Tuesday, March 29, 2011

International Yoga Teacher Training 2011 (YTT) in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Namaste freinds, With the blessings of our Gurus, Smt. Hansaji Jaydeva Yogendra and Dr. Jayadev Yogendra and all other respected teachers who have imparted the precious knowledge of Yoga to us, we have established our Yoga Academy. WLYA is the acronym for Wise Living Yoga Academy in what is an educational body which imparts Yoga Education and Lifestyle Principles of Classical Yoga. Daniel and I (Jeenal) have trained hundreds of International students and probably more than a thousand of Indians in the Yoga Teacher's Training Course from the Yoga Institute of Santacruz, Mumbai which is the Oldest Organisation of Yoga in the world. We have been also actively training several people with health problems,corporates thousand of children from different backgrounds and many different Yoga projects. Last year we got an authorisation and affiliation certificate from our Gurus Hansaji and Dr. Jayadev who are the directors of the Institute to form our Academy and give certificates. So now our Academy is affiliated to the Yoga Institute.

Daniel & Jeenal with Smt. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra at The Yoga Institute of Santacruz, Mumbai, India.

Daniel and I have been working since past years teaching and working in setting a favorable Yoga Syllabus for International students. So now we have come up with our 240 hours of Yoga Teacher's Training Course which matches the International standards of Yoga Certifcation Programs as well. The other great advantage is that they also get certified from us and we are affiliated to the Yoga Institute of Mumbai, India as the world's oldest Yoga School. Our course is very comprehensive, with structured syllabus and assesement and it covers important aspects of Yoga ideology, philosphy, history and background. I can say that it aims at transforming one's life and it is even very good for anybody looking for a positive change in one's life at physical, emotional and spiritual levels. The course is from 4th June to 2nd July 2011. The weather is going to be warm with sunny bright days with occasional showers sometimes.

You can visit our Yoga TTC website: http://www.teachertraining.wiselivingyoga.com/

For more information you can also visit our main website: http://www.wiselivingyoga.com/

The reason we have selected Chiang Mai, Thailand is because of a very nice guest house which is favourable for training. It has a very nice covered rooftop and the accomodation is lovely, comfortable and quite with good facilities. Also Chiang Mai is a beautiful, traditional and International tourist destination which attracts thousand of tourists. So ofcourse there are days off for sightseeing as well ;-)

So you all are welcome to learn, share, explore and absorb the ancient knowledge of Yoga and life, so we all together can bring wisdom and compassion in our lives and in the lives of others as a Yoga Teacher, or a Yoga Instructor, or just being a kind person . Right now we are practicing and updating our Yoga knowledge in the Himalayas and busy preparing for the course to give you all the best we can.

Much Peace and Light,



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ahimsa - Non-violence

Yesterday while passing by the village of Naddi I caressed the tender calf who was probably a few days old. I felt a deep connection.

After a while, sitting in the green grass I saw two little..very little bright red bugs with black spots mating. I felt love for them. And in the twilight of the evening, while sitting on the rooftop facing the Himalayas, just below in the courtyard of the villagers house, I saw the mother goat tied with a rope while the little black lamb was free. As the baby lamb would go around a few meters away to explore, the mother goat would attentively and protectively observe the baby. The baby lamb would come hopping back to the mother with a sense of achievement, and the mother goat would lick her baby with love. I thought, this is how all the mothers are, full of loving tenderness..isn't it?

Ahimsa or Non-violence is the first Universal Ethic, one of the first Yama of the Patanjali Ashtanga Yoga, also know as the eight-fold path of Yoga.
The highest moral conduct for a human being is the practice of Non-violence. When we are able to connect closely to all the living beings, be it an animal..big or small, a tiny fish, or a worm, we will realize that they all are seeking for happiness and the wish to live without pain or suffering. Just as you do, just as we all do. We genuinely wish happiness for all the beings when we are able to feel their pain and feel compassionate love towards them. This is the highest path of humanity and the only way towards self- realisation and God. May all beings be happy !!!
Namaskar !!!
With love, Jeenal.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Middling Stages of Meditation - Part 2

Meditating on Compassion

Before beginning meditation proper one can prepare oneself by cultivating suitable mental states. Suitable states are those which bring calm and peace to the mind and help one to achieve a balanced stated. So the instruction to meditate o compassion is given. Here the word “meditate” should be understood more like “contemplate” or to “think about”. How to do it:

The Outset

Developing Equanimity

Begin the practice by meditating on equanimity. Try to actualize impartiality towards all sentient beings by eliminating attachment and hatred. […] Begin the meditation on equanimity by thinking of a neutral person and then consider people who are friends and foes. After the mind has develop equanimity towards all sentient beings meditate on loving-kindness. Moisten the mental continuum with the water of loving-kindness and prepare it as you would a piece of fertile ground. When the seed of compassion is planted in such a mind, germination will be swift, proper and complete. Once you have irrigated the mind stream with loving-kindness, meditate on compassion”.

The idea here is to understand how all sentient being are looking forward to be happy and trying to avoid suffering. The feeling of equanimity here is developed when one thinks deeply on how in this beginningless cycle of existence, there is not one sentient being who has not been one’s friend or relative hundreds of times. If one takes this perspective there is no ground for being attached to some and hating others. So one thinks:
I shall develop a mind of equanimity towards all sentient beings”.

The compassionate mind has the nature of wishing all suffering beings to be free from suffering, so with the base of an equanimous mind one is advised to meditate on compassion for all sentient beings which experience all types of pains and sufferings. Animals suffer from hunger and thirst and experience immense physical suffering: they eat each other, become angry, and are hurt and killed. The human beings too experience various types of suffering:

Not being able to find what they want, they are resentful and harm each other. They suffer the pain of losing the beautiful things they want and confronting the ugly things they do not want, as well as pain of poverty. There are those whose minds are bound by various fetters of disturbing emotions like craving desire. Others are in turmoil with different types of wrong views. These are all cause of misery, therefore they are only in intense pain like being on a precipice. […] Pervasive misery is what arises under the power of causes characterized by actions and disturbing emotions. It has the nature and characteristics of momentary disintegration and pervades all wandering beings”.

The advice is that whether you are engaged in one-pointed meditation or pursuing your ordinary activities, meditate on compassion at all times, focusing on all sentient beings and wishing that they all be free from suffering.

Developing Loving-kindness

Begin by meditating on your friends and relatives. Recognize how they experience the various sufferings that have been explained. Then having seen all sentient beings as equals with no difference between them, you should meditate on sentient beings to whom you are indifferent. When the compassion your feel towards them is the same as you feel towards your friends and relatives, meditate on compassion for all sentient beings throughout the ten directions of the universe”.

Meditation on loving-kindness begins with friends and people you are fond of. It has the nature of wishing that they meet with happiness. Gradually extend the meditation to include strangers and even your enimies. Habituating yourself with compassion you will gradually generate a spontaneous with to liberate all sentient beings. Therefore, having familiarized yourself with compassion as the basis, meditate on the awakening mind of bodhichitta”.

This is getting interesting, isn't it? We shall continue in the next post.
Have a try with this technique and then let me know your comments, please.


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Middling Stages of Meditation - Part 1

I and Jeenal are in Mcleod Ganj/Dharamshala since past two weeks. For those who don’t know, Mcleod Ganj is the residence of his holiness the Dalai Lama and the headquarter of the Tibetan Government in exile.

After submitting an application form and getting a teaching pass few days ago, we were blessed today to attend the lecture of the Dalai Lama in the temple complex. We saw him passing nearby while coming inside the temple. We set just outside the main hall where he was to deliver his lecture.
He started by presenting in brief the main tenets of the Buddha’s teachings:

From the Dhammapada:
Commit no evils; engage in virtuous deeds; subdue one’s mind thoroughly. This is the teaching of the enlighten one.”
This short verse can be considered to have the essence of all the teachings of the Buddha.
He then proceeded by explaining in short the way out of suffering. The path to liberation as taught by the Buddha is also known as The Noble Eight-fold Path divided in three sets of practices: the practice of morality; the practice of concentration; and/leading to the cultivation of wisdom (thought insight meditation).
At the request of his students he was then discussing on a scripture about The Middling Stages of Meditation. A bit of it I’ll introduce to you here:
It is not possible for omniscience to be produced without causes, […] from among these causes and conditions, you should cultivate correct and complete causes. If you put the wrong causes into practice, even if you work hard for a long time, the desired goal cannot be achieved. It will be like milking a (cow’s) horn. Likewise, the result will not be produced when all the causes are not put into effect. […] Therefore, those who desire a particular result should cultivate its complete and unmistaken causes and conditions.”
This is a warning to people who think that one can practice meditation without a previous preparation. So this is especially pertinent regarding the practice of Yamas and Niyamas in Yoga.
In the context of the Buddha teachings and as per the system of Mahayana Sutras the following is presented:
"Therefore, if you are interested in achieving omsniscience, you need to practice these three: compassion, the awakening mind of bodhichitta and skillful means.
On compassion
With reference to the Boddhisattvas, who moved by compassion take the vow to liberate all sentient beings, the practice of compassion is exalted:
Having entered into this practice they will certainly complete the collection of merits and insights. Accomplishing the accumulation of merit and insight is like having omniscience itself in the palm of your hand There, since compassion is the only root of omniscience, you should become familiar with this practice from the very beginning.
The Buddhisattvas have already achieved all their own goals, but remain in the cycle of existence for as long as there are sentient beings. This is because they possess great compassion. Therefore, great compassion alone is the unavoidable cause of the non-abiding nirvana of a Buddha.
How to meditate on compassion and how to proceed further I’ll share in my next post.
Till then.. Namaskar !!