Sunday, February 28, 2010

30-day Joy Practice: Join Me!


Earlier this month, I was blessed by an impromptu yoga class with a favorite teacher: Shiva Rea. I hadn't studied with her for about 2 years, but in her Venice Beach class I reconnected with what draws me to her teaching - she's the real deal, a true prophetess and mystic, and a great synthesizer of how to bring more joy into our daily lives.

I also was blessed to be asked to teach a class for Up2Yoga. While preparing for my April 1 class on Stress Resilience, I happened to listen to Shiva's session that is downloadable from Up2Yoga's site on Living Yoga Sadhanas. This may not mean much to you, but perhaps it should. Shiva is onto something incredibly juicy and transformative: start with the next new moon cycle (uh, today) and commit to a 30-day practice based on your energy now.


I am planning to start my 30-day Bhakti Sadhana starting with the next new moon on March 15, 2010. Care to join me? If so, download her details right here. Or listen to her audio file right here. Prepare for more joy, my friends!

Here's a little help from Wikipedia on the etymology of bhakti:

The Sanskrit noun bhakti is derived from the verb root bhaj, whose meanings include "to share in", "to belong to", and "to worship". It also occurs in compounds where it means "being a part of" and "that which belongs to or is contained in anything else." Bhajan, or devotional singing to God, is also derived from the same root. "Devotion" as an English translation for bhakti doesn't fully convey two important aspects of bhakti—the sense of participation that is central to the relationship between the devotee and God, and the intense feeling that is more typically associated with the word "love". An advaitic interpretation of bhakti goes beyond "devotion" to the realization of union with the essential nature of reality as ananda, or divine bliss. Bhakti is sometimes used in the broader sense of reverence toward a deity or teacher.

Here's a little more detail from Wikipedia on "sadhana."

The term sadhana means spiritual exertion towards an intended goal. A person undertaking such a practice is known as a sadhu or a sadhaka. The goal of sadhana is to attain some level of spiritual realization, which can be either enlightenment, pure love of God (prema), liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death (Samsara), or a particular goal such as the blessings of a deity as in the Bhakti Sadhana can involve meditation, chanting of mantra (sometimes with the help of a japa mala), puja to a deity. Traditionally in some Hindu and Buddhist traditions in order to embark on a specific path of sadhana, firstly a guru may be required to give the necessary instructions. This approach is typified by some Tantric traditions, in which initiation by a guru is sometimes identified as a specific stage of sadhana. On the other hand, individual renunciates may develop their own spiritual practice without participating in organized groups. traditions.

I'm looking at the next part of the moon cycle, from the full moon today until the next new moon on 3/15/10, as my preparation phase. More on that as it unfolds.

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    I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.