Showing posts from June, 2012

You Don't Need Much to Be Happy

They say, you don't need much to be happy... They say, that happiness is a choice, or a state of mind or being, but I can't seem to wrap my mind around that today... In a few short hours, I will attend the wake of a young woman, a beloved former student, cut down in the prime of her youth, at the same time that I await to hear if a nephew will be hospitalized... And somehow, in my heart of hearts, I know that all these things are true - happiness is a choice - it comes from living more fully in the present and accepting all that is - as it is. And I know that it is gratitude that opens the door... I have tried to learn this lesson this year. I have tried to embody it - and yet it still eludes me. I know that illusion occludes this reality from being fully understood and embraced... I have walked this last week or so - listening to these lyrics by Mary Chapin Carpenter - hoping that every day, in every way, they become more firmly woven into the fabric of my life: Don’t need mu

Living in the Light

Some people come into this world, and make all the difference... Some people come into your life, and leave it forever changed... Some people come into your life - and as a dear friend and songwriter once sang - leave footprints in your heart and your soul... Some people come into your life - and despite immense tragedy and suffering - manage to truly live in the light... Some people come into your life, simply to point the way... Some people come into your life and make their mark - in very quiet and unassuming ways... The gifted poet, Mary Oliver asked in her poem about summer: "Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" I still ask myself that question, while some never get the chance to do so... Why do we come into this world? "We come into this exquisite world to experience ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light." ~ Hafiz Some people come into the world to shine light - and when they leave this world

Summer Solstice Ruminations

On this day of the Summer Solstice, I say goodbye to the first part of this year, and to a concluding phase of my life... On this day, I close the doors on what has been one ministry and open the windows to breathe in the air of something that is not yet... As I taught my last yoga class of the session this morning, and just before I conclude teaching my last in a place that has been spiritual home to me for over six years, I reflect on how endings, even though they hold the seeds and key to something new, can be so bittersweet. While intellectually I know it is time to move on, and that I made the right choice right now given some health considerations - in my heart feels like an entirely different matter... I've never been great at letting go... It has been a year of unexpected changes for me - so many endings, deaths, and a dire diagnosis here and there - for so many that I know... Surely this year thus far, has not in any way turned out to be what I had envisioned or expecte

A Heart Skipping Beats

Sometimes a heart skips beats... Sometimes it does it literally, and other times figuratively... Sometimes a heart skips beats because it is overwhelmed - or it has suffered much, or it has tried to contain too much within... And sometimes, when that realization is made, a torrent of sadness and grief is released... Sometimes a heart skips beats... And sometimes, it happens both literally, and figuratively at the same time... There is always a message in everything... I think of this at the river, as undulating waves lap at my feet by the riverbank... This is a year of so much change for so many - on so very many levels... Sometimes, when one finds oneself transitioning from one phase of life to another - a heart may skip beats... Yes, a heart can skip beats - both literally and figuratively when one casts aside what was and all that it entails - and finds oneself instead, on the threshold to something new, and unknown... And only then, is skipping a beat - a good thing...

A Butterfly's Dance of Joy and Transformation

This morning, after rising early, meditating, and going for a long walk, I went down to the river. It is the last day of school in this county, and there were a lot of people and quite a flurry of activity in the park. So I walked down to the boat launch area to survey the river and to do my "river meditations" and practices, which I like to refer to as my "river ablutions." After a while, unbeknownst to me, something perched itself on my arm. I saw it out of the corner of my eye - in my peripheral vision on my right, and I freaked. It looked like some huge spider. I tried to brush it off a couple of times, but it wouldn't leave. Finally, I brushed it off - with my car keys, which I still had in my left hand, and it flew away. Well, I thought it flew away, then I noticed it quivering on the ground towards my left. I watched it, feeling incredibly remorseful. It was a white and black butterfly, like nothing I had seen before. It quivered, and attempted to hobbl

The Transit of Venus

I wake up, and meditate for an hour, mindful that today, in the heavens, something will be seen that will not happen again for 122 years... They say that at the heart of this Transit of Venus, lies a mystical influence, that can enable us to connect our hearts with our minds in profound and mystical ways... They say that this Transit, will allow for a balance of male and female energies - and that it heralds the advent of Divine Feminine and ushers in a new era... And though it is cloudy, and I cannot see this event, I have seen it with the eyes of my soul, and have felt its energy all throughout the day... I go to the river for further meditations, and then for a long walk, imprinting in my mind all the intentions and affirmations that will enable me to harness the powers of this day to move forward in my life... This is a time to step into a greater flow and let go of what no longer serves, and on my walk I hear these words: to be in the flow-- let it go to go with the flow-- let i

Going With the Flow: Ruminations on Satya and Mindfulness

I took a lazy jaunt down to the river later in the morning after teaching. It was one of those breezy mornings where the cool air wafted in through open windows while we practiced and it made savasana even more delicious. It was very windy down by the river, and I observed the river's undulating waves and reflected on what it means to go with the flow. I watched a couple get their kayak ready to put into the water, but it was not one of those days I would consider going in. You'd have to do a lot of work to get anywhere - unless you were willing to go with the flow... When we are in the flow, we are very present, and mindful, and accepting of what is. While I was at the river, a young man sat slouched on a bench to my side, very much absorbed with his iPhone. Not once did I see him look up at the breathtaking scenery around him. Later, I went for a walk, and another man just as absorbed with his device - practically collided into me. I wondered when he would look up to see

Dancing With Animals and Life Lessons

The animals continue to speak... Today, it was two ants demanding my attention - one crawling on me down by a river that was swift, turbulent and muddy from the recent rains. The other one followed me to the car, and then promptly hopped on to my steering wheel to follow me home... An ant symbolizes patience, order, and discipline... "The ant teaches you how to become the architect of your life. The greatest success comes with persistence. The ant shows you how to work with others. Ask yourself it you are making things harder than they need to be. Are you being patient with your own and others' efforts? Using discipline, you can lay a foundation for success." These are very interesting insights to consider, because during my drive to the river this morning, I reflected on what may be nascent opportunities for me to offer a retreat or workshop on yoga and prayer. I also thought about marketing and self-promotion - and how uncomfortable I am with all of that. And then