Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Depart Without Regret - Be One With God

   As my mind starts to turn towards preparing to leave, I've been struggling to find the words to express all that this trip has brought for me.

I wanted to say something about reconnecting with many deeply loved friends, some whom I haven't seen for many years.  Those kinds of friendships where words are not needed, and sitting in silence side by side with someone while they let it all unravel, connects you in a way much deeper then years of superficial chatter.
I wanted to acknowledge the many new friends I have been blessed to meet here, but I'm not sure there are words to express the joy of witnessing new seeds of fellowship sprouting up, and the wonderment of meeting someone for the first time and feeling like you've known them for years.

Or I could write about reconnecting again and again with this deep and transformative practice, and the awe I feel each morning as I surrender to what IS.  This practice opens my heart, and touches my spirit in ways I cannot explain.  It is like beholding a miracle that takes place each morning as I watch the peeling layers of myself falling away.

I could talk about many things... the magic of India, the beauty of this practice, finding peace within the chaos, and a little space within a small corner of time where I can breathe freely and connect more deeply to myself, and to God.

I'm not sure that there are the words for me to convey the depth of gratitude I feel whenever I reflect on my time here in India.  This focused period of practice has been both intense and refreshing, and from it I will be forever changed.

I read something recently that I feel expresses more completely some of what India has been teaching me over the past three months in numerous and inexplicable ways...  

Relax without laziness
Focus without tension
Perceive without projecting
Witness without judging
Enjoy without craving
Reflect without imagining
Love without condition
Give without demanding
Receive without possessing
Serve without self-seeking
Challenge without dominating
Meditate without identity
Correct without blaming
Overcome without pride
Laugh without cynicism
Cry without pity
Confront without hatred
Guide without superiority
Be without self-defining
Live without arrogance
Enter without self-importance
Depart without regret
Be one with God


February 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

One More Month in Mysore...

Jeff has arrived back in Canada, meanwhile I'm starting the first week of a full month of single-parenting in Mysore, India!  This is certainly a new frontier for me!

If you are in Calgary you can practice with Jeff for a full week of Mysore classes straight from the Source!  - there is still a little space if you want to register or drop-in - please get in touch with us directly.  After this week he will be back in Victoria... so be on the look out islanders!

The longer you stay and practice here in Mysore, you realize that each month carries with it a very different feeling, and it is impossible to predict what each period of time will hold.  It's only when you look back that you can observe an occurring  theme.  Like many things, it is a strange phenomena that seems to happen here in this little microcosm more acutely then at home.

In many ways these changes are very quick and obvious with old friends leaving and new people arriving, and in other ways this change is much more subtle, and yet more significant overall - it is the hint of something deeply internal transforming within you.  

Sharath gave conference yesterday, as he does most Sundays, and it was again a very sweet gathering.  I will share some of the highlights I enjoyed with you.  My friend Nea Ferrier also has shared a lovely summary in her blog: New Memories: Home Cooking and Sharath's Conference 9.2.14

My Favourite Bits & Pieces from Sharath's Conference: Feb.2/2014

He touched upon the importance of Parampara (the direct lineage of teachers), "Yoga has to come from the Parampara.  You can't learn by watching a video or going to a conference or a workshop. A conference or video is like entertainment, but it cannot be an education in spirituality.  A real experience of yoga is different then entertainment.

Ashtanga yoga is about the transformation that happens within us.  Our perception of life changes.  It gives our life a new meaning.  Trying to realize what we are - that journey is called spirituality."

He used a great metaphor: "In life we are always running behind something... something that is ultimately unnecessary.  Everyone is running off to somewhere or running to do some training or workshop.  What are you searching for?  Where are you going?
Is it a new posture you are after?  Getting a new posture doesn't make you a good yogi.
Go to the Source which is within you.
Realize What You Are and Why You Are Here!'

"Don't run behind Yoga.  Yoga is within you."

He reinforced that Yoga is to create mental fitness through spirituality, but this must arise from within each person.   How you change and transform yourself through your practice - that is Yoga.
It takes time for the body to change.  We must be patient in our practice.
These days there is very little respect for Yoga and the power of it as a spiritual practice, and the power that is inherent within your own body and mind.

He reminded us about "samsara halahala mohashantyai" saying, Samsara is full of poison, but yoga teaches us how to bring peace to our mind through all different experiences. It helps us to manage the stress of daily life, and is like a "terrain management system" in a car.  (I'm not great with the whole car metaphor, but I get the general idea!)   

"Yoga is the only tool we have to spiritually transform yourself.  This Yoga is Not only an asana practice.  Asana is not the final stages of Yoga.  Yoga is Not just a physical practice."
Ultimately, Yoga is the realization of the Oneness of all.
To realize this Oneness you have to give up many things - anger, greed, fear, desire, and realize you are the same as everyone - you are not different.

"You are Prakriti - nature.  From the earth you came up and at death you will go back to the earth. Birth and death are a mystery, but what you do with the years you have living here on earth is the important part.  The effects of your actions here will remain."