Treat everyone and everything with loving compassion.

When you see no difference between the sacred and the profane, the saint or the sinner, That is the ultimate wisdom.

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The Ultimate Wisdom….

Yoga, to do or not to do?


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Yoga in western society has become many things to many people and this has caused concern for skeptics that believe it to be elusive, religious in nature, or simply too difficult to perform. But Yoga simply is just the joining together of the body and mind and can be done in its most simplistic manner by laying down, standing, walking or sitting.

By using your body as a tool through postures (asanas), exercises of breathing (pranayama), meditation or prostrations and prayer (devotional practice) you offer your mind an opportunity to observe and explore the many characteristics within yourself.

When you enter a yoga class do not enter with expectations! And if you do enter with resolutions and expectations embrace and explore the feelings that arise while there. No matter the movements, exercise and challenges that are asked of you try to remind yourself to observe your reactions with a mindful eye. Allow yourself to become immersed in the process of pain, limit, judgement, disappointments, joy, peace, tears, weakness or strength and embrace these feelings with acceptance and understanding.

This exploration, for some, is actually the difficult part of the journey! Not the pose or practice of the exercises (asanas, pranayamas, meditation…etc) but the mindful observation of our character. The awareness and insight we are offered into our true selves. To witness and observe our weakness, critical judgements, limits and to feel deeply the pain maybe farther than some people are willing to go. It is within this space of time that we are introduced to our true limits, our true feelings and what we may find there to be less than impressive and peaceful.

But when you are ready to awaken and know truth, you can be sure that the flowing path of the inhalations and exhalations of your breath will allow you to see the good, bad and the ugly that balance the body and mind. You will experience compassion  that opens your heart, allowing you to feel contentment in both suffering as well as happiness.

When you grasp at life with the expectations of perfection and constant well-being you are setting yourself up for even more suffering and resistance. Life seeks balance, yin and yang, ebb and flow, black and white, darkness and light. It is the space in between these two opposites that support and equalize.

Yoga joins the small self (ego, physical, human doing) to the Universal self (spirit, soul, being). And in the process of this ever-changing  fluctuation that we call life, we can breath softly  and  become cradled with contentment between these two experiences, balancing and harmonizing and all the while connecting the total sum of the organism that is the infinite.

Namaste

Self-Observation Isn’t for Wimps

The Great suffering of the lone “I”

Breath and be still

Sit silent in observation

We are not seperate from the process we call life, but are the process

As each drop of water becomes the “ocean” there is no seperation but a whole

It is each drop that creates the movement, life and ebb and flow which we label “Ocean”

All one unto, into and through and through.

Allness, Universe, Oneness, Nothingness, Allah, God, It

It matters not what your mind tries to name it ~ you will never truly separate “IT”

but only seperate yourself into suffering thus becoming the lone “I”

The “I” which you believe yourself to be can profess to the Universe you are different

And try to convince others who suffer from this same affliction to follow

But you will never truly be that separation which your mind suffers deeply and desires

It is when the observer within you is able to see this truth you will feel contentment

And although the process of life will still seek balance through yin and yang, war and peace you will observe the truth

knowing that you as the lone “I”  will never intimately know the great body of the vast eternity but only as IT!

 

The Silent Observer

I have spent a lot of time as of  late, silently observing myself free of judgement or expectations and let me tell you it has been a very interesting and enlightening experience.  I began practicing yoga and meditation over 17 years ago and during that time have spent many hours during the day practicing breathing exercises in order to perfect my body mind connection. I have spent years controlling my breathing so that I could control my mind and nature and achieve ahimsa or Nirvana.  At first it was maybe a few breathing exercises here and there, or I would apply it to my yoga and walking meditations strictly.

With this practice sometimes on and other times off I had found that over the years I was becoming even angrier with each passing moment and that all the pranayama and yoga I did I was coming no closer to nirvana or ahimsa and I certainly was not perfecting anything except more anger!

It was upon the soft non judgemental focus of my breathing that I become the silent observer, able to experience the process of my life unconditionally and mindfully. As I let go of expectations and just observed my nature and behavior,  lo and behold I discovered a place where I could sit and not be affected by my emotional mind/body. I soon discovered that if I connected to my breathing without changing or controlling it, but instead just following it as it was: (Shallow, short, irregular, etc…) and simply recognizing it: (“Breathing in, Breathing out”…or…”Breathing in I am breathing rapidly, Breathing out I am breathing shallow”….or…”Breathing in  I count 1, Breathing out…Breathing in I count 2, breathing out”…and so on through a 5 count) I was fully present without prejudice or judgement and  I felt a warm sense of happiness over take me even when things were indifferent.

Instead of expecting that I will or will not I just sit silently observing the experience, the emotion and the action with no holding myself to an outcome, because honestly  human nature has a very awkward sinister side which we must recognize and accept before we are able to release it fully and move on. What I find the most freeing as a silent observer is I that I am not JUST that emotional mind/body  experience, but this wonderful balance of yin and yang. The “I” which I beleived before to be me is only human nature which has no permanence and so I can hold onto nothing, not good or bad!

I guess what I wish to say to those who are looking for the answers to divine perfection is, Stop trying to change yourself, stop trying to create a static being based on a fictional character that can not humanly exist until you have first accepted your impermanent nature and your faults. Start by acknowledging your true self with all its weakness and just name it with a mindful awareness that is in sync with your breathing. “Breathing in I am speaking too much, Breathing out I am aware that I am talking too much” So what if you are! Just bringing your awareness to the fact will create room in your heart and mind for loving kindness to grow, not only for yourself, but all sentient beings as they too are just being human!

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11. Those who mistake the unessential to be essential
and the essential to be unessential,
dwelling in wrong thoughts,
never arrive at the essential.

~Dhammapada (1. Pairs)

http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/dhammapada-01.html

Manna for the Mind

Open up to all the possibilites

Not always so | Mindfulbalance Blog

The post Not always so | Mindfulbalance Blog written by Karl Duffy really opens my mind!

Actually it helps me understand artistic blocks and even when I am training horses, why I feel limited in my scope.

I remember when I started creating jewelry. I knew nothing. I knew even less than nothing! And so, I simply picked up parts and pieces and started putting them together just to please myself.  There were no preconceived notions holding me to the outcome of my actions. It has only been  2 years and I have quickly lost my ability to see the creative options ! I have forgotten how to be spontaneous and open-minded in my work methods. I have narrowed my thinking to precisions and absolutes and  have lost touch with that new, expansive thinking  that allowed me to simply create!

Karl has reminded us that we have the ability to return to mindfulness at any given moment. We  have the resource readily available to expand our thinking, open up the Universal flow, and make all things possible.

Today I will find the time to sit still  and breathe in mindfulness. I will be open to the experience that flows around me and through me to flow freely and without limit. I will let the expert in me have a day off and set the child afoot to explore the possibilities!

“Breathing in,  I open myself to all possibilities that are available now….Breathing out I let go of  all limits.”

Namaste

Andrea