Edward Reib Yoga

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mind Body Online

Greetings Yoginis and Yogis!

Well, it's been two years and two months since I began teaching Yoga!  Physically, I haven't felt so good since I was taking Karate in Elementary school almost 30 years ago.  I've also noticed that I am a great deal more at peace mentally and emotionally.  My wife, Janey, noticed it as well. 

It has also been just short of 9 months since I've been Vegan.  That had it's ups and downs at first, as I discovered what I liked, what I could eat, and what my body needed.  It's an ongoing process.  I'm looking forward to learning more about Ayurvedic cooking and medicine as well.

In other news, I am officially listed on The Mind Body Online App.  Soon I will have an App up on the Google and Apple App stores probably called "Edward Reib Yoga" which will allow you to see my schedule, book appointments with me, and to listen to my podcast, To Be A Yogi. I'll keep you posted about that.

So far so good!  I'm still working at Crunch Fitness on Sunset Blvd part time, on Fridays at 5pm, and substitute teaching now and again there and at the Burbank location as well.

This Friday at 8pm, I'll be teaching a Chakras 101 class to a group at my house in Highland Park, which is also known as The L.A. Sanctuary.  if you'd like to come to that, please contact me.  Donations for the Chakras class are appreciated, but not required.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Namaste,

Edward

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"What kind of Yoga do you teach?"

Good morning!

This post is something of a mini F.A.Q. in that, when I tell people that I teach Yoga, they usually ask:

"What kind of Yoga do you teach?"


My 200 hour Certification was through the Mukti School of Yoga. Mukti is a Sanskrit word meaning "inner liberation." Mukti Yoga is a style developed and refined by Julie Rader. It carries notes of the Vinyasa Flow style of the West, but, in homage to Julie's rich training with Swami Janakananda and Swami Satyananda, goes well beyond the popular "power Vinyasa yoga" style.



The teacher who trained me in Mukti Yoga was Bethany Eanes. She is a senior teacher trainer for Mukti Yoga School, Lululemon Ambassador, CAADE certified addiction counselor, yoga coach to the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team, and founder of Yoga High, Inc., "Yoga for the Highest Good." She teaches yoga as a self-care practice for mental health, specializing in mindfulness techniques for personal happiness.



In addition, I am a certified Broga 1 (or "Broga 1.5") teacher through the Broga® Yoga school. I was trained by its creator and co-founder, Robert Sidoti. Broga is a yoga class geared for men. Strong, energetic, and challenging, Broga combines the best core-strengthening, muscle-toning, cardio-working, stress-reducing, clarity-enhancing yoga postures with functional fitness exercises for an amazing workout.


******

In addition, I derive a great deal of inspiration from attending the classes of Mercy Malick, Shoshana Stolove, Hannah Skye Wenzel, Nora Brank, Ani Raya Flores, and in general the teachers at:



I also had the opportunity to learn some of the basic Kundalini Yoga practices from a long-time student of Yogi Bhajan®, Robert Hill.

******


"Edward Reib Yoga"

My dad, John Dan Reib, taught me a Tibetan form of Vajrayana meditation as I was growing up. I have practiced Zazen, according to the teachings of Eihei Dōgen, and under the guidance of a long time practitioner, Gordon Beam. I have also derived inspiration from Swami Satchidananda, under the guidance of Bethany and the Mukti school.

In "Edward Reib Yoga" you'll have the option, and opportunity, to learn about and practice all of these forms of meditation. Some of my students appreciate chanting, and the use of a Tibetan Bell and Dorja, or Vajra, for attuning the chakras at the end of an hour of Hatha Vinyasa flow. Others do not.

Some appreciate hearing about the real meaning of the Sanskrit titles of each pose as they move through the class. Others do not.

In my personal one-on-one or group sessions, I make a point to find out beforehand what exactly the student expects from the class. I also find out what they might be open to. As we move from class to class, together we discover and fine-tune a form of Yoga which is best suited for each student.

If a student is there to get fit only, that is all I will teach. Since it is Yoga, serenity and peace of mind are sure to come up naturally as a result of regular practice, so it does not need to be specifically emphasized. If a student is there to work with the Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga, and to explore the deeper spiritual teachings, than that is what I will teach.

My classes vary from student to student. In general, I draw from the teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism through my dad, from traditional Indian Yoga by way of the Mukti School and Bethany Eanes, and from the more gym workout oriented Yoga, through Broga® Yoga and Robert Sidoti.

As time goes by, I will continue to learn, and this list of credentials, and sources of inspiration, will continue to grow.

I hope to see you soon,
Namaste

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Uber Yogi

It's been a while since I wrote on this blog, so I thought it was time for an update: In about August or September of 2013, when I told the National Director of the Theatrical Department at SAG-AFTRA that I intended to become a Yoga Instructor and leave my desk job, I had said that it would probably take me about five years to transition. I was in no rush, as this was to be a change in the overall trajectory of my life and career.

So, in January of 2014 I began my training, and in April I graduated. I began teaching private clients at my house. By June of 2014, however, I had had several conversations with Uber drivers, and started to see a way in which I might transition to my new path much sooner.

So, I took out a loan and got myself a nice grey 2012 Prius C, and signed up to drive for Uber, as well as Lyft and Sidecar. Then, in October of 2014, I put in my 2 week notice, and left my old desk job.

Before I started asking around about possible opportunities to teach, I was offered the job at KLG in K-Town, who had found me on the Yoga Alliance site, and began subbing for the Yoga teachers at Crunch Fitness.

I feel truly blessed, particularly when I contrast my life a few months ago with my life now. When I go to work, I go without shoes on, make others feel fantastic and serene, and then I go home after an hour.

Then, to fill in the financial gaps in the time between now and when I can fully support myself and my wife as a Yoga instructor, I drive people around L.A. About 80% of them seem interested in talking, and of those about 70% are interested when I tell them I teach Yoga.

Every now and then, one of goes introspective, talking about how they sit in a cubical all day, just as I did at the beginning of my story. I suggest starting with standing up and walking around at least once an hour. We exchange numbers, and Facebooks, and I have another potential private client.

All in all, things have been working out very well. The challenge I've created for myself is this: Not only to I have to pay the bills and such, but Janey and I are going to Japan for 3 weeks in March & April of 2015, so I've gotta make enough for us to have a good time there as well. ;)

All for now,
Much love,
Edward


The Uber Yogi


Monday, May 19, 2014

Humanscale

Yay! They're installing my new "Humanscale" computer setup, so I can opt to sit, stand, or do Yoga poses while I work.

For more about the dangers of sitting all day, click here: Don't let sitting all day kill you...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Graduation

It's official: I am a registered, insured, and bona fide RYT 200 Certified Yoga Instructor.

I will be teaching primarily out of my house, The Heninger House, at Mount Pleasant Street in Highland Park, Los Angeles. Once I can free up my schedule a bit, you'll start seeing me in the studios.

Namaste

_/\_

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Establishing the Buddha in the Temple in Malkut

(Written on March 22nd 2014 to be presented as an example of who I am as a teacher for my teacher and fellow students in the 200 hour Mukti Yoga teacher certification training. It incorporates some of the methods I have used for many years with some of the things I have learned in this course. Feel free to use it, or to alter it as you see fit.)

Step 1


Sit in Padmasana, Ardha Padmasana, or Sukhasana, on your zafu (optional: facing East). Close your eyes, and begin breathing deeply.

Step 2


Visualize a desert surrounding you in all directions, with the starry night sky above, and one particularly bright star directly overhead. You are certain, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you are alone there. Rise (in your mind’s eye, remain seated physically) and walk forward. While the desert moves under your feet, the stars remain where they are. See ahead of you a large cauldron, about 6 feet in diameter, filled with red-hot coals. Know that whatever you burn in the cauldron will remain safe and unharmed in reality. All that will happen is, for the duration of the exercise, you will have allowed yourself to let it go. It is all returning to dust and ashes anyway, so we’re fast-forwarding to when it happens, and letting that part of the light of our own consciousness which we’ve set aside to maintain its existence within our personal universe to return to us, and we are that much more whole. Allow it to return to dust and earth, and allow the smoke to rise up as an offering to that highest star. Throw in your wallet or purse, your keys, something that is holding you back, something that you simply cannot live without, the clothes you are wearing in the visualization, and, finally, climb in and sink down into the coals, allowing your body to burn, letting go of your life, accepting the loss of your skin, muscles, bones, nerves, brain, and finally your skull explodes, all returning to dust, as the smoke rises up to that highest star.

Step 3


Surrounded by vast darkness, you come to find that you are adrift in the womb of the universal mother, in the waters of creation. A body of pure white light begins to appear where your previous body had been, and you can move the legs and arms. The light turns to your regular flesh and clothing, but new. Where there were scars and blemishes before, there are none. Your body is newly created. You rise to the surface of the waters and are born. You realize that you were in the Laver of Brass, or in this case a 6 foot diameter brass bowl of crystal clear and cool water. You pull yourself out of the water and stand beside it, back in the desert, with the night sky overhead, and beside the brass bowl is the iron cauldron, the Altar of Burnt Offerings. That one particularly bright star is still overhead, Keter, Ishvara, the source of all universes and multiverses, the great movie-projector, Thoth, the great mouth through which the word, the Holy Spirit, the Great AUM is vibrated and chanted, and from which all the gods and the eons spring forth.

Step 4

On the other side of the brass bowl, away from the cauldron, there is a door in a door frame, which you hadn’t noticed before. On the door, at eye level, is a hexagram within a circle in white, on a larger circle of earth tones. You knock on the circle on the door ten times. (if you’re leading this, physically knock ten times while they imagine themselves knocking) On the other side of the door is the perfect Yoga Studio or Temple. As you enter, the door behind you closes. This is your Temple in Malkut, and yours alone. You can invite gods and angels here, but no other human being can enter. At the far end there is a throne. Not a Western throne, but an elevated platform with a cushion and a zafu, in royal purples and intricate gold embroidery. Above the throne there is beautiful stained-glass, many colors, illuminated by the sun which shines the many colored rays down onto the throne. Right now, the seat is empty, but you know that that is where the Buddha sits in meditation. It is the throne of your true and innermost self, your Buddha nature, your unborn and undying self, behind the mind body, inclusive of all the ever-present and ever-unfolding Now, yet transcending all of it at the same time. You approach the throne, kneel or bow before it, then climb up and sit on the zafu facing west now, toward the Studio or Temple, sitting in Padmasana, Ardha Padmasana, or Sukhasana. Sitting upone the Throne in the East, look straight ahead to the western wall, and close your eyes within the visualization.

Step 5

On each inhale, relax. On each exhale vibrate “LAM” while engaging Mula Bandha, lightly. Do this three times, visualizing red light emanating from your Muladhara Chakra, shining red light through your aura brightly, and out into the universe.

Step 6

Rub your hands together activating the Chakras of the palms, filling them with solar light from the heart, a temperate solar light. Place the left palm over the Swadhisthana Chakra, and the right palm to the back of the left hand. Nurture and love your inner furnace, and all the beings which assist in its maintenance. Visualize, there, a golden orange world with happy childlike creatures dancing in the sunlight you are providing them, and they recognize you and that you are paying attention to them and loving them, and it fills them with joy. Really send as much care and love as you can to this Chakra, because sometimes we feel shame there. Vibrate “Vam” three times, visualizing orange light emanating from your Swadhisthana Chakra, shining orange light through your aura brightly, and out into the universe.

Step 7

Lower your hands, and bring your attention to Manipura. Vibrate “Ram” three times, visualizing yellow light emanating from your Manipura Chakra, shining yellow light through your aura brightly, and out into the universe.

Step 8

Bring your attention to Anahata. Shine your chest out, hands to Namaste or Reversed Namaste. Vibrate “Yam” seven times, visualizing green light emanating from your Anahata Chakra, shining green light through your aura brightly, and out into the universe.

Step 9

Bring your attention to Vishuddhi. Vibrate “Ham” three times, visualizing blue light emanating from your Vishuddhi Chakra, shining blue light through your aura brightly, and out into the universe.

Step 10

Bring your attention to Ajna. Look up toward your third eye. Vibrate “Aum” three times, visualizing violet light emanating from your Ajna Chakra, shining violet light through your aura brightly, and out into the universe. Engage Mula Banda lightly as you vibrate, and relax it as you inhale.

Step 11

Bring your attention to Sahasrara. Relax your eyes. Vibrate “Aum” three times, visualizing brilliant white light, like the flash of a camera but continuously flowing light, emanating from your Sahasrara Chakra, shining white light throughout the universe, and through all beings or matter.

Step 12

As you inhale, relax and let all the light flow down the front of your aura from the Crown. As you exhale, engage Mula Bandha slightly and allow the energy to flow up the back of your Aura. Within the visualization, open your eyes and see the Temple or Studio you have created. Step down from the throne, turn and face the throne, bow in respect, then turn and face west. Walk to the door at the far end, open it, and walk out into the desert. As you exit, the door closes. Pass the large brass bowl. Pass the large iron cauldron. Walk a little further, turn around, and sit back down.

Step 13

Open your eyes. Pivot and face the nearest wall. Bring your hands to Dharmadathu, Universal Mudra, and gaze at the wall. Experience everything there is to experience with all of your senses, within the body and without. If you have any thoughts or feelings, experience them as well, as one of the ambient sounds, like the sound of a passing river.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Year in Review

When 2013 started, I weighed 208 pounds, smoked cigarettes, drank way too much coffee, ate like an average American, had a terrible temper, and very little free time. I also had the usual lower back pain that comes with having a sedentary office-worker lifestyle.

In the middle of March, more/less spontaneously, I declared to the person in charge of some heavy volunteer commitments that I had that I needed, for my own growth, to stop, or at least to not be "required" to attend things or to be on conference calls etc, that after 18 and a half years of that being a large part of my life, I needed for it not to be.

With my new free time, I became inspired, decided to start sitting Zazen (I know, that's redundant) during my lunch breaks. I quit smoking tobacco, and I started watching what I ate. I started doing a forward-fold a few times a day, for the lower back pain.

Soon after, I began doing about 20 minutes of Hatha Yoga before Zazen. After 4 months of that, I began waking up and doing Yoga first thing in the morning as well. By October, I was down to 170 and began to ride my bike again to work (bicycle, not motorcycle). After a couple weeks of that, I leveled out at 168 where I've been hovering ever since. I then decided to quit drinking caffeine completely.

Then, by November, I decided to become a Yoga Instructor. Now, here I am, awaiting my teacher certification training which begins January 24th, and on January 1st I will be cutting out alcohol, and any remaining added sugars or corn syrup type things which still remain in my diet.

So that's that, it's been a really good and productive year. The temper is still there, but it's a lot more manageable.

A year ago I couldn't breathe, my lower back hurt constantly, and I was embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit. By taking one step at a time toward a regular practice, I've come out of all of that.

I surely do not judge anyone who does not do these things, but I certainly want to let everyone know that it's entirely do-able, to do something about it, to be and to feel healthy.

Anyhow, much love to all.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

I am a yogi...

“I am a yogi beyond word, thought, and description,
Who journeys on the plain of the view free from extremes.
When I journey on the plain of this view,
I journey while regarding appearance and existence as dharmakaya.

I am a yogi of luminous appearance and emptiness,
Who journeys on the plain of the meditation of empty bliss.
When I journey on the plain of this meditation,
I journey beyond meditation and postmeditation.

I am a yogi of self-liberated perception,
Who journeys on the plain of spontaneous conduct.
When I journey on the plain of this conduct,
I journey in equal taste, without accepting or rejecting.

I am a yogi of self-existing non-fabrication,
Who journeys on the plain of spontaneously accomplished fruition.
When I journey on the plain of this fruition,
I journey free from hope and fear.

I am a yogi beyond word, thought, and description,
Who journeys over the pass of the view free from extremes.
When I journey over the pass of this view,
I journey beyond meditation throughout day and night.

I am a yogi of luminous appearance and emptiness,
Who journeys over the pass of meditation of empty bliss.
When I journey over the pass of this meditation,
I journey free from dullness and agitation.

I am a yogi of self-liberated perception,
Who journeys over the pass of spontaneous conduct.
When I journey over the pass of this conduct,
I journey while sowing the seeds of omniscience.

I am a yogi of self-existing nonfabrication,
Who journeys over the pass of spontaneously accomplished fruition.
When I journey over the pass of this fruition,
I am the Buddha of perfected realization.

I am a yogi beyond word, thought, and description,
Who journeys down the slope of the view free from extremes.
When I journey down the slope of this view,
I dwell in the state of nonarising dharmata.

I am a yogi of luminous appearance and emptiness,
Who journeys down the slope of the meditation of empty bliss.
When I journey down the slope of this meditation,
I dwell in the state of undistracted nonmeditation.

I am a yogi of self-liberated perception,
Who journeys down the slope of spontaneous conduct,
When I journey down the slope of this conduct,
I act according to the words of the sugatas.

I am a yogi of self-existing nonfabrication,
Who journeys down the slope of spontaneously accomplished fruition,
When I journey down the slope of this fruition,
I am the buddha whose stream-of-being is purified.

I am a yogi beyond word, thought, and description,
Who journeys to the place of the view free from extremes.
When I journey to the place of this view,
Samsara and nirvana are of the same nature.

I am a yogi of luminous appearance and emptiness,
Who journeys to the place of the meditation of emptiness bliss.
When I take the journey to the place of this meditation,
The nature of thought is wisdom.

I am a yogi of self-liberated perception,
Who journeys to the place of spontaneous conduct.
When I journey to the place of this conduct,
Appearance and existence have the nature of a mandala.

I am a yogi of self-existing non-fabrication,
Who journeys to the place of spontaneously accomplished fruition.
When I journey to the place of this fruition,
Everything is the nature of buddhahood…

Once you realize the intent of this song,
Samsara is nothing to be rejected,
And nirvana is nothing to be accomplished.”
- Padmasambhava
from

All for now,
Much love,

Edward

Friday, July 26, 2013

Morning Routine

Good morning! I just thought I'd check in at this point with my morning routine.

This is a weekday morning schedule, and I've discovered through trial and error that it's a good idea to start Saturdays and Sundays with something very similar to this, though the exact timing may vary.

So, the exact way it worked today (it worked particularly well this morning, hence the interest in recording it here) was as follows:

6:07am Wake up, grab the water bottle from beside the bed, put on boxers and bathrobe and go outside to the yoga mat on the East side of the house.



I'm looking these up as I go and will try to include all the Sanskrit names for the poses I do regularly in this post (eventually). Starting with Tadasana Samasthiti (Mountain pose), then reaching up with both arms upward coming together into prayer hands above the head reaching fully looking upward, drawing down to above the crown looking forward, Anjali Mudra, about one breath for each point, then bringing the hands to the chest, then down into Uttanasana (Forward fold) for 5 deep breaths, then rolling up into mountain pose again. Again, reaching up with both arms upward coming together into prayer hands above the head reaching fully looking upward, drawing down to above the crown looking forward, Anjali Mudra, about one breath for each point, then bringing the hands to the chest, then down into Uttanasana (Forward fold) for 5 deep breaths, then Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward dog) 5 breaths, table, cat and calf for about 2 breaths each, doing cat and calf each twice, then cobra (elbows bent, on waist.. "partial"?) for 5 breaths, then laying down on forehead arms to the sides, then up again into upward dog 5 breaths, then down again, and back to child's pose for 5 breaths, then to downward dog 5 breaths, to forward fold 5 breaths, then roll back up to mountain pose. Then Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) each way, 5 breaths each, and Trikonasana (Triangle pose) each way, 5 breaths each. Then, sitting down and doing a stretch I'm not sure the name of, laying on my back with one knee pointed up toward the sky with foot flat on the ground and the other leg bend at 90 degrees flat on the ground with the knee pointing toward the opposite direction - basically taking the hip thigh joint to the opposite extreme from Lotus. Each side, 5 breaths - then the one where you put your foot on the opposite knee and pull toward the chest - 5 breaths each way. Then sitting in half-lotus and twisting around backwards each way, and a quad stretch for each leg, laying down. Then 5 slow 2 part crunches that Janey showed me, the name for which I do not know. After all of that, I get up, grab the water bottle, and head inside.

6:24am start the water boiling, make coffee, restroom, that sort of thing. 6:29 put the oat meal in the boiling water. 6:34, take the oat meal, phone with speaker, pipe and such, and water all up to the bedroom on a tray, then take the phone and speaker into the restroom and play the "Tibetan Chants of Shartse Monastery" Pandora station while shaving, showering, drying off, and lotioning up.



6:49am Turning off the music, sitting facing eastward with the Reib-Family Buddha statue, as well as the bells and dorjes, on the East wall of my room. Vibrating "Aum... Ahhh... Hom..." large & small bells "Aum... Ahhh... Hom..." large bell once "Aum... Ahhh... Hom..." then waking up the serpent self at the root, inhaling with "shh" and exhaling, flexing Mula Bandha, softly allowing chills-snakeskin-web thing feeling to arise with the "Ssss"... "Shh" "Sss" ... "Shh" "Sss"... Hands together quickly, allowing fixated images to break up into passing flowing impressions, placing them on the furnace point three finger widths below the navel, "Ooooowinnnn... Ooooowinnnn... Oooowinnn". Raising up to Manipura, elevating beyond the "digestion and opinions" understanding of it out through maternal mitochondrial onward interconnected fractal dinner-tabling, "Oooooohhhh" large bell "Ooooooohhhhhh" large bell prolonged tone "Oooooohhhh". Then raising up to the chest and breathing and heartbeat, white light out, love for all, love everywhere, with the lower three filled with golden light as a base, that's all taken care of, the chest is free to love, then "Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh" small bells in the 10 directions, 8 spokes plus up and down, "Aaaaaaaaahhhhh... Aaaaaaaaahhhhh... Aaaaaaaaahhhhh... Aaaaaaaaahhhhh... Aaaaaaaaahhhhh... Aaaaaaaaahhhhh..." Then up to the throat, relating that love to others through communication, "Hungggggggggggggggggggg... Hungggggggggggggggggggg... Hungggggggggggggggggggg..." vibrating the skull, focusing up to the third eye. Bringing the dorje and small bell up to the forehead, holding the dorje more like Padmasambhava does than like my dad did, then "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..." ringing the small bell "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.... Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....." putting the dorje down and picking up the wood cylinder to prolong the sound of the small bell - in particular the one I've had since my dad died, his old one, the one familiar from the third eye portion of this exercise since a very young age. Then banging, then raising to above the head, again, then back to above the crown, and banging again. Then placing it down, and sitting upright as before.

Proclaiming:
"To the North and to the South,
to the East and to the West,
to the Spirits of Light among us,
and the spirits below,
we send out our reverent Love and Compassion.
May All Beings be Happy.
May All Beings be Serene.
May All Beings Be in Peace."

Which, incidentally, were the first English words I'd spoken, or even heard unless you count the BMW ad on the Tibetan Pandora station.

Then "Aummm..... Aummmm.... Aummm...." (Clap) Would have put out the incense at this point, but I forgot to light it before I started the meditation.

7:04am Turn the music back on, bless then scarf down oatmeal, get downstairs, get dressed, everything together - then pour the coffee, pack a fresh bowl, and ready to hit the road by 7:13am.

Then, I had a full 15 minutes to chill on the porch before leaving at 7:28am to walk down the street to catch the bus, thus ensuring that I would be at least a few minutes early to work.

all for now,
much love,
Edward

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Flowers in Space



The words I am reading were spoken by Zen Master 永平道元 ("Eihei Dōgen") to the other monks at Kannon-dori-kosho-horin-ji Temple on March 31st 1243, as translated into English by Nishijima Gudo Wafu, and found in 正法眼蔵 空華 ("Shōbōgenzō Kuge"). Most of the text was left out, with the intention of making it shorter, more poetic, and to the point. The music is a track called "Nanga Parbat" from the album "Tibet: Nada Himalaya, Vol. 2." by Deuter. Most of the visual footage, including the main image, is from The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. The young man seen throughout the video is Gabriel Bomfiglio.

Friday, April 19, 2013

lunch break @ the hiding place

Largely inspired by reading Shobogenzo, on March 15th, 2013, I took up a particular self-discipline for my lunch breaks at work:

April 2013


That is, sitting meditation, or Zazen (坐 "Za", meaning seat or sitting, and 禅 "Zen" meaning meditation). More specifically, walking up ten flights of stairs to a secluded area near the roof of the building I work in, then doing a Hatha Yoga set, then sitting in Full Lotus (getting there, at least) the way Dogen says to in Fukanzazengi.

At first, this was much more of an athletic endeavor than a meditative one, since my legs aren't used to this. It's been a little over a month now doing this about twice a day for 20 minutes each (once during lunch break, during weekdays, and once in the evening at home), and while it is still a challenge, I find myself more able to let go into the meditative state, rather than simply enduring pain the whole time. Also, while I'm generally adhering to the eyes-open hands-like-so thing specifically learned and taught by Dogen, obviously there are other different and older approaches from a little further west which have different but similar effects, to which I switch when it seems right to do so (i.e. hands on the knees palms upward thumbs-and-index-fingers making a circle (and other mudras) and with eyes closed and looking slightly upward toward the third eye.)



I learned the hard way (pun retroactively intended) that it's a good idea to have a zafu (座 again meaning seat, and 蒲 meaning reedmace, cattail, or typha, which is what they used to stuff them with - also meaning "cushion").

All for now,
Much love,

Edward

Post-Script: If anyone would like to take up a similar practice, I recommend starting here:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Meditating With My Dad



When I was growing up, in the morning my dad would meditate. As an adult I know I should clarify: he performed this particular "meditation", or exercise, or... I'm inclined to say "devotion".

When I came of age and I was curious enough, I would sit with him for the beginning: "Auuuummmmmmmmmm". Then I would laugh and run away, and decide that my dad's word may be "Aummm" but my word is "Chah-kunnnngggg".

Perhaps around 1984, after the divorce, I'd visit dad on weekends, and my ability to sit still on occasion began to develop, at the age of five, up in Sierra Madre Canyon, 81 Vista Circle Dr, in the master bedroom, at the window in the southwest corner of the room, facing westward out the window toward the back yard and the view of the canyon from up there, we would sit - he in front, me behind. The old Chinese dresser to our left, his bed (mattress on floor) to our right - the restroom behind us. He would light a stick of incense and stick it into the dirt or small rocks in a bowl of some kind there on the dresser, then we would sit facing the small table on which were his bell and dorja and some other things. With legs crossed at the shin-ankle area, hands together, folded, or however was comfortable and natural, we sat upright, breathing deeply.


Then: "Aaaaauuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmm" (inhale) "Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh" (inhale) "Hommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" (pause..... inhale) "Aaaaauuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmm" (inhale) "Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh" (inhale) "Hommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" (pause..... inhale) "Aaaaauuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmm" (inhale) "Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh" (inhale) "Hommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" (pause....)

Then, making the sound "shhh" with the inhale..... exhaling while engaging Mula Bandha slightly and gently allowing the root to awaken and the energy to move up the back, making the hair stand on end, "ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss" relaxing, releasing Mula Bandha... then again making the sound "shhh" with the inhale..... exhaling while engaging Mula Bandha allowing the root to awaken and the energy to move up the back, making the hair stand on end) "ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss" relaxing... making the sound "shhh" with the inhale..... exhaling, engaging... "ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss" and relaxing.

Then we would purposefully, quick-ishly but not crazyfast move the hands together in front of the chest vertically in opposite directions, up and down then reversing... you know... causing friction and energy to heat and energize the hands. Then, I believe it was left hand first then right on top of it, with the palms on top of the furnace point three finger widths below the navel, providing golden light from the palms to the gnomes and critters in there working around the golden furnace heated by the root chakra, then inhaling and vibrating: "oooowwwiinnnnnnnnnnnn" then again.... then again.

Then we would return our hands to their relax folded or however position, raising our consciousness up above the navel to the lower solar plexus and connect there with a light golden yellow white light, and vibrate "ooooooooooohhhh" "ooooooooooooohhh" "ooooooooooooooohhhh"

Then raising up to the chest, and light everywhere, all around as far as we could see out into the known universe and the astral plane, all emenating from the chest, vibrating "Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.... Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.... Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.... Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.... Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.... Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.... Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh...."

Then bringing it up to the throat... and "Hunnnnngggggggggg" "Hunnnnngggggggggg" "Hunnnnngggggggggg"

Then holding the dorja with the middle and third finger, pointing forward from the brow at the Third Eye, about an inch in front of the head, with the index and pinky up like an I love you in sign language, and a higher pitched "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee......... Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...... Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee......." then while and/or after (12-16-12: or before) vibrating, making the prolonged bell sound with the wooden stick in front of the third eye, and eventually shaking it, ending the tone with a bang.... not too much, you don't want to burn your third eye out and give yourself a headache, just enough to keep it alive, so the dust wont collect on it at puberty causing it to close forever, as it does with so many in Western Civilization today. Then we'd put the dorja down.

Then ringing the prolonged tone above the crown, above the head, and setting the bell down and returning to hands folded, with a final 3 Aums for the crown.

Then he said some stuff, and I don't remember it, except that it included "Thy Will Be Done" emphasized, which said memory was always triggered later when I would hear the Christian "Our Father" prayer. But the part I do remember is the very end:

To the North and to the South,
to the East and to the West,
to the Spirits of Light among us,
and the spirits below,
we send out our reverent Love and Compassion.
May All Beings be Happy.
May All Beings be Serene.
May All Beings Be in Peace.


(6-8-13: at the end there were three "Aums") Then he would clap in a way which the hands were cupped, so there was some air between there making the clap deep, and that was the end. All that was left was to turn the stick incense over and put it out.

Then we would start our day.

(12-16-12: he had two bells, one larger with a lower pitch, one smaller with a higher pitch, and he would ring them, intuitively, between "hom" and "aum" in the beginning, and at various points, but at the third eye using the higher pitched one, prolonging the tone by slowly moving the stick around the circumference of the bell)

For more about my dad, John Dan Reib, click here.

All for now,
Much love,
Edward

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Existence-Time!

sometimes standing on top of the highest peak,

sometimes moving along the bottom of the deepest ocean,

sometimes the earth and space.

we can never measure how long and distant,
or how short and pressing,
twelve hours is.

the leaving and coming
of the directions and traces of time are clear,
so people do not doubt it.
that does not mean they know it.

doubt is nothing other than time.

we put our self in order,
and see the resulting state
as the whole universe.

moment of time
does not hinder
moment of time.

there are minds
which are made up
in the same moment of time,

and there are moments of time
in which
the same mind
is made up.

self is time

when we arrive
in the field
of the ineffable,
there is just one thing
and one phenomenon,

here and now,
beyond understanding
of phenomena
and non-understanding of phenomena,
beyond understanding
of things
and non-understanding of things.

real existence
is only
this
exact
moment,

all moments
of existence-time
are the whole of time,

let us pause to reflect
whether or not
any of the whole of existence
or any of the whole universe
has leaked away
from the present moment
of time.

we should not learn
that “flying”
is the only
ability of time.

if we just left time to fly away,
some gaps in it might appear.

those who fail to experience
and to hear the truth
of existence-time
do so because
they understand time
only as having passed.

to grasp the pivot
and express it:

all that exists throughout the whole universe
is lined up in a series
and at the same time
is individual moments of time.

because time is existence-time,
it is my existence-time.

human skin bags recognize time
as leaving and coming,
none has penetrated it
as existence-time abiding.

who can express the state
of having already attained
the ineffable?

even bodhi and nirvana
are merely a form
which leaves and comes

existence-time

without any cessation
of restrictions and hindrances,
existence-time is realized.

celestial kings and celestial throngs,
now appearing to the right and appearing to the left,
are the existence-time in which
we are now exerting ourselves.

elsewhere,
beings of existence-time
of land and sea
are realized
through our own exertion
now.

the whole universe
is neither beyond moving and changing
nor beyond progressing and regressing;
it is passage
from one moment
to the next.

the momentary passing
of spring,
for example,
inevitably passes,
moment by moment,
through spring itself.

all these situations
are existence-time.

in accordance with this truth
the bright star appears,
the suchness appears,
the eye appears,
picking up a flower appears,
and this is just time.

sometimes the will is present
but the words are absent,
sometimes the words are present
but the will is absent,
sometimes the will and the words
are both present,
sometimes the will and the words
are both absent.

the will and the words are both existence-time.

presence and absence are both existence-time.

the moment of presence has not finished,

presence is not related to having come, and absence is not related to not having come.

existence-time is like this.

presence is restricted by presence, it is not restricted by absence.

absence is restricted by absence,
it is not restricted by presence.

the will hinders the will and meets the will.

words hinder words and meet words.

restriction hinders restriction and meets restriction.

restriction restricts restriction.

this is time.

restriction is utilized by objective reality, but restriction that restricts objective reality has never occurred.

i meet with a human being,
a human being meets with a human being,
i meet with myself,
and manifestation meets with manifestation.

though venerable patriarchs hitherto have each spoken as they have, how could there be nothing further to say?

i would like to say: the half-presence of will and words is existence-time, the half-absence of will and words is existence-time.

when we experience coming and experience leaving, and when we experience presence and experience absence, like this, that time is existence-time.

- Sensei Dōgen
(who established the first Zen monastery in Japan)


All of this came from Shōbōgenzō (正法眼蔵, meaning "Treasury of the True Dharma Eye") Uji (有時, meaning "Existence-Time") Written at Kōshōhōrinji on the first day of winter in the first year of Ninji, 1242 on our "AD" or "CE" calendar, as translated into English by Nishijima Gudo Wafu (西嶋愚道和夫). Most of the text was left out here on this blog-post, with the intention of making it shorter and a bit more poetic, but nothing was out of order or changed, other than going with the all-lowercase and my choosing the specific and likely inaccurate "reality" in place of "dharma" in the part where it said: "Restriction is utilized by objective reality, but restriction that restricts objective reality has never occurred." If you would like to hold volume one of Shobogenzo, which includes "Existence-Time" thus translated, in your hands and read it, click here to purchase one, and if you would like to have the text of the same volume one in PDF for free, click here.