My Path

 

– Pranayama 

Learning to control and focus on the breath, which
enables me to learn to concentrate on the present
moment, to be “one pointed”

This practice enables me to break the cycle of
stimulus / response, to detach from the world of
stimuli and from my own internal flow of thought
and emotion, allowing me to withness myself without
judgment.

– Kripalu Yoga

The practice of Kripalu Yoga enables me to learn
and develop the skill of Pranayama – Yoga is Breath –
and to be in touch with my body and my mind / center
in the present moment.

– Witnessing myself without judgment / with compassion

Being able to achieve a calm center in which action /
reaction are slowed down or separated, in which non-
attachment can be approximated, I am able to witness
myself – my character traits, tendencies, thoughts,
actions, words, intentions – in a situation or in
a moment of time.

Bearing witness to myself *with compassion* enables
me to make choices about how I will act and react,
instead of being carried along on the wave of an
emotion led or reactionary life, or being controlled
by events and my stimulus / response reactions to them.

Bearing witness to myself also opens me to cultivating
an awareness of the Divine as revealed through Nature,
experience, sense, intuition, pattern, reason, and
relationship.

Contemplating the prevelance of order, Grace, Synchronicity
and learning to see and celebrate Meaning in the common
and the extraordinary experiences of living

 
– Yama / NiYama

Being able to bear witness to my character my thoughs
actions and intentions With Compassion, enables me to
make choices about who and what I will become.

The principle of Yama / Niyama in Raja Yoga is that
we aspire to positive character traits and behaviors
and thoughts and actions.

When we witness negatives, we do not condemn ourselves,
we do not judge ourselves, we do not harrass ourselves,
we do not focus on or wrestle with or against the negative
trait we wish to overcome. Instead –

– The Practice of Virtues

Instead of wrestling with or struggling against negative
behaviors or traits, I identify the problems in my character
or behavior, make decisions about the direction I want to take
in peace and compassion, and I set about practicing the positive
virtue that is the opposite of the negative trait I wish to
counteract.

Telling yourself NOT to do something does not work. There are
well reviewed double blind studies in the field of Psychology
that demonstrate this. Rather, the approach that works is to
practice the opposite of the un-desired behavior.

– Harmlessness and Compassion to all sentient life

Because we are enabled by following this path to witness ourself
at some of our worst moments – with love and compassion and a gentle
attitude of correction – and because we are able to see the effect
of Karma in our own life – realizing the costs we pay for non-
virtuous action, we are able to be fully compassionate to others,
and to extend an attitude of Harmlessness and Compassion to all
sentient beings.
 

– Repairing the world (Tikkun olam)

The practice of Harmlessness and Compassion enables us to
participate in the work of Repairing the World – extending
the compassion of the divine to all persons, so that the
hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, those in prison are
visited, and liberation is proclaimed to the poor; so that
the lame may walk and the blind may see; that Justice may
roll on like a river, and each my live with his neighbor,
unafraid.
______________________________________________________________

I am indebted to Many for helping me to find this Path. I
name but a few…

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha
Aristotle
Patañjali
Jesus of Nazareth
Moses Maimonides
Thomas à Kempis
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Swami Kripalvanandji
Thomas Merton

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