Let's talk about yoga baby!
Good and Evil - part 2
Is there something to be learned from using "evil" instead of "bad"? Is one worse than the other? Or are these concepts intimately bound to the languages and cultures in which they are invented and used?
Good and Evil, as opposites, occur not just in religion but throughout culture - to divide us from each other in a way that seeks to make "us" better than "them". But usually both sides of that binary divide think they are on the side of good.
Adjective or noun? Are people evil? Or the deeds they carry out? Where does intent come in? Doesn't being evil require intent? And indeed, doesn't being really good require as much intent? And in the end, people made mistakes. This doesn't make them bad. But it adds to our sense of drama, to which many of us are addicted.
Binary systems are good at helping us understand and interpret, but in the end they will lead to misunderstandings, or lead to a failure to see the many shades of grey that are everywhere.
How can yoga help us work through good and evil? We look at the tools available to us from yogic concepts and practices, but we also consider the global effect of a regular practice.
There is a time for everything and we are going to experience it all in this life. All we can do is our best.
Good and Evil - part 1
In this episode Colin and Robbie are joined by Yyoga teachers Jeannette and Erica to talk about "good" and "evil". It's impossible not to be reminded of current events when thinking about evil right now, but how useful is that? Many of us will feel helpless and hopeless in the face of something over which we have no control.
Yoga teaches us that good and evil are human constructs, just another one of those binary concepts that we have to rise above, to eventually let go of. But in the meantime, most of us want to be "good" and sometimes this idea gets in the way of truly understanding who you are, acknowledging some behaviour that you didn't recognise in yourself, and working on improving. Is this yogic improvement "being good"?
How do we deal with "evil" and "bad" in our daily lives? is it ever useful to use evil as a noun, instead of an adjective? Or better still, is it wiser to see these incidents as regular people having made a mistake?
This discussion has been split into two parts, join us soon for part. 2.
This week Colin, Robbie and Matt are joined by Yyoga teacher, Michael.
The idea of "Community" is a very wide one, and has changed significantly since the advent of the internet and social media, where we have the opportunity to "meet" people from around the world with whom we may share something. What does it mean to "belong" or "not belong" to a community? And for our Francophone listeners, is "community" as meaningful as it is for Anglophones?
Most of us want to belong - even those of us who may be just as happy to be alone. When we do find a group of like-minded people, how do we make sure that we don't fall into self-confirming thoughts and behaviours inside the group? How do communities continue to be open, welcoming and not exclusive or exclusionary.
Having said that, there are communities of marginalised people who want to claim their own exclusive "safe" space. What do we gain from the idea of safe spaces? Is there another way to look at that idea, making sure we feel confident in taking part but also knowing that we will be encouraged to eventually leave the safe space?
What does yoga have to say about community? How should we behave in our own local yoga community? Are communities about rules, or respect? Join us to ponder what it means to be part of a community that encourages all its members to be the best they can be.
Ganapati Sarasvatī Prārthanā Mantra
Another mantra that can be learned and recited in Monica's classes at Yyoga:
Om ganānam tvā ganapatigm
havāmahe kavim kavīnām
brahmanaspata ā nah
Surya Namaskara mantra
For those wishing to listen to, and learn, the mantras that Monica is currently using in her classes at Yyoga, here is a recording of the Surya Namasakara mantra and the text!
Ōm BHāskarāya namaha
To the one who rides seven horses - garlanded by stars
To the one who loves the shadow - to the one who rules the moon
To the one who moves across the sky, To the Sun I bow
Bija Mantra Surya
For those of you wishing to listen to, and learn, the mantras that Monica is using this month at her Yyoga classes, here is a recording of the first six lines of the Bija mantra - the next six will follow later!
Om Hrām Mitrāya Namaha
Om Hrīm Sūryāya Namaha
Om Hrūm Ravajē Namaha
Om Hraim Bhānavē Namaha
Om Hraum Khagāya Namaha
Om Hraha Pūshnē Namaha
English Translation: "To the Sun I bow"