It is like the pool that becomes peaceful, quiet, any evening when there is no wind; when the mind is still, then that which is immeasurable comes into being.
- J. Krishnamurti
That which is immeasurable comes into being....when the mind is still.
And when it's not?
It was a good retreat. Lots of resistance in first few days of settling down. The world of dreams and escape has its pull. But everything after release becomes so clear. A sense of inner certainty/acceptance, joy, peace arrives with clearing the unnecessary.
It's a relief to be free of the shell (cracked again) and the false certainty and values of the dream world.
As for the unpared down world, it was interesting and fun too. We looked for real estate in Encinitas and Santa Barbara. Prices are totally off the charts in California. Met a woman at the one day (I attended) David Roche yoga workshop in Menlo Park whose husband is a realtor. She did a beautiful rant about NOT buying now but renting and how humans all want to do the same thing at the same time. Right now that is BUY! She said to wait until the bubble pops again. Makes sense.
California does call. It seems silly to go out there several times a year when one could just BE there!
Two California (both in Encinitas) stories I particularly like are
1.the two CHP officers who were eating at a nearby table in a very hip vegan restaurant and 2. the totally new age realtor and his wife who BOTH graduated from the same high school I did. Ha! Go Eagles!
Nice visit with high school friends—ha ha - go Eagles!—and their husbands between workshop and retreat. Lots of good conversation and horsing around.
The Sharath/Saraswati yoga workshop in Encinitas was 5 days of serious practice that felt perfect. I am inspired!
India in October!!!
New York City next week!
It's the time of RAMPS
in large clumps in the back yard
and cherry blossoms!
and red bud, daffodils, carpenter bees, birdsongs, open windows and screen doors. It's all happening at once!
What about spring's usual steady and ordered sequence?
Not this year!
Leaving for California in a couple days and spring has sprung! It's 75 degrees—glorious.
We'll be in Encinitas for a week and am being SO kind and gentle to my back so as to be able and "ready" to do first series with Sharath and Saraswati for six days. Then some socializing for a few days and up to Tahoe for a retreat. I'm excited for this adventure and the next—New York City mid-May
Nothing profound. No wait - here's a lovely piece from Mary Oliver
Love, love, love, says Percy.
And run as fast as you can
along the shining beach, or the rubbble, or the dust.
Then, go to sleep.
Give up your body heat, your beating heart.
We're edging toward spring and the snowdrops in the back yard are still going strong - close to two months. Love those bulby flowers - such a bright mid-winter presence!
Zen master and poet Philip Toy moved on about a week ago, a genuine blooming of the spirit in the dead of winter and the throes of death. It was such a beautiful and aware transition that my heart broke in all directions—joy, amazement, gratitude, relief, love, and sorrow. Deep bow to Philip and Judith for your gift of truth.
It's been a very intense time. My Prius was totaled by a neighbor's monster truck when parked on the side of our slippery snowy street, the slippery slope! The truck slid and rammed it.
Much worse - at 70 mph on way to Asheville to shop for new car, the van got a flat. Terrified, maybe even slightly hysterical—I pulled over to the side of the road and as monster trucks barreled toward me, I was certain I was horsemeat. Called C who said he couldn't come get me!! Called him again and was eventually rescued.
After the spare was put on at side of I-40 - it came off the rim a few miles down the road. The AAA guy was the nicest kindest one I've ever encountered. All this was in the freezing, driving rain, and by the way, the van has no heat. We finally left it at a MacDonald's parking lot (exit 47!) to await a new tire.
Was so exhausted by the time I got home I could barely take off my wet socks. Maybe that's what adrenaline and stress does.
Falling asleep that night something amazing happened. I saw and felt my "self" in particles disintegrating in all directions like a graceful, expanding, slow slow motion big bang. Fear and then release. Beyond words. Beautiful. Then deep deep sleep.
Yoga Home Practice in elephant Journal
Above is a link to my essay on home yoga practice for elephant Journal. If it gets 1000 hits before Thursday, it will make their Top 10 list and be reposted by them. A part of me wants this! Another part doesn't care.
Birdsongs, Longing, Turks
fanning turkey toms
sashay in winter sunshine—
hens skitter scatter!
Had to add the above ditty - as it seemed perfect for St. Val's day. Tee hee.
What a gorgeous post-mid winter day! At Ashtanga class this morning - Lewis shared a Rumi. How does he say it all so perfectly?
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely
to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Below are some words by the "beloved" person mentioned below - that left me speechless again.
Aglow, deep in my lumbar nerve root...a blazing colorless color, an acute and vivid nameless name, an urge, a divine urge to push on to the great doubt -- to the place past all urge. The place where all is done, done and done beyond reason. Because no beginning, nowhere to go. Because only awakening, no sleep. All things left undone in such a way as to leave nothing undone. Only awakening to the arms of my beloved, the world, whose love this is? The love of god, "my precious"....I prostrate to you, my angels. Help me push on to the Light, the Light Beyond Light, the Mother of the Light Beyond Light.
His stunning words and Rumi's below seem to express so perfectly those things that can only be pointed to, birdsongs.
Birdsong brings relief
to my longing
I'm just as ecstatic as they are,
but with nothing to say!
Please universal soul, practice
some song or something through me!
early snowdrops know
even under mounds of snow
sun will have its way
a great evergreen—
one steely moonless moment,
breaks beneath the snow
Playing around with haiku, learned that the syllable count is 5-7-5, inducing a discipline that (one hopes) allows for the work to be as deep as it is brief—like a rap on the head or a surpise kiss. These two above may be subject to change - as I learn more about the form. It's fun!
It is mid-winter, and it snowed a bit last week. The snowdrops were early and have been up since the last week of January. They were indeed buried under snow for a good part of that time. They did fine; the snow melted; though warmer weather means they will soon die.
A friend has opened her heart and life to all with a blog about life with her "beloved" who has cancer. I have often been so moved by their written words that I am speechless, but some days, metaphors materialize, very much like the haiku above. She wrote about breaking, and I realized it is a natural thing for all of us, for all life—to do under stress or burden.
Thinking of Tibetan lamas and others who go on individual, secluded retreats for years, not seeing or speaking to anyone for the duration. When we remove all means of escape, ie no talk, no reading, no human interaction—what remains? We are faced with whatever comes up in "ourselves." What are we living for? Is there meaning to our lives? What is the junk and what is the real?
Thinking about all of the above at times with a smile, at other times with despair, and sometimes with loving compassion.
The way of love is not a subtle argument.
The door there
Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it? They fall, and falling.
they’re given wings.
test that worked if you are reading this
Long story to short — for some time have been taking shortcuts with this site. After setting up new Macbook Pro, lost ability to add posts using Adobe's Contribute (a quickie web editor). So here I am working with Dreamweaver, already a few days just getting to this point.
Such a nuisance to read about HOW to do what I want, (but a LOT easier than when we did Catholicity in Dw3 a few years ago). Anyway, must do some studying, and in the meantime will post this, which is what I have been able to figure out working with code and design so far.
Briefly—Mr. Oland "graduated,"has been to NOLA, had a lovely quiet Christmas, and is engaged in awareness "practice" during the entire day (and sometimes night.)
Plan to continue this site because it is a great way to observe and ground. It feels both private and slightly public. Only a few people know about it. It is very much off the blogger platforms/programs grid. So love the idea that these words just "exist" silently in the ether - to be read....or not. Either way, there they are.
As Dreamweaver 5 (such a poetic name for such an unpoetic program) gets sorted out, changes will happen here and elsewhere. Sisyphus Project, site of YT, the Artist, is going to get redone—transformed into Miss Artypants, the REAL aritist-me's site. Maybe I'll merge Artypants with Sixtyni Yogini and call it Miss Sixty Artypants-Yogini Lululemon Smartypants. Ok, maybe not....
Disconnected but here it is anyway, the moment's thoughts at 2:34 PM, Sunday.
image from a monastery in Ladakh
Love this image from our trip to Ladakh a few years ago. The warmth of the room and Tibetan Buddhist culture shines!
Been working for a week trying to transfer my stuff from my old computer (soon to be C's new computer) to my new computer (Macbook Pro w/retina display). Lots of trouble with Adobe transferring applications, but I just now discovered I can share the old computer's screen with the new one - and am happily doing this with the screen and Adobe application from the old computer on new one. Does that make sense?
So it's my last week of classes maybe forever. It's very exciting. Working still as if there were no tomorrow. It seems no matter what my load or whether I'm on the edge of leaving - the amount of work I do is exactly the same—a lot!!
Many dreams lately. Another repeating one - always the same but it has softened lately. My ex-husband David—I still love him (in my dream) and we are about to meet and happily get together again whether we are in Nepal (as it often used to be) or here. I am longing for him, and for him to love me. Recently, that dream love is slightly withheld or we don't quite meet. I am very happy in the recent dream versions, but it never quite works out to my full satisfaction.
We're talking New Orleans for Christmas. (Not in a dream, but maybe it is. ...) Hurt my back again (see Sixtyni Yogini) so India is on hold for the moment at least. All kinds of exciting possibilities are coming up. ...
Two wonderful books - loaned by J: "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed (just a good read!) and "Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Wisdom" by Rita Robinson (bought copies for myself and for gifts.)
Now back to prep for classes and Visiting Artist who is coming tomorrow. Life IS good.
Goddess Padmavati, contemporary Kalamkari painting on cotton, 52" x42" (from Exotic India web site)
The Goddess Padmavati has a complex history. She is also an incarnations of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm.
I keep stealing images from the Sixtyni Yogini website. Am just so infatuated with some of these contemporary East Indian paintings! Well for whatever reason - here it is - somehow related if just by proximity to election day 2012.
Looked back at this site for what I wrote about the election four years ago:
Everyone (I know) is just euphoric about Obama. Had to really keep a lid on it - unless I knew how someone voted. I've not seen such charisma and speaking skills since JFK. McCain's concession speech was truly wonderful also. If he had showed such statesmanship during his campaign, he might have had a chance.
We are still hopeful that Obama will "win" today, but the mood is different. For one, how could this man live up to our euphoric hopes for him and the nation? He hesitated in that first year (as he did in his first debate with Romney this time) and lost his advantage. Anyway will know in a few hours whether it's four more years.
India is also on the mind. After the Charlottesville visit with John and Naomi, I got to thinking how fabulous another trip to Mysore to study with Sharath would be. For months this time, not weeks! I'll be free soon and am in a wide-open phase which hides an underlying anxiety about it all.
It snowed this morning for a bit, unpredictably - unlike the dire forecasts of two feet of the stuff supposedly coming from hurricane Sandy remnants hitting the mountain cold. It never happened.
Fall is truly here and the beginning of short, darkish days. Time to look within. Life is so full....of simple, great joys, and sharp, deep pains. I am in love with it all.
*Sanskrit for the destruction of the knot of ignorance
Ganesh Playing Sitar, contemporary painting on fabric
from "Exotic India" web site
Maybe it's time to combine Sixtyni Yogini and mu-head. Often part of what I post is the same, for example—this wonderful image of Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. And I will finish with the Richard Freeman quote from 60ni Yogini also. (See below. He nails it.)
So busy lately with everything. Today - cleaning house and getting ready for trip to Charlottesville tomorrow and house guest just after we return.
But time to take note of a few things and perhaps elaborate later. It's about time - at my age, but I am seeing patterns repeating in my life - granthis - if you will. Granthi is a Sanskrit word for a knot. (when I've heard people pronounce it - it sounds like "grunty," which of course is perfect in English too.) Exactly what these conditioned knots are and how they show up in my life, is hard for me to admit and bring to light - but do so I will. (Yoda speak!) Perhaps I'm hesitating to say now because I hope maybe I'm wrong! Tee hee. Wish, you do!
"New Yorker" cartoon
Easier to reveal are a couple of recurring dreams I've had my entire life - both causing much anxiety.
- I have a parakeet, though sometimes it's a human baby(!) and I forget to feed it or give it water. When I realize I've forgotten to feed it, I'm terribly upset, almost frantic with remorse and fear that the creature will die and that I've mistreated it. How could I forget??? (In real life recently, I did not change my cat Lola's water for a week and recognized some of the same feelings. (Note: she prefers to drink water from a dripping faucet, but the angst was there anyway.)
- I have signed up for a course at the university. One that I am not particularly interested in. I rarely go to class, do the reading, or study. I am filled with dread that I am going to fail.
Here's Richard Freeman's quote:
When we practice the yoga of observation and we pay close attention to something, there is a residue of clarity and relief that is discernable in the breath and is actually felt in the body. It is similar to the sensations you might experience when you have been struggling to understand something and then finally "get it," or the feeling you have when you have been deceiving yourself about something and then at last admit the truth; it is a feeling of relief, openness, cleanliness, and joy. We experience this when we pay close attention to things as they arise because we are directly perceiving, rather than distorting out observation by imagining that things are the way we expect or want them to be.
Metta and Granthi Nasam!