Darkness within darkness. The gateway to all understanding.
I've cultivated patience. I've sat with myself and the uncomfortable. I've waited and accepted. Now its time to take action...moving and making choices from my center...
Primary series. With a week of primarily bending backward it feels good to bend forward. More shifting happening. Looking and observing the changes without freaking out. Taking each moment, and each posture as it comes.
Took another long walk today after practice. The past week Columbus has been blessed with some of the most beautiful days...blue skies...low humidity...sun and warmth...calming cool breezes. Wonderful.
During the last leg of my walk I ran into a friend. She was ecstatic telling me...'we were just talking about you, and here you are!' Its funny how things work out that way. I was offered some insight that I needed. Before we departed she told me of a quote by B.K.S. Iyengar...'Don't be proud, be inspired.' I love that.
While you live, practice meditation. Do not meditate only hidden in a dark corner, but meditate always, standing, sitting, moving, and resting. When your meditation continues throughout waking and sleeping, wherever you are is heaven itself.
Out of sincere earnest I remember setting the intention...asking the higher power to teach me...to show me...give me a taste of being...I wanted to know It's true essence on the inside. I desired the opportunity to taste it, smell it, feel it, hear it, Know it. After all... that's what we are after in our daily practice...right? Or is it to look good physically and have a nice yoga butt? Let's be honest with ourselves. What is the purpose?
A friend of mine told me recently...Be careful what you ask for because more times than not...you're gonna get it. And I did. I wanted everything that has happened to me...to happen. Even the stuff that I don't mention in my blog...or I hate to say it...but don't tell even to my friends. There are parts I can't even share. I'm like one those gift boxes that have a box with in a box...with in a box...within a box...within a...ok...you get the point. It takes a while to crack this nut. Strange...but true. I contemplate alot...I have so many questions...sooo many...and many times I wonder if I will ever fit into the matrix of conventional life. I mean, I can smile and act as if I do. But, seriously...
Getting back to what I asked for. Well...I asked to be shown the Truth...and I was...but then I resisted...a part of me resisted like you wouldn't believe...and that is where suffering comes in.
Hey, I'm not afraid to admit it.
I vividly remember when I finally got a hold of my sister while I was in Mexico...and she was crying...she told me she thought I was dead. I felt horrible. But, its strange, at the time I wanted to disappear...not with anyone...nope...just me...I just felt...I wished I could just disappear...not caring if I anyone remembered me or not...just poof...into the abyss of nothingness felt more at home to me than being there at that moment. True.
I've been to extremely dark places internally...I have fought tooth and nail with myself... I've loved...exaimed...hated...detested...made peace with...accepted...criticized...many things on the inside...and have gone to many, many dark places.
I'm not painting a sorrowful picture here. Because in the end one must make peace with and have compassion for the dark areas. We ALL have them. Its just a matter of which we choose to feed...the Dark or the Light. In the end...no matter what...the light will win. That I know for sure. However, at the moment, I'm into feeding my Light. I can't allow the other part to consume me. And, anyway what I'm made of in the end can NEVER be tarnished.
Its about thriving...not just surviving...
I wanted to now my Truth...I needed to be stripped bare in every sense of the word to realize the realness of who I am. Yes, I resisted. Yes...I was fearful...look, I'm not that brave...ok. But, in the end all this had to be...for me to BE.
With all the space and emptiness I've acquired...all the nothingness that has come in... all the labels, identifications, material possessions, the desires...the wanting that has ceased...I now have the opportunity to be filled up by something authentically real.
So in any given moment I must decide...Will I resist or will I surrender? Will I judge or will I love? This is what I've been chewing on...
Grace descended because the vrttis in the head took a much needed vacation. Hope they went somewhere nice. :)
Well...with that being said, I took my time and enjoyed. Made it up to Urdhhva Kukkutasana A. Taking a step back...I have noticed in some postures, the more difficult ones, I have a tendency to disengage...and go somewhere else mentally. I've noticed this in Kapotasana especially. So, today I consciously made an effort to be present through the entirety of my breath. Interesting observation to say the least. If anything begins to strengthen in my daily practice...let's hope its my awareness first and foremost.
After practice I took an epic walk in and around the surrounding neighborhood and to a local park. When at the park, I was transfixed by a gentleman practicing Tai Chi. You know, I've come to the realization that nothing is more beautiful than someone living, breathing, moving, sitting...whatever...in the present moment. When watching, I felt myself being pulled into the present because he, unaware of me watching, was clearly, 100% in the moment...every movement he became One with. Every step contained beauty. Every turn was powerful, yet soft. Every bend was a symphony. Every twist was complete and whole. Such a sight...a blessing to observe. I learned much by watching him...nothing needed to be said. Nothing.
I've just discovered chia seeds!! An amazing superfood! Can't believe I'm just learning about them now. Following is a bit of info I acquired. Who knew that instead of growing Chia Pets we could eat them and benefit. Cha...Cha...Cha...Chi-a!
The richest source of Omega-3s
Chia Seed: 62.3%
Flax Seed: 54.6%
Hemp Seed: 19.9%
High in protein chia seed is a complete source of dietary protein, providing all the essential amino acids.
Chia is an excellent source of fiber-one serving can provide 30% of daily requirement.
This soluble fiber cleans the intestines by binging and transporting debris from the intestinal walls so that it can be eliminated efficiently and regularly. A daily dose provides an excellent fiber source; most see a difference in less than a week.
No gluten, virtually no sodium, grown without pesticides or toxicants. Chia has a high energy to weight ratio (more than wheat, corn, rice or oats) that makes it a favorite of long distance runners and athletes.
The gel forming property of chia seed tends to slow digestion and sustain balanced blood sugar levels. For the dieter, this means feeling full with no more peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels.
Great for weight loss.
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
A food of the ancient Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans.
Awesome endurance food.
Google it...very interesting...especially if you're a health nut!
Guess I've been living under a rock...just recently became familiar with the book Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. Never realized how popular the book was.
Several weeks ago I was corresponding back and forth with a fellow yogi from the U.K. on facebook. He offered to send me a copy. Just got the book yesterday and started to read it. I'm surprised how short it is.
There is an excerpt on Herman Hesse's life at the beginning of the book. He comes off as a very complex and interesting man who never liked to be tied down...always on the quest to discover Truth. I can definitely relate.
I showed up. Mind was way too active. This is becoming a frustration, however I do my best not to resist. Felt stronger today, but still a bit off balance. Eka pada bakasana rocked...why is this posture so elusive?...Meaning, it always takes me by surprise. When I come up to it I honestly never have an idea what will happen. Interesting. I'm probably still at the inconsistency phase which is part of the process. Still jumping into Pinch Mayurasna with both legs straight...however, the elbows still want to spread out...not sure how to work it...having the elbows out like that will make Karandavasana even more of a challenge. Geesh!
I've come to the realization that in the last several months its my mind that has weakened...not my body. All the stuff with not feeling well, and the lethargy...stems from my thoughts...the worry...the fear...and confusion...I've felt the subtle difference in my practice. Amazing how that happens. But, for me, its all in the mind...and I've felt the change. Something has gotta turn around...I want my fire back...I need it...but it was no one but myself who let it out. Its almost like turning a barge around...it'll take some work. But you know, I had to go through this to realize and come to terms with many things. Through acceptance, what has developed will not be in vain. Its a rebirth...but, I'm still at that stage where I just came out of the womb...my head all bent out of shape...with the body all sticky and bloody still. Maybe its a bad analogy but its all I got. :)
In that moment, by divine favor and the spiritual assistance of the sheikh, my heart was opened. I saw that within me was something resembling an overturned cup; when this object was stood upright, a feeling of limitless happiness filled my being.
Ok...Think I'm out of the dark. The stomach sickness has passed...let's hope...cross your fingers. On Sunday I thought it had passed, to have it come knock, knocking on my door yesterday making another appearance live and in color. Had some of the worst pains...anyway...glad that's over. Been cleaning up my diet...maybe that's what did me in. Too much arugula? Not sure...
Its always in my nature to dig deeper...so I did a bit of research on the unconscious causes of stomach/digestive issues. Following is something I found by Louise Hay.
The stomach represents digestion, not only of food and physical nutrients, but of new ideas, new ways of doing things, and accepting change of any kind. The Stomach is nothing more than a big flexible bag of muscle whose job it is to ripen and rot whatever is put into it. That is, its job is to break down what is put into it into a form that the body can deal with. This it does by adding Hydrochloric Acid, Hormones, Enzymes and Bile which reduces every sold morsel into an undifferentiated mass called Chyme. Simultaneously it rocks back and forth swishing and swilling this mess until it is liquefied and able to pass through the small Pyloric Valve into the Small Intestine where the actual absorption of nutrients mostly takes place. Metaphysically, when we come upon a new idea or a new way of doing things, the process is similar. First we must swallow the idea, either whole or in handy bite sized morsels, break it down into a form we can handle and finally absorb that which we need to nourish ourselves. In the same way that a bad diet poisons the body, toxic ideas, suppressed emotions and resistance to change can have a poisoning effect. In traditional Chinese Medicine, long standing emotional disharmony is seen as a primary cause of disease. Strengthening the Spleen/Stomach which between them are responsible for transforming food and water into Qi, and transporting it throughout the body, is seen as a key strategy to deal with almost any disease. Metaphysically we need to nourish ourselves every day, just as we need to eat nourishing foods. Just as the physical body needs nourishment to grow and carry on its day to day activities, so do the Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual bodies. Metaphysically, 'wellness' is not accomplished by a change in diet alone. Louise Hay suggests that the stomach holds nourishment, digests ideas. Problems indicate dread, fear of the new, and an inability to assimilate the new.~Louise Hay
Practice in the early a.m. felt good. However, I was a bit all over place because my body felt lighter. Well, physically it was...Could tell I lost several pounds in the last few days from the stomach issue. So, in some of the lifts and arm balances I was thrown a bit off balance. But, its all good. Just have to make the proper adjustments. Ahhh...it feels so much better to be back to normal...
In this body...are seers and sages; all the stars and planets as well. There are sacred pilgrimages, shrines, and presiding deities of the shrines...The sun and moon also move in it. Ether, air, fire, water, and earth are also there. All the beings that exist are also to be found in the body. He who knows all this is a Yogi.
Made it to morning practice...but, again my stomach didn't feel up to par. So, I stuck with Primary Series for the healing benefits. Not sure what's causing the distress in the stomach area.
If you don't realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow. When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, disinterested, amused, kindhearted as a grandmother, dignified as a king.
Okay, so I don't even have a clue what enlightenment is...nor do I ponder whether I will attain it. However, its interesting how we tend to think we know what self-realization is...or, better yet, what it's supposed to look like.
I remember once a mentor of mine told me that she new of an enlightened master who smoked cigarettes and cussed. Now that made me laugh. Because in our minds we conjure up what the picture will be, when in essence maybe those who are enlightened are completely, and entirely who they ARE always at any given moment...no matter what...living their Truth.
Simple, simple, simple...not always easy, easy, easy... :)
Felt unusually stiff this morning, and the mind active. So...it wasn't the most fluid and graceful practice ever...nevertheless I made it through...and what a relief. It's always worth it in the end... even when it feels like the body resists wanting to bend. :)
To attend to the moment is to attend to eternity. To attend to the part is to attend to the whole. To attend to Reality is to live constructively.
Came across an interesting article by Paulo Coelho...you know, the famous author of the classic book The Alchemist. In the article he quotes and transcribes work from Carlos Castaneda...and following are some of what he complied in the article featured in Ode Magazine.
Energy is the search for freedom
To seek freedom is the only driving force I know. Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there. Freedom to dissolve; to lift off; to be like the flame of a candle, which, in spite of being up against the light of a billion stars, remains intact, because it never pretended to be more than what it is: a mere candle.
The energy of silence
When we are quiet, we realize someone (or something) is trying to teach us. Whenever we manage to stop our inner dialogue, something extraordinary happens in our lives. We discover things we never thought of consciously but are there ready to help us. So the really difficult part is managing to attain silence--our head is always filled with songs, lists, things to do, worries, news in the papers and mathematical calculations of our financial possibilities. If we manage to stop this useless flow of reflections that leads us nowhere, then everything becomes possible.
Expanding on the classic work of The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, the book will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on May 29th. If you haven't had a chance to read this quintessential modern day classic definitely pick it up. Its a quick but delightful read regarding the 'hero's journey'.
When pondering my own journey, inspired by The Alchemist, I've come to the realization that there's really no need to seek out so much. In the last several months I've been experimenting, researching other practices, but then in the end...I wonder why? When I think back to when I began the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, in truth, it found me, I didn't find it. So, there it commenced...my journey within the confines of this challenging path embarked. Why do I need to seek out more?
The ego feeds on wanting more, and more.
I remember when I initially stumbled upon my first Ashtanga Yoga class...subtlety, I was blown away. In an instant I new this was for me...and, it radically changed my life, and perspective. Of course, the longer one practices asana it becomes only a small part of the journey. So, I've come to a place where my daily Ashtanga Vinyasa practice and Yoga Sutra study is enough. They both go hand in hand...and geesh...studying, practicing, contemplating the Yoga Sutras alone is a task in itself. And, if something comes along, and presents itself to me, chiding me to pursue it, then so be it. However, presently, what is right in front of me, at this moment, is enough....its more important that I delve deeply into one practice vs. skimming the surface of several other practices...and well, isn't it true that at the bottom of every well there is the same Truth anyway? And, isn't it enough that I continue to listen to my own inner voice while implementing the tools already present? Its time to continue digging this well, and honestly, its the deepest well I've dug thus far...why look anywhere else? And, its not really about having a narrow minded focus...but, the way I see it...like I have said before...if something comes along and finds me, then I'll be open to it...until then...I'm perfectly happy with what's before me...
Often when I step away from otherness into myself, I behold a most wondrous beauty. It is then that I believe most strongly in my belonging to a higher destiny.
Feel so much better today. Got up and took a long walk in the morning. The weather was perfect...the air was crisp...the perfect prescription...fresh air and sun. Took my iPod with me, but never had the desire to put the earphones in. It was almost as if I wanted all my senses to breath in the environment.
So, I'm gonna use the rest of my day to study, read...and take care of some odds and ends. Need to put together everything for my Visa.
I couldn't help but put the definition of liberal on my post. How did it become such a bad word in our culture? A while back I got into a conversation with someone regarding qualities I would like in a significant other, and the word liberal was one of the qualities I spoke of. It kind of struck a nerve. Interesting, how that word comes off as negative. I don't get it. Its funny, those who meet me think I'm fairly conservative. I probably am with myself, and the choices I make. But, at heart I'm a liberal. Just another bleeding heart.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.
Avidya ~ In yoga, identification with anything that is impermanent is called ignorance.
Gotta love the practice of avidya...its been my lesson for the year. Mother f-ing...avidya. Now, now. I'm not saying it isn't a worthy practice to implement. All I'm saying is that sometimes its not all that fun. Especially since every moment I get a chance, it gets slapped in my face. Hahaha. Anyway. Whatever, life goes on.
My day yesterday started off with a bout of nausea...which later subsided during morning practice. Then, off to meet 'the girls' at the park for a walk/workout session. My morning practice group is embarking on a 10lb weight loss challenge with their respective husbands. I don't really see where the ladies need to loose, but whatever...I think its great motivation when uniting in a group to achieve a goal. I've passed on the challenge...10lbs off would be a bit much for my frame...but, It just might happen with this bout of sickness I've gotten...However, I'm giving up coffee with the rest of them, and enjoying doing a little extra on the side.
I was gonna ride my bike out to the park to meet the group. But, alas, my mountain bike was stolen. Fuck!! Ok...had to get that out of my system. Just another material object to lighten my load...right? Well, I wish I would have taken it with grace, but it really pissed me off at the moment. But, life goes on...
Well, my nausea...and stomach pain came back in full effect later in the day. Lasted through the night and into the morning. Pain, no appetite, nausea. Was it the sprouts I ate? Dunno. Well, I almost skipped practice this morning...but, there are always these invisible hands that push me out of bed no matter what. During practice I felt better. After practice everything got worse...more stomach pain...no appetite, nausea, tired...small headache coming on. I crashed after practice. Woke up around noon...felt dehydrated...drank water, ate some non-dairy vanilla ice cream...which still bothered my stomach. Then I slept again...and here I am writing this post. :) Stomach still feels...blech! What's got me twisted up in knots?
Well...with everything, I booked my airline ticket today for the overseas yoga teaching gig. So, things are moving along in that area.
I'm excited, and at the same time apprehensive about the experience to come. Its natural...right?
It is my sincere wish that I will be of utmost service to the students. All I truly have is my passion for the practice, and a heartfelt aspiration to guide others in accessing the awareness within...holding a space for transformation. Seems like a tall order. But in the end I know it is not me doing the work...but the intent...a higher energy is working through me...A pretty special place to stand.
I've gone back and forth with the coffee. Intuitively, I know its not good for me. So, I'm quitting it for....let's see...the 3rd or 4th time. Don't know what it is about it...I like the taste...I like the little perk it gives me...but in the long run I'm left depleted. Why drink it for instant gratification...when in the long wrong I will gain no benefit? Its time to give it up for good. Gotta give up the black stuff...I'm moving on. You're not good for me anymore...I'm moving on to bigger and better things.
Trust the divine power, and she will free the godlike elements in you, and shape all into an expression of divine nature.
I've deeply grown to admire the qualities of the Goddess Lakshmi. When initially having an interest in Hindu philosphy, and passionately devouring the practice of Ashtanga yoga I naturally gravitated toward the characteristics and power of Shiva. Always desiring the appearance of strength and self-sufficiency of course that would have been my first choice. Constantly reinventing myself, and switching gears, change...the way I viewed it or desired it, was something I welcomed. Now, however, coming to a place of softening, and release, honoring my feminine energy has come to the forefront. Being fiercely independent before...not wanting to ever rely on anyone or anybody I've learned the importance of surrender, compassion, and the beauty of community. There's been a letting go of the fear appearing weak, and the realization that its okay to lean on others in times of need. I've had to learn willingness, and that an openness with one's feelings and emotions are not a sign of weakness...but a sign of strength. Its the holding on...the locking up...the resistance that block of the flow...When sitting in THAT space...the inner light shines through with no effort. Simply beautiful.
Digesting these qualities brings new energy and vitality to the practice. This morning, took my time to feel every movement...no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Amazingly, with all the conscious internal surrender proceeding in my day to day life, backbending has never felt this good in a long time. After my last drop back, when walking the hands in toward the feet for a final 5 breaths...I wanted to linger there...
Laskshmi's Characteristics: Goddess of prosperity, wealth, purity and generosity. The embodiment of beauty, intelligence, grace and charm. The manifestation of strength, peace and balance. The paragon of opulence, wisdom and auspiciousness. The Goddess of light and good fortune. The essence of prosperity, both material and spiritual.
The Goddess of Flow.
Female energy of the Supreme Being.
Consort and creative energy of Vishnu.
Portrayed as a beautiful lady with golden complexion, dressed in red attire and adorned with jewels. Lakshmi has four hands representing the four ends of life, Karma (desires), Artha (wealth), Dharma (righteousness), and Moksha (liberation). Holds a lotus bud in two hands, which stands for beauty, purity, spirituality and fertility. She sits on a fully blossomed lotus, a seat of Divine Truth.
Two elephants shown standing next to her denotes that ceaseless effort, in accordance with one's dharma, when governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity.
An aura of Divine happiness, mental, and spiritual satisfaction and prosperity always exists around her.
Resides in a place where virtue, righteousness, truth and compassion prevail.
Mantra: Om Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namah
Your own mind is originally as pure and empty as the sky. To know whether or not this is true, look inside your own mind.
It totally slipped my mind that it was a full moon today. Didn't feel overtly expanded in practice in the a.m.. However, I was a little out of it because I fell asleep at 7:30pm and didn't wake up until my alarm went off to meet my yoga group the next day.
Had a long yard work session with a friend yesterday left me feeling what I call a good tired when I got home...hence I had a marathon sleep session. Good stuff. :)
Practice Notes: My lats are incredibly tight. I may have to do some stretching outside of my practice to help ease the area. I feel its from years of jump-backs, and it starts to manifest in pinch mayurasana, because my elbows want to splay out. Specifically, the attachment of my lats to the triceps is what begins to tighten. Oh well...just a kink to iron out. Its always this constant balance of gaining steadiness and strength while maintaining openness, and flexibility. Hmmm...good qualities to posses off the mat.
The heart already knows the paths to right living. The heart does not need to study a subject that is native to it. The mind, however, can never know true goodness.
~excerpt from Love without End, by Glenda Green
Inspiring yoga video!!
Yoga is not eating too much, nor is it absolutely not eating, and not the habit of sleeping too much, and not keeping awake either.~Bhagavad Gita
Was up late talking to the Republican (a.k.a. Da'vid)...somehow, on less sleep, I sprang out of bed with more vigor for morning practice. When I get to bed early it seems a bit more challenging to wake up. What's that all about?
Breathed and moved through 2nd Series and part of 3rd. Feeling really good...I flowed with a steady focused pace. The body felt supple...taking a step back, and observing, I took any extra effort out of the equation. Went back to the basics in every posture...conscious breath...bandhas...driste...almost like a mantra. Then it dawned on me...to find ease in the practice allow the breath to breathe into the body...instead off the other way around. Consciously clearing the mind...focusing on the breath, driste and bandhas bring us ONE with the posture...as we sit in the seat (asana), grace descends, and everything showers upon us as the body opens. Its all rather simple really. Hahahaha...riiiiiight. I guess the better words for it would be, simple...but challenging.
After doing some study on Hanuman I feel compelled to read the Ramayana. Ahhh...so many interesting things to read, so little time. My stack of books to read increase with each passing day. There is the stack of texts to study in depth...then the novel/fiction stack...the nonfiction stack...the things I need to read again to gain greater understanding stack...its endless...but, I love it...I love to read.
I realize change is constantly happening, and what may be true one day...may not the other. However, I feel my mojoe coming back...and, I'm thankful for it...I guess it really isn't something to attain. Yes, everyday is different. But often times we ourselves close the valve of life and vitality...getting too caught up in thinking, questioning, doubting. The only reason why I say these things is because I've been there...I am there to some extent. Its through my own mind and nonacceptance for what is that stops the flow...its a huge learning process I'm growing into...sometimes with grace...sometimes not so much...hahaha. Most importantly however, just giving ourselves the opportunity to laugh at the blunders and drama of life we get tangled up in is a blessed practice...I'm learning to let go of the expectations, and instead, see what comes at any given moment while maintaining my center as best I can. Its all very interesting. What really ignites the spark is that I go back to...I'm learning...bit by bit, everyday...there is no place to 'arrive' to...its all right here right now. Pretty darn cool.
When you are fiercely angry or feeling joy beyond description, when you are at an impasse, not knowing what to do, when you are in terror or running for your life, know that such intense states of mind are fully permeated with the spanda, the creative vibration of divine shakti. Find her there.
I love the story of Hanuman...Thought I would dedicate this post to him and the purity of essence he represents. When I think about the muck I've been living in lately its the portrayal of Hanuman that pulls me up, and breathes new life into me.
Morning practice today felt a new vitality enter in...not because of anything that I did, but because I let go, and released...a lightness filled me. When standing at the top of my mat, I allowed the energy to move through. As an act of devotion, I showed up and was present. That is all it takes. Just being, and using the practice as a connection to something bigger than myself...makes all the difference...
Hanuman characteristics: bravery, strength, humility, wisdom, truthfulness, sincerity, loyalty, perseverance, utter selflessness, and devotion to God. A true Karma yogi, who does not seek rewards or fame. Represents selfless devotion and love.
Hanuman symbolizes the temperament of the human intellect, which is jumpy, uneasy, excitable and unquiet. It is only through the direct path of pure bhakti (devotion), that it can be made aware of its profound potential, and silent essence.
In Hindu symbolism, a monkey signifies the human mind, which is ever restless and never still. The monkey-mind happens to be the only thing over which a man has absolute control. We cannot control the world around us but we can control and tame our mind by ardent discipline. We cannot choose our life but we can choose the way we respond to it.
H ~ Humility and hopefulness (optimism)
A ~ Admiration (truthfulness, devotion)
N ~ Nobility (sincerity, loyalty, modesty)
U ~ Understanding (knowledge)
M ~ Mastery over Ego (kindness, compassion)
A ~ Achievements (strength)
N ~ Nishkama-karma (selfless work in service of God)
In the nakedness the spirit finds its rest, for when it covets nothing, nothing raises it up, and nothing weighs it down.
~St. John of the Cross
In the last several days I've been going through all of my old posts and labeling them...more of a time consuming task than I first gathered. Nevertheless it was the first time I've gone back and read past entries. I'm sitting here wondering what happened to my enthusiasm? What I wrote while in India left me feeling like what happened to that girl who was filled with faith and excitement? She seems to have disappeared at the moment. Maybe I can drag her out one of these days. But, I'm where I'm at for a reason. Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance...letting go, letting go, letting go. Gotta clear the old to bring in the new...and, no one said it was gonna be easy or necessarily feel good all the time. My trip to India was a wonderful spring board into a new way of life for me, and the whole concept of sitting in the unknown. I probably have a way of sounding like a broken record, but since writing this blog I don't think there has ever been a time in my life where I've had to contemplate so much, and for good reason...much has changed and shifted.
Speaking of the unknown...I'll be moving to Asia at the end of June. Once again, entering into something new all on my own. It's a bit daunting, and scary...but that's okay. Sometimes I wonder if I'll be lonely...or if I'll feel a bit isolated because of the language barrier...but, I guess there is no need to worry or harp on something that hasn't even happened yet.
Mystic: One who seeks a direct experience of the divine through various forms of meditation.
Practice this morning was simple and uneventful. Moved through primary and part of 2nd again. The body feels more at balance now...
Have I become cynical? Anyway, after some fumbling around via internet I came across a blog dedicated to relationships...and one of the posts was regarding whether there is a such thing as love at first sight...the consensus is NO. A couple weeks ago I heard the well known psychologist, Harvel Hendricks elude to the same thing on a talk show saying that the "honeymoon period" in a relationship is more like being under anesthesia...hahaha...funny.
I definitely felt this when traveling abroad. People from other parts of the world have a stronger finger on the pulse of the world. Very interesting...
Currently reading...thanks Eve!
The Mind is ever a tourist
Wanting to touch and buy new things
Then toss them into an already
While in Portland my sister took me to several different yoga studios. When traveling its nice to get a feel for the yoga culture in any given area. Always interesting, and fun. I looove Portland.
My sister has only been practicing yoga for about 6 months on and off. Its been a challenge keeping up when juggling a young child and busy job. However, now that she has left her post, at the moment it may be something that will more easily fit into her schedule. Anyway...I really enjoyed practicing with her. It was refreshing. It took me back to when yoga was all so new to me...being an open slate...just ready for the experience...no expectations, no goals, no nothing...just there for the fun, the breath...and sweat. With me having racked up a few years of yoga under my belt never once did my sister feel she needed to be where I was or compared herself. However, I must admit she's a natural...I could see that just from a teacher's perspective. But, more impressive was her openness and attitude toward the practice...even giggling from time to time. Sometimes after several years of the mat the joy diminishes and the checklist gets long...do I look good?...is this right?...when will I be able to? Yes, the beginner's mind is such a nice place to be... the openness...the spaciousness...the expansion...the experience! Its all so fresh. Being in that space is where I'd like to sit again...a much better feeling than completing 3rd Series...whatever that means...or thinking that I know so much...or feeling as if I must accomplish, complete, or perfect.
I felt elements of the beginners mind after subbing a Hatha class the other day. I had three newbies all lined up in the back...their eyes as big as saucers...their downward facing dogs all over the place...with very little spatial body awareness, it was a sight to behold. I made minor corrections...but part of me likes to just let students flow and breath in the beginning, letting them feel free and uninhibited...not feeling like I have to do a major overhaul on their first several classes. Let me just say, the joy and glow the young ladies had on their faces after class was priceless. They beamed...and truly enjoyed. I love that. They didn't reach some type of Yoga Journal cover girl perfection...but something connected..their light shined from the inside out...the practice resonated. It brought it home for me...how the importance of connecting to the innocence...and staying in the discovery...setting technique and structure aside. Its a breath of much needed fresh air. All three of them were extremely gracious and thanked me after the hour and a half...but, it definitely wasn't me at work...it was the true power of yoga work. I feel lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to see others transform and be more at peace. Its wonderful to witness. Like I have said before...I'm constantly learning from my own students...hopefully at the very least, returning the favor to some extent...what a priceless exchange.
Practice this morning I moved through Primary and part of 2nd Series up to Kapotasana. Out of nowhere we were greeted by a red fox that wondered into my friend's backyard. What a surprise! We have such a nice practice area, thanks to Lina. All of us face a row of big windows that open up to her expansive wooded backyard. Its nice to view the changes that happen back there while practicing. I remember back in March when the trees were bare...and now everything is green, alive, and vibrating.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
All this talk and turmoil and noise and movement and desire is outside the veil; inside the veil is silence and calm and peace.
~Abu Yazid Al'Bistami
Never really been into tarot cards all that much until I came across these cards by Osho. They have the most beautiful illustrations, and every time I've done a reading they seem to hit everything on the nose. So, once and a while I'll pull them out and see what comes up. I enjoy doing readings on friends as well...it all in good fun. My leading card today was Letting Go. Hmmm...very interesting. I feel as if I let go anymore I just might disappear. But, I understand where this card is coming from. Its more than an external letting go of material things, and identifications...but, also a shedding of my skin so to speak...a shedding of patterns and defense mechanisms.
I practiced at home today due to the fact that my practice group decided to take Wednesday's off. Took my time moving methodically...moving with intention. What a delight it was. I addressed several imbalances that have come about doing my best to be fully present in each posture not slipping into auto-pilot. It was nice...thoroughly enjoyed myself...feeling no need to rush or grasp. Sooooooo nice.
The pearl is in the oyster.
And the oyster is at the bottom of the sea.
In the last several days I've had several people tell me I've made them feel better. One friend told me I gave them hope. Not sure what I did. But, why does it seem much easier to help others see it, and yet I struggle with trusting, and feeling hopeful myself?
I can't deny the fact that I feel as if I'm teetering...as if I'm on the edge of something, getting ready to fall...or is it a jump? Dunno at this point.
As far as practice...I'll be sticking with primary this week because of my travels. I enjoyed my stint in Portland, but the trip out and back kinda threw me off balance. Just have to come to terms that my system is sensitive.
Continuing on to Portland...I was really impressed by it. From what I gathered its a wonderful place...very green...beautiful scenery...majestic mountain fews. Nice place. I could see myself there...or...somewhere in Cali...hmmmmm. I'm lovin' the west coast.
However, what was more impressive was my little niece. She's got such a deep eye view...a definite old soul...what a delight.
"You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your deep driving desire is, so is your will.
As your will, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny."
I feel as if I'm floating with nothing to anchor me. Is what I'm left with my destiny? Will grace come and carry me forward? Or do I need to push through and find my way? The latter hasn't been so successful for me.
The last several weeks have left me feeling a bit detached and withdrawn.
Been getting in tune with deciphering between my own inner voice and that of my ego's endless wanting. Wow...its relentless.
Why do I at the same time feel so deeply confused? It feels troubling, unsettling, and uncomfortable.