Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Find someone to talk about it. Someone who will not judge you. Someone who will listen, and give sound advice. Not necessarily your friend. Someone with integrity.

Reality Shift

I had my clothes on, in the pool. I was underwater – my body moving in slow motion – and there was water all around – making everything slow.

I was in another reality.

In one moment, there was a shift, and anything was possible.

I was walking beside the pool, and without warning, and unexpected, my sister’s hands shoved me from the side. I don’t remember the fall. I am only, suddenly, strangely, under water – and I can see the bright green of my cardigan – and I see myself, slow and submerged – under water, with my clothes on.

In itself, it was liberating. A moment to be savoured. They marvelled at my good humour when I surfaced. I wanted to go under again, but I could see that might be construed at madness. My good humour was already making people wary of me.

The paradigm shift. The reality, existing, beside the every day. Just one shove, one push, and it all changed. It was that easy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What to think about during yoga?


Personally, my attention shifts between several main purposes, depending on my circumstances.
Because I’m an instructor, sometimes I need to ‘practice’ the form and pay attention to technical detail. I like to listen to other yoga student’s experiences and see how I can incorporate their feelings into my own practice. I do this because it adds to a greater understanding of my student’s experiences. But this practice is physically based and doesn’t fulfill the need I have for meditation in movement.

* Sometimes I concentrate on the breath.

* Sometimes I concentrate on the weight distribution of my body across my feet and hands.

* Sometimes I focus on the stomach lock and ‘lifting’ the perineum.

* Sometimes I focus on the eye gaze and keep my face soft.

And then, sometimes, and more now than at any time before, I experience yoga. Yoga, that is, unity of movement. My focus is on the whole.

The mind is turned off. There is quiet. There is, and I exist within the forms.

And then, I am at one and my heart rings clearly, its vibrations moving like ripples of water on a lake through my body.

How to be unified in your practice?

Begin in the ‘right’ frame of mind
Understand what you are going to do. Turn the chatterbox off. Meditate quietly first and move into asana practice naturally.

For me, to practice ‘yoga’, I need to go slow. Hold poses for longer. Send your mind outwards. Feel yourself extend.

The inner smile is just the easiest way to feel one – smile from the inside with your practice. Feel the joy in your body. Let it lift you.

Student Advice
When you go to your yoga teacher – listen, pay attention, learn. Keep your ears open and your mind turned off. Practice with love towards your body.

When you are at home – do yoga. Be unified. Step onto your mat – let the things you have learnt in class disappear – and just be. Then you are yoga – then you are in unity, not wanting to be.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spiritual Seekers

Questions to ponder along the way.

Life before questions
We are caught up in the daily grind. The grind includes our routine, our constant round of ‘things to do’, our commitments and our duties.

We live.

What triggers questions?
Moments in our life when we are confused. The moments when what we see (observe) is not what we’ve been told (conditioned). There is conflict within, and we begin to question.

Moments in life when we are shifted outside, maybe for the first time, of the safety of our comfort zone.

Questions can begin at any stage and at any time. You can try to search for the answers, or ignore them and keep doing what you’ve always done.

Questions to consider
Where do our beliefs come from?

What is it that we are searching for?

What can we live without?

What do I need to keep?

How important is it for me to hold on to tradition?

Do I understand the need for rituals?

Can I tolerate other opinions and points of view as as valid as my own?

What environment do I need to perform at my best?

Do I believe in being productive?

Do I care about responsibility for myself, family, friends, society, country, world?

Is there a god?

Do I care if there is or not?

What are we here for?

Can I live without knowing the answers?

Do I need routine in my life?

Do I value my sanity more than the truth?

Is the ‘truth’ so important, that I can give up my life to follow the truth?

Do I need a teacher?

Do I need support?

Can I be different and accept myself anyway?

Can I be open minded?

Is it ok for me not to know all the answers?

Is it ok to live with the best I’ve got at the moment?

Is the environment my responsibility?

Is it enough, to be ‘nice’?

Who am I?

Who are you?

Who are we?

Do I really care?

What difference will having an answer make?

Life on the Path
Discover the basics. Discover the things you need to be a functioning human. Understand yourself and your needs and accept them. Once you have the basics covered, take the steps you need, at your pace, at your stride, and do what you have to do.

Go in peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Sensation of Meditation

I’ve been meditating on and off for 14 years.

The beginning
There’s an immediate feeling of layers falling away.
The thoughts chasing each other across my mind fade away and I am instantly aware of the sounds around me. Birds, the wind in the trees, distant traffic.
It all becomes bearable.

My body is quickly at east and soft.

My eyes pick out details and I can see the light and shadow interplay.

The beat of my heart becomes like a reverberating drum I can both hear and feel as the centre of my being. Its beat is the reminder of my life, of my connection, of my energy source. It sends the blood and air through my body, and I watch it, and feel it.

The middle
All is quiet. All is alive. All is.

The end
I begin to hear the birds, and see the leaves move in the breeze. I feel the muscles in my body and my position on my mat. I’m aware of the little smile on my face. I refrain from wishing to hold onto the moment. I let it be… with a little shadow of attachment.

I smile at myself.

Happiness - the destroyer of creativity?

Its occurred to me that when I’m at my happiest, I feel the least need to express how I feel.
Is this universal?

Is all the writing, art and expression of the world just some clawing and screaming from the sad and sorry lot of us who are dissatisfied?

If Buddha was born Buddha, then he wouldn’t have gone searching for something else.. He would have just sat and smiled and that would have been that.

If Hitler was happy, he’d have just stayed home…

If I was already a tolerant and loving and happy person, I wouldn’t have studied and searched out yoga and meditation and Taoism and philosophy and ‘god’. I would have already been happy with what I was doing, and left it all alone for someone else.

Are there examples of happy people, who are not reformed unhappy people, expressing themselves?

The self help books – they are all like reformed smokers books… Reformed smokers are the biggest enemies of smokers. They HATE other smokers… especially in those early months of giving up… And they will tell everyone the pitfalls of smoking… and all of these people (including me) write and write and write and have a lot to say.

So the self help books, and people in the early days of their reformed characters, are the loudest and most annoying and insisting of speakers on how to be ‘helped’. But are they happy, actually?

When I’m my most calm. When I’m my most happy. When I’m my most ‘at one’ with myself and the world – then… there is just that. And I don’t want to say anything.