Friday, November 4, 2011

Michael Stone - Awake in the World: Integrating Yoga and Buddhist Practice for Living an Engaged Life

This is a cool 3-part series of podcasts based on Michael Stone's retreat at Upaya Zen Center. Combining Zen meditation with yoga and breathing practices is a great mind-body approach to health and wellness.

A lot of the men I know and see in counseling have a disconnect between mind and body. Getting them to identify emotions other than anger is challenging because there is very little body awareness and/or consciousness.

This is one way to bridge that gap - and it's not the only way. Any solid combination of body practices (yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, mindful weight training, etc) and mind practices (meditation, mindfulness, Centering Prayer, etc) is a good foundation for integrating thought and emotion - add some breath-work (such as pranayama, belly breathing, or something else) and it makes that process much easier.

Michael Stone: 10-14-11: Awake in the World: Integrating Yoga and Buddhist Practice for Living an Engaged Life (Part 1 of 3)
Speaker: Michael Stone
Recorded: Friday Oct 14, 2011

This unique retreat will integrate yoga postures, pranayama (breathing practices), zazen (meditation) and the thoughtful study of traditional yoga texts. We will look at internal alignment principles that make yoga postures meditative while also looking at subtle techniques that can wake up the intelligence of our meditation form. We will also turn to traditional yoga and Buddhist texts to explore the role of the mind, body, and community in the process of waking up. If you are interested in the integration of Yoga and Buddhism, practice and study, mind and body, this retreat is for you. Students of all backgrounds and levels of experience are welcome.

Yoga is often described as a body practice and Zen a mind practice. This is far too simplistic. We will explore the psychology, physiology and ethics that support both Yoga and Zen Buddhism.

Michael Stone is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher and Buddhist teacher. He travels internationally teaching about the intersection of Yoga, Buddhism and Mental Health. He leads Centre of Gravity Sangha in Toronto, a thriving community of people interested in the intersection of spirituality and social action. He has written four books with Shambhala Publications on Yoga, Buddhism and ethics and his forthcoming book, Awake in the World, is due this coming Spring.

Michael’s background is in psychology, philosophy, and religion and what motivates his work is how to help people wake up using body and mind, in order to live a meaningful life using traditional practices but adapting them for this culture at this time. His website is and he can be found teaching regularly in Toronto and internationally.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

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Part Two of Three


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Part Three of Three


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