The Shadow of Yoga: Reflections on the Soul/Spirit Distinction by Jason Butler

 

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One comment

  1. I enjoyed this — partly because I’m someone who often feels surrounded by evangelical yoga practitioners. And partly, too, because a few years of working the “New Age” beat as a columnist quickly revealed the black-and-white fundamentalism of most supposedly new spiritual approaches.

    My own schtick has long been meditation (in the Shambhala tradtion) and it, like yoga, is vulnerable to appropriation by the ego. Chogyam Trungpa’s book “Cutting through Spiritual Materialism” takes this up in depth.

    Meditation (or mindfulness) is not about self-improvement. It’s about coming to know yourself and, maybe, get a glimpse of reality. The Shambhala form asks you not to filter what arises spontaneously in consciousness, but to observe it — “follow the image” as Lopez-Pedraza said.

    Lots of people, maybe most, can’t sustain a meditation practice when they realize it’s not going to make them a “better person.” I’m guessing the same thing happens with yoga.

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