Raw, adjective: 8. brutally harsh or unfair: a raw deal

This is hands-down THE best response to the recent Anusara exodus that I've seen yet. Widely-respected mindfulness teacher Frank Jude Boccio hollers out the power of shadow and the reality that a yoga of "rainbows and sunshine and bliss" is only possible when balanced with an understanding of life's suffering.

Here are a few highlights from Boccio's blog:
In my experience, contemporary hatha-yoga in general, and Anusara Yoga in particular, are permeated by a willful denial and ignorance of the reality of duhkha. ....

And this is the shadow I have long seen in Anusara. Everyone has to aggressively "shine out with Shri" and it's all about bliss — poorly understood as a super "feeling good" when the Tantric understanding of bliss is so much more subtle than that, and ultimately not reliant on feeling good at all! The bliss of the tantrika transcends the polarities of pleasure and pain. The Rainbow Body of Peace needn't be pain free. By definition, if it needs to be pain free, it is bound by those conditions and is therefore NOT freedom!

The "culture" of Anusara (echoing the culture of contemporary mainstream hatha-yoga) is fearful of the "noble truth of duhkha." A kind of hiding one's head in the sand is encouraged with lots of feel-good, empowerment/motivational speaker kind of new agey pablum designed to soothe and pamper egos so often desperate for validation. ....

It is noble and ennobling to face duhkha, to awaken from avidya (ignore-ance) and denial. A greater ease with life, the "full catastrophe" arises when one no longer HAS to feel all "shri" and happy-faced! The radical acceptance and unconditional regard we seek cannot come from denying such a fundamental aspect of life as duhkha! This is not to say that that is all there is to life! What I am saying is that in turning away from duhkha, one turns away from the path leading out of duhkha. To deny duhkha IS duhkha!
Jesus, have I been waiting for somebody smart to say all that. Amen, buddy. Read it. Go.


Anonymous said…
Great link Rachel!

Great article Frank, and SO TRUE!

The fear/denial of the ego IS THE EGO!

I wish MN and San Francisco weren't so far away from each other... (to think of the yoga classes, bundt cake, cocktails and laughter I'm missing!

If you ever have any reason to come to Minnesota, or through Minnesota on your way to the east coast, let me know, I'd love to set up a little yoga workshop tour with/for you!

-Heather (heatherrit@yahoo.com)
Rach said…
Thanks so much, Heather!!

What a great article, right?

I am actually fairly regularly in that neck of the woods, as my sis lives in Madison, WI — and I was born in Minneapolis, back in the day. :) Would love to look toward setting up workshops down the line. Let's compare calendars and see what we can come up with.

Thanks again for reading!


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