The teaching of the Radiant Abodes is shared by both the yoga and Buddhist traditions. The Radiant Abodes are said to be the states of body mind and heart in which we naturally dwell when awakened. These states are; Lovingkindness (Metta), Compassion (Karuna), Joy (Mudita), and Equanimity (Upekka).
The formal practice of the Radiant Abodes is a practice of repetition; we use short phrases to incline the mind towards the quality we are hoping to get in touch with. We start by offering the seeds of this intention inwards, and then gradually we move outwards to include benefactors, dear friends, difficult people and eventually all beings. It can be a challenging practice, but there are many ways to cultivate the seeds of lovingkindness and with patience, we gradually watch our efforts blossom and bear fruit. The idea is that we kindle the inner fire of Love, Compassion, Joy or Wisdom and that as we tend diligently to that inner fire, it naturally radiates out in all directions, just like an actual fire.
Traditionally, the practice of the Radiant Abodes is a meditative practice, often started with some guidance, but usually continued in silence. In this workshop however, we will complement the meditative mode of practice with a the mixture of gentle mindful movement, deeply relaxing restorative yoga and yogic chanting or mantra. The addition of yoga chanting at this time of year feels festive (a kind of yoga Christmas Carolling) and for many is a surprisingly accessible and compelling way into the practice of the Radiant Abodes.
This word mantra means a device to work with the mind, and music is used across all cultures to cut through the chatter of the mind and get to the heart of the matter. The simple repetition that happens in yogic chanting acts like a gentle but steady rain of nourishment for the seeds of loving kindness that we plant in the movement and allow to take root in the meditation. And remember, it's Zoom, so your sound will be off and no one will hear if you join in or stay silent and just listen :)
This afternoon workshop is a perfect pre-Christmas retreat! It provides the stabilising warmth of community practice that guides us steadily inward to a clarifying space of quietude infused with loving awareness. In this space we can dwell in the radiance of love, compassion, joy and wisdom. In this radiance we are replenished and renewed.
This workshop is suitable for everyone, even absolute beginners.
Props Needed* A Yoga Mat, 2 blocks, a yoga strap/belt/scarf, I Bolster and/or 2 pillows, 2/3 blankets, 2 cushions, an eye pillow or soft eye covering (soft scarf or towel), and a chair.
*If you do not have all these items, don't worry, you can participate and benefit, but they are helpful for finding comfort and wasteful release of tension in the restorative poses. You probably have some of the following items at home that can be substitutes for yoga props
Instead of blocks-to bring ground closer, use tins of soup, beans etc
Instead of blocks-to sit on, wrap some hard back books (of similar size) together
Instead of bolster-to recline on, wrap two pillows around a rolled up yoga mat
Instead of bolster-to support under knees, use couch cushions or rolled up yoga mat with pillow/blanket
Instead of blankets-use towels (biggest ones you have)
Instead of eye pillow/eye bag, use a soft scarf
1. What to Expect and What You Need
2. Click here to access RECORDING
3. Further Resources