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 306- Myth and Mistaken Assumptions

It is tragic that religious fundamentalists, on the one hand; and atheists (including, in particular, Neo-Darwinian fundamentalists) on the other tend to see no further than the literal acceptance of the Bible. Hence they base their hostility to each other regarding religious belief on the mistaken assumption that this is the true and only interpretation.

Turning first to the Intuitive aspect: It is unfortunate that neither the Creationist nor the Atheist understands the true meaning of the word ‘Myth’. It has, too often, been mis-represented as ‘Falsehood’. However, in its spiritual meaning ‘Myth’ is a symbolic story or legend used in Scripture to present a moral or wisdom teaching, but; told in the form of language usually used to describe historical events. The correct understanding of Myth is important, for it stems from the archetypal consciousness of Mankind.

--Bill Heilbronn, from The Courage of Uncertainty; A Jewish View of the Continuing Evolution of Faith in the Fields of Religion and Science

CURRENT TEACHING SESSIONS

One of the leading teachers in my yoga tradition is currently on a national lecture tour. To find locations and dates, go to www.yogainternational.com. Pandit Rajmani is an excellent lecturer, and I highly recommend trying to attend one of these sessions.


The Secret of the Yoga Sutra

with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD

Spiritual Head, Himalayan Institute


The Yoga Sutra is the source wisdom of all yoga traditions. It holds the key to unlocking the mystery and power of yoga, and finding ultimate fulfillment and freedom. And Pandit Tigunait is a Master par excellence, for he embodies the profound insight and experiences of the Masters of a thousand-year-old lineage.


In this inspiring lecture and workshop, grounded in time-tested wisdom, you’ll discover the promise hidden in the Yoga Sutra, and gather the tools and means to experience the missing element of your practice. It will be like the Himalayas coming right to your doorstep.

Main topics include:

  • What is the Yoga Sutra, and why its teachings are so crucial to us now
  • The Yogic understanding of our body and mind, and how to tap into our innate wisdom
  • How to access the power of mind and reclaim mastery over our personal world
  • Reconfiguring our life for joyful and purposeful living
  • A guided practice for experiencing our self-luminous join

Join Us for an evening with an Expert on what sometimes seems illusive, a life without pain....



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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