This is a bit of a ramble, starting with a general description of violence and non-violence and the various religious commandments to be non-violent. As always, we find ourselves with no choice but to return to considering suffering and flourishing, Buddha and Socrates. We then consider violence against the self which manifests as physical and psychological asceticism and tease out its nature. This leads to a fairly in-depth consideration of Patanjali's practice of ahimsa and Buddha's 'middle way' and how they wonderfully help to open up the yoga being state as well as illuminating the otherwise dark territories of violence as it operates within the psyche. [Free. 56 minutes.]
In this podcast a specific instance of the authoritarianism that often accompanies spiritual culture is treated critically. Listeners are urged to value their autonomy and hone, not repress, their critical faculties because both of these are conditions for spiritual inquiry to take place at all. [Free. 15 minutes.]
HUMAN INTERACTIONS: POWER DIFFERENTIALS, MASTER-SLAVE LIVED EXPERIENCE, OPEN RECEPTIVITY TO THE OTHER
In this podcast, I start by considering the nature of a compliment. This opens the door onto all the questions that human interactions give rise to and I sketch out some of them. In particular, I consider mutual recognition and the distorting effect that power differentials have on it. I relate this to the nature of the ego in the psychoanalytic sense and suggest how things could be better. Contemplation of the Other in Patanjali's spare style is, I suggest, emancipatory and not difficult, though elusive. Rumi, amongst others, made this very point. [Free. 18 minutes.]
This short podcast is one of our 'glossary' style talks. It elucidates Patanjali's take on asana as well as Svatmarama's as found in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and contrasts both of these with 'modern postural yoga'. I go on to suggest a particular approach to asana practice which I find to be fruitful. [11minutes. Free.]
In this seond part of four, the theme of the coincidence and mutual dependence of opposites comes to the fore. This is a theme central to the world-views of our three sages: Buddha, Lao Tzu and Heraclitus. Amongst particular opposites discussed are oneness and multiplicity, chaos and cosmos, high and low, nirvana and samsara and more. The discussion also considers language, human suffering and flourishing, interconnectedness and strategies for living.
This short blast came out of a question Anna was asked about the possible impact of yoga practice on one's happiness. The conversation segues into a brief discussion of santosha which is Patanjali's term for contentment, and then into a consideration of psychological resilience. These are themes that we will expand upon in future podcasts. [16 minutes. Free.]