Buddhism / Yoga

An Om Yoga note from Shari’s Yoga Safari

More to come on this…

This week I am introducing a short ‘prayer’ of dedication to the end of my classes. It is called the Dedication of Merit and while I’d recited it before at Buddhist gatherings,  sharing it at the end of a yoga practice is something I got from Cyndi Lee at my recent Om Yoga teacher trainings in NY. Cyndi’s fusion of yoga and Buddhism is seemless, quite possibly because her understanding and embodiment of the two is also seemless. While Cyndi’s first book is called Yoga Body, Buddha Mind, meeting her makes me think she actually has a Buddhist Yogini’s Body-Mind…is there a difference? We could get into a debate about dualism but I’d rather get back to the Dedication of Merit and Cyndi’s beautiful concept of ‘basic goodness’, that we all have within us, this still, peaceful quiet that is essentially and fundamentally pure and free. Cyndi teaches us to use asana, pranayama and meditation to come back to this place, regularly and on purpose. She teaches us to do this for ourselves, not because we are selfish or greedy, but because in this way we can create a safe space for self-study, self-awareness and love which we can then go on to share with others.

Cyndi writes in her book Yoga Body, Buddha Mind,I learned this prayer from my teacher, Gehlek Rinpoche, and found it to be transformative in my life…Anyone can make this intention. You do not have to be a Buddhist to wish others happiness. If you like, at the end of your practice, take a moment to say the following prayer and dedicate whatever positive merit may have arisen from your endeavors today to the benefit of all beings. Like inhaling and exhaling, we assimilate the effects of our meditation and yoga practice – open body, open mind, open heart – and radiate them out to others, connecting once again to the pulsation of everything and everyone everywhere.”

May all beings have happiness and the

causes of happiness.

May all beings be free from suffering and

the causes of suffering.

May all beings never be parted from

freedom’s true joy.

May all beings dwell in equanimity, free

from attachment and aversions.

Pic sourced from the blog of Martin Becker
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