About

Shantiseva Hridaya within Loka Yoga School of Yoga and Liberation

Our theory is practice: daily asana (which should be practiced without ego), Meditation, Pranayama, Bhakti, and Veganism.  We support local Shamanic & First Nation’s Teachings that have taught us about sacred ceremonies such as the sweat lodge ceremony & moon lodge ceremony, sacred gatherings of Truth (also known as Satsang) as well as the Ashtanga & Jivamukti Yoga Methods.

The adventure capital of the world is where we base our Teacher Trainings, retreats and intensives.  We are lucky to be located within one of Whistler's most pristine hotels, Nita Lake Lodge, so we have accommodation on site.  We have only the best teachers in the world brought in because of their dilligence and devotion to the practice of Yoga.

We work with the Canadian Wounded Warriors, Bear Smart, Bear Asia, PETA, Canadian Cancer Society & Hyridaya Depression.

We are a Jivamukti Affilated School and we send students to the many Jivamukti Teacher Training programs.  Tina Pashumati James has been a mentor twice for Sharonji and DavidJi and has sat on the board of the Advanced Certification in New York.

The Shantiseva Hridaya Teacher Training Programs are 300 hours and 500 hours.  We also run year long mentorship programs of 1000 hours.

 

Shanti

What Are the Origins of the Word "Shanti"?

"Shanti" appears in some of the oldest Yogic and Buddhist texts.  The ancient language of Sanskrit dates back to before recorded history.  Shanti appears in some form in one of the oldest Sanskrit texts, the Upanishads.  Each segment and mantra in the Upanishads ends with the phrase "Om shanti, shanti, shanti." In the Dhammapada, one of the teachings of the Buddha, santam (Pali for shanti) is referred to as both the means and end of spiritual practice.

What is the Definition of the Word "Shanti"?

"Shanti" literally translates as "peace." This peace is deeper than surface.  Shanti is inner peace that both creates a spiritual life and is the fruit of dedicated spiritual liberation and practice.  This quality of peace is cultivated over time with persistence and patience.  It deeply affects the life and environment of the practitioner.

 

Seva

“Seva” is a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service” or work performed without any thought of reward.  In ancient India, seva was believed to help one's spiritual growth and at the same time, contribute to the improvement of a local community.  This is the art of giving with no need to receive, where the act itself is a gift to everyone involved.  Seva is the art of blessed action. 

Ram Das explains this beautifully: “Helping out is not some special skill.  It is not the domain of rare individuals.  It is not confined to a single part of our lives.  We simply heed the call of that natural impulse within and follow it where it leads us.”

Despite our seemingly unlimited capacity to connect, it's very easy to feel limited in a world of dynamic change.  Asking questions like "Can I really make a difference?" or "How am I supposed to help?" only serve to delay or avoid action. 

With Seva, the only answer you need is YES.  Yes, I can help.  Yes, I will do this.  Yes, this is possible.  Efforts need not be global.  It is virtually impossible to change the world in one fell swoop.  Focus on the community around you, the Whistler village and Pemberton comunity, the partnerships you've created, and the lives of those you're able to touch.  It can be as easy as paying the toll for the person behind you or shooting off a nice email to someone you haven't spoken to in years.  Stay anonymous.  Give openly.  As you become more comfortable with giving with no need for reward, you can expand the reach of your actions. 

Small steps lead to great change.  Seva is the karmic life preserver that keeps your spiritual head above water by helping others stay afloat.

“The only beauty that lasts is the beauty of the Heart.” – Rumi 

Hridaya, the Spiritual Heart, is our essential and ultimate nature, the ineffable dimension of our being.  It is another name for the Supreme Self, or Atman, as it is named in the Yogic tradition.  The Spiritual Heart is the Supreme Consciousness, the ultimate subject of knowledge, the pure I-am.  It is the witness concsciousness, that intimate observer of all of our thoughts, emotions and sensations; the witness of both the mind and the universe in its inner and outer dimensions.

Through the practice of meditation, more and more subtle understandings about the real significance of the Spiritual Heart will be revealed.  In the beginning, the Heart is an object of meditation, then it becomes a means of knowledge, and finally it is revealed in its true nature, as what we really are.  “In the spiritual traditions of India, as elsewhere, the ‘heart’ refers not so much to the physical organ as to a psychospiritual structure corresponding to the heart muscle on the material plane.  This spiritual heart is celebrated by yogins and mystics as the seat of the transcendental Self.  It is called hrid, hridaya, or hrit-padma (‘heart lotus’).  It is often referred to as the secret ‘cave’ (guha) in which the yogin must restrain his mind.  In some schools, notably Kashmiri Shaivism, the word hridaya applies also to the ultimate Reality.” – Georg Feurstein

Accordingly, the Spiritual Heart or the Heart (with a capital H) may vary in significance depending on the context of use or different correlations.  However, even if this notion seems complex, we should not lose ourselves in the snare of concepts alone.  Absolute simplicity is the nature of the Heart.  Simply direct your attention toward the chest area.  That very fine and discreet vibration which is awakened there- in the absence of any thought, in the quietness of the mind- is the beginning of a sacred tremor, the most direct experience of the Spiritual Heart.

This explains our school and the training programs which are more about longevity and honesty of honoring our Teachers. 

We work with Karma Yoga Teachers.  We are connected to Semperviva Vancouver, and pride ourselves to have an alliance with One Yoga.

Thank you, in advance.  Please enjoy, in joy, the act of selfless action and all the wonderful energy that surrounds it. 

 

Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti Yoga is a method of yoga that was created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984, which reintegrates the physical, philosophical and spiritual aspects of Yoga.  The emphasis in the west has been on Yoga as mostly a physical practice.  More and more people are achieving firmer bodies through regular yoga classes.  But many are finding something more: what starts out as a purely physical practice creeps into the hearts and minds of even the least spiritual practitioners.  David and Sharon became teachers because they were passionate about communicating Yoga as more than just a system of exercises, but also as a spiritual practice; a path to enlightenment.  From their earliest classes, they have taught a living translation of the Indian system of yoga in a way that western minds can comprehend.  That is why Jivamukti Yoga emphasizes vigorous asana as its primary technique, but other practices such as meditation, devotional chanting and study of the ancient texts play an important role as well.

The Jivamukti method of Yoga is one of the nine internationally recognized styles of Hatha Yoga.  The other eight being: Ashtanga, Iyengar, Viniyoga, Sivananda, Integral, Bikram, Kripalu, and Kundalini.

 “We chose the name Jivamukti (pronounced Jee-va-mook-tee) Yoga to reflect the true aim of yoga, which is liberation.  Jiva means individual soul and mukti means liberation.  The exact transliteration of the Sanskrit word from which Jiavmukti is derived is jivanmuktih, which means liberation while living.  The name Jivamukti Yoga reflects the fact that it is possible to have a beneficial and fulfilling life in the world, and also progress spiritually-perhaps even attaining liberation (Samadhi) while living.”

 

– Sharon Gannon and David Life, Jivamukti Yoga

 
The 5 Limbs of the Jivamukti Yoga Method

Scripture – Study of the ancient yoga teaching including Sanskrit chanting.

Bhakti – Acknowledgement that universal consciousness is the goal of all yoga practices.

Ahimsa – A non-violent, compassionate lifestyle which emphasizes ethical vegetarianism and animal rights.

Nada – The development of a sound body and mind through deep listening.

Meditation – Connecting to that internal unchanging reality within.