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 294 - Transition

Mind is like a projector, projects the external world. From where has this external world, Vaishvanara, come? What happens to it? Does it last forever? When we see that everything is changing, we know that a time will come when they will no longer exist. All namas and rupas, names and forms, will dissolve sooner or later.

Some forms last for a few years, other forms may last for more years. Once they are dissolved, what happens to them? Even this form that is called the universe is going to change one day. What will happen? It will go to annihilation. But even in annihilation, the ancient Vedic scriptures, shrutis say, Surya chandramasodata yata purvam akalpayet. The sun, moon, stars, this whole universe will at some point go to its resting place, Brahman, the summum bonum of life; then ages later, the universe will again remanifest exactly the way it used to be. It’s a scientific law. If you have a mango seed, no matter how it is stored, when it germinates, it will bring forth only mango. In reality, nothing happens. This is all Brahman, a gross aspect of Brahman.

Those who have studied the Ishopanishad know that its mantras say that while departing, a soul, an individual soul, should learn to remember all that it has done, all the good things it has done, because those good deeds will not create sadness, depression, fear in the mind when going through the transition. So far you have been preparing yourself to be comfortable in the external world, to be in a world full of means, which is essential, but now, you are preparing yourself to go through the period of transition. Sooner or later we all have to go through that transition. Look at this strange thing, we all have to depart one day, yet we never believe that we will die. Do you know why? Why do you believe that you will not die? Because there is no death for eternity and you are a child of eternity. The soul never dies, which you know unconsciously. The best part of you never dies. That which changes, goes to death and decay, that alone dies. So why are you afraid of dying? From where does this fear come? This fear comes from ignorance. Scientifically, nothing dies. Death only means change. Death does not mean complete annihilation.

--Swami Rama, Om, the eternal witness; SECRETS OF THE MANDUKYA UPANISHAD, pages 119 and 126


Eternal Light Meditation Circle

Facilitators: Steve Gold, Taylor Putney, Marty Rosenman

Dates: The Third Monday of every month, beginning October 21, 2013

Time: 8 PM to 9 PM

Location: The Temple, 1589 Peachtree St. NE Atlanta, GA 30309

Cost: Free

Description: Monthly meditation group at The Temple meets in the Chapel under the Eternal Light for one hour. Twenty minutes of silent group meditation will be followed by a discussion of a selected topic which will focus on partitipants' personal spiritual experiences, journeys and struggles. These sessions are open to the public, and Jews, non-Jews, atheists and agnostics are all welcome to attend, as long as you have an interest in group silence, fellowship and personal spiritual development. RSVP to Marty Rosenman at m.rosenman@comcast.net

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

No comments: