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Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Yoga, physical health and the spiritual path

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  • jla
    I would agree with you in your post below. It is my bias that the physical body should not be ignored in spiritual practice The is a rhyme and reason why
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2002
      I would agree with you in your post below. 
      It is my bias that the physical body should not be ignored in "spiritual practice" The is a rhyme and reason why Christian and Zen monks must work hard in the garden and around the "temple" to maintain outer focus and remain strong in body. Too often "spiritual" is seen as light and frail (and for some this is based on temperament and body type) but behind all this, I am convinced, are stages of necessary purification and rebalancing that must be done to bring harmony to the etheric and astral bodies. Being physically healthy supports spiritual work not opposes it.  Often our astral and etheric bodies can be experienced as very much involved in unnecessary work simply related to the modern lifestyle. Not being able to walk comfortably for five miles or ride a bike or touch one's toes with flexibility does not support spiritual growth- it hinders it..
       In addition, as I mentioned often before, the early stages of breath work are simply ways to bring more etheric vitality and greater oxygenation into the blood to allow for deeper and fuller self consciousness. Advanced breath work should be left to individual instruction from an experienced teacher and mentor. The real wild card (and it has also been mentioned before by RS) is diet. Its not just the type of diet -vegetarian, vegan, or fish and dairy only, etc. but the quality of food, the quantity, proper digestion and elimination, and combinations we consume. The etheric and astral body are constantly at work unnecessarily to bring harmony back to the organs of digestion and blood flow (great energy is expended in the digestive and metabolic process) and takes away inner work and energy. This can be seen easily if one goes on a juice fast or mono diet (one food only like bananas) for a few days. The clarity of mind and sense of well being experienced is directly related to the body not being overburdened and made toxic by various foods and the etheric and astral body are freed to function more naturally.
      As someone mentioned earlier, RS said that one of the prime reasons more practitioners were not advancing in clairvoyant unfoldment was diet. This was left ambiguous but enough is known now to gain some insight into this.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: evlogite
      Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 9:22 AM
      Subject: [anthroposophy] Re: Yoga and Mechanical Occultism

      Hi Jeff:

      In the Christian Hermeticism of the book Meditation on the Tarot,
      there are quite a number of indications about the breath and
      respiration.  In fact, the author of this work returns again and
      again to the Christian yogic practice of the Jesus Prayer. Another
      example he gives is the work with the bija mantras, where he gives
      the updated, Christian form of the mantras. A lot of it has to do
      with our intention and the goal of the practice.

      However, my sense for breath exercises and physical postures are 
      that they are *just a stage* of development that we pass through in
      order to operate from a higher vantage point (higher mental plane, in
      traditional Theosophical terminology).  There things are directed by
      intention and a whole new schooling is undertaken.  Thus the exercise
      of physical respiration isn't an end in itself, but a preparation
      *for the great game*.  Respiration can then take place on a more
      encompassing (vertical)level. 

      Sometimes we can find that such things are valuable and should not be
      dismissed out of hand without experiencing both their usefulness and
      limitations to our personal paths, of which each of us has his/her
      own. On a personal note, it has helped me to appreciate more the
      ongoing heritage of earlier traditions and their present day


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