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Living Soul

May 6, 2013 , ,

book signing

book signing

Kripalu is a yoga school and retreat center in western MA that is leading the way in yoga instruction in the US. With a long background, checkered, then revised, they had the head start on yoga when it hit the competitive mainstream of American fitness.  I have several friends who are certified by Kripalu in yoga, and they are all very well versed in the whole system and philosophy.  I enjoy yoga practice, but have been out of the habit of taking classes for years.  I like my yoga room at home for the freedom and variety that I practice.

My reason for spending a weekend at Kripalu was to be in a workshop taught by an author I really admire.  Thomas Moore instructed a group of about 40 students the difference between soul and spirit.  This seems like a small technical issue, but it is much more basic.  We had about 8 hours of class with him, and a special evening was offered to all Kripalu guests with his wife and daughter.  The Kundalini yoga session with live band chanting was a perfect counterbalance for the intellectual work we were doing.  They are quite a stunning family, described by Thomas as a kind of monastic group.  Each is a monk in a certain personal way.  The ladies are Sikhs with turbans and sheepskin mats, the distinctive look of the Yogi Bhajan followers. They teach Kundalini yoga.  Tom is an expert in the world of religion who has his own way of practicing reverence.  They radiate the power of individualization.  If nothing else (and there is plenty) they teach the value of following the individual call to a specific path without regard for anything else.

The alchemy of thought, dreams, poetry, and the ritual of Kundalini yoga were all thrown into the still and worked.  The distilled result is wisdom, the kind that sinks in and becomes useful over a long period of time. The time and space expanded to allow a remarkable level of teaching to take place.  An artful, and soulful lesson was delivered as if they were translating directly the language of  the sky.  We now have a lifetime to absorb our new insights.  Although in the last few years I have walked out of a couple of workshops I paid for and attended because I felt the teaching was unethical and possibly harmful, this one made up for all of that.  I notice that the presence matters more than the material to me.

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