Stephen Cope, psychotherapist and author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, started sitting meditation every evening at the Boston Dharmadhatu around the corner from his house when he was in graduate school. His life took a different turn, though, when he discovered Kripalu yoga. He is now senior scholar-in-residence at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
People say that yoga is a preparation for meditation, but I’ve never met anyone who actually taught it that way.
I do. I had a lot of formal training in meditation by the time I came to yoga, and I realized that yoga was a shortcut: slow, deliberate movement is concentration practice. It’s not unlike shamatha, but in the case of yoga, the body becomes the object of meditation. Then increasingly subtle aspects of the body become the object of concentration. Of course, the more subtle the object, the more subtle the mind becomes. I instantly recognized that I was dealing with meditation. read more >>
Reprinted here by permission of the Shambhala Sun magazine, www.shambhalasun.com.
up to top
Breath and the Body: Seven Yoga Postures to Invigorate the Meditative Mind by Frank Jude Boccio
Things have changed since the mid-1970s, when I began to study and practice both hatha yoga and Zen Buddhism. Back then, it was common to be told by Zen teachers that all one needed to do was to sit. Zazen was the be-all and end-all of practice, and if one practiced assiduously enough, nothing else was needed—not therapy, not text study, and most certainly not yoga! Despite the ruin of many a good knee, most teachers were pretty firm in this blanket condemnation. To many at the zendo where I practiced, yogis were bliss-heads, caught in denial of dukkha—the existence of suffering—and they looked askance at my dedication to my twice-weekly hatha yoga classes. read more >>
Reprinted with permission of Frank Jude Boccio, author of Mindfulness Yoga: The Awakened Union of Breath, Body and Mind. For further information and to contact Rev. Frank Jude Boccio: www.mindfulnessyoga.net.Read the current issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review with an electronic subscription. Gain unlimited access to the entire Tricycle archive.
up to top
Seeing Eye to Eye: When it comes to practicing mindfulness, the yoga and Buddhist traditions have much in common by Stephen Cope
Not long ago, I was flying from Boston to San Francisco late at night. As the plane roared down the runway, the young woman sitting next to me appeared to be meditating. Given the restraints of air travel, she had adopted a remarkably good posture--eyes closed, sitting with her hands palms-up on her thighs. She sat that way for a good 30 minutes.
Later, as the flight attendant began to serve snacks, my seatmate introduced herself as Beverly. She had just been on a retreat at the Insight Meditation Society, a well-known New England center for vipassana meditation. I told her that I was a yoga teacher and I had done many different kinds of meditation, including vipassana. We dived into a long conversation about yoga and meditation, and after a while she stopped for a moment, clearly thinking hard about something. "Can I ask you a question?" she asked, furrowing her brow. "If you teach yoga, how can you be doing vipassana without getting confused? I thought yogis taught samadhi practice and Buddhists taught the insight practices. read more >
Stephen Cope is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, and senior scholar in residence at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health located n Lenox, Massachusetts. He is the author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self (Bantam, 1999) and The Complete Path of Yoga: A Seeker's Companion to the Yogasutra (Bantam, available in 2004).
up to top
|This Moment @ DharmaCrafts |
5th annual Yoga and Buddhism conference at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Massachusetts
Growing Up: Spiritual Maturity (Nov. 30 - Dec. 04, 2005)
With: Stephen Cope, Anne Cushman, Cyndi Lee, Lama Surya Das, Sarah Powers, Phillip Moffitt, Jill Satterfield, and Victoria Austin
Four Days of Yoga and Buddhist Meditation
How can we nurture the roots of spiritual maturity—in ourselves, in our culture, in our world? How does practice in the contemplative traditions help us to “grow up?” How can yoga and meditation support us as we move through the unique challenges of youth, adulthood, and old age? This weekend retreat will include a rich combination of dharma talks, hatha yoga, meditation, chanting, and periods of silence and study.
Going on a retreat?
Take our Roll Up & Go Yoga Mat along. Available in four colors. ($89.00)
up to top