Saturday, February 27, 2010

To 'Be' is Enough

I watch my mind spin out of control as the wind swirls and the dampness seeps through my skin. I want more, to be more, to have more, to succeed. But what does it mean? I don't even see a clear goal - it is just an experience of 'this is not enough' somehow. I am not enough somehow.

I devour books in search of truth. I look to horoscopes and pearls of wisdom for guidance. Then I see the passage, "Consciousness is colored by the states that visit it." ~ Buddha.
As a further explanation, 'the way we experience life is created by particular states of mind with which we meet it.' ~ Jack Kornfield

What is my state of mind? Agitated and disappointed with this woman who sees things differently than I do. Frustrated with the media for their negativity and constant search for the bad news. Joyful to see a childhood friend and know he is healthy and happy. Calmed by heart-felt conversation. Anticipation for more Olympic success.

My state of mind and emotion move with the the conditions and experiences of my external reality, but breath just continues to move in and out of my body, subtly responding to my interpretation of things; a little more shallow with anticipation, holding in fear, deeply in joy. What happens if I just breathe the breath that is calming and joyful? Continual nurturing breath, feeding the body and the heart.

Monday, February 22, 2010


The room was filled with a curious, perhaps intrepid energy. All 20 of us expecting to learn partner postures. Some with the idea of learning new poses, some with the idea of currying favor with a partner and perhaps some with no expectation or desire at all. The foundation for the practice was presented as 4 agreements; to take nothing personally, to be impeccable with our word (owning our experience), to make no assumptions (particularly about our partner's experience) and to participate fully.

We flowed through very beautiful and opening, strenuous movements. Partner Yoga, is relationship Yoga. I did not know my partner before beginning and I watched as I evaluated her practice. Then I watched myself and my own relationship to her. I saw my inclination to draw away from being impeccable with my word, draw away from sharing my experience. I saw my inclination for my own space and to have MY OWN practice. I watched my own resistance to HER practice, my desire to control it in some way - to 'fix' it for her. And I saw the struggle for us both.

Finally, I surrendered. I let go of the outcome I wanted, I let go of how the pose should be and held on to the relationship to her. I let go of my relationship to my own desire to be best, better, more - even at the cost of relationships to others
Now... to practice off the mat.

Monday, February 15, 2010


The morning came too early with little feet kicking me under the covers and an arm carelessly dropped onto my head. In a half awake state, wanting the solitude of my bed, the thoughts began bombarding my mind. Thoughts of judgment, resentment, anxiety. Gradually, wakefulness expanded and I could eventually repeat the mantra, "I am not my thoughts."

Making my way downstairs, I commit to meditation. Practice. Practice. Striving for a tool to counter the thought imposed suffering. Thoughts can change. I choose whether to stick with the thoughts. Impermanence. In each moment I am never the same as the last moment.

Diving into the cyber world I am immediately caught by the pictures--the memories of beautiful feelings. I recognize the unchecked smile and expression in one of the pictures. Not trying, completely surprised and open. Feeling so rich!

Abundance is not what I have, it is what I FEEL I have to share. Resources, love, intelligence, potential. Those are feelings of a sage - absolute potential to share.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Me first

I parked illegally on the wrong side of the street as I checked my phone messages. The University vicinty side streets lined with cars and there was no where else to stop. I felt this was not a busy street, I should only be a minute. Two or three cars came along in what seemed to be succession and struggled to get around me. I tried to finish quickly. Then a car came behind me and another to my left. They rallied with each other to get past. I dropped my phone and put my car into gear and tried to move quickly - and yes I was irritated. The tires spun on the icy shoulder and I could not get going beyond a crawl. I gave it more gas. My irritation rose. Finally four blocks away I found legal parking and stopped.

As I told myself the story about how they shouldn't have been so pushy and there shouldn't have been so much traffic and then ranted about parking in this area, suddenly this other idea came creeping up on me. I was just as selfish as those guys trying to hustle around me. I felt I deserved to parked illegally because I had phone messages to respond to. I, I, I, me, me, me.

I had behaved exactly as they had - with the intention to believe myself to be more important. To take care of myself, my desire first.
Man. So human. We all just want to feel important.

Then it struck me, the question is: Does this action support me in BEING me?Am I expressing the values and virtues that feel right to me? Why do I need to feel important? That morning I did not.

That question seemed to open Pandora's box.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A friend said...

'I wondered whether I was using my voice to say what I really wanted to say or whether I wanted to say something very different.' (paraphrase).
Powerful. It has had me wondering what I really wanted to say.

When I teach Yoga I speak the truth of what I want I believe. Get in touch with your body. Experience fully how it feels to stand on one leg, don't just stand on one leg. I was that kind of climbing coach. Understand how it feels to move through your core and engage your hip flexor, to relax your shoulder and extend your reach.
Skillful action comes with awareness.

Listening to what is skillful in my effort - I need to teach.