Heres a short video I made from my backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. As some of you know, I love shooting and editing video! It feels great to incorporate these skills with new hobbies. I hope you enjoy!
Last week I reintroduced the practice of writing a nightly review to highlight key points of my day. In the past I have found that putting pen to paper and acknowledging daily behavior can be very beneficial for spiritual growth ✍🏼. Every night I ask myself if there was any time during my day I became resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid. If anything comes up, I write it down. From there, I am able to thoughtfully recognize if I owe an apology to anybody 🙇🏼♂️. By doing this practice daily it becomes easier to see if I have been kind and loving towards all, or if I have been mostly thinking of myself ⚖️. With the purpose of spiritual growth in mind, I ask myself if there is anything I could have done better 🤔. Did anything come up that I have kept to myself, which ought to be shared? Lastly, what acts of service did I selflessly perform today which contributed to the stream of life? By acknowledging these behaviors daily it has become easier to see where I have made progress and where I have fallen short. As with all spiritual practice, this daily inventory aims to clear any emotional blockages which may stand in the way of being able to help others 🌎. May all beings be happy, may all beings be free 💓. Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu 🕊.
Mayurasana, or peacock pose is said to be one of the most important postures in all of Hatha Yoga. This posture turns on the abdomen, strengthens the upper arms, and develops tremendous focus! Oppositional forces help make this posture possible 💁🏼♀️. Think of pulling your lower gut in, while pressing two palms down and squeezing elbows tightly together. Lengthen through the back of the neck, while contracting your thighs and pointing your toes. Shoulders down, chin up, eyes out in front of you in one spot and keep them there 👁. Although this posture may be challenging at first, when practiced daily you will be flying in no time ⏳.
While most mantra has been created by man, the Gayatri Mantra is said to come from Brahma himself. The Gayatri mantra provides a relatively short path to self-realization.
Om bhur bhuvah swah
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dheemahi
dhiyo yonah prachodayat
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
The eternal, earth, air, heaven
That glory, that resplendence of the sun
May we contemplate the brilliance of that light
May the sun inspire our minds.
Last night I was taught a meditation on the 4 Powers ⚡️ Something I appreciate about this technique is that it is accessible to all people, from beginner to experienced practitioner. After finding a comfortable seated position in a quiet place, close your eyes and bring your awareness to the breath. Inhale, exhale, rising, and falling.
The first step of this meditation is to simply remember. Remember the golden rule, the principle of treating others the way which you would hope to be treated. Attempt to cultivate a sense of compassion for all beings. In Buddhist traditions, the qualities of Dharma, the Buddha, and the Sangha, or community are practiced.
The second step of this technique is regret. Regret any harm you have caused, with an honest desire to not repeat this harm again. This step is not to make you feel guilt, or remorse, but rather as a tool to recognize where you could have done better.
Next, we apologize and make our best attempt to right the wrong. The third step is repair. From my experience I have recognized several different approaches when it comes to making amends. At times, it may be best to contact whoever it is you have harmed and meet them in person. If finances are involved those better be payed too 💸 Be prepared! I have encountered a few occasions in my life where the other person was not ready to speak, or meet face to face. Times like this may call for a living amends, where you have recognized your wrong and make a firm decision to not repeat your mistake. These are all suitable ways to correct wrong past behavior.
The last part of the 4 Powers technique is resolve. We mindfully ask ourselves, “what can I do to avoid making this mistake again?” If you have taken an honest approach with the first 3 steps the answer is sure to come. Sometimes when we feel a disturbance with a person, or thing, we have failed to recognize our own role in the conflict. Through this awareness we are able to resolve these conflicts and the highest states of freedom are experienced.
Thank you Michael Johnson for sharing the Meditation on the 4 Powers with this community.
May all beings be happy, may all beings be free. Om ॐ.
My teacher Jared says the age of the guru is dead, the sangha is the new guru. As Rebecca and I explore the city of Asheville, a community of dedicated yogis is what our hearts seek most. As students and teachers of yoga, we hope to surround ourselves with others interested in challenging themselves through yoga asana. By gathering and spending time with others on the spiritual path the greatest teachings are revealed!
Hello, my name is Vaughan and I am excited to welcome you to my page. I am a yoga teacher, van-lifer, and outdoor-enthusiast who will gratefully be sharing my adventures here while out on the road. My intention is to use this space to share my teaching schedule, travel experiences, and connect with others.
Today I will be traveling to the beautiful Dhamma Patapa Vipassana Meditation Center for a 10-Day course. I have completed this meditation course in the past but this time I am ready to do some work! After my return, my partner Rebecca and I will be traveling to North Carolina to pursue teaching yoga. We are very eager to be back in North Carolina and look forward to practicing yoga with our friends. If you are a student, teacher, or studio owner please send me a message using the Connect page and lets figure out how we can work together!