• Blog,  Featured

    A plea for mindfulness in mindless times

    If we are truly mindful, we can see that nothing is at it appears to be. Looking deeply, as all sages have taught, shows us that the root cause of our suffering can be traced back to our thoughts, and acts of violence that promote further suffering can themselves be traced back to earlier suffering – also stemming from earlier violence, and always caused by ignorance. It doesn’t really matter what or why. The suffering is there and the desire to make another suffer springs from that. Misery loves company, as the saying goes. However much we would like to imagine it so, our spiritual practice and awareness can’t be…

  • Blog

    Shedding light on our darkness

    Om asatoma sat gamaya | Tamasoma jyotir gamaya | Mrtyor mamritam gamaya || Lead us from untruth to truth (from the unreal to the real), from the darkness of ignorance to the light of awareness, from a fear of death to the knowledge of our immortality ~ Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.3.28) In India, Wednesday’s new moon is celebrated as Diwali, a festival of lights that celebrates the victory of light over darkness (known in the South as Deepavali, in Bengal as Kali Puja, and observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains alike). It always takes place at the new moon in the month known as Kartik in the Indian lunar calendar, named…

  • Blog

    Learning from Pain

    “Only this actual moment is life.” Thich Nhat Hanh I have been in relatively intense pain for most of the past two months. It started out as the dull, nagging pain that briefly rears its head a few times a year, the mild twinge of an injury caused by a misguided and over-zealous therapeutic “adjustment” which tore my sacroiliac joint four years ago, and possibly triggered by a twisted ankle in June. This time, though, the pain has stayed with me, and even worsened, lingering through several visits to osteopaths, acupuncturists and other healers, and spreading down into my hip and leg. At times it takes my breath away, until…

  • Blog

    Learning how to surrender.

    “Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” ~ Thomas Merton Dear students and friends in yoga, Our society is built on the flawed premise that the more you do, the more you are worth, and the parallel assumption that the more you earn or possess, the more worthy you are. Living according to these beliefs is the chief cause of imbalance, unhappiness and the competitive urge that leads – consciously or unconsciously – to feelings of isolation and inadequacy. Most people say they want to find harmony, yet continue to feed into a system within which their sense of worth is derived from…

  • Blog

    Time to clean up the house, time for a fall detox

    by Katariina Bastos Consider your body as a house. The house your self is living in. As any house, this one needs regular cleaning and fixing to stay well and functional. Couple of times a year a thorough, all-covering cleansing is needed, and the rest of the year simply dusting and keeping the corners tidy. Our daily living is toxic, more toxic than ever before. Just think about the chemicals and toxic waste surrounding us, on the plate, in the cosmetics, on the skin, in the clothing, in beds, in cars, in working environment. The air we breathe is polluted and the information we receive very often too. All these…

  • Blog

    Peace is an inside job.

    Happy International Day of Peace! Given our current global situation, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow at this ill-fated UN Day of Peace, celebrated each year on the 21st of September since 1981. Let’s leave aside the sad truth that the world is considerably less peaceful now than it was in 1981, and take this opportunity to remember that cultivating the peace we so strongly crave is unquestionably an inside job. This is no conspiracy theory! This is time-tested wisdom that shows us clearly the most direct path to peace. Many of you will have joined me in chanting the shanti mantra “Om Shantisshantisshantihi” at the end of our…

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    Healing and growing through service

    “The underlying sense of uneasiness that we have now is actually a good thing: it is the expression of our sensitivity. Those who go through life without feeling ill at ease are unconscious. The uneasy feeling caused by our awareness holds tremendous potential for transformation. It is a treasure of energy that we can grasp with both hands and use to build something better. Indifference doesn’t lead anywhere.” ~ Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche Dear students and friends in yoga, What a remarkable time we are living in! Information of all kinds seeps in through every crack, even if we try to avoid it. Mental toxins are as disruptive to our well-being…

  • Blog

    Finding energy through non-attachment

    When comes the time to carry the load of life through death’s door, One can take neither relatives, friends, servants, nor possessions. Attached mind is instinctual mind: Abandon attachment. Seventh Dalai Lama Kelsang Gyatso (1708-1757) Dear students and friends in yoga, I always feel excited around this time of year, as the buzz of new beginnings seems to boost my energy and creativity, despite the shortening days of late summer. After nearly a month spent helping my mother settle in to her new home, I have been reminded of how much energy is created by getting rid of STUFF! In preparation for selling her house, we had already spent weeks…

  • Blog,  Events

    Satsang with Swami Atmananda

    “Spiritual Awakening and Non-Duality” Tuesday 26 May 19-21:00 Participation by donation to Ajatananda Ashram “Eveil et Non-Dualité” mercredi 24 juin de 19h-21h Participation par donation à l’Ajatananda Ashram Join us for an in-depth look at Spiritual Awakening in the tradition of Advaita Vedanta. It is neither an experience, nor a state of being: it is simply a spontaneous and instant awareness of our True Nature (the Self). There is no “awakened being”, only pure Awakening… Swami Atmananda nous propose d’approfondir le thème de l’Éveil spirituel à partir de la tradition de l’Advaita. L’Éveil est Pure Présence. Il n’est ni une expérience, ni un état, mais simplement la Reconnaissance spontanée et…

  • Blog,  Events,  Featured

    Namaste Nepal!

    Join us for heart-centred yoga and loving kindness meditation in support of relief and reconstruction in Nepal, home of the birthplace of Siddharta Gautama, the Buddha. Nepal has been affected by two major earthquakes and nearly 100 lesser earthquakes since 25 April, and over 8,000 people have died with over 20,000 injured. Hundreds of thousands are without a home or access to safe drinking water, and there is a real risk of serious diseases such as Typhoid Fever due to poor hygiene. Participation is by minimum 30 EURO donation (please bring proof of donation) – Please book in advance at susan.hopkinson@me.com To Karuna Shechen http://karuna-shechen.org/how-to-help/ OR to another charitable organisation…