Greetings extended BIC family,
I always look forward to writing these “Notes from the Director.” They give me the opportunity to think of all the wonderful BIC students I have had over the years and imagine that I am speaking directly to each of you. I guess that would actually be possible in the World of Zoom.
This semester, I am teaching the BIC Yoga and Philosophy Capstone course. In addition to reading the Bhagavad Gita, we are reading Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, a classic text about the philosophical background of yoga postures, asanas in Sanskrit. Patanjali defines yoga as the practice of stilling the fluctuations of the mind. He goes on to say that when that happens, “we come to dwell in our own true splendor.” I am always reminded of Psalm 46:10 when I read that passage, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Later in the first chapter, Patanjali describes nine obstacles that we will encounter on the spiritual path: “These obstacles are disease, inertia, doubt, heedlessness, laziness, indiscipline of the senses, erroneous views, lack of perseverance, and backsliding.”
I have been very struck by this verse, sutra in Sanskrit, during the COVID Pandemic. Everyone in the entire world is dealing with the first of the obstacles: disease. In a sense, we are all encountering a spiritual obstacle together and that places us on a spiritual path together. I find that a rather hopeful thought to hang onto in the midst of the great divisions and divisiveness of our contemporary landscape.
I also find hope in all the amazing work former BIC students are doing out there in the world. Please know you are why we do what we do and that we are very proud of you.