From the Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories & Western Myth

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9781935628316: From the Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories & Western Myth
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What is the meaning of Shiva dancing on a dwarf named Avidya? Why does Vishnu sleep upon an endless snake? To what did the Buddha awaken? What do we mean by soul? The practice of Yoga has become quite common and popular in the West; however, the stories of Yoga are still strange to Western ears. What do these ancient symbols mean, what are they trying to teach us, and how should we incorporate the knowledge skillfully into our Western lifestyle? By looking at the myths of Yoga along with the stories that have influenced Western culture, we are presented with opportunities to select the best of both worlds, and create new maps to help guide us through the uncertainties of modern living.

Stories are fun! Important stories guide us and educate us; they create mental models which work at an unconscious level to help us navigate through our modern society and govern our reactions to the ups-and¬downs of life; they provide meaning and purpose for our life; and our stories entertain and entrance us. In this book, Bernie Clark looks at the spiritual stories found in the West that create a base map for our lives and then looks at the stories found in the East to see how they could improve our base maps. The stories offered are mix of light¬hearted and enjoyable, and deep and profound.

The importance of stories East and West are illustrated through the model proposed by the great 20th century mythologist, Joseph Campbell: myths, or stories, serve four great functions - the mystical, the cosmological, the sociological and the psychological function. The stories chosen illustrate these four functions of mythology and show how we can take these stories into ourselves to create a deeper experience of life.

This book is indexed making it very easy to navigate.

You may find that, with a proper introduction, mythology will catch you. Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth

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About the Author:

Bernie Clark has had a passion for science, spirituality and stories of mythology since his childhood days. He has a degree in science from the University of Waterloo, and spent over twenty-five years as a senior executive in the high tech/space industry. He has been investigating the path of meditation for over three decades and began teaching yoga and meditation in 1998. He is the author The Complete GT Yin Yoga & YinSight, and the creator of the YinYoga.com website. He lives and teaches in Vancouver, Canada.

Review:

In his insightful new book, Bernie reminds us that we have a choice in how we live our lives; we can hold tight to our beliefs, allowing them to dictate our reality, or we can invite every story (or even encounter) to be a gateway into the poetic, multifaceted dimensions of truth, and the fluid nature of reality. --Sarah Powers, author of Insight Yoga and founder of the Insight Yoga Institute

We think in metaphors. We are aware of some of them because we consciously adopted them in our adult years, but our fundamental mental maps are unconsciously adopted from our culture. By contrasting the metaphorical maps of different cultures we become aware of our own, unquestioned assumptions. Bernie Clark's book does this in a wonderfully entertaining way. It reflects his years of practice and teaching." --Paul Grilley, author of Yin Yoga

Bernie's new book covers mythical territory any student of yoga should be aware of. Diving into both unfamiliar and familiar stories of creation and the path of the hero, Bernie's readable style is like the voice of an Elder. If you could record Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung's conversation over a game of chess, it might sound something like this. --Daniel Clement, founder of Open Source Yoga

Thoughtful readers who love to curl up with a good book; anyone who wants to understand their dreams, desires, and behaviors; all who want to stop sleepwalking along an unconsciously chosen path and make real choice possible in their lives; and all who have found their own cultural myths lacking will find their minds and hearts expanded here, in From the Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories and Western Myths ...an encyclopedic work that invites us to examine our own stories with wonder, interest, and a renewed belief in the possibility of change. --Kristine Morris, ForeWord Reviews, January 2014

Author Bernie Clark's tome-like work is an excellent introduction to mythology, religion, and teachings. This book will appeal to yoga practitioners, budding anthropologists, travelers, history buffs, and storytellers. For me, it s become a bookshelf staple. --Marina Chetner, LA Yoga magazine, March 2014

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