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Lions Roar : March 2007
Yoga Body, Buddha Mind SITTING ON OUR VERANDA at Strawberry Hill, a mountaintop retreat in Jamaica where we are teaching a workshop, it’s easy to feel spacious and alive, vast and open, connected to sky and earth. This feeling comes naturally here but just as easily dissolves when we’re con- fronted with the “too many people, too little time, too much to do” syndrome of everyday life back in Manhattan. Maybe if we lived here all the time we’d always feel boundless and accessible...ahhh...that’s a trap. All of us tend to look outside of ourselves for the source of contentment, and that’s exactly how we create our own discomfort. We forget that what we need to find this kind of well-being is completely available to us all the time. It’s our own body and mind. Strength, stability, and clarity of mind are said to be the fruits of mind- fulness meditation. That sounds good, but if your back is sore, your diges- tion is sluggish, and your nerves are fried, it’s tough to stabilize any kind of mental wakefulness or confidence. Yoga is a path to these same fruits, but when your mind is jumpy, sleepy, or full of angry thoughts, your body will reflect that with a tight jaw, saggy shoulders, or a knot in your belly. The body and mind need to work together in order to fully experience clarity of mind and radiant health. That’s the recipe for experiencing con- fidence, interest, and friendliness in our lives. Yoga Body, Buddha Mind is a workshop that we have been teaching around the world for the last six years. It began organically as a synthesis of Cyndi’s Tibetan Buddhist prac- tice with the hatha yoga tradition that she has studied and taught for more than twenty-five years. Then we synched it up with David’s training in the Shambhala and Buddhist teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Mind and body completely interpenetrate, so a spiritual practice—or just a healthy, satisfying life—requires working with both. The perfect mind-body combination, say CYNDI LEE and DAVID NICHTERN, is yoga practice and Buddhist meditation. They show us how the two traditions work together. SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2007 51 ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANTHONY RUSSO