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.
“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.”
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...
.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.
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.
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'". His contemporary, Sigmund Freud, argued for a continuity (not a contrast) between the two, physical and intellectual"...
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.
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
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".