mr bojangles

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earthquakes shaking

the lands

desert trees

quivering singing

mr bojangles so calm

inside while the world

is breaking

all around falling

apart

but not here

two guitars and a violin

a dog

called pretty and flowers

on the table like a scene

from a movie

door’s voice touching

my soul so deep

inside

i’ve been reborn

again today

my skin is still hot

my body

still rocking

i’m in a dream

a dream

in the desert where

many have walked

in my body nude

on this rock

in the sun this

desert feeds my soul

what a magical place

it is

i think we can change

the world

with our love

Moving Forward

Nearing one week of 3 new daily practices and already I see positive changes happening in my life!

I am beginning each day with Sadhana; pranayama and yoga. I started with 10 rounds of Nadi shodhana and 5-10 minutes of yoga. Each day I find myself inspired to practice longer and to move deeper into the practice. I moved my practice from my living room to the practice room, from the rug to a yoga mat.

I have also joined a YAR (You Are Responsible) group and will, for 5 weeks, journal each day about my success and challenges in treating others how I like to be treated. We have a community page that we use to post our journal entries. It’s quite an interesting experience so far. I am becoming more aware of how my emotional and mental states have an energetic effect on the words that I use to communicate. I expect to learn many great things about myself and my methods of communication through this exercise.

My 3rd practice is a meditation offered to me by my beloved to help me to learn to digest “negative” energy that I take in from the people around me and transform it into compassion. I sit in silent meditation for 20 minutes each day. So far my mind wanders fairly quickly. I tend to think about a yoga flow that I’m practicing for a class I’ll be teaching in February. I’m not making a great effort to move my focus back to the meditation. It feels like it will happen naturally and my mind is wandering to a good place.

As a result of the introduction of these new practices I am feeling more inspired to spend time in my garden as well as the communal spaces at my home. I am motivated to attend every Deep Healing Yoga class that my schedule allows. I am breathing deeper and fuller throughout the day. I am less annoyed by my cat, Jeffrey and more connected to my partner and I feel more confidence when I teach.

Aho! agaveplant

Visions for the New Year

20121226-191601.jpgGratitude.  Adventure.  Creativity.  Beauty.  Abundance.  Change.  Acceptance.  And Ganesha.

Lord Ganesha, the Hindu deity in a human form with the head of an elephant – represents the power of the Supreme Being that removes obstacles and ensures success in human endeavors. For this reason, Hindus worship Ganesha first before beginning any religious, spiritual or worldly activity. In Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is the first son of Lord Shiva and the Divine Mother Parvati. Their second son is Lord Subramanya and their daughter is Jyoti. As explained below, the portrayal of Lord Ganesha as the blend of human and animal parts symbolizes the ideals of perfection as conceived by Hindu sages and illustrates some philosophical concepts of profound spiritual significance.

  • Elephant head, wide mouth, and large ears: the large head of an elephant symbolizes wisdom, understanding, and a discriminating intellect that one must possess to attain perfection in life. The wide mouth represents the natural human desire to enjoy life in the world. The large ears signify that a perfect person is the one who possesses a great capacity to listen to others and assimilate ideas.
  • The trunk and two tusks with the left tusk broken: there is no known human instrument that has an operating range as wide as that of an elephant’s trunk. It can uproot a tree and yet lift a needle off the ground. Likewise, the human mind must be strong enough to face the ups and downs of the external world and yet delicate enough to explore the subtle realms of the inner world. The two tusks denote the two aspects of the human personality, wisdom and emotion. The right tusk represents wisdom and the left tusk represents emotion. The broken left tusk conveys the idea that one must conquer emotions with wisdom to attain perfection.
  • Elephant eyes: the elephant eyes are said to possess natural deceptiveness that allows them to perceive objects to be bigger than what they really are. Thus the elephant eyes symbolize the idea that even if an individual gets “bigger and bigger” in wealth and wisdom, he should perceive others to be bigger than himself; that is, surrender one’s pride and attain humility.
  • The four arms and various objects in the four hands: the four arms indicate that the Lord is omnipresent and omnipotent. The left side of the body symbolizes emotion and the right side symbolizes reason. An axe in the upper left hand and a lotus in the upper right hand signify that in order to attain spiritual perfection, one should cut worldly attachments and conquer emotions. This enables one to live in the world without being affected by earthly temptations, just as a lotus remains in water but is not affected by it. A tray of Laddus (a popular snack) near the Lord denotes that He bestows wealth and prosperity upon His devotees. The lower right hand is shown in a blessing pose, which signifies that Ganesha always blesses His devotees.
  • A human body with a big belly: the human body possesses a human heart, which is a symbol of kindness and compassion toward all. Ganesha’s body is usually portrayed wearing red and yellow clothes. Yellow symbolizes purity, peace and truthfulness. Red symbolizes the activity in the world. These are the qualities of a perfect person who perforrns all duties in the world, with purity, peace, and truthfulness. The big belly signifies that a perfect individual must have a large capacity to face all pleasant and unpleasant experiences of the world.
  • A mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha and gazing at the tray of Laddus: a mouse symbalizes the ego that can nibble all that is good and noble in a person. A mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha indicates that a perfect person is one who has conquered his (or her) ego. A mouse gazing at the Laddus, but not consuming them, denotes that a purified or controlled ego can live in the world without being affected by the worldly temptations. The mouse is also the vehicle of Ganesha, signifying that one must control ego in order for wisdom to shine forth.
  • Right foot dangling over the left foot: as stated above, the left side of the body symbolizes emotion and the right side symbolizes reason and knowledge. The right foot dangling over the left foot illustrates that in order to live a successful life one should utilize knowledge and reason to overcome emotions.

– Bansi Pandit

Soar

I went to IPSB’s 2012 graduation ceremony on Sunday. It was a small gathering. I arrived with a speech in hand which I had not ‘practiced’ for more than about 12 minutes since writing the thing. But I knew what to say. The speech was attached to a string that went straight into my heart. It would be hard to forget what that means.

My experience was interesting.. I was able to observe the physical changes happening in my body as I waited to give the speech, stood and spoke for 4 minutes, and waited again as the ceremony continued. As I sat through the opening ceremony I felt fairly calm but my throat was so dry it hurt and it was hard to swallow. Of all the times to forget a water bottle.. anyway, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to speak when the time came. My stomach was twisting in knots.

When I was called up to the podium I focused on my breath and moved slowly, with intention. It was uncomfortable up there. As I shared the speech I made sure to look at as many people as possible. I wanted to see them see and hear me. I wanted to speak to each of them.

After I was complete I returned to my seat and observed my body as it began to shake uncontrollably. I started to sweat and my body got cold. This went on for a good 8 minutes or so then began to return to normal. This is an improvement.

I’m grateful for the invitation to speak at the ceremony on behalf of the HHP graduating class. I learned many things about myself through the process of writing and presenting the speech. Although I have completed my program at the school, I am still learning. Every day I am learning and changing and growing.

Many thanks to IPSB.. the school, the teachings, and the people.

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Congratulations to my fellow IPSB graduates! We are all destined to do great things.

Meditation Challenge

On day 5 of my meditation challenge.

Thanks to Equanimity, an app on my phone,  I’m able to easily track my sitting time. So far, I’ve spent almost 8 hours sitting in silent meditation in the past 4 days. It’s been frustrating, distracting, painful, and challenging as well as rejuvenating, calming, and insightful. It’s amazing how easy it is and, yet, it’s one of the most challenging things for me to do.

Fortunately, our landlord agreed to transform one of our rooms into a practice space with an amazing oak floor! A perfect place to meditate..

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