Monday, December 22, 2008

A message from my teacher, Yogarupa Rod Stryker of Para Yoga

Rod sent this message on his year end newsletter. To subscribe to his newsletter, go to

Dear Friends and ParaYogis,

Some final thoughts to close out a historic and, in many ways, ground shaking year....

Everywhere I've travelled, its impossible not to notice the palpable sense of fear and uncertainty. Our global economy is in peril, many are suffering as a result, and the great majority of us are facing questions about our basic security.
Is there anything to be learned? What can the teachings provide in the way of solace and a solution?

These times and these questions are exactly what yoga is meant to prepare you for. This is exactly why you have been practicing. Taking time for stillness and awakening the kind of discriminative knowledge that allows you to navigate through times like these is precisely what practice is meant to be giving you. A lot of you know that, but it's helpful to be reminded. However, that is just the first step.

It's time to collect yourself and determine what you want your future to look like. The Gita reminds us to, "Reshape yourself through the power of will, never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the self and the will is the only enemy of the self". Swami Rama said that, "On this path you must first awaken your Samkalpa Shakti, the power of will and determination. Never say that you cannot do it... Instead, overcome your resistance, and expand your capacity. You must order your body and senses to function under the leadership of your mind".

To my dearest friends and ParaYogis, the vows and promises you hold the closest to your heart speak directly to the universe, compelling it to act on your behalf. When you choose the ones that point to a worthwhile and fulfilling future that naturally embraces the best of you, you will surely create a life worth having. If enough us were to do this, and exemplify fearlessness and centerdness, then we will collectively create a secure and more promising future.

"Cling to a certain thought with dynamic will power, it finally assumes a tangible outward form. When you are able to employ your will always for constructive purposes, you become the controller of your destiny", wrote Yogananda.

What will your future look like? It depends upon you, more accurately on the world you want and choose to commit to see. When your Samkalpa bears fruit it will bring with it feelings of contentment and joy, it will make you stronger and, by helping to make you better and more powerful, it will help to improve the world we live in. That is a yogi's job. The world needs you to be strong and committed. This is the time to prove to yourself that Yoga works (thoughts from The Four Desires to be released in 2009).

Wish you and your family the very best for the coming year. May God bless you.

With love,


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