What is the meaning of Shiva dancing on a dwarf named Avidya? Why does Vishnu sleep upon an endless snake? To what did the Buddha awaken? What do we mean by soul? The practice of Yoga has become quite common and popular in the West; however, the stories of Yoga are still strange to Western ears. What do these ancient symbols mean, what are they trying to teach us, and how should we incorporate the knowledge skillfully into our Western lifestyle? Shiva Dancing at King Arthur’s Court looks at the myths of Yoga along with the stories that have influenced Western culture, and we are presented with opportunities to select the best of both worlds, and create new maps to help guide us through the uncertainties of modern living.
Stories are fun! Important stories guide us and educate us; they create mental models which work at an unconscious level to help us navigate through our modern society and govern our reactions to the ups-and-downs of life; they provide meaning and purpose for our life; and our stories entertain and entrance us. In this book, Bernie Clark looks at the spiritual stories found in the West that create a base map for our lives and then looks at the stories found in the East to see how they could improve our base maps. The stories offered are mix of light-hearted and enjoyable, and deep and profound.
The importance of stories East and West are illustrated through the model proposed by the great 20th century mythologist, Joseph Campbell: myths, or stories, serve four great functions – the mystical, the cosmological, the sociological and the psychological function. The stories chosen illustrate these four functions of mythology and show how we can take these stories into ourselves to create a deeper experience of life.
“You may find that, with a proper introduction, mythology will catch you.” Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth
“In his insightful new book, Bernie reminds us that we have a choice in how we live our lives: we can hold tight to our beliefs, allowing them to dictate our reality, or we can invite every story (or even encounter) to be a gateway into the poetic multifaceted dimensions of truth, and the fluid nature of reality.” —Sarah Powers, author of Insight Yoga and founder of the Insight Yoga Institute
“By contrasting the metaphorical maps of different cultures, we become aware of our own, unquestioned assumptions. Bernie Clark’s book does this in a wonderfully entertaining way. It reflects his years of practice and teaching.” —Paul Grilley, author of Yin Yoga
“If you could record Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung’s conversation over a game of chess, it might sound something like this.” —Daniel Clement, founder of Open Source Yoga
About the Author
Bernie Clark has had a passion for science, spirituality and stories of mythology since his childhood days. He has a degree in science from the University of Waterloo, and spent over twenty-five years as a senior executive in the high tech/space industry. He has been investigating the path of meditation for over three decades and began teaching yoga and meditation in 1998. He is the author The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga 9781935952503 and YinSight 9780968766514, and the creator of the YinYoga.com website. He lives and teaches in Vancouver, Canada.