Lech Lecha

We are in the third reading called Lech Lecha – Genesis 12:1 – 17:27. The reading starts with God talking to Abraham – “God said to Abram, “go away from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.” 

Last week’s reading, Noach, was about the flood and the tower of Babylon. …. ..The portion ends with God destroying the tower. During this time there was one language with all the people (unity). “God descended” to see the city and the tower that the sons of man had built. God said, ‘Come, let us descend and confuse their speech, so that one person will not understand another’s speech. God scattered them all over the face of the earth….”

Why did God flood the earth and why did He destroy the tower? Questions to be explored. Nevertheless, now Abram is told to move.

So, why do I include these Torah Portions in each week’s posts? I have been ‘following’ the Torah Portions over the past 10 or so years. Loosely at first and more intensely the last 3 years. Each week I research the portion and connect to the actual reading in the Bible. I also have a Zohar. The Zohar is a 23 volume work which interprets each Torah section. Each year I receive a new insight. Whether you identify as Jewish or Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic or some other religious, spiritual or mystical school follower,, The first 5 books of the Bible; The Torah is a significant scripture. 

I could be wrong, but as your yoga guide, I am confident that there is value in applying some inquiry here. Just as I am confident there is value in looking at the teachings of Jesus, The Buddha and other teachers of wisdom like Ken Wilber or Goenka or Genpo Roshi or Bill Harris..

REMEMBER: In order to do this work you do not have to believe or have faith in anything. In fact, the instructions are to remove your belief or better said…..suspend your belief as well as your disbelief…just like when you reach the end of the exhale….extend the exhale; stay empty….Find your “still point.

Huntington Chorea charity Event

On Sunday November 1, 2020 at 1pm, I will be guiding a yoga session for a charity supporting Huntington Chorea.  

As it is an initial, one-time, class, I have designed the session to be an orientation type of approach.  Yoga is such a big and comprehensive “map of the territory” so an orientation can be done from many different perspectives.  Since, the charity is supporting a dis-ease with some similarity to the dis-ease I have been challenged with for over 44 years, I will probably emphasize the “wellness” aspect of yoga.  Since it is a first class, I will also stick to the basics of “Right Alignment” and “Discovering One’s Edge.” 

I completed my Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu Yoga Center in October of 2006.  I engaged in this 200 hour – month long intensive training because I wanted to deepen my personal practice.  It was not my intention to become a “yoga teacher” or own a yoga studio.  I had been practicing Bikram Yoga since 1999 and was realizing tremendous benefits in managing my blood sugar levels and overall health as a Type 1 Diabetic since the age of 14.  Both conditions involve the immune system.

One of the most referred to “maps’ to understand what yoga is all about is the Eight Limb Path.  There is a beginning and there is an end.  There is an apparent starting point and there is a destination.  Yoga defined means “union.”  Ultimately it is the union with self and Source; Samadhi; The Eighth Limb.  Here is an image of the Eight Limbs:

In Kripalu Yoga there are 3 stages to the practice.  First, Right Alignment.  Second, Discovering and Exploring Your Personal Edge.  And third, Authentic Free Expression.  These three stages mirror the three levels of wisdom that The Buddha expressed.  Level One-Becoming aware of a thing or idea by being told about it or reading a book about it.  Level Two – Engaging in Intellectual Inquiry into the nature of the thing or idea.  Level Three – Direct Personal Experience of the thing or idea. 

There is a five step transformational process in Kripalu that we utilize to cultivate mindfulness and presence in the confronting of a “pose.”  The acronym is BRFWA.  I will introduce BRFWA and cycle through the process a few times. The 5 steps are: 

Breathe – Relax – Feel – Watch – Allow.

At the end of the session I have agreed to engage in a question and answer session.

Over the last six months, since the lockdown, I have been guiding a group of about 15 people in weekly yoga, meditation and map questing sessions.  We have been getting together four times a week and have journeyed through the 8 limbs.  We have also inquired into several other “maps of the territory” with the objective of obtaining a more holistic and holographic picture of The Reality of Things; Dharma.  The last 13 weeks of our work have been documented on this website under the Atwater Group Page.  Feel free to browse through this page as well as the many blogs I have written over the past 13 years. 

I look forward to guiding this session and connecting with the participants.  


What happened in the Garden of Eden? 

Today is the first Shabbat. It is called Bersheet or Bereshit. The Torah section is Genesis 1:1 – 6:8. It covers a lot of happenings and time….like 1500 years bringing us up to the next weeks reading which is called Noach – Genesis 6:9 – 11:32. 

Here are two short videos that will provide youth some perspective.