Waylon Really Pissed Me Off…What about you?

Via on Jul 21, 2011
Lululemon Pants
Grateful, as always, to lululemon for the photo

Who does this guy think he is? Did you catch his column, Spiritual Wisdom from an Idiot? He says, “This article goes out to all you spiritual-lite yoga teacher wannabes out there. It also goes out to all the amateur-hour shrinks without degrees who send articles of second-hand impersonal wisdom to elephant.”

 

  1. Last time I checked you were making a living publishing this “second-hand impersonal wisdom.” And here I am sending it in for free. See what happens when I stop sending. I’ll do it. Just test me.
  2. “Yoga: yoga is so important. It’s, like, saved my life.” Well it did. And it will save yours, too. Come to my class and find out how (Full schedule available on my website. Drop-in rate $16.)
  3. ‘My Self. Two words, capitalizing “Self.”’ Do you even get the significance of this? I’ve spent thousands of dollars to develop My Self. I would never spend that money on myself.
  4. Lululemon? Seriously, you’re going to criticize lululemon? Have you seen my ass in those pants?

What made you laugh, what hit home, and what just plain pissed you off? What do you think is the misperception of all of us “who’ve graduated from two week teacher trainings at a local McYoga studio”? What do we do well, and what is truly complete bullshit?

Weigh in below. If you can come up with a response matching the wit of Waylon’s original article, you’ll find yourself published as a featured author on Elephant Journal (and you’ll be the champion defender of spiritual-lite yoga teacher wannabes everywhere). Somebody help me out here … he criticized lululemon!

About Open Yoga Blogging Community

Welcome to Elephant's Open Yoga Blogging Community where you can write whatever you like, and others can comment. Elephant writer Bethany Eanes has generously agreed to serve as discussion moderator. 1) Write your own blogs as comments here. If you already have a blog, you are welcome to cut and paste your best blogs here. 2) To subscribe and get e-mail notices, write a comment or reply, choosing to get e-mail notification for either just replies to that comment, or to all comments. 3) Register with Intense Debate and enter your bio, photo, and links there. This will appear in a pop-up when a reader mouses over your photo. 4) We will excerpt the best entries and discussions in the next week’s Community Blog. Some will become Elephant Yoga articles. --Bob W. Yoga Editor

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65 Responses to “Waylon Really Pissed Me Off…What about you?”

  1. Love this. I've been accused of being Bhagavad Gita lite because I highly recommend the Stephen Mitchell translation over the His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada edition. But, ya' know, if you're deeply into the Gita, any Gita, you're probably already legitimately heavy enough already.

    But criticizing lululemon? What's up with that, mon' (I also have deep roots in Reggae.) We've got to set some limits somewhere. Plus, that's damn hard to spell, by the waylon (pun intended.)

    Bob W. Yoga Editor
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    • Thaddeus1 says:

      Purely out of curiousity…is Stephen Mitchell fluent in Sanskrit?

      • No, not at all. His version is based on his best synthesis of over 50 highly regarded English versions of the Gita. He describes his method and his purpose eloquently and, to me, convincingly in a long chapter in his book.

        Having read six other versions of the Gita repeatedly, including the Prabhupada edition mentioned above, and having made many direct comparisons between the Mitchell version and the others, I personally believe that Mitchell admirably achieved his goal of greater clarity, poetic beauty, and accessibility.

        That said, I also love the Graham Schweig version and brand new Georg Feuerstein version, too. And I'm sure there are other great versions that I haven't had the pleasure of reading yet. Since I've done a lot of direct stanza to stanza comparisons, I never worry about missing any key meaning reading any of these three.

        Great question, Thaddeus. Thank you.

        Bob

  2. Ummm.. seriously if that is your ass in those pants then well done, it looks fabulous, the real point of it is, that I hope you did not miss, should we be commercializing the whole yoga industry allowing any one whose ass looks great in Lulu to be a spiritual guide after just 2 weeks of training…and who is really training them, some one else who has had two weeks of training, yikes!, I want my teacher to be just that, A TEACHER, and yes I capitalized that for a reason. A teacher has history and experience to guide you, something after 4 years of practicing myself I am still learning from many yoga instructors and teachers. SO I will keep my teacher and raise you your fine bottom and 2 week instructor. All the best,

  3. gretchen says:

    LOL, well the yoga i practice has little to do with my ass, and more to do with showing me how to ignore the overrated thoughts of others written in binary code and translated by this box into something resembling wisdom.

  4. I learned yoga from a VIDEO!! Long ago before yoga was so in "fashion". I went behind the backs of my strict born-again husband and family to practice something they all considered down-right evil and hid the video in the bottom of my laundry basket when I was finished. It was YEARS before I had the nerve to step into an actual yoga studio. I don't teach yoga (I am a Nutritional Consultant and Lifestyle Coach), but I practice and promote it, every chance I get. Much to the disappointment of my family. OH, and eventually I dumped the husband so I could leave my yoga videos out in the open anytime I wanted! :)

    • Yogini5 says:

      Which is a big BTW … as in thank you, Ele, for letting me vent on all your blogs. I got it ALL out of my system.

      I'm starting to blog again about nutrition on my blog site, and not about yoga.

      When my personal yoga asana practice gets mellow enough (again) for the first time in 2-1/2 years such that I look forward to doing it again (without it coddling me into somnolence—not middle path, exactly, but something really close to it) … that is the santosha point. Time to pack it in ….

  5. Selina says:

    Gretchen, In my observation- you are far from ignoring the "overrated thoughts of others… ". I was in the belief that the yogic spiritual practice… beautifully expressed in the spoken exchange Namaste "the divinity in me bows to the divinity in you" is far from present here. Though… you seem to have a pretty clear idea of what wisdom is- or at least recognizing when something "resembles wisdom". So you've piqued my interest… what is your experience of wisdom?

    • gretchen says:

      selina, you know me so well already? wow! you're good. the internet is full of overrated thoughts of others. that was what i was referencing. as for wisdom, my great grandmother taught me try it myself. the thing about FB is people can't hear me laugh when i type.

  6. Gretchen says:

    Selina, wow, you're good! You know that much about me after a one sentence post! I was referring to the overrated thoughts all over the internet. I was laughing as I typed it which you couldn't hear. As for wisdom, my great grandmother said if you want to know about it you have to do it yourself.

    Namaste

  7. Mandi Millar says:

    Ego Ego everywhere! Ego here in this article, Ego there in the one you're upset over! The human in me recognizes the human who gets pissed off in you (and the one in Waylon too). For me, the take away point from his article was "laugh at yourself" and the take away point from this article is "bullying sucks". Both are true, imo.

  8. bill says:

    Lighten Up-it's Spiritual Wisdom from the Village Idiot savant-AKA Shaman!

  9. Selina says:

    Gretchen, I apologize for the misunderstanding and jumping to an assumption that you were referring specifically to this article and its responses. Apparently some part of me was triggered- taking sometime to look at that. Its been a day of many many lessons.

    • gretchen says:

      selina, it's all good girlfriend. i'm hope clarity comes with answers. we all have triggers and if our brief dialogue unwinds one for you then indeed we have truly had a namaste moment. be well!

  10. yogiclarebear says:

    "you’ll find yourself published as a featured author on Elephant Journal"

    Hooray! So I can pour my heart into meaningful articles (but not really because Waylon probably wouldn't define me as a "deep enough" yogi or spiritualist) that would be trumped on the front pages and in the featured "top" lists by reposts about Stephen Colbert and Sarah Palin, or blog articles about "naked sexy yoga" and a picture of the topic, "10 ways to have better sex with yoga" and a picture of a sweaty and perfectly flat abdominal area, and "how yoga saved my sex life" and a picture of, of course people having sex.

    Keep sending in your non-paid-for articles and be put down by Waylon in his diatribe toward what he views as the "yoga wannabes"!

    PS Has WL ever taught a yoga class? Where is all this harsh judgment coming from? Is it all a ploy to rile the masses? If so, is it a positive means to an end of…a few extra clicks and some conversation at EJ? Or is there some actual deep resentment toward a certain genre of yoga teacher, brand, or phrase?

    • Hi, yogiclarebear. I'll let Waylon answer your questions about him and his writing.

      But, regardless of his answers, I hope you'll agree that along with all the light political and racy stuff on Elephant, we also have a ton of very diverse high quality Yoga writing going on here, too.

      For evidence I just ask anyone to look objectively at any months worth of top Yoga blogs. Here's the latest, compiled by volunteer Associate Editor Tanya Markul, who lives in Copenhagen:
      http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/07/top-10-ele

      I and our team of ten other volunteers work hard everyday to make Elephant Yoga as good as it can be. Please tell me how we are doing.

      I would be happy to discuss any concerns you have about Elephant further either here or on my personal Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bobweisenberg

      Best wishes. I enjoy your blog very much.

      Thanks for being here.

      Bob W. Yoga Editor

    • elephantjournal says:

      For an anonymous Care Bearish commenter, you sure are mean. Sorry if I don't pass the yoga teacher qualification for you—no I'm not a yoga teacher, nor do I plan to be. I am however choosey in the teachers I do study with—I've been blessed not to need to be too choosey, getting to study with many humble, bold, wild, tested, generous, sweet spirits over the last 9 years.

      My article came more out of my Buddhist training—that spiritual path is not a catwalk—we aren't doing any of this to be cool or pass one anothers' tests, sorry—we're doing our practice, whether we aim to be teachers or no, so that we might tame ourselves and be of service to others. If you saw the number of "spiritual-lite" articles we get in our inbox each day, 1) you'd be grateful we don't vomit them in your general direction and, 2) you would have written your version of my article, yourself.

      Apparently, however, you're too busy getting your puritan tush in a knot over the, literally, 2% of our content that has anything to do with sex. So that might say more about your own lens, than our offerings—which, I might add, are free to more than 98% of our readers. If, as in the old days of media, we were able to charge for what we offered, we would certainly be more than happy to pay our writers. As it is, no one forces anyone to write, and we are able to share their offerings with a wide audience—apparently both I and they are more interesting in sharing and getting the good word out on fun, irreverent, serious, sweet issues than we are in making a proper living.

      Feel free to write me directly if you have the guts, and time, to truly give a care, clarebear. Waylon@elephantjournal.com

      Yours,

      Signed,

      Non-anonymously,

      My feelings on the chopping-block of your projections about someone you've never met,

      Waylon Lewis
      son of Linda Lewis
      who raised me right
      but nevertheless was unable to teach me to have patience with bullies.

      • Good God, Waylon. Clare is not anonymous. She's one of Elephant's most prolific writers, Clare Polencheck, with 30 articles in 2011 alone! See http://www.elephantjournal.com/author/clare-polen

        I have admired her and her website for a long time.

        Clare has been a tremendous asset to Elephant. Just look at her icon above, Waylon. She has a comment rating of 65p! Yours is 108p. That means she's almost as active as you yourself are on Elephant. She has made 265 comments in the past year.

        I will certainly think twice about asking you to respond to a writer criticism next time! I thought you were going to say something like, "Hi, Clare. I was writing satire. It was all in good fun.", not launch a vicious and unwarranted counter-attack, which I have to try and make up for so Clare will graciously agree to stick around.

        I loved your blog because it made me laugh.

        If your blog was serious, then I'm with Clare, and I would ask you the same question she asked, "Where is all this harsh judgment coming from?"

        Please tell me you were just drunk and didn't know what you were writing in your response to Clare.

        Bob

        • Billy says:

          I found this a very immature response from Waylon. I can't believe this came from a 37 year old man. Maybe he is just exploring his inner 16 year old.

        • yogiclarebear says:

          Bob thanks for your support, and your very kind words. I was reading the response above and getting really confused about the “anon” thing but I understand. Truly. I can’t imagine all the stuff you guys have to sift through.

          Please know how much I appreciate you and Tanya AND Waylon for your work and what you offer here. I meant to be more light in my original response but I guess it sounds bitter or something! I'm not out for any recognition here. But I am sick of Stephen Colbert here, I can see him on every other website. LOL
          ;)

        • yogiclarebear says:

          PS What is 65P and 108P?

          And thanks…I take my responsibility here at EJ seriously, to read and comment and support other blogs and the website. Thanks for noticing.

          • DaveTelf says:

            these numbers track your activity on IntenseDebate (not just on elephant, but on any site that uses their service). in my understanding, it is to help readers gauge the trustworthiness of the commenter, so as to distinguish between the veterans and the rooks. generally I find that the quality of the comment itself is the best way to determine the relative "value" of the commenter, but i also enjoy seeing my personal number go up as I leave more and more inane comments on various elej articles, like "Awesome!" "Love this!" and "OMG I tots agree!" which are no less sincere for their silliness.

            also, you're a good sport Clare. i find your articles to be consistently excellent and your response to Fearless Leader's rant against Anon. calm and composed. Talk about walking the talk!

      • yogiclarebear says:

        I don’t need to write you personally, I think my guts are out here in public, as I am not anon. Clare L. Polencheck…as Bob clarified below.

        Waylon I’m sorry to ruffle your feathers. I was trying to be light here in my response above too, regarding what I said about EJs offerings. Maybe you are still playing the (“rile em up” game?) Where I’m coming from is an idea for something I’ve wanted to write for a long time but have been terribly afraid to offend someone (I guess you Waylon!) regarding pratyahara, truth, and using sexual/violent images and words to get “clicks.” Maybe in your definition, I am a prude, and yes I will def. be taking a look at my own “lens.” Good call. I wonder if the fact that I withdraw, regarding, makes me see MORE of what I’m resisting. Thanks for the call out, awareness.

        But I am certainly not one of those “lite” teaches you ranted about.

        • yogiclarebear says:

          That being said, I DO understand your rant, but I think it was mean too. You seemed to judge a lot of people at the same time, and that is a dangerous thing. I have nothing but respect for your spiritual path, but does it make you elite? Whether or not you judge a newb yoga teacher as flakey or genuine…there is SOMETHING there. They are at some point in some journey, and can’t we cheer that? Encourage it so it takes them on a path of seeking and opening and deepening? (Loving Thesauraus!) But do you get what I mean? A lot of people start with “lite.” If they are made to feel ashamed of that…why would they move deeper?

          What makes me a bully and not you?

          What was your favorite Carebear? Mine was the sad one.

        • Thaddeus1 says:

          This is a plea of sorts. I would love to read a post that dealt exactly with the topic of "pratyahara, truth, and using sexual/violent images and words to get “clicks.”

          Please write it, besides if you offend some people, it won't be the end of the world. I do it all the time and not even on purpose. I think there are some people in this world whose role it is to shake the pot…I mean, look at Socrates…of course, the Greeks did execute him, but I don't think we have to worry about that here.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Okay, well, first of all, if we're all getting serious now, in that context, yogiclarebear (unlike Bob, who's a genius with these things, I didn't know that meant you were the same person as Clare, my apologies–but probably best to sign off if we don't want to come off as anonymous for those of us who don't know online IDs by heart) I sincerely apologize—I regret any offense I put out there—and I thank you for your kind, thoughtful replies.

      I, however, walked into this comment section (below an article titled Waylon Really Pissed Me Off…What about you?) thinking we were all just having fun, putting things out there, blowing off steam. So, no, I wasn't drunk–though that's a good excuse I'll save for next week when I put my foot in it again. I was just going at it—I love debate, as Bob has noticed. Sorry if that strikes the PC tendencies within each of us as immature, but I figured to throw some fuel at the fire, and yes, since leaving that regrettably impassioned comment the comments have doubled in number and this article is now among the most popular on this site.

      So I do apologize to you, just to be clear, Clare. I did, I hope you understand, mistake the nature of this debate for something fun and passionate. I wasn't trying to play it safe, and I don't think any of us need to do so—though I and all of us can always do a better job being respectful in our criticism. That's a worth online practice of ahimsa.

      As for Bob, my esteemed confidant and colleague, I'd urge you to support, and not try and prevent, passionate debate. You and I have it all the time. This site is not about airy-fairy truisms—it's about trying to practice our various paths so that we might all wake up and be of service to a world in need—and, as in "sugata" in the Buddhist path, having fun along the way. ~ Waylon

  11. Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

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  12. contestant 14 says:

    oh, the strain, the anger, stuck on sticky pants straining for release, ah this swollen freedom! these feelings bruised purple, such thin cushioned sleeves stuck on a bright nodule, nudging, waiting for that one extra extra-special touch, that brilliant flash of grace! but no, just the anger, the bitter satisfaction of Self success, oh, the pain; if they knew metta like I know metta they’d surely purchase my super dukka scooper, but if they knew me, they’d know to stop saying “namaste” cause all I ever mutter back is, “evam, namo me”

    no do me, wait, let go, jibe, patiently 2, 3, 40

    Wandering where it will, the elephant of mind,
    Will bring us down to torment in the hell of Unrelenting Pain.
    No worldy beast, however wild and crazed,
    Could bring upon us such calamities.

    If, with mindfulness’ rope,
    The elephant of mind is tethered all around,
    Our fears will come to nothing,
    Every virtue drop into our hands.

    This rampant elephant, my mind,
    Once tied to that great post, reflection on the Teachings,
    Must now be watched with all my strength
    That it might never slip away

  13. Chantilly says:

    I find the comments the most entertaining part of this site. I found that the better bloggers are writing elsewhere and find too many posts here self-serving, self-centered and dare I say adolescent. Just an observation as I don’t visit here all that often. Cheers.

    • Hi, Chantily. Thanks for your feedback. If you don't visit here very often, I hope you might take a look at our latest months worth of top Yoga blogs and perhaps you might feel differently about our writing:
      http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/07/top-10-ele

      Please let me know if that changes your mind. If not, always happy to hear more feedback, good or bad. I and our team of ten other volunteers work hard everyday to make Elephant Yoga as good as it can be. If you tell us how you'd like us to improve, I guarantee you we will do our best.

      Thanks for writing.

      Bob W. Yoga Editor

    • elephantjournal says:

      Chantilly, please don't judge the quality of the yoga community offering up their best on this site by my silly, stupid, immature comments above. I was just going at it—trying, and obviously failing, to offer a little light and heat. Bob and the literally countless (hundreds) of yoga writers on this site come from many backgrounds, levels of experience (Richard Freeman is on here, so too are Seane Corn, so too are many new yoga students and teachers) and interests/passions. It's my bad re the comments above, not any of theirs. ~ Waylon

    • dishelle says:

      Wow, lighten up, Chantilly.

  14. Dave,

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. I think you hit it on the head when you said, "Why not see that discomfort as motivation to be more authentic in your everyday life." I hope this is a chain-reaction response to the discussion.

    - Bethany

  15. Tanya Lee Markul tanya lee markul says:

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  16. Amanda says:

    “Wandering where it will, the elephant of mind,
    Will bring us down to torment in the hell of Unrelenting Pain.
    No worldy beast, however wild and crazed,
    Could bring upon us such calamities.

    If, with mindfulness’ rope,
    The elephant of mind is tethered all around,
    Our fears will come to nothing,
    Every virtue drop into our hands.

    This rampant elephant, my mind,
    Once tied to that great post, reflection on the Teachings,
    Must now be watched with all my strength
    That it might never slip away”

    Let this elephant lead me to water…
    Let this light of clarity
    Drink in
    O

  17. Amanda says:

    “Wandering where it will, the elephant of mind,
    Will bring us down to torment in the hell of Unrelenting Pain.
    No worldy beast, however wild and crazed,
    Could bring upon us such calamities.

    If, with mindfulness’ rope,
    The elephant of mind is tethered all around,
    Our fears will come to nothing,
    Every virtue drop into our hands.

    This rampant elephant, my mind,
    Once tied to that great post, reflection on the Teachings,
    Must now be watched with all my strength
    That it might never slip away”

    Let this elephant lead me to water…
    Let this light of clarity
    Drink in open vista’s
    And not charade as
    A circus performer
    Trained into submission

    I feel the wild
    Expansiveness
    Not harnessed
    By global warming.

  18. [...] Waylon Really Pissed Me Off…What about you? [...]

  19. Emily KC says:

    Who wrote this original article "Waylon Really Pissed Me Off… What about you" ? Please include the author next time!
    Thank you!

    Emily

  20. [...] Open Blogging Community got a little tense last round. There were a lot of opinions flying around about the content, photos [...]

  21. DaxBakken says:

    lululemon TOTALLY makes your ass look awesome, Waylon.

  22. Anyone who criticizes those psycho fuckers over at Lululemon is in my good book.

  23. [...] Waylon Really Pissed Me Off…What about you? [...]

  24. hayley says:

    i hate lululemon. almost all their clothes are now made in china… we yogis shouldn't stand for that…

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  27. greateacher says:

    yoga is so important it saved my life an dit will save yours and Waylon's. I don't write those kind of articles. I jumped into yoga at a tough time in my life and I am blessed for doing so. I jumped in and learned a lot and submit articles about deeper and more meaningful lessons learned. yet, some times I enjoy reading about others lifesw being saved.

  28. I’m curious to find out what blog system you’re using?
    I’m having some minor security problems with my latest blog and I would like to find something more safe. Do you have any solutions?

  29. Thanks for every other magnificent post. Where else may anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect approach of writing?

    I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such information.

  30. Yogini5 says:

    Well, it is kinda tough if you are of the AARP set. Like the old joke used to go … would you look good wearing a thong ….. and Depends?

  31. elephantjournal says:

    Last I checked, we're all aging, and no one gets out of life alive. Moisturizer or no moisturizer. Women and men my age are obsessed about wrinkles, injuries, athletics, parenting, gaining weight, staying in shape…much of it symptoms of a fear of aging and death.

    That said, obviously, use moisturizer (organic, for your own health!) all you like—I sure do. Taking care of ourselves is a worthy task—just as we clean our kitchen after a meal, or polish shoes or care for a baseball glove. Just don't fool yourself into thinking it'll put off the inevitable, that's all.

    Finally, duh. There are amazing yoga teachers everywhere. Find them. Take advantage of their gifts by patronizing their classes. That might sound obvious, but so many of my friends go to yoga sculpt and such…classes that are all about getting fit. Nothing at all is wrong with that—exercise has great benefits for the body, and mind. But there is more to yoga, and it's worth searching out, that's all.

    Finally finally, I heartily agree.

    Yours,

    Waylon

  32. Interesting insights, Thaddeus. Thanks.

    Actually that process of Zambito's is kind of similar to what Mitchell did in creating his version of the Gita–he lined all the leading translations up side by side, and tried to use his awesome poetry skill to try to come up with something completely true to the meaning, but far more spare and poetic, like the Sanskrit itself reportedly is.

    The fact is, the average Sanskrit scholar is not likely to be a great poet, too, and tends to be more concerned with minute accuracy than the overall poetic impact of the translation. So, the idea of combining the consensus translation skill of the most learned Sanskrit scholars with the talents of a truly first rate poet like Mitchell makes perfect sense to me.

    Does it make any more sense to you now?

    Bob

  33. this was a perfect response to all of the action above, some pretty crazy emotions flying….but i think you have summed everything up perfectly :)

  34. Whew. I'm breathless, Dave. I enjoyed your comment here almost as much as I enjoyed Waylon's original article and Bethany's counter-spoof.

    Bethany's in charge, but I vote for your comment to become a blog of its own. If any comment shows the method in Bethany's madness, it's yours.

    Thanks.

    Bob W. Yoga Editor
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  35. Kate Bartolotta KateB518 says:

    Not to boost the ego, but that was the best thing I've read in days…thanks!

  36. Hi, my good friend Thaddeus (that's what Senators are always saying to each other when they disagree.)

    I, on the other hand, believe that the Gita represents universal truths. If that's the case, as interesting all the details are, then those truths should be able to be expressed in plain English, without any specialized language at all. Truths are truths. And truths are often elegantly simple, too.

    All the Rest is Commentary

    Yoga philosophy is sublimely simple and profound.
    It can all be expressed in three phrases.

    At first I thought Yoga was complicated.
    Then I wrote about about it
    And it began to seem simple.

    I started reading the ancient texts
    And Yoga again seemed complicated.

    But the better I knew
    The Yoga Sutra, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads
    The more I realized

    Yoga philosophy is sublimely simple and profound.
    It can all be expressed in three phrases:

    LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH LOVE AND PURPOSE,
    DETACHING EGO FROM RESULTS

    EXPERIENCE THE INFINITE WONDER OF THE UNIVERSE

    FOCUS THE MIND

    As they say about the Golden Rule
    All the rest is commentary.

    (See also the latest brand new Gita in a Nutshell: Is Love Itself the Overriding Theme of the Bhagavad Gita?)

    Sublime simplicity. Single pointed simplicity.

  37. Thaddeus1 says:

    There are many things upon which my esteemed colleague from across the aisle and I agree on, namely that the Bhagavad-gita contains and expresses Absolute Truths. There will be no argument there, however, where we will have to agree to disagree is the means through which one comes to know, understand and realize the Truths contained therein. And since neither of us really seem willing to be swayed in the other's direction (there really is no sense in preaching to the convinced), I will offer but one verse from our respective chosen translations.

    Bhagavad-gita 4.34

    Mitchell- "Find a wise teacher, honor him, ask him your questions, serve him; someone who has seen the truth will guide you on the path to wisdom."

    HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami- "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth."

    Okay, that was my first and last infusion of political jargon in a comment. It was fun, but in all honesty, I have way more respect for both us than to imply that we are in any way shape or form related to politicians. I hear what you're saying Bob, I just think your position stands in stark contrast (perhaps conflict?) with over 5000 years of yogic knowledge and transmission and that even within your chosen translation, one finds encouragement to find a teacher and learn from him/her. When I asked you previously about learning to play guitar and to hear and appreciate music from the deeper place that such knowledge provides, you said there would be time for that later. I say, neither of us is getting any younger, nor are there any guarantees. The time is now.

  38. Yogini5 says:

    Not just the yoga teachers on Facebook, but also the ones at my blogsite. But it's more forgivable there because many there are struggling with arrested eating disorders and such … you have to cut people some slack somewhere.

  39. Hi, Thaddeus. Where on earth did you get the silly idea that I don't believe in teachers?

    I would be nowhere without Stephen Cope, Rod Stryker, and Steven Mitchell, not to mention Albert Einstein, Garrison Keillor, and Charlie Rose, plus Graham Schweig, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Edwin Finer, Eknath Easwaran etc., etc..

    Should I go on? I don't really write anything I didn't learn from one or more these and other teachers.

  40. DaveTelf says:

    Thanks Bob!

  41. DaveTelf says:

    Thanks Kate!

    So, as I see it, there are two possible ways to merge the individual ego with the infinite, innate, all-pervasive you-name-it: 1. Shrink it down until it becomes so microscopic as to blink out of existence, achieve true emptiness, and thereby embody Everything. Or 2. To enlarge that ego bubble around the Earth, to the Sun, into the far reaches of the unknown universe until it encompasses and includes absolutely all of creation.

    I seem to be on the latter path, so thank you for your expansive boost! hahaha

  42. You're right, Thaddeus. We couldn't disagree more. My reading of Yoga history ( I keep referring back to Feuerstein's exhaustive The Yoga Tradition http://amzn.to/9I9vtH ) is the opposite of yours.

    Starting from the very beginnning, Yoga was about rebellion from the established notions about spirituality and consciousness, and a dramatic move away from authority in favor of direct personal experience and thinking for oneself.

    But one doesn't have to read Feuerstein to see this. It's right there in the texts themselves, especially the Upanishads, which were rebellions against the establishment Vedas, not part of them.

    In many stories in the Upanishads, the established gurus and their elaborate notions of God, spirituality and ritual are completely upended and overrun by the utter simplicity of "Sat Chit Ananda" ("Reality Consciousness Bliss") and "I am That".

    No, to me learning Yoga is not like learning to fly an F-15 fighter bomber (that's kind of a strange analogy for you to cite, don't you think?) or learning to play guitar.

    It's like relaxing and and letting go enough to experience the Bach B-minor Mass in all its wondrous glory, and coming out in tears at the end, which can happen to anyone who is open to it, even on the very first time, and certainly without an F-15 pilot's manual or a guru to do anything else but tell the listener to listen.

    Bob W. Yoga Editor
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  43. All I can politely suggest, Thaddeus, is speak for yourself!

    Maybe it depends what you're coming from and where you are in your life.

    I came to Yoga after a lifetime of the heaviest kind of self-discipline and self-control, both spiritual and professional. The last thing I needed was a new discipline in my life. I needed a philosophy that transported me beyond discipline.

    I can see how someone else might come to Yoga as a different time in their life and from a less overly disciplined perspective and value Yoga precisely for its discipline and rigor.

    Please, different Yoga strokes for different Yoga folks! Not one size fits all. The variety of needs and approaches is written into the Gita itself.

    A lot of us need to learn to loosen up and just experience things more, not still more incessant self-control and discipline.

    Thanks for this engaging interchange.

    Bob

  44. Thaddeus1 says:

    I think the best any of us can do Bob, is speak for ourselves.

    I truly appreciate your perspective and am in no way trying to imply that you should adopt my perspective, anymore than I imagine you believe I should adopt yours. As you said, different strokes for different folks.

    Thanks again, always a pleasure to dialogue.

  45. It's been a pleasure for me, too, Thaddeus. Thank you.

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