The Yoga Path • Omaha, NE

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{ Practicing Physical, Mental & Spiritual Health }

Interbeing at a Retreat

This weekend I attended a Mindfulness Retreat in the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.  It was put on by the Heartland Community of Mindful Living lead by the dharma teacher Joanne Friday.  It was a transformative and refreshing experience, but that is not what I want to talk about right now. What I want to talk about it this women I met there. Perhaps some of you have heard of Dr. Mary Pipher.  When I was talking to her I didn’t know who I was talking to.  Now I know.  Author of Reviving Ophelia and her most recent book The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture.  Here is a talk she gave recently about her newest book.  I believe there is significance in that I would me this women in context of this Buddhist retreat.

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Filed under: Stories, , , , ,

When Women Were Birds

This is a remarkable story about a mother’s death and a daughter’s life, if you have the patience to listen to it.

When Women Were Birds.

Filed under: Stories

Study of “Suchness”

shutterstock_94124290At the Yoga Path this Winter session, we have been studying and practicing the concept of “Suchness.” There is no easy explanation as to the definition of this concept, other then saying that it is touching reality in the present moment without any judgements or preconceived notions about what you are perceiving. We look at something we have seen before, like a flower or a sunrise or a child, as though we were seeing these things again for the first time.  So our experience of all things in the world around us, is fresh and new, not dictated by habitual minds and responses. We see each moment as new and unique.

But recently a student has shared with me an article that makes me see this idea of suchness in a different light. I needed to share it with  you to get your insights.

Anxiety: Startling Suchness

Filed under: Education

There going to be a Winter Health worksh

There going to be a Winter Health workshop at the Yoga Path on Saturday, Feb.9 from 1 – 3 p.m. If the flu bug is stalking you or has already laid you low. you might want to attend this interactive workshop on Chinese Medicine. Being hosted by Sandra Kreber (Acupuncturist) and Betty Smith (Massage Therapist) http://ow.ly/gHG7B

Filed under: Uncategorized

Discipline of Rewiring the Brain

In June of this year, a 21 day Mindfulness retreat was hosted at Plum Village in France for scientists throughout the world, taught by the Vietnamese  Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.  At this retreat Thay explained the connection between the five mental formations and the neural pathways in the brain. He describes how, with the practice of mindfulness, we can erase the neural pathways that lead to suffering and open new paths that lead understanding and happiness.

From this came an article by Paul Tingen call Using Mindfulness to Rewire the Brain.We’re reading this article at the end of classes at the Yoga Path to foster a practice of tapa/discipline (the third niyama),. We are striving to do things in our lives that strengthen well-being and thus allowing us to be strong enough to mindfully embrace and transform the suffering in our life.  The link to this article is below.

Rewiring the Brain

Filed under: Education, , , , ,

Missing Happiness

Often in our lives we tend to miss the more splendid moments of life. Often because we feel so good, be don’t know we feel good, that we are happy. In our bodies as well, we miss the many thousands of seconds when we feel, only noticing when we are pain or discomfort that there were so many moments when we didn’t feel like this. I’ve always wondered about this phenomenon. So again it turn to my favorite poet to help articulate this:

So Much Happiness
by Naomi Shihab Nye, from Words under the Words

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches
,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…..

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

Filed under: Words of Wisdom

The Yoga Path is now hosting the weekly

The Yoga Path is now hosting the weekly Monday evening sits of the Honey Locust sangha. This community pursues the practice and study of mindfulness meditation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. The group sits starts at 7 pm and lasts to 8:30 or 9:00. All are welcome to attend. Free will donation. http://ow.ly/ey45A

Filed under: Uncategorized

Yoga Rope Wall

A new yoga rope wall has been added to the new Yoga Path location. This is a wall created by B.K.S.  Iyengar to aid students into getting into the poses more deeply. It’s always been a dream of mine to share this method of practice with my students. Enclosed is short video showing some of the things you can do with this wall and photos of wall recently built a the studio.

So with this change comes regrets about moving, but new horizons opening as well.

For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace


Yoga Rope Wall 2

Yoga rope wall 1

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ujjayi breathing

Enclosed is a excellent demonstration of ujjayi breath done by B.K.S Iyengar at the 1984 yoga convention in San Francisco. He talks about the beautiful sound of the breath.

Filed under: Education

Fifty-one Mental Formations

Mental Formations

Currently in class we’ve been studying the Four Establishment of Mindfulness as taught by Buddha in the Satipatthana Sutta. We’ve come to the third establishment, which is observing “the mind in the mind”. In our readings and discussion we’ve run across reference to the 51 mental formations. This list of 51 is from the  Abhidharma teaching in the Pali Canon. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about these often when referring to manifestations of the mind or “mental formations”, but he seldom lists them. Jokingly he tells how as a novice he was made to memorize them, but in teaching he doesn’t go into detail about them.

However,  western students seem drawn to know what the list of 51 is. I guess we’re always looking for 12 steps or 7 effective habits to help us itemize and plan the changes in our lives. So as requested by many student of the Yoga Path and all other curious oblates here is the list of 51 mental formations.  It would be worthwhile to hear what insights come of reading and absorbing this list. Please comment.

5 Universals
contact
attention
feeling
perception
volition

5 Particulars
intention
determination
mindfulness
concentration
insight

11 Wholesome
faith
inner shame
shame before others
absence of craving
absence of hatred
absence of ignorance
diligence, energy
tranquility, ease
vigilance, energy
equanimity
non-harming

6 Primary Unwholesome
craving, covetousness
hatred
ignorance/confusion
Arrogance
doubt, suspicion
wrong view

20 Secondary Unwholesome
10 Minor Secondary Unwholesome
anger
resentment, enmity
concealment
maliciousness
jealousy
selfishness, parsimony
deceitful, fraud
guile
desire to harm
pride

2 Middle Secondary unwholesome
lack of inner shame
lack of shame before others

8 Greater Secondary Unwholesome
restlessness
drowsiness
lack of faith, unbelief
laziness
negligence
forgetfulness
distraction
lack of discernment

4 Indeterminate
regret, repentance
sleepiness
initial thought
sustained thought

10 Wholesome
(added by Thich Nhat Hanh)
non-fear
absence of anxiety
stability, solidity
loving kindness
compassion
joy
humility
happiness
feverlessness
freedom/sovereignty

3 Unwholesome
(added by Thich Nhat Hanh)
fear
anxiety
despair

Filed under: Education

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