Today I bring you a lovely book review from sponsored yogi Sam… this one’s a great read for anyone looking to dive deep into the spiritual history of yoga, and the limbs that exist beyond asana.
Hope your weekend is relaxing, and maybe even filled with some new learning about yoga! Much love, friends.
A Book Review of From the Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories and Western Myths
Bernie Clark’s Fromthe Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories and Western Myths serves as a great comparison of mythologies of the East and West.
Don’t be deterred by the length of the book! Bernie’s writing is educational, yet accessible, taking the reader on a journey to consider and question different worldviews.
On his approach, Bernie explains:
“It is not my intent to take away anyone’s cherished beliefs but rather to open a door that may help them go deeper in whatever direction their beliefs point them. The start is knowing that there is more to mythic or spiritual stories, and that we can shine a light on what is hidden.”
I found it both interesting and insightful to have such varied stories throughout the book.
In particular, I found the “Psychological Function” section of the book to be timely on a personal level, as I am constantly seeking to find balance within my own life. Many of you may also relate to this idea:
“We are directed to achieve great things and seek personal success, while simultaneously told to pare down our individual desires so we can play a proper part within society. This is not an easy adjustment, for society demands part people, people who are carved up to fit special niches, but our psyche strives to make us whole. Every person, either consciously or unconsciously, must work out the balance between these two imperatives: dharma and duty versus kama and pleasure. If we cannot accommodate these energies, the imbalance manifests as sickness at some level, be it physical, mental or emotional.”
I would definitely recommend others read this book, learn about East and West mythologies, and consider our own direction and beliefs. On that note, I leave you with a passage on the seventh chakra – Sahasrara, or the thousand-petal lotus – to excite and invigorate my fellow yogis:
“We have gone beyond: gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi svaha—beyond, beyond, far beyond. We are at the peak of the holy mountain, beyond the top of the physical body, at the summit of ths sushumna, located a couple of inches above the crown of the head. Here Shakti is now united with her beloved Shiva; all becomes one, and both subjects and objects are transcended. “Shivoham!” shouts the yogi. “I am Shiva!” The body can drop off now, or you can choose to remain in the body and descend back to let your consciousness reside in the heart chakra; that is the choice made by the bodhisattvas.
“Here the first chakra is complemented and completed; the physical and the spiritual merge, and all of life is an expression, all of existence is an expression, all of the one true reality. The journey is complete, and the practices proven productive.”