Spirit Guides

Spirit Guides

The Beauty of Diversity

You are uniquely yourself, yet you are many selves. You are both singular and diverse, a continually unfolding being. As my teacher Dr Douglas Brooks frequently points out, the self who you are with your parent is not the same as the self you are with your lover, your child, or your best friend. This does not make you inauthentic in any way. It simply means that you are multi-faceted. At the core of your identity is this play between your singularity and your diversity.

Walt Whitman by photographer George C. Cox, New York, 1887
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Spirit Guides

The Beauty of Your Story

Once upon a time there was a beautiful young man who played the flute exquisitely. He lived in a small village of cow-herders. In this village all of the women were madly in love with him because of his good looks and his music. One day as he wandered, playing his flute, the women stopped milking their cows and followed his music deeply into the forest, where, seduced by the sound, they dreamed and longed for him.

They began to argue and fight, each claiming that she was the charismatic man’s true love. Suddenly they realized that he had vanished, and they panicked, churning through every lover’s emotion, from jealousy to hope, joy to anguish. Exhausted, they finally became peaceful, and it was then that the beautiful man reappeared. The man, whose name was Krishna, multiplied himself so that everywhere each milkmaid looked, behind the trees and in the streams, in the clouds and behind her eyelids, all that she could see was him. Dazed and sated with love, the milkmaids wandered out of the woods, and back to their homes, carrying the magic of the forest, the beauty of the music, and their passion for Krishna with them. They had internalized the story, and everything they needed was within. 

Krishna with Milkmaids
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Susanna Harwood... said "

I wish I could be there to hear YOU tell the stories, brilliant one! ..." More comments...

Spirit Guides

The Beauty of Listening

I spent this past weekend in a meditation workshop with a small group of fellow yoga teachers with whom I’ve been studying asana and philosophy for many years. We engaged in multiple meditations with breaks to write notes and share information. The act of setting aside a weekend to do this created a space within which our minds were able to become quiet.

Listen (via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ky_olsen/3133347219/">ky_olsen</a>)
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Spirit Guides

The Beauty of Transitions

I noticed the transition this past week – my hands felt smooth and papery when I woke up in the morning, the bathroom floor tiles felt cold instead of cool under my feet. I started craving warm foods in the morning and evening, and I felt quiet, more inward. I observed my body and mind responding to the shifting weather and moving into their autumnal state. It wasn’t an external marker that made me aware of the seasonal shift, such as the beginning of the academic year or baseball season waning. The transition could be felt in my very body chemistry—sort of like a plant responding to the barometric pressure.

Everything in nature pulsates energetically. In yoga we use the Sanskrit word spanda to refer to the pulsation of the universe, of nature, of our bodies. Just as a flower or leaf may close at night and open up again in the daylight, our bodies open and close, drawing energy inward and then radiating it back out.

nataraja.jpg
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Spirit Guides

The Beauty of the Unknown

This morning I woke up at 6:30 am when the alarm on my iPhone went off. It was still dark out, cool, rainy, and almost completely silent, but I could hear my friends moving about the room. Sharon Kenny and I were upstate assisting our friend Zhenja LaRosa with an Anusara® Teacher Training retreat and the three of us had personal meditation practices that we planned to do before joining the group. As each of us moved into our individual meditations, I found my mind wandering off, distracted by my fatigue and my curiosity about the dent in my mattress, detoured by a recollection about a party I had been to Saturday evening and by the color choices I had made in a drawing that I had just started. I began wonder about what I would eat for breakfast.

Meditation is like a mysterious structure that you enter into that contains within it every rasa, or flavor of experience. As I wandered through the hallways of my meditation, I ducked under one thought, pushed another one behind a door, and in frustration, was about to exit, when…there it was…my own personal space of meditation. Just when it seemed like an impossibility, I softened, stopped being so hard on myself, let my daily thoughts and distractions rest to the side, and stepped into the unknown.

Thoughts (via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wadem/3186532108/">wadem</a>)
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Spirit Guides

The Beauty of the Universe

Imagine your body as a universe - a vast cosmic landscape in which every planet and every star is a point of energy signifying one of your particular qualities, talents, or aspects of your identity. Imagine each of these coalesced points of energy as a marker of some aspect of your life. Now imagine recognizing that that vastness, that sense of limitless possibility, that ever-expanding tapestry of seen and unseen, darkness punctuated with flashes of illumination…is your very essence.

Universe (via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/898622334/">jurvetson</a>)
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Spirit Guides

The Beauty of Alignment

“The future is about responding in alignment” - John Friend, September 11, 2010

Daily life is an ever-shifting process of aligning and realigning. You wake up and realize it’s raining or that you forgot to buy food for breakfast. Maybe you check your email and see a message that adds a layer of complication to your day or one that makes you excited about how your day will unfold. Perhaps you make the most perfect breakfast and the coffee has never tasted so delicious, or instead you forgot to pick up milk and feel vaguely disappointed. You imagined this, but now you have to readjust to that. Every moment of your day instigates a series of tiny shifts and adjustments. Each adjustment is a point of departure from which your actions and choices ripple outward, affecting your life and the lives of the people around you. So the essential question becomes: how do you align with those incremental shifts and changes - with what was, with what is and with what might be?

John Friend as SuperOM- Boston 2010
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Spirit Guides

The Beauty of Beginnings

It’s officially September. No ocean weekends, roof deck urban sunbathing, or persistent flip-flop wearing can deny it. For many of us, this signifies the bittersweet trailing off of summertime heat – a regretful goodbye to the radiant openness of our bodies that offers us a similarly open state of mind. For others, the transition into September is filled with the excitement of the new – the cooler weather activating our motivation, our work ethic – a shift into focusing and goal setting. So I remind myself at the onset of autumn that this season can be about possibility and freshness, an opportunity to create a new way of thinking, to set new habits, to shift emphasis from something that didn’t serve us to something that holds potential. An opportunity to make our someday into our now.

I begin my autumn by committing to some particular practice for 5 minutes each day. Seriously - 5 minutes.

Yellow Leaf (via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sallypics/57769197/">My aim is true</a>)
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Spirit Guides

The Beauty of Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge is different from wisdom. Knowledge is acquired information, facts, or technique, like how to speak another language or do a handstand or bake a cake. There is external proof of your knowledge in the form of visible accomplishment. Knowledge enables you to make an educated decision, to get things done, and is the foundation for wisdom. Wisdom is what you do with knowledge, how you apply acquired information to the rest of your life. Wisdom is far more subtle and elusive than knowledge and is not measurable. It is a refinement or an expansion of knowledge. Wisdom is how poetically you speak that language, the radiance of your handstand, the transcendent, “oh!” of the cake.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Picasso
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Spirit Guides

The Beauty of the Fire

We must destroy to create. I say this not as an endorsement of aggression or violence, but as an observation of a fundamental fact of nature. When we truly desire change in our lives, when we crave the transformation of our bodies and minds, we need to burn down our old patterns and habits to make room for the new. We must dramatically and emphatically rid ourselves of that which no longer serves us. Sometimes things need to fall apart before they can come back together in a more positive and substantial way. When you burn something, you transform it. It's a form of alchemy.

(via Ian Britton/freephoto.com)
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msh258 said "

this is beautiful and so true...over the past year and a half i've ..." More comments...



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