comments:

Post a Comment