There was a time when I had the misconception that yoga is only about exercising the body. Then one day my wise teacher (who studied directly under Iyengar) told me, “If you aren’t paying attention to your actions, all you’re doing is stretching.”
This page contains a list of my favorite “mindfulness reminder” quotes. In particular these are short, concise quotes that I think work well with my “Just Be” mobile app.
Just Be is currently an app for Android users. If you haven’t seen it before, this is what the reminders/notifications look like when you receive them on an Android phone or tablet:
There are many nice cartoons/illustrations in Eckhart Tolle’s book Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats, and this “Shtop Thinking” cartoon is one of my current favorites. (The book is a collaborative effort between Mr. Tolle and Patrick McDonnell, artist/illustrator/cartoonist who may be most well known for his “Mutts” cartoons.)
“Always stretch from the source, the core, the foundation of each asana. Keep your attention internal, not worrying about what others see, but what the Self sees. Each movement must be an art, an art in which the Self is the only spectator.”
B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey (with a few minor edits by me)
“Eventually we develop a continuity of awareness that allows us to maintain full awareness during dream as well as in waking life.”
~ from the book, The Tibetan Yogas Of Dream And Sleep
“If we close our eyes (during zazen), the darkness may provide us some relief from visual distraction and give us a feeling of peace and calm. But in zazen, we keep our eyes open. If we want to close our eyes because we feel distracted by what our eyes see, we need to understand that it is our minds that are distracted, not our eyes.”
I really like this quote about “paying attention as if your life depends on it.” One night last spring I laid in bed, unable to move because of severe pain in my chest. Any time I tried to move the pain got worse, so I laid as still as possible. I was laying on my right side, looking at a bedside table, and all I could do was breathe and look at that table, what was on the table, and see the light coming in from outside. At the time I was going through tests to see if there was a hole in my heart, and at that moment I thought I was going to die, so I can tell you, I’ve never ever focused on my breath like I did at that time. I kept that state of mind until I passed out.
This quote comes from a book titled, “Mindfulness for Beginners,” by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
A great quote from Jonathan Ive about focusing on product, and how when you focus on product (design), everything else just falls into place. (Personally I think this is true when someone is clearly in charge, like when Steve Jobs was in charge, or now that Mr. Ive seems to be in charge of design and software.)