The real goal of spiritual people is to become completely clear in the head and in the heart. - Swami Chetanananda
May -- 2016
From the Cushion
Swami Chetanananda took sannyas May 14th 1978.
Swami is a title that means "master of one's self." The title comes out of a tradition based in India that first emerged in the eighth century under the influence of a very important non-dualistic teacher named Adi Shankara, who traveled over India reinvigorating the teachings of the Vedas and particularly the Upanishads, the sacred scriptures of South Asia.
A swami is not exactly a religious figure. In my opinion, the sacred literature of South Asia, the Vedas and the Upanishads, the Aranyakas and the Tantras, are not religious literature. Instead, they are the basis for a long running conversation about what it means to be a complete human being. This body of literature suggests something to us about the reason why we're here, which is to grow. [read more]
Practice & Inspiration
So, You Don't Need a Guru?
I cannot count the number of times people have said to me that they have their own path and don't need a guru. Using all of the discipline I can muster not to say "REALLY?" I simply say "Hmmm, good luck with that."
Equally amazing to me are
people who have learned from a book or a video, or have taken a weekend class, and then started
teaching. I often laugh to myself and think "that is the difference between a lawyer's mind and a marketing person's mind." It takes me a very long time before I admit I know anything. The reality is that we only can teach what we know, and as Albert Einstein said: "If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself." [read more]
Yogis and Yoginis did not come to their mat to find that hot summer body they had fed cupcakes all winter. It is *almost* well understood that yoga is more than asana, more than a series of movements to strengthen and stretch the body, however, due to popular demand it has been marketed that way. So, when the person looking for fancy pop culture push-ups arrives on their mat and the Yoga Teacher starts to guide them to connect with their breath, feel into their body and calm their mind, what happens? [read more]
Many students at The Movement Center do one or more pujas as part of their regular practice. These are structured forms of worship, and each has a focus on a different central deity and yantra or mandala, and a unique set of prayers, offerings, mantras, and mudras. In essence, however, they are all the same: they are about experiencing communion and recognition of our oneness with the divine. The purpose of class is to come to this same understanding. [read more]
Having a personal meditation space is a way to keep your daily practice focused and fresh. Setting it up can be a joy, but it can also be perplexing, especially if you're just starting out, or if aspects of your sadhana have changed over time. What are the "must haves" for yours? Learn a little bit more about three basics-teacher photos, murtis, and malas-that you might want to incorporate. [read more]
1021 NE 33rd Ave
Portland, OR 97232
General Email: Info@TheMovementCenter.com
We welcome your feedback. Let us know what you like about the newsletter, and/or if we can improve your experience.