WELCOME TO THE YOGA AND JUDAISM CENTER

The primary focus of this yoga is not on physical exercise, but is rather "yoga beyond the mat," focusing on meditation, mysticism, philosophy and psychology.
Likewise, the focus on Judaism here is on "Hebrew Spirituality", the spirituality within Judaism, not the religion.
Your comments and posts are welcome.

Quote of the Week 308- The Void


During deep sleep, there is the experience of the void; the same void can be experienced during meditation. That void is not empty, but there is a feeling of emptiness. During that time, there is no content, and that is why it is called deep sleep. So sleep is an unconscious state without content; there is no awareness. When one is in the void, he does not know that he is in the void, but once awake, he remembers being in the void. In deep meditation, one is in the void and is aware of it at the time. The meditative state is a fully awakened state.

--Swami Rama, Mandukya Upanishad, Enlightenment Without God, p. 98; OM, The Eternal Witness, Secrets of the Mandukya Upanishad, p. 161

CURRENT TEACHING SESSIONS


UPCOMING IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY - SAVE THE DATES!!!


JEWISH YOGA MEDITATION AND MYSTICISM. The great spiritual traditions of both East and West have throughout the ages promoted various forms of meditation as important practices to foster spiritual awakening and development. As an independent practice, to supplement other spiritual or religious practices, for stress management and relaxation, or all of the above, this course will provide the theoretical framework and practical technique for a traditional yoga-based practice derived from an ancient and time-honored Himalayan tradition. Included will be basic breathing and stress reduction techniques. They lay the foundation for access to avenues leading to the stillness within. Connections will also be made throughout to similar principles found in Jewish mysticism, including utilizing Hebrew phrases in place of yoga mantras. The class consists of 4 two-hour sessions meeting once a week for 4 consecutive weeks.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR. Steven J. Gold, BA Antioch College, Philosophy and Religion; JD Emory Law School, is the founder/director of the Yoga and Judaism Center in Atlanta, GA and the author of Yoga and Judaism (2007) Ivri: The Essence of Hebrew Spirituality (2010), Torah Portion Summaries; With Insights from the Perspective of a Jewish Yogi (2010), and Basic Spiritual Principles (2011). He has been an initiate, student, practitioner and teacher in a Himalayan meditation tradition for over 35 years and a student of Kabala and Jewish Spirituality for several years. He developed a hybrid Jewish Yoga Meditation which is the focus of these sessions.


Cost: $60.00 for the 4-session course, or whatever can be comfortably afforded (nobody turned away for inability to pay); we are looking for participants willing to commit for all of the sessions because they are cumulative in nature, although missing one session is not fatal.


Dates and Times: Sunday mornings, 11 AM to 1 PM; January 25,

February 1, February 8, and February 15, 2015


Location: The home of Steve Gold, 3562 Castlehill Court, Tucker, GA 30084


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quote of the Week 260 - The Revenge of the Spirit


Perhaps environmental pollution and the painful gap between the rich and the poor do not constitute the major challenges of our civilization. Perhaps the real challenge lies in the way humankind meets the world- that is, in human consciousness. Consciousness is what makes us unique in the history of evolution. But we have yet to embrace fully what it means to be human…

External evolution requires internal evolution. That was the dimension Abraham Maslow added to the basic Freudian needs: our search for meaning. We strive to develop our consciousness to achieve self-actualization…

The time has come for the spirit to escape from institutions, organizations, structures, strictures and systems. The development of the economy, technology and society is bringing human autonomy closer and closer. Modern individuals have infinitely more opportunities to organize their own lives than did those of previous generations We are at the threshold of a revenge of the spirit. This is the top of Maslow’s pyramid; self-realization. Consciousness separates the human being from other living creatures. We are all recognizably unique and our desire is to fulfill that uniqueness. The next phase of evolution is about becoming conscious beings that direct ourselves. That’s the way to happiness vitality intelligence and health.

The vision of the autonomous individual should not be confused with the current culture of individualism. At a higher level of awareness, the autonomous person realizes her independence relies on the respect and tolerance of others. As more and more people find their own way to spiritual development, they realize that every person, every creature, is part o a greater whole. This growing awareness is changing society. Personal development on a large scale – in sharp contrast with the collective mass hysteria of the various religious – adds a new dimension to the evolution.

If the expansion of consciousness is the mark of the future, it will have a profound effect on the way we equip and organize our world. As awareness rises, equality and community become stronger forces at the expense of old-fashioned, overly controlling rules and overly dominant institutions that promote competition. We will see less emphasis on power, more space for self-organization. That will amount to less winning or losing and more spontaneous synergy on the road to a common outcome.
We are discovering that the pollution of the mind gave rise to the pollution of the environment and that ecology is not just about preserving resources and nature but about realizing humanity’s place in the creation of the universe. “Self-realization will make us spontaneously inclined to value and defend the integrity of the world around us,” said Arne Naess, the founder of the deep ecology movement.

Self-direction will transform standardized education systems, as children cease to be asked to parrot what they read in books selected by their teachers and parents but learn to discover, develop and capitalize on their own talents. Self-determination is also crucial for our health. Autonomous individuals are more healthy individuals. And so increased consciousness will dismantle the expensive, rule-bound system of health care…

In the end, what an Indian master once told me accurately describes our mission: “The greatest journey we can make is the journey within. While going nowhere, while staying right here, we can travel an even greater distance inside.” That journey begins with feeling, listening, looking and experiencing, and sometimes by taking a moment in our busy lives to experience our connection with creation, to invite the future in, to discover that happiness is more than matter or property, to learn that health is, first and foremost, an individual, inner experience…

Come, let’s invest in our dreams of a world renewed, trusting that a new era is now supporting our longing. “It is our duty – as men and women – to behave as though limits to our ability do not exist. We are collaborators in the creation of the universe,” said French philosopoher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. And we should never forget that we are here to trust and realize our dreams. There’s no more fundamental change.

--Excerpts from the article, The Revenge of the Spirit in The Intelligent Optimist magazine (formerly Ode) January/February 2013 edition
by Jurriaan Kamp, editor-in-chief

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