• Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
      AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - June 2018 
     
       
     
       

    Retreat and Workshops in Japan

    by Yuko Metsugi

    ~“Let the Practice Be Our Guide”~

    We were blessed to have concluded a Yoga retreat successfully inviting Swami Ritavan Bharati, Swami Ma Radha Bharati and Rabindra Sahu from SRSG in May.  The 3-day retreat organized by Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society of Tokyo was held in the countryside where beautiful nature was around. The theme of the retreat was “Peace of Mind, Love of Heart Yoga”. Out of 30 participants, some of them traveled for hours to join the retreat.

    On the first day, Swami Ritavan gave us an introductory lecture on Himalayan Yoga Tradition. He also gave us a lecture on peace and guided meditation each day. What he taught us was that it is our inner peace which would become a foundation to spread peace around, and how we could go back to our inner stillness with the help of the practice of yoga.

    Swami Ma Radha talked about “Meditation in Our Daily Lives” and “Love and Family Life” while Rabindra Sahu taught hatha and pranayama. Fuku Iida shared talks on “Tentative Revolution” and told how we could transform ourselves with practice.  It was such a pleasure for me to translate guided meditation by Swami ji and lectures by the experienced teachers and also to teach hatha. Six people received initiations during the retreat. The retreat was filled with joy and love, and I appreciate very much the presence of Fuku and the staff who had worked selflessly.

    After the retreat, Rabindra and I went to teach in some other places. One of the workshops was at the high school where I have been working at as a full-time teacher. Owing to the school, we could have a special class, and junior students were taught Asanas and breathing by Rabindra. In the class, the students were asked to count their breaths while sitting, doing Makarasana and standing. They also checked each other’s breath and found how the breath rate changed in different postures. As a consequence of being aware of the breaths, their minds became quieter and everyone looked more peaceful and calm at the end of the class. Rabindra also taught in the yoga club where I have been teaching after school, and shared some asana and pranayama practices. The students enjoyed not only the class but also talking to Rabindra very much.

    Next day, we had a meditation workshop at Isshinji temple. The participants learned proper sitting, proper breathing and the steps into meditation. The most significant finding was that we could see the effect of one’s practice: that is to say, one of the participants had joined our workshop last year and her breath had become diaphragmatically and her sitting posture was more stable than before. It reminded me that it is more important to start practicing things than to keep attending many lectures.

    The weekend workshop in Okayama was the last workshop we held. In the beginning of the retreat, all the participants said that they would like to learn how to apply the practice of Yoga into daily lives and how to deepen meditation. It was a good surprise that we did not hear anyone said that s/he wanted to learn Asana. The things we shared in two days were the eight limbs of yoga, proper sitting, proper breathing, how to perform asana meditatively, pranayama, and the steps into meditation. They learned practices by theory and by experiencing. We received feedbacks from the participants such as “I practiced meditation at night after the workshop. It was deeper and the time went so fast.”

    Throughout the retreat and workshops, I have met many people who were interested in knowing deeper meaning of yoga. At the same time, sharing the teaching taught me that attending a seminar is one thing and applying the practice in our lives is another; until and unless we practice the teachings by ourselves and examine the effects of them, they will remain as mere knowledge. I believe the true understanding will be dawned only when we practice and experience by ourselves. Thus, I would like to keep sharing the teachings and providing the opportunities for more people to feel the essence of traditional teachings of Yoga, while giving a platform which they can continue practicing - in scope of making a community in Japan where we share and grow together.

    Last but not least, I would like to thank Swami ji and the lineage for guiding me on the spiritual path. I appreciate every moment in my life which is an opportunity for me to practice and grow.

    In loving service,
    Yuko

     

       
           

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