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Showing posts from September, 2009

Imagine...For a Moment

I received this recently via email. It was written by David Ault, and is a beautiful reminder of what it means to be in the present moment and all that it could offer...

For a Moment

For a moment every eye sees a petal
begin its journey from stem to ground.
and in that thimble full of time
where all worry becomes extinct -
all futurizing over what might be
or what could happen ceases,
then the world, in relaxation,
unites in the joy of the now.
Yes, imagine for a moment
there is no worry.

For a moment every inhale welcomes
wellness and the world feels relief
from the accompanying pains of disease.
The air hums with the sigh
of billions expressing their collective relief.
Yes, imagine for a moment
there is no pain.

For a moment everybody wins
and the victory circle is electric with the hugs,
handshakes and prayerful bows
of authentic acknowledgment.
It is the delicious moment when every mind
with every heart conceives the truth
that there is more than enough for all.
Yes, imagine a moment
that everybody wins.

Fo…

A Sacred Pause By the River

I continue to be a bit under the weather, sleeping more than usual, cooking, nesting, and purging closets and drawers long neglected, in a seasonal display of releasing...

This afternoon, after running some errands, I grabbed a croissant and coffee, and headed down to the river. It was a wonderfully breezy day, and I could see a legion of undulating ripples passing me by. I carefully made it down to the rocks to survey the river more closely, and realized I had not come down to spend some time from this vantage point, in perhaps a year. The configuration of rocks and the landscape were not as familiar as they once had been. As I looked out, on the broad expanse of the river, I knew that in a few short weeks or days, the colors would be changing...

I watched one kayaker carefully arrange his fishing gear and launch into the water, as I reflected first, on the role this river has played in my life, and then on some passages I had read recently...

Last night, before I drifted off to sleep, …

I Didn't Know My Own Strength

On this beautiful Sunday day, I slept in, feeling a bit under the weather. I think the trip to Paris took its toll and my body just needs to catch up, rest, and recuperate...

I am sorry to be missing the weekend workshop with the beautiful yogini goddess Sianna Sherman, an exquisite Anusara Yoga, Certified Teacher, but I realized after attending one session yesterday, and coughing a bit and feeling exhausted, that it was best to come home...Sometimes, that is the best that we can do. While I am disappointed, I know that I have made the right decision...

There is a part of me that would love to go down to the river today, but I go there in my mind instead...

I listen and watch the incomparable Whitney Houston, sing her new song, "I Didn't Know My Own Strength," on Oprah (via YouTube), and I am amazed at her comeback, after truly hitting the deepest bottom one could possibly reach.

While my own experiences these past couple of years shy in comparison to hers, I too, learne…

Living Deeply

Every so often, Jamie Allison, one of my favorite Anusara Yoga teachers, sends out a newsletter. I always find it to be full of beautiful insights for me. I have excerpted her latest here for you, because it may speak to many of you as well...
"Squirrels are busy stuffing their cheeks and boroughs with seeds, nuts and grain. A pair of woodpeckers and their brood of fledglings gather at the birdbath and speak to each other in soft chirps. Between sips of water they dance around the rim of bath. Held by Nature, their only purpose is to continue their species and seeking meaning is not with in the realm of their awareness. Life is their purpose.At the juncture of Autumn Equinox I ponder the threshold that marks diminishing light and lengthening shadows. On this particular day we are embraced by equal day and night. We are placed in the seam between contrary complements, between light and dark, between what was and what can be. Indian summer is found in the seam between summer's …

The 5 Keys to Stress Relief

These helpful suggestions come from the latest edition of the Chopra Center's online newsletter, "Agni," and they seem very appropriate to share here...

The 5 Keys to Stress Relief

"Do you remember the last time you were so absorbed in a suspenseful movie or masterful novel that the rest of the world dropped away? For most of us, it’s even easier to get caught up in our own stories, interpretations, and emotions – becoming so identified with a mood that it completely colors our worldview.

Consider this common scenario: You’re at work when your manager calls and asks to immediately see you in her office. Depending on your typical thought process, you may immediately begin to worry, “What did I do wrong? I wonder if my job is on the line . . . if I get fired, it could take a long time to find work in this economy.” Your dread builds and you really don't want to go see your manager.

Or (particularly if your predominant dosha is Pitta), you may find yourself getting a…

Remembering and Forgetting

As we begin the Fall Season - I too, begin a new Fall Session of Anusara Yoga classes, and I begin both my classes, and this season with these thoughts and insights - and even though these reflections are poised for my students, they are very much a message for me to take to heart as well...
"Life is a dance between remembering and forgetting. When we open to grace – we literally step into the current of grace – that is the meaning of Anusara – flowing with grace – or stepping into its rich current – and bathing in its healing waters.When we step into the current of grace – we remember who are – at our deepest essence – we remember our interconnections – we remember that we are part of an intricate web of life. We also remember who we want to be…And – we remember beauty. We remember that the sun always shines after the dark – even if in the dark we forget the light.Summer and all its myriad of activities has ended. We slowly begin to forget and let go of that season, and as we beg…

The River and the Autumnal Exquinox

On this day of the Autumnal Equinox, and two days after arriving from Paris, I steal away to the river for about 45 minutes...

I am somewhat jet-lagged and dealing with a scratchy throat, but I make my way down to the river that has been mine...

It is still and quiet, and I watch a blue heron perched on a log in the river. I float towards him, trying not to paddle much - to see how close I can get to him. But as I get closer, he flies away. He does not seem very interested in making a connection with me!

The river is silent. I am very much aware that it no longer really speaks to me. We simply commune, and somehow that is enough...

For nearly two years I have visited this river - and for one of those years I vigorously paddled its waters. It is very familiar to me - and I delight in its sights and the characteristics of its landscape - which are always changing. It is good to be here once again after witnessing and experiencing rivers and oceans nearly a half world away - particularly aft…

Sur le Seine

On my last full day in Paris, I take a boat ride on the Seine for an hour. I would like to ride a kayak, but I suspect you would need a permit for it.

Instead, after a day of roaming the city, exploring and offering prayers at churches, and eating a brasserie, I sit back, under the beating sun, and ride by the Louvre, and other sites, until finally disembarking at the Eiffel Tower.

It is a beautiful day, and I have not been to be on my own river in the last week or so, and thus I yearn to be in as close proximity to water as is possible. I relish momentarily ducking under one of the many "ponts" - or bridges, and smile as I recall a dear friend once telling me that you do Paris with a lover and wine and brie - not with a diaper bag! Those days are certainly behind me at least! (The diaper bag days...)

I think of traveling to Normandy yesterday to visit the landing beaches - Omaha and the others - and the cemetery for the fallen American soldiers - which was all at once - beauti…

Prayers at Notre Dame

I arrived in Paris, the City of Lights, shortly before 6 AM this morning.

After a nap, we made our way around the city, re-visiting many sites, but I especially chose to go back to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. I have visited this lovely Cathedral every trip I make to this city.

The first time I visited was on my 50th birthday, in 2005, the very day that Charles de Foucauld, the French mystic and martyr, and one of my favorites, was being beatified.

In this magnificent church, filled with energy of prayers offered throughout many centuries, I offered my own for myself and a dear friend - for our families and our intentions - but most of all in gratitude for many blessings received.

I also enjoyed a walk by the Seine, recalling the Ardha Chandrasana - half moon pose I did by its banks three years ago.

What a gift to be here once again!

Off to Paris! (Sacred is the Pause - Poem)

I will be off to Paris shortly, and am not quite sure of my connectivity there...I plan to enjoy moments of quiet and stillness on the long plane ride. So I leave you with a poem I wrote last night, finishing it at midnight before I went to bed...

Sacred is the Pause

Sacred is the pause
between the breaths

"Sacred is the pause
that draws us into stillness."

Every pause invites us
to slow down and be still

"Be still and know,
for I am God."

May I see the grace
in every moment
and every pause

"Each pause can be
a blessing moment."

May we always pause
between the breaths

And may we always

"Break for blessings;
[with] a deep breath...
[so that we may truly]
honor the wisdom of pausing."

For sacred is the pause
that draws us int stillness

(All quotes except the second by Macrina Wiederkehr - second is from Psalm 46)

O Pilgrim of the Hours

As I finish packing for a nearly a week in Paris, I pause, and drink in these words by Macrina Wiederkehr, reminding me of the beauty of each new day, and of making each moment and each hour sacred...

O Pilgrim of the Hours

Each morning
night's curtain
opens on an new day.
You are invited
to join the great opening.
Open your ears.
Open your heart.

Open your eyes
to the sacred path
you travel every day,
the path of the hours.

Great the hours
with joyful awareness.
Greet the hours
with faithful presence..
Great the hours
with a reverential bow.
Greet the hours
with a sacred pause.

Reverence each hour
as a small stepping stone
on your pilgrimage
through the day.
Receive the gift
of seven sacred pauses.
Practice waking up
seven times a day.

Sunday Morning Ruminations

I will be off shortly to teach a workshop on the chakras at Golden Heart Yoga in Annapolis, a great community.

I have recently finished meditating with a spiritual brother in my lineage, and feel ready to tackle the day - which is radiant and beautiful...

I sit at Starbucks and read the paper with my husband, and am drawn to reading my horoscope - something I have not done in years, and this is what Holiday Mathis has to say:

"An emotional wound has been healed.
It's been a slow process, but suddenly you realize
that you no longer have the pain,
a remarkable and full recovery has taken place.
Celebrate!"

I smile, because it is true - and I have shared this with many...

I rejoice in having received my new murti - a sacred statue of Siva doing Eka Pada Angusthasana II - hand to toe pose - and the new energy it has brought to my sacred space. I write these lines to a friend:

"Siva arrived yesterday [on 9/11] and I meditated in the afternoon and this morning with him - very POWER…

Saturday Morning Ruminations

It is quiet, and it is still - and I continue to enjoy the insights and gems from Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkehr. She writes, that opportunites for praise are everywhere. And I would add, if you have the eyes to see, and the ears to hear. But most of all, if you are willing to quietly sit in silence. To that soul, much is given...

"I stepped outside, happily observing that reasons for praise were visible everywhere I looked:
the crow with its glistening black feathers standing in the green grass surveying the meadow,the few brilliant yellow feathers in the tail of the flicker,the sun casting soft shadows on the hills,the old pecan tree pushing forth a few new green leaves,the freshness of the air after last night's storm,the community of toad stools that grew up in the night,the few cars moving down the country road,the angel-like mist rising from the pond,the sweet longing in my soul to raise high the chalice of my life..."And some more quotes:

"It is neces…

River Ruminations on 9/11

I arise at 3:30 AM to take my parents to the airport. While Labor Day signals the end of summer for many, the day they return is truly the end of summer for me...

It has been a summer of many blessings...So many blessings of love have come to me, in a shower of grace, that I have offered back to others...

I am home before 4:30 AM. I pause at the kitchen momentarily, and retrieve the beautiful pink rose a dear friend gave to my mother on her 80th birthday, and bring it up to my altar, where I sit in utter deliciousness until about 6 AM, meditating, and then giving thanks for the all the summer blessings received, and praying for all those who suffered a tragic loss on this day, eight years ago...

By 6:30 AM, I have seen a husband off to work, started a load of laundry, and have stepped into the river, with rain softly coming down, baptizing me, and cleansing my body and soul. I stay there, at the edge of the river for a while. It is too cloudy to actually witness a sunrise, but I know tha…

River Ruminations on 9/9/09

This is a day signifying completion from a metaphysical perspective - and it is also symbolic of seeing the light at the other end of the tunnel...

The days are getting shorter, and it is darker in the mornings. I want to sleep in and stay in bed for a while...But I get up to meditate, and when I finish, the river beckons, and I know that if I do not visit today, it will be at least a couple of weeks before I do so again. So I don my hat - "Aligning with Grace," and hoist my kayak and healing vessel, "Grace," into my truck, and drive down to the river, seeking to align with grace once again, in body, mind, and spirit...

The river is quiet, and so densely covered with hydrilla that much of its surface, especially along the river banks is green...

I paddle upstream - up the middle which is relatively clear - enjoying a few blue herons here and there perched up floating logs and branches. I think to myself - that next week - the river my eyes will behold instead will be …

In the Center of God's Heart

Today is my mother's 80th birthday. I know that not everyone gets to have a parent live a long, healthy, and beautiful life. Not everyone has had the gift or benefit of a good relationship with their parents - and there are some - that for one reason or another - are not close to them either. And not every person can call her mother a friend...

We began the day by going to breakfast and then by walking the labyrinth. I invited three friends that have played significant parts in my life in the last few years - two of them beautiful yoginis - to join in this special celebration. A couple of friends knew each other - but all three had not met. Yet, meeting in an embodied state was a mere formality - because through my sharing - I know there was already knowledge and love there already present...

I wrote a poem briefly, when I came back from that experience, and before I dashed off to take my mother to Mass at our parish, Holy Trinity in Georgetown - where my son went to grade school, a…

Meditation and Pause Points III

Here is the conclusion to Sally Kempton's insights from her most recent newsletter on the "Pause Points" which meditation offers us as gateways to Samadhi. The previous two posts contain the first and second excerpts from her wonderful essay...

"Often, when I'm working on a deadline, or preparing a class, and feeling strong time pressure, I'll walk outside to stretch, or just walk from one room to the other. The energy of that intense focus will still be fueling me, but my mind will have taken a brief vacation from the task. Such a moment will often bring a heightened awareness of Presence. My mind, suddenly released from the confines of focused attention, will expand and let go, and there will be an opening into stillness. A moment when the mind is just absorbed in itself. A fleeting Samadhi.

If you take some time to look into your day, you'll discover your own natural Pause Points. You're walking to the subway, or getting out of your car, and you tak…

Meditation and Pause Points II

Yesterday, I shared with you some excerpts from Sally Kempton's latest newsletter on "Pause Points," these fleeting opportunities that meditation affords us to experience Samadhi. Please scroll down and review yesterday's entry before reading this one for greater clarity...

Where are the Pause Points

"There's a potential Samadhi present in the moment just after waking, when you first come to consciousness, yet haven't yet identified who and where you are. You're awake, but there are no thoughts. The day hasn't rushed in yet. You haven't collected your customary identity markers. You're just - present.

There's a Samadhi lurking in the moment of adjustment when your gaze moves from focusing on something close by, to focusing on the horizon. If you would let yourself attend to the process of moving your gaze, you'd find that moment of open spaciousness in between the close object and the distant one.

There's the powerful opening into…

Meditation and Pause Points

Once again, I am choosing to share a newsletter with you. I have received so many lately containing precious gems to be digested. This one comes from Sally Kempton, a well known meditation teacher, and she speaks of the "pause points" in meditation which are gateways to the Samadhi experience.

Sally Kempton has also been known as Swami Durgananda, and she spent several decades as a monastic living in an ashram. She regularly writes a column for Yoga Journal that is my favorite. I have had the pleasure of studying with her in the past. Here are her insights and words of wisdom. Enjoy!

"The Pause Point, the Gap, the space that naturally occurs at the beginning and end of every activity in life. These natural pauses, are hard-wired meditation opportunities, doorways in the flow of experience. They happen constantly, over and over again. At these Pause Points, the out-flowing mind is invited to turn within, fold into its own source, and inhabit the Presence at the heart of re…

Keep It Simple!

These wonderful insights for the month of September come from the "Jewels in the Lotus" Newsletter...

"The theme this month seems to be to simplify! Paring down to simplicity, cutting the strings of anything that holds us back, has become a necessity. We have spent the last few months, (years, lifetimes) in an intensity energy. We’ve spent time “pruning weeds” and digging deep into the core of our being. There has been a lot of letting go, and release of attachments on many levels of our lives. Now, as time marches us forward, it is time to look ahead with joy!

Amazingly, some of us are now beginning to glimpse the true nature of conscious creation and are feeling the weights that have burdened our souls finally lifting. If you are still struggling with the tricks of the mind, simply take a break. BREATHE. Call in all of your energy, filled with the golden light energy, and explore the joy in the world of limitless possibilities.

Yes, we still have our earth plane lives …

Deepak Chopra on Meditation

This morning I received the Chopra Center newsletter, "Agni," and it had this wonderful explanation on why Deepak practices meditation, and I thought it appropriate to share with you. As a avid meditator, I found it a good summary of meditation's benefits and effects.

The Most Important Healing Tool You Can Learn
If you were to ask me what the most important experience of my life has been, I would say it was learning to meditate. Meditation has been the key to my creativity, wellbeing, and happiness. I have enjoyed it in my own life, and it continues to be one of the most powerful healing tools we offer at the Chopra Center.Meditation takes us from activity into silence, giving our body a very deep level of rest. Rest is how the body heals itself, which it does by throwing off the stress, fatigue, and toxins accumulated during our daily life. The silence of pure awareness is extremely refreshing to the mind, which finds it increasingly easy not to cling to old thought-patt…

Life is Good in the River and Out of It

For the first time in almost two weeks, I arise and steal away for a few moments to go down to the river...

It is the second day in September and it is light and crisp outside - the weather more reminiscent of the end of the month than its beginning...

The river is murky and not very appealing, but there is not a soul in sight and I long to commune with its waters none-the-less...

I think of the upcoming first class of the Fall session I will begin in about three weeks, as I mentally review the postings I made online today - all alluding to my theme and opening comments for that class...

"Life is a dance between remembering and forgetting. When we open to grace we remember who we are and we say yes to the whole river of life.

We remember grace every time we step into its rich currents and surrender to its healing waters. Thus, we open the door to transformation.

Grace flows like a river and when we step into its currents we are healed and baptized by its tributaries..."

I paddle up…

Be an Intentional Butterfly

I received a newsletter from a friend today that had so many points I resonated with. I wish to share a prayer and a wonderful suggestion from this newsletter called "InnerLinks."

"Send Blessings to loved ones, friends, leaders on the world stage, and all situations and events that are calling your attention.

You are important.
We are important.
Your thoughts create.
We collectively manifest.
Your actions matter.
We act as one.
Your presence changes everything.

Be an Intentional Butterfly - a participant in the ripple effect of caring. Awaken to your presence, be inspired in your actions, and hold the highest and best outcome for the planet, humanity, and all life on earth. You make a difference and you decide what that difference is."

Prayer of Returning

May the Peace of God illumine you.
May the Peace of God reside in you.
May the Piece of God that is you,
light your way.

May the Peace of God illumine me.
May the…