Monday, February 23, 2009

Remembering Where Home Is

Did you ever chant Aum before or after a yoga class?

Once I was reading a poem and said the word Home at the end of it, and realized the resonances with Aum.

Last night on the Academy Awards for motion pictures, the Indian man who won best score for Slum Dog Millionaire talked about the silence before and after Aum. On national TV!

He thanked his teachers, and I wondered if he meant spiritual teachers or musical ones....

in any case, Home is where the heart is, and Heart is where Home is.

believe that you are never far away from your Home, because you carry it with you.

Be at peace, by coming back Home, by paying attention to where the Heart feels best.

have a beautiful day at Home,


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Yummy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day blog readers!

On this bright sunny day, in mid-winter, it helps to have the colour Red be celebrated, to remind us of the heart, the life-giving pulse, the source of oxygen and energy.

And what my Heart is longing for is for me to check in more often and feel what it is longing for.
One day, this week I was lying on my carpet doing some simple yoga postures and listening to Bija, a wonderfully soothing CD.
My thirst for body connectedness and a general feeling of dissatisfaction and winter blahs had lead me to reconnect with body and breath. I didn't know what else to do, since my official escape from winter is only in 2 weeks.
I lay down in the sun on my afghan carpet, soaking in heat and light through the window. It felt good to feel the heat. Let mind focus on breath and movement. Begin to feel the well filling up.
I am not willing to be separate from myself. Bring the focus inside to breath and heart, fuel the fire, the engine, with pure fuel, not garbage (newspaper, TV, books, arguments).
I feel my passivity and crankiness leave.
I feel my heart energy awaken.
I feel thought energy move from negative worry to calm.
I feel self-critical voice shushed, (this is an old habit I can unlearn).
I practice self-awareness, self-love, self-kindness.
I stretch my body and breathe into the temple, the sanctuary of compassion.
I invite all beings close to and from far, to join me in the heart temple.
At first it feels tight, because I am afraid it isn't big enough to hold everyone. Until I remember that is is not my physical heart space or the limits of my body, but the temple is in Kwan Yin's heart, as big as the Universal Heart pumping life into all our beings.
I breathe past the fear I have that if I lie here and do nothing I will turn into a mush ball and never get up and do anything productive again.
I hang out here exploring the 'nothing', this place within, with curiosity and begin to feel acceptance, instead of the ball of anxiety in my solar plexus.
I feel so tired of moving from everyone else's impulse and always responding as if I "have to", as if I am a puppet whose strings are pulled by someone else.
I feel resistance to moving this way anymore. I feel how passive I have been, how disconnected from my own passion.
Here in the heart and hearth of my new home, in a puddle of sunlit warmth, I feel content to not go outside. I feel content to not read any books on all the subjects that have enthralled me. I feel hungry for my own truth.
Where does my candle get lit from, from which fire?
Where does my energy come from, the desire to serve the world? to feel that I am/or have something to give?
I feel content to stay with the question, until the answer comes from within.
Even if I don't know anymore what the goal is, I do know it is no longer outside me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Random Acts of Beauty

excerpt from Beauty, The Invisible Embrace by John Donoghue

The life journey can be a journey of ascent to beauty. The longing at the heart of attraction is for union with the Beautiful. Not everything in us is beautiful. We need to undertake the meticulous work of clearance and clarification in order that our inner beauty may shine.

...Somewhere in every heart there is a discerning voice. This voice distrusts the status quo. It sounds out the falsity in things and encourages dissent from the images things tend to assume. ...The inner voice makes any complicity uneasy. Its intention is to keep the heart clean and clear.

This voice is an inner whisper not obvious or known to others outside. It receives little attention and is not usually highlighted among a person’s qualities. Yet so much depends on that small voice. The truth of its whisper marks the line between honour and egoism, kindness and chaos....

This faithful voice can illuminate the dark lands of despair. ....Each day in the world, in the prisons, hospitals and killing fields, against all the odds, this still, small voice continues to echo the beauty of the human being.

...Ultimately it is the voice of the soul....When you take the time to draw on your listening-imagination, you will begin to hear this gentle voice at the heart of your life. It is deeper and surer than all the other voices of disappointment, unease, self-criticism and bleakness. All holiness is about learning to hear the voice of your own soul.

Your soul is your true source and a new energy and passion awakens in you. The soul dwells where beauty lives.”
This quote is part of our mini-retreat theme this week, Random Acts of Beauty. The question asked last week was How can I commit two random acts of beauty, one for myself and one for the world (others around me)?
for Valentine's Day, ask yourself what act of beauty you can perform,
aka Musemother

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Compassionate Breath

Be still my heart, wherever I am, I am at home with you.
Zulu Chant

Kuan Yin is a buddhist goddess, whose name means She-Who Hearkens to the Cries of the World. As you practice this breath, think of yourself as the embodiment of Compassion.

Begin by sitting on a chair or cushion on the floor with your eyes closed.

Inhale deepy and sigh Ahh as you exhale. Do this 2 more times.

Place your hands over your heart, one on top of the other.

Feel the drumbeat of your pulse and let yourself become absorbed in its rhythm.

Connect to the energy of your heart and imagine it spreading thorugh your body, your arms, legs, torso, head.

Imagine this loving heart energy filling up every cell. Each time you inhale, gather loving heart energy into your heart and palsm.

With every exhalation, spread the energy to all your cells.

Inhaling, collect this healing gift in your heart.

Exhaling, radiate it out to surround yur body with its protection power.

Feel it encompass your whole being, all the way down to your sitting bones.

On the exhale, let the energy flood any parts of your body that feel uncomfortable or tight.

Send your Compassion-infused breath to all parts of you.

From a deep inner smile, let a slight smile light your face.

When you feel complete, return your hands back in your lap.

Notice the connection between your hands and loving heart een when they aren't touching.

Inhale and exhale with a sigh 3 more times.

Now, notice how you feel. Allow your eyes to open very slowly.

Enjoy the day,

ps this exercise is adapted from Yoga for your Spiritual Muscles by Rachel Schaeffer