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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Haile Selassie & Yoga

7.24.11  Equality
Starseed Yoga and Wellness of Montclair, NJ

To Know Your Self, Sri Swami Satchidananda, Ch 1. Your Real Self, p. 3
"The aim of all spiritual practices is to know your real Self, to know the Knower.  The Bible says, "Love your neighbor as yourself."  But without knowing what your Self is, how can you love your Self in another?  Know the Self and then see your own Self in your neighbor's Self.  Then you can love that person as your Self.
"Have you ever seen yourself, even your physical self?  Have you ever seen your face?  Only in a mirror.  Suppose I break the mirror, could you still see your face?  No.  But, would your face be lost?  No.  What you see in a mirror is the image, not the original, because it is the face that sees.  The face is the subject.  The subject only sees an image of itself as the object, but never sees itself.
"If the mirror should be distorted or crooked, the image you see will be crooked too.  Will you run to the doctor crying, "Doctor, there is something wrong with my face!"
The doctor says, "There is nothing wrong.  You are beautiful."
"But I saw a horrible picture."
The doctor then brings another mirror that's undistorted and clean, and shows you: "Look at your face."
"My God, I saw a horrible face in my mirror; now its so beautiful."  No, you would not do that.  You would realize there is something wrong with the mirror, not your face.  If you correct the mirror, you can see your true nature.  If you look for your true nature in a distorted mirror you will see a crooked face.  What is the mirror in our case?  Our minds.  To see our true Self we must have clean, clear, calm minds."

Today we will celebrate equality in honor of Haile Selassie, born on July 23, 1892 as Tafari Makonnen.  During his political life he became known as Ras Tafari, Ras meaning head or leader.  The symbol of the lion is dipicted in his honor.  In 1930 he became the Emperor of Ethopia and assumed the name of Haile Selassie, which translates to the power of the trinity.  He was a defining figure in African history and was seen as a messiah figure bringing eternal peace, equality, righteousness, and prosperity throughout the land.  Beginning in Jamacia during the 1930's, the Rastafari movement celebrates and honors this messiah figure through the use of reggae music.  Many of Bob Marley's songs are speeches that Haile Selassie gave during his reign as Emperor.  In many songs and in the Rastafari culture, mention of Him, Jah, and Jah Rastarfari are referring to Haile Selassie.  Jah!

"...until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation, until the the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eye, until the basic human rights are equally guantareed to all without regard to race, until that day the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of national morality will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained."
- Haile Selassie

The common thread of all faith traditions can be found in three fundamental principles:
1. There is mention of our true nature
2. To realize our true nature, we need a still mind and a pure heart
3. To have a still mind and a pure heart, lead a dedicated life.

To the sounds of Bob Marley, Vinyasa (flowing with the breath between two poses) Sequence:
Tabletop, Marjaryasana (cat pose) > Bitilasana (cow pose),
Balasana (child's pose) > tabletop,
Balasana > table > Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog),
Balasana > Ashtangasana (eight pointed pose)
Balasana > Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana > plank
Adho Mukha Svanasana > Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
Ardha Uttanasana (halfway standing forward bend) > Uttanasana
Tadasana (mountain pose) > Urdhva Hastasana (upward facing palms pose),
Uttanasana > Utkatasana (chair pose)
Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (upward bound palms pose), Gomukasana prep (cow pose),
Surya Namasakara (sun salutation):  Tadasana (mountain pose) - Urdhva Hastasana (upward facing palms pose) - Uttanasana - lunge - Adho Mukha Svanasana - Astangasana - Bhujangasana - Adho Mukha Svanasana - lunge - Uttanasana - Urdhva Hastasana - Tadasana.
Virabhadrasana I (warrior I) > Parsvottanasana (intense forward bend), Virabhadrasana II (warrior II) > Parvrtti Virabhadrasana (reverse warrior) > Parsvakonasana (intense side angle pose), Prasarita Padottanasana (wide legged forward bend), Vrksasana (tree pose), Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana (bow pose), Dandasana (staff pose) > Paschimottanasana (west back stretch), Savasana (corpse pose) with guided relaxation.  Played the throat chakra crystal singing bowl coming out of Savasana.  Deergha Swaasam Pranayama (three part breath).

"To see our true Self we must have clean, clear, calm minds." - H.H. Sri Swami Satchidananda

Closing Peace Chants
Asaato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya
Lead us from unreal to Real.
Lead us from darkness to the light.
Lead us from the fear of death, to the knowledge of Immortality.
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Lokaah Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu
May the entire universe be filled with Peace and Joy, Love and Light.

Jah Rastafari!

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