"You are what you love not what loves you." ~Donald Kaufman
It's in the giving that the gifts come...without fail. I feel lucky and blessed to have met someone who has shown that so eloquently...and inspires me to do the same...hopefully everyday...in some small way. Just the act of being free with yourself...your feelings and being open to others without judgment is an important part of my process...and because I have put that out there...there's a force that has shown it to me since setting that intention...wonderful how that happens. And, its interesting how opening to that can bring about your fears...those dark parts that we all have. What is it again?...When we open to the light...many times it exposes those fearful parts...but its good...at least we can have the awareness they are there...and then, deal with it as we see fit.
Its amazing how powerful our intentions can be...and, when I feel like my heart just can't take anymore opening or allowing it to feel those scary parts...it can...it really can...just like any other muscle...you have to work it out for it to become stronger...more open. And, what a blessing to be shown such examples of strength...perseverance...and love from others I have met. It humbles me...inspires me...wakes me up to a deeper part of myself...and I can only hope to continue down that road. Of course there will always be some bobbles...but if I align myself back to intention everything becomes more clear...more focused.
So...on Friday after lead primary Sharath invited me to lead intermediate class on Sunday. And, I can't tell you how great it was...it being a smaller group...and the fact that Guruji lead the class. He seemed to have more energy and vigor than ever...so cool...For a man of 92 he never ceases to amaze me...He has the perfect balance of commanding presence mixed with soft sweetness. Not very many can carry that off. I had such a surge of energy too...it was one of those experiences I will always remember. Also, I don't like to name drop...but one of my all time favorite teachers was in the room practicing as well and it was all kind of surreal...being in the room with others who have lived and breathed this practice much longer than I. Its not about putting people above you but one can't help but feel the energy of those who have done the work. Many times I remind myself...if this is what's waiting for me after 30 years of practice...sign me up!!
So...I'll say it again...and I will continue to say it...I thank you...The only words that seem to have meaning to me right now is that...Thank you...I'm filled with gratitude...Peace.
"You are now in control of your life. You see, the ego is never in control. The ego is controlled by wishes for comfort and convenience on the part of the body, by demands of the mind, and by outbursts of the emotion's. But the higher nature controls the body and the mind and the emotions. I can say to my body, "lie down there on that cement floor and go to sleep," and it obeys. I can say to my mind, "shut out everything else and concentrate on this job before you," and its obedient. I can say to my emotions, "Be still even in the face of this terrible situation," and they are still. It's a different way of living. The philosopher Thoreau wrote: If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps he hears a different drummer. And now you are following a different drummer--the higher nature instead of the lower."
Quotes by Gandhi
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice with in.
It may be long before the law of love will be recognized in international affairs. The machineries of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
"In India, I found a race of mortals living upon the earth but not adhering to it, inhabiting cities but not being fixed to them. Possessing everything but possessed by nothing."
So...as my stay in Mysore starts to wind down a bit...I've started to feel a tug in my heart. Especially after a day like today...it was so beautiful...with the warmth of the sun shining brightly along with a comforting breeze that makes you want to inhale deeply...as if it was your last breath. Its days like this that make me happy to be alive...that make me feel so full. This place will always feel home to me somehow...and, it wasn't a hard thing to feel...not at all. Weird...I don't think I have felt this much anywhere else...except for maybe Belize. But, its time to implement and put into practice the growth that I have experienced. Its nice to stay in comfort...but sometimes we need to take the lead and step out and expand in this knowing...I have taken so much to heart...of course I'm prepared to be in the dance of stepping back as I continue to step forward...But, just as long as I continue to be okay with me and my process...trying not to judge...being with what comes...everything will be fine.
I can't say it enough...the learning process on my mat every morning has been invaluable...but what came unexpected is how much I've learned from the many yoga practitioners here that I have met from all over the world. I mean...there's a common bond formed when your crazy enough to get up before dawn to do this challenging practice...breaking open your fears...testing your limits...experiencing untapped potential...why not...right? Otherwise...how boring would it be not to. It is better to experience than not to experience. Peace.
"There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." ~Morpheus
On this day...I wasn't too sure of myself...and my path. And, when I say this I'm not talking about physically...I'm talking about that internal realm that many times we would prefer to run away from. This is classic for me. And, no one...is tougher on me than I am on myself...and that has got to stop. Sometimes we get so caught up in what 'something' should look like or be like. This is love...this is a loving person...this is what its like when your living spiritually...and to be honest with you I don't buy into that...not anymore. When we put expectations on someone else...and how they should be...we miss the opportunity to truly see someone...and love someone for who they really are in that moment. What a tough lesson to learn. And, I have also come to know that the more I tap into my own essence the easier it is to be in that space.
Many times I have learned the most from those who are a little rough around the edges...because its not necessarily always about sweetness...its about TRUTH...Its about being in a honest place with yourself...whatever that may be...Anger...Happiness...Envy...Jealousy...Joy...Lust...Whatever, doesn't matter...just feel it...be with it...Be aware...No need to run...Even though many times I want too.
So...I'm struggling right now...to find clarity with the side of myself that wants to shut down and not be open and free with what I am feeling. Am I still stuck in my past experiences? I dunno...I don't even want to analyze this anymore...For it won't do any good. Sometimes when you feel something so strong...That light we all have...and its simmering inside...it just feels too hot to handle. Can I do it? Can I handle this? Can I? What is that saying again?...About being more afraid of our light than our darkness...and to love...truly love freely...deeply...
Now its becoming more clear...even as I type these words...what my purpose is...in this life...and as scared as I am right now...I know without I doubt...That I must walk forward... without looking back...
Happy Birthday Elle...My first friend made in Mysore...I admire your spirit to laugh and enjoy life... Your honesty balanced with compassion...You always seem to have an uncanny knack for sensing what people are about and you haven't been wrong!! Amazing. You've brought out a different side of myself...Thank you or Khawp Khun Ka!! Peace.
"The distinction is subtle, but it is the same distinction as between the mind and the heart, between logic and love, or even more appropriate, between prose and poetry.
A destination is a clear-cut thing; direction is intuitive. A destination is something outside you, more like a thing. A direction is an inner feeling; not an object, but your very subjectivity. You can feel direction, you cannot know it. You can know the destination, you cannot feel it. Destination is in the future. Once decided, you start manipulating your life toward it, steering your life toward it.
How can you decide the future? Who are you to decide the unknown? How is it possible to fix the future? Future is that which is not known yet. Future is open possibility. By your fixing a destination your future is no longer a future, because it is no longer open...
When you decide a destination, it is the past that decides. You kill the future--then you go on repeating your past, maybe a little modified, a little changed here and there according to your comfort, convenience. Repainted, renovated, but still it comes out of the past...
Direction is something alive, in the moment. It knows nothing of the future, it knows nothing of the past, but it throbs, pulsates, here and now." ~Osho
So...I have taken a bit of a risk...well...actually I have taken some tiny ones before hand...you know...to test the waters...before taking the plunge. Its funny...and scary...but going down this road takes a huge amount of trust...call me crazy...and maybe I have gone crazy...but this has been a whole new way of thinking for me. Well...actually...I have learned these concepts...and talked about them...thought about them...but to truly apply them is a whole other story...right? I mean...that's the part that makes your stomach drop. But, I have found once I keep that winding tape in my mind calm and see it for what it is...and go with my gut...It feels good...Like with anything...moving forward...its gonna take practice.
Speaking of practice...what can I say really? What can I say that I haven't said before...I arrive to my mat every morning just wanting to connect...plug in...Its funny how each posture only lasts 5 breaths...what an opportunity not to get attached to any one asana...and just flow with each connecting movement. No need to get stuck on a particular struggle of a certain posture...for you have to keep moving forward...connecting...plugging in...breathing. And, to know that what your presented with this day...or each moment is where you need to be...to feel...to become more in tune...and come to realize who we really are...in the simplest most basic sense. Yes...people want to know and stress such importance of what 'posture' I am on...or...what 'series' I am doing...and its no big deal really...for others to ask...but, I continue to be blown away by something deeper...that has shifted inside of me. Really, I have come to know that the invisible parts we dabble with in this practice is where the power is...and wow!! All I can say is...Incredible! Peace.
by Madonna (Confession on Dancefloor 2005)
Dedicated to Todd & Hector
There's only so much you can learn in one place
The more that I wait, the more time that I waste
I haven't got much time to waste
Its time to make my way
I'm not afraid of what I'll face
But I'm afraid to stay
I'm going down my own road and I can make it alone
I'll work and I'll fight till I find a place of my own
Are you ready to jump
Get ready to jump
Don't ever look back, oh baby
Yes, I'm ready to jump
Jut take my hand
Get ready to jump
We learned our lesson from the start
My sisters and me
The only thing you can depend on
Is your family
Life's gonna drop you down like a limb from a tree
It sways and it swings and it bends until it makes you see
Are you ready?
There's only so much you can learn in one place
The more that you wait
The more time that you waste
I'll work and I'll fight till I find a place of my own
It sways and it swings and it bends until you make it your own
Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed. ~Buddha
For the last several weeks I have been dealing with a shift in my thoracic spine...Its hard to explain...for its not painful...but can be a bit annoying. I did a few sessions of acupuncture to help bring energy flow to the area...hopefully breaking up any congestion. Then today during practice it hit me...when experiencing growth in your body or even in life...the old way of moving or living needs to be no longer. Once that bit of wisdom hit me I approached everything differently...and it made a world of difference. My old way of moving through that area wasn't working for me anymore...and with the growth that I have experienced...it forced me to approach the practice in a whole other way. How wonderful...and what a great metaphor for life...as we grow and change...the old ways just need to fall away...as we move into a new way of being...approaching things with fresh eyes...taking our awareness even deeper. Isn't that what this practice is all about. Not necessarily accomplishment...but deepening...awakening...experiencing...becoming more aware. My body has already been through various changes and I am coming to know that with these growing pains it leads me down another path of exploration and discovery...and when we are in that space...it all comes!! No need to judge...or push against...go with it...flow with it...be with it...and then...everything seems to fall into place.
So...life is interesting...as I have watched things unfold here in Mysore...not just in my practice...which is only a tool...but with my attitude...and the weird coincidences and connections I have made here. It continues to boggle my mind...but hey...I have no complaints. But, I must say...I have heard it time and time again...India...is something...and it does something to you...and I dunno...its strange and magical at the same time...it tugs at your heart somehow. And...unexpectedly I have connected with someone that has come quite unexpected...in a way I can't explain...and like I have said before...there is no need to...because words are words...and the unseen...and the knowing...are what is truly real...The right people just seem to come at the right time. Wow. Amazing. Peace.
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do."