Hello everybody !!!

From May 3rd to May 31st 2010, Yoganjali Natyalayam held its fourteenth annual May Intensive.

This year, Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, Amma, decided to focus the May Intensive on the Shat Ripu, the six enemies within : Kama (lust / desire), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (delusion), Mada (egoistic tendencies) and Matsarya (jealousy).

The whole month was dedicated to an explanation of the Shat Ripu and their workings, of how they rip us apart and what we can do against it. Besides the theory classes, there were practical classes where we could explore the relationship of each of the Shat Ripu with different Hatha Yoga Practices that can be used as their antidote.

Six groups were formed, each dedicated to one of the Shat Ripu, and the children passed from one to the other during the month of may. The teachers of the groups then prepared a little presentation that was shown at the closing session of the May Intensive. They were great fun for me : indeed, a the end of each presentation I would incarnate one of the Shat Ripu who would then be defeated by the Yogic practice of the children :-). It was fun, but also interesting : indeed I am usually not acting. This little experience made me aware of how acting can evoke unsuspected powers in us and how it can help us deal with them or exorcise them.

Here, you will be able to enjoy the presentation on Lobha, Greed.

Greed is a terrible thing. At first sight it may seem quite innocent : so what if we are a little greedy, if we look for our self interest and protect it ?? Well, the problem is that by wanting everything for ourselves, by grabbing whatever comes our way, by not letting go of anything, and maybe by even starting to get jealous (see in that context Matsarya, the sixth of the Shat Ripu) of what we cannot have or control, we cut ourselves off the big web of life, and ultimately of ourselves.

We focus so much on our little "self" or "ego" that we start to completely miss or forget the bigger picture. We are reduced to our "ego" and miss out on our whole personality who is a knot in the web of Life and is thus immensly rich. As Robert Vachon often points out (see my interview of him on "Person and dialogue" in the "Interviews" Album), we are not voids to be filled but plenitudes to be discovered. We can only understand the richness of what we and others are, if we let go a little of our "I want", "I want more", "I don't want to give", "I don't want to open up".

Lobha, greed, reminds me of this little story of the Panchatantra, the Indian animal moral stories who inspired Esop's fables and the fables of La Fontaine. Once there was a monkey who seized a mango in a jar. Now the problem was that his hand only made it through the opening of the jar open. But once his fist had grabbed the mango, he could not retrieve it. He was trapped. But as it was impossible for him to let go, and to open his fist, he remained trapped ... and eventually got caught by a hunter ...

We also get trapped in our lives through greed. Why not learn to open up little by little ??

The interesting thing is that the more we feed something, the more it grows : by feeding our greed, we become even more greedy, and more trapped, without realizing it.

There is a nice story of two Tibetan brothers. The elder brother had 99 yaks. The younger brother only had one Yak. The elder brother was always worried about his Yaks. His younger brother had just what he needed, but also, was not to scared of loosing it. After, lots of pondering, the elder brother went to see his younger brother : "Dear brother, you have only one yak. This is not much. But I have 99 Yaks, which is already quite something. But if I could have 100 Yaks, that would really be something important. For you it does not make a big difference if you have one Yak or no Yak at all. Could you give me yours ??" The young brother agreed. The elder brother, after a short thrill of having 100 Yaks, continued his life of worrying and of being trapped by his greed. The younger brother kept on living happily, as he did before, with his one Yak.

So watch out for your greed and envisage to maybe let go and open up a little.

The Rishis, the great Indian sages, were Sannyasins, great renunciates. They had conquered greed. Not only had they managed to overcome desire for material possessions, but they also manage to master the clinging to their bodies, feelings, thoughts ... We can follow their example by practicing their favourite Asanas, like Vriksha Asana, that you can find in many depictions of Rishis doing Tapas (austerities) in temples. The Asanas binding up our Karmendryas, or organs of action, also help us to become aware of them and thus to control them.

But generally speaking, chear up and share with others !!! Share some of your time, thoughts, feelings, activities, belongings !!! It's a pleasant and efficient way to little by little overcome our inborn greed :-) !!!

Plenty of good Yogic energies and inspirations to all of you !!!

Christoph

PS : Check out the other presentations of the Shat Ripu uploaded on my Vimeo page.

Good inspirations to all of you !!!

Christoph

(21/07/2010)

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