In Memory of Her

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

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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.

A Yoga Practice for Grief

A Yoga Practice for Grief

So, have you ever felt your heart break? Just right open? You know that sensation you feel. Physically. Is it sharp or dull? Does it run deep towards the pit of your stomach or high up in your throat making it so that you can’t breathe?

I’ve felt it before. I’ve seen people suffer physical consequences of the emotional trauma. Working with Deborah Heart and Lung and fifteen years in the long term care industry, one becomes quite acquainted with death and grief. Never enough to prepare me for my own mother’s death of course, but definitely a deeper understanding of the process of life. I’ve sat with many people as they passed. It was an incredible comfort to have been able to do so. Today I went through a few photos of my Mom and the people surrounding her as she left this world. They are so beautiful. If you’re dealing with grief at the moment I can recommend a few things for you:

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

and

Elizabeth Keubler Ross’s 

So What do you do with the grief?

 

MokshaI’ve been figuring that one out. I still am. Thanks to some of the incredible teachers in my life ~ Sudha, Melissa, Trish, Jennifer ~ among many others, I’m learning to walk this path with as much grace as I can muster and I try to create a life of compassion and integrity, truth and beauty. They inspire me to keep working at it. The more I heal the more I can serve. So Thank you <3.

Below I’m sharing a yoga class and some inspiration for dealing with grief. I hope it helps. If you have questions about it please feel free to connect with me via Facebook or email.

Heart Chakra Class for Grief

Environment/ Visualizations

Rose Oil

The color green for the heart chakra

Think warm and grounding – provide blankets, pillows, nourishment

Music ~

Pranayama

Deerga Pranayama. Then deerga layered with ujjayi.

Mudra & Sound

Vajrapradama mudra. Affects manomaya kosha. Good for depression low self esteem. Stimulates thymus gland , heart chakra.  Chant the seed sound Yum.

Philosophy 

Pratyahara – Return to oneself. Withdraw the senses inward. Listen to the sound of your heart.

Santosha – Practice contentment.

Cultivate the boundless states of loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity manifest as forces of purification which transform the turbulent heart into a refuge of calm focused awareness.

There is in this city of Brahman an abode, the small lotus of the Heart, within it is a small space. Now what exists with that small space, that is to be sought after, that is what one should desire to understand.
— Chandogya Upanishad

Just Let Go

Breathe in Love

Breathe out Pain

Breathe in Peace

Breathe out Heartache

Breathe in Peace

Breathe out Peace

Breathe in until you’re completely full

Breathe out until you’re completely empty

Dance between these places, notice the space between the inhalation and the exhalation, gently release the space just letting one breath flow into another.

From the Radiance Sutras:

The life essence carries on its play
through the pulsing rhythm
of outward and inward movement.
This is the ceaseless throb, the rhythm of life –
terrifying in its eternity, exquisite in its constancy.The inhalation, the return movement of breath,
sustains life.
The outgoing breath
purifies life.
We breathe out the old air, the old thoughts, the old feelings.

These are the two poles
between which respiration goes on unceasingly.
Between them is every quality you could ever desire.

As the breath turns from in to out,
and again as the breath
curves from out to in –
through both these turns, absorb intensity.

Enter these turning points
In the play of respiration and expiration,
Where the rhythms of life transform
Into each other.

Breath flows in, then surrenders to flow out again.
In this moment, drink eternity.

Breath flows out, emptying, emptying,
Offering itself to infinity.

Cherishing these moments,
Mind dissolves into heart,
Heart dissolves into space,
Body becomes a shimmering field
Pulsating between emptiness and fullness..

Asana

Supta Badokasana

Restorative heart openers

Yin Hip Openers – Eka Pada Rajokapotasana, Agnistambasana, etc.

Grounding postures such salambasana, balasana, Utkata Konasana,  Utkatasana

Yoga Nidra

Meditation

1. The flame within the heart

2. Opening of a flower

3. The four chambers of the heart

 

Namaste,

Jeanette

A Yoga Practice for Grief

A Tale of Love and Loss

Love each other and you'll be happy. It's as simple and difficult as that.

Love each other and you’ll be happy. It’s as simple and difficult as that.

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 the 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 honor.

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*.

Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931)

 

My Mom, the most amazing woman I’ve ever known, passed away recently. The night she chose to leave this earth was August 20th … it was the night of the supermoon. She had been waiting for my sister to arrive. We were all with her. She died peacefully asleep in my father’s arms. There were moments of struggle and yet there was still humor, great affection, love. It was what she wanted.

The days after and realizations that come with grief 

1. I have been grieving for two years. Since she began chemotherapy. Hospitalizations, deep sickness, dis – ease, complication after complication, losing her independence along with her eyesight, her hearing and her hair. She handled it with such grace. I did not so much. I recall entering her hospital room as she just began to lose her hair. Thank god my phone rang because it gave me an opportunity to leave before she could see me cry. I was strong for her, I can say that. I got scissors from the nurse and came back and cut her hair. She cried and I sang to her. If you’ve heard me sing, you may not think this was the best idea 😉 but it did soothe her. I held her and she cried and then they gave her  a Marinol and it helped. We watched a comedy and she laughed her ass off. She had a great sense of humor, Betty White – ish. The sadness with this comes in waves. She always managed to laugh through it all and to create that lightness and levity for others.

2. Distraction was fine for a time, everyone grieves uniquely. I do so quietly and alone. I find many great distractions to not be alone. 

3. I love the alchemy of Yoga. The transformation of pain into gold. “There are women everywhere, this moment, loving their children as you are, frustrated as you are, praying for peace as you are” -Seane Corn.  Thanks to Elena Brower for such an amazing class, “We practice fearlessness, asking for what we need, showing full support and releasing judgment of others.” Time now to restore my Sādhanā (an ego-transcending spiritual practice). For me this is daily yoga, meditation and Thai massage.  This is where the healing happens. In self care. 

4.   I feel lighter. And that’s OK.  I know she is still with me and I am happy to see her suffering come to an end. Those last weeks were so painful to bear witness to. I was there in every way I knew how to be. I wish I could have been there more but my Dad was amazing in his love for her. “We got to see the man she fell in love with” my sister says.  The day before she passed I bathed her. She was so tiny in my arms. She was still so incredibly beautiful to me.

 

That is exactly what death has taught me:
To be *Fearless*…to *Live Fully*… to *Never Waste a Moment* … and most importantly to *LOVE*.

“You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?”