Our Word – a Way Home

- by Daniel Aaron

“Originally published in Kula Magazine, January 2015”

It seems like she’s avoiding looking me in the eye. Usually she’s so present, assured, and right now she seems uncomfortable with me.

I wonder if she’s nervous because I’m the studio owner, her employer, and she’s concerned that I might be evaluating her performance.

By now the tube is in and I’m on my back. Water has begun to flow.

I look at her. “I hope you can feel relaxed and easy with me, I trust you and am happy to be in your care.” The more relaxed she is, the more relaxed I’ll be – and the better this will go.

“I just keep thinking about missing that meeting.” She’d already sincerely and thoroughly apologized to me.

In the Bhagavad Gita, yoga is defined as skill in action. It’s one of my favorite definitions as it makes the idea of yoga so accessible, so practical.

In Patanjali Yoga Sutra, the structure makes it clear that Patanjali’s suggestions have nothing to do with morality or ethics. From the beginning, Patanjali clarifies that we are already divine creatures, already awakened. So of course no amount of asana or pranayama is going to make us better. We’re already perfect. Yet there is plenty of technique, plenty that Patanjali tells us we can do. Again, practical.
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One night out and three lies (or almost) discovered.

- by Daniel Aaron

While my book already has much more to say about the yogic practice of Satya, here is a tidbit from the work in progress…

I frequently get the question: “how often do you practice yoga.”

What people mean by that is usually related to the physical side of yoga, asana (posture). Fair enough. I give that response too – usually it’s 6 days a week.

The more important response? Every moment of every day.

Eyebrows raise.

Practice, right? The key word is practice.

The second key word is yoga. When I say I practice every moment, I mean in the fullest sense of what yoga means – remembering the truth of who we are. In yoga terminology the aim is Samadhi, realizing ourselves to be the same as the highest (sama – adi), God. If that sounds too lofty or airy-fairy, we could call it being happy, at peace, irie.

Two key practices that go hand in hand, inseparable, are honesty and kindness. Satya and ahimsa. And while it’s not advisable to practice asana all day, satya and ahimsa can (and we benefit from) constancy.

Because this topic is so important and valuable, I’ll have plenty to say about it in the book. For now, though, let’s go straight into application and skip over the philosophy of it. As I’m in the midst of writing about, and therefore deepening my own understanding and practice of it, I see it everywhere.

A few nights ago I was about to leave home to meet a friend for dinner. I picked up my 7 year old daughter to say ‘see you later,’ and out of my mouth came: “I’ll be back either just before or just after you go to sleep. Either way we’ll have a cuddle then.”

My partner – who would be putting our daughter to sleep – looked at me puzzled. I got it right away.

“Actually, I won’t be home by the time you go to bed. I’ll come in and give you a cuddle whilst you are asleep.”

The look on my partner’s face helped me realize my lie. I knew I wouldn’t be home before she went to sleep.
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The wise and graced selfishness of altruism

- by Daniel Aaron

My friend and fellow astrologer asked me how my book on yoga would be any different than the myriad yoga book smorgasbord out there already. I had an innate feeling of it. Certainly I know that there is much I want to share that is different from what others are saying. It took a moment for the awareness to crystalize. Then:

That’s it, I thought. Indeed that is what I want to share more than anything else. The wise and graced selfishness of altruism.

There’s an intersection near my house. Keep in mind I live in Bali so intersections are funnier than usual places. Aside from being in Bali where the law is already a grey area, this intersection has the challenge that one of the four paths – it’s constellated much like a regular cross – is significantly smaller than the rest. As such, it’s unclear whether it’s opposing (main) artery feeds into it (the smaller road) or onto the main T road.

Here’s a map.

smallroadThat the center of the intersection sprouts a huge, forty meter statue of Arjuna, whose story we’ll return to.
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