Dear Yogis…

Hooray we are (reliably) back.  I love writing the newsletters, and thankfully some of you like recieving them.  As I said…as we did with the old files, we will be going over the lists of subscribers and checking as far as we can who is responding, and at least reading… as much as we can tell.  The computer program helps.  When we culled the Teacher Training files after months of notifications that we would,  we got the most response months AFTERWARDS when people realised they weren’t any longer part of the team.  Don’t leave it that long this time.  Sometimes we have to start at the beginning…again.

BALANCE:  In yoga, meditation and life there must be balance.  In meditation, between relaxation and attention, between focus and analysis.  In the very old Tibetan Temples there was no electricity of course.  They were lit with butter lamps.  It was in this way hard to see that the walls were covered with paintings.  If you wanted to see the paintings you had to get close to the wall and then deal with the draughts which repeatedly blew out the flame.

It describes perfectly the state of meditation, the goal of which is to see past disturbances into the nature of reality.

Balance and stillness are not the same.  Finding balance means accepting and learning to live with change.  That’s the basis of adaptation.  Covid is teaching us this skill.

WHY WE MEDITATE. There are a number of reasons to meditate, just as there are a number of reasons to keep bees, or anything which is dependent on us.  We always need to ask good questions.  Perhaps reflecting on these questions – In doing this, am I making things better or worse? Are my efforts making things better or worse? Most importantly, am I serving others or just serving myself?   It is not always easy to get the correct answers to these questions, but asking them should be a priority.

“The lessons taught by a teacher with a positive motivation penetrate deepest into their students minds.  I know this from my own personal experience.  As a boy I was very lazy.  But when I was aware of the affection and concern of my tutors, their lessons would sink in more successfully than if one was hard or unfeeling on that day.

So far as the specifics of education are concerned, that is for the experts.  I will therefore confine myself to a few suggestions.  The first is to awaken young people’s consciousness to the importance of basic human values, it is better not to present society’s problems purely as an ethical or religious matter. 

It is important to emphasise that what is at stake is our continued survival”.  HH The fourteenth Dalai Lama 2006.

In my garden I am still dealing with the ravages of winter – not as bitter as it used to be, but very wet.  My Tibetan gongs like damp air, but I am looking forward to sunshine.  I have ordered my new bee colony which will arrive in September which is not long away now.  By that time I will have cleared away what remains of winter and everything will be ready for the bees in the spring.

Don’t forget to click our “classes”  on the home page of this site to see our zoom classes.  Teacher Training on the 2nd August will be zoomed.  So all you folk who have said how much they want to join us CAN.  We wait to see if you are ready for “spring”.



Dear Yogis,

Each day brings us closer to what we used to think of as “normal”.  The question is, do you want to go there?   I am hoping that my newsletters will cause you to move forward in a yoga way.

We we speaking about CAUSE AND EFFECT.  Karma.  That everything you think, say or do has a consequence now,  and into a future you cannot even imagine.  These actions produce a karma greater than the action. Scarey yes? An action that is strong produces an imprint that is even stronger.  Love, hate, anger.

What would happen karmically if you did NOTHING?  You plan to hurt someone but don’t get around to carrying out the action.  Suppose you do this action in a moment of strong emotion, you do the deed but the person doesn’t die?  Is then the seed of killing another person implanted in your mind?  Not necessarily.  According to the Dalai Lama’s teachings, for an imprint to be perfect, for a seed to be planted perfectly (not just sit on top of the ground), it needs to be planted perfectly and deeply to grow into a perfect plant.   We must have a clear intention, and a steady emotion as we do the deed and then complete it as we desired, be aware of the completion and take ownership of the deed.  When all these conditions are met we will have a strong seed.  No matter what we do  seed is created.  How it grows depends on how it is planted.

Remember in the ‘Gita.  Arjuna and Krishna are on the battlefield and Arjuna is conflicted about fighting and karma.  Krishna tells him that they must fight, but it is how they fight that is important.  The battle has been fought many times before, it is HOW the battle is fought this time that is important. The enemy (in this case their relatives and friends from neighbouring villages)  has called the terms and is determined for war. Negotiation has won nothing, and now because Arjuna and Krishna know their “duty” (The Purushatras),  they must fight WITH LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING not with hate, knowing that this battle will be fought again in the next life.  We have time to get it right.

How are we going to deal with all these seeds we create every milli-second?  In the space of a second we have so many negative and positive thoughts, only a small fraction of which we are aware of, but ALL OF THEM are creating imprints.  The task seems impossible if everyone of them is precisely recorded in our consciousness.  On that basis we would all be doomed to an eternity of suffering, even if we only had to deal with the thoughts from this lifetime.

There is a way to clean negative imprints and we have talked of it before, whereby the imprint of killing a  person resulting in seeing oneself killed many times over many lifetimes, is reduced to a small headache.

The first step is grounding yourself in goodness.  There is a reason that Ghandi for instance chanted continuously the Name of God – lived in a constant vibration of his mantra.  Bring to your mind constantly the Enlightened Beings, your Heart Teacher, and by rededicating yourself to their care, bringing to mind constantly the lessons they have taught you, and remembering that by true service and compassion to EVERY LIVING THING (a virus is a living thing), you should for yourself master the path to freedom, and as a part of this service you will be able to show others the way.  (Covid?  Building your immunity is karmically better than killing the virus).

The second step, is to consider everything thought, word or deed, and remember the harm that it is doing to you.  The pain you are bringing upon yourself and others.  Think carefully before you bring any negative karma towards yourself, and cause the planting of negative seeds.  This a very subtle thing.  The effects of just one word for instance.  For instance, when people continuously swear without thinking,  just imagine the seeds piling up, that all have the possibility of growing into negative results many times bigger than the original seed.

The third step, is to VOW NEVER TO CONTINUE THE THOUGHT, WORD OR DEED, that would cause negative seeds.  This in itself is dangerous and difficult because none of us are evolved enough in our spiritual life that we could keep it, and to lapse would itself cause negative seeds and compound the problem.  Set an easier task.  A time frame, a curtailing of a certain action.  Saying “I promise I will not  swear for the next 24 hours (the “F” word?)” or “I promise I will not reply to…………….in anger for the next 24 hours”.    Something like that.  Difficult but achievable with honest effort.  Just imagine that every time, EVERY TIME, you said “F>>” you are piling up negative seeds,  which EACH have a result way in excess of the original seed.  Not smart.

The fourth step is to learn, to study yoga, contemplation and meditation, which will encourage you to dedicate yourself to a life of kindness and compassion to every being. To know what you are doing when you do it which allows for change.

The Dalai Lama demonstrates this every day.  If you think life for you is hard, watch the DVD “Kundun”, the early life of the Dalai Lama.    No matter what happens, he has kindness, compassion and trusts that all is as it should be.  That is why he is always happy no matter what happens. He controls his mind.  He knows how imprints work, and the relationship  between the imprints and emptiness.

Imprints do exists, they are what drives your existence and create your world, and to a great extent they can be removed or lessened depending on your motivation.

It is up to you.  Your life now and in the future, and the lives of others WILL BE changed by your actions. Even if you do nothing.  Now you have read this, you have an option… this in itself causes karma.