Wednesday, Nov29th, 2017

Energy Musings.  Here. Now.

Today!

Each day is a brand new 24 hours.  But sometimes, it can feel like you’re stuck on repeat. Asking yourself “haven’t I DONE this already?” :  “haven’t I been here before?”.  The question is always:  what is new in what is old?

Patterns are a part of Nature and Life itself.  Patterns are present everywhere in our mind, body, pyche, history, family, and so on.  A pattern, by its nature, is repetitive.  In that repetition there can either be stability or blockage.  The blockage comes when you are a stuck in a loop.  Some kind of feedback creates a reactionary response and then you’re doing it all over again.   But a pattern, when seen in its expanse, can also be grounding, anchoring and freeing.

Which patterns serve you and which are your Achilles Heel?  These patterns are up for deep understanding.  Remember, deep understanding may have a component of analysis to it, but that is only a small piece.  Don’t just ask your brain what IT thinks, be sure to check in with your heart, your belly, your body, your soul, your higher self.  Balancing out these lenses, you will see a clearer picture of what is happening and were and how to direct your life force.

Is change needed now?  Is routine needed now?  Is whats comfortable needed now?  Look for the patterns and make a conscious choice on how to approach them.   Then breathe into the newness of the present moment.

 

Word of the day:  Pattern

Song of the day:  Patterns by Simon & Garfunkle

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‘tools’ of the trade

Yesterday, after a quite extraordinary crystal bowl “meditation”, a student asked if I ever just sit in stillness.   It was a great question following back to back sound healing work.

The tools that I use are just that:  Tools. They are never to be mistaken for the goal, the end, or even the path itself.  They are simply helpers along the way.  Our crystal friends come from deep inside the earth to offer us their medicine. Our resident resonant tools offer vibrational healing, clearing and deep visioning. But this medicine is not “what its all about”.  What its “all about” IS stillness.  The greatest sound for healing IS silence.  If we mistake the tools for the goal, we have become lost along the way.

And sometimes, thats ok too.  Life’s diversions, like the fluctuations of the mind itself, are simply what they are.  Perhaps the path forward is clear, straight, efficient.  Perhaps it instead sends us on all sorts of detours, road blocks and obstacles.  Usually, its a bit of both.  Remember though, to gently come back to the path as soon as you notice you have become lost in a distraction.  We practice this in meditation to imprint that reflex in our whole life.

The key is to slowly, carefully and attentively become increasingly discerning.  So that, over practice and time, you learn to see clearly what is a diversion and what is, in that moment, a tool to move you forward. Everything and anything can be either one of these: distraction or valuable tool, depending on the timing and who you are, whats happening and where you are.  An authentic guide understands this and can offer tools as needed all while nudging you gently forward, encouraging a healthy detachment from any “tool” itself.

The question naturally arises:  what is the intention for your practice?  One intention of meditation & yoga as a path for example, is to bring you to a state of “thoughtless awareness”, an expansive mind in union with a clear body that allows you a perspective not based on biases, belief systems, judgement, analysis or expectations.

We become the still pond.  We are the clear blue sky.

Along the way we receive gifts, insights, benefits.  Sometimes the practice is joyful, fun and exciting: the gifts feel like blessings.  Sometimes the practice is difficult, challenging and painful: the gifts can feel like a curse.  All of it is inspiring, creative and essential,  coming from the same loving source.  All of it brings us into greater balance and understanding so that we may hear the silence and be with the stillness.

Balance. Stillness. Silence.

These are words I don’t use lightly.  I carry the depth of their authenticity deep within my  understanding.

But balance, stillness & silence are ultimately still just tools.

so, what its all about, anyway?

Monday, Nov 20, 2017

Energy Musings.  Here.  Now.

Today!

This week.  A week of Gratitude & Family, offers us the opportunity to embrace both the challenges and rewards of these personal, familial and societal traditions.  No matter if you celebrate, what you celebrate, how you celebrate or who you celebrate with.

To create the space for acceptance, love, wholeness, unity…. start with you.  Before the family, the friends, the events, the traveling, the cooking, the conversation, the activity, the liveliness of this holiday, take the time to spend time for YOU.  Perhaps alone even.

What are the practices that you go to for self care.  Massage?  Quiet time alone?  Meditation with your Sangha?  Creative outlets?  Something that both clears and fills you:  fills you with the spaciousness you require now to be the love and gratitude you know you are.  It might require getting away from the “busy-ness” temporarily.  Going out to the mountains, the sea or even the spa.

Take a moment today to ask yourself what you might need.  Remembering: this practice involves sensing these needs before we are in crisis mode.  The more we can practice THIS, the more truly present we can be in all situations for ourselves and each other.

Just breathe.  Place your hand on your heart and your belly.  Listen deeply to the information from these places.  Slow down, soften just a little, and keep listening.  How quiet do you need to become in order to really hear yourself?  Thats your work today and when you listen, acknowledge and respond to this inner voice for self care.

Poem of the Day: Buddha in Glory (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

 

Song of the Day: Don’t Bring Me Down by ELO

Tuesday, Nov. 7th, 2017

 

 

Energy Musings. Here. Now.

Today!

Take a deep breath in, close your eyes, listen to the sound of your breath.  Spend a moment here, just being with what is.  What “IS”, is always the breath.  Nothing less, nothing more.  How deeply can you connect with your breath?  The flowing river of your Be-Ing?  The breath is both your physical presence here & now AND it is your universal, formless, nature.  Understanding this helps us to cope, release, shed and let go during difficult times.

Now is one of those times.

Look outside, at the colors, the movement, the patterns around you.  Connect with something other than the news, politics, “stories” today.  Connect with something deeper, richer, longer lasting than any of these outlets can offer you.  Connect with the Earth and with your Life Force.  The breath will lead you to both.  Take off your shoes, play in the leaves, light a fire.  Or simply be still.

Today, even if just for a moment, Just Be.

Drink in the nourishment of this sacred place of Be-ing.  Restore your Self.

 

Song of the Day:  Stillness of the Day by Paul Adams

 

On the process of moving forward.

This morning, as I helped my daughter with her violin home practice, we had a conversation about the process of learning and ‘improving’.  In order to reach the next level/phase/step in any process of learning, you must practice and ‘master’ the skills associated with the level you are at.  Then, through a variety of techniques, you move on gently pushing yourself forward through practice, repetition and focus.  Parts of this process are challenging and quite frankly, boring.  Parts of this process feel effortless and exhilarating.  All of it:  the tedium, the joy, the frustration, the fun…. are necessary components to development.

As far as I can see, this is true of all artistic processes and maybe most everything.  We know it in music, art, dance, martial arts, creative writing, etc.  Knowing its truth does not make it easy or desirable. I’ve known many who simply give up or walk away when they reach one of these points of transition that are especially difficult or frustrating.  And perhaps that TOO is an appropriate response.  After all, timing is everything. And we can’t possibly expect to be experts at everything.  At least not all at once!

Interestingly, there is one place in my work that I am perhaps most motivated to “succeed” where I see other drop off or plateau regularly. That is in the process of self-discover or awakening.  Many claim to be on this path towards wholeness and ‘enlightenment’, but few are willing to really push through the places of resistance and engage in the difficult work that it takes to get there.  Many find a place along that path that feels good/comfortable and simply remain there without much resistance.  This is also true in many other disciplines.  My daughter could choose to stop progressing in the violin at the point she is now. She would still be able to impress her friends with her playing, bring out the violin at Holiday gatherings to play for family, teach the basics to kids and perhaps play with a community orchestra.  This would be a fine place to stop.  Or she can continue and aspire towards something else.  The choice is hers and we talk about this choice frequently.

Spiritual development follows many of the same patterns.  We can use our practices (meditation, yoga, energy work) to move us forward OR we can plateau at a place we feel cozy and choose to stay here.  Both are viable options especially when chosen consciously. There is a vital difference though here from other practices.  This ‘self awareness’ piece is something we all are engaged in whether we are consciously working on it or not. The same is not true of the violin, for example.  Because we are all human and in the process of evolving both individually and together, the self-work we do effects not only our personal existence, but our collective experience as well. Every single one of us on the planet. And where we choose (if you believe its a choice) to plateau has a profound impact on our world.  Its a spectrum, of course, and knowing where you are on that spectrum represents a key element of our awareness.  Understanding the reasons and necessity for moving forward is also a key part of this awareness.  Its not just about YOU.  In this one area of our life, we truly are all connected.

In my work, I guide people through the process of moving to that next level. Whatever it is for them. Wherever they are in the moment.  That process, by its very nature, involves intricate detail and subtle awareness around where it is easy to get stuck, give up or plateau.  Especially those deceptive places that make think you have arrived, when really you are still in the process itself.  Its a tricky  balance that I see as a kind of dance.  But this is my specialty and I work invisibly.

Knowing and expecting that you will get pushed, that there will be resistance, that you’ll have a natural tendency to want to reach for the practices and places that represent “escapism” in its many deceitful forms when the going gets tough.  And then, being willing to take a deep breath in and take the next step forward….  anyway.   This is the process of living and learning and evolving.  And when we are able to see that our spiritual development requires the same kind of learning process that ever other “skill” we have every attained requires, we’ll slowly begin to understand both the process of AND the necessity of this work. This vital component to the well being of our present moment and all future generations on this beautiful planet.

May you find the courage, strength and support you need to bravely and boldly take your next steps forward in this moment, today, this week and this life.

peace.

 

Where or where is “yoga”?

October 27, 2017
A conversation I had recently went something like this:
“Oh, you are doing art & meditation & sound healing, but no ‘yoga’ for the workshop?” 
 How is THIS not yoga?  How is all of THIS not yoga?  Have we forgotten what yoga IS? Did we ever know in the first place?  Everything is Yoga when Yoga is understood.  There is no separation between not yoga & yoga.  As I write, I am practicing my yoga.  As I sit, I am practicing my yoga.  As I plan my day, I am practicing my yoga.  These are not just words to say and repeat robotically. This is not just a script I have been trained to recite. This is not just a theory or exercise. This is the most profound truth I have ever known.  Yoga is “Union”. These are not words to be taken lightly. Not a phrase to be gently smiled upon as you nod in agreement.  Saying it is not enough. Reading it is not enough.  Printing it on a T-shirt, is not enough.  Telling others is not enough.
Understanding it, is everything.  Let is sink in.  Let it inform every aspect of your life. 
Yoga Is Union.
Sometimes I think studios and the studio culture has completely ruined yoga by cultivating the culture that yoga is something you can pay for.   Something you can go to and experience for an hour and then go home or back to work or wherever.  Something you can read in a book on or have printed on a bumpersticker. Something you “Do”.  Something you can call/label yourself.
Yes, I am aware of the counter arguments regarding making a living and money as an accepted and valuable form of exchange.  And I am in no way against any of that. Still, I find myself asking all the time:  What have we lost, what are we in the process of losing, as yoga becomes increasingly commodified, “studio-ified”?   Its a big question.  Perhaps it is too late.  But asking it will help us as other spiritual paths (shamanism, meditation) go mainstream and are in danger of walking this same slippery slope .
I wonder how many of us really think about this, sink our teeth into this question and engage it fully?  Really consider, 10 years out, where does this path I am paving lead?  What are the pros and cons of the choices I am making now,  to the future collective awakening of this world, this consciousness?  Am I helping, or hurting?  Can I be honest? Can I even know?  Does that make it OK?
Is Beer/Cat/Glitter/Naked (fill in the blank) Yoga truly guiding us to awakening? (assuming thats everyones goal, which is a big assumption, I know.)  If it is now, does that make it a good idea?  What even contributes to our understanding of what is a ‘good idea’ or not? Thats the bigger question.
Before I started teaching “yoga & sound”, I went first to my Yoga Guru and asked him if this pairing was in accordance with the yoga lineage that I am a part of.  I then went to my Sound Healing teacher and asked her what she thought about it as well.  Both gave me their blessings, their feedback, their assurance that this was an appropriate use of both these tools.  Only then did I design the ‘curriculum’ and start teaching “yoga & sound healing”.
When you’re not sure if your work is ultimately contributing to “the greater good”, ask your teachers, your guides, your gurus, ask the Divine.  And them be willing to listen.
I am a humble vessel for the Divine and respectfully tread very carefully anytime I create a “new offering”. This is tremendously powerful work.
  • Its time to stop being so aloof with the term “yoga” and how it is applied.
  • Its time to practice better discernment as we come up with new ideas and how to apply them.
  • Its time to not just judge whether something is a good idea or not by how many people show up or come through the door.
  • Its time to be willing to live and breathe “Eyes Wide Open” instead of just saying it.
This is my wishlist at this time.  Its a personal wishlist, not meant to be coercive, judgmental or derogatory in any way.  Just one persons vision of what is happening now and one persons dream of a better tomorrow.
“May you see clearly the path before you. May you  understand fully the path behind you.  And may you walk with Grace, truth, equanimity, compassion and focus, in the here & now.”

Tuesday, Sept 26, 2017

Energy Musings. Here. Now.

Today!

The last full week of September brings some resolution to what has been a month of  change and adjustment.  As pieces being to fall into place for this season, notice where they have landed.  Notice what you were expecting and how things have turned out differently.   Without judgement or even analysis, just notice.

In this space of noticing the shifts that have naturally, rhythmically occurred, pay attention to you mis-placed attention.  Where were you “trying too hard”, forcing an issue or agenda?  Now, gently come in to a more unified alignment with your life, your work, your family, your relationships, your SELF.  To do this takes a bit of detached reflection and a lot of coming in to the present moment with acceptance and gratitude.

Make the time for this acknowledgement this week in some form.  A prayer?  A moment of silence?  A ceremony?  An outing?  A retreat?  It can be big or small, take hours or minutes.  It can be with a group or by yourself.  You get to decide the form it takes. This acknowledgement will help pave the way for the rooting that will be taking place over the next few months.

This is not a time to push stubbornly for something you think you “should” be doing .  Rather, its a time to appreciate what IS.  Take a deep breath, and let it go.  Remembering, theres a time and place for everything.

word of the day:  Phlegm.  (this word came up when I was looking up syn. for patience.  Interesting)                                                                                                                                         1.the thick mucus secreted in the respiratory passages and discharged through the mouth, especially that occurring in the lungs and throat passages, as during a cold.   2.one of the four elemental bodily humors of medieval physiology,regarded as causing sluggishness or apathy.                                                                                                  3.sluggishness, indifference, or apathy.

4.self-possession, calmness, or composure.

song of the day:  Telling it like it is by T.U.M.E.