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Showing posts from July 5, 2009

Downward Dog Days NYC: The Gongyo

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Still on a a "transcendental tear" after my Yoga teacher training, last night's spiritual excursion was to a Gongyo - a formal chanting ceremony in the Nichiren Buddhism tradition, as practised by members of Soka Gakkai International.

Wiki oh wiki, what is Nichiren Buddhism?

Nichiren Buddhism focuses on the Lotus Sutra and a belief that all people have an innate Buddha nature, and are capable of attaining enlightenment in their present lifetime. Nichiren Buddhists believe that the spread of Nichiren's teachings and their effect on practitioners' lives will eventually bring about a peaceful, just, and prosperous society.

Sounds good to me!

I was first introduced to SGI by leadership coach and friend Chuck Craytor, an SGI devotee for over 20 years. I was mesmerized by the power of even a small roomful of people chanting the key mantra, or Daimoku: Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

From Wiki: The basic practice of SGI members is based on faith, practice, and study. Faith enta…

Downward Dog Days in NYC: My first Kirtan

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This is NOT Obama, sorry. I think it's a photo of Swami Sivananda, founder of the Sivananda movement - from a postcard I bought at the shop. "Nothing is impossible to a person who practices concentration." Could have been said by Obama himself ...

If you've ever wondered where those Hari Krishnas disappear off to when they float down the road in their orange robes, their chants and bells fading into the distance ... I think I've sussed it out.

It would be a place like the Sivananda center, which in NYC, is actually a real live ashram tucked away in a row house, with resident Swami. Having recently completely a basic yoga teacher certification, I'm in the process of educating myself about as many different forms of yoga as possible - from the Friday night downward-dog-dating scene at some studios, to the fluorescent-lit gym drill to rubbing trunks with Ganesha himself - it's all good.

According to Google, Sivananda is a non-profit organization dedicated …