In addition to my work as a clinical psychologist, which is part of my spiritual practice, through life circumstances I have also met Eastern spiritual doctrines, that have led me on my path, widened and deepened it: Buddhism and Yoga
As in any doctrine and tradition, there are many schools in Buddhism and Yoga. One of the largest schools in Buddhism is the Mahayana, which is the tradition that I study and teach. According to this school, the practitioner who walks the path does not suffice in the liberation of oneself from suffering, but rather, he or she aspires to liberate all sentient beings from suffering. The principle of compassion is very central in this tradition, with the emphasis on the obligation to continue striving for the benefit of all sentient beings, for as long as there is suffering in the world. That is, this tradition emphasizes the social aspect, and places it in the center of the "Path".
The meaning of the name "Mahayana" is the Great Vehicle: Maha means great, and Yana means vehicle/carriage. This tradition sees itself as the great vehicle that includes the Hinayana school, which is characterized by the aspiration of the personal liberation of each individual. The meditations of the Mahayana tradition focus on the cultivation of loving kindness, Compassion, Joy and an Equanimeous mind, as well as the development of the positive attributes of: generosity, ethical behavior, patience, joyous effort, concentration and wisdom.
Since June 2014, after being approached, I voluntarily lead a meditation group (Sangha) that practices this tradition. The content and practices in the group are based on those learnt as part of the "Buddhism from A to Z" program coordinated by the "Dharma Friends of Israel" (NGO). The group meetings are dedicated to practicing meditation, reading texts together and having open discussions that enable sharing experiences related to the practice in the group or individually, as well as general learning. Participation in the group is suitable for those who can make a commitment to a process of at least a few months, in order to facilitate the creation of an intimate space that enables profound practice. The group meets on a weekly basis on Tuesdays, between 19:00 and 20:30 in "Shorashim Center", 35 Ibn Gabirol St. Tel Aviv. With the intention of cultivating the quality of generosity, since its formation, participation in the group is on the basis of "Dhana", i.e., an anonymous donation given according to each person's will and capability. All donations are forwarded to public activity
Another path that I have been fortunate to discover, and that I have been walking since 2006, is yoga. Yoga is a spiritual philosophy and a physical-spiritual practice originating in Hindi spiritual thought. The word "Yoga" originates from the root of the Sanskrit word: Yuj, which means to unite or bring together. Similar to the Buddhist path, the ambition of practitioners of the spiritual path of yoga is also liberation. Yoga is a physical-mental-spiritual journey whose purpose is to quieten the movements of the mind.
The yoga method that I practice is "Iyengar Yoga", as it is passed on by the successors of the late B.K.S. Iyengar, who founded it. A basic principle of this method is accuracy. Practice using this method creates the experience of physical and mental stability and flexibility, improves the function of the bodily systems and contributes to its health, as well as cultivating a concentrated, clear and serene mind.
Photos: Amit Geron
"Tell me about existence, asked a disciple of her teacher. I have good news and bad news about existence, answered the teacher: The bad news is, that life is like free-falling without a parachute. The good news is, that there is no ground…"