In the winter of 2005, Paul Grilley and I taught a Yin and Vinyasa Yoga and Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training in Napa California. In order for the students to receive their certificates of completion for the course, we assigned a paper, a kind of thesis about the course. Paul and I each took half of the entries home post training to read. I got a call from Paul exhorting me to read Bernie Clark’s paper, he said, “It’s one of the best I have ever read.” It was.
While that particular paper is not included in this book, it portended what is. Bernie has written a beautiful, thorough, humorous, and insightful book not only on Yin Yoga, but about the broader umbrella of Yoga in general, and further, the value of combining an eastern spiritual perspective with western scientific rigor.
It’s not Bernie’s intention here to write the definitive history of the many schools of thought he outlines, but he nevertheless manages to present not only an ambitious (and to my mind successful) map for further exploration, but also reflections on how that map could be looked at. One minute he writes on the basic praxis and theory of Buddhism, the next on the western view of the mind, as postulated by Carl Jung.
This book is a wonderful place to begin to grapple with these topics. A quick glance at the chapter headings gives a clue of the breadth of what’s offered: Prana, Bio-Electronics, Chakras, Cognitive Therapy, Meridians, Bones and Cartilage there is something interesting here for just about everyone, whether one is initially drawn to these subjects or not.
To love one’s subject, and to realize the value that any subject has to change human understanding and behavior for the better, requires intelligence, dedication, and a facility for communicating that potential. Bernie proves here that he has that facility.
During the course of the trainings and retreats of mine that Bernie has attended, he has proven himself to be a thoughtful and dedicated student and teacher. He’s doing it again here as a writer.
May this book create a bridge of understanding and dedicated practice and be a vehicle for extending the possibility of true freedom.