The first place we have to begin is to define what on earth spiritual actually means. A lot of people use the word and often never have a definition of what this elusive term actually means.
It is often used, even in modern spirituality and yoga, to define the elusive stuff that joins everything together, stuff that is somehow different to all that is matter.
This kind of dualistic vision presents matter and its opposite as spirit.
Sometimes the word spiritual is used to define the source of matter. …
We can think of consciousness in a variety of ways. The scientifically supported vision, at least to a degree, is one of awareness as an emergent quality of competing and eating biological organisms, kind of the most aware wins. If you want to avoid being lunch you need to sense what is out there that could eat you, recognise it, and then rapidly react in a way that stops you going down its digestive tract.
At the same time, you need to be aware of what is out there that you can eat, recognise it, catch it and put it…
Therapeutic work and yoga teaching should always be empowering, in my view.
What do I mean by empowering?
I mean that people find autonomy and the capacity for self-healing, creativity and optimisation of their potential. I mean they find themselves as equal co-creative partners in the human experience.
My view is that therapy can create dependency in clients, not independence. I really loved my therapist, he died recently of cancer. The process of being with him dying was profoundly touching and was in itself a teaching. So I’m not knocking therapy or the relational experience that can occur so beautifully…
I chose to use the term Mind Mastery for my online course which you can find at www.engagedyoga.co.uk.
It’s quite a title and I want to go deeper at looking at what exactly that means for me and the people who choose to work with me.
For me the body is the mind and mind is also an emergent function of the body.
If we leave out the yogic or spiritual view for a moment of consciousness being the structure of the universe, we will come back on this later I promise.
So for now let’s look at what our…
Yoga is beginning to be more accepted in the contemporary western world.
There is a growing commercial application of base level physicalised practices which most people think of as yoga. But this is just the beginning of yoga.
So what is yoga?
Yoga is vision, process and goal. What does this mean?
Yoga has the vision of understanding the seamless nature of existence. The underlying philosophy that the cosmos is whole and there is nothing separate anywhere. There is only the Never-two, that which cannot be divided into pieces that have any intrinsic, inherent, separate existence. …
I was teaching Yoga in Cyprus when my friend Peter, who runs Vedanta Yoga Centre in Limassol, told me about the breathwork he had been doing.
If you know me you will know one of my attributes is scepticism. I never just believe the stories I hear, I have to see it, hear it, taste it, feel it or smell it before I agree. However once something has stood up to my tests of reason, once I have a direct experience and once it has shown its value, I do live up to it, espouse it and promote it. …
The Buddha is also reputed to have said, “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way”
The last few Blogs in the Happiness series we looked at the negativity bias,positivity, discipline, brain entrainment and meta-learning, and the deconstruction of the the self into selfing as a way of resolving selfishness and its consequence, suffering, dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
I talked about spiritual ego and what a trap it is.. simply because to create a super shiny spiritual ego you have to make it a superior ego, one that is right and preferably one that feels inviolate and indestructible. Such…
Meta-learning and Yoga
Evolutionary entrainment practice takes us into Meta-learning where we can learn faster, retain better and entrain our brains more effectively through meditative awareness.
Evolutionary entrainment switches on the left pre-frontal cortex and its links and associations with all other parts of our brain. This is done not through suppression of arising issues in our life but by fully and completely going into them, fully feeling them and transforming our relationship to them.
How do I know this, because I’ve done it and seen it done! This is what Yoga is really about.
Evolutionary practice can also…
Evolutionary strategies for brain entrainment require us to understand the art of discipline that I talked about in the Last Blog
I talked about discipline meaning ‘doing your entrainment practices regularly, ideally daily, for a long enough period of time of them to take effect’.
We also looked at how the brain works on habit settings, particular neurological grooves and to get ourselves out of those ruts, we have to do things differently. We have to start building whole new habits.
Conscious habit creation…
Entraining our brains requires us not just to build new habits of unconsciousness…
Last Blog I looked at the negativity bias and how this lead to relentless misery in our contemporary world.
We looked at two evolutionary strategies for transforming this bias and making life a whole lot happier.
One of these was befriending stress, communicating your distress with others and generating social connection to fire up oxytocin in your system. Oxytocin limits the damage caused by stress hormones.
I personally have a way of communicating distress I’m experiencing so it doesn’t become a lifestyle practice of complaining and rebuild the negativity bias as a neurological strategy. Balance is needed here!
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