As some of you are aware - because I harp on about the Baghavad Gita in sessions, we have got to a stage in the "conversation" between Arjuna (the reluctant warrior) and Krishna (a manifestation of the divine lets say) which has many parallels with other ancient texts, religions and philosophies in the form of the concept of developing qualities of being.

Its worth baring in mind that these texts are super old and may seem a little dated or pious but with a pinch of modern salt its worth a glimpse into the world in the centre of the yogic mind to see what resonates...

(I have paraphrased a bit)

"Qualities of one who will obtain a divine state;

A pure thinking heart
Staying on the yogic path
Control of the senses
A life of self-sacrifice
A desire to study scriptures
Acceptance of austerities

Never puffed up with pride.
No hatred towards anyone
Pure of body and mind
Courageous in adversity
Never speaking falsely or maliciously of others
Renunciation of the fruits of your actions
Not causing pain others.

These are characteristics of a man or woman destined for a divine Life.
Even though the list is long,  if you develop even one of these qualities to the fullest extent automatically the other qualities come, because they are all linked together
."  The Living Gita -Satchidananda

So I'm not saying this is the list to being a perfect yogi, although that is what the book is aiming towards encouraging.
I look at this list with curiosity and find that there are some of these qualities that I reject outright.. "Acceptance of austerities" for example. This may need a bit more digging, but at a glance my response to this particular set of ideals challenges my cultural settings, my conditioning and modern day surroundings and conditions (which as a concept in iteslf is very interesting and worth delving deeper into -Philosophers watch out!). Although the wording is interesting which is why I want to know about my own response.. I encourage you to look again and see which of these you skipped over, and why.
the condition of living without unnecessary things and without comfort, with limited money or goods, or a practice, habit, or experience that is typical of .


The mind
But then again isn't the mind influenced by conditions, conditioning and surroundings? Perhaps when the mind is still (through the practices of Yoga and meditation) this state of physical and emotional stillness will come effortlessly? This is what the scriptures are leading us to practice.
Mindsense -Nonsense?
Without wanting to veer off too much, I am however going to share with you one of my latest musings; in that the mind and its wanderings, swayed hither and thither by all kinds of influences, therefore serves as a kind of sense, albeit not so bodily as the physical senses, and perhaps not so ethereal as psychic energies.
But nonetheless serves the human being as an extraordinary library of memories, thoughts, dreams, and has a tremendous influence on our emotions and how we go about being who we are. So does that qualify the mind as a sense?

Theres a question to ponder over for the Christmas period as we scrape around for moments of peace and quiet, as we absorb the darkest time of the year and as we beckon the light post solstice.

I'm reminded of a thing I saw at Gaia House on a notice board:

"Become human-beings
not human-doings"

And two other top quotes from the term, as requested:

The spirit-

See also is reflected in our personality. The Greek word for soul is "pneuma", it refers to the part of humans that connects and communicate with the divine /god." 
Oxford dictionary

" The feeling that arises when you are confronted by another's suffering and feel motivated to help relieve that suffering."
Not the same as empathy, more of an action.

Things for ears
And so giving ourselves the gift of rest and recuperation, even just short moments of them, to keep an eye on ourselves and each other this winter has to be one of the most precious things available to us.

Heres a spotify playlist I'm particularly enjoying at the moment.

And for those of you still into Yoga Nidra, or knowing you benefit from it & could do with a nudge, here is an insight timer nidra. there are a few on the app, which I recommend as it has bells & chimes you can set for meditation. Equally check out Jane Macarness on the collective website, the queen of Yoga Nidra herself.

Much love to you all and I hope your reflections over the year are full of seeds of wonder for your future. I look forward to our fresh new year, new ideas, new year sessions!
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Ps; For those of you keen to book in for the yoga day coming up on March 16th here is a link to book tickets! This is the code to receive your first available discount : EARLY-BIRD
PPS: This term's excesses will go to the charity M.I.N.D   please feel free to check out the link and donate!


K.Hancock December '23

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