This blog includes reflections, creative work and resources. It is a glimpse of one person's journey within the realm of inquiry, experience with the human body and spirit. Look for ideas rather than answers. No claims are made. Perfection is not implied. I write as inspired to do so. Take what works for you, leave the rest. If you share anything from this blog, either verbally or in writing, please do your best to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for visiting.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
What he's demonstrated very clearly is that you have a choice. He took all that torment, all that agony, all that confusion and pain, and he transformed it into something beautiful. He's like a silk worm, you know. You take this raw material and you transform it. And you come out with something that wasn't there before. Something beautiful. Something perhaps transcendent. Something perhaps eternal. Insofar as he does that, I think he's representative of the human spirit, of what's possible. That you have a choice. "And this has been my choice, to give you Sugar Man." Now have you done that? Ask yourself.
- Rick Emmerson on his friend Sixto Rodriguez in the documentary Searching For Sugar Man
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
NOTHING ENDURES BUT CHANGE.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Monday, June 17, 2013
There was a period of time when I forgot how much I crave time with nature. The desire, however, expressed itself through consumerism. It was several years after moving to a city, working in another city, I wasn't getting outdoors much and I'd yet to reignite my joy of puttering in a garden. One day in a big box store it occurred to me how I often I was drawn to bird houses, things with floral prints and the like. Now, there's nothing wrong with bird houses and floral prints but for me at the moment I realized I was trying to purchase nature experience. Since then daily encounters are embraced: those moments in the garden when a new flowering bush has started to bud, enjoying the site of a tiny toad, feeling the ocean water hold me up or push me sideways, listening to a bird on the utility wire above. What a loop I'd been in: missing out on an important aspect of life experience, seeking it elsewhere, that elsewhere is destructive to what is treasured both in manufacture on one end and on the other, the time needed on my part to earn money in order to fill the gap. Now that's a sequence I can do without.
The Adirondack Park in New York is an extraordinary effort of mixing private land use, much of it subject to rules and restrictions, along with vast tracks of preservation. It's history holds a bit of ugliness in the struggle to find balance between lowered human impact and property rights. An imperfect arrangement of legislation in some ways, the spirit of the idea has endured since the late 19th Century, it is a gorgeous place. As barely part-time residents, my husband and I assure those who've always lived within "the blue line" (the park boundary) there is much to be appreciated. Everything has it's pros and cons. Everything.
My husband had been with a friend and his child on our local beach. The child expressed being bored to which the father said, "Do you realize people work long hours all year in order to save up the money and vacation time to come here for just a week? And that's if they're lucky." I'm not sure what happened after that but it wouldn't be a stretch to assume the child eventually found something to be amazed with in the sand dunes or at the shoreline. This story is a reminder to start where you are.
It may not be necessary, but maybe it is, to launch big legislation or battle over the preservation of a park. There are small opportunities everywhere, if one values the connection with nature.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
I've been horseback riding one to two times per week since August and have yet to fall off. It will happen though. In asana during inversions, wall work, OM Gym practice or even handstands and front flips in the pool I think about how the human body launches off equine creatures. This may be the best preparation as I had asked the riding instructor if falling off a horse is something to practice and he replied that it's a nice notion but there's really no way to do so. When it happens it just sort of happens.
When he was 64 my father fell off a ladder while trimming a tree. Although the accident resulting in serious injuries he felt Airborne Division experience was a lifesaver in that muscle memory kicked in for the landing. An ankle shattered as it is thought it absorbed the greatest impact. It was later discovered his neck sustained a break but it could have been worse. Maybe his theory of body preparation was correct.
All this said, let's aim for yoga asana practice to improve balance so unplanned meetings with gravity are non-existent or less frequent!
Sunday, May 26, 2013
- Alan Moore, on a transcendent experience with his art
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
According to something I read recently, Western languages lack a single, designated term for the concept of oneness and the nature of opposition contained within.
Fortunately, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu is available in many English translations. The World is smaller, the information vast, teachers are teaching. We'll just have to rely on more than a single word for the more important distilled experience.
For those who have expressed disappointment with the end of the Yoga In The Park class, remember you can always coordinate and continue to meet for individual practice. If you do so, please include me! I will and do miss getting together with the group.
Keep practicing! I know I'll always have a physical practice on my own, soft as it is.
1) Listen to your body's wisdom.
2) Live in the present.
3) Embrace silence.
4) Relinquish your need for external approval.
5) Relinquish your anger or opposition.
6) Total self-knowledge, the world is a mirror of states of consciousness.
7) Don't judge others.
8) Remove toxins.
9) Replace fear with love.
10) Cultivate witness awareness.
Now, he reviews, quite eloquently, several ways of approaching each.
Next, my study partner and I are going to work visually. It will be a pleasure to get back into art materials! Our guide, in addition to each other, will be Judith Cornell's The Mandala Healing Kit: Using Sacred Symbols for Spiritual & Emotional Healing. I will blog-post some visuals and insights as appropriate.
If you've followed this blog over the last 2 years you'll know we're heading into our 4th study. It is interesting (and not surprising) how similar spiritual teachings come around again and again. Each time we pick up a new series we marvel at how it feels as though the last prepared us for the current!
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Okay, so now that you've watched it...
It has the brilliance of anything the sharpest Zen master could conjure. And it's as though the writer-director M. Night Shyamalan has prepared a generation of viewers to appreciate a great twist ending. It is no surprise a yoga studio owner was the first to charge out of the room when Kumare/Vikram revealed himself. [Back in my regular teaching days owning a yoga studio was not a goal. The set of responsibilities that come with being a representative of a studio are heavy. So heavy Zen-riddle-like surprises may not always be appreciated.] I think Vikram gave those participants an awesome experience. I felt he had love in his heart for all of them and was respectful of their path. I wish I could have been one of them...
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
To apply and grasp each practice it's best to take notes, create cue pages for inquiry or a design journal or workbook-style formats. Some practices ask for writing, others silent reflection. It's fairly easy to navigate around the chapters.
This week we're working with #6, the concept of Self-Knowledge. He offers a list of 9 inquiries, the first 2 to be reflected in each daily 2-minute practice with 1 of the remaining 7 added in as well. It doesn't matter which of the 7 is chosen. Below is the "cue page" with notes that I wrote out to put in front of me for the daily, 2-minute inquiry. Without this summary sheet the DVD moves too quickly and that's okay because he's just providing an overview.
The world is a mirror of states of consciousness. We think we're seeing the world but we're seeing ourselves as the world.
2 minutes daily: ask the first 2 questions plus one additional from the bottom 7. It's more important to ask then to have an answer. It's in the asking!
WHO AM I?
WHAT DO I WANT?
What is my life purpose?
What contribution do I want to make to the world?
What creates joy for me?
Who are my heros and heroines?
What are my unique skills and talents?
What are the qualities I look for in a best friend?
What are the best qualities I can express in relationships?
I appreciate Deepak Chopra's light-handed approach. He doesn't put forth rules or doctrines but asks that we ask... that's all he's asking.
"Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That's kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It's not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us."
"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that kindness is a virtue."
Her words bring to mind Kahlil Gibran's words on love: When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And these words of Diane's have rested with me too this week:
"Enlightenment is a stress-free physiology"
I don't know Diane Roach but a friend has experience with Diane and her work.