Meditation Articles

I recommend two articles available online.

Here Comes the Sun by Richard Rosen
Richard Rosen, the author of THE book on yoga breath (The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama), wrote a delightful and enlightening article on the sun salutation for Yoga Journal. As the sun returns to us, this first week of spring seems an especially appropriate time to remind ourselves about the origin of this basic yoga sequence called Surya Namaskar. Surya – sun; namas – salute (same root as namaste which means literally “I salute you.”)

Here’s a sample – The outer sun, they (ancient yogis) asserted, is in reality a token of our own “inner sun,” which corresponds to our subtle, or spiritual, heart. Here is the seat of consciousness and higher wisdom (jnana) and, in some traditions, the domicile of the embodied self (jivatman).

It might seem strange to us that the yogis place the seat of wisdom in the heart, which we typically associate with our emotions, and not the brain. But in yoga, the brain is actually symbolized by the moon, which reflects the sun’s light but generates none of its own. This kind of knowledge is worthwhile for dealing with mundane affairs, and is even necessary to a certain extent for the lower stages of spiritual practice. But in the end, the brain is inherently limited in what it can know and is prone to what Patanjali calls misconception (viparyaya) or false knowledge of the self.

To read the full article, click here.

The Complete Package: Meditation and Yoga by Cyndi Lee
This piece originally appeared in the July 2001 issue of Shambhala Sun. Written by my former teacher and mentor in New York City, Cyndi Lee includes this vivid episode about a frightening accident as a spark for why one practices yoga and the variety of benefits. What she describes here echoes my own experience with yoga, though I’ve never been dumped unexpectedly into the rapids of a river. She sets forth her ideas about how yoga can be meditation in movement and how to approach your physical practice with a sense of curiosity rather than judgments measured against goals. She’s a wise yogini, and I encourage you to read the full article here.