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Showing posts from May, 2011

Make Room for the Unimaginable

"Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable."
~ Mary Oliver

This week, many of us tuned in to Oprah's last show - which spanned - practically my son's entire life to date. I remember watching the show during its humble beginnings while he toddled around the family room. So, in many ways, Oprah, my son and I "grew" up together, and she and I are also about the same age...

Oprah's last show focused on the lessons she had learned throughout the years, which was my original title for this entry. But then, I came across this quote by Mary Oliver, and it was evident to me, that if we truly implemented all that Oprah suggested, we would give birth to a life and world that is, in many ways, unimaginable, but fully possible...

Some parting words from Oprah:

"You are not alone...

We are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it...And that is what I want for all of you.…

Awakening to What Is

Sometimes messages hit you over the head. Hard.

Sometimes messages come from unexpected places - like "cyberspace" or the "cloud" - wherever that is!

Yesterday, I wrote about Adyashanti's book, Emptiness Dancing. And I included this quote toward the end of the entry:

"What is born in awakening -
is a love of what is."

I must have repeated this to myself dozens of times yesterday. Such a simple statement. And so hard to embody. It reminded me of Byron Katie's book, Loving What Is. This is truly a practice that demands everything - and one that cannot be simply "intellectualized," try as one might.

Today, I came across a couple of reminders of the role that grace plays in our life:

"You cannot be bitter and unforgiving
and be a conduit for grace."
~ Carolyn Myss

And then, in the new SoundsTrue catalogue I received last night, I read this excerpt from Adyanshanti's newest book, Falling into Grace:

"Grace is something that comes to u…

Awakening

The last few days, I've been marinating various ideas and insights that have emerged from my reading of Emptiness Dancing, by Adyashanti, who is a very amazing, and contemporary spiritual teacher.

As often happens, a particular book falls in my lap at precisely the right moment - not one too soon or too late...

I had previously stumbled across interviews in several publications over the years with Adyashanti, who is known as "Adya" to his devoted followers. But, I had never felt particularly drawn to him in any way. However, because of the illuminating experiences of a dear friend who has attended many retreats and "satsangs" with him, I was finally led to explore his writings and recordings on my own.

The book I am reading, addresses the process of awakening, which is essential to the spiritual life, in a manner that is very accessible. I will share some brief excerpts from Adya's wisdom, in hopes that it might "awaken" some small insight within you…

Surrendering

Yesterday, in the midst of life's busyness, I nearly stopped in my tracks when I read this post by Marianne Williamson...

"Don't try to get your life together and then surrender it to God.
Surrender your life now and that's when it comes together!
Is there a part of your life you're holding onto,
thinking you can best run it yourself?
Simply think about it in your heart and surrender it to God.
This movement in your spirit will make all the difference."

It seemed so simple. Surrender. Do not resist. Surrender your need to have things be a certain way. Surrender your need to be in control. Surrender your wants. Surrender your desires. Surrender your goals. Surrender the outcomes. Surrender even your needs...

Byron Katie, in "The Work", speaks of loving what we have, and accepting what is, as being essential to our awakening, and our spiritual evolution and growth.

The Bhagavad Gita teaches, that we are only entitled to our actions, but never to the fruit…

The Path of Love

I had both the pleasure and honor to meet, and be able to speak to Sally Kempton, a respected meditation teacher, this past weekend, during a workshop she gave at Willow Street Yoga Center. If I had to summarize the workshop, I would simply say that it was about "Bhakti," the path of love - and deepening our relationship to the Divine...

Today, I finished transcribing and typing nearly 33 pages of notes, and as I often do, I research or review references made, and include them in my notes. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am the "official" scribe for my local yoga community, and my notes usually circumnavigate the world. Or, so I often find out!

As I reviewed my notes, and quotations from the workshop, I could not help but see, that truly, everything that matters, circles and comes back to love.

Why are we here?

We are here for love...

What are we to do?

We are here to love...

And really, what else is there?

In the 14th century, Julian of Norwich, an English mystic, had a…

Gardeners of the Soul

We are all gardeners. Perhaps not of actual gardens, but certainly of our souls...

We must til the fertile soil within our hearts and plant seeds that will blossom into those traits and characteristics that we want.

There are many ways to do this. Through deep inner work. By reading. And sometimes, by attending a lecture, a workshop, or some kind of training. I am off to do this today. I am looking forward to spending a weekend with the wonderful meditation teacher and practitioner, Sally Kempton, whom I have quoted here so many times.

Last night, I finished reading - Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening, by Vigen Guroian, and began The Fragrance of God, also by this same author - two exquisite tomes, filled with delicious imagery and beautiful insights.

In Inheriting Paradise, Guroian writes:

"...Everything comes from God and without God's constant nurture, nothing would be and nothing could grow. 'It is not the gardeners with their planting and watering who count,&#…

Mother's Day Blessing

I had not intended to make an entry today. After a morning meditation enjoyed to the backdrop of a choir of birds singing very joyously, and after watering my thirsty plants, I settled down to clear out my inbox...

But sometimes, when we least expect it, a gift arrives, from someone we have not met perhaps in the physical realm, but after all, we are all one, and wherever the Presence of God is - which is everywhere - there is no separation. The Dalai Lama has often said, he has never met a stranger.

The following poetic reflection was posted as a comment to my last entry, by a wonderful soul named Lisa. I wanted to make sure everyone had an opportunity to read this, and so I make this entry on this magnificent and beautiful spring morning, here in the Northern Virginia area. The author wrote it to her own mother, and I was moved to share it with my own, and with some dear friends as well. But lest we leave anyone out who might benefit or be touched by these words, I share them here as …

Live Each Day With Awareness

One of the benefits of being "plugged in," is that we often come across many inspirational readings we might have never encountered otherwise...

On this day - the eve of Mother's Day - when many will be remembering and celebrating their mothers, and/or significant women in their lives, I thought I would share this beautiful piece by Joyce Rupp, that truly, speaks for itself - and reminds us all, to live our lives with more awareness. As often happens, it comes near the conclusion of a week when I have reflected on what it means to live as fully present as it is possible. And of course, it is often easier said than done!

Live Each Day With Awareness

Eternal Dwelling Place,
I know all things are passing.
My final home is not here.
Yet I zoom mindlessly through my days
missing the passionate gift of life.
How differently I would enter each day
if I embraced the shortness of my life span.
The things I consider inconveniences
would have a different colored hue.
The work I feel driven to …

Uniting Hearts in Prayer

I am emerging from a few days, filled with the special graces of solitude, silence, and fruitful meditation, and it has once more, made me very keenly aware of how at our essence, we are truly all one.

What happens to one of us - affects ALL of us. We sometimes forget that. But truly, there cannot be any separation between souls, because Grace is everywhere, and separation is simply incompatible with a Presence that is all pervading...

It is just that simple! The Presence of the Divine is everywhere, in everyone, in every moment, in every situation, encounter, and perceived division...

After meditation and teaching this morning, I spontaneously remembered that on this day, in 1963, I made my First Communion, and made a conscious choice, even then, to align myself always with the Divine. And while at times, I have strayed a little from the path here and there, I always choose to return Home, into the embrace of God.

A wonderful soul reminded me that tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer …

This is the Day the Lord Has Made

I listen over and over again, to the anthem, "This is the Day the Lord Has Made," by John Rutter, especially composed for the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

And even though, those in attendance at the wedding may have thought, that the day the Lord made was for this union - I think to myself - that truly - every day is a day the Lord has made...

I tell this to my students - it is my theme. This IS the day the Lord has made, because every day is a miracle. Every day comes bearing gifts and gives us the opportunity to start anew, and release what does not serve us mentally and spiritually. This becomes especially relevant as we move through deep twists and revolved poses of every kind. This is a physically and spiritually cleansing practice and it is so appropriate to do it as we move more deeply into the heart of spring...

We do our work to a background of the choral music by John Rutter. As my students begin to generate more heat in their bodies, I ask them…

I Believe in Springtime

The cloak of the night brings closure upon a wonderful weekend - that was magical at times - and on this first day of May...

The day is spent in solitude, periods of silence, contemplation, gardening, meditation, reading, listening to music, and checking in with loved ones...

The weekend was filled with visiting friends, live music, and attending a play, where I delighted in a dear friend's daughter playing the leading role...

This is a child who is very special to me, and it has been a blessing and honor to watch her grow from a child into a gifted young woman...

I enjoy a glass of wine, and choral music by John Rutter, one of my favorite Anglican liturgical composers. His music stirs the depths of my soul - bordering on ecstasy - making the presence of God so very real and tangible. I can taste the oneness in all things as I bask in the Light and Radiance of the Divine...

Truly, the Divine is in all things and in every drop of life there is...

I take a moment to enjoy my work in the …