Most spiritual traditions recognise the importance of dreams and dreaming and often there is a method for using dreams to further explore and develop oneself. I’ve always loved the term Dream Yoga; for some reason it sparks my imagination. Most Dream Yoga, be it from the Tibetan Buddhist traditions or from the Yogis or just from the good old New Age world comes down to finding a way to have Lucid Dreams. For those of you who are not familiar with Lucid Dreams and Lucid Dreaming, these are dreams which you consciously control. That sounds strange to a lot of people who have no experience with lucid dreaming, and some may find it incredible to think that they could actually control their dreams. But that’s exactly what lucid dreaming allows you to do. (more…)
There’s a lot of thought provoking info in both of those articles. It is always sad when people use something like yoga to basically enslave others when true yoga is really a mechanism for allowing you to free yourself. I guess it all boils down to a healthy scepticism. Sometimes in the complementary/spiritual/alternative therapy realm, people are too quick to just accept what a supposed guru says. Be careful who you follow.
Downward Facing Dog on Adho Mukha Savanasana is such a yoga staple. It is one of the most recognisable yoga postures and there isn’t a yoga practitioner around who doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) train this one daily. It’s there in the sun salute, so you really have no excuse. This asana is excellent for all sorts of things and can help calm the mind and relieve stress. It’s great for stretching out the shoulders, calves and hamstrings and general strengthening. It’s also purportedly great if you suffer high blood pressure, asthma, sciatica and can relieve menopausal symptoms. The calming effect on the mind can help with insomnia and the stretch into the arches of the feet helps people with flat feet. The list of goods for this posture simply go on and on.
Give people a few drinks and they are bound to start opening up and having those deep conversations that all too often, they are too reticent to talk about. You know – the meaning of life, what’s it all about, does God exist. It’s almost as if existential questions and booze go hand it hand. It’s also true that you’ll find more people in the average pub than you will at the average Buddhist temple. So, how do you bring in the crowds and get them to embrace their spiritual nature? Well, if you are a forward thinking monastery, you set turn the sutras into hip hop and open a bar.
This is absolutely incredible – I’m not much of a scientist, but if I understand this talk correctly, these mirror neurons mean that we really are intrinsically connected to everyone else and what we do to them, we do to ourselves as well. Most every religion talks about compassion and “do unto others”. Many spiritual practices cultivate compassion and kindness to others – many even encourage kindness and compassion to one’s enemies – and they are right because we only harm ourselves by harming others. On the flip side, when we help others, when we give them kindness and compassion, we are giving back to ourselves as well.
How cool is that?