Sunday, April 28, 2019

Infinite Connection

Connection to ourselves, and all that we are as human beings is an infinite journey.  Whenever we look into an aspect of ourselves and begin to refine our awareness, more and more details become available to us:  there is infinite depth.  As we continue to grow and adapt to the world which is also changing and growing, we discover infinite breadth.  And since our body-mind systems have an innate potential to restore and heal, we are continually re-weaving as we deepen our practice!  Factor in relating with the beings around us, who are also on their own evolving journeys, and we begin to get a sense of the scope of discovery that is possible.  In this exploration, as we explore and learn and understand more, and we also expand a sense of how much more remains unknown to us. 

Meeting the unknown, we practice grounding ourselves in curiosity and openness to discovery.  At first, this seems risky.  Yet as we continue on this path, we begin to be touched by beauty, which supports a sense of softening, acceptance, compassion which leads us to an embodied experience of love.  Not love as a concept, but love as an energy, a way of being, which unfolds itself in mysterious ways. 

Art - Source Unknown

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Will or Surrender?

(Originally shared in a newsletter - January 19, 2019)

Hello Friends,

Many years ago, I remember sitting with my teacher.  It was time for a new mantra for me, and he explained to me that there were two main doorways into the tradition I was studying, called Sri Vidya, which means resplendent wisdom.  One of the doorways is characterized by practices that cultivate and hone the qualities of will, knowledge and action.  The other doorway is characterized by practices related to surrender and devotion.  Both doorways and both sets of practices lead to the same place, the same divine center of wholeness, containing fire and light.  Years later another teacher drew a diagram of two paths, one moving actively up the spine as the personal evolves to gradually include the collective, and the other receiving light from above down the spine, from divine receptivity to embodiment.  In both cases, separate practices are prescribed on a particular path that is distinct from the other, AND the paths are ultimately “not-two,” in that they each culminate in embodiment, humanity, wholeness, and are lit by a spark of divine blessing, evolution, and creativity.

In the first meeting I described, I chose the path of will, knowledge and action.  It sounded exciting to me – spiritual warriorship!  And it was; it is.  In this last year, I have sometimes felt amused (in my good moments) as I have faced into life-changes that I did not see coming.  Wondering how I could cope with challenging and unexpected events, it dawned on me that I could actively choose to surrender and do practices to cultivate my connection and receptivity to light. Now I understand these two paths, and how they are different and similar, in a more visceral way than I ever expected.  I am grateful for this gift.

Let me know if you’d like to know more about these pathways and related practices.  I include this information in my yoga teacher trainings, and I have a very special teacher training offering in the works which I will announce soon.  I will also include some of this information in my upcoming online class – Evolutionary Embodiment.

I have landed in St. Louis, and I am happy to say it feels like home.  My process of arriving here reminds me of the story, “Are you my Mother?”   Here as I ask, “are you my home?” I feel a “yes.”  And I smile, grateful!

I have added a few subs at my long-term yoga home, Big Bend Yoga Center.  See the dates here. 
I am starting a weekly yoga class (Wednesday mornings 7:15am) and a weekly Transformation Playground Dance Class (Tuesday evenings 7:15pm) at Yoga Source this week. 

I am available and in the market for more work, such as the following:
I am looking for other places to teach regular yoga classes, and regular Transformation Playground Dance classes.  (Preferably not on weekends, so I can keep those available for workshops and trainings.) 
I am also available for Yoga private sessions, group sessions, corporate yoga, or specialty classes. 
I intend to add workshops, special events and online classes very soon. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of service to you or your community.

And, I am wondering specifically where and how I want to create a more permanent living arrangement here in the St. Louis area.  (Is anything in this world permanent? …. Well, maybe not, but still that’s the kind of thing I want to create.)  My exploration is still unfolding – commence daily action plus surrender! 

Abundant Blessings,

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Beauty of Meditating Together

Meditation supports, empowers, and expands my healing and personal growth, for many years now.

What most excites me about individual meditation these days is two-fold:  embodiment and inspiration.  These two forms of meditation complement each other.  Like a yin / yang symbol, a joining of opposites, their energies require each other for wholeness and integration.

  • Mindfulness meditation connects us with our bodies and with what is happening within, dissolving tensions and resistance.  This form of meditation supports integrating various aspects of experience:  body sensations, breath, senses, feelings, and thoughts.  Through practice we build capacity to attune with these various inner "frequencies,"  weaving together our consciousness seamlessly, cultivating embodiment.  Embodiment brings us to the *ground* of the present moment, which we might think of as standing on what has come before, what was built on the past.  History is present within us as human beings, not just mentally as ideas and stories, but actually wired into our physiology. 
  • Inspirational meditation connects us with spaciousness, light, and growth.  This form of meditation supports turning toward our callings, yearnings, a magnetic pull to who we can become.  Through various practices (such as surrender, prayer, mantra, contemplation, intention, or meditation on sacred texts, spaciousness and light) we connect with higher, faster, or more subtle vibrational frequencies toward becoming:  an evolutionary update for our our body/heart/mind structures.  Inspiration calls us forward, individually and relationally.  
While meditation creates many benefits, it's not a magic pill.  It's common to discover various tensions, numb places, energetic blocks, and disturbances, and sometimes psychotherapy, body-centered therapies, and / or inter-personal connection is necessary to resolve issues that come to light while meditating.  A paraphrase from Thomas Huebl which I resonate with is:  "What was hurt in connection heals in connection."  The do-it-alone mentality which is an ideal of many yogic and spiritual communities can itself be a manifestation of trauma, an avoidance of connection.  And still,  meditation is a powerful tool, in combination with whatever other healing support may be needed.

What most excites me about group meditation is that whether the group is united in physical proximity, coordinated timing, and/or joint intention, collective practice strengthens the impact of the meditation for each meditater individually, for the whole group, and also expands benefits into the collective field.  The possibilities of such practices are profound.

I'm hosting a monthly meditation gathering at the Big Bend Yoga Center, New Moon Meditation.  The next gathering is Sunday, May 5 at 5pm.  All details are here.