Showing posts from March, 2011

Choose Love

Love is why we are here... Love is the rhyme, and it is the reason - behind every season... Love is what makes a difference, and every spiritual tradition at its essence, teaches love... A Course in Miracles divinely exhorts us, to: "Teach only love, for that is what you are..." We are the very embodiment of love... A dear soul, who is an internationally known Anusara yoga teacher wrote to me yesterday, saying to me: "You are the embodiment of love..." But I, could only think to myself, that no - it is not me - but it she who is the embodiment of love, for she selflessly and humbly shines her light, all over the planet! St. Francis de Sales taught: "All through love, and nothing through constraint." Paramahansa Yogananda wrote of devotion, as the manifestation of love, and reminded his devotees, to love God: "Love Him, talk to Him every second of your life, in activity and in silence, with deep prayer..." I sit in meditation, unde

Be So Drunk With the Love of God

Deep into the night, I read these words, that Paramahansa Yogananda once spoke to Sri Daya Mata , the woman entrusted with leading the organization he established: "Be so drunk with the love of God that you will know nothing else but God; and give that love to all!" Yogananda says this, in response to a question asked by Sri Daya Mata , who cannot imagine how his work will continue without him. Sri Daya Mata recently passed, after leading the Self-Realization Fellowship that Yogananda established and entrusted with his teachings and writings. She was the spiritual mother of Yogananda's disciples and devotees for 55 years - having assumed its direction in 1955, the year that I was born. I reflect on how this incredible woman, was faithful to her Guru for my entire life span... But, I am also deeply moved by these words, and try to imagine what it would be like to embody them, in every moment, experience, encounter - and even beyond that - in every thought a

Become a Chalice for Grace

I've been reflecting and trying to practice and embody different pieces and insights gleaned from studying with Ross Rayburn , and Desiree Rumbaugh , both Anusara Yoga certified teachers, who visited Willow Street Yoga Center, here in the Washington, DC area, the last couple of weeks. Each one of them, came bearing a special gift for me, a precious gem that I am just beginning to unwrap, knowing that these gifts will continue to yield layers upon layers of insights, for a long time to come... In the practices that I attended with Ross, he instructed us to breathe into our pelvis, expanding there, all the way into our ribs and back as well. We worked strongly with Inner and Outer Spiral in a deep and nuanced way. Ross noted, that the psoas muscle connects all the way to T12 in our spine, and when we inner spiral, we want to open all the way into that place. Desiree showed us how to get into the heart more, and how to do all of our poses - including inversions and arm balanc

Be Saturated With the Divine

On this day of the Vernal Equinox , birthed in a full moon, I arise early, to meditate in the waning darkness before the gentle light of morning... I have dispensed my husband, on a business trip to Paris, to visit the Chapel of Miraculous Mary , where St. Catherine Laboure is buried. I send him to deliver very special intentions, into which I have wrapped special requests for a dear friend and one of my yoga teachers as well... It occurs to me, that this gifted and wonderful teacher, will be teaching her class, at the very moment my prayers and intentions will arrive at their doorstep, and so it seems, only fitting, that I attend this class... The theme is the last of the "niyamas" of Patanjali - "Isvara Pranidhana" - or devotion to the Lord, which we work so very deeply, engaging Inner Spiral, in such a way that we not only open all the way into our back, but in our ribs and pelvic floor as well, and in the process, we sprout wings that give us a taste of t

May the Road Rise to Meet You

It's a beautiful day here, in the Washington DC , area. The sky is a brilliant blue, it is warm, and spring is definitely in the air. It is a day when the Irish, and just about everyone else, celebrates St. Patrick's Day . There is not an Irish bone in my body, but I am married to a man who is half Danish and half Irish, and we became engaged on this day, eons ago, in 1979, when I was working on my Master's in Systematic Spirituality, and he was working on combined JD-MBA degrees. I know he picked that day so he wouldn't forget it! Today, after meditating, and leaving to take my weekly yoga class, which was nothing short of divine, (and unexpectedly populated with other friends who came to visit), I was moved to send this traditional Irish Blessing to some friends, and I offer it here, to you all as well! "May the road the road rise to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields An

Making Space For Grace

I have been reflecting on the portions of the weekend workshop that certified Anusara Yoga teacher, Ross Rayburn led, here at Willow Street Yoga Center , in Maryland. More than what Ross did, it is what he said, but primarily what he embodied, that has most stayed with me. I had never studied with Ross before, but had met him on numerous occasions at the annual gathering of certified Anusara teachers. Ross was genuine, present, compassionate, and most of all, he was humble - despite his great wealth of knowledge and insight. It is perhaps, his humility that has most spoken to me... While I did not take notes, something that is unusual for me, I was able to reconstruct the parts of the sessions I attended, that most spoke to me. Here are a few things I resonated with... "There is nothing that at its essence is wrong or bad - because everything is Divinely made... Are you maintaining your relationship to your goodness in every thought word, and deed? This is the whole ball

A Time to Begin Again

It is always a time to begin... It is always the time to begin again, and again, and again... I thought of this yesterday, as I sat and walked in meditation, praying very intensely for loved ones and friends, on a day, that was also one of great sadness, for a tremendous earthquake struck Japan and its people, sending dangerous tidal waves half a world away, and I thought to myself, God surely is hearing the magnitude of their cries... I thought of this again, last night, in a yoga practice led by Ross Rayburn , a wonderful Anusara Yoga certified teacher, as I, recovering from an injury, practiced in between the two women who have been my primary teachers for these last five years. I had just returned to the mat, a few days before, after a few weeks of being side-lined... I thought of this, as a dear friend laid her healing hands on me earlier this week, bestowing a healing that was made manifest, over the course of the next few days, most explicitly in dimensions unseen, rather t

I Go Beyond

There are gifts that are both providential and transformational - and arrive in our lives without expectation... Two gifts received - one yesterday, and the other today - are both meant for my Lenten journey... Yesterday, my spirit merged with a dear soul companion, as our meditations became intertwined while walking the labyrinth. My friend was led to bestow a healing on me, that was both physical and spiritual, and continues to dramatically unfold, gifting me with one miracle after another... This gift take me beyond, in ways that defy articulation... My walk and healing at the labyrinth was an experience of Oneness and merging with the Divine that now enables me to step into the next 40 days of the desert of my Lenten Journey more fully. It is a journey I dedicate to experiencing, embodying, and reflecting, everything in God, and God in everything... Today, I receive another providential gift from a wonderful student and friend. She brings the recording Beyond: Buddhist and Chr

Jolt Me Into Joy

I still bask in the wonder and the beauty of meditating during Maha Shivarati - "The Great Night of Shiva," when Shiva pauses to rest after his Cosmic Dance... I marvel at the gifts I have been given, the insight, the clarity, the bliss, and I think of Gunilla Norris ' simple prayer, "Jolt me into joy!" In the afternoon, I curl up with Gunilla Norris ' simple yet divine spiritual and poetic musings - Being Home: Discovering the Spiritual in the Everyday - and I am not only jolted into joy, but into Pure Awareness and the gifts of deep sight, intuitions and realizations. I think of a dear friend, who strives to offer ever moment and act to the Divine, and does so with both humility and grace, and I find it such a blessing, that this book falls into my hands, precisely at this time - it is such a simple testament meant for other souls in search of embodying the same experience... Yesterday, after my evening meditation, I realized that there truly cannot b

Blessings and Maha Shivarati

Yesterday, I quoted a wonderful article, "Blessing Heart" by Sally Kempton , the well known and loved meditation teacher. Giving blessings is a powerful form of spiritual practice that Sally writes about - and it can lead to deep transformation and healing on many levels - for the one sending the blessings, and the one receiving them as well. In Sally's words: "When we offer blessings, we align ourselves with the force of grace that runs through the universe. We become channels for the higher power. And according to some of the mystical traditions, this is the hidden purpose of human life. The Vedic sages, whose culture is the basis of the Hindu tradition, believed that one special function of human beings is to create conscious bridges between earth and cosmos. They did this through invocations and offerings, and bracketed their practices and ceremonies with mantras we chant to this day - Lokaha samastah sukhino bhavantu - May all beings be happy... Grace is

Life as Practice - Redux

I continue to reflect on the notion, the observation, and the reality - that life is practice, and practice is life - as I teach and sub for a number of yoga classes this week, and as I reflect on my own life, its most pressing interior issues and concerns, and the work that I must do and am currently engaged in... I remember how not too long ago, during meditation, a beautiful mantra arose from deep within my heart, unfolding simply, and softly whispering to my soul, "Everything in God, and God in everything..." I recall insights that brought such solace, from Sally Kempton , the gifted meditation teacher, who observed, that spiritual development is never linear, but spirals forward and backwards, as if in a dance, as we evolve and expand, sometimes needing to retreat and drawn in, before we can journey more deeply in our growth... Once again, I am touched by an essay of hers - I read it in the late evening, before bed, and it beautifully encourages and suggests the