Yoga Life Society Newsletter
November 2006
In This Issue
Freehold Satsang:

Spend the evening getting in touch with the joy that is in you as your True Nature and in the company of like-minded seekers.

On this evening, we will light the Chanukah candles, retelling the story of the miracle of lights and repeating the traditional Chanukah blessings.

We are also collecting gifts for the Toys for Tots program. Bring in a toy and attend the evening's program for free! Bring more than one toy and you'll help bring more smiles to more children this holiday season. Toys need to be new, unwrapped and in their original packaging. We suggest keeping the cost down do that more toys could be bought. More toys=more smiles.

You can bring in your toys anytime before and including the night of the satsang. Just drop off the toys at the Freehold Yoga Center. We will deliver all the toys after the satsang to Toys for Tots.

Donation: $15 or toys!

Dec. 8th 8pm - 10pm


Happy Holidays!

Special Holiday Satsang with Rev. Jaganath:
Joy is Your Nature Experience it Now!

Princeton Satsang:

Sunday Satsang at Integral Yoga of Princeton

December 10th from 10am to Noon

Quote of the week:

"Keep your meals simple. Each meal should consist of foods simply prepared. The best diet for yogis is vegetarian. Meat and fish agitate the mind and create toxins that disturb the body. A little dairy is fine if your body can handle it without creating too much mucus. And don’t be overly concerned about getting protein. Most people don’t require that much. A good typical meal should have a whole carbohydrate, a protein source (such as legumes or tofu), and one or two vegetables."

Last Satsang Update: Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Loving kindness

Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Loving kindness

I sat on a cushion on the floor. I was to push the record button. I was to make notes on Guruji’s talk for this very essay. The room settled. The microphone was in place. The energy in the room was high, giddy; we were so delighted to be there. So delighted to hear what Guruji was to say about Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Loving Kindness. And I anticipated the start. Objectively, I was ready to make a note of how I could possibly forgive all of the people in my life who had hurt me and who continue to hurt me.
Then Guruji said, “Forgiveness. Has anyone ever not done something they needed to have forgiven?” In that moment it was quite clear that myself and every other person in that room had done something hurtful to someone else that they needed to have forgiven.
Guruji spoke about ways we could ask others for forgiveness. He gave four steps which make up a sincere apology. The first step is to admit that we have done something wrong without trying to find the reason why we did it. The second step is to accept your wrongdoing or own up to our own weakness. This is the part in the apology where you recognize that you caused the other person pain. Then ,it is important to realize that the other person is the only one that can forgive you. So, here is where you say, “Please forgive me.”
Step one, “I’m sorry,” step two, “please forgive me,” step three, if you really want to help erase the weakness that lead you to do wrong is to humble yourself even more. Guruji recommends that you prostrate and touch the other person’s feet as this reinforces their power to forgive. Also, since the ego is not fond of humbling itself before another, the ego itself will shy away from repeating the hurtful behavior. Lastly, ask: how did this happen? Try to see how you made this hurtful mistake. Ask the one who you hurt to help you. “Help me. How do I prevent this from happening again? How do I not do this again?” Sometimes, even with all this, the other person simply will not forgive. In that case, Guruji’s advice is, “Forgive yourself, forgive them, or find a group of spiritual people that forgive you; accept you” and, “do not hold resentment.”
The night transitioned at this point in the talk. Our talk of forgiveness evolved toward the subjects of Loving Kindness and Gratitude. We all knew now how, sincerely and with humility, we could and ought to ask for forgiveness. Now Guruji gave us a simple way of becoming forgiving. He recommended a simple phrase that could start us putting the Yogic philosophy of forgiveness into practice. “OK, I forgive you.” And we smiled because it was so simple, then Guruji said, “we are called to and built for forgiveness,” and I heard it as quite true.
Our eyes sparkled. Ananda or Bliss looked completely attainable from those cushions we were seated upon. An ideal of forgiveness and loving kindness was materializing before us. The world was a better place for us after only an hour with our beloved Guru. The light softened, an audience member sighed, another sipped tea and another asked about people who refuse to acknowledge the wrong they committed, something we were all now so ready to do ourselves. In response Guruji said, “Some people are stuck in their anger and violent feelings..” Forgive them, don’t hate or resent them. And yet, you can’t act as if everything were peaceful and loving. Be practical in how you treat them. Use your common sense. Yoga means knowing how to move in the world. “Wisdom,” for example, knows that you “can cuddle a kitten; not a tiger.” We should be idealistic about our own relationship with forgiveness yet still be wise enough to understand that others still have to learn and grow from their pain.
I should mention our brief discussion about pain and the hot pot metaphor. It was proposed that those who choose to hold resentment and elude forgiveness hold onto a hot pot. It burns very much but they refuse to let go. They have not suffered enough to let it go. Gratitude can unlock that pain and suffering and encourage a release of forgiveness.
Guruji said, “The most freeing thing is to express gratitude.” Gratitude and thankfulness complete the ideal picture of forgiveness we painted that night. It brought the discussion to service. First Guruji suggested that each human being was given a body that belongs to Mother Nature and not to us. He also suggested that we could show gratitude by giving back. He said, “Learn to be a giver, forgive, and give. When you give, love comes, you be the giver, don’t wait for someone to give first.”
By the end of the talk I felt like I had received the stealth guide to becoming forgiving, kind, loving, grateful and free. Indeed I had. How simple is it? It is not simple at all. Most people, myself included, have learned different ways of expressing love. Some of them are not as effective as the ones we discussed that night in the context of Yoga. Some ways in which we love, forgive, hold resentment, and act as though we are greatful are ineffective and habitual. It could take many years to even begin to change ways of being that define who you are. It could also happen very quickly. Refinement and a lighter life; an easeful, peaceful, useful existence; is what we are after. This spiritual community makes for sincere support toward a goal of transformation. There is no self lost in the pursuit of authentic happiness.

Rhiannon Mukti Morgan

Looking forward to celebrating the holidays with you!

Much love and lots of lights,

Karuna Lynne
Yoga Life Society

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