We’re so happy to feature a new book giveaway!
Please enjoy this excerpt from “Yoga and the Five Elements” by Nicole Goott.
There are 2 ways to enter to win a FREE copy:
- Leave a comment below with your email address (so we can contact you)
- Email us at KOMWriting@gmail.com with the Subject: Yoga and the Five Elements giveaway entry
The winner will be randomly selected on 12/4/23 and announced on our website and social media. *
Who am I? What is my purpose in life? These are timeless questions. Indian philosophy and the yoga tradition offer a comprehensive understanding of the human being, from its conception of the mind to the nature of the soul, a path of self-discovery and doorway to inner liberation. With a fresh and modern interpretation of the five elements – earth, water, air, fire and space – readers are presented with a practical and accessible approach to knowing themselves more deeply, illuminating how we might see other people with more compassion, tolerance and acceptance.
With a framework that integrates the physical body with the inner terrain of the subtle bodies, Yoga and the Five Elements is an ideal guide for yoga practitioners and teachers to explore a modern interpretation of ancient wisdom. For contemporary spiritual seekers and individuals with no background or experience with yoga, this book offers an imminently practical approach to self-development.
Excerpt: Chapter 12 – Heart Consciousness
Heart consciousness is a collection of attitudes and values that, when put into daily practice, contribute toward a life that is lived in service for the greater good, which in turn contributes to a greater universal harmony. Part of human nature is the inborn instinct to have concern and care for the well-being of others. Heart consciousness amplifies this in practical steps. In turn, the circle for whom we care is widened, opening to larger and larger groups of human and sentient beings. Harmony recognizes the universal principle of the interdependence of all beings and phenomena from which heart consciousness is born.
In some traditions, the energetic heart is thought of as the true seat of wisdom. It is typically associated with attitudes and qualities such as unconditional love, kindness, generosity, compassion, empathy, fellowship, kinship, and tenderness. These attitudes are essentially an antidote to the false self that believes it is separate from everyone and everything.
Selfishness is born from the notion of a separate self. There is a distinction to be made between the self-care of only oneself versus the self-care that considers the greater good of all – the all of which includes oneself as well. There is an ideal balance to be found wherein an individual can balance the integrity of their needs and self-hood while simultaneously considering the needs of others. Selfishness closes the circle of connection and harmony, whereas, as it gradually dissolves, so too are the boundaries of separation.
Out of harmony arises joy, a natural expression of participation with the flow and balance of the Universe. Harmony, therefore, is an ideal that everyone is invited to align themselves with or not. As we come closer to this ideal, joy and fulfillment increase. The further away from the ideal we move, the more that dissatisfaction and suffering increase.
In the Yoga Sūtras of Patanjali, a benefit to cultivating attitudes aligned with the ideal of harmony is suggested. Sutra 1.33: “The mind becomes clarified by cultivating attitudes of friendliness, compassion, gladness and indifference respectively towards happiness, misery, virtue and vice” (Taimni, I.K. p. 85). In other words, cultivating these attitudes acts as an antidote to mental illusions that obscure the nature of the true Self, obstacles that stand in the way of experiencing the genuine joy and fulfillment of the true Self. We find three key attributes within kindness: considerate, friendly, and supportive. This brings to mind the film Pay it Forward (2000), a story of a boy who started a movement of goodwill. The film depicted how goodwill and kindness, motivated by altruism, could greatly benefit both the giver and the receiver. It also demonstrated the impact these actions had on the wider community. One of the most poignant elements the movie highlighted is that kindness is an infinite resource, available to everyone, and can be drawn upon anytime. It also demonstrated that kindness does not require that a person reaches into their wallet. Smiling at someone, even if you are strangers to one another, can be just the salve they need at that moment to realize that someone else sees them.
In practice, we are always circulating between kindness to oneself, kindness to others, and kindness to the environment.
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