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Eddie Stern reflects on the Confluence: ‘Keep practicing’

March 10, 2012
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Earlier in the week, we got Tim Miller’s humorous and touching thoughts on last weekend’s Ashtanga Yoga Confluence.

Today, it’s Eddie Stern’s turn to look back.

Having now seen Eddie “in action,” so to speak — and, honestly, one of my big regrets of the Confluence weekend was just introducing myself to him once, figuring I’d have time to talk to him more later… and then that time never happening, mostly because I seemed so busy … although I will admit I did see him hurrying off to his lunch on Sunday with Manju — his blog posts are that much more “alive.” As Tim said, the whole “Stern” thing is a facade. (At least sort of, I bet!) But there is no doubt that Eddie is funny, compassionate and deeply knowledgeable about Ashtanga, philosophy and Vedic chanting.

Bobbie and I loved his chanting.

OK, enough of my going on. Here is one part of Eddie’s thoughts on the Confluence. Full post is right here, and I love the Broad joke to start (you’ll have to go to it to read that):

The final mantras of the Rig Veda say:

Meet together, talk together, let your minds apprehend alike; in like manner as the gods concurring accepted their portion of the worship.

Common be the prayer of these assembled, common be the acquirement, common the purpose, associated be the desire. I repeat for you a common prayer, I offer for you with a common oblation.

Common by your intention, common be the wishes of your heart, common be your thoughts, so that there be union among you.

I think that the Confluence went a long way towards fulfilling these mantras, and the ‘common’ that we all held was our gratitude for Guruji and what he taught and gave us. It was clear last weekend in San Diego that Ashtanga Yoga is alive and well in America. Now it is just a matter of maintaining it – which of course, is always the hard part. So, as Richard said on one of our panels, after a long, and subtle explanation on what happens when you enter into the state of samadhi through Isvara pranidhana, “Therefore… we have to keep practicing.”

There’s a taste of what we all experienced last weekend.

On a side note, I’m glad that Eddie suggests he’s fallen behind on his blog. It’s one I look forward to — even more so now that I have a bit more “sense” of him. (Oh, and, yes, I know he links to us, for which we’re grateful. It’s humbling to know that some of the Confluence teachers are reading.)

Posted by Steve

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