Freedom

The fight for freedom is waged within 6 inches. Not in some other country, not with the people in your society that are different from you or have different ideas. There is a war taking place within your own mind. Your power to think is under siege. If you are not using your mind, someone else is using it for …

Overcoming the Habit of Negation

When one sits still and begins to examine the mind and emotions, one finds that many conflicting thoughts and feelings arise. This inner conflict is what creates obstacles to inner peace. No matter how much we try to attain peace through external means, those unsettling thoughts are always lurking underneath the surface causing inner turmoil and unrest. The Yogis tell …

Becoming Fully Human

My teacher would always say that we should strive to be fully human. He would say don’t worry about becoming enlightened, just become fully human. Pure consciousness is our true nature, so in reality we do not need to strive to be spiritual. We already are spirit. Becoming fully human allows us to realize our true spiritual nature. When we …

Being in the Moment

In our culture, it is our tendency to look to our past to tell us who we are. We often define ourselves as the sum of our past perceptions and experiences. From the perspective of Yoga philosophy, our past tells us who we are not. Our past experiences are simply experiences, but they do not necesarily define us. We can …

Consciousness and the Process of Evolution

This is an answer to a question I was asked about consciousness as it relates to evolution: It is my understanding that the mind (particularly the ego aspect of the mind) can sometimes impede the evolutionary process or it can be used as a tool to speed up the process. I think this is why humans are considered more evolved …

Beyond the Mind

What exist beyond the body, mind, and emotions? That question is the central question of Yoga and one’s answer to that question continues to evolve as they progress along the path. Yoga starts when one sincerely attempts to answer that question. Regardless of how many asanas one performs, asana is only a preparatory stage of Yoga. Asana prepares one for …

Moksha

The tendency to seek fulfillment of desires in the external world lead to a mix of both pleasure and pain, and the fulfillment is only temporary. The actions performed to fulfill our desires create karma and inevitably lead us into bondage. Even though we are never fully satisfied in external fulfillment, the force of habit propels us to continue seeking …

Performing Actions

The wise ones tell us that we should perform our actions selflessly . . . but what does that really mean? First we must discover the source of our urges and desires to act. Are they driven by selfish motives or by a higher inspiration? Many times we doubt our urges to take action even if they are not inspired …

The Paths of Yoga

Jnana Yoga – The Path of Knowledge and Intellect “Jnana Yoga is the path of Vedanta philosophy in which – knowledge of the self – is the way of realization. Knowledge of the self means knowledge of the whole being in its totality and entirety. There are two sides of our being. One is the mortal aspect and the other …

Meditation and the Mind (Part 1)

One of the biggest challenges to maintaining a consistent meditation practice is learning how to manage the mind. The mind can be the doorway to the inner peace of deep meditation, or it can be an obstacle. A restless mind can be a formidable foe to meditation practice. My teacher would say “the mind can be your best friend or …