Learn about Hinduism and Buddhism

Our blog has a new look and style! But don't worry: among our free books and free classes and other free resources, check out The Secret Knowledge of Yoga and The Logic of Buddhism, both of which have lots of your favorite and new sutras, shastras, puranas, lessons, and the "everything yoga" of our prior "incarnation" you loved.

Going to work

There are Asanas which are easy, and those which are difficult: but neither of these are what is necessary to do.  We learn what is easy so we may accomplish what is difficult.  An Ashram is a place where things are easier, and was intended to be so.  However, just as you do not lay in bed all day, and stop after eating enough, when strength is recovered, performance of what has been learned, trained in, and practiced is undertaken naturally enough.  An Ashram is merely a rest-stop in life, whether we are talking about the Ashramas of a lifetime (Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha, Sannyasa), or those Ashramas we construct on our wanderings (through samsara).  A mindful, focused environment is restful, and conducive toward study, training and practice - but this does not make Yoga possible. 

When you begin to examine what prevents you from actually accomplishing Yoga, you will see that the wider environment cannot be kept wholly out.  There is pain, there is weakness, there is death.  And these are here, in your place of rest, too. Like a cow is prepared for slaughter with a safe pen and grain, we have chosen to not ignore the consequences of our Karma: there is an urgent necessity to practice Karma Yoga, and taking control of this destiny requires self-sacrifice, the sacrifice of "self", the sacrifice of identity.  This requires skill in the four Jnanas: self-control begins with the body, the mind's thoughts and feelings, the consciousness and ultimately with the identity.  Perfecting this skill (Siddhi) toward your contentment requires understanding sufficiency (Svaha), and this requires a mastery of Hatha Yoga.  Ashrams are comfortable, and easy - and are frequently necessary.  But an island in a flooding river is no place to stay very long.  We have chosen to not be afraid of the water - we want to cross entirely over, and see what lies beyond.  It is necessary to journey on from each Ashrama, from Brahmacharya to Grihastha, to Vanaprastha, to Sannyasa.

A house provides shelter and safety.  But a Yogi cannot stay at home all day.