a yogis willpower

A Yogi’s Willpower, Part II

We all have goals, from fulfilling a lifelong dream to simply getting through the day during tough times. Willpower is one quality that moves us toward realizing our goals. In “A Yogi’s Willpower, Part I,” I introduced Paramahansa Yogananda’s article “Developing Dynamic Will.” There, he outlines five stages of willpower. This post relies on advice…Read More

a yogis willpower

A Yogi’s Willpower, Part I

Yogis know that our practices—spiritual, mental, or physical—are most effective when done every day. But how do we keep up such an exacting commitment? The answer: we must develop the desire and the power needed to succeed—willpower. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” You might have heard this proverb from your elders. It tells…Read More

patience on the spiritual path

Patience on the Spiritual Path

When I was a little girl, my biggest wish was to go to Disneyland. Television commercials showed a wonderland of joy with cheerful characters at every corner. Even potentially scary rides were designed to delight. Visitors to Disneyland could expect their visit to be merry and memorable. In my mind it was the best destination…Read More

kitti

How My Cats Made Me a Better Yogi

Our ashram in the Santa Cruz mountains has been refuge to many creatures. Three of them were stray cats: Emma, Kitti, and Stubby. They arrived at different times, desperate for food and shelter. We welcomed these sweet feline souls, and they lived out their lives with us. Kitti was the last to go. As we…Read More

non-injury

Non-Injury: Essential Practice on the Spiritual Path

At a family gathering a few years ago I noticed a large ant crossing the carpet. Suddenly, my ten-year-old nephew stomped on the ant, trying to kill it. He was surprised when I cried, “Stop! Don’t kill it. He’s done you no harm!” He looked perplexed. Ants are sometimes a problem in his home. They…Read More

Saṁsāra

Saṁsāra: Groundhog Day

One of my favorite movies is the 1993 film Groundhog Day (aff link). This fictional story is based on an actual event held each February 2nd. Celebrations of Groundhog Day are held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. If the day is sunny and clear, the groundhog emerges from its burrow and sees its shadow. This predicts another…Read More

truthfulness

Truthfulness: The Essential Quality on the Spiritual Path

We’re not all born angels. When I was five years old, I told a lie. Of course, I don’t remember what the lie was, but I clearly recall my father’s reaction: “You can’t lie to me—it’s written all over your face!” Imagine my horror at this discovery—when I tell a fib, writing appears on my…Read More

A Gift of Time for Spiritual Practice

Meditators know that every minute spent in practice is meaningful. Each moment takes us one step closer to our goal. No effort is ever wasted. That’s why we stay alert and watch for opportunities. Has this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of a project, and suddenly the lights flicker and shut off….Read More

niyamas

The Niyamas

Living yoga as a spiritual path is a journey. And it has a definite goal. Some people begin a journey just for the fun of it, like an adventure. Indeed, many yoga students begin with this in mind. You hear that yoga is good for your body. Then you discover that it also has some pleasant mental…Read More

how to conserve spiritual energy

How to Conserve Spiritual Energy

Energy—any kind of energy—is like money. It has value, and it’s generally considered a good thing if you have a lot of it. Energy may diminish, like money does, when care is not taken. Like an abandoned savings account, energy stagnates when ignored. Similarly, just as you can invest in your savings and make it…Read More

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