This blog includes reflections, creative work and resources. It is a glimpse of one person's journey within the realm of inquiry, experience with the human body and spirit. Look for ideas rather than answers. No claims are made. Perfection is not implied. I write as inspired to do so. Take what works for you, leave the rest. If you share anything from this blog, either verbally or in writing, please do your best to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for visiting.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Angela Farmer

I had the pleasure of participating in a long weekend of yoga with Angela Farmer. It was my 4th workshop over the course of 8, perhaps 10 years. I will share a few ideas and experiences from the “untraining" as she and her husband Victor Van Kooten call it.

Their method/non-method centers on interior balance of energy, awareness and alignment by feeling, filling out, spinning body & energy in counter directions and of course breathing. It is yet another way to grow the witness mind, the part of us we hope to make stronger than monkey mind. Instead of striving for a stunning pose (not that there’s anything wrong with that Angela says) why not try to grow from inside too? Angela stays true to only presenting what she experiences, saying she no longer teaches but shares. As the 12-Step saying goes it’s about process not perfection.

Their method/non-method is supportive of yogic principles such as concentration (Dharana) and meditation (Dhyana) and the equalizing of the energies of tamas, rajas and satvic. In addition, on a personal level I made other connections. Since starting Chopich & Paul’s inner child & inner bonding work last week I realized there was a delightful significance in timing. I’ve only cracked open the text and it will be another week before beginning the workbook but it feels as though my body-mind is primed for the exploration. I also had a wonderfully informative dream basically informing me it is time to completely release a health event from 6 years ago.

In closing Angela & Victor’s approach reinforces the idea of the ultimate partnership being with the self. All the great traditions speak of this. The external is limited in how much peace it can bring us. Those words can be read in a book but when using the body as tool for inner contemplation is not only delicious but potentially very enlightening!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recommended Blog & Resource

Lesa Leiden offers professional counseling, bio-feedback and RoHun sessions in Virginia Beach.


On Forgiveness

Most everyone in the world has something to heal.

May I recognize the veil as lowered when I forget this and express dissatisfaction with others.

More and more I see this dissatisfaction usually results from expecting others to make me happy, read my mind or to heal me.

Supporting another in behavior I don't like is not the same as allowing another to be who they are.

May I recognize this fact before dissatisfaction leaves the level of thought, before anything rolls off my tongue.

My heart opens appropriately.

May all beings be healed and lift into conscious awareness.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A few words about support on the path of Yoga

Read the next 2 words, then close your eyes for a minute as you reflect:

- Define Yoga -

What was your answer? What did you hear yourself say? What did you visualize?

Ready for the answer? Here is the definition in Sanskrit, then with English:

YOGAH=Yoga; CHITTA=of the mind-stuff; VRUTTI=modifications; NIRODHAH=restraint
The restraint of hinderance of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga.

In the late 90's I participated in my first more formal yoga training. It was an online program by Dr. VS Rao with The High-Tech Yoga Institute in Lowell, MA. The Yoga Sutras were an important part of the study. As with the example above, the text we studied was a word-for-word translation by Dr. Rao.

If you embrace Yoga as your path I encourage you to refer to the actual definition of Yoga. Keep coming back to it. Yoga clothes, studios, teachers, workshops, books, styles, videos, magazines, mats, blocks, straps, and the physical postures & practices themselves matter in that they are supportive tools. Each can have an important role but are not Yoga. Yoga is within you. Select and choose things, practices, activities and teachers to assist you on the path to a mind that fluctuates less.

Yoga is about PRACTICE and is not dogmatic. Develop enough discipline to keep practicing but I encourage you to keep it organic and flowing. Keep it in the NOW. In terms of asana and pranayama what was correct for you last decade, year, month, day, hour may need to be released in order for you to open and make way for what's next in supporting a stable mind. And if the outer is fixed, for example, in the form of practicing 1 particular asana or pranayama daily of course that is fine too. Keep it in the NOW. Many poses are named after sages who dedicated their practice time to the particular pose. If a more fixed outer practice is a functional tool for you, release expectation, the fruits of action and be open to inner revolution and the steady, perhaps subtle physical changes. One last time, keep it in the NOW.

These are the 4 Yoga texts which have supported my path:

Autobiography of a Yogi - Paramahansa Yogananda
Yoga Sutras - Patanjali
Bhagavad Gita - I like Graham Schweig's interpretation
Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

I have read each many times. For me it is less about intellectually absorbing the material but rather experiencing wisdom, the essence, the message. I experience the lineage of the teachings. I am so grateful for every teacher who has passed along the information.

Eckhart Tolle does not present teachings as any particular tradition. That said, in my experience what he teaches is indeed Yoga. Yoga is basic spiritual knowledge found in all others traditions, just as Tolle presents the material. The beauty of Yoga is how complimentary it can be with other traditions. For example, if Jesus means everything to you, allow his image to be your drishti (gazing point) in concentration practice.

I could go on about Yoga but will leave you with the above for today. <3

Today's thought on what intuitive work means to me

In helping others through energy work and intuitive readings I am provided with a point of concentration for Dharana and meditation on God in Dhyana. I devote time, open to the mystery and do so with gratitude. The individual receiving the work has heart-based focus upon them with an opportunity for concentration practice of their own, meditating on the experience.

Although I have an empathic sense I do not necessarily see auras or energy currents, at least not in the awesome ways others have described them. I trust master teachers when they say phenomena exists to keep our interest and matters little if at all.

More and more I understand the true meaning of these words: "do your work, then step back" as written in the Tao Teh Ching by Lao Tzu. As instructed in the Bhagavad Gita I am learning to release the fruit of action and to see devotional action as enough.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Free Spiritual Videos & Documentaries

Generally, there's little for me on television and I canceled Netflix. When I want to watch something I prefer to feed my mind. YouTube has a lot of great content uploaded by people open and eager to share esoteric knowledge. You have to be selective but it does not take long to find quality videos featuring teachers with integrity.

On YouTube Fred Alan Wolf is interviewed by Jeffrey Mishlove on the subject of Shamanic Physics. This is part of Thinking Allowed Video Library.

Recently via Hulu I was wowed by the documentary The Mindscape of Alan Moore.

Here is another source: http://www.awakening-intuition.com/movies_documentaries.html

Peace Pilgrim

While living in Vermont in 1990 I picked up a little 30 cent booklet in Burlington from a shop called What An Interesting Bookstore. The booklet is called Steps Toward Inner Peace - Harmonious Principles for Human Living by Peace Pilgrim. I've been carrying it in my bag for the last few years.

For those of you who appreciate tales of spiritual journey in the form of actual travel, Peace Pilgrim is for you. In journeying across America, Peace Pilgrim expressed the feminine. She trailed off, open to receiving and offered teachings when approached. If you appreciate the ideals of Christopher McCandless in the non-fiction book &/or movie Into The Wild perhaps Peace Pilgrim will speak to you. Both died on their respective journeys and they were at different places in life but they share a common essence.

Here is a documentary about Peace:


Mosquito Ahimsa

This morning's yoga in the park session included a few mosquitoes. Instead of reacting with swatting I responded by brushing the first one away. In doing so it died anyway since the wings bent. When 2 other mosquitoes arrived I used their presence as inspiration for slow movement and a point of observation. Admittedly I spoke to them in my mind too! It worked. They moved on, I enjoyed the remaining hour of bug-less practice and never had another land or sting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finding a rich inner life in the midst of changing times

Perhaps BAU (business as usual) has become elusive and finding your way in the "new normal" is challenging. Global conditions bring us face to face with transitions with regard to the economy, policy, wars, natural and man-made disasters and resource issues.

A full and wonderful inner life that awaits your discovery. Your path is meaningful. You are a unique part of this world, as turbulent and fast-changing as it can be.