Undo your shackles this January with a weekend of yoga and Vedanta

For the second time, Eddie Stern and Robert Moses — co-founders of Namarupa — will be holding a weekend workshop over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. It will focus on yoga and Vedanta.

It’s easiest to quote from the flyer for the weekend:

Yoga and Vedanta are practical philosophies born from the age-old burning desire to understand our essential inner nature and our place in the world. We take our perceptions for granted, and believe them to be real. The ancient Rishis of India questioned this belief in perception and created several philosophical systems based on three basic questions: What are the objects of the world which we see made of? What is the nature of the process of observing the world that occurs through our senses? Who it is that perceives? The answers they gave led to practices that we do even this day.

In this weekend retreat, Robert Moses will give talks on Yoga and Vedanta, Eddie Stern will lead morning and afternoon Ashtanga Yoga classes, and Jocelyne Stern will lead meditation. There will be question and answer periods, group discussions, and breaks for chai.

Pastor NaRon Tillman, who will be hosting us in his church gymnasium, will join us to give talks on Martin Luther King Jr. and the imperative need of our day to undo the shackles of bias that bind us to our prejudices and perceptions and hold us back from freedom and truth.

Both Saturday and Sunday will include morning and evening yoga classes (the later described as “yoga therapy,” the morning ones are Led Primary) and a couple of sessions on Vedanta.

Unlike last year, it won’t be at AYNY, but at the Brooklyn StuyDome at St. Philip’s Christian Church. Cost is $190 for the full weekend, $105 for one day and $55 for half a day. Out-of-towners also get a Monday morning yoga session at AYNY.

Last year’s was great — so you may wanna check your calendars. I suspect there will be more info soon at both AYNY and Namarupa’s websites.

Update: Here’s specifics from Namarupa’s Tumblr page.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga and Vedanta retreat weekend — you come

We’re getting together our last bits and pieces — amazing how stuff adds up, right? — before our Namarupa Yatra.

And as I was doing so, or not, since I was on the Facebook, I saw that our Yatra guide, Robert Moses, had posted notice of a fall weekend retreat in New Hampshire. Plus, our Yatra Ashtanga teacher, Kate O’Donnell, will be there. The final third of the triad is Robert’s wonderful wife, Meenakshi.

Link for the details is right here. Cost for two nights is $325; staying over into Monday (it is Columbus Day weekend) puts it to $425.

We can testify first hand that all three of them are not only extremely knowledgeable but also super capable of imparting that knowledge in a fun, engaging and interesting way.

It is the weekend of Oct. 10. It’s happening in Hillsborough, but given it’s New Hampshire, I think that means it is pretty close to everything else in that state. (Is my SoCal bias showing? Robert and I can work that out on our Yatra.)

OK, back to final packing. What stays, what goes?

Posted by Steve

New Namarupa includes article by Eddie Stern and Sharath

We got a sneak peak at the latest Namarupa magazine — again a whopper, at 96 pages — and we can assure you it is worth you time. (We again helped with the proofreading.)

You can browse and buy it right here.

I assume a highlight will be the piece by Eddie Stern and Sharath on their pilgrimage to Sringeri. But there is much more: a look at the Yoga Sutras, a piece on Krishnamacharya, art of Krishna and much more.

We’ll have more to say about some of the specific articles in the coming days. But we didn’t want to slow down your getting to it.

And, if you missed that link: Buy it here.

Posted by Steve

Statistically speaking, you probably don’t really exist

One of the things that I find puzzling, but endearing, is the impulse within Hindu philosophy — both now and seemingly throughout the ages — to ground arguments in science and math.

I’m sure there are attempts to explain this. And it may be something I notice more because my inclination is to tropes of the more poetic sort, and so talking about how the Rig Veda’s mention of a single point, or bindu, of creation is like the Big Bang Theory (not that one) probably doesn’t have the same effect on me as it might others. (Ultimately, they all are poetic tropes, as far as I’m concerned. But that’s a post for an entirely different blog.)

Anyway, I’ll now try to do this here.

One aspect of Vedanta is, of course, the idea of Maya — that the world is illusion, to simplify it terribly. The world of sunrises and sunsets, love and hate, blue skies and green earths, is not the true, ultimately reality — which is, of course, the unified consciousness.

Well, scientific theory may be catching up to this ages-old idea. From the New York Times:

But one fanciful possibility is that we live in a computer simulation based on the laws of mathematics — not in what we commonly take to be the real world. According to this theory, some highly advanced computer programmer of the future has devised this simulation, and we are unknowingly part of it. Thus when we discover a mathematical truth, we are simply discovering aspects of the code that the programmer used.

This may strike you as very unlikely. But the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has argued that we are more likely to be in such a simulation than not. If such simulations are possible in theory, he reasons, then eventually humans will create them — presumably many of them. If this is so, in time there will be many more simulated worlds than nonsimulated ones. Statistically speaking, therefore, we are more likely to be living in a simulated world than the real one.

The piece then highlights a recent scientific paper that outlined how we might be able to detect whether we are, in fact, living in a computer simulation. (Hint: It takes cosmic rays.)

What’s a computer simulation if not Maya?

Still to be answered is just who programmed that simulation. I’m not sure I’m satisfied with programmer from the future.

Posted by Steve