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Showing posts from April, 2014

Embodied Practice: Become What You Love

Have you ever seen or envisioned something so beautiful and perfect that you wanted to lose yourself in it, to merge and become one with it? Even if you didn't have that exact thought, "I want to merge with this," you may have gazed at a painting, a sunrise over water, the full moon on a clear night or a beautiful animal in nature, and forgotten where or who you were in that moment. 

Certain fleeting moments can give us the feeling of being transported to another realm or level of existence where we feel peaceful, blissful, and whole, and where time seems to stop. Sometimes we experience this in a relationship; our walls crumble and we feel at one with another person. 
These experiences of unity are a shared human phenomenon. People seek out and cultivate unifying experiences. In Yoga, we most definitely cultivate wholeness and unity; the word "yoga" literally means "to unite," "to join," "to yoke," from the root word yuj. 
Thousands …

A Lesson from Mother Earth

This Earth Day has me thinking: many of the lessons our mothers teach us, especially our Mother Earth, are so simple they are easy to miss. Our mothers teach us what is basic and essential from an early age: eat healthy meals, groom and dress neatly, go to bed at a reasonable hour, be kind to family, friends and pets. Mother Earth teaches us that when we nurture and cherish life, it grows, that we can be fed from our labors, that life follows natural cycles, that the greatest gift we possess is life itself. 

We distance ourselves from our mothers as we grow older and step out into the world on our own. We find other teachers and more complex lessons and develop pride in our own accomplishments. At certain times we once again draw near to our mothers and are reminded of our roots, of what makes us who we are and of the truths we cannot avoid. 

Today, many of us make a conscious connection to Mother Earth. This time of year I love to lie down on the grass and stare at the sky and smell th…

Your Immovable Anchor

"Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are." -Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

We have all faced adversity in various forms; adversity is part of the human condition. We live in an ever-changing world and universe, occupying bodies that age and spaces that deteriorate with time. Over the span of our lifetime, we will inevitably lose many or most of the things and people we love. In spite of this fact, we persevere and experience fulfillment anyway. How do we do it?

This week my family was poignantly reminded of the reality of impermanence when my sister's dog had his jaw ripped off by another dog. Pets are like family members. We share deep bonds with them. We grieve when they are injured and die. My sister told me that after this horrible accident she went running down the street holding her bleeding dog in her arms. Because she was in shock, she tripped and fell three times a…

Wanting What Others Have

Something that gives me peace, joy and a sense of purpose in life is appreciating the commonality of the world's belief systems. In the wisdom and faith traditions of the world, the essential teachings remain the same: this builds my faith in Oneness. For example, we find the Golden Rule expressed in all major religions:

Another universal ethical teaching is a warning against "greed-based desire rooted in jealousy" (Davidji, Aparigraha: The Forgotten Yama). The fifth yama or ethical precept of Yoga is aparigraha, usually translated as non-greed: aparigraha is a mindset that keeps us wanting more and focused on what the people around us have. In the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible the 10th Commandment is, "You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor." Of course these basic precepts can be expanded and enriched to cover other related behaviors and attitudes, but at the foundation of aparigraha and non-covetousness is an admonition against greed…