Life Balance Dr. Lars Mazzola SUNY Geneseo Yoga Club Copyright 2021 Last Updated 3 December 2021 Contents Part 1 - Introduction 1. Preface 2. Life Balance – Definition 3. Life Balance – What it is not 4. Life Balance – A Short History of the Idea Part 2 – The Core of Life Balance 5. Good Company 6. Subjective Approach with Objective Adjustment 7. Ethics 8. Mantra Meditation 9. Half Bath Part 3 – Supports for Life Balance 10. Teaching Styles and their Outcomes 11. Personality Development and Identity 12. Walking the Labyrinth Part 1 - Introduction 1. Preface. It is widely accepted that experiential learning is the best way to learn. Experiential or direct learning can make a deep and lasting impression on us, since what we have learned, remembered, and assimilated is then carried forward for future challenges, which often repeat or mirror past challenges. These lessons can be either pleasurable or painful, ensuring that the lesson will be learned and not forgotten. But how effective is indirect learning, that is, learning that is based on the experience of others—often called formal education? Of course, the effectiveness of indirect education depends on time, place, and person. But research suggests that the odds against success in formal education are quite high (Gardener). It is known, for example, that high school seniors score higher in general education tests than college seniors, and it is often remarked that the college experience is a blur of confusion and forgetfulness. Communication studies also reveal that 70% of most messages are lost, missed, distorted, or misunderstood (RCTaylor). That means that most people have about a 30% chance of learning successfully from others—the basis of formal education. Now, what are the odds that those reading this pamphlet will be able to understand, remember, and assimilate its teachings and message? Let us hope that the odds for success are somewhat higher than average, since those reading this pamphlet will be part of a select group of people who are interested in and dedicated to the important subject of yoga and Life Balance. I advise scanning the information of this booklet slowly and carefully to give you a sense of the scope and depth of our study together, which will unfold gradually, week by week, semester by semester. Approach this material with an easy, open, and relaxed mind, and avoid whatever strands of perfectionism that you have acquired so far in life. It is said that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Our emphasis here is developing goodness in all its forms and avoiding “the lie of being perfect.” Hippocrates, the Father of Greek Medicine, taught his students that “the art is long, life is short, opportunity fleeting, experiment dangerous, and judgment difficult.” The “art” Hippocrates speaks of is medicine, which is a form of education. Hippocrates’ statement is not upbeat. It is an admonition. Why? I think his somber tone comes from the brevity of life and the difficulty of getting one’s bearings in life. It also comes from the realization that there are two enemies of Life Balance, two foxes in the hen house—external inducements, coming from a corrupt culture that thrives on hooking everyone into excessive behaviors, and internal inducements, which are deeply rooted in human nature and are difficult to control. If unchecked, these internal inducements can bring down the house, causing great misfortune both to ourselves and to others. Hippocrates’ saying—in all aspects—applies to Life Balance as well. Learn the art as soon as you can, since few people know, practice, or teach it as it is set forth here. Most have only a small piece of it. Avoid costly and reckless experiments, use your common sense at all times, and when in doubt, ask two or three respected elders for their advice. Shrii Shrii Anandamurti advised his disciples, “If you are not sure about doing something, then wait. But if you are sure that an action will lead to a good outcome, then do it immediately!” Also note that individual Life Balance is controlled to a large extent by both the wider spheres of Natural and Social Balance. If both Natural and Social Balance have been compromised, as is the case now, then it will be much more difficult to establish and maintain individual Life Balance. To illustrate this, recall that about 70% of European Jews were unable to escape the Nazi dragnet, no matter how hard they tried. Only a small remnant can survive natural and social uphe

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