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stasis or growth?-Re: [anthroposophy] Ancient principles and practices

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  • arthra999@yahoo.com
    I think that as Yoga has become more popular in the West ...there are those who want to hitch their wagon to the star and financially capitalize on it..
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 5, 2000
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      I think that as Yoga has become more popular in the West
      ...there are those who want to hitch their wagon to the star and
      financially capitalize on it..

      American culture to me is one interested in techniques... how to
      achieve an orgasm, how to repair a garage door, how to play
      superior video games and so on....We isolate the techniques
      and forget the context of the larger tradition particularly in the
      case of Zen Buddhism and Yoga. We are also talking about a
      culture that is less patient, reads less and is more focused on a
      very small attention span.

      That's why I think we need to encourage people to transcend
      their culture through the practise and study of Yoga and spiritual
      science. Most of the people I come in contact with seem very
      willing to do this. As i mentioned earlier a circle of people i work
      with have a hunger to explore spirituality ...their own as well as
      other's quests... I think we can say there has rarely been a time
      when the world has been so connected and interrelated, this is
      an opportunity my friends to "network" as they say and "tune in"...
      a time to explore our innate nature and experiment with new
      forms of cultural possibilities that were not possible just a few
      generations ago. I think it's a changing volatile time but one that
      offers exciting opportunities!

      - Art





      --- In anthroposophy@egroups.com, "elaine upton"
      <elaineupton@h...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello Jeff, Art, and all of this thread.
      >
      > Interesting, Jeff, what you say about Eastern teachings and
      practices being
      > watered down for the West. I have found this apparently so.
      >
      > Also interesting is what you say (quoted below my letter here)
      about
      > exercises that merely take us into the body and show what is at
      any given
      > present (certain feelings or states) without taking us further
      and opening
      > us to growth. This seems an important distinction. But, the
      question is,
      > what is it in the "American" mass soul that wants these
      watered down things,
      > this general practice of being "dummed down" or receiving
      what is "watered
      > down"?
      >
      > The mass media (television being the most obvious example)
      practice "dumbing
      > us down", so that advertisements and sitcoms appeal to the
      lowest instincts,
      > urges, drives (false pride, greed, fear, and the like). These
      media often
      > put us to sleep, or keep us there. And so, the craze for Eastern
      teachings
      > seems to fit this mode of reception. Often people seem to think
      that by
      > engaging in some Hindu or Buddhist or otherwise yogic
      practice of breathing
      > or whatever that they are opening to something profound. Well,
      i guess
      > "profound" is relative.
      > Opening to feelings of sadness or to memories of childhood
      abuse or to
      > feelings of euphoria ((if one stops there and does not go
      further)) is, it
      > seems to me, merely a NARCISSITIC exercise. A lot of
      narcissism is being
      > spread, often, though not always, in these new age workshops
      and gatherings.
      >
      > --(Again, this is not to say that it is all bad. I'm sure there are
      openings
      > that are important, and i have participated in such and do from
      time to
      > time. Yet, there is this limitation, where the practices easily
      become
      > self-absorbing and don't uplift to spiritual evolutionary work.)--
      >
      > Thus, what is the way needed for our time and space and
      physical-social
      > conditions? This is what Steiner sought to address. However, i
      feel there is
      > need for anthroposophists or students of spiritual science to
      continue to
      > evolve, and not even stop with the offerings of Steiner, great
      though these
      > are.
      >
      > Just my two wampum pieces,
      > elaine
      > ***********
      >
      > Jeff wrote:
      > >((...))
      > >I think the point to Yoga and other ancient practices like Tai
      Chi or
      > >even Zen is time and place. Some of the principles for
      spiritual
      > >development have endured over time but the practices for
      transforming
      > >the body and especially the soul are ineffective for the most
      part. What
      > >has happened to Yoga (the yoga that most know today) is that
      it has been
      > >divorced from the Eastern temple or ashram Tradition and
      made into a
      > >shell of what it once was. Yes, having well being and feeling
      vital
      > >energy in the body is fine but this is not spiritual work on the
      soul
      > >and directly transformative to the spirit. These methods
      simply seem to
      > >clear blocks and reveal what is already existing within us but
      that is
      > >not necessarily growth.
      > >((...snip))
      >
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