"be bold the mighty forces will come to your aid"

— Basil King

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yoga

• Putting our past behind us

During the awakening process it is often necessary to put our past where it belongs. That is not to say, to forget it. The past holds keys to issues and patterns that block doorways to the pure present and to anchoring the new beliefs that are true for us now. It is not enough to have a mystical experience through meditation or a profound glimpse of cosmic reality through peote, hiawaska (psycotropics) or the touch of a true Guru. We must anchor these temporary awakenings.

• The responsibility of a yogi

There are no asanas that can counter the negative effect of ill will. There is no breath when coupled with mal-content that could fill us with healing prana. Headstand done with the mind wandering is of little benefit, and if the mind has wandered into envy or competition the brilliance of the pose will be not only wasted but will infect the body that inhabits those thoughts. We cannot find satisfaction in life by merely beautifying or strengthening the body. The body will reflect only the bidding of the thoughts that govern it.

• Yoga

There is one struggle, one challenge in life, and that is our relationship to the self. It is ours to wrestle with and/or surrender to.

This one struggle, which is most important in its effect on the whole is with the mental, emotional apparatus. By refining the relationship with self, with God, this apparatus reflects pure consciousness, and one creates fewer and fewer selfish, egocentric thoughts and emotions. Then one’s view is pristine, surveying the mountainous perfection, unobscured by judgment and projection; a Divine manifestation of individualized spirit magnified by the recognition of truth.

• Biography

In 1979, sitting with Professor Krishna Pattabhi Jois, affectionately known as Guru Ji, I received a profound picture of what this time of my life would look like. He gave me the name Shyama, another name for Krishna, because I was born on the full moon of August/September, considered by some as Krishna’s birthday. Guru Ji is well known for being the Ashtanga Yoga series originator; in addition he is a professor of Sanskrit, a therapist, priest, astrologer and palm reader. The name Jois comes from the Sanskrit word for astrologer. On this day he read my palm and told me, “after 55, only for meditating in the jungle, you.” Although not completely literal, he saw a profound change that would take place in my life.