East and West Cultural Exchange

My Yoga is better than your yoga.

Which yoga or which technique is best?  The way that we do it today is so much better than before.

Really, are these thoughts uncommon.  Haven’t you ever had similar thoughts or expressed words like these above?

There is a quote from the great Yogi, Swami Veda Bharati in 2005.

In Western cultures the old is replaced by the new.
In Indian culture the new comes alongside of the old.

I have seen exactly what he is talking about on the roads of India–there you see both the modern day cars as well as the old style wagons, being drawn by a water buffalo.  These paths and roads of India go from what we are all use to in the West to what we are not use to or familiar with in the West.

Inclusive vs Exclusive

Accommodation of both is facilitated.  Sure there is a bit of a battle on the roads, and the bigger the vehicle the more lesser size vehicles must do the accommodating.  So here, size does matter.  It just doesn’t exclude the other.  A very important point in today’s Western viewpoint that maybe lacking much of the time.

Deciding on the best yoga or technique or practice to focus on

First be familiar with what has been practiced and is currently being practiced.  Concurrently develop a clear mind for sensing and becoming more aware.  This awareness is aided by decreasing other competing focuses of the mind.  In yoga this awareness is sharpened by the ashtanga system.  Meditation is not just a sleeping system of the mind quieting down.  It is a rigorous system of looking into all that which we are and have been.

Looking inward to bring together, not exclude or push down what has been our history.  We are not taking on this “new” paradigm of adding something called yoga to ourselves.  We are bringing together all the aspects of our person-hood and integrating it together as a big first step.  By first knowing ourselves and getting or revealing this clarity of mind, we then can come to these questions naturally like light comes with the fire.


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