Posts Tagged ‘video’
Dogen the Japanese Zen Master put it beautifully. To study the Buddha dharma is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be awakened by all things. It means the mind is … no longer preoccupied with itself.
- Tea, Zen and The Art of Life Management: The founder of Samovar Tea in a panel discussion with Leo Babauta, author of the blog Zen Habits, Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, and Susan O’Connell, VP of the San Francisco Zen Center. This is a long video, so you may want to watch bits and pieces over several sessions. The dynamics of the panel can be at odd at times – the hyperactive and demonstrative Ferris, in contrast to the calm demeanor of Susan O’Connell – but overall they really pulled it off well.
- Living Goddess (a documentary set in Nepal): Just when I thought I was familiar with Nepalese culture, I come across a film on aspects of Nepal I knew nothing about (and have a hard time comprehending). This documentary follow 3 (pre-pubescent young women) Kumari’s who represent Devi. Nepalese have a tradition of worshipping Kumari’s, who are believed to be the reincarnation of Dunga (until they menstruate, at which point Dunga is believed to vacate their bodies). The documentary takes place during a period of intense street protests against the monarchy. Be warned, the scenes involving animal sacrifice to commemorate Dasain can be horrific to outside observers.
- Raga Unveiled (from the makers of Yoga Unveiled): If you’re a fan of Indian Classical music, this 4-hour series from 2009 provides a detailed introduction to its key components. I was amazed by the complexity of the Tabla, particularly the vocabulary that accompanies the popular Indian percussion instrument.
- The Whoop: In this episode of Heart and Soul, a self-described white, Jewish journalist looks into a preaching/oratorical style common in African American churches. You might be surprised to know that there is a lot of technique that goes into the Whoop. Full audio below:
Seated Forward Bend is an asana that is part of most yoga classes. It is accessible and there are many variations using props like straps, blankets, and chairs. Unfortunately, when done improperly it is very easy to hurt yourself. It doesn’t help that students in a class tend to compare themselves with their peers, and in the process go deeper than they should. This is one pose that I wish yoga teachers would not rush into – proper technique matters a lot with Paschimottana.
I looked around for useful resources on how to do Paschimottana, I didn’t find many specifically addressing safety (I’ve listed what I found below). Let me know if you know of any others that emphasize safety – I’ll add them to the list.
- Step-by-step written instructions from the Yoga Journal: Draw the inner groins deep into the pelvis. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist.
- How to Avoid Yoga Injuries : Yoga Seated Forward Fold
- Paschimottanasana Benefits and Dangers
The Sitting Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) is one of the most demanding poses of yoga. In this pose the body is folded almost in half, providing an intense stretch to the entire back of the body, from the scalp down to the heels.
Beginners often struggle in this yoga pose. If you pull yourself forward using your shoulders and arms you will create the tension through your body and you will end up tightening your muscles and this will not allow you to get into the posture any quicker. While doing this yoga pose, give some time for the muscles to stretch and to release the tension.
- Yoga Shouldn’t Hurt: While this recent Yoga Journal article doesn’t address Paschimottana, it does give useful tips on how to avoid injuring your inner knees, hamstring tendons, and sacroiliac joints.
- Concentration: There are two forms of concentration (absorption and momentary concentration), insight meditation is concerned mainly with the latter. “Riding the waves of consciousness from moment-to-moment.”
- Mindfulness: Attention that is free of decision, judgement, and commentary.
- Clear comprehension: Seeing everything is impermanent and selfless.
Empathy is the faculty to resonate with others feelings. If someone comes with a big smile, you start smiling. If someone suffers, you feel some of the suffering. And it turns out, if you study the brain, that empathy with suffering for instance, if you really empathize with someone who is suffering, the area that registers suffering in the brain is activated. In the same way and the same area as the person who is suffering. So it is real suffering.
… We got the idea that there is no such thing as compassion fatigue, only empathy fatigue. Standalone, empathy alone, leads to burnout. But if you have empathy within the vast field of loving-kindness and compassion, then you have a buffer. Compassion prevents the negative effect of feeling the other’s suffering. I think it has tremendous potential for caregivers to train more in arousing that loving-kindness.
Ricard is a scientist turned Buddhist monk, who continues to work with brain researchers in several countries. It turns out Ricard’s intuition is correct: compassion is something that we can learn to be good at. A 2008 study from the University of Wisconsin used advanced imaging techniques to show that we can “train” ourselves to be compassionate:
Cultivating compassion and kindness through meditation affects brain regions that can make a person more empathetic to other peoples’ mental states, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. … The research suggests that individuals — from children who may engage in bullying to people prone to recurring depression — and society in general could benefit from such meditative practices … The findings support Davidson and Lutz’s working assumption that through training, people can develop skills that promote happiness and compassion. “People are not just stuck at their respective set points,” he says. “We can take advantage of our brain’s plasticity and train it to enhance these qualities.”
When you breathe mindfully, you are not ignoring anger. In fact, you are mindful also of your anger. You are practically taking care of your anger. Breathing in, I know I am angry. Breathing out, I am taking good care of my anger. … The practice is called mindfulness of anger. Mindfulness of breathing – breathing in order to be aware of your anger and to embrace your anger with the energy of mindfulness. If we continue like that for sometime, there will be a transformation in the heart of the anger.
- Life After Death (from This American Life): “Stories of people haunted by guilt over their role in others’ deaths, even when everyone agrees they’re blameless.”
- Masters in Focus: “… a pictorial book that commemorates the five great masters of yoga – T Krishnamacharya, BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi, Pattabhi Jois and TKV Desikachar.” From yoga teacher and photographer Kausthub Desikachar, son of TKV Desikachar and grandson of Krishnamacharya.
- Yoga distortion field: As I highlighted in an earlier post, Krishnamacharya’s Mysore yogasala was heavily influenced by athletics and physical education. Nonetheless, the video is still disturbing.
- Awake in the Wild: Meditation teacher and author Mark Coleman combines his passion for the outdoors and mindfulness to ” … shows seekers how to remedy this widespread malady (‘Nature deficit disorder’) by reconnecting with nature through Buddhism.”