Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heavy On My Mind

On a Chicago Street ~ Summer 2010

The weight and wonder of material possessions is a subject that continues to cycle through my mind and heart these days.

Ultimately, coming from a family where *many* cherished items have been passed down through generations, and then coming to terms with the fact that I, being childless, will be where they stop ~ is giving me great pause.  If there's no one to pass this stuff on to ~ and it no longer resembles who I am becoming ~ then why am I keeping it?

It seems that, in my several-year quest to unearth my authentic self and fully embrace this persistent mid-life transformation ~ the quandary of 'too much stuff' is one of the final frontiers requiring navigation.

It is entirely possible that a radical unburdening of my possessions is about to happen.

After all, my word for the year IS freedom, right???

* * *

Click here to read an interesting article about consumerism, with a fantastic quote by Thoreau.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

As We Gather for Easter

* * *

The Five Contemplations

1.  This food is the gift of the whole universe; 
the earth, the sky, numerous living beings, 
and much hard, loving work.

2.  May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude 
so as to be worthy to receive it.

3.  May we recognize and transform 
our unwholesome mental formations, 
especially our greed, 
and learn to eat with moderation.

4.  May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way 
that we reduce the suffering of living beings, 
preserve our planet, and reverse the process of global warming.

5.  We accept this food so that we may 
nurture our sisterhood and brotherhood, 
strengthen our community, 
and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

* * * 

from Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung

You may read more
on the Five Mindfulness Trainings

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Healing Begins

There is *nothing* more relevant or important I could post today than this.

Please allow yourself to soak it in.

And then, if you feel so inclined, share your experience in the comments.

*Update: Unfortunately, due to abusive and violent feedback, the original video embedding has been removed. You can view the video by clicking here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Compassion in Action, Devotion in Motion

This past week I have felt like one, big, exposed, raw nerve.   After an intense weekend with lovely friends, which included YogaDance and Kundalini yoga, my body and spirit were in need of some serious restorative time.  A great deal had apparently been brought up and out for transmutation.  It took a good two days or so before I came back to homeostasis.

The way I have been feeling humorously reminded me of the above episode of Ren & Stimpy.  Ren has a horrible toothache and the cartoon painfully portrays his stinky, throbbing mouth and naked nerve endings.

In the midst of my sensitive state, I still had to maintain may daily routines.  Working with the students in the afternoons was quite remarkable as I attempted to keep my peaceful center among the cacophony and crass attitudes of 40+ kids in a busy martial arts classroom.  Oy!

Other sights, sounds, personalities, and experiences have touched my sensitive state as well.  It's been a week of reflection and continual self adjustment.

*Craving* spiritual solitude and insight, in addition to physical renewal, and soul clarity, I am pleased to end the week with an evening of Kirtan.  In the presence of my beautiful teacher, Laurel, and her talented husband, Dan, tonight I will gather in satsang with fellow devotees on the path of enlightenment.

Our evening will center around the Ramayana ~ and we will be singing chants for Sita, Ram, and Hanuman.  (Hanuman!  One of my favorites!)  Hanuman represents ultimate devotion.  You can read his story here.

And, if nothing else ~ and in spite of my raw-nerve state ~ I can confidently say that I am devoted to the process....the ongoing (and sometimes arduous) process of waking up to my True Divine Self.

* * *

Here's a link that will take you to MC Yogi's version of a great song for Hanuman. :)