The Big Picture

The Big Picture
“Without the fundamentals, the details are useless.” – James Clear.

The problem is that we end up arguing about the details while missing the big picture. So what is the big picture? Here it is in a few bullet points:

  1. Consciousness is a fundamental property of the Universe and not an after-effect of the brain. There is now significant scientific evidence in this direction.
  2. We experience consciousness through a “Consciousness Unit” (Soul or Atma).
  3. Consciousness comes to us from “Universal Consciousness” (Supreme Soul or Param-Atama or God).
  4. The ego is a “knot of consciousness” present in the “Consciousness Unit” that consumes all our energy.
  5. Ego is the roadblock to deeply connect with the “Universal Consciousness”. It takes our attention away from “Universal Consciousness” and puts it on itself.
  6. When ego is diminished we experience health, connection, love, and happiness. This is because our connection with “Universal Consciousness” is strengthened.
  7. We have a choice to express consciousness through the ego or while with the “Universal Consciousness”.
  8. When living through the ego we are in the land of opposites. Happiness is followed by sadness. But when with the “Universal Consciousness” there are no opposites. Here happiness is our natural state.
  9. When deeply connected to the “Universal Consciousness” our experience is beyond space and time and cannot be described in words. The common word used is: Bliss.
  10. The Big question: Do we want to spend our lives in the fruitless service of our ego?
  11. If the answer is “No” then we may use Yoga to sideline the ego.
  12. Yoga is a systematic way of taking away our attention from the ego and directing it towards the “Universal Consciousness”.
  13. The Yoga known as “Raja Yoga” has eight limbs. Yoga Postures (Asana) is only one of the eight limbs.

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

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Everpresent Extraordinary Intelligence

Remember the days when we humans crowned ourselves as masters of the universe? We did so because we thought we were the only toolmakers, tool users, and problem solvers. Here is a BBC video that is a must watch. You will see how a crow when presented with a complex multi-step problem solves it with its pea-sized brain. Crows can make tools, use them, and solve complex problems. Here is another video that shows how crows use traffic to break open nuts and use stoplights to collect them in safety! (Click on the link)

But you really do not need a brain to be a problem solver. Even slime mold can do it! This is just a single celled creature (with multiple nucleus’s within), with no neurons, and yet it can learn, solve puzzles, and display advanced intelligent behavior! Watch this short TED video to see this for yourself.

More and more it seems as if intelligence is ever-present and universal. Life and intelligence seem like synonyms. We humans may have been gifted with an extraordinary amount of it, but in no way we are the only intelligent creature on this planet. Rather than seeing ourselves as masters we should view ourselves as guardians of the web of life. Our role may be better understood as protectors and preservers of the glorious intelligence that we find in every aspect of life around us.

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A Resolution For Every Day

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:

- I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
- I shall fear only God.
- I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
- I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
- I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Life need not be complicated. Mahatma Gandhi’s life shows us how powerful it can be when we put simple ideas as outlined above into practice. By following these simple truths, Gandhi was able to defeat the mighty British empire without any need for violence and gain freedom for his country. He also fought with his own countrymen to empower the poor and lower castes and he fought for women’s rights. His actions have helped transform an entire subcontinent and also inspired non-violent struggles all over the world.

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The Six Big Ideas Of Yoga

Six Big Ideas Of Yoga

Yoga philosophy is sublimely simple, profound, and livable. Yet it can be difficult to grasp because of its unfamiliar language and complex history.

My aim here is to capture the essence of Yoga philosophy in plain English, with a touch of fun. I hope beginners will be inspired to learn more and experienced Yoga practitioners will come away refreshed and energized.

Let’s begin by talking about the Six Big Ideas of Yoga Philosophy.

It took me awhile to fully appreciate the truth and depth of these six simple gems, but now I’ve kind of internalized them and they have made my life immeasurably richer.

  1. Each of us is already infinitely wondrous—miraculous, awe-inspiring, unfathomable. (This is well hidden beneath the distractions and emotions of everyday life.)
  2. Our wondrous nature is the same as the infinite wonder of the universe.
  3. The way to experience our wondrous self is to fully experience the present moment, since each moment of consciousness is infinitely wondrous in itself.
  4. The mind, body, and spirit are inseparable.
  5. Experiencing our wondrous self leads to an abundance of joy and goodness.
  6. The techniques of Yoga, leading to enhanced awareness, are one method for discovering our true wondrous nature.

Next week: The first big idea: Each Of Us Is Already Infinitely Wondrous!

Credit: This has been written by Bob Weisenberg. He is Editor of Best of Yoga Philosophy and former Yoga Editor & Assoc. Publisher of elephant journal. He is the author of Yoga Demystified and Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell, as well as Co-editor of Yoga in America. For more details visit: http://bobweisenberg.wordpress.com/

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Children See. Children Do

The quote by Robert Fulghum says it all: “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”

Please watch the video and share.

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