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What Is Yoga?

The science of being human

With the passing of the third International Day of Yoga in 2017 as sanctioned by the United nations, a few thoughts on yoga for the uninitiated.

The word “Yoga” cannot be translated into English. In the Sanskrit, it derives from the root “Yuja,” which is to join or weld together. Just as two pieces of metal are welded together to become one.

So in the philosophy of Yoga, the embodied spirit of the individual becomes one with the Universal Spirit through the regular practice of certain physical and mental exercises. In another definition, Yoga is the art of life and its philosophy is meant to furnish the principles that substantiate and explain that art.

One

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Artificial Intellegence

Engineering our future

Will engineering artificial intelligence create a just and humane future for us? Will the imposed ideologies of religious political biases be unchained?

Our scientists have over many generations been seeking to create not only obedient robots, they have been working towards autonomous intelligent units capable of doing the hard work and providing pleasure for their owners. Development is progressing rapidly in technology to give robots and more human appearance as well as an intelligence facilitating autonomy.

Within many industries, robots are doing the work of people creating a new class of unemployed and increased profits for the corporate masters. Without going into the debate about the safety of such a project, many thinkers and the entertainment industry

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That Sugar Film

Sweet and deadly

Most of us have grown up to love sweet things even though it’s impossible to eat sugar by itself. But now in this new age of information, the advertisers and the corporations they represent encourage us to consume as much sugar as possible but on the other hand modern medicine is saying that sugar makes us fat, rots teeth, causes diabetes, heart disease and cancers.

What to believe?

In the early history of European sugar consumption, sugary foods and drinks became the new fad but sugar also fuelled industry or should we say trade and corporate greed? The plantations that grew sugar for European consumption were located in the Caribbean. The trading

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Recognising Science

The future is in our hands

I invite you to play this short video to your right in which Neil deGrasse Tyson argues the case of science and our collective knowledge about what works as a means for our decision-making.

We can use this rational scientific approach to ask whether peace is better than war or whether we should have greater social equity or to continue shaping the world based on sociological and economic systems that are failing.

Can take his dialogue further and ask what is the meaning of life?

For many, life has no meaning at all and as individuals we have absolutely no responsibility and no need of any morality. For others life has become a quest

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Bharathanatyam

Classical temple dances of Bharatha (India)

Bharatanatyam, the classical dance from Southern India is not an entertainment, first and foremost it’s a prayer, a celebration and an offering to the divine. The ultimate goal is both the performance and the closer connection between the dancer and the source of creation.

As a visual meditation, the audience can also be drawn into the story as Bharatanatyam expresses Hindu religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly of Shaivism, but also of Vaishnavism and Shaktism.

The origins of Bharatanatyam are thought go back to about 500 BC and much has been lost over time as various Muslim and British rulers banned it. But a possible origin of the name is from Bharata Muni who

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Eight Steps to Happiness

And a solution to end suffering

Master, what is the secret to happiness?””Not to argue with idiots””Master. I disagree that this can be the secret” “Yes, you are right”

There are many benefits to putting the instructions of Langri Tangpa’s “Eight Verses of Training the Mind” into practice. The practice helps us to eliminate the ignorant mind of self-cherishing and self-grasping, the root of all suffering and problems.

It shows us how to transform adverse conditions into the spiritual path, giving us the opportunity to use our daily problems and issues that would normally be obstacles as our actual daily practice so we can make progress in our spiritual practice.

We live in spiritually degenerate times. Fewer people are

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The Sound of Mantra

Connecting and uplifting

In contrast to music and song designed to soothe or stimulate one’s heart and mind towards some short-term happiness, the intent of mantra is to help an individual to transcend the mundane and enter a super conscious existence.

Much of our modern music can stimulate right action towards greater peace and harmony that like the brokenhearted cowboy songs it serves to reinforce a sense of hopelessness and limitation. Some music will set your body free to move and dance while some music facilitates greater reflection.

Mantra if you like is the most sophisticated of reflective sound. The melody or arrangement of sounds is conducive to brain function and the activation of intelligence rather than emotion. The words

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Facts about Hinduism

What Everyone Should Know About Hinduism

One in every six people in this world as a Hindu by virtue of their birth yet all around the world, people of all nations are becoming Hindu because it offers a lifestyle where life is celebrated and not controlled.   Hinduism offers freedom and a way of living that generates happiness from within, a happiness and the joy that is not dependent on any external factors. It could be said to be the art of happiness and joy which arises when one’s life is aligned with the nature of existence.   As a lifestyle, Hinduism is about living with nature, understanding the cycles and seasons and learning to adapt. But for years

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Bending Backwards

Yoga Asana Series

Opening the spine in yoga

Some yoga asana practitioners consider back bends to be as challenging or even more challenging than inversions, especially as they highlight any structural weakness or existing trauma within the spine and cause pain.

The term ‘back bend’ is erroneous and highly misleading. What we are talking about is an extension and flexion because if you think about the shape of the spine, when it bends there is a compression on one side and an expansion on the other.

Within yoga asana, especially when doing back bends, the idea is to lengthen the spine is much as possible creating space between the vertebrae and expanding the inter-vertebral discs. Then throughout the

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The Karma of Technology

Will we pay a price for our pleasure and conveniences?

In most families, children are taught and encouraged to do their share to help maintain families and communities. This is natural and they can take pride in their contribution. But in the situation that has become more prevalent in the modern world is that children are being forced into lives of hard labour to help maintain adults who should know better in lives of privilege.

This is one of the darker sides of capitalism where in the case of mining, minerals are taken/stolen from the earth and much of the labour is performed by children were often paid so little that they remain perpetually malnourished and are constantly abused.

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