Tuesday, July 28, 2009
In recent years yoga has gained a great popularity in the world for many reasons. When I was younger and first learned about yoga and its existence, you could not find anything much on it except in books, magazines, and occasionally a movie or two. I learned about yoga around the age of 8,9,or 10 years and I shall relate some of that in later blogs or comments. Nowadays, yoiu can find a 'yoga studio' or session in even the smallest US towns and villages, along with other Eastern practices,such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong or Acupuncture,etc. as well as other similar things of a mystical/occult nature. Magazines and DVD's or videos as well as books and seminars, and yoga camps have all contributed to the spread and growth of yoga. All this may seem rather obvious to sophisticated and uptodate people, who follow all the trends, but at one time, the search for yoga was difficult and as mentioned previously in this section, The Way of The Yogi is not for everyone if it is truly followed. Most people are concentrated on the so-called basics of HATHA YOGA and are content to twist themselves up into pretzels and complicated, intricate poses and postures, of which they seldom, but occasionally, have any idea as to why these are done,save for supposed physical benefits,etc. I find a complete ignorance of the traditional Yoga Classics, and literature often existing,except if one has come under the sway or influence of specific groups and teachers or masters and swamis,etc. who tend to keep tabs on their devotees and followers for reasons of their own,usually. Of the three traditional ways: THE WAY OF THE YOGI tends in its higher forms to be MENTAL or even intellectual,involving the mind, the brain and the nervous system as well as logic and positive thinking, but not the kind most think of or about. Where systems of Yoga are heavily coated with the religious notions and speculations and rituals and rites of TRADITIONAL HINDUISM, one will encounter a number of obstacles and contradictions and problems on this path,especially without a true, real, initiated teacher or teachers. Entering ashrams and other yoga areas can prove interesting, disappointing,exciting, and laborious. To really understand yoga, and,indeed, any religion or martial arts or such similar area, I always say for others to visit the lands where these things originated if possible and not rely on just readings, second-hand observations and comments and teachers who have not trod the hot,dusty trails or the high perilous mountains,etc. in search of these things.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The Way of the Monk includes the Priest, the Lama, the Hermit, the Wiseman, and a number of others who follow a religious orientation and system or practice, whether organized or not,but, like the Way of the Fakir or the Way of the Yogi, everything has to be accepted from the beginning and followed to the end, without knowing where you will actually end up: whether HEAVEN OR NIRVANA, HELL OR HADES, OR PARADISE OR THE NEW EDEN,etc.etc. You will have to embrace ritual and rite, kneeling in prayer and also allow devotional attitudes to emerge. Emotion and 'LOVE' and other things will be the focus. Then,in some cases, obedience, chastity, and poverty will be your burdens. The Way of the Sufi is sometimes along this path as is the way of the Fakir. They sometimes share certain aspects of their respective paths,but few of us will give up our present state and embrace these paths. It is most informative to read the biographies and autobiographies of Westerners who have gone to Indis, Tibet,Egypt, Thailand, China, Japan,etc. to embrace the religions and practices of these lands,especially Zen, Yoga, Vedanta,Sufism, etc. The caution is NOT TO LET YOUR IMAGINATION SWAY YOU INTO EMBRACING ALL THESE THINGS.
This traditional Path is one of the most misunderstood of the three classic paths. The other paths, that of the monk and the yogi, sometimes employ a few of the methods and techniques from this path. Essentially, the path is physical, intensely so, and the more familiar examples of the practitioners can be found in RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT, in either photos or drawings,etc. FAKIRISM does not mean faking though some Fakirs are 'tricksters',con-men, and utilize various techniques. They can also be soothsayers, magicians(the street variety) and even astologers, but various schools exist. More needs to be said on this aspect of THE WAY OF THE FAKIR, but you can see some examples in 'body-builders', Hatha yogis, and side-show performers,etc. Mastery of the body is the key to being a Fakir. Often this involves intense pain and suffering to achieve a goal few would care to try and reach in the modern, indulgent world. Some of the practices tend to masochism and even sadism, torture and physical extremism. However, the notion of 'INTENTIONAL SUFFERING' is a much higher format to follow than most realize. Aspects of this can be found in BUDDHISM and CHRISTIANITY, of course. For most religions, life itself is suffering and all life suffers. People in the West tend to try to evade and escape from pain at all costs, especially through drugs,etc. and do not really try to understand certain forms of pain or to control such,etc. The Way of the Fakir is one way to do this and perhaps to achieve liberation and enlightenment but you have to accept everything from the beginning without knowing where you will end up!
Although most of us look at sensing as being the same as the 'senses' it is not really the case as anyone who undertakes the process and activity of 'sensing' will soon discover. Several systems of sensing exist and many of them have merit for particular persons and more especially for specific body types. If you look at the nerve patterns and pathways in the body as well as the meridians and channels, and other types of a similar nature, you will see that much is involved. However, you have to also learn some things about relaxation and tension, which are not 'sensing' per se but they can also assist in your understanding and possible mastery of this process. The better way to learn what sensing is about is to have an actual teacher guide you.