Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A new dawn...2014

Live my life.  Each moment unfolds. 
Make a story with abundance of peace, joy, love and intimacy in each moment. 
Another person lives their story, the conscious and unconscious masks that they wear.   Let it be.  It's their life to live. Their story to tell.  Sometimes I am a part of their story as they are a part of mine, only sometimes. 
And feel, allow feelings to be felt.  Take time to stay with the feelings and make courage to let them go, without attaching a story to them.  A story when attached to feelings turns into an emotional drama.  It's not needed, it obstructs the flow of life.  


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cold Moon - the last full moon in 2013

Full moon is on December 17....its a memorable day for me, as many special events took place on this day.   I release the bygones, and cherish all I have.

Reflecting on this year which soon comes to a close.  

It seems so recent in my memory when we were anticipating the year "2012", which was the "big" year.  That year ended, what we saw was an awakening or an awareness of people and their expression in forms of protests and wanting to bring changes where injustices were prevalent.  The world our external world as in the rising of the sun, the moon and the earth beneath us, still all guaranteed.   Although we are seeing some planetary shifts yet for all practical  purpose we did not witness any major world turning event.  

So we moved in to 2013; through this year some of us felt a "subtle" change or shift happening.  We couldn't take a pulse of this change, for we could not find that "pulse".   Were there internal shifts happening which were outwardly expressed or the other way, is another philosophical perspective. 

The symbolic endings, closing or beginnings tend to get us into a state of reflection.  We reflect on what has passed or gone and we contemplate our present life or place in life.   With contemplation we begin to see an unfolding and simultaneous co-creation of the blueprint to our life story.  

How deep we move within to understand our story is up to us.  In the unraveling of our selves a new story emerges, a new blueprint and a new picture.  What actions and role we see ourself playing in this new story begins with a thought.  That thought can be considered an intention which lies inside a seed, the seed contains a whole life story.  Each thought or intention in that seed, grows and is expressed in ones actions and in our relating.    

The seed or collective intention is planted in our conscious and in to the sub conscious mind.   It is good to remember the intention as we go about our day and bring it into contemplation on a regular basis.  The contemplation or the awareness is how the seed gets nurtured, the actions we take brings life to the intention.

As we continue to take stock of our life and we keep our focus on the intention, we see that the life begins to become a "crystallization of the intention."
  
The regular awareness of our intention also brings into focus our doubts and fears.  We learn from the doubts and fears and move away from them when we find that they are not serving to fulfill the intention.  

Intention is the awareness before any steps can be taken.  Understanding of oneself begins with the awareness of ones intentions.  The subsequent actions or steps in fulfilling the intention can be life itself.   Intentions manifest into life.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

"Mama you are eating elaichi" aka cardamom

A comment my kids would make when they smelled cardamom, I recall their comment mostly in the car...which could mean that we spent time in close proximity mostly in the car, or most probably the enclosed environment made the smell prominent.

I like/love ilaichi, to my delight when I saw for the first time how it grows, i was thrilled.  This was not in my ancestral country but in Costa Rica.

For some reason today I looked up the nutritional value of this spice.  I browsed a few websites, and decided to share the following:

(On a side note, the Balzac Cafe in Metro Toronto Library (where I am often found these days) serves a coffee called "Cafe Nordique", it is supposed to have cardamom and vanilla, I ordered one today and tasted none of the above.  When I shared this with the girl behind the counter she said: "yes many people have made the same comment, maybe the taste of coffee is too strong".  I kind of disagree, if  you use the real cardamom, I add one pod to my tea, it is strong enough.  So go figure!)


15 Health Benefits of Cardamom

Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 08:05 AM Charlie Pulsipher
4.89/5 (97.76%) 268votes
Cardamom is native to the evergreen forests of India. This spice is commonly used in Indian cuisine, but it has also made its way into Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for mouth ulcers, digestive problems, and even depression. Some of the health benefits of this peppery, citrusy spice are now making their way into modern studies. It’s well worth adding cardamom to your food for the flavor alone, but these health benefits are also something to consider whenever you break out the spices.
  1. 15_health_benefits_of_cardamom_imageDigestion – Cardamom is related to ginger and can be used in much the same way to counteract digestive problems. Use it to combat nausea, acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, constipation, and much more.
  2. Detoxify – This spice helps the body eliminate waste through the kidneys.
  3. Halitosis – In India they chew cardamom after meals or whenever they need to freshen their breath.
  4. Diuretic – Part of the reason cardamom is such a good detoxifier is thanks to the diuretic properties. It helps clean out the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys, removing waste, salt, excess water, toxins, and combating infections too.
  5. Depression – The science behind the antidepressant qualities of cardamom hasn’t been studied yet, but Ayurvedic medicine swears by the tea as a means to fight depression.
  6. Oral Health – Apart from helping with bad breath, cardamom is used for mouth ulcers and infections of the mouth and throat.
  7. Cold and Flu – This pungent spice may help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms. It’s also used for bronchitis and coughs.
  8. Cancer – Animal studies are showing promise that cardamom protects against, inhibits growth, and even kills some cancers.
  9. Blood Pressure – As a diuretic and fiber rich spice, cardamom significantly lowers blood pressure.
  10. Blood Clots – Cardamom prevents dangerous blood clots by preventing platelet aggregation and the sticking to the artery walls.
  11. Antioxidant – Many of the vitamins, phytonutrients, and essential oils in cardamom act as antioxidants, cleaning up free radicals and resisting cellular aging.
  12. Pathogens – The volatile essential oils in cardamom inhibit the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungus, and mold.
  13. Anti-inflammatory – Like ginger and turmeric, its relatives, cardamom has some anti-inflammatory properties that limit pain and swelling, especially in mucus membranes, the mouth, and throat.
  14. Hiccups – Cardamom is an anti-spasmodic that can help get rid of hiccups. This also applies to other involuntary muscle spasms, like stomach and intestinal cramps.
  15. Aphrodisiac – Traditional medicine lists cardamom as a powerful aphrodisiac that can help with erectile dysfunction and impotence.
- See more at: http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/15-health-benefits-of-cardamom/#sthash.mIYe8hf1.dpuf

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Meetings and partings

A sojourn, this life

I am not for any anyone,
I seek none for myself.  

A home I find, 
In the place called heart.

All come there;
a brief visit,
a smile, a word.

When all are gone,
I rest my self
In this home, the heart.  


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Costa Rica, November Full Moon


The above words came soon after I finished meditating on the beach in Cahuita.  

The last five weeks have been busy, spent with six students, guiding, coaching and assessing them in their yoga teacher training.  

Each person who immerses themself in this journey of yoga comes out on the other side - changed in more then one way.  The long hours of the training are challenging and demanding.  Sometimes a person is faced with their fears and at times the strong filters of conditioning are brought to the forefront.  

Through all this, I am happy that Malorie, Lyndi, Chelsea, Joice, Rhéline and Miranda, came out smiling, confident and ready to share their practice.  

And now it's time to relax in Cahuita. A full moon dance, a day spent in the sunshine of the beach, sand and ocean and this evening teaching and sharing a yoga practice by the evening light, besides the poolside.  

The clouds parted and the full moon was a sight to behold, brilliant and shining, reassuring as the next breath.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Meditation


The birds have flown into the sky,
The last cloud drifts away;

We sit together, the mountain and me,
Until only the mountain remains.  

Lao Tsu



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Giving thanks - and "autumn leaves drift by my window"

I am thinking gratitude is a state of being, and giving thanks as an act.  We keep practicing, and we become the action.

Then there is the day celebrated as "thanksgiving"; in Canada its celebrated on the second Monday in October, associated with the harvest time,  and in the U.S its the fourth Thursday of November.

Great family holiday, one of the few where gifts, and shopping and traffic ordeals are not needed.  Well maybe the traffic one is a stretch.  As people do like to travel to be with their families and loved ones on this holiday.

Its always been a favorite holiday, with family and friends a reunion time.   In our family we gather on the Sunday, the day before the holiday.  It was logistics, kids returning to college on the Monday, and then also for selfish reasons of having a lazy morning after, before heading out to work.

So Lasagna with garlic bread, caesar salad and apple crumble, a long standing menu and everyones favorite.  Always request to make extra Lasagna as "it tastes better the next day"....

So today the meat sauce (has to be meat, for those of us who are vegetarians, a separate casserole is made), is ready.  Fresh meat, cooked for at least three hours, as the tastes all assimilate with the slow and extended cooking time.  With preparations done, Sunday morning will be assembling and cooking, conversations wrapped with love and laughter.

Fall weather has been beautiful, the colors vibrant, the sunshine clear and the air crisp.  Last night even the half moon seemed closer.

I give thanks, love abounds...

Rumi's words come as the autumn leaves fall: "inside of us, there's a continual autumn.  Our leaves fall and are blown out over the water".


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mask I wear

The veils come down,
courage is found.  

Then
What is this Mask I wear?
Is it not an illusion?

The answer is clear, 
for its not to deceive,
only to be free.

Freedom that we all seek,
alertness that awareness desires.
Luxury that is priceless,
for freedom can neither be bought not sold.

My mask is only of this world and for the world.  

In the knowing there is no doubt. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A moment to pause
in this emptiness, 
a dive.
How deep is this ocean?

The answer will find me,
maybe!
Then maybe not.  

Only no-thing is permanent. 
Any answer is mortal,
only that which is not, remains. 

Why seek an answer,
life  unfolds. 
Each moment an experience,
only to feel, relish and to let it pass.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pratyahara in daily living

http://www.canadianyogi.com/irum-naqvi.html

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.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sincere

Sincerity and exploitation are mutually exclusive.   One is for-giving the other for-taking. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Way

Road to the unknown. 

The known invokes some feelings and the unknown some other. 

From the distance a form seems familiar, when one is mistaken? What difference does it make? Is it in the invoked feelings.  

And so what is known? A place, a face of another.   All that can be felt with the senses. 

Beyond and between the senses are a few unknown moments.  They come from silence.  

 Face the known and the unknown.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Morning meditation - reassured

New beginning

The sunlight filters through the blinds.
Through the slits of my eyes I see a promising day.

Life's promise, ah so sweet as it delivers me another day.  

A day or a moment, an opportunity to live mindfully.
Each a new beginning. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August Full Moon - another blue moon

A full moon is referred to as a "blue moon", when one of the two happens:

  1. two full moons in a given calendar month
  2. third out of the four full moons occurring between two solstice
The full moon tonight or early hours GMT, falls in the second category.

The August full moon is also the time to "preserve what you have".

The full moon completes the cycle representing change, or tying up of loose ends.  It symbolizes the end chapter, shedding light on the things that we no longer need to hold on, discharging of physical and emotional pain.

It can be taken as a time for purging rituals, as the light of the moon illuminates those things that are interfering with our spiritual growth and advancement.  Doing healing rituals, finishing projects, coming into acceptance.

As we let go, we have space for creating.  Setting intentions, writing down goals, feeling a sense of fullness and abundance.  Knowing within that as moon starts to wane our obstructions will also clear.

A time for reflection, contemplation, and gratitude for what is in our lives, how we have lived our life.

"The gratitude is not a river moving from somewhere to somewhere, but is the ocean moving within itself.  As the full moon rises and sets, tears of gratitude arise and repose into the vastness of the self"
~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar~

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Courage to be strong


Find my strength through courage.

Courage for me is like the building blocks.  The strength the cumulative effect of courage.  

The fear that rises within.  The voice of fear that says not to do something or be someone,  afraid of being judged.   Replacing that voice with courage.  Knowing in the heart that it is the right thing to do. 

Slowly the voice from the heart gains courage to speak, to be.   With reinforced practice a strength is born. 

Through the window of heart I am strong.  To see beyond.  

I look at the sky and wonder if courage underpins strength or is it the reverse...

I wonder!  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Moment by moment. Poco a poco

A crossroad,
this travel only a moment in time. 

A hesitation,
which path do I choose?

This sign says words
and the other 
Silence. 

Choose silence.
Knowing in time
the words will come.

In choosing words
silence is lost.  

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blue skies, warm days by the water, and just some thoughts...

The world and its habitation are similar.  
We travel, we see and ask of ourselves - where is it that I want to be, and around who?

A planned trip to Colorado, to feel the spectacular Rocky Mountains.   The yoga workshop was an excuse; the people and connections a reason and a reminder to life and its beauty.  I could have been disappointed that one weekend of sessions got cancelled, instead I took it as an opportunity to fulfill a life long dream of visiting San Francisco.

A day can become a lifetime, I feel I will return.

I spent less than 24 hours in Ojai.   To visit an old family friend who I have known since I was born.  His lifestyle, quietness and being in the grounds where Krishnamurti lived, made the trip more than just memorable.

The drive to Ojai from LA was only a couple of hours.  We were driving on the Pacific Coast Highway aka PCH, along the way a stopover to feel the sand, stretch into yoga, and inhale the ocean.

Many years ago driving south on the PCH I had witnessed a breathtaking view, as the red Mazda Miata hugged a curve and we faced the water.   I remember catching my  breath, Wow!   For a moment it felt that we were going to drive right over the ocean.

Summer in Toronto.  The place full of family and of friends.  Former work colleagues, where new encounters and many lifetimes of connections are rekindled.  

I am asked to facilitate Reiki, each time I become a vessel to facilitate the universal life energy to flow, many layers open,  each spirit finds its healing.   We embody emotions, with their release the spirit and body align,  all become one.  

Summer in the city continues...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Day in LA


Meetings, laughter, love.
Lunch at The Grove farmers market and afternoon at Getty museum. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day in SF

The Golden

Ammar and i on the crooked street



Ummami Burger, yes
 mine was all veg, love their sauces

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A dream of some ago...



No flowers in my hair, a dream of so long ago seems to be happening.  

In a few hours...I will be humming the song in my head.  I am sure I will meet many gentle people there.  


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rocky Mountain High

Finding self at over 12000 feet

Friends Jo Ann and Bob.





Jo Ann, Bob and I

The view invited and the wall provided a spot for a few moments of introspection

Friday, July 26, 2013

9000 ft & Where flowers grow in the wild...


Nor seeking approval, neither a disapproval hinders their growth and beauty.  

Silence of the mountains with soft pauses of the grass hoppers, hummingbirds and nature.  

Crunching gravel under each footstep.  

The echoing of the train horn, distant, urgent and surrounded by the strength of the mountain. 

A morning meditation, the eyes opening to the sparkling sun, rising from behind the mountain. 

The cool crisp air and the warmth of a yoga practice with a wonderful teacher, Margaret.  She creates space and shares her practice as she encourages each one to find the strength and their stillness.  Seek her at Mountain Moon Yoga in Winter Park, Colorado.  Her slogan is "Find your breath at 9000 feet".

And here in Fraser, Colorado are my hosts.  Gratitude to Jo Ann and Bob, as always they welcome me in their home.  
The afternoon spent with their neighbor, Diana who took us on a drive to the Arapahoe basin in the Rocky Mountains. Her red jeep and her driving. Both a reflection of her free spirit.  Diana and Jack are old timers here.  Skiers and bikers  and hikers.  Jack said he would teach me skiing should i return in the winter.
What a delightful afternoon!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

What is a human

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor...Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” 
― Rumi

Enroute

An early morning allowed me to view a spectacular sunrise.  I get those few moments to meditate.  

The back pack is my physical luggage.  I scan the long line of early morning travelers.  Each carrying or pulling their precious belongings. 

I wonder at myself and see the reflection of our preparedness.  We are evolved in to people who are always prepared.  Yet how much does that prepare us for the unexpected? Remind myself to continue to read "The Black Swan", by Nassim Taleb.

I arrive at Denver.  The airport terminals carry a certain energy.  They have the freshness of a unique architecture and the familiarity of known brands.   

Impermanence surfaces through each meeting and parting.  

Crowds blend into a river of people unless one pauses and wonder how alike we all are. Yet no two story really the same.  We can never truly feel what the other is feeling.   We do want to get closer to the feelings of the other.
Our filters are a mesh of our own experiences.
Compassion comes to mind.  We feed the concept of compassion.   


Wondering, and absorbing the energy of this city, state, I look up at a wall...this is the airport, and this is what I see...

Monday, July 22, 2013

This full moon in July twenty thirteen

.The sun sets on this day.  A full moon in Aquarius, reflecting the full energy of a Leo sun...

And I wonder, what a play of energy!

Through each pause in contemplation, I wondered! Full moon energy or is the energy of the sun as it enters Leo?  

Whatever the reasoning the mind and thoughts put to the feelings is a personal perspective.  Another thought to justify or understand the illusion of reality.  

No matter what I did, the energy felt like a lion wanting to roar.  Sometimes I challenged myself in balancing asanas keeping the focus on the chakras to sense which chakra was over and which under.  What were the blockages and where to balance.  The challenge kept bringing into awareness which Celestial bodies were aligning or playing with me, with the thoughts.     

I began to see why the Svadisthana was needing attention.   The balancing allowed me to get through most of the day.  Food helped in nurturing.  Peanut butter an old time favorite came to the rescue.  

The power of Manipura as the sun moved into Leo allowed me to keep working away at the list of tasks.  Will power was strong although focus was wavering.  Mercury, my birth planet, was going direct after three weeks of being retrograde.    

My heart listened to the favourite songs.   Music also expressed my Vishuddha, I sang and I danced, and I was open to connecting and communicating.  

The day ends by the water in Toronto, by a quiet spot of Sugar Beach.  I walk away from the crowds and the pink umbrellas; next to me the water is calm, a few runners in rhythm with my own breath.  I sit on the concrete.  The quietness of the soothing waves is exactly what my energy needs.  

The next few hours, days, as the moon starts to wane I am sure all the feelings too will ebb with the tides.   

Reassured that all felt was another expression of energetic processes called "me".   

It is the known "me", it knows no other.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

All happens in a moment...

Lukas and Matthias -

Another warm day in Toronto.  I want to walk out to the grocery store to buy fresh kale.  For reason as simple as "it's cooler by the water", or "more shade along the way" or I did not want to walk the incline, I walk by the waterfront towards the store. 

A traveller intuitively recognizes another.  I notice two large walking backpacks; think to self: "and in this heat, oh wow".  
And so they turned out to be from Innsbruck in Austria.  Students in a Med School, first time backpacking in Canada.  
As I walked them towards the Queens Quay Terminal, through my scenic route,  going in an out of a building to take in the cool air conditioning.   

For me Austria and its wonderful memories came back.  
Mehru and Lisi, Almas, Elizabeth and Zohra, the wonderful times we shared in yoga and in laughter.   Sandra and Andre, who opened their home for yoga sessions, and their kitchen to nourish the body.   Irene and the slow cooking weekend spent with her in Schmiedleithen.  Listening to Jessie Ann, perform and share her life story. 
Yes and my yoga teachers - Scarlett and Raquel and of course Mark.  
The group that spent the four weeks together - Rosa, Linda, Nat, Mike and Dodo.   Of cool mornings meditating in the yoga barn, our delight when the rain stopped and we warmed ourselves in the sun rays.  Our outdoor sessions amongst sculptors and the many meals prepared and shared.  
The little pub in Bad Mittendorf where we went to connect our Internet and drank apple juice and tea.  The thoughtful owner who left the Internet on even on the day the pub was closed so we could sit outside on his chairs and use the connection.  

So Lukas and Matthias, don't thank me for spending the few minutes guiding you to your destination and giving you a quick overview of Toronto.   It is I who is grateful to you.    I am glad I took the detour, it only left me smiling at your enthusiasm and my memories.
Now I sit by the harbor to write, and relive some amazing life moments.   Make each of yours memorable and relive it with a smile.  
Safe travels. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A joy to life

Every moment
with every breath,
My awareness is an attestation to my life.

When the awareness is no more,
Who will be no more?

Do i die,
in my body
Or in awareness ?

I seek no answer to these.
Questions, they are not,
They are simply a reminder...

A reminder to live,
each moment with awareness.

Cherish!

We know not when
whose awareness will be no more.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

When my life is a good story...

Of recent I hear myself saying "my life is a good story"...
A response to "how are you", or "how is life treating you"....

Then I began thinking of thought, how my thoughts talk me out of a situation, versus feelings which draw me in.   Why we feel, has its own complex origin.  The energy generated from the feelings is raw passion.
"Passion (from the Latin verb patī meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something." ~ 
George Bernard Shaw "insists that there are passions far more exciting than the physical ones...'intellectual passion, mathematical passion, passion for discovery and exploration: the mightiest of all passions'".[12] His contemporary, Sigmund Freud, argued for a continuity (not a contrast) between the two, physical and intellectual"...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passion_(emotion)~

If we believe that the two ways of being in this life is either evaluating through 'Reason' or going with the  "Feeling" then it is possible that the struggle between the two causes the most anguish.  

Understanding the self and being aware when ones action is being triggered by either 'reasoning' or 'feeling'.   It becomes the basis of relating with compassion.  Without judgement of right and wrong we are able to determine each perspective, our own firstly and then that of another.

The energy generated and coming from 'passion' of intense feeling, becomes the source of creativity, living against all odds of reasoning, and finding a depth to life.  It makes life more meaningful.  Question I ponder, can one live a sustainable life through passion alone?  What when the highs of passion throws you into the depth of despair? 
That becomes a struggle.   Struggle also arises when feelings and reason both come on strong.  For me this is not the struggle rather it falls in the category of a challenge.   Living is a challenge, from as simple as pausing long enough to allow a full breath to flow, or as complicated as dealing with hunger and pain - physical and emotional. 

Reasoning comes to the rescue when emotions are reined in through thought.   Living with reason alone is safe, empty and devoid of feelings; the mask of reason becomes a protective armor against vulnerability.  
Which is a better way? Where is the blueprint?  Religion, science, faith, culture, society?   

Thinking without feeling, and feeling without thinking.  

Each moment we decide or not decide to follow a certain way of being, we are living a story.  




Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lost and Found

A boat passes by, the name on the side of the boat says: "Lost Together."
Are we not all? I wonder! Lost by ourself, and sometimes confused with 'what that self is", yet together, in our individual chaos and confusion.

Journeying through life we recognize that we are born to love. Love life and support our physical, emotional and mental bodies. The skills needed are what we learn from our families, schools, the culture which nurtures us and creates our societies.

The learning teaches what is needed in how to live, support ourselves and become responsible contributors to our environment.

We begin to live the story of "doing". The formal and informal education all underpinned by a "doing." We do and we do. We turn into doers.

We forget why we were born. We begin to search, read, travel, seeking, maybe looking for someone there who will remind us?

The love we feel for our family, friends, intimate partners all gets unbalanced by this "doing" which we say is needed to support that love. Or so we have told ourselves in our learning.

Lost in our doing the spirit cries out. Help! I don't enjoy this doing anymore. Where is the love and the spirit, the joy and the passion.
It drowned in the expectation of doing.

Water. I sit by the water as these words get reflected on my handheld device.
Reminded how the flow has been restricted by the structure, the wall I sit on.

The love and the spirit needs to be renewed. Finding time to be. Seeing with the heart to what the inner voice is saying. Doing less, being more present enriches what little we do.
Those few moments, become a lifetime. The cliche "I lived a lifetime in that moment", can be felt in more moments of the day.

Lie in bed
Go out for a walk
Watch a movie
Eat ice cream
Sit by the water and watch the boats go by
Play
Lie in the sun
Write, cry hear your own voice.

Anything that is spontaneous and not done to please any expectations. This is challenging. As sometimes we have trained to live with the mind, and forgotten how to be.
Laughing at ourself and at the seriousness of doing, might open that door through which spirit and joy enters back into life.

A balance between the doing and being makes me whole. Now when I do, its from the one space, called the heart.

I find myself, I find you, and maybe we have a few moments of being "Found Together".

Monday, May 27, 2013

For life with gratitude


Questions with answers, and answers to questions both keep me skimming the surface.

All interactions are the feeding of the senses.

Then the sweetness, the one without the taste, is tasted,

and I am devoured

"no beginning and no end"...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

On train to Christchurch

A journey again and this time it will be meeting all minus one.

How many journeys have I undertaken, some similar. Where the passage to the destination was known and familiar. Reaching. The destination I knew that not all will be present.

Life seems so assuring and yet so unpredictable. In the mind lane life exists, almost guaranteed to exist. Reality has its own definition. In any given moment it's situational.

I glanced at the mirror, the reflection i see is telling me how long I have lived in this form, in the face that I have learned to recognize and identify with my name, experience, context, personality and the outer world.

The inner world is space. Where thoughts come to visit. Vision of attachments, the desires and emotions. The story repeated in silence, sometimes the words intermingled with emotions and feelings.

Expressed in an outward through words. Felt in the deep core of the heart as emotions and feelings.

I am soon to arrive at my station. A different approach to finding my way to the destination. A temporary resting ground. Where I will spend four days of re-connecting.

More memories to fill the mind space. More stories to tell, to share.

Life and living. Love and sharing. I live to share, to feel to tell.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Observer in space and place

Normandie Plaza in the royal city of Fes in Morocco. The name is deceptive its not really a plaza but a cafe cum a restaurant. A coffee shop for hanging out or doing people watching. They have wifi here hence one can sit for any extended time to be connected to the virtual world.

It's busy here, seems like its an all men's club. Strong male voices speaking mainly in Arabic, with some French words thrown in their conversation. The street is lined with their cars. This could easily be a holiday coffee or breakfast meeting place or just a weekend time to catch up.

At a given time this can be a cafe anywhere. Women in jeans and pants, what is considered a western attire with no head scarf.

A young couple walks in, another few couples are seen scattered inside the many tables. I watch two heavy set women come out of their fancy car and I wonder will they attempt to come in, and yes they do. They find a table a little distance from the men.

This is me an observer watching and making my "observations", not wanting to turn them into a judgement. I keep my distance and observe. My seemingly uneaten
breakfast still on the table. I had ordered a traditional breakfast, an assortment of breads of different types with fresh juice and yogurt. Interesting time in Morocco to be eating all this as I am gluten and dairy free. A choice I made a year ago and found an incredible change in my health.

A country, it's culture and the society has to be taken in context of itself. Not from the context of ones own conditionings and experiences.
This is a society where the majority of women cover themselves from head to toe. Comes to mind a comment made by a young Moroccan. We had just finished being shown all the wonderful ways that argan is turned into oils, creams and a source of skin nurturing. The girl Fatima who was helping us, herself a young mother of a one year old boy. We asked her to use our scarves to tie into a hijab. When she was done she said, something like : " now the eyes of the men will not penetrate you"...later we discussed how we who do not cover ourselves "appropriately " are being viewed by both the men and the women.
We soon find ourselves draping our scarf over our head, to avoid the sun and the sand, or is it to mingle in, probably a combination.

This aboriginal saying comes to mind, I am "here to learn, to observe, to love, to grow, then I return home".

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Morocco Revisited

Many journeys contained, layered and wrapped in one. The unraveling of self.

We arrived in Tangiers on a ferry from Algeciras. The wait for a 5 pm ferry was the beginning of a long journey. Each turn and each view a sensory awakening.

At Tangiers we walked into the evening light and stopped by the vendor selling roasted chick peas. As we ate the salted and lemon seasoned chick peas we were left licking our fingers.

The hospitality of Morocco was soon evident. We got on the bus to Fes and right away people were asked to move so we three women could sit together. The passenger in the seat ahead of us soon offered us juice and chocolate.

From life and living in the west to the way of the east we were easing into a new way of interacting.

As we pulled up at 2:30 in the morning in Fes, we were greeted by Abdel. Abdel is an important part of Fesexcursion.com, the tour company that arranged our next five days of Morocco travel. Abdel is more then a guide, he speaks more then five languages, is a professional in his interaction and holds space so each and every person feels completely at ease. He is organized and gentle. As he plans and organizes your day you feel that everything just falls into place. His favorite phrase is "Mama Afrika", all is accepted in the great folds of these two words.
Abdel graciously offered us his home, where we stayed the first two nights. The first was already into the early hours of the morning and after introductions and small chit chat we fell into a deep slumber.

A day in Fes, an evening dinner of Tagine, home cooked and by far the most delicious we have tasted. The days that followed took us deeper and deeper in to the Sahara. We crossed into and through small towns. Sometimes stopping to have mint tea, a meal or visit a local business. Tea and more mint tea, seems to be the norm of life in Morocco.

The most impromptu stops turned out to be the most spectacular. A view of the terrain, a stream, the mountains. Enthralled we watched, sometimes moving through a yoga asana. In each we seemed to be expressing exactly what was going on in that moment. Either our senses were wanting more time to immerse in the splendor of nature or it was an asana calling to be expressed. A camera was always close-by and many moments were captured - both through our eyes and through the lens of a camera.

Yet it does remind me that the experience can never be exactly described, words do get in the way. Each click of the lens became a click on our hearts.

The first sunset, as I sat on the sands of the desert, a beacon into my soul. That night brought to surface many fears, we shared much. There was only love, no room for any judgement. We opened ourselves to absorbing all that was offered.

Our last night, in the tent in the desert brought other tourists. One young couple from Australia was on their honeymoon. As they shared their story we ate some delicious Tagine cooked by our two accompanying guides.

We felt that one night in the tent, the camel ride through the dunes with the soft sound of the camel hoofs on the sand, will stay embedded deep within.

As we had made our way from the city and the small towns into the desert, similarly we made our way out from the desert.

The drive through and around the Atlas Mountains, through the high and the low ranges was our journey. At one point we were asked to prepare our senses for a tour of the rose distillery. We were given a tour of the process, blowing our mind as to the amount and the quantity of rosé petals involved in the extraction of the rose water and it's essence oil. Walking into the shop we all wanted to absorb the smell into our being.

The last part of the journey of three friends - yogis, followers and practitioners ended with spending three days in Essaouira. A beach town, a tourist town. We enjoyed the simple life in the hostel called Surf and Chill. A silent local lady was always there, to hand us a towel or wash our clothes. It was like a door had opened and all, visitors and workers alike soon became one happy family.
I spent time chatting with a writer by the name of A. Greenman. His name is Matthew, from England he has been traveling and living in remote places of the world. He shared some parts of his book "I travel light the man who walked out of the world".
From the mountains of Spain to a fishing village in India, for Matthew this was his trip where he is writing his book on Morocco. When I spoke to him the next day he said that he had changed his Epilogue, inspired by the arrival of us three, he had added a new last chapter.

We all shared our last supper together, with two hours of non stop laughter we polished off some soup, bread and Tagine.

I would like to remember the two boys who work at the hostel and also teach surfing. Simo and Kareem. Wonderful boys and although my encounter with them was limited, both Brianna and Mary found their friendship very helpful.

Watching the landscape, the flat terrain and the distant mountains we feel a change has occurred. A transformation which can fairly be referred to as An Alchemy of Morocco. Each of us will be re-writing our story.