lama Marut in South Africa 2015

lama rutLama Marut (aka Brian K. Smith) may not be the first to frame spiritual practice as a form of rebellion, but manages a fresh approach based on Asian philosophy, particularly Buddhist principles.
An ordained monk trained in the Tibetan tradition where he lived for 8 years, and former professor of religious studies where he taught for two decades, the author argues that happiness is the most important goal in life, but it comes from within, not by depending on external, ephemeral factors such as money and relationships.

An important key to happiness is giving to others. Focusing on karma as opposed to the usual Four Noble Truths, Lama Marut applies unusually cogent arguments that individuals can indeed change their relationship to the past and have control over their futures, yet be unable to change the present except for their responses to it. He draws on sources from ancient to modern to illustrate his ideas which he has now been teaching for over 15 years all over the world; he avoids sectarian spirituality as well as New Age clichés. Continue reading

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

tadasanaBuddhism teaches that the present moment contains the seeds of all things, including liberation from samsara (the world of suffering), and yet we spend most of our lives anywhere but here – anywhere but the present moment.

Once we have entered the yoga room, found our place and begun to create some quiet, there is a moment before practice begins when we stand on our mats, feet planted, arms by our sides, breathing – fully present to the moment before we embark.  We call this pose tadasana – standing mountain pose.

This simple posture – a gesture of openness and readiness, a willingness to face what is ahead  – can help us bring a deeper awareness to our practice and help us come to the present moment. Continue reading