Showing posts from November, 2011

Advent - A Time for Waiting and Something More

There is a reason for this season, no matter what tradition we observe or celebrate... This is a time of preparation, and delving more deeply within ourselves, as we journey into the heart of winter... But, it is also a time for waiting... What a lesson this is, in a culture of instant gratification - where everything occurs instantly - where no one truly knows how to wait - or acknowledge its quiet lessons and the fruits born of its practice... For many of us, and most particularly Christians, this time of Advent ushers in the Christmas season. We prepare our hearts and home - we await with joyful expectation, exercising hospitality, generosity, and being generally of good cheer. We are pregnant with possibilities... As Mary was... Yes, anything is possible... What a positive message this is for us to digest and embody during a year that has seen much strife and negativity. But even in the midst of all of that, the promise, the seeds, and the possibility of love blooms, ever

Many Ways to God

I arise early, on this morning, the eve of the beginning of Advent, a sacred season, on the heels of Thanksgiving, with my heart filled to the brim with rich experiences... I sit in meditation, and begin to prepare for Advent... On the LONG flight back from Istanbul (12 hours), I was able to sit and reflect on these experiences, and I thought to myself - there are truly - many ways to God... This is one of the lessons that I learned... All paths lead to God... All traditions find their completion in God... I have always had a deep reverence for other spiritual traditions, and have found myself equally at home in almost of all of them... In my very early 20's, as an undergraduate student, I took a graduate course on contemporary Jewish philosophers and Zionist writers, under the guidance of a Reconstructionist Rabbi. I was drawn to Judaism all of my life, and later learned I had both Sephardic and Ashkenazi roots in my background. In my early 30's, I lost myself

Thanksgiving 2011

I returned late yesterday, from the most amazing trip to Istanbul and Ephesus, so filled with spiritual experiences and graces, and I will write about it shortly. But today, as with many of you, my thoughts dwell on all the things that I am grateful for, ever mindful, as Meister Eckhart once affirmed, that: "If the only prayer you ever say is thank you, it would be enough." And so, I share with you a prayer by the German theologian, Deitrich Bonhoeffer , who was put to death by the Nazis, and a poem by e.e. cummings : O Heavenly Father, I praise and thank you For the peace of the night. I praise and thank you for this new day. I praise and thank you for the goodness And faithfulness throughout my life. You have granted me many blessings; Now let me also accept what is hard from your hand. You will lay on me no more than I can bear. You make all things work together for the good of your children. Deitrich Bonhoeffer i thank You God for most this amazing

In the Footsteps of Constantine, Mary, and Rumi

Tomorrow, I head out for Istanbul . As a former theologian, I am looking forward to seeing sites significant and sacred to the origins of Christianity, and important to Islam as well. I will travel to a part of the world I have never been to, and the farthest I have ever been. I am both excited, and somewhat anxious. I am a "homebody" - an introvert and contemplative at heart. But, I look forward to the experiences that await, and most particularly, traveling to Ephesus , site of early Church Councils that defined Christian dogma, and the place where tradition teaches that Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived out her earthly years. I only wish, I had the time to travel to Rumi's birthplace as well! But, that may have to be at some other time! Blessings to all of you until I next write! "Drain the cup of passion and walk steadfast on the path of Truth. Close both eyes and see the mysteries with your inner eye... Go beyond your tangled thoughts and find the sp

Birthday Blessings

The sun has gone down on a good day. On a birthday... Today, I am grateful for so many things. For the gift of life. For family, friends, and loved ones. I am grateful for the outpouring of love. Much of it unexpected. A line from The Wizard of Oz says: "A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." This is true. But it is also true that how we love, and that we love, is all that matters. This is what God sees. Love is all there is, for in love we know God. This is the gift of this day...

Blessings on 11.11.11

On this sacred day of 11's -- on this day of 11.11.11, of portals opening, and veils thinning, on the heels of a Full Moon, and the remembrance of the sacrifice of Veterans, my heart swells with joy and deep gratitude for all that ever was-- for all that is, and all that is to come... On this sacred day, of hearkening the wisdom of angels, I step into the river and its raging blue currents swollen and heavy with dying leaves, baptizing myself anew to a life of contemplation, deep practice, and dedicated meditation... On this sacred day of new beginnings and deepening consciousness, of grace and special blessings, I give thanks, I chant, I pray, and I lay all at the feet of My Beloved Divine... On this sacred day, I release, I forgive, I repent, and I cleanse-- letting go of what no longer serves, and all desire for retribution... On this sacred day, I re-commit to my sacred path-- fully embracing my ecstatic journey, and to living as full

Inner Reflections 2012

This is the time of year that I look forward to getting my new calendars for the coming year. I like to collect yoga poses and create my own wall calendar for my office. But I also like a good, "old fashioned" desk calendar that I can write in. As tech savvy as I am, I just prefer a beautiful engagement calendar with inspirational quotes to feed my soul from week to week during the coming year. These calendars have changed throughout the years, but for the last several ones, my desk has been beautifully graced and my soul has been just as equally inspired, by the "Inner Reflections" calendars published by the Self-Realization Fellowship . Each yearly edition is nothing short of exquisite - comprised of breathtaking photographs accompanied by inspirational quotes and selections from the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda. And so, I recently received the 2012 edition, with its beautiful fall maple leaves on the cover - a simple composition of gorgeous bursts of oran

Ishvara Pranidhana: Humility, Faith, and Anusara

It's been a while since I've made an entry. It's not because I haven't wanted to - but sometimes life and responsibilities get in the way, and sometimes our attention is called elsewhere... I've had family matters to attend to, losses to address, and so forth... This week, I have worked with backbends in my classes and have emphasized the engagement of "Kidney Loop." I chose to link these with a theme of "Ishvara Pranidhana, one of the niyamas from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras , which is often translated as "Devotion to the Lord." Nicolai Bachman , in his book, The Path of the Yoga Sutras , which I have been using as a primer for my themes this session, describes this niyama , or observance, as the cultivation of humiity and faith. Anusara Yoga emphasizes the importance of beginning our practice from the back body because it is there that we connect to the universal - to something bigger and greater than ourselves. "Kidney Loop&quo