Sunday, 31 January 2010

Iyengar Drop Back challenge Day 1

So a quick reminder.

In the comment section on a previous post it come up that in Iyengar, 12-20 Drop backs may be recommended. It was also related that Iyengar himself dropped back 108 times on his 80th birthday.

Now this blew me away, 108! 12-20! I'm used to 3-5 in Ashtanga (Although as I point out in the previous post to this one, there are 21 back bends in the full Mysore back bend sequence as presented in Matthew Sweeney's book ASTANGA AS IT IS).

I take Sunday as my day off regular practice, rather than Saturday so thought I'd give the multiple drop backs a try.

Surprisingly it went well, really well. I did a little Vinyasa Krama back bend prep. basically leaning back in Tadasana with different hand variations. I followed that with Five UD's and then went straight into Drop Back's. The first one went so well that I thought I'd video the whole thing and edit it up later. I expected a couple of good one's coming up after a little rocking, some fails where I wouldn't manage to come back up, lots of pauses. I thought I might manage six.

As it turned out I did fifteen. The first fourteen without any rocking. The last one I had to rock once before coming up and decided to call it a day. A couple of times I go to far forward and have to reach out to the wall and a couple I have to take a step back. in the middle somewhere there are a couple where I come up and then go straight back, those were my favourites.

I'm using my new drop back approach that I try to outline here.

I can't get over how meditative it was. You begin to get a rhythm going (best ones are at 6.00), the breath is steady, your very focused, it was really quite wonderful. If it was like this after the first attempt then it really should be marvelous when I can go straight up and down on the breath.

Best of all I don't feel any strain, tension or ache just very very relaxed, peaceful and mellow. 108 doesn't seem such madness, in fact I imagine it's quite a profound experience.

I believe they tend to do the 108 on their birthday's, mine is in July and I think I might have to give it a try.

UPDATE: The morning after
My back felt a little stiff this morning so decided to go with Primary instead of Intermediate. Went round twice in Garbha Pindasana. Interesting the comment that Iyengar went easy on the backbends when he decided to focus on Pranayama. Some of the Drop Back's yesterday were better than others, smoother, I'm guessing the stiffness comes from the not so great ones. I didn't feel at the time that I was straining to come up in anyway. I might give it a miss tonight and then take ten minutes rest before doing them after 2nd tomorrow.

This has been going on all week now so have decided to christen it the Iyengar Drop back challenge week.

Multiple Drop Back's

So we where talking about the multiple Drop Back's in Iyengar yoga (here) . A recommendation of twelve to twenty was related in the comments section and it was mentioned that Iyengar himself did 108 on his 80th birthday.

Twelve to twenty does seem a lot to Ashtangi's who tend to do three to five.

or do we....

I was just looking at the Mathew Sweeney's book and in his section on Back Bending he has ...

Drop back's x5
Handstand drop-over x5
Viparita Chakrasana x5
Final Drop-over x1
Setu bandhasana x5

= 21 back bends

Pascal 'V' Kierkegaard redux

I was riffing about these guys last week when discussing a return to a more 'traditional' practice. P. in the relation to his wager and K's 'Leap of faith'. I've been trying to decide which is most appropriate.

At first I was going to go with Pascal. He's basically addressing the question of Certainty. He comes to the conclusion that we can't know/prove rationally, and with Certainty, that there is a God. Therefore in the absence of certainty we can look to the wager. Do I have more to gain from believing in God than not. He concludes that we do ( for the sake of the argument anyway), IE. everlasting life, therefore it's better to bet on God.

'Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation...'.
Pascal's Wager from Pensées section III 233 (Dutton p67)

I don't know if the Ashtanga method works or not. Seems to work for a lot of people and when it does seem to work it's quite something. I'm going to be practicing yoga anyway so might as well practice the method, all to gain nothing to lose.

In Fear and Trembling, a glorious little book by the way, K, is looking at the question of faith. He considers the example of Abraham. God tells Abraham he will have a son whom he will name Isaac who will grow up and become the father of a nation. Isaac is born but a few years later God speaks to Abraham once again and tells him to sacrifice Isaac. Now there's a problem. How can Isaac be sacrificed and yet still grow up to be the father of a nation, both can't be true. K concludes that in sincerely deciding to sacrifice Isaac, at his gods command, Abraham is making a 'Leap of faith',

Both instances can't be true, that would be absurd (principium contradictionis, Nice irony here in that the rule of contradiction itself can't be subjected to reason, but I digress ). A leap of faith is a leap into the absurd, the absurd being the non rational, the absence of reason. Or something that can not be subjected to reason, to rational thought IE. outside of our pervading rationale.

I've spent the last twenty-five years studying western Metaphysics and Ontology and still barely get what's going on half the time and yet I'm born into, and trained in this tradition. Now perhaps I can read some Indian metaphysics, study the Vedas and Upanishads a little and chant my YogaSutra's, (I have, somewhat and I do) I can compare Sankara with my boy Heidegger, but to what extent can I really understand this from my western perspective?

Perhaps if I lived and studied there long enough, though even then I wonder.

I'm not sure I can reason when it comes to the metaphysical aspect of Ashtanga. I can't seem to be be rational when I consider the Subtle body, Prana and Bandha, or the Chakras. These fit comfortably within Indian metaphysics perhaps but awkwardly within our own. I suspect we have to transform them too much, to grasp them from our own tradition.

The Tao that can be spoken isn't the Tao

If we can talk about these from a western perspective then perhaps we aren't talking about them at all.

If it is indeed the case that I cant consider the Indian metaphysical aspect of Ashtanga from within the Western Philosophical tradition then I cant subject it to reason and by default should perhaps refer to it, by definition, as absurd (in a logical rather than critical sense).

Please don't misunderstand me here, I'm not saying the 'Subtle body' say, is an absurd notion as in, it's a stupid idea. I'm just questioning whether we can approach the subtle body rationally from a western perspective and tradition.

If this is indeed the case then perhaps I have recourse to K's Leap of faith.

I don't understand how or why it works, it makes no sense to me how it can work but I will follow the method having faith that it will work.

Of course if you want to argue that the method and it's result isn't absurd, is, indeed, rational, and can be subjected to reason within our own tradition then it's not a question of faith at all and there's no need to call upon K or P.

I don't have faith, my apologies, Soren. I do accept the rules of induction, however (for what they are). It (the Ashtanga method) worked for them and there's a good chance it'll work for me. So here's a tenner, Blaise, put it on the grey.

* Despite the above I should point out that I'm very much aware that India has a glorious Logical tradition that predates Aristotle by several hundred years. Patanjali, for instance, refers to Logic as being one of the three forms of correct knowledge in the Sutra's. My argument above is based on metaphysical and cultural traditions rather than logical ones.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Iyengar : ""When I was young, I played. Now I stay."

Should probably go to a few Iyengar classes and see what it's really all about, becoming fascinated by the man. Just all those ropes and props I find so off putting.

Check out the backbends 0.42 seconds in.
The tock back and into Hanumanasana at 1.00
His delicate Nakrasana at 2.26
Jump through at 6.57

Talking about practicing with a thinking mind at 4.05

I think the voice over is by Patricia Walden and seems to correspond with her essay found here

I really like this section on how his practice/teaching changed over the years, which relates to an earlier post and question of mine.

'In the early years, his teaching reflected his practice. We did many, many poses, including advanced ones, in each class. He rained instructions on us with a torrent of intensity. His focus was on action--- actions that fused body and mind: "Make the mind feel the stretch. Awaken the mind of the little toe." We would leave class, exhausted and exhilarated, soaked to the bone by the flood of his teaching, wondering whether we could even make it to our hotel rooms.
As the years have passed, he has added new dimensions to his teaching. We do fewer poses per class, but he takes us deeper into each. Demonstrating the nuances of practice, he encourages and cajoles us to see and to understand. He urges us to explore, to find out where we are dull or overworking, and to adjust, so that consciousness can grace the body evenly throughout. And most of all, he accents that the purpose of practice is to come closer to the soul, through balancing action and reflection. In his own wry words: "There is pose and repose."
With the mind of a scientist and the soul of a poet, he has spent thousands of hours using his body as a laboratory, experimenting, exploring, observing, and creating. I remember once watching him practice before teaching a class. I was startled to see his body twisted in uncharacteristically poor alignment; but later, in class, I realized that he had been working out the problems of his students within his own body. He once told me that he learned his method by exploring not only what was right, but what was wrong; and that he hoped his students could learn from his experience.'

And this quote below that Maya refered to in comments to my previous post

'At 80, he continues to practice intensely: 35 minute headstands, 108 drop-overs (cycles of tadasana, dropping back to urdhva dhanurasana, and then rising back to tadasana), 10 minute viparita dandasanas, and long introverted forward bends. As he says, "When I was young, I played. Now I stay.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Dropback progress : The Spring

I think I've mentioned before that I've been more than a little lackadaisical when it came to backbends. The last couple of months though I've committed myself to doing three a day, no excuses. It's given me the chance to work on something I noticed a little while ago and really play around with it.

Have you ever started to dropback and then all of a sudden, before your halfway committed you find yourself flying back upright, unintentionally. It's kind of like a spring, KADANG! and your back up.
I've noticed it more recently as I've been working on Mahele's nutation of the pelvis and opening of the the sit bones. I tilt my pelvis in anti clockwise, open the sit bones and then try and force my hips as far forward as possible, trying to lengthen out of my hips all the time. The other thing I've started to do is really try to straighten up through the legs.

Now if you find that point as you go back just before the spring is about to go off, you can kind of ride it back, almost bouncing on it. You can feel it wanting to throw you back upright and every time it does you push your hips a little further forward into it and bend back some more.

That's the best I can explain it. But try it and see if it starts to make sense. Anyway It's helped me to finally begin hanging back, I mean really hanging back. I still don't trust it, or myself, completely but it's coming and I'm beginning to feel more comfortable such that I can start to take a couple of breathes while hanging all the way back.

I've been wanting to post a video on this for the last couple of days while I'm still only just beginning to hang, very much work in progress. I left the bit at the beginning where I came back up via the 'spring' .

Talking about coming up I've been trying to engage the 'spring' when coming up too. Trying to come up to the point where I can engage the Spring and let it do the rest of the work. The other thing I'm thinking of is how when the spring engages the feet don't move. Mine are still splayed for the first push up, wondering if this approach might help me to overcome it.

PS. Just think how much better this is going to look on the new ipad : )

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Glucosamine & Chondroitin, Karandavasana.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin
I seem to remember hearing about this a few months ago when I had an old knee problem play up, on account of the colder weather. That time I tried the warm caster oil wraps, which seemed to help. My knee's been aching a bit again recently, though not as badly, so thought I'd try the pills this time.

I tend to be more than a little skeptical about the Vitamin & Mineral industry ( yes me, who'd have thought it ) but in my new Pascalian mood, I figure all I have to lose is a few bucks and yet the world to gain, or if not the world then one less thing that irritates

As you can see in the picture, 60 tablets in this packet, so a month to try it out.

The symptoms I'm experiencing at the moment is an ache in my left knee. Doesn't effect my practice that much, I can fold it up into lotus OK, but it's not as comfortable as the right leg. It's something I've had off and on for twenty years or so, an old Aikido injury that was operated on and plays up in cold weather. I'm half hoping this doesn't work as I don't want to have to paying out for a winter's worth of these every year.

Anyway see if it works, watch this space.

Interesting thing happened yesterday re the duck. I opened my arms a little wider and came up more easily and without mashing my chin on the mat.

Obviously I tried that before but could never get back up. Arms closer together, jazz hands, tips of thumbs touching was the only thing that worked.

Perhaps now that I've built the strength to get back up I can start taking my arms a little wider and that will help me to cleaner Karandavasana.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Back with the program....pretty much.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the week, I'm shifting back to a more, how to say it, orthodox/traditional/typical Ashtanga practice. Hmmm, none of those seem to work so well. Orthodoxy often has negative connotations, can suggest dogma. Traditional is problematic given the little changes in the practice over the years. Typical, well is there such a thing as a typical practice?

But you now what I mean right?

Six days Full Intermediate with Primary on Friday and Saturday off.

Well not quite. All went well until Friday when my beloved Primary sucked a little. It was OK but didn't feel as smooth as it used to, I wasn't able to bind at the wrist in Mari D. for instance. I decided on four days Intermediate, two days Primary. It seemed to make sense to do the extra Primary on Saturday and take Sunday as my rest day.

I used to use Sunday and my day off (Tuesdays) as my big experimental days. Most of the videos you see on the blog were shot on either a Tuesday or a Sunday. With Sunday free from practice I figure I'll do some extra, extended, Pranayama and Chanting.

Full Intermediate.
Well pretty much. I could go with how 2S is being currently practiced in Mysore. Kino's DVD is probably quite an up to date representation of that. However, I'd started with Swenson's book and DVD am happy with that. This means I keep Chakorasana after Eka pada Sirasana and Vrishchikasana.

I also decided to keep the Natarajasana A and B that I'd been working on in 3S, they are good standing poses and great for working some more on balance. I fit them in after Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana in standing. I'm also continuing to work on Hanumanasana. I've heard there are quite a few Shala's that include that after the Prasarita series so I'm not being TOO unorthodox. I'm practicing mine after Natarajarasa but with Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana in between. I find EPRK is a wonderful prep pose for Hanuman plus it follows Natarajasana nicely.

So not totally orthodox, completely traditional or typically...well, typical, but close enough for Jazz.

Apart from that I'm, back with the program.

The beginning of the week was a surprise. Remember, I'd been doing pretty much all of Primary, Intermediate and part of 3S, six days a week, for the last Month or so. Long practices. So why was it that I was totally wiped out after just practicing Intermediate. Nice practices though, had to take a breather a couple of times, probably partly to do with having moved upstairs to the warmer room, finally getting a sweaty practice again. I managed to keep focused on the breath and bandha pretty much throughout though. The end of the week was better except for the lame Friday Primary, which I made up for yesterday.

Intermediate seems to have grown on me. I felt I needed another Primary but was thinking Ireally want to do 2S, interesting. Intermediate feels like quite the journey now. Where I used to consider it disjointed I now think of it more as a Symphony.

And backbends are coming on. I've had an on/off relationship with the backbends. It was fun learning to drop back and come up but I tend to feel they are over emphasized. Once I learned to do them I rarely bothered. Occasionally I would start doing them again but it was inconsistent. Over Christmas I shifted them to after Standing and leading into the 2nd series backbends. I got into the habit of doing three drop backs and raises as well as walking in towards my heels in UD. I've managed to keep that up now, though in it's 'proper' place, at the end of the sequence. I've made it non negotiable, three dropbacks, no excuses. It's coming on too, I'm going to give it a month or two and then finally look seriously at tic tocks, now that I have the extra space.

I made a pact with myself to stick with 2S for a year at least without thinking about it too much. Just Shut up and do the practice : ) see how things stand a year from now.

So that was my week, how was yours? good I hope.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

New Manduka Equa towel. It's pink I tell ya, PINK!

So I wanted a new Manduka Equa Towel. I still prefer the old one I have to the Yogitoes and it's copies and tend to want to use it every day.

A second one was called for.

Only three places to get them in the UK. The cheapest wasn't taking my card, the next cheapest didn't have the colour I wanted, so that left me with who were charging twice as much as Manduka themselves.

Actually, Manduka have a sale on at the moment and the towels are half price so I was paying even more over the odds.

But it came, took a little longer than expected due to the snow but arrived safely.

Now look at the picture on the right. Doesn't that look Red to you? but now look at the picture below.

PINK! It's Pink I tell you.

Oh it's very pink, I have a pink towel.

My macho Workshop was finally coming around to the idea that perhaps yoga wasn't just for girls. They'd seen some of the videos on FB and Youtube, perhaps Ashtanga was indeed, a manly practice.

And then my PINK towel arrived.

But it's OK, I meditate, I'm laid back, I have my loving kindness down pat.

I'm cool with it.

"May Manduka towel designers be happy, May Manduka towel description writers be safe........PINK! PINK! PINK! PINK!"

It's not Sunset, it's #$@#$%^ PINK!

But too be fair, in the half light of early morning practice it looks.... well , still pink but a kind of darker reddish pink. It'll do I suppose, but don't expect to see it on Youtube.

Apart from it's pinky pinkness it's a really nice towel. I was a bit worried when I heard Manduka had modified it. It's still as smooth as suede but a little plusher, softer. It's more absorbent too and yet you can still rinse it out in the Shower and it'll be dry by morning.

I have it over the banister on top of my Manduka mat, can't help running my hand over it every time I walk past.

One last thing, a suggestion to the Manduka towel description writer.

'This Sunset towel is more a Pinkish, Pinky Pink kind of Pink sunset Pink, than the Red sky at night shepherds delight kind of sunset you might be thinking of.'

Monday, 18 January 2010

"Doing something every day is not the same as doing the same thing every day."

OK I'm convinced.

This practice, it's given me a lot already, taken me a long way. I should trust it more.
Maybe all this ( pretty much every post since June) HAS been 2S avoidance.

So lets take a step (or two or three or eight back) and let 2S do it's thing.

Five days 2S, (groan) Primary Friday (TGIF). Saturday off.

'Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation...'.
Pascal's Wager from Pensées section III 233 (Dutton p67)

Sunday, 17 January 2010

A sustainable, life long, Practice

I think I came across the expression ' A sustainable practice' a few weeks ago and it's been rattling around my head. It probably came up in connection with David Williams, who will be conducting a workshop on this topic, in London this Summer. I think he's called his workshop 'Ashtanga for the rest of your life', something like that. I either came across the 'sustainable' expression in the promo. notes or in a workshop review somewhere.
The topic came up elsewhere in some blog comments and I'm bringing it up here because I want to mull it over some more.

So I have this idea of the practice. You learn Primary then add some of 2nd. Later you do half and half perhaps and then split the practice. You end up doing five days of Intermediate and one day of Primary. You start adding some 3rd series perhaps and the process is repeated until you end up doing four days of 3rd one of Primary, one of Intermediate. Perhaps this continues on with fourth.

Do you not get to the point where you say, enough is enough, I don't really want any more postures but prefer to stick with where I am. If so how does that work? Do you end up doing five days of Intermediate and one of Primary for the next twenty years, or four days of Third, one of Primary, one of Intermediate?

I'm assuming that somewhere along the line you settle into a more balanced practice but what does that look like? Is it two a week of the first three series or split the week. half Primary half Intermediate, or perhaps you alternate days. How does that work? And how do you you square that with your Shala?

Home Ashtangi's don't get much contact with the long term practitioners we might meet at a shala. We don't get to see or hear so much how that gets worked out.

I find it a relevant question in relation to my own practice. At home we have more freedom to organize our own practice, we have both the student role and the facilitator. I can understand some of the reasons why Shala's need to work in the way they do, in that they are having to deal with a large number of students at different stages of their practice. We (Home Ashtangis) have less constraints. The videos we learn from reflect different traditions in the practice as do the books we read and the workshops we might go to. Do we learn the first couple of series quickly as they did in the early days or take things more slowly as they do now. Do we take five breaths an asana or eight, do half of standing before 2nd or do the whole thing. Do we do all the Vinyasa or perhaps half ? Or do we just practice at home as if we were at a regular Shala?

I started working on 3rd series but didn't want to do four days of it at the expense of my beloved Primary.... or of Intermediate. I tried two of each and then tried alternating them. In the end up I came up with a sequence that included most of Primary and Intermediate with a lot of 3rd series shuffled in and with the option of adding more of 3rd on my days off . It's a nice sequence and I've been doing it for two or three weeks now. I like it but it's a little long in that it cuts into my Pranayama time in the morning.

There's a side of me that likes learning new asanas but another that realizes a forty minute balanced asana practice followed by half an hour of Pranayama and Meditation is probably what I'm really interested in. I find myself in the absurd situation of thinking, OK, another year exploring the higher series and then I'll settle down to the practice I really want.

And so I'm curious, how do those long term practitioners work it. How have they made it work for them. I'm not trying to be controversial here. Did they just gravitate into a practice that worked for them without thinking about it, or considering it, or thinking about where and what they wanted to practice, indeed what they would be able to practice given the changing demands of their lives outside the practice.

So there's this David Williams workshop in July on a sustainable practice for life, I think I'll try and make it.

Here's a link to David Williams' website where he outlines his workshop.
And here's one to his forum
This 'open letter' to students I find particularly interesting.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Migrating for the winter ; new practice room

So the cold.... bit of a bugger.

Despite the central heating turned all the way up and a Space heater, I haven't been able to get my practice room hot enough, don't think I've managed to get a sweat on for a couple of weeks now. After yet another failed attempt to get my arms though for Garbha Pindasana on Sunday I decided enough was enough and that it was time to migrate.

So my Chinchilla, Nietzsche', has his own room upstairs. We've had to put down carpet tiles so he doesn't eat the floorboards as well as cardboard all around the room so he doesn't eat the Skirting boards and the door. I tend to go up every evening and let him out for a couple of hours to run around. It's probably the warmest room in the house.

Sunday I shifted some things around, gave the room a good clean and vacuum and it's now my new Shala and Meditation room. A nice bonus is that the window faces East, sooner or later I'll get to salute the sun for real.

There in the top right corner you can see Nietzche's cage.

He tends to be half awake this time in the morning, doesn't seem bothered by my practice. Come to think of it when I first started practicing Ashtanga it was in the same room as him at the old flat, so just like old times.

Apart from the cold, practice has been good over the holidays. I had extra time in the mornings so have been doing an extended practice. I've enjoyed the 'new' routine so much that I've stuck with it throughout the week.

Basically it's a mixed up version of Primary and Intermediate with 3rd shuffled in. Sury's and Standing are as per usual except that after Ardha baddha Padmasana I work on the Dighasana to Natarajasana routine from 3rd and then go into Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana as prep for Hanumanasana. I've shifted Dropbacks to the beginning of the practice rather than the end so after Hanuman I do the hands behind the back variations in Tadasana while backbending followed by dropbacks and coming back up. Shifting them here I've made backbending more of a focus for the practice for the next few months (tended to neglect them up until now).

The dropbacks prep me for the Ustrasana Laghu and Kapo and maybe Supta Vajrasana. As a counter to all those backbends I switch to pretty much standard Primary beginning at Paschimottanasana. the only difference being that I slip in Krounchasana after Tirieng MEP Paschi, Maha Mudra and some serious Uddiyana before Janu A and Viranchyasana after Janu C.

I cut the Marichi's out for now continuing on through the Primary series hip openers. I move Kurmasana to after Upavistra and work through the 2nd and 3rd series LBH asanas ending this sequence with Supta Kurmasana. Then it's back to the Marichi's followed by the different Matsyendrasana's and into the 2nd series arm balances (on Sunday and my day off I add those from 3rd). I finish up with Gomukhasana , Supta Urdhva pada Vajrasana and normal finishing.

Sounds complicated writing it out like that but it kinda made sense once I decided to shift the dropbacks to the beginning. They led nicely into Kapo and it's prep and it made sense to go into the forward bends of Primary which lead into hip openers preparing you for all the LBH. The twists reset everything and I've always found them very meditative and calming, nicely rested your ready for all the arm balances. It's all familiar and intuitive so I don't have to think about it too much. The whole practice is taking me about 90 minutes (120 on my day off with the extra arm balances and taking it a little slower). I like it because I can just do the same balanced practice everyday.

I Had a go at making some videos in the new room. Difficult because of the shape of the room. Ended up with some different angles though which is interesting. On the video below there's a Dropback, shot from behind. These had been going well (straight up no rocking) but here I'm trying to address the splayed feet issue which is messing it up again. A Kapo and solo Supta Vajrasana, again shot from behind. There's a cheating Navasana to Handstand (still relying too much on momentum) and the latest Purna Matsuyendrasana (struggled a bit doing this with the long pants on, easier with shorts I find, without anything restricting the knees.

Video's a little long so might take a little while to show up on the Iphone.


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from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta