Monday, February 25, 2008

Winter Tulips...

Just across the alley from me is another little cottage. Even through the snow and winds, a basket of fake yellow tulips hangs upon its perfectly painted buttercream side. An emblem, perhaps, of our human hope (folly!) for a perfect, pretty, safe, and steady life... Ha!

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I always resisted the translation of "Savitur" (as in the Sri Gayatri Mantra) as the "adorable one."

But here, watching these adorable little birds outside my window pecking at the ground, I get a sense that God's got something with this adorable quality!

I always preferred to translate Savitur as "that radiance of God's love that is irresistible." But now I see that it's the adorable quality that is indeed irresistible!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Life is like falling off a cliff.

The moment we're born, we tip off. Oblivious, for the first many years, google-gaggling and bopping joyfully around...

Then at some point we wake up to the fact that someday we'll go "Splat!" Existential fear grabs us, and we begin flailing about recklessly - trying to grab onto anything, learn to fly, hold on to each other for dear life.

Perhaps we surround ourselves with enough distractions that we feel safe and cozy for awhile. But something in our hearts knows... But when we don't admit it, we start fearing the things in our lives - trying to grasp harder, or pushing away stronger (skt: raga, dvesha). Essentially, creating a lot of suffering.

But if we admit this existential fear, there's a precious opportunity to embrace it - to embrace the tender uncertainty that lies behind it, relaxing into the falling, flying... Sure someday this falling and flailing will end, and all the fleeting things we cherish also... But there is this precious moment.

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Ahh, now I see! Meditation and yoga are ways we torture ourselves until we simply give up.

Not "give up" in the sense of flopping to the ground and doing nothing - but where we give up fighting and let Grace guide us, moving with ease in every living, breathing moment...

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Saturday, February 16, 2008


In pranayama practice today, I had this moment where the prana froze me - so that I had no choice but to sit in a particular position (nothing fancy, just sitting - as if in meditation - but with a certain sense of balance...). It occurred to me then how often I'd wished "God" would just tell me in no uncertain terms what to do. Yet in this now-moment as it was happening, I realized the preciousness of our human capacity for choice.

Then the sensation subsided, and as if by a gentle grace, I also felt myself drawn to sit a certain way (again, just a particular sense of balance in the way I was already sitting). Then I thought of how that sense of choice can be a discernment - or perhaps conscious and mindful awareness of the Tao...

So now, I no longer ask "God, hit me over the head with the truth," but rather, "may I be ever more aware, that I may wisely choose (or perhaps more aptly, discern) the way of least resistance, to walk in divine Grace..."

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Clean Slate

One simple thing that has felt helpful in embracing a Gentler Pace...

To take time for the in-betweens. When I pause in the morning to meditate and focus on my breath, or do asana practice, my workday is more effective. When I properly nourish myself with a good dinner, and perhaps even take time to read or write (or simply rest!) afterwards, then my evening music practice becomes more full. If I don't pause in between, I'm running on auto-pilot, not even realizing what I'm carrying (energetically) from where I've just been. My 'next-thing' becomes colored, even unconsciously, and eventually fatigue sets in... We often have no idea the depth of our experience – and the preciousness of it! – until we stop and digest. These pauses can be, and often are, very small moments – but the benefit I gain in allowing myself 5 minutes (or an hour) to stop, breathe, and integrate is Rich. From this richness I move on to each new moment with fullness of presence, integrity, and a clean slate.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Darkening of the Light

Umm, I know it may sound trivial… but I'm wearing dark colors again :-)

It was pretty all-of-the sudden, since the night I bought a cajón – the box drum with the phat bass and snappy snare that's often played in Flamenco music… Suddenly I felt I needed to come down to Earth. Of course, I didn't know I hadn't been down-to-earth :-)

But indeed, I have been in a pretty vast realm of Letting-Go, unattachment, freedom and grace…

It feels good to feel the ground of Earth also.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

A Gentle Pace...

I've been noticing that over the last week, since returning to my little Boulder sanctuary, I have been moving at a different pace.  Rather than flinging myself recklessly into my life - or worse yet, living by obligation - I've been moving slow and deliberately - with radically methodical mindfulness.

I am actually allowing myself, granting permission, to stop.  To not do too much, as seems to be the disease of this day and age... To not do just because I think I "should." To actually say "no." It feels like I've gained perspective and have stepped off the treadmill. In yoga, in singing practices, in work even, I'm taking each step slowly, deliberately - not rushing ahead past what is present now. I am only taking on so much every day as feels healthy and graceful to my energy flow. And I am setting aside time to catch up on simple things - working with teaching videos and cds I've never popped in the player, writing and reading when I feel like it, sitting in my music space nightly surrounded by all my instruments...

Most of all, I'm finally allowing myself to accept that there is ample time to live this way. In fact, it's the way we were meant to live!

Even in my simple daily movements - the way I walk across the room, pick something up, rise from sitting... - even in these most simple of tasks I see a mindfulness taking place. While perhaps I am moving a bit slower, mindful awareness makes me more efficient. I think perhaps ultimately this will be the way I will age gracefully...

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