If you’ve got some spare time for a rabbit hole MandalaGaba is a drawing board that specializes in mandalas and other artistic mathematical magic. Click and drag and watch what happens. [Create your own at MandalaGaba or follow some of their user-created highlights on Instagram]
We consider ritual to be an essential part of our days. So we were intrigued when David Brooks wrote a piece musing on the small acts that keep society together, imagining different ways we might quietly and meaningfully infuse our days with ritual. Pam Grossman responded: “Here’s the thing about the ‘There Should Be More Rituals!’ Op-Ed by David Brooks: he’s not wrong. But to write this with zero reference to the modern witchcraft movement belies either ignorance or misunderstanding about why so many are seeking alt-spiritual systems…” [DB on Ritual | Pam Grossman on the anti-hierarchical and anti-patriarchal witches he ignored]
“Om meditation not only affects the various parts of the brain, such as pre-frontal cortex, vagus nerve, amygdala and others but also affects the heart rate and respiratory rate.” This study published in Psychological Thought shows promising evidence that Om mantra meditation may be helpful in healing anxiety and depression. [Read on PSYCT]
April 19, 2019
Hanuman is the son of the wind (like our own breath), his father was Vayu and his mother a beautiful apsara known as Anjani. On this full moon we celebrate Lord Hanuman’s glorious appearance day.
Some of you readers know that Hanuman brought us, Erica + Spiro together, so this is a most special holiday for us personally. For those of you don’t know the story, you can read about it here.
“Performing tapas, the spiritual seeker fuels the sacrificial flames residing within his spiritual heart, the abode of Brahmaṇaspati. As Agni blazes, a loud (but soundless) thunderclap is perceived: the cry of the Vaṣaṭ call by Brahmaṇaspati. The Vaṣaṭ call alerts the gods that an offering is made for their partaking. Eagerly, the gods rush to receive the oblation. In return, the gods shower the yajamāna with an abundance of divine plenitude.
The yajamāna (sacrificer), fully integrated in all aspects of his being, awakens to a new consciousness. A single ray of light (immortal truth) now shines forth from within with the brilliance of a million suns. Facilitated by Brahmaṇaspati and his holy power of brahman, heaven and earth are wedded together in the cave of the spiritual heart of the aspirant.” –The Divine Forces of the Lunar Nakṣatras as Portrayed in the Vedas: Mystical Forms, Ancient Epithets and Sacred Mythology, by Radhe
Tune into last week’s Expanding Mind podcast, Erik’s description— “Yogi, psychonaut, and dear old pal Spiros Antonopoulos returns to talk about the Ashtanga lineage, Crowley’s yoga chops, the gifts of rigorous practice, NYC punk yoga, psychedelic Patanjali, and the ups and downs of opening his & Erica Magill’s new Los Angeles Yoga Club amid the Instagram storms of LA body culture.” [Techgnosis]
Our pals Ashley & JC pushed us to The OA this past week, so we’ve been catching up. Beyond the tasty cinematic references, and compelling storytelling style, several pop California tropes emerge with resonance to our yoga practices. Here’s a few we found compelling (and often concurrently silly)—
▵The idea that we live locked in the prison of our own mind, and that to #examine ourselves—our blindspots and preconceptions—involves work, struggle and perseverance.
▵But there’s hope. The possibility to reach out and feel beyond our shackles, and experience something outside of ourselves (transcendence).
▵Consciousness (and our identities and histories and memories) can move into other bodies.
▵A diligent practice. A practice with many repetitions of a particular sequence of physical gestures (kinda looks like a fusion of Tai Chi with modern dance) with specific inhalations and exhalations tied to focus. So it’s easy to read as yoga.
▵Through the practice of the five gestures, healing can occur.
▵Specific methods (e.g., dreams, near-death experiences, and more) other worlds may be revealed or explored: “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” —TS Eliot
▵One promising thread, which sadly dwindles a bit in season 2 is that some of the practices need multiple humans to access energies beyond the individual self. Togetherness. Collectivity. Small groups.
- The Radical Sincerity of The OA [The Atlantic]
- Choreographer Ryan Heffington, the man who created the movements for ‘The OA’ (who also happens to have a dance school just down the hill from our home in Silverlake) [This Is Insider]
March 21, 2019 ❖ Full moon | Vernal Equinox
Begin with an inhalation (for a comfortable amount of time).
Exhale for the same amount of time.
Imagine inhaling the daylight, and exhaling the night.
Repeat for a few minutes—focusing upon the feeling of balance, homeostasis, equilibrium and equality. Feel the subtle line between effort and surrender, between inhaling and exhaling, between ourselves and the solar system.
Strange that breathing can be at once so everyday, so forgettable – yet at the same time, the material plane on which all of life and death manifests. Read this worthwhile article, which surveys a good slice of the latest science on “conscious breathing” on Aeon… (And yes, DO HOLD YOUR BREATH with us at LAYC’s next series of Breath Meditations!)