Saturday, December 31, 2011

DHARMA'S 2012 NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE, PT. II



A MESSAGE FROM DHARMA
2012: A Year of Challenge

Sri Dharma Mittra

All suffering and pain experienced on the material plane is for the purpose of purification - the gradual cleaning of the mind, heart and intellect so that one day, in this incarnation or one of the next, we may at last have a complete vision of Supreme Reality.

All yoga teachers and students, prepare yourselves! The year ahead will be a year of challenge. It will be a year that will provide many opportunities to really be of service to others. It will also provide us with the chance to discover how strong and faithful we truly are.

According to present and past conditions including predictions and even some direct evidence, sometime during and especially in late 2012, the Earth may pass through some severe weather conditions and maybe even some unusual phenomena. Those with lots of attachment to things and comforts may endure lots of pain and suffering, and those without good health and spiritual knowledge and who are attached to comfort surely will suffer more.

In our study of yoga, we learn about the Kleshas, the mental impurities, the root causes of all pain and suffering. All five are rooted in the first, Avidya or ignorance of your own True Self, but attachment or Raga, another one of the Kleshas, will cause many great problems during this period of transition and change. We can combat this as Yogis by re-dedicating ourselves to Sadhana (spiritual practice), and, the more we learn, the more we'll have to then share with others to help them through the dark days potentially ahead. Commit every bit of knowledge you can to memory and strengthen the physical body so you can help others who are weaker. Many Yogis become flexible and strong through their dedication to the Asana or posture practice, but you mustn't sacrifice cardiovascular fitness, since the ability to run if there is danger is of great value both to save yourself and to then help save others. Do something for at least five minutes every day to strengthen and tone the cardiovascular system, even Jumping Jacks. Pursue Self-knowledge every day with great intensity.

To fully arm yourself, spend more time in contemplation and realize what you really are today! We are all a portion of the Almighty One; immortal, omniscient and formless. It is only by this knowledge that you will truly remain unaffected by the possible external state of turmoil. Stay healthy and share as much as possible spiritual knowledge with others so that their pain can be reduced. Acting in this way is the highest type of charity. Remember, belief is not enough!

How unwise it is to sleep! (To float through life unaware of anything and without learning anything.) How foolish it is to remain unguarded and full of doubts! Constantly breaking the law and taking chances and stupid risks that will always result in disappointment, embarrassment, pain and suffering. The wise man is always awake and fully prepared. He follows the rules and guards his knowledge. Compassionate to all, he lives happily and is immune to delusion. The wise man is ever ready to face any amount of pain that may be inflicted upon him at any time.

But even the holy man's body and mind are still subject to extremes of discomfort, since no one is immune to the forces of nature. Those who are still without Self-knowledge and who abide in a state of ignorance as regards Supreme Reality doubtless will suffer more in the year to come. Due to the present condition of everything, including the mental and spiritual, everything is moving, acting and changing perfectly according to and is affected by these constantly shifting patterns, resulting in a specific new condition. Everything is controlled by the Divine Laws of Nature, and everything is connected to everything else. Whatever happens to anything in any distinct area has an effect on everything else to some degree. [Einstein] saw this through the lens of Physics: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." In Karmic terms, perhaps this is better expressed as: "For every action, there is an equal required action." Or, "Everything we are passing through at present is a result of our deeds from the past." If we were able to look back at every action taken in previous lifetimes, we would come to understand with clarity everything we are now experiencing from moment to moment.

Those devoid of Self-knowledge are fully under the sway of their external environment and its given state from moment to moment. But the wise men and women, endowed with right knowledge, can control the effect these external changes have to affect the internal environment and, most crucially, the mind. Of course, no one can escape their fate entirely, but, since the enlightened one is not identified with the body and mind anymore, he or she is truly untouched by the effect of the outside world upon them.

Only a lit candle can light the unlit wick of another. Some who lose everything will feel that the world really has ended. If you have a little knowledge and a little self-control, you will be able to serve and help anyone and everyone you come into contact with both now and after everything begins to possibly shift and change.

May Brahman bestow upon you the treasure of understanding this Divine knowledge! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.

Lots of Love,
Dharma Mittra
Remember! The goal is Self-realization!
__




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 30, 2011

FUNNY FRIDAY
Lino Miele Teaches Nauli

Thursday, December 29, 2011

THURSDAY QUOTE: On Teaching Yoga
From Chandra Om's Q&A




Q:
So, today as a teacher what do you feel are the important qualities and understandings that you bring as a teacher?

A:
Chandra Om: First of all, the teacher has to be kind, not selfish, not turning the yoga system into a business. Also, they must be established most of the time in the state of sattva. Sattva is the state after you do your meditation, after you have some knowledge of Yoga. You are automatically calm, without the ego. You feel like God is passing through you. You feel you are just an instrument. A teacher must believe in God or the Self, the Supreme Self. Also the teacher must be a vegetarian. They may keep the mozzarella, the cheese, no problem. But the flesh must go, because otherwise, they are breaking the first rule: thou shall not kill, or ahimsa. If you are involved in this, your mind will never settle in meditation: always restless. Lower passion increases. So the teacher must be vegetarian, kind, and of course, have Self knowledge and be without the ego. They must have Guru also.

Monday, December 26, 2011

MONDAY MUSIC
"Linus and Lucy" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

Saturday, December 24, 2011

HAPPY HOLIDAYS
From Da Windy City





In addition to the tree, there's also a free ice skating rink in front of Wrigley Field. The only thing cooler would be to have ice skating in Wrigley Field. Maybe next year....








Cat Puppet Theatre in front of the old Marshall Field's on State Street - which was far, far more entertaining than Macy's utterly disappointing holiday window display.


Everyone is looking away from the high-tech window displays, towards the old-fashioned puppets.












The historic Walnut Room inside Field's on State Street - where my mother used to model, and where my grandmother took me (on the train) for filet mignon when I was 12. My great-uncle's paintings were on sale (for a lot of money, even in those days) in the store's art section. The Walnut Room is the first-ever restaurant inside of a department store. (In the olden days, women had nowhere to eat downtown, since the only places to grab a bite were bars - which no respectable woman would enter).









Seen on Thursday, between the Civic Opera House and Sears Tower.











Buddha Christmas ornament at the ethnic tchotchke mega superstore at Clark and Diversey. He does not seem to notice or care about the holiday lila happening around Him - which He appears to be part of, but is not. (Don't get me started on the selling of sacred symbols in banal settings; that post is coming soon). Interestingly, this ornament was the highest-priced one in the section.















Massive wreath at the Northwestern Depot (Ogilve Transportation Center) - where we'd take the train in when we were in high school and too young to drive. We'd head straight to Bennigan's on Michigan Avenue for some holiday spirits (for some reason we never got carded). In those days the drink de jour was the whiskey stone sour. Not whiskey sour. Whiskey stone sour.












Pix from my new secret walking place, located well within city limits




Yes, that is a real deer, dear.














Paper star purchased at Christkindlmarket Chicago. The star is from India. The market is modeled after the German one in N├╝rnberg. The irony is pure Chicago - home of the Union Stockyards and the nation's longest-running raw vegan restaurant.









Everyone loves a little Yuletide windfall - even Kirby "The Scrooge" Q-Tie.




















All pix (and "artwork") by Cara-Kali (c) 2011.

Friday, December 23, 2011

SRI DHARMA ON 2012
Buckle your asana-belts: it's going to be a bumpy ride....




2012: A YEAR of CHALLENGE by: YOGI SRI DHARMA MITTRA

All suffering and pain experienced on the material plane is for the purpose of purification - the gradual cleaning of the mind, heart and intellect so that one day, in this incarnation or one of the next, we may at last have a complete vision of Supreme Reality.

All yoga teachers and students, prepare yourselves! The year ahead will be a year of challenge. It will be a year that will provide many opportunities to really be of service to others. It will also provide us with the chance to discover how strong and faithful we truly are.

According to present and past conditions including predictions and even some direct evidence, sometime during and especially in late 2012, the Earth may pass through some severe weather conditions and maybe even some unusual phenomena. Those without good health, spiritual knowledge, and who are attached to comfort surely will suffer more.

In our study of yoga, we learn about the Kleshas, the mental impurities, the root causes of all pain and suffering. All five are rooted in the first, Avidya or ignorance of your own True Self, but attachment or Raga, another one of the Kleshas, will cause many great problems during this period of transition and change. We can combat this as Yogis by re-dedicating ourselves to Sadhana (spiritual practice), and, the more we learn, the more we'll have to then share with others to help them through the dark days potentially ahead. Commit every bit of knowledge you can to memory and strengthen the physical body so you can help others who are weaker. Many Yogis become flexible and strong through their dedication to the Asana or posture practice, but you mustn't sacrifice cardiovascular fitness, since the ability to run if there is danger is of great value both to save yourself and to then help save others. Do something for at least five minutes every day to strengthen and tone the cardiovascular system, even Jumping Jacks. Pursue Self-knowledge every day with great intensity.


To be continued...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

THURSDAY QUOTES





"Protect me from what I want."

-Jenny Holzer






In 1982, Holzer took an ad (the Public Art Fund paid) on a Times Square LED billboard. It read simply: "protect me from what I want." It was a cutting comment on modern consumerism in the age of "society of the spectacle" ((c) Guy Debord)









BONUS QUOTES FROM JENNY HOLZER:

"Being Sure Of Yourself Means You’re A Fool"

and

"It's better to be a good person than a famous person."

and

"Ensure that your life stays in flux."





Sounds like a yogi to me.







The main focus of jenny holzer has been on the investigation of means to disseminate her ideas within public space. since the late seventies, she has been working in the street and in public buildings, using media that would enable her work to blend in the landscape. from lcd displays (e.g., in Times Square, New York) to posters and stickers (applied to such urban elements as telephone booths or parking meters), the texts function as comments on that environment they fit into, stimulating awareness of our social conditioning as conveyed by the very landscape in which we may be confronted by them.
From this site.




Read more about Holzer - who was born in Ohio - here.

Her Twitter feed is @jennyholzer


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DHARMA COMES ALIVE
His famous poster, that is










































Thanks to Tini Lu for the tip.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

MONDAY MUSIC
Remix of "Bho Shambho" by Dr. Nithyasree Mahadevan










Hear the unadulterated version here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

FUNNY FRIDAY
Johnny B Visits Garry Meier



A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that Jonathon Brandmeier would be the new morning man at WGN.

A short time later, Johnny B. appeared on Garry Meyer's afternoon drive show on WGN.

Unplanned (as it seems) or not, the interaction between these two local talk radio legends is amazing:

Johnny B. is clearly on the Vata spectrum, his ADD in full swing.

Pitta-Kapha Garry is the calm, sharp-minded professional - who gets in a few really well-placed barbs.

I've watched the video twice and have trouble looking away.

Click here here to see for yourself. (This was shot on Garry's birthday, by the way).







Learn about the doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

THURSDAY QUOTE: TIMELESS WISDOM FROM..... MAD MEN?
(a re-post from 2010)




"Every living thing is connected....


"The only thing keeping you from being happy is the belief that you are alone."




-Anna Draper to Don Draper (the best ujjayi breather on television), Season Three





----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Season five began production in August, and there's no word on when it will air. In the interim, AMC is playing reruns of past shows.

Monday, December 12, 2011

MONDAY MUSIC
"Chandra Chooda Siva Sankara Purandara dasa Raagamaalika" by M L Vasantha Kumari





Composer: Purandara Daasar
Language: Kannada

Saturday, December 10, 2011

FUNNY SATURDAY: THE ASTANGA POLICE
(purists know there's no "H" in astanga)

The Ashtanga Police
by: janbaggerudlarsen

Friday, December 09, 2011

FUNNY FRIDAY II: EVENTUALLY, EVERYONE FINDS YOGA


After sentencing, the former Illinois gov demonstrates jnana mudra - the gesture of wisdom.





---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





For years, I taught ashtanga in the office below Blago's headquarters, where it all went down.

I still teach ashtanga in the space just below the offices of Taxpayers for Quinn - the current gov's fundraising arm.

Apparently the good vibes eventually seep upwards.

Eventually.
FUNNY FRIDAY









No. sh!t.







Thursday, December 08, 2011


THURSDAY QUOTE




"Attend carefully to details.
Never despair. Nil desperandum. Plod on.
Watch carefully over your passions.
Be prompt in doing all things.
Sacrifice money rather than principle."


-Swami Sivananda

Monday, December 05, 2011

MONDAY MUSIC: NAMA RAMAYANAN (The Ramayana in Brief)*
Composed by Lakshmanachar/Ramanuja
Sung by the great Kannadiga singer Dr. M.S. Subbalakshmi






BAlaKAntam:-
shuddhabrahmaparAtpara rAm |
kAlAtmakaparameshvara rAm |
sheShatalpasukhanidrita rAm |
brahmAdyamaraprArthita rAm |
caNDakiraNakulamaNDana rAm |
shrImaddasharathanandana rAm |
kausalyAsukhavardhana rAm |
vishvAmitrapriyadhana rAm |
ghoratATakAghAtaka rAm |
mArIcAdinipAtaka rAm |
kaushikamakhasaMrakShaka rAm |
shrImadahalyoddhAraka rAm |
gautamamunisaMpUjita rAm |
suramunivaragaNasaMstuta rAm |
nAvikadhAvikam.rdupada rAm |
mithilApurajanamohaka rAm |
videhamAnasara~njaka rAm |
tryaMbakakArmukhabha~njaka rAm |
sItArpitavaramAlika rAm |
k.rtavaivAhikakautuka rAm |
bhArgavadarpavinAshaka rAm |
shrImadayodhyApAlaka rAm |

rAmarAma jaya rAjArAm |
rAmarAma jaya sItArAm |

ayothyAKAntam:-
agaNitaguNagaNabhUShita rAm |
avanItanayAkAmita rAm |
rAkAcandrasamAnana rAm |
pit.rvAkyAshritakAnana rAm |
priyaguhaviniveditapada rAm |
tatkShAlitanijam.rdupada rAm |
bharadvAjamukhAnandaka rAm |
citrakUTAdriniketana rAm |
dasharathasantatacintita rAm |
kaikeyItanayArpita rAm |
viracitanijapit.rkarmaka rAm |
bharatArpitanijapAduka rAm |

rAmarAma jaya rAjArAm |
rAmarAma jaya sItArAm |

AranyAKAntam:-
daNDakAvanajanapAvana rAm |
duShTavirAdhavinAshana rAm |
sharabhaN^gasutIkShNArcita rAm |
agastyAnugrahavardita rAm |
g.rdhrAdhipasaMsevita rAm |
pa~ncavaTItaTasusthita rAm |
shUrpaNakhArttividhAyaka rAm |
kharadUShaNamukhasUdaka rAm |
sItApriyahariNAnuga rAm |
mArIcArtik.rtAshuga rAm |
vinaShTasItAnveShaka rAm |
g.rdhrAdhipagatidAyaka rAm |
shabarIdattaphalAshana rAm |
kabandhabAhucchedana rAm |

rAmarAma jaya rAjArAm |
rAmarAma jaya sItArAm |

KishkindAKAntam:-
hanumatsevitanijapada rAm |
natasugrIvAbhIShTada rAm |
garvitavAlisaMhAraka rAm |
vAnaradUtapreShaka rAm |
hitakaralakShmaNasaMyuta rAm |

rAmarAma jaya rAjArAm |
rAmarAma jaya sItArAm











*This sloka is sung every Sunday night at the local Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center

Saturday, December 03, 2011

CHASE THE RAIN AWAY






with today's Maha Sadhana three-hour Dharma Mittra practice with Cara.

From 1-4 at YogaNow.

It's just $30 if you sign up online.

It will make you feel sunny inside....

....so it won't matter what's happening outside.












Top image from here.

Friday, December 02, 2011

FUNNY FRIDAY




Student Dan B. celebrated his first yoga birthday today - one year in the ashtanga self-practice trenches, where the practitioner comes face-to-face with his strengths and weaknesses, over and over again, each day at 6:30am.


It is not a practice for the fickle or faint-hearted.

The regular self-practice students are neither.

(Most people don't stick with Mysore-style ashtanga for a week, let alone a year or decade).

To mark his anniversary, Dan brought fine Belgian chocolate for everyone.

(Chocolate-lover Pattabhi Jois would have approved).

He also brought the card, above.

Pranams to him and the other students for their ongoing dedication to the vexing, rewarding, difficult, life-altering Mysore-style ashtanga practice -

and for Dan's wonderful Miserable Yoga Men illustrations and t-shirts.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

THURSDAY QUOTE




"We don't put much faith in ecstasies here," Dame Ursula had told them. "The nun you see rapt away in church isn't likely to be the holiest. The holiest is probably the one you would never notice, because she is simply doing her duty."



-from Rumer Godden's 1969 novel, In This House of Brede