Author: <span class="vcard">ifc</span>

zafuIn 2001, I had the great good fortune to meet Sylvia Boorstein, a meditation teacher from the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. I loved her at first sight. She was the epitome of The GrandMother archetype for me. Round, jolly, sparkling, and chock full of the kind of everyday wisdom that only comes from deep study and years of personal practice. I assisted her with her 5-day program at Kripalu Center and became enamoured of Metta Meditation as a spiritual practice. Every summer for the following four years I returned to Kripalu to assist, practice and learn from Sylvia all about metta and the practice of lovingkindness.

Metta Meditation is a practice that was given to the Buddah’s students whereby particular phrases are repeated over and over, as in a mantra practice. The difference is that the phrases are first oriented towards oneself, then directed towards someone else, and finally for the well being of All beings. Beginning with oneself is critically important as the following quote of Gautama Buddah suggests.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”

Nice.

Buddhism consciousness Dharma Karma Meditation Miscellaneous philosophy quotes Yoga

 

Grainne Hambly on the harp

It’s that time again…….time to practice all those wonderful Celtic tunes on my harp. Get out the green clothes. Dance a jig…….or two.

The album cover here is one of my harp teachers. She’s from Ireland and travels around teaching traditional Irish tunes by ear. The amazing thing is that I’ve actually learned to play from her………..and other wonderful teachers as well.

Gratitude to the teachers……………………….

Click on the album cover to go to her website and try to catch a performance if you can!!

Harp Music

We talk about the Edge in yoga class a lot. It’s a place that’s easy to find…..you’re on the mat, stretching, and then you hit the wall, you can’t go any farther. You’ve reached your edge. Everyone handles that spot differently. Some push, forcing their bodies to go further. Others, back off, fearing the sensations that occur there, worrying about injury or something like that. Regardless of what category you fall in, it’s an interesting place because it clearly shows you how you “do your life”……..pushing forward or backing off.

In Kripalu yoga, and in my classes particularly the lesson is to “explore” it. Discover, here and now, your relationship to the edge. The yoga lesson is to “be comfortable with what is”…..definitly easier said than done. If you are experiencing discomfort in the stretch, can you simply breathe into it and let it be okay? If you choose to back off and not approach the discomfort zone, can you let that be okay? Pushing past the edge is okay if you are edging forward slowly with mindful awareness and keen sensitivity to the sensations in your body. Forcing or pushing is definitly not okay.

How you do your yoga is how you do your life.

Did you practice yoga today?

Holistic Health Kripalu philosophy Yoga Yoga Therapy

 

On the Tightrope

 

He said, “Come to the Edge.”
I said, “I can’t, I’m afraid.”

He said, “Come to the Edge.”
I said, “I can’t, I’ll fall off.”
He said, finally, “Come to the Edge.”
And I came to the Edge.
And he pushed me.
And I flew.
Guillaume Apollinaire
(1880-1918)

ecstatic poetry Miscellaneous philosophy Poetry Uncategorized Yoga

winking chimp

The Hundredth Monkey

by Ken Keyes, jr. The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years.

In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.

An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.

This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists.

Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable.

Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.

Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes — the exact number is not known.

Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes.

Let’s further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.

THEN IT HAPPENED!

By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them.

The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!

But notice.

A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea —

Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes.

Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.

Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.

But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!

(from the book “The Hundredth Monkey” by Ken Keyes, jr. The book is not copyrighted and the material may be reproduced in whole or in part.

Buddhism consciousness Miscellaneous The Sciences

Re-ordering the Solar System

Astronomers often disagree over what it is exactly that they’re seeing. Recently, we’ve watched them downgrade planets to dwarf planets, and discover new dwarf planets that share our Sun. It takes a long time for science to prove something. Astrologers are also cautious when faced with the task of interpreting the symbolism and metaphysical energy of a new orbiting body. What the astrologers do is to look closely at the current conditions on earth and begin to weave those details into the mythology of the named planet. What’s so amazing is that when one looks backward to the history, it is so clear how each planet and it’s astrological interpretations are ideally reflective of the conditions on earth.

Eris was officially announced to the world in July of 2005. In mythology she was the goddess of strife, discord, contention and rivalry. Hmmm, look around. See anything? The State of The Planet, perhaps? This is how it works when a new energy enters into our consciousness. Because Eris is so very far away she tends to remain in a zodiac sign for a very, very, very long time. She’s been traveling thru Aries now since April 1924 and she’ll be in that sign until 2045. Where is Aries in your natal chart?

Eris, The Goddess of Discord

One way to think about this would be to draw an analogy to the place where you live. Imagine for a moment that tomorrow when you wake up your home has suddently doubled in size with brand new rooms you’ve never seen or entered into before. It might take some time to ‘process’ that new information!

For now there’s nothing more to think about other than to figure out where in your life are you experiencing strife, discord & rivalry and how to deal with it. I suggest attending a yoga class.

Astrology Planets and their Cycles

Astrology lunar phases Planets and their Cycles The Lunar Cycle

lotus chart

Dear Journal,

We’re entering into another eclipse ‘season’. Oh my. On Saturday, March 3 there will be a lunar eclipse at 13Virgo which is the mid-point between my natal Mars & natal Saturn. It’s definitly a hot spot in my chart! I’ve learned that making absolute predictions doesn’t really work……it’s the essence & energy that’s important to understand.

Eclipse’s were feared in ancient times………they always seemed to bring about the death of the king or some other major change. Just imagine looking into the sky and seeing the moon (or the sun) disappear!

Eclipse’s always come in pairs so on March 18 we’ll have a Solar Eclipse at 28Pisces a much easier degree for me personally.

Breathing, relaxing, and practicing yoga is a good way to move thru stressful times. I’ll remember.

……………………………………to be continued.

Astrology journal entry lunar phases Yoga

Don’t curse the darkness–light a candle.
— Chinese proverb

Candle Flame

Miscellaneous


THe lungs

The average human breathes 13-15 times a minute or 21,000-21600 times in a 24 hour day.
21,600 breaths per day = 7,884,000 breaths per year
7,884,000 breaths per year = 946,080,000 breaths in 120 years or the life span of a healthy human according to yogic texts.

The yogi measures a life not by years but rather by the number of breaths one is allotted to each lifetime.Logic suggests then to slow it down, and make each breath longer if one wants to live longer. In this way we actually conserve energy and increase our vitality and increase our chances of experiencing bliss.

“Breath is mind in action……
The implication of this technology is that we are not helpless victims of a given emotional state.
By altering the flow of nasal breath, the body chemistry gradually changes and unwanted emotional and physiological states slowly disappear”
Harish Johari, author of Breath, Mind and Consciousness.

Ancient Wisdom Ayurveda Holistic Health Yoga Yoga Therapy