Saturday, August 27, 2016
Last week I read a story about Donald Henderson a U. S. Doctor who led the successful campaign to wipe out small pox worldwide. He was 87 when he died. He was hailed as a “giant” in the field of public health. He advised three Presidents. I wondered how many people read his obituary and how many people knew who he was?
Small pox was a highly contagious virus. It is the only infectious disease to have ever been eradicated. Smallpox has been recorded in the human population for over 3,000 years. A man who lived to 87 eradicated a virus that managed to live for 3000 years! Amazing! This man definitely proactively aged.
Proactive aging is a dedication towards something bigger than you. It transcends your aches and pains, your sadness and your pleasure. The eradication of anything that has the potential to create harm takes time, patience and dedication. All of those attributes can only come with time. With time come age and the question, “what are you doing with your time?” Most of us will never be the “giant” Dr. Henderson was, but we all have the potential to create a better world.
In yoga there are the yamas or things we should abstain from doing. The first yama is violence. It is said that if we all practiced nonviolence we would not need to worry about practicing the other yamas.
Violence is a virus that has existed since the beginning of time. It is the breeding ground for hatred, greed and bigotry. A virus is something that infects, copies, corrupts and destroys. Violence is the worse virus of all. Practice nonviolence in your thoughts, words and deeds.
In 87 years Dr. Henderson eradicated a virus that managed to live for 3000 years. If you live to be 87 and beyond (and I hope you do) remember in 87 years you too can help to eradicate something that has been recorded in the human population for millions of years; violence Simply do your part to help your fellow humans and to protect the environment. Work to eradicate violence through benevolence and compassion and although you may never be called a “giant” together we can all make a giant difference!
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Ishta means devotion or surrender to divine energy, and that divine energy, in practical terms, is the inspired vision that focuses our desires. We know that desire leads to action and action leads to achievement, but desire left on its own without an underlying vision has a tendency to move in many directions at the same time. We desire this and we desire that, lacking focus. A clear vision gives us direction.
Our emotions first express themselves in our mind. From there they give outward expression through words and deeds. It all begins with how we direct our emotions. When left undirected our emotions become fragmented, destructive, and chaotic. Desire is always seeking more, so it is up to us to bridle our emotions with a clear vision. Our chosen ideal becomes the vision.
Let’s work on staying centered and focused so we can give our Ishta the energy to focus our vision with a clear direction.
What is your vision? How are you fueling it today? Be focused, present and take action today that will insure that tomorrow you will move towards that which inspires you to live the most ideal life possible. How? Surrender to the divine energy of your Ishta and then mindfully choose your thoughts words and actions. You have the power.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
When we accept with kindness the many attributes of life we become attuned or receptive to all of life’s energy. Remember that life is an interconnected web of electromagnetic energy. That is why we need to stay centered because the core of our being is the source of life. Center everywhere circumference nowhere. Remember the only differences you see are the ones you draw outward from the core of your being, Judgment and ego separate us. Connecting at the center joins us all together.
Today we are going to start with a short meditation. Meditation is the fastest way to connect with our center. This meditation will show you how the mind works when it changes its perspective. What happens to your being depends upon which way you are looking out from your center. You will notice that when we look down the mind tends to be more introspective. Like when we bow our head to pray. When we look straight ahead we become focused and alert and when we look up we tend to soar and feel inspired.
Let’s sit quietly and begin a guided meditation so we can experience these various states of being.
Close your eyes and take in a few deep breathes. Now open your eyes, look down and then close your eyes. Now begin to feel yourself sinking deep below the earth as if floating downward into a deep soft cushion. Feel the softness, the warmth and the comfort. Take a few breathes and enjoy the freedom from all your earthy responsibilities, from demanding projects, from your fear and from worldly ambitions. In this gentle comfort and warmth I am at peace.
Now with a quick breath, raise your head look straight ahead and open your eyes. Shake off any passivity and say to yourself with a burst of energy, I greet the world!
Take a few deep breathes waking yourself up and energizing your body, mind and soul. Now look up throwing your arms up, fingers pointing the sky and say to yourself I awake to the light. I am joyful and free. I awake to the light.
Each day take time to be introspective. Sit quiet and gather your energy. Then wake up with a burst of energy and positively greet the world. Throw your head back, look up and be joyful and free beacause you are the light.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
To find your center you must accept yourself and everyone and everything else with kindness and then attune or become receptive to all of life. Be open and with compassion and understanding because life is one big interconnected web. Finding your center is about unlearning. Not unlearning the knowledge you have gained in this world, but what we must unlearn are the limitation imposed upon us by our egos.
I am a women, I am a man, I am white, I am black, I am a European, I am a Persian I am a Mexican, I am a American and so on are all titles we give ourselves. These titles are objective reality and separate us from our center which has not color, no gender and no nationality. These ideas about the world are self-limiting. We need to go deeper to the depth of our center and find our souls. It is here that we realize we are all connected.
Neti Neti is a kriya yoga expression that means “not this - not that.” It means to remove from our mind every false notion of who we think we are. It means to be at our eternal center no matter where the body happens to be. We are all the center of the universe. There is no outward circumference or outward expression of life except as we draw them. Let’s begin to find our center.
When we accept all of life with kindness and attune to the universal connection of life, we begin to find our center and realize that the only circumference, differences or outward perceptions are the ones we each individually draw. Neti – Neti -Center everywhere, circumference nowhere.
Saturday, August 06, 2016
To find your center depends upon holding the right attitudes. The first is acceptance, the second is kindness and the third is attunement or the ability to be receptive and open. Accept yourself and everything just as it is with kindness and you will begin to discover compassion. Next you must attune yourself from your center to the center of everything. Be open and receptive to all of life. The more that you discover the interrelationship between all thing the more you will understand life. With acceptance and kindness comes compassion. With attunement comes understanding.
We can try to intellectualize compassion and understanding, but it is impossible unless we feel it. Intellectualizing separates and compartmentalizes things. But when we feel things we truly begin to understand them. Listen to music and watch what happens when you become attuned to the beat. You and the music become one. Feel your breath and the poses as we move through our yoga class and you will begin to attune yourself to a deeper understanding of the nature of life. Accept yourself and your shortcoming, as well as others and their shortcomings. Be kind to yourself and attune yourself with the nature of yoga which is to discover balance, flexibility, strength and peace.
Hold to your center. Accept all of life with kindness. Use understanding and compassion to attune yourself to the very nature of life which is an understanding that we are all interconnected in this vast web called life. What you do to one you do to all, so be kind, accept things as they are and stay open and receptive. In this you will find your center and at your center you will find peace.
Thursday, August 04, 2016
Who am I and what am I doing here? These questions can only be answers when you go to the core of your being. To get to the core of your being takes time and experience. The true goal of yoga is to discover wisdom. This comes with understanding and compassion. But to truly understand and have compassion we need to be aware and learn to observe both ourselves and all of life without judgement. We don’t need to run away and live in monastery to discover truth. Our life provides plenty of opportunity to observe and choose. What we observe and what we choose answers the question of who we are and what we are doing here. Who are you and what are you doing here? You are a soul who has taken on this body and this mind for the purpose of discovery. What you discover depends upon how you observe life. Observe love and you will discover love. Observe hatred and you will discover hatred. Then you are free to become whatever you choose.
Who are you and what are you doing here? You are the observer of life. Observer without judgement and always choose love over hate.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
The first thing in finding your center is to accept yourself. Don’t draw comparisons between yourself and others. Instead try to focus on living up to your highest potential. The second attitude necessary for centering yourself is kindness. But to achieve kindness you must first be kind to yourself. You will never overcome your failings by focusing on your short coming and allowing yourself to indulge in unkindness and non-acceptance towards yourself. Don’t get confused and allow kindness to excuse your need to work on achieving your highest potential. Just use self-acceptance and kindness to help you find your center. You’ll know it when you find it. It is balanced, flexible, strong and peaceful. Let’s see if we can find it today.
Kindness is necessary for understanding yourself and others. Without kindness there can never be acceptance of anyone or anything. Accept yourself and your shortcoming with kindness. Accept the shortcomings in others with kindness because kindness always leads us towards our highest potential.