I got your 6! Who’s got mine?

While watching a shoot ’em up movie with my husband, I heard a term that has been used in many movies and by people around me.  “I got your 6!”  was meaningless, without context and sounded like a jumble of words. So I looked it up on Urban Dictionary.  If you are giving directions via the face of a clock, 12 o’clock is in front of you, 3 to your right, 9 to your left and 6 is behind you.  So, I got your 6 means, I’ve got your back!  What a fun term.

WatchfaceAs you roll through life, who really has your 6? Who is there to catch you before you fall? You may have work or personal partners who help… but it is rare to have someone everywhere you go, at all times. I think that personal responsibility is a key to success. BUT?!?!?

When you discern your atman (energetic soul) as being without beginning middle or end, and as connected to the great divine, you realize that there are no limits to the forces of greatness that can say “I got your 6!”

The Bhagavad Gita presents the relationship between Arjuna and Krishna as a friendship.  Then, in chapter eleven when Arjuna realized the magnitude of Krishna’s reach, he was terrified at the limitless power of Krishna. The Narrator, Sanjaya says

Having spoken these words, the Lord once again assumed the gentle form of Krishna and consoled his devotee, who had been so afraid.

Excerpt From: Eknath Easwaran. “The Bhagavad Gita.” Chapter 11, Verse 50.

What terrified Arjuna realized, is that Krishna is really everywhere, in everything and even Arjuna himself makes up part of the great divine Krishna.  The human form, Arjuna’s friend Krishna, was consoling but also the same all pervasive divine force. When you can see your best friends, lovers, family members and strangers as divine, you know they all, “Got your 6” in one way or another.

Think about it

If all the people you encounter are divine and “got your 6”, then you also have the responsibility to look out for everyone else. Do you live in a way that is looking out for others? Covering someone else’s 6 is one way to express your own divine nature!

Hari Om, Namaste


Similarities can eliminate duality!

My 5th grade niece did an impromptu word study connecting knowledge of her DARE class to words she read in church. During church she leaned over to her mother and exclaimed, “HalleluJah and mariJuana are the same!” She noticed the use of a silent “J”. She then got the giggles, and of course, created more of a scene than her mother wanted.

But what a gift!  To be able to see similarities in so many places brings us a step closer to oneness. Identifying similarities in words, people, church, and in nature is a gift. In yoga, the ultimate challenge is to find oneness, to feel connected and empowered by all around you, and to go beyond what is tangible, knowing that you are united with the Great Divine! Yoga means to unite.

The Bhagavad Gita discusses the importance of eliminating duality and the benefits of doing so. Instructions are provided, to eliminate duality, finding samadhi through meditation. What I see, is that we can begin to practice for samadhi by finding similarities whenever possible, just as my niece did.

Delusion arises from the duality of attraction and aversion, Arjuna; every creature is deluded by these from birth.

Excerpt From: Eknath Easwaran. “The Bhagavad Gita.” Chapter 7, verse 27.

Well flip and flap!  From birth?!?!?  Krishna tells Arjuna that we are affected by duality from birth. True. We are separated from our mother and primal oneness with the mother is lost. It takes work and conscious effort from birth on to reconnect with our source, God. Even in oneness, we find individual distinctions but recognize we all have the same distinctions.

Thus he (Krishna) is both happiness and suffering, birth and death, being and nonbeing. Like the Brahman of the Upanishads, he is beyond duality, utterly beyond the constricting categories of the things of this world.

Excerpt From: Eknath Easwaran. “The Bhagavad Gita.” The Introduction to chapter 10.

When we see similarities, the categories of things and people begin to fade and distance among people diminishes.  We become one.

Start small.  Hallelujah and marrijuana use the letter “J” in the same way.  I am interested in gardening, just like my neighbor down the street.  I am seeking a spiritual path, just as my catholic sister does.  We are all the same. We are one.Do Something!

In your downtime, begin to train your brain to find similarities. Watch people in public and look for what is the same.  When you are in conflict, look for similarities. If you are in conflict with another person, focus on what is the same between the two of you. If you are having internal conflict, accept that you have distinct emotions, but they are the totality of your oneness.
You are all that!

Hari Om

Short questions with LONG answers. What is yoga?

What is yoga?
Yoga, defined is a union. A union between you and all that is not yourself. Modern interpretations of yoga call it a union among mind, body and spirit.

What is the goal of yoga?
If yoga is a union, the goal of yoga is to obtain union.  Think about words that can be both nouns and verbs.  I am going for a walk versus, I walk to the store.  Yoga is a union (noun) but is also the actions required to obtain union (verb). The goal of yoga is to take all necessary actions to attain union.

Why bother with union?
It helps you understand your place in space.  Answers the question, “How I fit within the world we live?”.   Union allows you to appreciate the people around you and live in harmony and I believe that harmony is better than plain old peace.  Harmony is a form of union that allows differences to make the collective more beautiful.

How do you reach this union? 
There are many paths to union.  Wisdom. Devotion. Asana. Deep Faith. Meditation. Imagine these methods as plants in a flower garden of opportunities. You can smell or appreciate the beauty of any one of these flowers individually or as a collective just like you can choose any or all actions toward union.

How do we know these things?
There are many ancient texts that lay out the lifestyle suggestions that will lead you to yoga, or union.  While these texts have survived, the dates things were written and/or compiled are not in a super clear timeline. These five documents are paramount in explaining not just what yoga is, but how to attain it.

    The Vedas
    These are the oldest Sanskrit hymns. They were passed on through oral tradition.

    Want to know what’s cool as a cucumber? It is believed that the author of the Vedas is the great divine source itself! It is information that was simply known and not heard.  Think about that.  Known and not heard. The Vedas include directives about devotional practices.

    Written copies of the Vedas are as old as the 11th Century but keep in mind that the oral tradition passed on the Vedas long before this. Of the four primary Vedas, the Rig Veda is the oldest.

The Sutras
Patanjali gathered existing sutras about yoga and put them into a document of 196 sutras describing yoga.  They are organized into 4 chapters: Concentration, Practice, Progression & Liberation. Patanjali’s Yoga sutras create the knowledge of Astanga Yoga.

What’s super duper amazing about The Sutras?  They contain the 8 Fold Path of Patanjali. I believe these specific sutras offer clarity as to how to do yoga, or live a yogic lifestyle in only 8 simple steps!

Patanjali collected these sutras about 400 AD.

    The Upanishads
    These were written by multiple authors in an era of multiple beliefs. It is possible that the Upanishads were written by different people in order to answer questions that people had about The Vedas and Sutras.

    What’s the most spectacular quality of the Upanishads?  It is the fact that they answer the question “Why?” and provide deep discussion instead of just directions and statements as the Vedas and Sutras offer.The Upanishads gave way to the Vedantic school of thought which states that non-dualistic beliefs bring you closer to a relationship between you (your atman) and God.

    The Upanishads were collected 1100-500 BC.

The Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita is an allegory between Lord Krishna and Arjuna and was written as part of the Mahabharata.

Why is the Bhagavad Gita such a powerful story?  The Bhagavad Gita brings together devotion, action and knowledge as multiple paths to union.

500-200 BC is the era believed to be when the Bhagavad Gita was written.

    Hatha Yoga Pradipika
    This is the paramount text about the physical practices of yoga.  No matter the philosophical or spiritual belief, the practices laid out in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika are designed to bring you to samadi or wisdom.

    Super cool? This document is radically different from the others as the approach is physical, not spiritual. BUT, even within that context, meditation is still the ultimate vehicle to finding bliss.

    1400 AD.  Notice that the Hatha Yoga Pradipika is a much younger text than many of the other wisdom texts.

Do Something!
Start reading a wisdom text of yoga. Amazon will sell you a paper or digital copy. You can find text and commentary online. Yoga is not just a noun but also a verb so do something. No half asana!

Hari Om, Namaste

I’m in Training and I’m Trying

I"m in training and I'm trying.While traveling in India, I finally gave in and sought out a high-end hotel with a clean air filter. It was delightful in many ways with clean air, floors & food … but the one thing that delighted me the most were these buttons. Many employees were wearing them.

If I see an “In Training” button at the grocery store around here, I might just pick a different check out lane. With the added bonus of “and I’m trying” I found myself seeking out these new employees instead of avoiding them as they were indeed trying to make my stay more pleasurable.  What an attitude changer for me.

As I begin writing this blog, I will try to embody this attitude. I am in training and I am trying. There are many reasons to write a blog. Some people blog because they love to write. Others blog because they have something to say. Some blog because they want to be heard. I have something to say and hope you want to hear but know that I often struggle with the words.
Spelling. Grammar. Punctuation.
I am trying.

Krishna speaks to Arjuna about following a spiritual path.

On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure.  Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear.

~ Translated by Eknath Easwaran: Bhagavad Gita Chapter Two, Verse 40.

This blog is Half Asana. An attempt on my part to try to help you and I both, put forth effort down a yogic path. Asana (the physical poses) is part of yoga and will be part of this blog but asana is not even close to being half of yoga.  I hope that Half Asana can help you direct your spiritual efforts and have confidence that your efforts will not go to waste.

Think about it

What if this isn’t the end of the sentence?  
I’m in training and I’m trying to______________.  

Hari Om, Namaste.