August 09, 2011

Jill Satterfield: Spiritual Radical

Vajra Yoga instructor, Buddhist meditation teacher, and Tricycle friend Jill Satterfield is interviewed in the most recent edition of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint News + Arts community newspaper.

From "Jill Satterfield—Spiritual Radical":

What is yoga and meditation? One way to look at it is as meditative movement. In other words, you’re trying to keep your mind in your body at all times, rather than allow music to make you move, or move your mind into a zone. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with music while practicing, or working up a sweat, or challenging one’s limits, but there are many ways to practice. I just offer a practice that’s not a vinyasa power flow. Just different, not better than.

Do you think the asana has become so popular because it’s tangible and easy?
Well, it’s not necessarily easy, but it’s tangible for sure, and we’re a physical society, and there’s a lot of emphasis on being in tone and in shape here. And it makes us naturally feel better when we exercise. The hormones kick in, it’s great.

Does the Buddhist tradition distinguish itself from a lot of the yoga practices? Well, the Buddha practiced yoga and all the ascetic practices of his day, he was a seeker, and he followed some of the extreme practices that were thought to be paths to enlightenment. And after his enlightenment, he came up with, or he realized, what he called the Middle Way—the middle between extremes in practices or being you could say. There are some yoga practices in Buddhism, in the Tibetan tradition, but most of them are secret.

Secret? Because it’s not just posture, but it’s often a combined posture and visualization and breathing, and you have to be really prepared mentally, emotionally, and physically for these practices. They’re very, very deep. They’re not just handed out like candy. Most of them you have to have done a three-year retreat before anyone will teach them to you.

Read the rest here.

In addition to enjoying the interview, we were tickled to spot a picture of the summer issue of Tricycle alongside the piece. The caption reads: "When Satterfield overcame a physically debilitating condition, she says she visualized fairy dust as a way of moving energy through her body. Photo by William Hereford." Fairy dust on Tricycle!

Jill will be leading a Tricycle Retreat on yoga and meditation in February 2012. Stay tuned!

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