This blog is about both scientific, societal/political, and yoga-related issues - individually and considered as different aspects of the same problem/solution. A longer description is found in the first blog entry, and all old posts are found in a structured way here. The blog is an extension of my main home pages yoga-link.se and isbgroup.eu. Twitter: @gunnarcedersund
from the Viking era. Nobody remembers where it goes, and probably it goes nowhere. The yoga
techniques are even older, but they are anyway keys that still very much work, and very much still go to places - to places within ourselves. The only
question is whether the keys still have the correct shape, or if "key"
details have been altered. Picture from wikipedia
To preserve a yoga-tradition is a little bit like preserving an old family recipe, which has been passed on through the generations. Sometimes you don't know what things has been added because they are utterly important for some reason you have not yet discovered, or if they are there just by chance. I truly believe that if one is in doubt, when it comes to yoga, you should always keep the things *exactly* as you learnt them. The reason for that is that there are so many deep and profound hidden things in the yoga techniques that have been added by purpose, and that contains invaluable information - keys! - to unlock human tensions, and the human mind. When comparing yoga with many other religious traditions, I see that yoga has preserved much more deep knowledge (at least if you know where to look), and I think that this is exactly for that reason. The yoga knowledge has not been stored using words - which are so easily misinterpreted - but in techniques. And even if the teacher has forgotten some of the original knowledge, that knowledge is still contained within all of us, and as long as the techniques are taught on in exactly the same way as they were learnt, the techniques allow all of us to access this knowledge. For these keys to work, they need to have precisely the right form. But, if they do, they will work, even to doors that your teacher hasn't ventured through himself.
With this said, I also want to say that a tradition should be alive, and explorative. We do live in a time when so much is changing, both regarding how we live our lives, and regarding the general energy balances around and within ourselves. This means that techniques and practices that might have been suited for a different time, and for instance for a more monastic practice, now need to be adopted to another type of life, and to deal with other imbalances. To a life-style where virtually all yogis live ordinary lives, and where we live completely different lives: more sedentary, with new challenges such as the internet, more impressions, etc. I also think that things that are not hidden in techniques, but only contained in the general "level" of the teacher, tend to be forgotten. And I think that this is true also for the tradition that I come from.
For all these reasons, I therefore both have strong sense of protectionism for the deep truths hidden in the exactness of the yoga techniques, and a sense of urgency to modernize the outer process, and to make it integrated with our 21st century lives.
One such thing concerns the issue of meditating outside of the meditations. By inside the meditations, I mean the times during the day when we sit down, close our eyes, and go deep within the mind, without moving the body. And by outside the meditation, I mean all times when we are awake, and moving around, doing things either at work or in our free time. The instruction I was taught was to not meditate outside the meditations. In fact, we were given remarkably few instructions regarding how to deal with our lives, and it was only very vaguely stated that Karma yoga (working yoga) was important, somehow. But no techniques were given, no principles.
I think that this is one of the things that has gotten lost, and this is one of the things I see missing the most in the tradition I come from - and almost all things I am missing in that school, I think come from this single fact. It is also these Karma yoga techniques that I have been looking for the most in the last 10 years or so, and I have now come to a point where I think that this is integrated in my own life, not perfectly, but to a level that is comparible with the other aspects of my practice. However, these Karma yoga things, I have learnt from other sources, often current now living sources, and I have therefore had to merge these different traditions and viewpoints into a whole. But I certainly think that this has been possible, and fruitful. And the main point I want to make now, before I get started with the details of these things (which, interestingly enough will be outlined to some extent within the worldview project), is the following statement:
The meditation that we do outside of the meditations - i.e. our capacity to view, be aware of, and control our thoughts during all waking and sleeping moments of the day - is not less important than the ordinary sitting meditations, it is *more* important.
An old family recipe found on the attic. I wonder how much old knowledge has been poured into these lines, in an attempt to preserve a life-time - perhaps several life-times - of explorations. Picture from here.
I grew up in these houses, which are called Stolplyckan, and which constitute Sweden's biggest communal living (swe: kollektiv). Around 200 apartments in around 10 houses are collected in a single house complex, and therein people are sharing cooking utilitizes, athletics and crafts rooms, playing grounds, etc, etc. Some people are living with their door constantly unlocked, and virtually all people there know their neighbours much more than is typical for rental apartments, at least in Sweden. It is also a wonderful place for children to grow up in, and it is one of the reasons for one of my dreams: to one day create a similar, but much smaller, shared living arrangement, centered around yoga, and appearing as an extension and complement to the activities of yoga-link.se.
June 10, 2013 was a day when two of my biggest dreams took small, but important, quantum step closer towards fruition.
The first of the things that happened was that I went down to a workshop in Växjö, in the south of Sweden. This workshop is one of the main international conferences in the world that is devoted to quantum mechanics fundamenta, and much of the world elite in the field are going there. This year, 2013, I went their for the first time, to present a small but key ingredient in the worldview project that I am presenting here in this blog. As I wrote already in the first blog post on this, it is an important part of this project - and a key part that distinguishes it from many other similar projects - that I want to publish as much as possible in scientific journals, and bring these results into the awareness of the mainstream scientific community. Since this was the first time I went to a conference on this particular topic, it was therefore a bit scary to see what they would think of my ideas. But my presentation, entitled "Different interpretations of quantum mechanics have different interpretations for free will", turned out to be one of the most highly attended lectures of all during that entire session (there were many parallell sessions, and people went back and forth between the different rooms). And - at least as I have seen so far - the reactions were overall positive, and none so far has punched any critical holes in the things I said. So, I am now preparing a conference proceeding on this topic, to serve as a follow-up publication that will be peer-reviewed, and that can be cited, and then - if not before - I will at last return to the blog-series here.
The second thing that happened on June 10, 2013 was that my brother moved out of Stolplyckan that is depicted above, and into an apartment that is just 30 meters from where I live, even on the same yeard as me. This felt significant, because I have a long term dream to create a new shared living situation around me and my friends, and because it felt like this was the first little loose formation that could lead to this, both energetically, and perhaps even physically. These following weeks have also started to live up to this potential. As I wrote in the previous blog, I am now living an unplugged life, and am therefore focusing much more on physical meetings. And, I have therefore created a simple facility (a big branch from a tree :) that I can use to poke my brother's window, and see if he is up for some hanging out. During these discussions, we have also talked about whether I should open up my apartment, and the big dance/yoga-room I have there, to serve as a joint yoga-room where we can both do yoga whenever we feel like, and so inspire each other to do it more, and better. Finally, I have also realized that some other wonderful people are living in the same house as my brother, and there are also some other newly moved in friends of mine some further hundreds of meters away - which all contribute to me feeling like a little vortex is about to form around my little yard. A vortex where yoga, hanging out, and a new way of living is about to manifest itself. First as a dream that we dream of together, play around with, and then by gradually inspiring other wonderful people to move in there as well :)
Picture of one of the houses in Gebers, outside of Stockholm. This is another big shared living arrangement, similar to Stolplyckan, and therein lives a smaller little group of people that make up one of the closest examples I have found as of yet, of how I want to arrange my living in the future, regarding what kinds of friends I want to have around me, and regarding the general "feeling" of it all.
yoga-link.se & yoga in generalPosted by yoga-link.se Apr 18, 2013 17:28 A filter is something that is designed to let some components through, but block some others. In this pictures, the red blobs are blocked, but the blue ones are let through. However, even with such a filtering, it quickly becomes difficult to retrieve a particular blue dot when many of them have passed by. We therefore need a way to create growing and self-organising structures out of the pieces that are falling down. For such a thing, rizzoma, and the concept of waves, is the best option I have seen so far - and I have now started such a wave that acts as a repository for all my blogs, links and facebook posts. Picture from Wikipedia.
------------------ We are today living in the information age, and information is washing over us in amounts that suprasses all that we have experienced previously. Despite, or perhaps because of, this high availability, a big challenge is how to cope with this information: both regarding how to live with it without drowning and becoming stressed or unfocused, and regarding how to find high-quality information among all the low-quality information that appears everywhere.
In respect to this quality aspect, I think that we all have a responsibility of being information filters for each other. There are many of my friends who are following and filtering news in various ways, and my main source of good articles nowadays is facebook. It greatly outperforms any single news site I know of. I also myself try to be such a filter, and here and at facebok I only give you information that I judge to be interesting, important and/or uplifting - and ideally all of these things at the same time. I also try to filter these news through my own thoughts and perspectives in a way that adds some new angles and insights compared to the original articles.
However, facebook and other similar blogs and forums have a big limitation: when time has gone by it is very hard to retrieve the information again. I think that all of us have had the experience of having seen something somewhere, you think it was at a blog or facebook wall of a friend, but you then cannot find it, or at least it takes a lot of time. For this reason, I have now started the transferal and structuring of all my facebook posts, blogs, and links that I create and encounter. I do this in the extremely interesting and futuristic format of a wave, as it is implemented in rizzoma. This has the benefit that it has a very intuitive tree-structure, which makes it easy to organise and re-organise large sets of data: especially if these data evolve over time, and you do not know in beforehand how these data best should be structured. Many of these benefits are multiplied exponentially when more people are involved, but I will in this particular case use this as a solo-site, even though it is public, and with the possibility to comment.
In other words, if you are looking for something that you have seen here or somewhere else on my sites, or if you are simply looking for material of mine on a particular topic, please go to this site. It is open for all, and you can also leave comments.
Today I was sitting at Babettes kafferi, at their English Tea Time (depicted in the picture above), which they have 15-19 on Thursdays. I was coming at the end of it, and stayed until after closing time, which is at 21. In the beginning, I was mostly sitting still, and doing a sort of waking meditation, similar to the one I did close to a red light in Buenos Aires. Eventually, however, this led me to want to write something, to create something. And therefore I started to write. It is sort of like a blog post, but pretty long, so it is given here as a pdf file. Perhaps it will also be part of a book, or a collection of short stories, that I will publish one day. In any case, it is a simple little overview of me, my life, and what kind of yogi, and yoga teacher I am and aspire to be. It is also - and perhaps most importantly - about the Stillness and observer mode that I have always had such an attraction to, and that often has set me aside from the people I have had around me. So if you are interested in these things, feel free to read the below text.
My multi-purpose floor as seen from the entrance to my apartment and yoga-link.se
Coming into the door I was immediately reminded that my home, which is also the dance-, and yoga-studio of yoga-link.se, has been used a little bit during my travels: namely, by some dance and get-to-know-your-body workshops held by Helena Wikner. Helena has attended some of my yoga-courses, and even taught a little bit during some of the dance-evenings on the long summer retreats, and she is currently taking a 1 year education in Joensuu, in Finland, to learn more about exactly such kind of health-increasing dancing. (btw, from the Summer and on she will be living full-time in Linköping). It is actually a nice feeling to see how my vision of an intimate and personal, yet professional and functional, multi-purpose yoga/dance/etc-studio is getting a life of its own, and it is a very nice feeling to come home to it.
Winterlandscape as seen from the train from Stockholm to Linköping.
Statue with earmuffs, outside of the main train station in Stockholm.
Otherwise I can say that I am adjusting a bit to the fact of being back in a Winterlandscape, where even the statues get earmuffs. But I have now filled up both my travel-account with wonderful experiences and meetings, my refridgerator with lots of delicioius and ecological food - and I am now looking forward to having a home-phase again. In other words, life feels as it should feel: grateful and filled-up with what has been, and hungry for the next phase which is just about to start! :)
Coming home from a long travel, one of the first things I do is to go and buy lots of healthy, ecological food. I love the feeling of having a full refridgerator!
As I wrote
already in the first blog post, at the heart of yoga-link.se is a desire to
link the spiritual, bodily, and emotional developments within yoga with a true
responsibility for the world and all societal issues and challenges. Too many
who play the spiritual game avoid thinking about such real problems, and avoid
getting involved in the games of power in the world. And similarly, the people
who are in power, and who see the problems in the world head on, are too often
without sufficient empathy and emotional insight to change the world in a sound
myself that this business of attempting to change the world has a clear danger
associated to it: that you might end up being the one who is changed, instead
of the world. By looking too deeply at problems, and by focusing too much on
making other people “wake up” to seeing and responding to all these problems,
it is very easy to get caught in a feeling of frustration, anger – with the
world, and with all other people who are not acting as you think they should.
This goes together with the problem of getting caught too long on the internet,
so that you spiral away from a feeling of inspiration and wellness in your
should explain that I think that a feeling of thriving inspiration is utterly
important for accomplishing things. This is really at the heart of my own
world-view, and it is a long standing spiritual principle, even though science
is also starting to explore these directions lately. For those of you are into (or
at least can read) the first type of these writings, I could for instance point
to Jesus, who says in Matthew 6:33 that “Seek first the kingdom of God, and
then all other things shall be given to you as well”. And the kingdom of God is
– in my view – only a place of ultimate happiness. Another spiritual teacher
who is alive today is Esther Hicks/Abraham, and their only doctrine is that your
distance from a feeling/vibration of thriving happiness is the only thing that determines whether you
are moving towards what you want, or away from it. For those of you who do not
like that kind of texts (some of you might even be deeply offended by such
texts), I could point to for instance the above TED video, which says that
the best way to accomplish things in your work, is to be happy while working. I
believe that this also holds for changing other people: if you are attacking
them with accusations and problems, they are likely to look away from you and
shut what you say out from their awareness as much as they can; if you instead
approach them with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for who they are, and
try to find the place in them that can share your vision of an amazing future,
you are much more likely to get them on your side.
My recipe for
changing the world is therefore the following:
find a place of wellness and thriving inspiration, in whatever way you can do
that (listening to music/talks, reading inspiring books/poems, taking a walk in
nature, playing tennis – whatever works for you)
approach all aspects of the world, including those that could be described as
problematic (poverty, homelessness, ecological collapses, power-hungry politicians,
oppressing tyrants, ignorant media, etc). However, as you do that, do not focus
on the problems in an attacking way, but instead try to use them to get a
clearer picture of what kind of world you actually want (a relief for the people who are now homeless, a world where
homelessness can only be found in museums, a world where a responsible media is
channeling the voice of the people while also scrutinizing and helping those in
power to do a better job, a world where we use our technology to live in harmony
with nature, etc)
you have focused so long on the problems that you feel depressed, attacking,
bad, imbalanced; when you have stayed online so long that you are looking for
things to attack and complain about; when you look to the world and other
people for signs of improvements, and forget that you are the most important
such sign; then stop it! Just turn off the computer, and do something else.
then to gradually move back to a sense of empowerment and inspiration, or –
alternatively – distract yourself with something else, go to sleep, so that
when you come back and wake up, you can choose anew which vibration you want to
be in. In other words, go back to step 1.
This is a recipe that I just some 2-3 days ago realized
as a very natural answer to a growing feeling of imbalance that I have been
feeling more and more while engaging myself in internet activism in the last
year or two. It will be interesting to see how it works out in practice!
recently had a commercial where they celebrated some of the geniuses of our
time: Einstein, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Pablo Picasso, etc (link). The ad
said that all of these have been viewed as misfits, rebels, [sometimes even
terrorists], and that they have had no respect for the status quo. The narrator
also says that you can glorify or vilify these people, but you cannot ignore
them – because they change things. I
was very inspired by this text, and I very much feel like such a catalyst
myself – in my own little slot of our joint history – and I have always felt
like a rebel who finds it very natural to challenge the status quo. I mean,
things are always changing, and they will always keep changing; the only
question is therefore who will be most influential in deciding how and into what these changes will
occur. I have always had a very clear view of how I think that our society most
beneficially should change, including us living in it, and this blog will be a
part of this process.
One of the
most controversial aspects of this blog will be to merge the two sides of my
life that I think needs to merge also within society: love and spirituality,
with intelligence and science. I think that these two sides of us tends to be
unbalanced in us as individuals to the one or to the other side, and that the
current unharmonious and mutual mis-understanding between people from the
corresponding two groups in society is one of the key things to overcome, in
creating a more well-functional and harmonious society. I also think that our
long-term developments lead towards a state where both these two sides are
fully and equally developed, and that it is only then that either of the two
aspects fully are understood. To put in the words of the – to some of you –
quite controversial Danish philosopher Martinus Thomsen: “Love that is not
Science is not Love, and Science that is not Love is not absolute Science.”
In fact I
think that what we need to mature and heal is the following broken triangle,
consisting of the three corners: “Science”, “World-view”, and “Society”, and
that this needs to be done both on the individual and on our joint global and
semi-global levels. In our current understanding of these words, they are not
the same thing, but – what is worse – these aspects are not even working
harmoniously together. My blog will try to contribute to the healing of this
triangle, which includes explaining more in detail what I mean by this healing.
you who know me from facebook know that I am nowadays quite active in societal
and political unfoldings. Many of the links and small comments that have
appeared on facebook (concerning e.g. the war on terror, intellectual property
rights, democracy, human rights, etc) will now appear here instead, since I can
from here open up to a wider world and more direct societal impact, which
includes not only double posting to facebook, but also to twitter and other
online forums. Nevertheless, because of the above mentioned mutually exclusive
field of interests, many of my politically active friends have a simultaneous
disinterest, and not seldom even an open hostility, towards emotional and
spiritual things. To you I now only want to say that I will never try to impose
any kind of thought system or world-view or practice or anything like that on
you. I will, however, on this blog spend some time explaining how I think that
a scientifically consistent worldview does not necessitate a materialistic world-view.
Similarly, I will also argue that an over-simplification of the transition from
Science (especially physics as we now understand it) to a complete world-view
easily and often leads to the same kind of dogmatism and narrow-mindedness that
many of you rightly criticize in conventional religions. In short, I think that
the most important thing to intellectually understand is when the intellect should not be used, and I will spend some time on this blog
trying to explain what I mean by that. In those cases I am looking forward to a
debate. However, as a consequence of this view, there will be some types of
blog entries that are not meant as intellectual entries – since they might be
poems, or written to those among my readers who are not threatened by a
spiritual language, mostly to convey a subtle or inspiring feeling – and these
blog posts will then typically not be meant as an invitation to intellectual
nit-picking (and might often be closed to comments altogether).
of my friends who come from a spiritual background (which can but does not have
to include a background in yoga) I will present almost the opposite view-point.
You will here, much more than you have on facebook, find things that I think will
inspire and inform you. However, it is my experience that people who wants to “live
in love”, often let this be restricted to a sort of touchy-feely love, that on
many issues equals “living in denial”. It is not a loving thing to ignore structural
problems in a society that leads to the suffering and even death of millions,
even billions of people. A lack-of-action is also a chosen action, and we are
all responsible for how our society evolves. A common response to that is
something like the following: “I will live in my little group of people, in a
loving way, and then that vibration will spread to others, and in that way
change the society at large as well”. I think that this “vibrational spread” is
true, in more ways than one. I will even go so far as to say that it is easy to
lose track of this aspect of changing a society, by involving yourself in
political debates, and sometimes you might be the one who is changed, instead
of the system. Nevertheless, a too non-political attitude leaves the job of
responding to those “loving vibrations” and then changing society to somebody
else. And until that has happened, needless suffering and deaths, deaths that
you could have hindered, are maintained.
those in the final corner of the above triangle, Science, my view is the
following. We in the scientific community have not done our job of serving
society in a nearly good enough fashion. We need to be much better at
communicating within the different parts of science, and act much more as one
clear voice outwards, so that we can prepare for solutions that politicians and
companies then can choose to act upon. Conversely, we also need to fight much
more for our right to do true basic science, which is unrelated to any kind of
short-time gain on a societal level, but is just driven by pure curiosity, and
the love of Truth. I will write much about those things as well on this blog.
There are of
course some people that have and are doing similar things already. One of them
is Einstein, who not only revolutionized physics as few others have, but also
wrote frequently and eloquently on both spiritual and political/societal
issues. I agree with him on many of his views, although there are some exceptions,
and I am therefore sorry that he has not been more listened to regarding his
person who has done similar things is Ken Wilber. He has brought together
frameworks that point in a very similar holistic direction as I also strive
towards. One of those examples is his theory of holons, and their developments
(see figure above). I am bound to come back to those theories from time to
time. However, unlike Wilber, I want to stay within Science, since otherwise
people within the system can just ignore these views. I generally want to
change all systems from within, instead of the much more inefficient approach
of standing outside, trying to convince the people that still are inside to
change, because you tell them to. I therefore similarly want to build up direct
links to political processes and decision-makers, and really teach and practice
yoga and meditation myself on an as high level as possible.
blog I will therefore deal with such different topics as internet surveillance
laws; tantric sex; open relationships; new economic theories; music, dancing,
and poetry; applications of complexity theory to biological and societal
problems; environmental problems; good news; inspiring quotations; my views on
yoga and meditation; and – least but not least - practical matters concerning
my yoga-courses, TED-evenings, publishing, piano concerts, contact
improvisation evenings, and all sorts of other events that will be arranged
here at yoga-link: the yoga place in Linköping, that seeks to link up with the
I am a yoga-teacher in the tantric tradition, but also a scientist, and an engaged citizen. Politically, I am engaged in e.g. democracy, internet freedom, human rights, alternative economic theories, and environmental issues. Scientifically, I am working with systems biology, and the study of complex systems on all levels (isbgroup.eu). Yoga-wise, I am teaching and interested in classical yoga, where you take a holistic view, and merge not only physical exercises with breathing exercises and meditation, but also those things with karma yoga (harmonious working), dancing, music, sex, and all the rest of it. See http://yoga-link.se Twitter: @gunnarcedersund