Kites And Swans


In the olden times, Kites as well as Swans had beautiful voices using which they sang lovely songs. But when they heard the neigh of the horse, they were so enchanted with the sound that they tried to imitate it. In trying to neigh, they forgot how to sing. And today all Kites and Swans can do is make high pitch calls resembling the neigh of the horse.

This story is from the Aesop fable, and it illustrates the danger of chasing imagined benefits, and losing the present blessings that we may already have.

Isn’t it true that growing up most of us are blessed with health and peace of mind that we take for granted? Then we begin chasing after ego-driven goals, and we lose both our peace of mind and health. And what do we gain in return? Is it worth it?

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Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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Why Are We Changing Maps?

The point of showing this video on MyLifeYoga is to illustrate the difficulty in creating accurate maps. We love our maps because they are so useful, but sometimes we forget that maps can be inaccurate and misrepresent reality.

From the point of view of Yoga, it is important to understand the role of maps in how we learn about reality. Everything we see and know about the external world is interpreted by us based on the models we have in our head. These models are like maps of reality that we have in our head. But because maps are only a partially accurate representation, what we think we know about reality may not be the whole truth.

One of the aim of yoga is therefore to seek direct experience without the aid of a map. This is so that we may know truth directly, without it being distorted by interpretation. The only thing that can be directly experienced without interpretation is consciousness itself. The direct experience of consciousness is called meditation, and is a great way to do yoga.

Related: The Brahmodaya Competition

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The President

The President Worlds Largest Tree

The President

The President is the world’s second largest tree. Its 3200 years old!

Its so big that it has been impossible to photograph it in its totality. Now for the first time a picture has been stitched together from multiple images that gives us the full scope of its true size: 27 feet in diameter, 247 feet tall, 54 thousand cubic feet of wood and bark, and 2 Billion leaves!

It took a team of people 32 days and 126 separate pictures to create this image.

The story of how the picture was taken on You-tube.
Full account and more pictures
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
List of oldest trees

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A Sure Sign Of Spiritual Progress

Ram Dass

Ram Dass

Richard Alpert went to India as a Westerner, an ex-professor from the prestigious Harvard University. Having met a transformative Guru, he came back as Ram Dass, a God smitten yogi. Here’s his account of his journey back:

On the way back from India I had gotten to the Los Angeles airport where I was waiting between planes. I had come from this thing in the temple and then I’d been in Kyoto in Japan in a temple, and from there I’d come directly to Los Angeles where I was waiting for a plane to my cabin. And I was sitting in the lotus position on a bench in the American airlines terminal. And three soldiers came by on their way back from Vietnam and they were talking about whether they wanted to meet some women or get a bottle first. That was their discussion.

One of them took a look at me and said, “What are you some kind of a yogurt?”

It’s hard to imagine the space my head was in in those days. First I had been silent for 7 months, working on a slate board even in Japan. I was used to living in a very quiet space. So this was all very much. Their words were floating around and I could feel all the vibrations and everything the being was, was saying and so on. And I just felt this incredible wave of love and I looked at him and I said, “Well as a matter of fact I am a yogi and I’ve been in the Himalayas studying” and I looked right at him you know, like “Right. You know. Right on.”

Well all I can tell you is that within about probably a minute and a half he was sitting next to me telling me about how he watched his best friend being shot to death in the tent they were living in in Vietnam, and what he felt like facing death and so on. And 30 minutes later when their plane was called they could barely part. It was the shaking hands and “It’s been SUCH a thing to meet you”.

Well that blew my mind, because that had nothing to do with me obviously. I mean clearly that would never have happened with me. But whatever it was that I had picked up in India was like some kind of bug in the digestive system. It was doing something to me so that these people were seeing something or other. I felt very much like a middle man in the whole operation.

What is the sign of spiritual progress? How do you know that you are on the right path? It is possible that you may be making a lot of money and gaining fame, but are you on the right path spiritually? How does one find out? The answer is that as you make spiritual progress, the ego diminishes. Rather than seeing your actions as done by the ego, you now begin to see yourself merely an agent of an Higher power. This is how Ram Dass describes his actions in the account above, and this is a sure sign of spiritual progress. There is love in your every breath and every action is from a deep sense of humility.

Great things may happen when your surrender to the Divine is complete. All Ram Dass wanted to do on his return was to stay alone and meditate in the same manner he had done in India. But a chance encounter with a bunch of hippies changed everything. He soon had a following, and then the following grew and he was giving talks, and the notes on his talks became a book, and the book struck a chord and sold millions of copies, and Ram Dass became world famous. Funny are the ways the Divine works.

Related: A Story Of A Westerner’s Contact With A True Saint In India

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah. This is based on the account found here.

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Look Up!

In a world where we are increasingly electronically connected, are we really connecting at the human level? In this wonderful video Gary Turk asks us not to sacrifice the human connection for the mirage of an electronic one.

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