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Showing posts from August, 2009

Five Ways to Leave a Legacy

On this last day of the month, as we approach September, and its approaching fall rhythm, I share with you this wonderful piece from Jon Gordon's newsletter, which seems especially appropriate just a couple of days after the burial of Senator Ted Kennedy, because many have been examining his own legacy after having spent and lived the third longest tenure in the Senate...

"Every one of us is going to leave a legacy. It just depends on what kind. So what kind of legacy do you want to leave? I encourage you to think about it because knowing how you want to be remembered helps you decide how to live and work today. Consider the following ways to leave a legacy and then identify other legacies you can share.
1. A Legacy of Excellence - Saint Francis of Assisi said, "It’s no use walking anywhere to preach unless your preaching is your walking." To leave a legacy of excellence, strive to be your best every day. As you strive for excellence you inspire excellence in others. …

Gratitude for the Last Few Days

Jeff and I have returned from an exquisite break on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and we ended our too short sojourn there by sipping champagne on an 83 year old sail boat in the late afternoon yesterday, followed by a wonderful dinner in St. Michael's.

The sail boat ride was wonderful. There were only 4 others on the boat besides Captain Iris Clarke and her First Mate, whose sense of humor and knowledge was absolutely delightful. Her love of the Selina II, a boat which has been in her family for several generations was so palpable. We were accompanied by two local Bed and Breakfast owners as well, who shared a lot about the wonders of this little gem of a town, and were absolute fun to be with. I hope to return again and stay at both of their places because they were so passionate about what they do! I feel so lucky to have been so welcomed by three area business women!

I will list the web sites of these wonderful business owners that I met yesterday for those of you who are inter…

Relaxing on the Eastern Shore

After a busy summer - and an especially busy last week or so - teaching and subbing a number of yoga classes - I am finally on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for a few days...

After arriving yesterday afternoon, we settled in, became familiar with the surroundings, and slept in. We began the day by visiting the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge, where we were able to observe quite a number of bald eagles and other waterfowl. The first bald eagle we spotted was a magnificent specimen resting on top of a perch in the middle of a marshland. Then we were able to see a number of them flying about - their huge wingspans quite impressive and intimidating!

After that, it was on to explore a number of quaint towns around the area. It is so beautiful here - and laid back! I would love to own a place someday on the water. For now, my room with waterfront views will have to do!

There is something about communing with nature that enables me to feel a deep sense of connection and oneness with a…

Ishta-Devata Murtis and Other Musings

This past Sunday morning, I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Manoj Challam lecture on "Ishta-Devatas," and the symbolism of Hindu Deities and murtis.

Manoj also sells very beautiful and rare murtis - statues that are infused with spiritual energy. It is believed that one can experience transformation as a result of meditating before a murti.

I had bought a murti of an upside down Siva doing a one-handed handstand when I was in Denver in May. This particular piece is about liberation, and I feel Siva transmitting his energy to me. I also bought a very beautiful murti of Siva Nataraja - the Lord of the Cosmic Dance, which is the manifestation of Siva most commonly depicted and recognized.

Manoj described the Hindu deities as archetypes which reside in the collective unconscious which we can all tap into.

I bought three other murtis on Sunday. One is of Shakti by herself - Siva's consort - who is the expression of Divine Consciousness as Creative Energy. I also bought a murti of…

In A Different Relationship to the River

In the midst of so much busyness, I steal away to the river for a little while. I cannot remember when I was here last - it has been at least a week...

It is hot and hazy, and threatening to rain, and I find some time to visit the river between teaching a private lesson, and heading off to sub two classes for my own teacher this evening...

I paddle without effort. The surface of the river is blanketed by vast swaths of hydrilla poking through it. It has multiplied with great abandon since my last visit.

I head straight up the middle of the river and the feeling comes to me that this river is different. I am in a different relationship to the river - because I am different...

Only a year ago, I was paddling upstream working through very strong emotions. Now I simply paddle upstream...

Yesterday, I worked with a gifted craniosacral therapist and we both acknowledged that in the months we have begun to work together again after a hiatus of about a decade, incredible work has been accomplished…

Happy Birthday Anusara Yoga!

Twelve years ago today, John Friend founded Anusara Yoga, on a day that was already auspicious for many reasons.

It was also twelve years ago that I started teaching yoga, and that I took my first workshop with John Friend, and was blown away in more ways than one!

Today is also the birthday of the teacher who introduced me to Anusara Yoga, and this wonderful community, and who also gave me my first job as a yoga instructor. I was blessed to be able to complete my first teacher training with her, which I began in 1996.

Betsey Downing is today, one of the pillars of Anusara Yoga. She is currently the co-chair of the Anusara Certification Committee, and she has been a primary teacher to me in these last twelve years. She is a woman who exemplifies both humility and grace and it has been both a joy and an honor to witness her own evolution as a teacher and as a spiritual human being. I can think of very few people as committed to her own spiritual practice and growth.

I would not be where I …

The Fruits of Silence

I am off to a very full day away - subbing, visiting, and joining the group that I meditate with a couple of times a month...

I wish to share this poem that was inspired by a couple of postings, or "Tweets" by a woman whose posts are very inspirational and who goes by the name of @iamwun on Twitter...

Silence

God’s hand
embraces me
In Silence—
and draws me
deeper inside
of His Heart
in the Stillness
of the Night

“Deep inside the Silence
there is a seat of silk
and music and breath.
It patiently awaits my visits.”

All is well here—
in the Silence
and all is possible.
I can release the past
and dwell more deeply
in the Present Moment

“Let me bathe the past
in a waterfall of love.
It has been starving
for my appreciation.”

In due time,
all pain is transmuted
and the wisdom
of all experiences
is revealed—
if one is willing
to wait patiently
in Silence,
and trust
in the Divine
Order of Things

(Tweets from Elsa Joy Bailey, @iamwun, 8/9/09)

A Day and Life Filled with Blessings

I began this day by having coffee with a woman who came into my life a year ago, first as a yoga student, and now as a friend. I went to her lovely house, perched high above a creek that feeds into the very river that I paddle on. It was beautiful to behold a small arm that feeds the very body of water that has sustained my own journey...

My friend is a woman of faith and we shared our respective journeys with each other. Both of us have faced immense difficulties in the last couple of years, and have had to begin our lives anew and re-create our communities at a time when most at this stage are simply more settled...

My friend shared with me the impact that both my teaching and the reading of this blog has had on her. I was very humbled to hear what she had to say, for I began my writing so unexpectedly, not knowing or foreseeing that it would become an essential part of a long healing process.

After teaching yoga to a wonderful couple later in the morning, I decided to just do somethin…

The River in Summer Stillness

Today was a day I had to myself, and after sleeping in for a bit, I made my way down to the banks of the river...

It was warm and breezy this morning, and I immediately noted that the hydrilla has grown quite a bit in the last week - masses of these underwater grasses have overtaken parts of the river - staking a prominent claim to various spots.

The river I have encountered this summer is much more different from the one I entered for the first time about a year ago. Truly, the river has taught me a lot about impermanence and what it means. This river is different - but then - so am I. I am not the person I was a year ago either...

I paddled about for an hour, simply enjoying the river, and observing the activity of the bass. A whole lot of them were happily flipping about - some jumping around quite close to me - but I was never able to actually see one. The river has been pretty murky all spring and summer and quite opaque so that it is much harder to see below the surface.

Nobody was …

A Song I Heard in My Soul

Yesterday, before I left for Willow Street Yoga Center to teach a two day class in "Shoden," the first level of Japanese Reiki, I was mesmerized by a series of "tweets" or postings, by a woman who goes by the name "@planethealer" on Twitter. Her real name is Becky Bills, and she is a very sweet soul.

I was haunted by the beauty of her postings, and last night, before my evening meditation and retiring for bed, I found myself arranging it into a poem. I sent it to Becky this morning, and we agreed to co-author it, and post it on our respective blogs. So here it is...

A Song I Heard in My Soul

my morning came, gently
colliding with inspirations,
offered as blossoms
from the heart of another soul

our souls meet and merge
in that undefined place
known as cyberspace
where our hearts tune in to
the same vibration

I hear the song that is sent
in isolated verses,
scattered like sutras
that my soul delicately gathers,
carefully weaving
solitary strands and fibers
into a exquisite t…

A Yoga Pose, the Breath and Other Musings

This week has been busy, so the opportunities to sit as long in meditation as I would like have been scarce, but whenever I do sit, I can "plug" in and go deep, so I am looking forward to spending a little more time sitting next week...

Lately, I have had a wonderful sense of spaciousness and dropping the body during meditation - at times sensing only pure consciousness and experiencing everything as being mere atoms colliding and dancing with each other. It is nothing short of exquisite - or as a dear friend is fond of saying - delicious!

Once more, I feel like something has shifted, and I am enjoying this next stage and phase of my life...

My dreams seem more vivid as well. The night before last, I dreamed of doing the yoga pose - "Niralamba Sirsasana" - or, a "hands free headstand." In this pose, you are balancing upside down - on the crown of your head - with your hands by your side...

Mind you - I have NEVER done this pose - much less attempted it! Yet i…

Turning Points Noted Down by the River

There is something inside of me that has shifted...It is subtle...There is a clarity and a lightness that was not there earlier...

These last few days have been so special on so many different levels - celebrating birthdays here and there, reconnecting with dear ones, letting go of attachments and the past, quietly reaching and noting milestones attained...So many moments and experiences - some of them very interior - indicating a series of very tangible turning points...

I realize that I am able to feel compassion for someone for the first time - despite a rift that may never be healed in this lifetime...

I realize that I am able to drive down a road I have avoided for a couple of years because of the deeply painful and very emotional memories that it elicited...

I am moved to reach out and make a connection that I had avoided in recent years...

I am able to reunite with dearly beloved souls and feel an ease in our being with one another that had been absent for so long...

I find my medita…

Karma and the Play of Lila

This morning in the rain, I drove over to the other side of the river to take a yoga class on a wet, but wonderful Sunday morning.

The roads were nearly empty, and the class I went to was exquisite and delicious. Cheryl, an Anusara Yoga certified teacher, is truly gifted. She seamlessly wove her theme of "karma" and "lila" throughout the whole class, in virtually every pose - connecting her theme to every action in the pose in a way that made each one come alive and feel new. Her instructions allowed us to ground and create the container for our energies to creatively and playfully dance throughout the practice.

With great artistry, Cheryl also wove her wonderful knowledge of Tantric philosophy and spirituality with technical instructions that enhanced and deepened the practice. All of this Cheryl did with both grace and compassion, and I thought of how lucky I am to study every week at the feet of so many magnificent teachers that have selflessly fed my soul so deep…

Rumi - "The Lord is in Me" and "Love Said to Me"

I was sent a couple of poems by Rumi recently, and I wish to share them here. May you find inspiration in them for a glorious weekend!

The Lord is in Me

The Lord is in me, and the Lord is in you,
As life is hidden in every seed.
So rubble your pride, my friend,
And look for Him within you.

When I sit in the heart of His world
A million suns blaze with light,
A burning blue sea spreads across the sky,
Life's turmoil falls quiet,
All the stains of suffering wash away.

Listen to the unstruck bells and drums!
Love is here; plunge into its rapture!
Rains pour down without water;
Rivers are streams of light.

How could I ever express
How blessed I feel
To revel in such vast ecstasy
In my own body?

This is the music
Of soul and soul meeting.
Of the forgetting of all grief.
This is the music
That transcends all coming and going.


Love Said to Me
I worship the moon.
Tell me of the soft glow of a
candle light
and the sweetness of my moon. Don't talk about sorrow,
tell me of that treasure,
hidden if it is to you,
then j…