May 25, 2011

Hipster 101: How to Be a Buddhist.

“MC Yogi is a pioneer in the genre of conscious hip-hop, electronic, and reggae music. . When I heard that the famed musician and yogi was performing at Shakti Fest, where I was volunteering, I circled his Sunday morning flow as a must-do on my marked up schedule. . The San Francisco-born rapper began practicing yoga at age 17, while at a group home for at-risk youth, later traveling to India to dive deeper into yogic philosophy and spirituality. He is known for bringing ancient teachings back to large, mainstream audiences in the West through creative, high-energy performances. . His vinyasa flow was among many workshops and classes led by high-profile teachers and kirtan artists performing at the four-day festival in Joshua Tree. People had flown in from all over the world to see their beloved teachers and immerse in a conscious weekend of sharing, learning, and creating with thousands of other seekers. . The crowd waited for MC Yogi to arrive onstage for his 9:30 a.m. flow, buzzing with excitement. The sun was beating down on the desert venue and there was tangible energy ready to be expelled. . When MC Yogi appeared, he was dressed in ripped jeans, a plain T-shirt, trendy glasses, and a flat-brimmed hat, smiling and ready to get to work. Before we began, he had a strong and surprising message to share: . ‘Celebrity yoga teachers are a disease—what matters most is your own self-practice.’ . He went on to explain yoga as just one means of many used to cultivate a deeper relationship with the authentic self. The ultimate goal of yoga, like service and other forms of meditation, is to help us ditch the rigid and limiting mind/body complex, wherein we wrongfully associate our sense of self with our ever-changing physical form and monkey brain. Most people in our world are living in this fictitious paradigm—afraid of death and distant from the present—due to a false identification with what it is they truly are. . We use…”Keep reading: “Celebrity Yoga Teachers are a Disease” on elephantjournal.com (link in bio).? @mcyogi ?#elephantjournal #indiemedia #yogaculture #yogaeverydamnday #meditateeverydamnday #mcyogi #spiritualgraffiti

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Being Buddhist is definitely where it’s at.

I’ve been a practicing Buddhist for the past 11 or so years—let me explain it to you. Because I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t understand it otherwise…

First of all, you have to have these special beads. That’s what makes you a member of our club. And you can’t get them at any store. You can only find them in indie shops that you wouldn’t really know about unless you’re friends with me or someone I know. Or if you’ve traveled and lived abroad in Asia, which I doubt you have.

Photo: how lucky we are

Also, it’s nice to have some flags. Monks in Asia call them prayer flags, but if you are a Buddhist and you’re from America, they’re known as climbing flags. They are placed at the tops of really high peaks to symbolize what a bad-ass-mother-fucker you are because you climbed a mountain that most other people will never in their life climb because they are lazy or because they’d rather do ones that are more mainstream. Not you. Not a chance.

Next, you need to meditate. Like, a lot. And wear your beads to work and hang your prayer flags in your office so others can see ‘em. Oh, and try to drop Namaste in ordinary conversation wherever appropriate. Or, go the other direction—make fun of those who say Namaste, that’s probably safer. Either way, if you could let the others around you know how long you’ve meditated today, that would definitely make you more authentic. The longer the sesh, the deeper you are. No doubt. No doubt.

Talking about the days of Trungpa also make you a more legit Buddhist, particularly if you weren’t alive during his lifetime. And please, don’t use his full name. If you know you know. If you don’t, why is that my fault? Your parents’ copies of his books can get you a lot of clout in the right sangha situations. So make sure to have those handy.

Drop words and phrases like: “spiritual materialism,” “duality” and “ego” randomly in conversation at work or at parties and get ready to laugh your ass off. They’ll seriously have no clue. Sad. And it’s best not to say you’re a Buddhist ‘cause you don’t want to seem like you’re trying too hard. Make others guess by your attitude, your presence and your aura.

What’s that? You say you slept with your best friend’s wife? Don’t worry about it. Just tell him he clearly needs to work on non-attachment (not that he’d get what you’re saying). But at least you can say you tried to help him work with his mind.

People just don’t understand.


Bonus video: Illest Buddhist.

Bonus shopping list for the Spiritual Materialist.


Though pretentious yuppies abound in Brie’s home town of Boulder, CO, she can’t seem to find another place she’d rather live. But she’s been fortunate enough to try many places. From NYC to New Zealand, SE Asia, Japan, Nepal and India, Brie has traveled the world seeking adventure and stories to share. Pre-babies, she was a middle school teacher and a yoga teacher, but now that she is pumping out children, she stays at home and writes. She has written two novels, one based in India, one based in New York, and she is furiously seeking publication. In the meantime, she can be found making light of life on her blog: www.briedoyle.com.

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