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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Dec 13, 2010

sanskrit and gossip and refinement

There's a saying that when you learn a new language you gain a new soul. When I used to be semi-fluent in French, I did feel the soul and beauty of that language move in me. Recently I have been amazed and delighted to be learning a new language - Sanskrit - which is said to be the "big mother"  or the maha-matrix of language and of creation.  I guess I'm setting my aim pretty high.

Paul Muller Ortega has been focusing  strongly on Sanskrit – especially lately -- emphasizing that Sanskrit and mantra are ways of fundamentally understanding and accessing the deeper layers of our being. My understanding (which is incomplete to say the least) of this big adventure into Big-Mama-Sanskrit goes something like this: At the most subtle level everything is a vibration of consciousness - a pulsation of love and light and intelligence. Stepping down from that level into a slower vibration yields denser forms of Light - which become matter - and the Word becomes flesh. The vibratory spectrum -  from the most subtle aspects of my mind to the densest part of my femur bone  - is all one vibrating Intelligence.  

A powerful way to traverse this vibratory spectrum -- this great path of remembrance -- is through mantra and the practice of Sanskrit. I think a lot of Yoga people must know this intuitively - if not academically. And so I was not surprised to see such a big turn-out for the Sanskrit workshop last month.  Zoe Mai - a fellow student of Paul Muller Ortega - came here to teach. She is a great teacher and now I am even more happily committed to continuing with Sanskrit as a strong practice of purification, strengthening and refinement.  

In  tandem with Sanskrit study I have been more and more keenly aware of my speech. I mean just plain English.  I've been alert to speaking more concisely and clearly. I've also been more attentive to speaking of others in ways that includes them in the circle of my attention and love - rather than excluding them. I don't think gossip is categorically wrong. It just depends on whether the gossip creates inclusion and understanding or is instead a form of character assassination - a hit job that will make my position feel more secure (for about a minute).  

Always - I am told - advancement on the path of authentic practice (sadhana) will be marked by an increase of subtlety, refinement and beauty, and that this subtlety, refinement and beauty will infuse into and shine out from our movement, breath, creative expressions, emotions, intellectual understandings  - and our speech.  

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