Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Learning Vowels

The book I am using gives examples of english words when describing how to pronounce sanskrit vowels. Like the difference between the a in "America" and the a in "father". They are two different different lengths of the same sound. Try it-- say both words. Can you tell?

Our Roman script isn't this specific/thorough-- but sanskrit is so deliberate. I love it.

At any rate, I am finishing up the chapter on vowels and moving to the sounds of the consonants. This seems a bit more involved than vowels so I went searching for a video online which would pronounce the consonants for me.

I ended up finding this great video on vowels instead. Thought I would share it with you-- its a succinct  review for me, and I hope a fun experiment for you. It is 9 minutes long-- but if you are interested, your attention will be wrapped. Be sure to pronounce along with him. Good stuff (and the intro made me smile-- "Esoteric Teaching Seminars").

Monday, January 9, 2012

Practice and all is coming...

I continue my studies in Sanskrit-- which as I shared earlier begins with Devanagari (the script and pronunciation)-- though the holidays do take us away from our disciplines a bit, don't they?

What is it that motivates us to plug along and get through it while in school? 

Deadlines and the next class session when we know the instructor is going to expect us to have read our stuff. In self teaching, we don't have that incentive. As we find with yoga practice-- really with any endeavor-- self-discipline is key. We must stick with it to achieve our goals, to receive the benefits. I believe Pattabhi Jois said, "Practice and all is coming..." 

In order to keep me moving on this self-study, I have to develop a sort of curriculum. Anyone who knows me personally will smirk with that statement, because I am a systems-type person and welcome such an opportunity. I am going through chapter by chapter in a textbook I purchased online, and am working through assignments....

...and grading myself. The first test I did was more than a bit discouraging. I got 50% in translating from sanskrit to english, and 87% in translating english to sanskrit. *humbling* Being the lenient self-instructor I am :), I allowed myself to re-take the test, and received 100% in both the second time 'round.

Now for the system and the deadlines to hold me accountable. I get more grace than an academic semester, as I am not held by a 16-18 week timeframe. I will complete a lesson/chapter every 2 weeks and report back to ya with some interesting tidbit or highlight from each.