In Memory of Her

“Where is it, this present? It has melted in our grasp, fled where we could touch it, gone in the instant of becoming.” William James

“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
Mary Oliver

10506646_10152546845254724_8356912746669197316_o

In memory of Martha A. Sealy,
a woman who lived and loved with her whole heart.

September 7, 1943 – August 20, 2013

On Death
Kahlil Gibran

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Floating at Tao

There is some kiss we want with
Our whole lives, the touch of
Spirit on the body. Seawater
Begs the pearl to break its shell.
Rumi

The Sea

Recently I visited Tao Massage and had my first float session. What an amazing experience. Float or sensory deprivation tanks have been around for sometime. I remember wanting to try one before Carrinna was born and was so excited to see they had opened one so close to home.

Floating relieves pain, insomnia, tension, enhances energy, clarity and contentedness.

Why does this work so well? One reason is the Autonomic Nervous System, which is made up of two parts –  sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic is the fight or flight response, a physiological reaction to a perceived threat. The body goes into a state of hyper arousal and a cascade of neurotransmitters and hormones are released, including  adrenaline, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine.
The parasympathetic is the rest and digest response where stress is mitigated. Heart rate slows, breathing becomes fuller and deeper, cortisol levels decrease, brain waves lengthen, beneficial neurotransmitter are released. This promotes a profound sense of well being.

As for my experience – this is what I journaled when i returned home. I’m floating again soon :)

I immersed myself in the warm, salt bath and  slowly closed the door behind me. Sealed in the darkness, the pool quickly swallows you up. Giddy at first. Floating. The oneness of it all.  Your body is fully supported, weightless, floating in a cosmic sea. It was beautiful. I’ve been meditating for some time now and there was nothing I had experienced up until this point for the strange wondrousness of this sense withdrawal experience. In yoga, we call it Pratyahara.

Then

…something softened

…something broke

…am i safe?

a moment of fear as I search for the door handle.  Then another wave of giddiness as I think of the absurdity of that. My mind more monkey like than usual. Thoughts popping around like mini bursts of imagery and emotion. Words and impressions dancing between. Related and not related at all. Timeless and circular. Waves and dimensions of being play through my mind. Thoughts of my passing by. My body noticeably stiffens. Ahh surrender and relax.
Let
Go
All of a sudden there’s a deeper sense of freedom.
Back to absorption. I am. So Hum.

 

The Kleshas

It is my intention over the next five weeks to write a simple
introduction to the Kleshas, also known as the five hindrances. They are the obstacles to the completion of your dharma, or your purpose. In yoga philosophy, we identify them to overcome them and ultimately serve our highest truth. Through the deeper study of them I hope to educate myself, to relieve myself of their influence. I hope this helps you in some way as well. Thank you for reading.

Yoga philosophy – It’s not dogma, it’s truth. Universal truth. Referred to in some way in most major religions, the kleshas are aspects of human being – promoters of human suffering. They are:

1. Avidya – ignorance
2. Asmita – ego or I am-ness
3. Raga – attachment
4. Devaha – aversion
5. Abhinivesha – fear of death

Today we will look at Avidya, or ignorance.
Mistaking pain for pleasure. Non self for self. Misunderstanding of the nature of reality.
My heart is a little broken and it’s because I see myself as separate. My mind understands that we are one part of one part of One. My mind gets it but my heart is learning. And sometimes it’s the other way around. Other times – I just get it. You know the feeling – you’re vibing – in flow. The sun is shining, the traffic is clear, your favorite song is on the radio. Happy. Whole. One. Mind is calm.

Remember.

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Albert Einstein

Love
Jeanette

The Triple Gem

The Triple Gem -

The Three Jewels, also called the Three Treasures, Three Refuges, Precious Triad, or most commonly the Triple Gem Pali: त्रिरत्न, are the three things that Buddhists take refuge in, and look toward for guidance, in the process known as taking refuge. The Three Jewels are: ⁕Buddha ⁕Dharma ⁕Sangha (Wikipedia)

I take Refuge in Buddha – the enlightened state

I take refuge in Dharma – the teachings

I take refuge in Sangha – the community

Triple Gem

 

Love

I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome
I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings
~Mary Oliver

20140224-014620.jpg

Photo Credit: Danielle Hutchins

Something changes the moment you decide you’ve found a person you are ready to reveal parts of your soul to. Something stands out and makes the moment unique. A profound multidimensional clarity resembling a piece of carefully gathered stardust; As if you are whispering “finally” and your eyes fill with light and spontaneity. As if you do not care whether your heart will melt or crumble in the process because your brief courage undoes your tremendous fear of disbelief. You live for these moments; For you are, maybe for one second or more, sweetly forced to surrender yourself to unconditional intimacy. A moment of psychological reward smashing all self-imposed disciplines founded on terror. This is all you need.

~ Anais Nin

 

 

On suffering

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
Charles Dickens

Ahh pain. Suffering. What is it? How do the two differ? How are they the same?

From About.com
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Pain and suffering are not the same thing. Pain is a physical sensation; suffering is how we choose to experience it.

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote,

The Buddha compares being afflicted with bodily pain to being struck by an arrow. Adding mental pain (aversion, displeasure, depression, or self-pity) to physical pain is like being hit by a second arrow. The wise person stops with the first arrow.”

“Same same but different” echoes the ethereal voice of my Thai yoga teacher in my mind. Slowly, slowly. Arms straight, back straight. “I did this massaging someone” the thought invades my mind, carrying with it grief and disbelief . I know exactly what I did. Lift, twist – from the core. Bandhas engaged, breath mindful. Intuition at the beginning of the massage telling me to go easy. And yet – in that last moment – I felt it clearly. I gently let go.
Knowing and Honoring my body, I saved myself from more serious injury. I’m certain of that. Im also certain and grateful for my yoga practice which created this inner wisdom.

Five lessons I’ve learned from pain

  • let go
  • breathe
  • be where you are, no escaping
  • suffering is optional
  • there are many things to be grateful for
  • We learn the most powerful lessons during our times of greatest suffering.