Sunday, November 17, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
THE 2ND SPIRITUAL LAW OF YOGA, based upon the book by Deepak Chopra and David Simon & the Chopra Center 21 Days of Inspiration:
THE LAW OF GIVING AND RECEIVING~ such perfect balance, giving & receiving, breathing in oxygen from our plant kingdom and breathing out carbon dioxide to/for our plant kingdom~ such a beautiful example of GIVING & RECEIVING in LIFE!
"When you can give fully of yourself, while being detached from an outcome or expectation of being given to in return, you open yourself to the full abundance and love of the universe."
"I find that the more willing I am to be grateful for the small things in life, the bigger stuff just seems to show up from unexpected sources, and I am constantly looking forward to each day with all the surprises that keep coming my way." ~ Louise Hay
"Since ancient times, philosophers and sages from every spiritual tradition have taught that the key to experiencing deeper levels of happiness, fulfillment, and well being is cultivating gratitude. One of the earliest advocates of a daily gratitude practice was Dutch philosopher Rabbi Baruch Spinoza. In the seventeenth century, he suggested that each day for a month, we ask ourselves the following three questions:
1. Who or what inspired me today?
2. What brought me happiness today?
3. What brought me comfort and deep peace today?
This practice, wrote Spinoza, would help us find more meaning and joy in our lives and would lead to profound inner transformation. When our attention is focused on appreciation, the ego moves out of the way.
Throughout the day, notice the many things for which you are grateful...nurturing relationships, material comforts, the body that allows you to experience the world, the mind that allows you to really understand yourself, and your essential spiritual nature. Breathe, pause, and be grateful for the air that is filling your lungs and making your life possible."
For whom, for what, are you grateful, today?
om shanti, om gratitude,
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Based upon the book: 7 SPIRITUAL LAWS OF YOGA, and the CHOPRA CENTER'S 21 Days of Inspiration:
Let us begin with our 1ST SPIRITUAL LAW OF YOGA: The Law of Pure Potentiality~ Our essential nature is pure consciousness, unlimited by space or time. We each possess all of the qualities inherent in this realm, including infinite creativity, unbounded love, pure silence, overflowing bliss, and deep peace. At our core, we are pure potentiality.
In California some of the world's most ancient trees live~ the giant sequoias. The oldest known sequoia, estimated to be about 3,500 yrs. old, was only a seedling when the Vedic wisdom texts were being composed, and became a mature tree long before the Buddha was born, the Bhagavad Gita was written, and Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
What is the secret of the sequoias' incredible longevity? The elemental power of agni, the Sanskrit word for fire. Periodic forest fires clear away everything that threatens the trees' survival while ensuring their growth and regeneration. Without the fire's heat, the sequoia cones couldn't open and release their seeds. Without the clearing force of fire, sequoia seedlings would be overcrowded by competing shade trees and not have enough sunlight to grow.
Today let's celebrate the transformational fire in our body and life. Agni burns away physical, mental, and emotional debris, making room for something new to be born in our life.
What small step can you take today to release what's no longer serving you, opening the space for more light, energy, and joy? ...For your pure potential?
om shanti, om agni,
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
WHEELING ALONG OUR PATHS, on this SACRED SAGA, we embrace the 7th LIMB OF YOGA: DHYANA~ meditation...
"In DHYANA, psychological and chronological time come to a standstill as the mind observes its own behavior. The intensity of attention in the field of consciousness neither alters nor wavers, remaining as stable, smooth, and constant as oil pouring from a jug. Maintaining the same intensity of awareness, the attentive awareness moves from one-pointed concentration to no pointed attentiveness...in DHYANA the empahsis is on the maintenance of a steady and profound contemplative observation." -B.K.S.Iyengar
As we continue to utilize Rolf Gates' book MEDITATIONS FROM THE MAT, as a guideline along this 8 LIMB PATH of YOGA, he states that: "It is important to understand that DHARANA and DHYANA are skills we can cultivate. In fact, the eight-limb path itself and the names given these states of mind were established long after the fact. The YOGA SUTRAS are simply describing experiences that human beings had already been having for centuries. The point of understanding the difference between DHARANA and DHYANA is that our understanding can inform the way we approach any endeavor.
Think of DHARANA and DHYANA as aspects of the anatomy of excellence in action. Equipped with a model of how we and others have achieved excellence, we can better prepare ourselves to live our dreams. DHYANA is that profound place that sports psychologists call "the zone." It is that place where the musician and her instrument disappear and there is only the music; the timeless place in which the public speaker no longer speaks from knowledge but from an unerring sense of the moment. Through fearlessness and dedication we leave behind the everyday impediments and enter the realm of pure energy...unerring right action. All of us have the capacity to live from this place if we practice.
We've so often heard the famous yogic quote: "YOGA IS 99% PRACTICE AND 1% THEORY."....So, let's take a deep breath, and go practice...practice BREATHING INTO THIS MOMENT, NOW...practice CONCENTRATING ON THIS BREATH, NOW...practice MEDITATING wherever we find ourselves right HERE, RIGHT NOW...practice~again & again...
om shanti, om love, om practice...
Friday, May 24, 2013
As we ADD THIS 6TH SPOKE TO OUR WHEEL, a SUPPORT for this JOURNEY in our lives, we consider this 6th Limb of Yoga~ Concentration...
"FIXING THE CONSCIOUSNESS AT ONE POINT OR REGION IS CONCENTRATION." ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
As Rolf Gates shares: "We learn to bring our attention to one point, and train our minds to stay there. The point of concentration can be external, as in asana, or it can be internal, as in meditation.
On the mat we experience DHARANA quite often, during those moments when we lose track of time, when our mids become so absorbed in the physical experience of a posture that we are no longer connected to everyday concerns. In dharana, the past and the future have dissolved and we are simply existing in the NOW...
When we are doing something we truly love, we connot help but give ourselves to it wholeheartedly. DHARANA, therefore, is a by-product of love. In the clarity of a focused mind, we find that timeless place where we connect with our soul...
In baseball, pitchers are told, 'Throw the ball, don't aim it.' This is a good example of the difference between knowledge and the knowing that is beyond knowledge. To aim the ball is to come from a place of knowledge, of trying to control events. To throw the ball is to let go into the flow of the moment, to trust events and your place in them. To aim the ball is to affirm your separateness; to throw the ball is to affirm your connectedness. In aiming there is much mental chatter; in throwing there is no sound; there does not need to be.
The regularity of asana and meditation practice provides us with the chance to see both forms of activity for what they are. We can think about a posture or we can embody it fully, without reservation. We can sit in meditation at war with ourselves, trying to stay with the breath, or we can surrender and soften into stillness...
DHARANA is throwing the ball. It is the quiet that occurs when we flow into a posture or let go into meditation. It is the mind pouring itself like water into a moment. It is the stillness that is beyond knowledge.
OM SHANTI, OM PEACE, OM DHARANA,
Monday, April 22, 2013
With ALL THE RAIN we've received this April in Michigan, our WHEELING ALONG our paths has often revealed BUMPS & LUMPS in/on the roads, huge puddles, mud & muck...and, OH, THE BEAUTY OF SPRING buds, the sounds of new life & birds, the richness of the sun's rays through tree branches, the quiet after the thunderstorms...and we truly need the next SPOKE OF OUR WHEEL:
PRATYAHARA=TURNING INWARD...sometimes described as: "Withdrawal of the senses"~ Simply closing our eyes, is a beautiful beginning in the practice of PRATYAHARA...eliminating the external, visual stimuli of that person walking into yoga class, the red convertible driving by the window, the gray storm clouds gathering in the sky, the dog's sad face after her surgery...as we close our eyes, the myriad distractions=which lead to more thoughts= diminish...
And what happens if we turn off, or choose to walk away from our phones...allowing the sense of hearing to take in no TV, no repetitive news stories of the travesty of Boston's Marathon, no IPOD music, no conversation...just for 5 minutes~allowing the SOUNDS OF SILENCE, of NATURE to be ALL we embrace...WITHDRAWAL OF THE SENSES...
Pratyahara INVITES us to JUST BE...to sit & breathe, to close our eyes, and open our minds & hearts to THIS MOMENT, HERE, NOW...to let go of our external seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling...and go within...THIS JOURNEY INWARD can last moments...and reveal so much ... dare we explore this 5th LIMB OF YOGA?
Try this, right now...JUST SIT, STAND, LIE DOWN, AND CLOSE YOUR EYES...BREATHE IN, HOLD THIS BREATH, LET IT OUT...AGAIN, BREATHE IN, RETAIN THIS PEACEFUL PRANA, LET IT GO...EYES CLOSED, HEARTS OPEN, BREATHE...
om shanti, om peace, om love,