Posts Tagged With: 2017
Just as every wave that appears in the Ocean is water, similarly, whatever appears in the Spirit, seen or unseen, matter or living, is Spirit, though the degree of its apparentness varies. Apparentness of the Spirit in a rock is lesser than in a plant. In a human it is much greater, and in an enlightened being it is incredibly greater.
Spiritual practices, devotion, and faith make Spirit’s presence more apparent. In many ancient temples and churches one can feel the strong spiritual energy radiating even from a rock. There, a rock is no longer just a rock. Being in an environment of devotion and faith, the presence of Spirit in it has become very apparent.
Immense beauty, and innumerable forms and shapes are hidden in a rock. A sculptor finds them. He is able to discover them only because they pre-exist in a rock. You can find butter in the milk only because butter pre-exists in milk.
A rock has science, signs, and clues embedded in it. That’s how a geologist learns and knows about a rock. If there were no clues and signs, the learning and knowing would not be possible.
A yogi doesn’t see a rock as only a rock. He sees beauty in it. He sees infinity in it, and most importantly he sees the Spirit in it and honours it.
A yogi sees Spirit everywhere and, with his heart, does namaste to all that is.
Amazing Pierre! Amazing Inspiration!
I receive my inspiration from so many sources, including so many of you.
Pierre Laflamme is one such source. He has been my friend, and spiritual companion for over 30 years. I am proud of him and our friendship.
If you meet Pierre once, you remember him forever. His smile, gentleness, humbleness, and kindness leave an everlasting impression in your heart.
Pierre is the President of Art of Living Foundation in Canada, and also the Director of the Canadian Ashram. He is also a very popular teacher of several advanced Art of Living courses, His students relate and connect to him very easily because he teaches not like a teacher, but like a friend.
He has been a strong pillar of the Art of Living Foundation in Canada, and the Canadian ashram from the very beginning. Serving and sacrificing come naturally to him. I remember, during the early days of the ashram, when there wasn’t much accommodation there, Pierre would give comfortable and heated rooms to others, while he himself would sleep on the floor, wrapped in blankets, in an unheated space, in bitterly cold weather.
He is a sincere karma yogi, and a true devotee. He loves Guru Ji dearly. Guru Ji too loves him dearly, and entrusts and empowers him. ?
I asked a few ashramites, who have been living at the ashram for many years, to share a few words about Pierre, they all said that a few words were not enough to write about Pierre. Here are some of the sharings:
“I have know Pierre Laflemme for 14 years, he was my direct supervisor for 6.5 years and is the same age as my Dad. I feel very close to Pierre and value his friendship. One lesson that I have learned from Pierre over the years was to focus on your commitments not your feelings, something Gurudev told Pierre one day on a phone call from Germany. The other, to always have a laugh in any situation. The more difficult the situation, the bigger and deeper the laugh”. – Mark
“If you ask Pierre, he will tell you that he was only coming to the ashram for a few months; but he has been here for over 30 years helping the Centre grow and expand. His name, which means rock or stone, is a true exemplification of name and form. He has provided a foundation for growth for the International Art of Living Centre – Canada. To watch him work is an inspiration…….wherever there is a need he is there, in the garden, chopping and stacking wood, postering, or cleaning rooms…. He is so sincere and focused, yet has a spontaneous immediate sense of humor, which makes you feel he could have been a stand-up comedian. People come easily to him to talk, complain, or find some resolution with an issue. He feeds them knowledge and listens, and sees how he can help, and also how the person can help him or herself. His commitment to the Centre, to pushing through challenging situations, is an inspiration…. His leadership moves the Centre forward and his devotion to Guruji reminds us that discipline, focus and devotion nurture life and create expansion.” – Mede
“Pierre embodies so much of the knowledge that Guruji has given us, and gives me hope that one day I can be as kind, compassionate, considerate as he is. I organized silence courses for him in Saskatoon. Once after I picked him from the airport, I was nervous about the way, and I got lost on the road for an hour – he had travelled over 10 hours to fly into Saskatoon. I was amazed at his kindness, patience and compassion towards me. He was tired and hungry, but he did not loose his temper. I eventually found the way and got him to the retreat centre. Every time I have gone to Pierre with any issue, I have always come away feeling lighter, and as Guruji says – this is the sign of good company.” – Shreya
We love you Pierre!
Thank you for being an amazing inspiration to so many.
My schedule has been updated on my schedule page. Currently I am at the Canadian ashram teaching the 10 day silence course with Bharti. It is starting to get cold here, but the air feels very fresh and high in prana.?
You May Have Developed Some Wrong Habits
Your body likes to move in the direction of the least resistance, or the way it becomes accustomed to. You walk, sit, stand, bend, and carry things in a habitual way, which may be the wrong way, such as, using one side of your body more, or differently than the other. Using your body in that particular way may feel easier and more comfortable at first but, over time, that may lead to aches and pains in various parts of the body because of the imbalances that you may develop.
When doing asanas also, your body wants to move in the direction of least resistance.
For example, when doing a side bend, if you are able to bend more and easily to the right side, your body would always want to bend to the right side first, and would want to stay there longer. If you are stiffer on the left side, when you bend to the left side, you would feel resistance. It won’t feel good, and you would come out of the posture very quickly. You would also put more effort and spend more of your energy on the right side, leaving less for the felt side.
Another example; if your right leg is stronger than the left, your body would want to do one-legged pose, such as the tree pose, always on the right leg first and stay there longer, making the stronger leg more strong, and the weaker leg would remain weak.
So, if you continue your asana practice this way, the imbalance in the body can become significant enough to cause aches and pains in the body. Many yoga students who have been practicing asana for many years wonder why they still experience constant aches and pains. This is one of the reasons.
To restore the balance, you will need to pay more attention to the weaker or stiffer parts of your body, and train yourself to use the body in a balanced manner.
Right Side May Not Always Be Right!
Traditionally, the asanas are done first on the right side for two reasons.
- The subtle energy channels, and the flow of prana on the right side are associated with the solar energy which is active and positive and, so, by doing the asana first on the right side you are supposedly activating that energy first to create more interest and enthusiasm in the asana practice.
However, the same effect can be generated by keeping the mind relaxed, and maintaining an attitude of honour toward the asana practice.
- A scientific reason, introduced recently, for doing the asana first on the right side is that by compressing on the right side of the abdominal cavity first helps move the feces in the descending colon toward the transverse colon, and eventually out. It may be true partially, but can also be argued. The overall practice of asanas improves the blood circulation and all other functions of the body, but I don’t think it makes much difference whether you do the asana on the right side or the left side first, especially when you are doing an asana only once, and holding it only for 15-20 seconds.
There are several pranayams and kriyas such as Kapalbhati , Agnisara, and Shankh Prakshalan etc which involve constant contractions of abs, and cardio-like rapid and repetitive movements, that are helpful in stimulating bowel movement. However, that is only a minor and secondary benefit of practicing pranayamas. There are many more.
How to Decide Which Way To Do An Asana First?
Before doing an asana, take a pause to observe which way the body wants to move first. If the feeling is neutral, then do the asana on the right side first. But if you can feel that the body wants to move to one particular side, say the right side, then just do the opposite. If you are doing a side bend, do the left side first, then the right, and again bend to the left. With this practice you will improve your flexibility on the left side also, and restore the balance in the body, provided that you do the asanas properly.
Once the balance is restored, then you can go back to the traditional way of doing the asana, starting on the right side first, but paying equal attention to both sides.
Apply the same method to the twists, and forward and backward bends.
Doing asanas with an attitude of restoring and maintaining balance in the body is more important than doing the asana on the right side first.
Become More Aware and Take Responsibility
Become more aware of how you use your body. Do you always carry groceries with the same hand? Do you carry your shoulder bag always on the same shoulder? Do you stand tilted to one side, and always to the same side? When sitting, do you lean back for a long time, do you put more weight on one side, always the same side?
Make the needed corrections. Break the wrong habits. Become more active. Be persistent. Take responsibility for your well-being. You will be amazed how quickly the body starts to feel so much better.
From yogic point of view, remember, in order to know yourself you must take care of yourself properly. ❤ ❤
Greetings from the Canadian Ashram! Today it’s a beautiful Fall day here.
You are precious. Don’t keep hurting yourself.
Regardless of the reason, whenever you are upset or angry you are hurting yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It is so ironic that in the process of becoming happier and making things better, you keep hurting yourself again and again.
You may not have control over the situations, and the situations will not stop coming, but you definitely have control on how angry and upset you become, or not become at all.
Realize that you are hurting yourself, and stop it.
Hurting yourself is an act of violence. On the path of yoga, we strive to follow the principle of non-violence toward ourselves and others.
To know yourself you have to like yourself and not keep hurting yourself.
Let this be your Navratri resolution that you will remember that you are precious and not keep hurting yourself. ❤
May Divine Mother bless you with Jnana!
May auspicious things happen in your life!
May you experience fulfilment in this life!
? Happy Navratri! ❤
Ahimsa : The first principle of yoga
“When you become non-violent in your actions, speech, and thoughts, the violence drops in your presence.” says Patanjali.
You become dear to all kingdoms of life, here and beyond.
The Words Are Not The True Knowledge
Just as milk contains butter in it but the milk itself is not butter, and just as an apple-seed contains apples in it but the seed itself is not an apple, the same way the words in the Scriptures contain knowledge in them, but the words themselves are not the knowledge.
To get butter out of milk, and to get apples out of the seed, there are processes that need to be followed. Similarly, to extract knowledge out of the words, certain principles must be followed, such as, having a keen interest in the knowledge, receiving knowledge from Guru with respect and humbleness, properly contemplating on the knowledge, and living the knowledge.
Just as a seed needs to dissolve before it can grow into a tree, the words need to dissolve before you can experience the true knowledge.
Such knowledge comes from within and takes you within.
Your yoga friend
Wanting to marry
the most beautiful
a king searched
and found one
He said to her
“My search is over and done
you are the one”
Day and night
He would keep her
in his sight
Looking at her face
his heart would race
Within two years
and six days
the beauty waned
they parted ways
This time, for sure
the most beautiful hun
in less than a year
She wasn’t the expected beauty
it was crystal clear
Rising in his kingdom
were severe crimes
In his right eye
sat sorrow & fear
In his left eye
always a tear
He felt deceived
angry and sad
the world looked ugly
all was bad
He blamed all
tensed his fist
he wanted something
that didn’t exist.
Such is the state of a seeker who wanders around searching for a perfect path, a perfect master, and a perfect God.
Imperfection is of the past, which infact is not there. A yogi lives in the perfection of the moment.
God is most beautiful
only if you see beauty
in ugly also
If you see ugly
you can not see God
God is most powerful
only if you see strength
in weak also
If you see weak
you can not see God
Search for Him
On Earth, Moon, and Sun
you will find none
in what you see
You will see
only Him every where!
So simple, so easy
is this way
The highest yoga
Aho! I say 🙂
Last year during one of my courses, a young man, 29, who was suffering from ED asked me if there were any yogic practices that could help his condition.
ED is considered a normal condition in older people, but in young men it is not.
There are many factors such as stress, lack of interest in sex, smoking, drug and alcohol usage, and poor health etc. that can contribute to ED.
However, lately another major factor has been identified.
When this young man asked me for an advice, I remembered reading an article which stated that the ED in young men had been linked to the watching of porn frequently and that’s why, the number of young men who were asking their doctors for a pill was on the rise. So I asked him if he had been watching porn. He said ‘yes’. He looked embarrassed.
Porn is not normal sex. Instead, it is the most disgusting, degrading, low, disgraceful, and vulgar display of unrealistic sex. Sadly, it is so widespread and so readily available that over a billion people, including children as young as five, watch porn online at any given time.
Watching porn dulls your brain and distorts your thinking. Your brain and mind get so conditioned to the unnatural acts of sex that the normal sex looses its charm, and it no longer stimulates you, and thus the ED.
But the consequences of watching porn are not limited to ED. It affects your physical and mental wellbeing. It can ruin relationships. It lowers your enthusiasm, self-esteem, and interest in life. The list can go on…
I explained this to him, and recommended that he stopped watching porn. He said he would.
After six months he came again to a course I was teaching. He thanked me. He was happy. He looked more confident.
The regular practice of yoga enhances and improves all functions of the body including sexual.
The Kegel exercises, which actually originate from tantric yogic practices, are very helpful both for men and women to enhance sexual function, stabilize pelvic floor, and improve overactive bladder. You can search for Kegel exercises online. <3
Sex and food are the two oldest instincts in all forms of life for renewal, survival, and pleasure.
From yogic point of view, sex is sacred. The Sacred Stones of Shiva Lingam and Yoni, worshiped in Hindu Temples and households, represent the Cosmic male and female creative energy which is necessary for renewal of life.
Yoga is not against sex. Yoga encourages sacredness, respect, and honour between partners. However, yoga does warn against over-indulgence in sex. <3 <3
Because of the greater than expected response for this course, we are raising the registration limit from 30 to 70. We will be arranging additional accommodation in a hotel. near by.
If you are interested, you may want to register soon, as 40 people have already registered.
To reserve your space, you are required to make a non-refundable deposit of $500.00. The registration info is given below.
However, before registering please send me an email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) telling me a little bit about your spiritual journey, and your health condition. If you register without approval, your application may be rejected and you may lose the deposit.
The option to come only for the 10-day silence course is not available at this time.
‘The Himalayan Awakening’
Feb 24 (4:00 PM) – March 15 (12:00 PM), 2018
A 20 day program in the midst of Winter at the Montreal Ashram, when the prana in Nature is super-pure and abundant. Learning and doing spiritual practices in such prana-rich environment can freeze your mind in stillness and alertness. The winter at the Montreal ashram is beautiful but can also be rough. One’s willingness to endure some roughness is like doing tapas (austerities), and reflects one’s sincerity to know oneSelf. These are some of the reasons why many seekers choose to go to Himalayas for some time. I bring the Himalayan experience to you at the Montreal ashram.
This course is an opportunity for you to immerse yourself deeply in all aspects of yoga practices. You will experience the power, beauty, and depth of practices when done properly and with honour for longer periods.
During this course, we will flow with the rhythm of the moment. We won’t end a meditation just because it is the scheduled meal time, or you may be awakened at 2:00 AM for a yoga session, and still expected to be present for the scheduled morning sadhana.
During the first 10 days of the course, the focus will be on making the body and mind healthier and stronger with the intense practices of Hatha Yoga such as asanas, pranayamas, bandhas, yogic kriyas etc. and, of course, meditations and sharing of knowledge will also be important parts of the daily routine.
During the next 10 days the focus will shift to meditations, silence, and knowledge; along with continuation of some hatha yoga practices.