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Jon: Yoga retreat

November 2, 2011

For those of you that don’t know, ever since I was fifteen I have rejected the notion of a God as established religions have identified. However, the older I get the more spiritual I have become as well. Some might call it ironically, but the more and more I learn about science the more spiritual I become. I won’t go into this to deeply here but the more I learn about advanced physics the more I reaffirm to myself that there is no God as past religions have identified him/it/her, yet I become more deeply entrenched in the idea that we are all connected. When talking in the very abstract theological ideas I agree with many parts. God is an identity that connects us all, is pure and beyond our comprehension. Sin is the distance we have between us and this concept. And so in the end the issue I have with most religions is that they claim to have some bit of absolute knowledge about this concept. Speaking only for myself though, I have come to believe I know very little about this concept (God/Allah/etc.) And to be honest how can I? We have been around for less than a few thousand years and this concept is so advanced, so beyond us that to say we know anything other than there is something connecting us all seems to be a bit presumptuous. Again, I speak only for myself but what I believe now is that all we can do is constantly search for a better understanding of this concept through any means, whether that be philosophy, traditions (which recognize the work of previous cultures in understanding the concept), or science.

You might be wondering why I am telling you this now. This weekend I went on a yoga retreat in Dana Reserve. You might remember this if you have been reading my blog because my program did take us there briefly a few weeks ago. It is a beautiful reserve where you can see for miles and miles, you can even see parts of Israel. So to help set the scene for this thinking here is a picture of my view the first and second yoga sessions we did.  

First site

Second site and my instructor

So picture yourself on the edge of a cliff, overlooking valleys that saw monumental points in our history. Feeling winds hit you that have crossed the desert a hundred times, blown over the Dead Sea, past Bedouin tribes, and through valleys. Now, for those of you that don’t know much about yoga it is much more than something New Yorkers or hippie L.A. people do. It is a deeply spiritual, physical and mental set of exercises that can help bring everything together. And as someone that is always thinking 100x faster than I should yoga is probably the most close I have ever come to feeling completely at peace. In our world today where we all are going so fast, so focused on certain things this weekend gave me a peak at a way to live our lives and yet keep our focus on each other, ourselves, and always staying connected to where we came from.

I realize this post probably sounds extremely hippie, don’t worry I won’t be joining a commune anytime soon. But, I have become completely in love with yoga and the mind/body/spiritual connection that it brings. I have actually changed my Eid vacation plans now as well. Instead of going through Israel and Egypt I booked a hostel on the beach of Tel Aviv and will be doing a week long intensive yoga vacation. Twice a day with a yoga style that is geared for very physical, core, intensive building. As such, I will keep notes and write a long blog at the end but I won’t be updating my blog along the way as I try to learn more how to live in the moment and not always worry about the future (or be on facebook).

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