Monday, May 09, 2011

Holding Past, Present, & Future

היום אחד ועשרים יום שהם שלשה שבועות לעמר
Today is twenty-one days, which is three weeks, of the omer
מלכות שבתפארת
A day of majesty in a week of compassion

Nine of the fourteen videos I've been working on are now done and delivered. With the decrease in my workload I'm able to participate in the yoga immersion this week given by my teacher, Susannah Bruder, at her studio on Portrero Hill, Yoga Sita. This time it's a group of seven students practicing together each morning from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Along with the physical, asana practice we also spend some time at the end of each session learning and discussion the philosophy of yoga.

This week we are looking at some of the Yoga Sutras, the foundational text of yoga. Susannah has asked us to look at the third chapter of the Sutras which focuses on the capabilities of the mind. Several of the Sutras focus on developing a state of concentration of the mind. In my first read this evening, I was drawn to the sixteenth Sutra of the chapter, which says that bringing Samyama--concentration and meditation--to the process of change and time brings in knowledge of the past and the future. Once again, I experience a convergence of my Jewish, Yoga, and meditation practices.

When I teach Torah, whether it's to adults or adolescents, I always talk about the timelessness of the text and it's teachings. The beauty of true sacred texts is that they are able to speak to each generation in its time. That is how they have remained relevant for thousands of years, and will continue to be relevant for thousands of years to come.

When I teach meditation, I always talk about the importance of being in the present moment. The present moment is a container for all moments, for the time past has a part in this moment and this moment will be a part of the time to come.

It also came to mind on this day of majesty, this day that I am looking at through the lens of leadership,  that a good leader needs to hold the past and look to the future while making the best decisions for the present. A difficult balancing act, but necessary to be able to lead with clarity.

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