March 13, 2011

Free your mind…


An open mind is a mind of curiosity, wonder, learning, infinite possibilities and a beautiful desire for understanding. –unknown 

Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
– George Bernard Shaw 

—- What I prefer to focus on from Mr. Shaw’s quote is the opposite…those who can change their minds can change everything… 

We are moving deep into my manifesto —- all of the intentions are important but these last few really resonate in that realm of purpose, of Dharma if you will, for me… 

Stay Present 

Practice Patience 

Cultivate Gratitude 

Maintain Flexibility 

Be Kind & Gentle 

Remain Humble & Open Minded 

Forgive, Forgive, Forgive 

And above all else 

Love Deeply 

How has the principle of remaining open minded effected my life? consider — I used to eat meat, I used to be a catholic then an atheist then an agnostic and now…well that’s a whole other blog post! I used to be a democrat, a log cabin republican, an independent….now I don’t know what the hell I am….How attached are YOU to who you have been? 

We used to believe the world was flat, and the earth was the center of the universe. Think about it… 

What happens when we grow so attached to our beliefs and understandings? We become stiff, inflexible, and tight and we just don’t grow. Have you seen how hard people will fight and defend their current beliefs? Without, even for a moment, entertaining other thoughts? The most miserable people I have ever met are those that cling so tightly to what they think they know they can’t even hear what anyone says. Sure it’s also annoying when you meet someone without conviction that wishes and washes their way through everything…I get that…but what if…what if you are wrong??? Can your ego handle that? Can you heart, your head, your life? Who would you be without all the things you “are”? 

Would I still be me if tomorrow I stopped living a vegan lifestyle? YES
Am I still me since I returned to a belief, a faith in god (as I experience it)? Hell Yes
Is my dad still a good human being even with our different political views? Of course (sometimes some of what he says actually makes sense) 

Where would we be if everyone had refused to hear the truth about the world? What if the Wright brothers had listened to the doubters? Where would you be if you believed you could — or couldn’t? 

“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” 

Arthur C. Clarke quotes 

I have a notion that we humans, as long as we are tied to our physical beings, are incapable of total comprehension of all things — because it’s bigger than our brains. Ethereally in pure spirit we KNOW everything already…but here and now we don’t and we can’t and honestly I doubt we are supposed to, I see it as human folly to believe anyone has all the answers, bigger folly to believe that what you know today will hold true tomorrow. 

In my opinion we are meant to question to grasp, to grow…it is this process that is purpose and the joy of life. 

If you knew the answers why would you keep doing what you are doing? To me it’s like reading a good book, I don’t want to know the outcome until I get there and a really good book keeps me guessing until the very very end. And along the way I may think I know…but as I get new information things change. 

Perhaps you are the skip ahead and read the ending type? Maybe you figure it out early? Isn’t the joy in the unfolding? I think so, is it just me? I guess that’s why I love learning so much, but what I have found that in order to learn I have to absolutely be able to let go of what I thought I knew before. 

The process of being open-minded is tied to not judging, being flexible, learning, letting go of attachment —- open mindedness is a corner stone of living a yogic lifestyle. (that phrase was chosen carefully) 

At the end of the day I equate open-mindedness to discernment and critical thinking… 

Buddha on being open minded:
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
Buddha quotes 

Yoga on open mindedness? Where do you stand? Are you open to Christian yogis? Omnivore Yogis? Is yoga inclusive or exclusive? Do you believe Tara Stiles is hurting or helping yoga? Do you see Shiva Rea’s Trance Dance as yoga? Do you have a sense that all things yoga are good? Or is there only one way? 

How would you define open mindedness? And if you sit and consider it do you have a space in your life to be more open minded? And IF You did how would that change who you are today? If you have topics that you simply feel you KNOW the answers what keeps you entrenched in your thoughts? 

Asana (yoga pose) for the week: Pranayama – breath work (control) , breathing clears the mind of clutter — when we bring ourselves to the centered state with the breath the mind is clear and open to learn, to unlearn, to grow, to accept, to know, to unknow. 

My favorite for clearing the mind is alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Sodhana)�

‘Where the mind goes, the prana follows’ Thirumoolar (South Indian saint)  
Patanjali covers the aims and benefits of pranayama in 2:52 where he states:

‘As its result, the veil over the inner light is destroyed’
We destroy the veil that covers the Inner Light. Prakasha, the light within, is covered by a veil of mental darkness and through pranayama the mind becomes fit for concentration (2:53)
The purpose of pranayama is to remove blockages and to lift you out of the tamasic (inert) and rajastic (dynamism) states. When the mind is sattvic (in steadiness and one pointed) inner awareness grows and prana accumulates.


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