Does Yoga Mean Union? Talk w Lama Migmar

Lama Migmar pictured with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

Lama Migmar's perspective, shared recently at BYC, expanded my sense of what yoga is, and what yoga isn't. Lama Migmar has many interesting points of view. Lama Migmar has been serving Harvard-wide student, faculties, and staff as a Buddhist Chaplain since 1997. He received both a traditional and a contemporary education in India. He graduated with an Acharya degree in 1979 from Tibetan Institute of Sanskrit University, Varanasi, India, and with first position every nine years among four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He was awarded a medal for academic excellence by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. He was also recognized as Khenpo for his scholarship and service to the Dharma by His Holiness Sakya Trizin. Read More Here are some transformative insights I received in my short time with this unconditionally loving teacher. The Sanskrit word Yoga is commonly translated as YUJ or union in English. This is correct in that a union occurs when an individual breathes (between the individual and the larger energy source), as well there is a link of consciousness between the individual and the whole. When a person practices yoga, he or she experiences a personal harmony or union of mind and body (meditation). Yet, in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, yoga is also defined as "Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodhah," which translates as "Yoga is the ceasing of the identification with the thought waves of the mind." Lama Migmar suggests that yoga might be experienced through cessation (of identifying with the ever-changing body, destructive emotions, etc). Lama Migmar explained that the Sankrit word, NIRO (cessation), shares a root with the Buddhists word, nirvana (which means freedom). Corpse Pose in Hatha Yoga also helps us accomplish this goal of letting go into union. - Jane Lanza
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