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The following bit of advice on how to finish our yoga practice was excerpted from The Crystal Mirror which Reveals the Machine of the Body: a book of instruction which grants—within a single year, or at least within this single lifetime—both the highest spiritual goals and the worldly goals of this life (Trulkor Selway Melong), compiled by Marpa the Translator, also known as Marpa Chukyi Lodro (1012-1097).

Marpa the Translator was a successful businessman, and at the same time was fiercely dedicated to maintaining the purity of the lineage. He’s a great example for those of us attempting to juggle both a spiritual life and a worldly life. As yogis we need range. We need to be able to operate in this world in order to serve others.

Master Marpa gives us some very precious and practical advice at the very end of his text on yoga asanas entitled The Crystal Mirror:

When you finish your practice of these poses,
Then send them with the final blessing
Of dedicating the goodness you’ve done
For the sake of other living beings.

Our teachers, our practice, any instant joy—any good thing in our life comes only from taking care of others in the past. Hence, the importance of dedicating, or re-investing our efforts for the benefit of others—particularly since in the beginning we may forget amidst the intensity of our practice to do so.

Remember to undertake the poses
Every single day,
Never missing a day.
This then concludes but a very brief
Presentation of the body’s machine.

Ojas, psychic grease in body and mind, builds up when we practice every day—hence, the importance of practicing every single day—never missing a day!

To learn more about the practice of dedication which was introduced in this post, please refer to the following course on The Knowledge Base:

Ripples of Light: Master Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, The Chapter on Dedication