I’m Doron Hanoch, And This Is My Dharma
Doron began his Zen and Yoga journey in 1992 while traveling through Asia for 2 years, and then returned for study and practice every few years. He studied with Richard Freeman, Mark Stephens, Tim Miller, Pattabhi Jois, Daido Roshi, Shugen Sensei, the Dalai Lama, and plenty more amazing teachers. He maintains regular practice as well as constant study and research of the full spectrum of yoga, from body and nutrition to mind and self-realization. He is a trained chef, Certified nutrition consultant, Yoga teacher (ERYT 500, RYS 500), artist and author of The Yoga Lifestyle: Using the Flexitarian Method to Ease Stress, Find Balance, and Create a Healthy Life (Llewellyn, June 2016)
Your Personal or Professional Goals:
I am devoted to live a life of sustainable happiness. My goal is to live a self-realized existence, caring for the eco world and the humans living in it.
At the moment I am building The Doron Yoga and Zen Retreat Center on Lake Atitlan – a spiritual home to develop both physical and mental power and clarity. I hope for it to become a home for my students and teachers – a place for them to return yearly to study, practice and meet the global Doron Yoga community. I wish for the center to become a beacon to those searching – a practical, no nonsense training center, that actually supports people in their transformation. I dream of a global community, empowering each individual to then go and share these teachings and love with others, promoting a successful and compassionate community world wide.
What’s your offering to the world?
The Flexitarian Method – The practical way to Bliss. I offer the gift of Zen and Yoga blended into a practical, efficient practice. No dogma, no woowoo, just honest practice. Healthy living teachings infuse traditional and non-traditional teachings to help people step out of conditioning and into authentic joyful living. I aim to keep the teachings in depth, respectful of tradition, yet accessible to all.
Who/What Inspires You:
Authentic and selfless people inspire me, such as my Zen teacher in New York and simple acts of unknown people taking care for others. Dedicated students that are willing to learn, make mistakes and grow from them inspire me. Reading books by teachers such as Tich Natt Han, JD Krishnamurti, Allan Watts, and other masters help me stay on the path and refine my daily practices. Going to India regularly and visiting my teachers while living very simply also inspire me.
Help people see reality for what it is, so they can live in true bliss.
Help them understand the power of the mind, and the freedom that exists beyond the thinking mind.
Can you tell us a bit more about your personal Journey?
I was born in Israel, in a conflicted land. I asked questions and never accepted what I was told unless it made sense to me. Why am I Jewish, what does it mean to be Israeli? Who am I now that I am also a US citizen? Am I the same person? How do I answer the question “Where are you from?”
I set on a journey to Asia – mostly India and Japan – to seek answers and learn who am I. Though many of my realizations happened during those 2 years, I continued life as an artist in Israel, and later also art and fashion photographer in Italy and New York. I used my art as a tool to investigate the human mind and its ways of projection. (Art site: www.doronstudio.com)
At some point I felt a bit conflicted with my dual life – that of Zen and Yoga and the other as a professional artist and fashion photographer. I began my shift with going to a holistic cooking school and soon after completing a holistic nutrition program in California. I added yoga teaching, and began leading workshops and retreats while living at Esalen Institute in Big Sur.
I never stopped asking questions or learning. I used a strong discerning mind to decide if what is taught makes sense, and then applied to my life, worked with new modalities with students and friend, till I had a new salad mix of my own. This led me to offer teacher trainings, and eventually to publish my book The Yoga Lifestyle: Using the Flexitarian Method to Ease Stress, Find Balance, and Create a Healthy Life. The book came out as a guide that blended these teachings into a practical manual that can help anyone begin manifesting the practice without needing to go to the Himalayas.
Can you offer a few tips to those on the path?
My mantra is: Show Up! Nothing is more important than stepping into the practice. Every day come to your mat and begin with something small. Sometimes it will end after ten minutes and other times it will be two hours. Maybe you just practice some breathing and setting intentions, or maybe a full practice. No matter what, show up!
All of life is practice, and to really make progress it needs to be yoga 24/7. Practice eating mindfully, walk with awareness of the body and terrain, or see the hand as it reaches for the faucet. Be mindful of all your actions, follow them with your senses, and slowly expand this to your feelings and mind as well. Living mindfully is the most important step to achieve appreciation and joy in life. It is also the step before stepping into the place beyond the mind.
Last but not least, allow yourself to be real, free from social standards and expectations. This will help you live more authentically and with fewer regrets, a big step towards enlightenment.
The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. (Albert Einstein)
Online and Social Sites:
Website URL: www.doronyoga.com/
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