What is a Dharma Talk?
A Dharma Talk takes its roots in Buddhism and is simply a public lecture given by a teacher. As teachers of yoga there is so much that we can share with and introduce to our students that it can be overwhelming sometimes to know where to start. In the vast history of yoga much sense has been spoken and written. The philosophies of yoga are simple, effective and still so relevant to people today. A short Dharma talk is a great way to introduce students to these philosophies. As wonderfully summed up by Vietnamese Master Dharma Lecturer, Tich Nhat Hanh, keep in mind that:
“A Dharma talk must always be appropriate in two ways: it must accord perfectly with the spirit of the Dharma and it must also respond perfectly to the situation in which it is given. If it only corresponds perfectly with the teachings but does not meet the needs of the listeners, it’s not a good Dharma talk; it’s not appropriate”.
In my classes I start off with a brief Dharma talk about a certain topic. Love, Strength, PEACE, Gratitude and sometimes out of the ordinary like the benefits of traveling. The classes are planned around each dharma. Some can be emotional, others fun. I plan them by how I am feeling or certain events or holidays. The response has always been positive from every class.
As I was starting to guide my class through the practice one morning, I thought to myself (yes, my mind wandered,for I am HUMAN), we have been coming to our mats every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the crack of dawn, talking, sharing stories, laughing and crying. At 5:59am, I shut the door and begin to share simple pieces of my life and experiences and base the practice on that. Why not give this awesome group a chance to do the same?
The students I see every week have become more than just “people or students in my class”, they have become friends /“FAMILY”.
Starting last week, I asked my yogi family if they would like to give the dharma talk and create their own playlist for the class.
It has truly been amazing listening to them speak from their heart, read quotes or poems. And the MUSIC…….stay tuned for the playlists to be posted under “dharma speaks music” section of the website.
“WE” are all helping each other taking our practice off the mat and into each others lives to show how life of yoga off the mat applies to your practice on the mat.
After all, we don’t just do yoga to change ourselves; we do yoga to change the world by changing ourselves.