From the beginning there never was a secret, every mystery you have ever wondered about has been hidden in plain sight.

We are the Ātmeśvara Mārga School, and if we took ourselves seriously enough to have an "official" voice, this would be it. We are dedicated to the process of human integration, of moving from the segregated, mechanistic, conditioned state, to the Integrated, unconditioned state of the awake, adult human.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Rest of the Story

There is a story of Gautama that is usually only told in part. The part that is spoken of is often quoted by people who would like to make a spiritual path that is comfortable for them, one where they can pick and choose their lessons.

"The Buddha asked his disciples how they would get across a river. 'With a boat', they replied. The Buddha asked, 'When you arrived at the other shore, would you carry the boat with you or would you leave it on the margin?', The disciples replied,'We would leave it on the margin and go on without it'.The Buddha said,'In the same way, when you arrive at the other side of the river, you may leave the boat of doctrine and practice.'"

Here is the rest of the story:

Buddha and his disciples came to a river and taking a boat, crossed. The Buddha then delivered the parable given above. The disciples, understanding the meaning of the story, left the boat and followed Buddha on his journey. In a few hours they came to another river. Buddha sat under a tree laughing, and waited for his disciples to go back and fetch the boat they left on the shore of the first river.

It is not a "thing" that you get, it is a process.
It doesn't matter what poetry you quote
The poet means what he means,
not what you wish he meant.

No matter how often you call a weed a rose,
You will never change its scent.
And the only river that matters
Is the one that you find at the end of your life.

The question is, when you reach the banks,
Have you developed the strength and discipline
You will need to make it to the other side.
Or will you be swept away into oblivion.

Thinking about enlightenment
is not the same as being awake.
The map is not the territory,
but if you insist that you are in
Ifsfahan when you are in Shiraz,
you will never make it to Mecca,
no mater how good your map is.

The saddest ones of all Are the ones who,
thinking they see the shore,
Leave the boat in the middle of the river.
And then tell us that breathing water
Is enlightenment.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

Ātmeśvara Mārga School is very pleased to announce a new class this Spring:

Introduction to Prāṇāyāma

Class: Introduction to Prāṇāyāma
Dates: March 26- April 30th
Time: Thursday’s 7-9 pm
Location: The Armenta Studio
Fee: $100

According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Prāṇāyāma is one of the eight essential practices of Yoga. Prāṇāyāma (breath practice) offers profound benefits for body, mind and spirit, and is considered the premiere practice to begin stilling the chatter of the mind.

The method taught in this six week class is called Amṛta Prāṇāyāma
(Amṛta: “the nectar of immortality”. Prāṇāyāma: “breath practice”)
and comes from the Kashmir region of Northern India.

The benefits of this practice include a calming of emotion and quieting of mind, strengthening the core of the body, increase in energy and endurance, more suppleness of the spine, and a positive effect on overall health. Many people report better digestion, lower blood pressure,
and a boost to the immune system as well.

The class teaches both the sitting and the moving methods of Amṛta Prāṇāyāma as well as the skills to integrate the practice into everyday life.

Come join us in exploring this essential yogic skill!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Windows of Opportunity

Clear intention, effective action, and appropriate timing work together to create success. If any one of these is off, we're unlikely to achieve our goals.

The Universe breathes in and breathes out. Windows open and windows close. There are some things which do not operate on a time line, and many which are "available for a limited time only". If you want that certain job, you must submit your resume before the decision of who to interview is made. If an August tomato harvest is your heart's desire, you must start seeds in early spring and pay attention to when the weather turns warm enough to put the plants in the ground. Developing awareness of when the window is open requires sensitivity and attentiveness to the moment.

Sometimes we struggle with goals because we were busy looking somewhere else while the window was open. Distractions can smear the glass and distort perception of what actually lies on the other side. Devoting too much energy to something that is not responsive is like continuously bumping against a closed window. Push too hard and the glass breaks. Stand gazing through the window and remain forever in a state of separation from your goal.

Picking up on the clues dropped by the Universe requires paying attention to where there is a return on expended energy. What is the view of the universe you wish to see? When you find the window that provides that view, watch for it to open and act accordingly.