‘Tapas’ – what on earth are the yogis talking about?

For some of us, especially those who are relatively new to the yogic path, may have heard of the term 'tapas'. But what, exactly, do people mean when they talk about practising tapas?... The term tapas originates from the Sanskrit root 'tap', which means to give off heat, to shine (like the sun), or to practice austerities. Tapas is often used to mean self control or cultivation of willpower. From a formal point of view,…

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If you can’t go outside – go inside!

‘Surrender to Existence, accept yourself as you are, do everything with total awareness’ We have been a bit quiet on the social media front here at Kalyan Yoga – although far from quiet in reality, packing our bags and making the long awaited move from Manchester to South Devon. It is difficult to find the words to describe the current environment - we have experienced ALL the feels recently. If you have been feeling challenging…

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Perseverance

Before completing my training in Mexico at the end of last year, Sahajananda (the main founder of Hridaya Yoga) affirmed the importance of perseverance. Below we have a short story about Milarepa and his foremost disciple, Gampopa where a similar message was conveyed. I have included a few more quotes as well, to consolidate this essential attitude for any spiritual aspirant.  Milarepa’s Bottom One day, Milarepa warned Gampopa that the time had come for him…

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Shakyamuni Buddha

‘Shakyamuni Buddha’: literally translates to 'Sage of the Shakyas' & name used to refer to Gautama Buddha, a Prince born in North East India around 563 BC. He sought the truth through several years of ascetic practice (such as fasting and long hours of meditation).The Buddha reached enlightenment after a committed period of meditation underneath a bodhi tree, in Bodhgaya, India. From then on he was called 'the Awakened One' and he travelled India, sharing…

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The Astonishing Light of Your Own Being

Inspirational blackboard, on day three of a ten day silent meditation retreat at Hridaya Yoga, Mazunte, Mexico The mystical words on this blackboard were originally written by Hafiz, a 14th C Sufi poet. Ralph Emerson described Hafiz as 'the poet for poets'. Hafiz's poems about the beauty of this life hit us right in the heart. The deeper truths he reveals with his words can be felt, (not just understood). The wisdom of Hafiz's words…

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Green Tara Mantra

A Tibetan Buddhist depiction of Green Tara Tara is the goddess of compassion. From the Sanskrit root 'tr'; 'Tara' means to 'take across', referring to Tara's role in helping us to traverse through samsara ('world of illusion'). Her mantra: 'Om tare tuttare ture svāhā', is one of the most well known mantras in the tantric tradition (there are over 72 million!). Mantras are sacred words with spiritual potency and are generally used to transport the…

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Impermanence – A Gateway to Liberation

The worlds longest stretch of prayer wheels. The inner kora at Labrang Monastery, Xiahe, China. Anitya or impermanence is a very powerful and profound teaching of the Buddha. We can define Anitya as;  ‘...the constant, basic universal truth of change. Impermanence is both a process of continual loss, in which things exist and then disappear, and it is also a process of continuous rebirth or creativity, in which things that do not exist suddenly appear.’…

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‘Self-realisation’- What is it?

Many of us have heard of the term but might be a bit confused as to what it actually means. A potential reason for confusion is that ‘self-realisation’ has very different meanings, depending on whether you are coming to the term from a common Western understanding or from an Oriental/Eastern understanding.The Western definition has been influenced by Western psychoanalysis. The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines ‘self-realisation’ as ‘the fact of using your skills and abilities and…

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The paradoxical isolation of omnipresence…

'The closest of dear friends, she makes one feel, yet an aura of remoteness was ever around her - the paradoxical isolation of omnipresence.’ Paramahansa Yogananda on Anandamayi Ma in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’.When we connect to Stillness, the underlying one reality of existence, we connect to the depth of our being, where love, compassion, peace and joy permeate our every cell. These qualities can be felt or experienced by us and by those around…

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When is the best time to meditate?

The best time to meditate is actually whenever we sit down and meditate! That said, we often hear that people find certain times of the day easier to meditate. It can be useful to experiment and see what times work best for you - especially if you are in the process of developing a regular meditation practice.Many people say that they find it easiest to meditate first thing in the morning, immediately after waking. This…

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