Thursday, February 26, 2015

Partnership have beginnings and sometimes end

Through the knowing of what unbalances us, we develop ways of rebalancing.  

We come to know ourselves by seeing our thoughts, emotions, and feelings that arise in our relating and in situations that don't affect us directly. 

Knowing one "self" is like the "raft" that rides on the "river of life". 

Partners, the true ones, know what unbalances their "ship".  When we decide to climb on the one ship called relationship or partnership, keep your raft alongside.  Time to time get on that raft and allow yourself the space to "re familiarize" with your "self", to again find the balance within.  You will return to continue the partnership.  

Sometimes the one or the other decide that the partners are not in balance.  Discuss the strategies for rebalancing the relationship. Give it your heart, as it is yours to do, allow and encourage the other to sail their own "raft".  

Both will know in their honesty that the time to end the partnership is imminent. Then working within the guidelines of the Yama and the Niyamas, find the strength and the courage to end the partnership.  

Take time for the closure.  Endings and closures are rarely simultaneous.  During the closure be patient with yourself.  And release the other with grace and blessings. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pratyahara in daily living

In yoga terms pratyahara is the ‘withdrawal of the senses.’  It is considered one of the eight limbs of yoga as passed down in the teachings of Sri Patanjali.  Pratyahara allows one to move into the area where the next step is that we begin to notice or see the "fluctuations of the mind".  

Yoga when practiced within the context of the 8 limbs of Yamas , Niyamas , Asanas, Pranayama , Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi, encourages us to bring the underlying essence, called peace/liberation/source/oneness etc.,  into our daily living.  

So what is Pratyahara?
We can begin to look into the two components of Pratyahara, withdrawal and senses.  The five senses as we know in the physical or gross body /realm are seeing, hearing, touch, taste and smell.  These senses are directly connected to the organs of the body.  Indirectly these senses combine to create other sensations e.g sense of balance, temperature, pressure, pain etc.  

So how could  one withdraw from the 'senses' and which are the various techniques developed to bring about such withdrawal.  All humans might be similar in their feelings, thoughts and their expression but at the same time understanding the amazing complexity, which is to be human and we realize that "different strokes for different folks" is not a cliche.   

Returning back to Pratyahara.  Withdrawing from the senses is not the same as "shutting out", instead it begins with the  "opening" of the awareness of the senses.  Acknowledging each of the senses and their underlying complexity we look for an anchor that would hold us when we withdraw the senses.   The anchor replaces the continuous chatter of the mind.  Use of breath awareness in the inhales and the exhales, keeping attention on a candle flame, picture of a deity or a mantra, are some of the examples of such an anchor.   The anchor begins to build the mind muscle that allows us to ‘focus.’  

Here we begin to see why do we need to practice "Pratyahara?"    We live in a world where our time is rationed.   Sometimes the conflicting demands on the time does not allow us the luxury of savoring and lingering or just taking "our sweet time".  We are not able to process our experiences, instead we skim on the surface, moving from one ‘excited’ state to another.  

Being continuously ‘connected’ has its downside of not having a free moment unless we consciously turn off the cell phones and other media.  Even with this disconnection our minds have a challenge, the mind is a highway of racing thoughts.  

So where can one look for, to create a feeling of "timelessness"?  Besides  the vacation, daydreaming, and visualization, which itself generally happens at the cost of time, practicing Pratyahara seems to be a sustainable mode of being.   Regular practice builds a conscious awareness, which allows one to focus on the task/moment and not be bogged down by the emotional energy of what happened and will happen in another moment or hour.  It develops the Zen way of being here and now.   We begin to connect the dots of life and living by understanding Pratya.hara. 

Life unfolds each moments and the best laid plans have no strength to withstand this unpredictability of life.  
Our drives and desires.  Hungers and conflict begin to become a little more clear when we understand not only our physiology,  but the senses and their workings.  
A space or a pause starts to be felt   This pause is the freedom we all seek.  For some its the peace of mind.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Why the Search?

Soul and spirit,
Body and breath.
Are the Four corners present in the fabric of life.   Tie these together and hold each moment within your grasp.  Sometimes putting too much weight on one will loosen or even break the knot.  Bring it back into balance.  Tighten what needs to be tightened, loosen where needed.  It's all in this moment - the soul, the spirit, the body, and the breath. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Psyche of a city, NYC

New York, a city where the world comes together, a city as per Frank Sinatra "that never sleeps".  

My favourite pastime to walk, observe, to connect as I disconnect.  This city and it's vibe are great for doing just that.  In some cafés I notice the pictures of this city from years bygone.  I run into people who say they are born here, many generations living in the city.  A lineage of families who established and operated a small business.   The tradition seems to continue with the young entrepreneurs operating the organic cafés, tea, coffee and juice bars.  I have not dived into the history of these owners as a part of me would like to believe that they were inspired by the lineage of business owners, or maybe they belong to such a family.  

And then the glitter and the glamour or brand name stores, the "designer" brand.  New York would certainly be the place to buy products that are leading the fashion industry.   

I sit up on the third floor of the Time Warner Center.  I hear the strong local accent in the conversation between two women at the nearby table.  I think how similar we all are in our connecting, in the relating, how we share our life stories as well as the life stories of common friends.  Yes it boils down to stories.  We are all story tellers.  Sometimes we live to tell, and at times we tell and share, it
makes us feel alive.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January happenings...

took me to UK to visit family and friends.  The days were a whirlwind, conversations, eating and catching up.  A day trip to London, followed by a few hours in the local mall where I reconnected with friends after four years of first meeting them.  The power of technology and social networks keeps us all connected.

This year, the personal intention for me is to be what I fondly refer to as "a sugar sabbatical", staying away from desserts and chocolates and candy.  So far its been doable, some hidden sugar is packaged goods I am overlooking.  Honey, yes I love my honey in tea so there, I am in a good place of living out this intention.

I spent a day with my family in Toronto, middle of the afternoon we met, the grand-babies my delight.  There life continues to remind me how fortunate I am, a gratitude to continue in my heart and in all interactions.

Yoga continues in life, and has brought me to New York City.  Here I continue to share space where we practice, eat and sleep.  Jason has opened his home for us to hang our hats and share our practice of asana, meditation and philosophy of yoga.  

New York always brings new surprises, new friends, old renewals and this time a poignant nostalgia.  Some friends move on with their life, leaving memories in places, where once shared was laughter and joy.