Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 3

There is a lunar eclipse happening right now which is the perfect set up for tomorrow’s lecture. John will be talking to us about the malas which are the 3 cloaks that conceal the truth of our hearts from ourselves. I bet I will have something more to share on this tomorrow. Today we talked primarily about the gunas and the rasas, both of which I totally love, especially from a Tantric perspective. The way that I understand the gunas is that they really exist along a spectrum with rajas at one end and tamas at another. Rajas guna is expressed as heating, stimulating, expanding and dynamic. Represented by air and fire. Tamas Guna is stillness, quiet, inertia, cooling, condensing etc. It is more like water and earth. And then Sattva Guna is balance and luminosity. And Sattva can move along the spectrum between rajasic and tamasic depending on the context. The example that John always gives is that at night when you are getting ready to fall asleep, it is sattvic to have heavier, slower, more tamasic energy. So content is really not as important as context.

I really love this and probably most of you have heard me go off on this more than once. The rasas are like the flavors of life or the emotional spectrum. They correspond with the Doshas and with the elements. One thing that is really important to understand about Anusara Yoga philosophy is that the way that we interpret principle is relatively flexible (refer back to context not content). That the answer that you get today may not be the answer that you get tomorrow because the situation will have changed and the factors will be different. This is not to say that Anusara is loose, because in fact it is anything but and you really need to know your information. But when we look at something like the rasas and start talking about specific emotions, every one has a place at the appropriate time. Even ones that we may have considered to be negative, like anger or fear or depression. They all are important in the appropriate context. In fact they actually assist us in moving up the scale to other emotions such as compassion, courage and wonder and on toward peace, love and joy. John spoke a little bit earlier in the day about creating a time and space matrix for the practice. That is to say that the consistency in the specific time and place that you set up to do your practice actually contains and further cultivates the energy of the actual practice, even in the time between. This is very cool, and not only because it speaks to regularity but also to the intention that you create around said time and space. See none of this is arbitrary… Christina asked a great question about the 25 tattvas of the relative world which brought a lot of clarity to my understanding about that. Even though it is the relative world that we are talking about, it is still pre-manifestation, so the jnanendriyas, karmendriyas, and tanmatras are energies moving toward specific manifestation in the form of the mahabhutas, the 5 elements expressed in the form and functions of the human body. This is really kind of out there, but very, very cool. Those were basically the highlights of the day. Rachel, Chritina, Maple and I went to Fujiyama for dinner and that was very fun and yummy. I am getting ready to leave the city though, and so is my little bug. It has been fun, and one part of me is very sad to say goodbye to friends and I love the intensity of this much practice and study, but I am also feeling the call to restore balance to my family. Plus there are so may exciting projects that I am working on at home that I am eager to return to . Before saying goodnight I just have to express my infinite gratitude to my mother. She has so selflessly supported me over the last 2 years as I have travelled to study with John. She takes time out from her life and her business to come and basically be a single parent to Maple (OK it is not that bad- but this is a grueling schedule and it is really tough on little ones). It just blows my mind how much she believes in me, and I can feel it so fully through her love and support. Thank you Mom from the bottom of my heart. I can only hope to be as supportive and loving to my own children. I love you! OK. Goodnight all.

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