Saturday, June 12, 2010


During last night's interminable bout of insomnia, I shoved aside obsessive thoughts of the oil geyser in the Gulf (WHY would you allow the company that caused the problem, to solve the problem?), said some prayers, and went online. I spent a long time on Chandra Om's website, listening to an interview she gave a couple of years ago. She advises us to "Stay clean, humble, sweet and close to God" - exactly what one needs to hear in the middle of a sleepless night.


Then I ran across this wonderful Yoga+ article about Sri Dharma Mittra. I'd read it before, but it's always good to hear/read the same concepts over and over - until it finally sticks.

An excerpt:

Dharma uses the word “God” with the frequency of a televangelist. It’s his way of reminding students that yoga isn’t gymnastics. Where other teachers urge students to “rotate the thighs inward” or “engage the quadriceps,” Dharma offers this instruction for refining postures: “Now think of God.”

Asana—the physical limb of yoga—is part of a process Dharma calls “divine purification.” The postures tone the body and prepare one for seated meditation. Dharma enjoins students to reflect daily on questions such as these: Who am I? Why does everything die? Is anything eternal? Why do some people suffer? Why are some born into privilege and others into poverty? Is there reincarnation? Is there karma? When body and mind have been purified, the answers will reveal themselves, he says.

Breathing exercises and mantra recitation are also part of the purification process, according to Dharma. So is study of ancient texts, particularly the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutra, and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. (“Yoga without these three is like spaghetti without the sauce,” he says.) Dharma is especially emphatic about another building block: proper diet. He advocates a live-food vegetarian diet and occasional fasting. Stimulants, heavy foods, and foods that foster cravings inhibit deep concentration, he warns.

Read the rest here.


  1. That's pretty lofty for dealing with insomnia. I usually read celebrity gossip! :)

  2. Anonymous10:37 PM

    Why would you allow the company that caused the problem to solve the problem? It's b/c the U.S. govt has no idea how to solve the problem! People think government has too much power... I might agree with that when it comes to the individual (Patriot Act anyone?), but as far as regulating big corporations, the U.S. govt has no teeth... whether it's the FDA trying to regulate big pharmaceuticals or USDA dealing with meat packers or EPA and Mineral Management Service with BP. The government has a cozy relationship with many of the big businesses it's supposed to regulate. it's very disturbing. Not that I'm trying to cause you another sleepless night...

  3. Anonymous8:01 PM

    Sorry, I have an idea to pose about the same sentence... Do you think it's really "the company" that caused the problem or perhaps us, the consumers? It's definitely easier to say it's them, but it seems the reality of the situation is that our unnatural hunger and obsession for the unsustainable, natural resource of oil is at the root of this issue; our lifestyle and need for comfort...The oil companies are just supplying us with the oil we demand. Until we are ready to go one on one with ourselves and take full responsibility for our actions, on a personal as well as unified global-community scale, it will never be fixed, it can't. We are headed for disaster and too comfortable and ignorant to really even acknowledge how guilty each one of us are and the role we each play...The gulf is simply one of the many symptoms that go on all over the globe every day from our rape and exploitation of it..we are guilty, every single one of us caused this...every time we drive our cars, turn on the heat, swipe our debit card, fly to new and exciting destinations...people suffer, we cause death and destruction in our path, and the planet gets destroyed. Why is it that most of us are blind to this idea until it's presented to us? then the light starts to come on and it's like oh, yeah...that does kind of make's like we're all living in denial from the obvious...but i guess we're supposed to be, huh...maybe it's all part of the big master plan...hail to the kali yuga!

  4. Yes, the problem is greed - as you will see in a sidebar I wrote for the July/August issue of Yoga Chicago - our greed for petroleum and Big Oil's greed for profits, which caused them to cut corners. It is a wonderful opportunity to practice Aparigraha.

    (NOTE: Big Oil has historically bought up all forms of alternative energy and put them on mothballs so they wouldn't have any competition. They are not blameless here).

  5. The Chandra inteview was really good. I was traveling for work this past week and listened to it twice. Thanks for the link!