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What Is It That Brings Us Happiness?

SEEKER

What is it that brings us happiness?
I am deeply troubled by this in my life.
I seek guidance from your superior years
And knowledge of the ancient Yoga texts.

SAGE

All you desire to learn about happiness
Is to be found in the ancient scriptures.

Study the Bhagavad Gita,
the Yoga Sutra,
and the Upanishads
Until they are as close to your heart as your heart itself.
Then you will know how to be truly happy.

SEEKER

I will. But can you not tell me yourself
Right here, right now, what I am to learn?

SAGE

From the Bhagavad Gita
You will learn to live the life you are destined to live
Always full of love in your heart,
To live with great purpose and to act decisively
But with no ego attachment to the results.

From the Yoga Sutra
You will learn that the secret of happiness
Is strong self-discipline of the body and the mind
And the ability to penetrate deeply
Into the true nature of reality.

From the Upanishads
You will learn that you are already supremely happy
Because you are already perfect and divine.
You are already the absolute wonder of the universe.

SEEKER

These are indeed overwhelming truths.
I will study the Gita, the Sutra, and the Upanishads.
But what can I do right now
To begin to experience these truths?

SAGE

Focus gently on the present moment
Without judgment or ego.

Focusing on the present moment
Will allow you to act decisively with love
Without your ego being attached to the results
As prescribed in the Bhagavad Gita.

Concentrating on the present moment
Is the essence of self-discipline and meditation
As prescribed in the Yoga Sutra.

By focusing on the present moment
You will start to see
That every moment is divine and precious
And that you are already the very life force of the universe
As taught in the Upanishads.

SEEKER

My mind spins. I ache for more.
I will approach these profound and ancient texts
With an open heart
And a fervent desire to drink of their wisdom.

~

See also
Yoga Demystified: The Six Big Ideas

and
Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell

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Whenever Things Get Difficult or Complicated, I Always Return to This.

SEEKER

What is it that brings us happiness?
I am deeply troubled by this in my life.
I seek guidance from your superior years
And knowledge of the ancient Yoga texts.

SAGE

All you desire to learn about happiness
Is to be found in the ancient scriptures.

Study the Bhagavad Gita,
the Yoga Sutra,
and the Upanishads
Until they are as close to your heart as your heart itself.
Then you will know how to be truly happy.

SEEKER

I will.  But can you not tell me yourself
Right here, right now, what I am to learn?

SAGE

From the Bhagavad Gita
You will learn to live the life you are destined to live
Always full of love in your heart,
To live with great purpose and to act decisively
But with no ego attachment to the results.

From the Yoga Sutra
You will learn that the secret of happiness
Is strong self-discipline of the body and the mind
And the ability to travel deeply
Into the true nature of reality.

From the Upanishads
You will learn that you are already supremely happy
Because you are already perfect and divine.
You are already the absolute wonder of the universe.

SEEKER

These are indeed overwhelming truths.
I will study the Gita, the Sutra, and the Upanishads.
But what can I do right now
To begin to experience these truths?

SAGE

Focus gently on the present moment
Without judgment or ego.

Focusing on the present moment
Will allow you to act decisively with love
Without your ego being attached to the results
As prescribed in the Bhagavad Gita.

Concentrating on the present moment
Is the essence of self-discipline and meditation
As prescribed in the Yoga Sutra.

By focusing on the present moment
You will start to see
That every moment is divine and precious
And that you are already the very life force of the universe
As taught in the Upanishads.

SEEKER

My mind spins.  I ache for more.
I will approach these profound and ancient texts
With an open heart
And a fervent desire to drink of their wisdom.

~

 See also
Yoga Demystified: The Six Big Ideas

and
Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell

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First It Was Yobo, Now There is Ratra (Radical Traditional) Yoga

You may have heard of Yobo, the un-Yoga. It was my modest proposal for resolving the debate raging here on Elephant Journal and in the Yoga blogosphere over what is, or isn’t Yoga.

It goes like this:

Let’s require that any practice that doesn’t meet whatever standard we set be called “Yobo” instead of “Yoga”. All Yobo studios and their corporate sponsors would be required to prominently display the following language on all their marketing material:

We practice Yobo here. While Yobo is inspired by certain limited aspects of Yoga, it does not include enough meditation, breathing, spirituality and study of ancient texts to qualify as Yoga.

There would, of course, have to be a certification committee that would set the rules and determine what is Yobo and what is Yoga.

Problem solved! No more inappropriate use of the word “Yoga.”

Then I got to thinking, gee, shouldn’t we ultra-traditionalists have our own hot new name for what we practice? So I came up with the term “Radical Traditional Yoga,” or Ratra Yoga.

The devotee of Ratra Yoga is:

  1. One who thinks everything after the Yoga Sutra (about 2,400 years ago) is an unnecessary modern innovation.
  2. One who reads and rereads the big three ancient Yoga texts, the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutra and all the commentaries he/she can find.
  3. One who thinks later Hatha and Tantra practices are filled with as much distracting ritualistic excess as the Vedic rites the original Yogis (including Buddha) were rebelling against in the first place.
  4. One who believes Yoga is not hard work, but rather ecstatic realization of the wonder of the universe.
  5. Believes everyone is already wondrous (“divine”, if you prefer) and Yoga consists of simply realizing that fact, through whatever method works for each individual.
  6. One who therefore embraces all forms of Yoga, even Yobo.
  7. One who does asana (poses), but only in limited form and as much for meditation as exercise.
  8. Who believes the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita represent universal truths that can be found in any religion and any life.
  9. Whose idea of Yoga practice is 1) living life with love and purpose, 2) detaching the ego from results, 3) focusing the mind, and 4) experiencing the wonder of the universe, just as these ancient texts proclaim.

Now that we have Yobo and Ratra Yoga, we can extend the Yoga spectrum in both directions with clarity for all, and embrace everything in between.

What do you think?