Category: <span>Dharma</span>

How to draw? Click here.

My love affair with geometric drawing continues with this recent rendition of a jaali screen with ‘tabla’ (drum) design found in Akbar’s Tomb, Northern India.

Drawing out dual-level patterns is another level of complexity that can be frustrating and satisfying at the same time.  Over time it’s easy to train the eye to see different levels or layers and inscribing that on a 2 dimensional piece of paper using just a compass and straight edge.   Measurements not allowed.  I completed the pencil drawing early May.  And then, as usual, it sat there, unpainted and ignored for months.  Each time I saw it in my unpainted stack I waited for inspiration to come.  I’ve looked at thousands of pictures of patterns and their coloring, or lack of.  So many possibilities!  Choosing colors is the best and most confusing part….there’s a beauty in every color when used creatively.

Then, after a stressful week of turmoil, grief, and exhaustion, I needed to play with my watercolors.  Just watching the water carry the pigment around is meditative and soothing.  No ‘trying’ to “paint a picture”.  Recognizing my turbulent mental state, I decided to limit my palette to only three colors. Structure helps.   However, at the very end of this process/painting I did add those antique gold lines for just a little bling.  Otherwise, it’s all about: Ultramarine Blue,  Yellow-Deep,   and Burnt Sienna  mixed in varying proportions. A lovely neutral palatte that eliminates all that unnecessary picking and choosing of what to dip the brush in….just mix…add water….paint…..repeat…    and there are no freehand or biomorphic swirls here either,  just lines. Follow the lines.   A Mindless, Magical, and mesmerizing meditation to paint.

It is all about the process and breathing thru it.  Yoga & Art…  Within each layer are mistakes, judgements, opinions on how it’s coming.  My attachment to ‘outcome’ rears it’s ugly head at times.  And, then I remember.  The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.  The difficulty lies in when to put the brush down?  When is enough?  There is a line between too little and too much.  Looking for that middle ground where balance and harmony co-exist.  That’s art.

namaste, everyone.   stay safe.

Dharma Geometric Art StudioIFC Watercolors

Buddha’s Five Remembrances

– Thich Nhat Hanh

I am of the nature to grow old.

There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill health.

There is no way to escape ill health.

I am of the nature to die.

There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change.

There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings.

I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.

My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

Buddhism Dharma Karma Yoga

….feeling the need to re-post this today.   Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. 

 

Within the city of Brahman,

which is the body,

there is the heart,

and within the heart

there is a little house.

 

This house has the shape of a lotus,

and within it dwells that which is to be

sought after,

inquired about,

and realized.

 

Even so large as the universe outside,

is the universe within the lotus of the heart.

Within it are heaven and earth,

the sun, moon,

the lightning

and all the stars.

 

Whatever is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm also.

Ancient Wisdom Astrology Dharma Doodles StudioIFC Yoga

Floridaastromap

It’s my one ‘day-off’ from Seva and I’m sitting at the end of the dock on the Lake observing the wildlife.  There’s about a dozen cranes meandering around the shore line, calmly strutting and passively standing around the shallow edge.  Nearby, one fat, outrageously large  goose is surveying the group. He reminds me of a sheepdog herding cattle.  The cranes don’t seem to mind him.

Suddenly in the middle of all that wonderful calm and peacefulness a mutt of a dog came chasing out of the nearby woods and raced towards them all!  Everyone began to honk and quack and  bark and scream and run and fly!  The cranes took off together in flight and the goose got him self into deeper waters where the dog couldn’t go.  It was a delightful scene produced by Mother Nature for this observer.

It took awhile for the calm to return, and now the whole group has returned to their meditations over on the property further west. 3cranes

Isn’t that like life?  We’re having a nice peaceful day and then a disturbance comes.  We get rattled.  We yell. We object.  We run away, thinking peace might return to us somewhere else.

The teaching here is asking us to take a closer look at our reactions.  We are told that those reactions are most likely a coming from our past and not necessarily the proper response to what is happening now.

Running away from a hungry, excited dog is probably the proper response for the cranes and the goose.  Yet, even though their peace was disturbed, no doubt they are calm again in this moment.  I doubt they’ll need anty therapy to get over their trauma?

We humans, however, have a mind that retains memories, makes predictions, and plans for future.  It jumps to lots of conclusions, and assumptions far beyond what is actually happening where the feet are.  Some of us have wild imaginations that spin in or out of control.  Some are absolutely delusional at times.  The point is, like all the masters have said,  stay in the now….and if a disturbance comes act accordingly if action is required.  Otherwise, observe the responses in the the body and remember to breathe.  Calm returns quicker that way.

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Blogging Dharma journal entry

There are many ways to practice yoga.   Seva, is one.

In 1997 I became a volunteer at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA.  I was offered room & board in return for my service.   Mostly,  I worked as a Faculty Assistant.  Other times I was on the  production team for the larger weekend conferences.  Eventually,  I became attached to the Inner Quest Intensive (IQI), Kripalu’s signature self-discovery program. For 10+ years  I led the Kripalu hatha yoga practice  and served as a Facilitator with this life-changing program.

Then in 2008 Kripalu’s governing body decided that faculty volunteers like myself were no longer needed and they began to remove us from the program rooms. It was a significant change for those who remember, and my time at Kripalu was greatly reduced.  The few of us who were attached to specific master teachers/programs were allowed to continue and  I was grateful. The IQI was offered three times a year and that would have to be enough seva at Kripalu.

In 2015,  Kripalu cancelled the IQI and soon thereafter cancelled all other remaining volunteer opportunities.  This decision  signaled a significant course correction for Kripalu Center.

Aside from the yoga experience, knowledge, practice and karma points I gained over 15 years of service at Kripalu, what was so unexpectedly rewarding was the experience of living together with others on the same path, to be a part of a spiritual community where like-mind and like-spirit came together.

So, last December, when the days were short and the nights were long I responded to a call for volunteers at the Amrit Yoga Institute in Florida.  In early March a call came and I have been invited to practice Seva there during the first weeks of May!

For those in the know, AYI was established by Amrit Desai, the guru who introduced Kripalu Yoga to the USA.  This means that the practices, philosophy, and methodologies will be consistent with everything I have learned thus far and for that I am grateful, and so excited, and terrified too.  And, he will be on the campus during my stay.

Florida is  not as easy as driving to the Berkshires, and this pitta person hates hot weather, but I am  honored and grateful to be invited to this campus  to experience Gurudev’s wisdom for myself.

Jai Bhagwan.  Namaste.  Om shanti.

to be continued.

 

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Blogging Dharma Yoga Yoga Therapy

 

 

Once again my own words fail me.   Here are some from the Buddha.

 

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

The Metta Sutra

 

Buddhism Dharma Meditation philosophy Poetry quotes Yoga

Today, my own words fail me.  Here are some from the Buddah

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

Reposted from Aug, 2008

Buddhism Dharma Meditation philosophy Poetry quotes Yoga

I am sArjunao happy to be a part of this group.  Please join us on April 12 for our annual birthday show. Click here for flyer.

I’m still “in process” of cobbling my story together.    The ‘working’ title is “Tales from the East”.  The blurb I submitted reads:

Personal challenges take on deeper meanings when viewed from different perspectives. This telling will weave together a personal tale with an ancient story out of the Bhagavad Gita.

 

 

 

 

Ancient Wisdom Dharma Karma philosophy StoryTelling

 

 

THE DEBT OF KARMA
Yogi Amrit Desai

Every soul is charged with an evolutionary mission
To realize its inborn divine potential.
Life is a perpetual therapeutic irritation.
It provides a compelling force to drive us
Toward the completion of our mission.
When we deny a painful experience,
It goes underground as a pending debt of unfinished karma.
When you block pain, you may feel temporary relief,
But your karmic account is not closed.
The collection agency will present the lesson
Again and again, in various forms.
Through apparently unrelated events.
Every event that is not faced fully and consciously comes back
As irritation, emotion, resistance or denial.
Habitual ways of reacting and reliving the same event
Perpetuate unconsciousness.
All lessons will be repeated until they are learned.
The debt of karma is paved in consciousness.

 

Ancient Wisdom Dharma Karma Yoga

Cycles of Becoming, The Planetary Pattern of Growth by Alexander Ruperti is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read on the study of cycles, phases , and patterns.

Here’s what he writes for age 56-63.

Phase 9.  Possibility of 3rd birth in the Uranian cycle. Demonstration of the capacity to focus the spiritual quality of being inherent at birth, through the personality.  New spiritual activities or, negatively, further crystallization of mind and feeling responses.

He goes on to write that after 63 we move towards, “conscious preparation for the afterlife….or senility”

Astrology Dharma Holistic Health Planets and their Cycles Saturn Time Management