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Friday, November 14, 2008

Cause and Effect- Revised


* As we go through life we hear and study things by word of mouth. Through technology we have blogs, webcasts, radio and such. As such a new breed of error comes about. I had trouble researching the following piece largely because I had the name of the concept mis spelled. I took a class recently that made reference to Mushin rather than Wu shin, I was able to make more sense of it. I have changed the word Wu Shin to Mushin to reflect something you can actually verify. On top of it added a few additional pieces of commentary... Blessings

Going through daily life there are shifts that we experience. Everything in a day, or in our entire lives are somehow interwoven. The greatest time we have to effect change is in that little space we have between events.

One of the lessons I have taken into my life as an internal arts practitioner is a concept called Mushin*. Muhin is a Chinese expression that describes the relationship that describes the pause between a cause and it's effect.  This is Mushin as described by Sifu Dan Brown. Traditionally it is uses as a martial arts term. As Kung Fu was a gateway to proper living and philosophy for me for a while I have expanded its meaning according to the way Sifu Brown describes it.


It's that moment when the world seems to go into slow motion. For instance in a car accident, you recall it in detail in slow motion, the great baseball hitters can see the spin on the threads of a ball. You get the idea.

Now lets come to the practice of internal arts. Most of these, Yoga, Qigong, TaiChi, Meditation, Zen and others use the Breath as the central focus of the exercise. When we breath, there is a moment however brief that we inhale, pause, then exhale. The magic comes in that pause. The cause is the inhale and the effect is the exhale. The experience is the Pause. This is what to me is the center of mindfulness, the pause. To always be mindful of our breathing, mindful of our actions. We should always aim to be centered, and when there is a pause take a moment to meditate on the peace it is intended to create.

When you carry yourself into a place of self practice, church, yoga studio, guan, dojo, etc, enter that state of Mushin. The cause is the decision to take care of the spirit, the effect hopefully is to make your life better. So leave everything at the door, go into slow mindful motion... and breath.
 
Brian M. Dotson

*Sifu Dan Brown of Chicago, podcast "Lessons in Mindfulness"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What is the greatest Yoga Posture?

As a Yogi and a Yoga instructor, I have been exposed to many expressions of what Yoga is.

The most poignant definition in recent years was from an interview by Yoga Journal with J. Donald Walters, (Swami Yogananda Kriyananda). Yoga Journal asked, "What do you believe is the most important Yoga posture?"

Kriananda replied instantly, "Well of course, the one that allows you to stand on your own two feet."

I have put some thought into that over time and as from any Sage, a single sentence has volumes of meaning behind it. It's our job sometimes to mine it out. Standing on our own two feet in terms of asana or physical yoga practice then of course it means the basic form of Tadasana or tall mountain. The Ananda Yoga affirmation is, "I stand ready to obey thy least command."

"Thy least command" to me has the spiritual meaning of "To thine own self be true". That my higher power wishes me to make the choices for myself that will best benefit the universe. To do what I need to get done to make my life a life of service. Standing firmly on my own two feet is more than a metaphor saying "I can do it myself." It's a metaphysical translation to I can be steady and strong, I am a store of boundless energy and I stand tall.

Based on Kriyananda's simple comment do you think that the physical expression of yoga as simply exercise? You don't have to ever step foot in an Ashram to know that as you practice the physical expression of yoga you may learn that you are beginning to experience also the joy of union of body, mind, and spirit.

If we learn to assimilate the simple observations of our great Saints and Sages, or even recognize a good human learning mantra that leads you into everyday better joy and happiness then live it and share with others what you have found.

I'll end with this, if you have been a regular student in Brian's class you have been well drilled into the importance of Tadasana. Please believe that I practice it always by actually, and spiritually standing FIRMLY on my own two feet... no one can push me down!

Let me hear what you think.

Walk in the light!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Does God Speak?

I have a case of spiritual schitzophrenea. I happen to think that God has spoken in large volumes through Masters, Saints, and Prophets through history.

Daily God speaks to me through others, through actions of others, and occasionally when I am blessed with inspiration of unknown origin. God speaks to me through the stillness of meditation.

What do you think? I want to learn from those who only chose to share rather than preach... what do you think?

Bri