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Re: Steiner and Yoga

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    Dear Art, ... Well I m not all that knowledgable either Art. Anthroposophy is as large as the Titanic and there wouldn t be anyone alive today who has read all
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5, 1999
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      Dear Art,

      >Thanks for the detailed and fine reply to my messages! I'm not as
      >knowledgeable about Steiner as you,

      Well I'm not all that knowledgable either Art. Anthroposophy is as large
      as the Titanic and there wouldn't be anyone alive today who has read all
      of Dr.Steiner, let alone grasped it.
      I personally don't think that esotericism can ever be grasped by just
      reading a book anyway.


      >A very apt analogy that about grasping the snake by its head rather
      than
      >the tail! I like that! I think I'll use it.

      And very true too.


      >To me breathing is a natural adjunct to spiritual development.

      All of what you say is true. And these breathing exercises have dramatic
      results, particularly if there has been training in will beforehand.
      Many of Dr.Steiner's exercises given to individual pupils were published
      for the first time in English this year. This is from the Translators
      Foreword:

      "From the start it caused controversy among members of the
      Anthroposophical Society, some of whom thought that it might present a
      danger to those not sufficiently acquainted with the teachings of Rudolf
      Steiner.

      This danger can be avoided if people pay sufficient heed to what the
      title states. It is a history of the early phase of the society when it
      was still joined to the Theosophical Society of Mrs. Besant. The
      correspondence and documents included herein are in part directed toward
      individual esoteric pupils already familiar with exercises practiced in
      the Theosophical Society. When Dr. Steiner broke away from the
      Theosophical Society and formed his own Anthroposophical Society, many
      of the former ways of working were changed. It would not be right to
      carry out the exercises as given here without considering the
      instructions given by Rudolf Steiner in later times.

      As a close friend of Rudolf Steiner explained, "The Western way of
      occult development is not to seek enlightenment by regulating the
      breathing (yoga), but just the reverse: to bring about a change in the
      rhythm of breathing by engendering the right thoughts. The breathing is
      slowed down or halted when the mind is engrossed in contemplation of
      something that inspires it with admiration!"

      Or, as Rudolf Steiner himself expressed it in An Outline of Esoteric
      Science, "The ultimate ideal is that no exercises of any kind should be
      done with the physical body as such, not even breathing exercises, so
      that whatevever happens in the physical will occur simply and solely as
      an outcome of the exercises for Intution."

      >During the past three years I have practiced yoga more intensively than
      >earlier in my life. To me Yoga is revivifying, healing and a
      legitimate
      >path to the divine. It is through Yoga that I have become aware that I
      am
      >more than my physical body.

      It is certainly not my task on this list to tell people what to do,
      particularly in this consciousness soul age where freedom is paramount.
      It would not be like Steiner to tell you not to smoke, for instance, but
      rather just present facts, and then let you make your own decision.
      All occult excercises can lead to ill health, Dr. Steiner warns, and
      then gives certain exercises to overcome these problems.

      A friend of mine recently, started doing an exercise from the above
      book, which involved a breathing exercise and observing a plant saying
      "My death your life" and "my life your death." He observed that he was
      becoming very distant from his day to day life and had to discontinue
      the practice- Just an example of the kind of thing that can happen.
      Above all one doesn't sacrifice their health for the sake of spiritual
      development.
      Anthroposophy could be described as Christian Yoga.

      >A final note to Bruce: Years ago I was giving some exercises to a
      Sunday
      >school class of small children. One of the other teachers said the
      >exercises reminded her of those taught by Steiner! Could you give me
      some
      >direction to exercises prescribed by Steiner, or the breathing
      exercises
      >you mentioned earlier.


      I don't think RS ever gave breathing exercises for children. We do have
      a Waldorf teacher- Bruce J. - on the list, maybe he could confrim that.
      Of course children are all taught eurythmy which is a a kind of physical
      exercise working into the spiritual.

      There may be some of the breathing exercises here:
      http://www.elib.com:8090/Steiner/Books/GuidEsot.index.html

      Warm Regards,
      Bruce
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