yoga

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HandsomeMonkeyking
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:36 pm

yoga

Post by HandsomeMonkeyking » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:15 pm

We are all aware of the hype on physical exercises all called Yoga.

Recently I even met many Yoga teachers which came to the conclusion 'you know this kind of Yoga is not really Yoga, not like it was practised in India" then they continue to explain "but I do Hatha Yoga which is the real deal". Maybe they add "its not about getting a nice butt but about something inside you". :smile:

It is interesting how many layers of misconceptions can pile up on another. And if people peel one away they think they have the truth.

I remember some time ago I read about a book called 'The Yoga Body' where a guy claims that the posture heavy "Yoga" was a reaction of the physical culture training in colonial India.
Here is also a post about it: https://mereorthodoxy.com/call-danish-g ... yoga-body/


There are stories that Bodhidharma came from India to China, bringing with him (or inventing, depening on story) a set of physical exercises for the monks.
Many people I know assume that those exercises are from Hatha Yoga or what we nowadays in popular culture is known as Yoga. So if the above mentioned book is right, this of course cannot be true.
On the other hand it also doesn't have to be true that there were no physical exercises at all.

I would like to know if anybody here has more information about this. Or some interesting ideas at least.

Furthermore I often read that Shamatha and Vipashyana were not a invention of the Buddha, but were popular at his time already and are done were done in " indian yoga".
With the current amount of information floating around on the buzzword its hard to for me to find something on it. But I would like to read something about the usage of shamatha and vipashyana in that time. What exercises, what were their goals. Why did they stop at this etc.

PS: Yes I am aware of the term translation of the term 'yoga' and what it can mean and include. If I understand it correctly basically it can be any system of training. Or anything that aims to bring union.

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passel
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:30 am

Re: yoga

Post by passel » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:35 pm

The signal to noise ratio in modern postural yoga communities is deafening. I just go to make friends and get a nice butt, and look elsewhere for depth. Mark Singleton and James Mallinson have a website with good papers and put out a book together, worth checking out:

http://www.modernyogaresearch.org
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/02412530 ... ts+of+yoga

As for shamatha and vipasyana/ vipassana, they’re there but not much emphasized in the suttas but take on a life of their own in the commentarial literature. Party line is that shamatha was part of renunciate culture before the Buddha discovered vipasyana. Thai Forest teachers and Zen folks don’t tend to recognize or give much of a shit about making that distinction. Kagyus make the distinction for beginning practitioners but want you to combine the two, generally.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

SunWuKong
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm

Re: yoga

Post by SunWuKong » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:27 am

HandsomeMonkeyking wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:15 pm
We are all aware of the hype on physical exercises all called Yoga.

Recently I even met many Yoga teachers which came to the conclusion 'you know this kind of Yoga is not really Yoga, not like it was practised in India" then they continue to explain "but I do Hatha Yoga which is the real deal". Maybe they add "its not about getting a nice butt but about something inside you". :smile:

It is interesting how many layers of misconceptions can pile up on another. And if people peel one away they think they have the truth.

I remember some time ago I read about a book called 'The Yoga Body' where a guy claims that the posture heavy "Yoga" was a reaction of the physical culture training in colonial India.
Here is also a post about it: https://mereorthodoxy.com/call-danish-g ... yoga-body/


There are stories that Bodhidharma came from India to China, bringing with him (or inventing, depening on story) a set of physical exercises for the monks.
Many people I know assume that those exercises are from Hatha Yoga or what we nowadays in popular culture is known as Yoga. So if the above mentioned book is right, this of course cannot be true.
On the other hand it also doesn't have to be true that there were no physical exercises at all.

I would like to know if anybody here has more information about this. Or some interesting ideas at least.

Furthermore I often read that Shamatha and Vipashyana were not a invention of the Buddha, but were popular at his time already and are done were done in " indian yoga".
With the current amount of information floating around on the buzzword its hard to for me to find something on it. But I would like to read something about the usage of shamatha and vipashyana in that time. What exercises, what were their goals. Why did they stop at this etc.

PS: Yes I am aware of the term translation of the term 'yoga' and what it can mean and include. If I understand it correctly basically it can be any system of training. Or anything that aims to bring union.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

SunWuKong
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm

Re: yoga

Post by SunWuKong » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:29 am

sorry about that - wrong button. Hmm when we did yoga in the '60's it wasn't devoid of spirituality. When we did meditation, it wasn't devoid of spirituality either. Yet the yoga and meditation of the marketplace today are devoid. That's because they are just momentary fads, not deep practices.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

SunWuKong
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm

Re: yoga

Post by SunWuKong » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:02 am

passel wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:35 pm
The signal to noise ratio in modern postural yoga communities is deafening. I just go to make friends and get a nice butt, and look elsewhere for depth. Mark Singleton and James Mallinson have a website with good papers and put out a book together, worth checking out:

http://www.modernyogaresearch.org
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/02412530 ... ts+of+yoga

As for shamatha and vipasyana/ vipassana, they’re there but not much emphasized in the suttas but take on a life of their own in the commentarial literature. Party line is that shamatha was part of renunciate culture before the Buddha discovered vipasyana. Thai Forest teachers and Zen folks don’t tend to recognize or give much of a shit about making that distinction. Kagyus make the distinction for beginning practitioners but want you to combine the two, generally.
This is a great topic because the sutta text that samatha comes from mentions nothing about a prior source of the practice, or a separation of it from vipassana. Its taught as one practice, not two. Samatha is frequently misunderstood, I'm afraid, mostly due to poor translation. Pīti is not just "joy" and sukha is not just "calm" - samadhi is not just "concentration" - but there are two things happening - because during sitting meditation, samatha style, analytical reasoning is not a part of the practice. But shifting over to vipassana, an analytical insight practice means piercing through thoughts and feelings, mental formations and consciousness, and knowing them for what they truly are - this takes a very alert and aware mentality - even if the only thing you are doing is making note of them. As for the party line, what gurus did 2600 years ago, who actually knows? I question mere speculation based on presumption. There isn't a solid argument against learning skill in the practice. Some prefer samatha, others prefer vipassana, but its better to learn both and use them where needed. Its good to learn a practice that has no object, no focus, as well. If you are used to using an object such as breathing, or watching thoughts, feelings, arise, fall away, it can be disconcerting at first. It feels like skipping the preliminary settling of the mind and going straight to tranquillity, a bit tricky. But not at all impossible.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Malcolm
Posts: 28709
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: yoga

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:57 pm

Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

SunWuKong
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm

Re: yoga

Post by SunWuKong » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:39 pm

HandsomeMonkeyking wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:15 pm
We are all aware of the hype on physical exercises all called Yoga.

Recently I even met many Yoga teachers which came to the conclusion 'you know this kind of Yoga is not really Yoga, not like it was practised in India" then they continue to explain "but I do Hatha Yoga which is the real deal". Maybe they add "its not about getting a nice butt but about something inside you". :smile:

It is interesting how many layers of misconceptions can pile up on another. And if people peel one away they think they have the truth.

I remember some time ago I read about a book called 'The Yoga Body' where a guy claims that the posture heavy "Yoga" was a reaction of the physical culture training in colonial India.
Here is also a post about it: https://mereorthodoxy.com/call-danish-g ... yoga-body/


There are stories that Bodhidharma came from India to China, bringing with him (or inventing, depening on story) a set of physical exercises for the monks.
Many people I know assume that those exercises are from Hatha Yoga or what we nowadays in popular culture is known as Yoga. So if the above mentioned book is right, this of course cannot be true.
On the other hand it also doesn't have to be true that there were no physical exercises at all.

I would like to know if anybody here has more information about this. Or some interesting ideas at least.

Furthermore I often read that Shamatha and Vipashyana were not a invention of the Buddha, but were popular at his time already and are done were done in " indian yoga".
With the current amount of information floating around on the buzzword its hard to for me to find something on it. But I would like to read something about the usage of shamatha and vipashyana in that time. What exercises, what were their goals. Why did they stop at this etc.

PS: Yes I am aware of the term translation of the term 'yoga' and what it can mean and include. If I understand it correctly basically it can be any system of training. Or anything that aims to bring union.
physical yoga is only a small part of the yoga system. Find anything written on yoga before say 1970, especially on the topic of yoga philoophy.

its not known if yoga did not in fact come from tantric Buddhism. Tantra in some form or another seems to predate both yoga as we know it, as well as Buddhism. Same with Brahmanism.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

SunWuKong
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm

Re: yoga

Post by SunWuKong » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:57 pm
Of interest:

http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/documen ... s_1984.pdf
Thanks, yes it is interesting
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Kim O'Hara
Former staff member
Posts: 3751
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:09 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: yoga

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:05 am

HandsomeMonkeyking wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:15 pm

It is interesting how many layers of misconceptions can pile up on another. And if people peel one away they think they have the truth.
... I remember some time ago I read about a book called 'The Yoga Body' where a guy claims that the posture heavy "Yoga" was a reaction of the physical culture training in colonial India.
Here is also a post about it: https://mereorthodoxy.com/call-danish-g ... yoga-body/
Interesting.

This may merely add another layer of misconception but I will post it anyway:
I came across one of the earliest and most popular western books about yoga a few months ago and posted about it here - About 'Hatha Yoga' by Yogi Ramacharaka https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=30435. In short, that book purported to be by an Indian master but was written by an American whose links to any Indian system were tenuous at best, and whose teachings relied heavily on European physical culture. :thinking:

:juggling:

Kim

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