Resources

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Practices for Beginners CD

This audio CD was created for students who want help with their practice at home. Included on the CD are three practices for beginners. Janice leads the listener through the sequences that are 20 minutes long including a sitting meditation to start and a relaxation at the end. The routines are easy to follow.

Here is the link for free access to these audio-only yoga practices:

www.facebook.com/yogaconnectionNH

A 14 minute guided relaxation is now on our Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/yogaconnectionNH

Summer Session 2020 Readings

Week 1
  • Rick Hanson writes in Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time
    “A Deeply Rooted Tree.
    Tell yourself that you are strong. That you can endure, persist, cope, and prevail. That you are strong enough to hold your experience in awareness without being overwhelmed. That the winds of life can blow, and blow hard, but you are a deeply rooted tree, and winds just make you even stronger. And when they are done blowing, there you still stand. Offering shade and shelter, flowers and fruit. Strong and lasting.”

Week 2
  • Rick Hanson writes in Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time
    “Take Resolve as Your Guide.
    Resolute means you are wholly committed and unwavering. Bring to mind an experience of absolute determination, such as a time you protected a loved one. You may feel a firming in the chest, a sense of every bit of you pulling for the same thing. Explore this feeling as it might apply to a particular part of your life. Imagine yourself staying resolute here as you face temptations — saying no, for example, to the donuts offered in a meeting — and take in the ways this would feel good to you. Get in touch with your resolve each morning, surrender to it, and let it guide you through the day.”

Week 3
  • Rick Hanson writes in Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence.
    “Compensate for the Negativity Bias
    While the negativity bias is good for survival in harsh conditions, it’s lousy for quality of life, fulfilling relationships, personal growth, and long-term health. It makes us over¬learn from bad experiences and under-learn from good ones.The best way to compensate for the negativity bias is to regularly take in the good.”

Week 4
  • Rick Hanson writes in Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence.
    “Open to Enthusiasm
    Open to enthusiasm, explore what it feels like, and keep it going. Help it become intense, and feel it in your body. Enjoy it. See how you can care about a goal without getting driven or upset about it. Explore the sense that you can work hard for something while also being at peace that you’ve done all you could whatever the outcome may be. Embody your enthusiasm by revealing it to others, letting your face light up, or moving and speaking more quickly. Intend and sense that enthusiasm is soaking into you, that you are naturally becoming more enthusiastic as a person. Really register the feeling of the sweet spot, that combination of being energized toward a goal without stressing about the results. Take in the sense of being enthusiastically engaged in the present without clutching at a future result. Let yourself become both contented and lively.”

Week 5
  • Rick Hanson writes in Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time
    “To love is to have courage, whose root meaning comes from the word ‘heart.’ I’ve been in a lot of hairy situations in the mountains, yet I was a lot more scared just before I told my first real girlfriend that I loved her. It takes courage to give love that may not be returned, to love while knowing you’ll inevitably be separated one day from everything you love, to go all in with love and hold nothing back. Sometimes I ask myself, Am I brave enough to love? Each day gives me, and gives you, many chances to love.”

Fall #1 Session 2020 Readings

Week 1
  • Rick Hanson writes in Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time
    “A Deeply Rooted Tree.
    Tell yourself that you are strong. That you can endure, persist, cope, and prevail. That you are strong enough to hold your experience in awareness without being overwhelmed. That the winds of life can blow, and blow hard, but you are a deeply rooted tree, and winds just make you even stronger. And when they are done blowing, there you still stand. Offering shade and shelter, flowers and fruit. Strong and lasting.”

The source of these quotes are: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1391608.Shaila_Catherine

Week 1
  • “Every day, whatever you do, you trade a day of your life for it.”
    ― Shaila Catherine, Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana

Week 2
  • “Attention is not developed by riveting the attention to the breath with super glue or hammering it into the nostrils with nails. Attention becomes unwavering by the consistent willingness to gently begin again.”
    ― Shaila Catherine, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

Week 3
  • “From a meditative perspective, solitude is not concerned with how many people populate your residence. Solitude is a contemplation of the question: What companions are we housing within our minds?”
    ― Shaila Catherine, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

Week 4
  • “Meditation is designed to solve a specific problem: attachment. Awakening is not the experience of spiritual ecstasy accompanied by rainbows and fireworks. Awakening is the experience of a profound relinquishment of clinging, abandoning the cause of suffering. By understanding that the problem lies in the clinging, we learn to let go.”
    ― Shaila Catherine, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

Week 5
  • “Emotions are dynamic processes that are in a state of flux. If you don’t refuel them through obsessive thinking, they will change and fade.”
    ― Shaila Catherine, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

Week 6
  • “Concentration grows through the willingness to encounter, understand, and eventually remove all that agitates the mind.”
    ― Shaila Catherine, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

Week 7
  • “You can save yourself a lot of anguish by investigating your response to the fundamental qualities of pleasure and pain. If you are unmindful of a pleasant feeling, the underlying tendency to greed gets activated. If you are unmindful of an unpleasant feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion gets activated. If you are unmindful of a neutral feeling, the underlying tendency to delusion gets activated.11 People commonly try to increase the pleasant, react against the unpleasant, and are dulled, confused, or inattentive to the neutral feelings. A skillful meditator will develop the flexibility to direct awareness to these subtler layers of experience and investigate the interaction of pleasure and greed, pain and aversion, neutrality and delusion.”
    ― Shaila Catherine, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

Week 8
  • “The human propensity to cling is the problem; meditation is designed to solve it.”
    ― Shaila Catherine, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

More Help with Home Practice

The Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York has created excellent level I and Level II sequences for practice at home. Download the sequences here.