For the total development of the human being, solitude as a means of cultivating sensitivity becomes a necessity.
J. Krishnamurti

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jamie the warrior goddess tree fairy

 I met Jamie at Kripalu, she is a true being of light and sound. I love her and miss her dearly.
We had a 6 hour wait at Albany Airport. To pass the time we played music, sang songs out in front of the airport for the other patrons, had a dance party in the Albany Airport meditation room and got funky with photo booth.

The link below is for you jamie!!! JAI                                                                              *Namaste
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1WJNXsORrc

sam cooke

sam cooke is a true legend and perfect music for a rainy sunday morning. xoxo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQU4torUz-Q

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hello

नमस्ते - Namaste
Friends, It has been sooooo long since my last post. I have returned from India and have since completed by Yoga teacher training at Kripalu. I have so much to be thankful for. Wishing you all lots of love. I am posting my first batch of pictures from India on Facebook. I will also post them on Flicker as well. Stay tuned for the links. xoxoxox

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Journey By Mary Oliver

The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

IF

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you But make allowance for their doubting too, If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:  If you can dream–and not make dreams your master, If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:  If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breath a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”  If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much, If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!  –Rudyard Kipling

To Just Be...

 To watch constantly from day to day, from moment to moment, without drawing the conclusion or living in that conclusion, to watch in relationship without judgment, without comparison, but with constant awareness requires a great deal of persistency. Without doing that, all study of sacred books, all systems, have very little meaning; on the contrary, they are harmful to the mind which is stuffing itself with other people's ideas. - The Collected Works, Vol. VII Madras 2nd Public Talk 6th December 1953

India, the land supporting a collective culture where one can just be. Sitting on the side of the road, gathering outside a temple, or squating by the shade of a tree, staring into the endless landscape. In any situation, one can just be. There is no judgement, no one is looking at you and wondering why you are not "doing" anything. You can just sit and watch the day go by for hours with out any regret , hesitation or disddane for not accomplishing a single thing.

I encourage you all to have a good ole fashion sit today. sit without any worry or idea that you must do anything by just watch and listen as life carries on without your active participation. It is a wonderful thing.

Hari OM and Namaste.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

bliss

Ganga bliss that is.....
The sacred Ganga is flowing below me. It moves quickly and flows with such peace you really want to embody her life. When I first arrived in Rishihesh I went to an ashram and realized within  moments this was going to be a trail run. It became clear to me the food was bad, the yoga was really bad and the guru and teachers were not focused on those of us students who where not enrolled in the month long teacher training. 12 hours later I was an ashram school dropout and I never felt more happy witha  decision that the one to leave.


I wanted to be like the ganga, free. Free to practice my own yoga and mediatation when i pleased. I checked into a spacious room with a ganga view and a big roof top to practice yoga. I found Sunsheel, the best Indian yoga instructor I have met, and have since been in Ganga bliss. My days are luscious, filled with 2 hour yoga classess and my own mediatioon practice twice a day. In between I eat wonderful fresh fruits, juices and the best momo's on the planet.


Rishikesh has such a vibrant enegery. Pilgrams form all over Indian come to worship her. Belss and chanting resume each day at 5am. Sitar and tabla music are played over the temple oudspeakers and this palce exudes Hindu culture. There are sadhus bathing the eaters and children playing in the sand. Each night fire pujas are held on the banks. The pujas are a way to clarify the mind and body, worship deities, and ignite the agni. All along the banks the mother ganga soaks it all in and washes clears the mind. More on rishikesh to come
saying goon night and sending love as always.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"It really does grow like a weed" and "same, same but different'... A story in two parts

 Dear friends, I have this blog but it is no fun to read when there is no content! Aplogies, I have been trekking (hiking) and taking 12 hour bus rides for the past 5 days, this equals no internet and or outside communication.

But I am back and revived, well kind of, from an incrediable trek in the Himalayan foothills and now in the energetic town of Rishikesh.

Part One: "It really does grow like a weed"
Ween, Ganga, Marijuana.. whatever you want to call it, this beautiful plant grows in abundance in the region known as Himachal Pradesh. After a 9 hour overnight taxi, 3 buses and a cab, my hiking pal, Ester arrive in Barshani. I get off the city bus, look around and glance over my shoulder... "huh" I think, "It really does grow like a weed" Weed is everywhere, on the side of the road, growing in peoples backyards, clinging to the slopes of huge mountains, it is amazing!!!

After omlette sandwiches in a shack off the side of the road, Ester and I start the long trek to Keerghanga. We hire a porter/gude to take us as we have heard hiking in this region alone is not the best idea. God forbid we walked onto some ganga plantation. To make a very long story short, the trail to Keerganga is steep, rocky and I have no hiking gear, only old running shoes, I felt like a billy goat. After cresting the tree line 4 hours later, Ester and I are breathless and speechless as we emerge from the dark understory of huge pines to the rolling, green majestic hillside, complete with a a few small guesthouses and a few resturants. HIking in India is great becasue you get to the destinantion and they have places to stay, well in this case, a few 4 by 4's, some old tarps for walls and a tin roof... not much but I'll take it.

Keerghanga is stunning. The hilly slope is surrounded my majestic snow capped peaks and there is a cement bath filled with free flowing mineral hot springs. Ester and I spent 3 days bathing, sunning, readng and loving life. The nights were spent by the tandorri oven and then curling up in all our clothes to sleep. We arose each morning with the sun and then off to the baths, where we spent glorious hours nude in the hot sun and warm waters. The baths are gender seperate, so we had a great time lounging and conversing with beautiful women from all over the globe. It was so nice to share time with strangers in the nude, in the sun.. the baths became   our own womens retreat. We shared everything from body wash, to stories of love, travel and life. Ahhghh I miss it already.

Part 2 : "Same, Same but different"
My faorite saying in India...."Same, Same but different" It is used when you explain somthing compared to another. For example, If i asked you how the curry at Buddha cafe was compared to the curry at Freedom cafe, you might respond, " same same but different" This phrase has summed up the later half of my trip. I feel as though I am the same same but different. Same body, well less toned, same smile, same skin, but a totally different mind. The ability to change my mind on a whim, to be free, to think about the last 6 months has made me fearless in a way I have not felt ever. I have control over my life. When I am hungry I eat. When I want to move I move. When I feel uneasy I leave a situation. After feeling so bound to school, to work, to life.. this trip has helped me to undertsand truths about myself. Along with this there have been some tears, some long nights alone, some long nights laughing with new friends and some major reflection. Seeking the truth about the self, of feeling same same but different has not been an easy path. I often miss my old life, my old house, my dog and my oldest love. In the ashes of it all, I feel renewed like a fire in me has started to burn away old patterns, fears and judgements about myself.

In the wake of it the wonderful thing is that I am the same, may things about me will not chnage and those positive attributes and charateristics are thriving and those old patters and changes I am seeking to rid are the differnt part, the part that is not adding to my life. So India, I love you and To you all .... as always, I am in deepest gratitude for your love and support. May we all continue to thrive and some how as we change and grow old we can remember that our bodies, our minds and sometimes even our hearts can be describeds as, "same same, but different."


In closing : There is everlasting joy only when there is the constant response to beauty, to ugliness, to everything - which means, great inward and outward sensitivity, which means, having real love. - Talking to Boys and Girls, Rajghat,India 1952

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

feeling like 10 million ruppes

so after being cooped up, sick, missing yoga, missing other human life and on top of it all not exercising for over 2 weeks, I got just what the nurse ordered.... an 8 hour hike to the most epic place I have ever treked too.

Triund is a 1,800 km uphill climb from Mcleod. The trek is about 4 hours up and is a fast incline to a high elevation. At times your likes fee like they might explode and then youyr reach the top. The peak is this lush grassy plane scattered with huge granite boulders, shrines, a tea shop and prayer flags. There is a 360 view of even higher monumental peaks all around, which are made visable for brief moments as the clouds part and reveal the truth that you are surrounded by giants.

I have never been so taken back by the power of mountains. I have never seen such high peaks and I can see the intrigue and desire to climb them. This place is so moving that I needed to part form my group of four and take some time to sit in silence. I walked up to the shrine to Durga and sat and thought. My few first thoughts where of my grandparents that have since past. Some how being surrounded by the ancient mountains reminded me the solid foundation they have been created my life.The clouds at Triund seemed to move in a slow and steady pattern that reminded me of Papa, my mothers father. The cool breeze and sunlight was grama betty as she had this way of being warm and comforting always. And then the stoic peaks, so still and sound was Grandpa Joe, a man who made sure his grandchildren were taken care of. I just sat and talked to each one and felt a deep respect for what nature can do for the soul and how no matter where we are our past is with us, all parts of it. I miss my grandparents dearly and love that we can talk through the mountains and clouds.

sending love and thinking of your smile.

Friday, September 24, 2010

sun has broke over mcleod ganji

so i finally made it out of the mold layden bedding and pillow i had come to truly dislike after 4 days of being extremely ill. the last time i was this sick i was living/working at an eco commune in new zealand but i had chris there to support me. here in this small town i am supported by the kindenss of strangers and new friends. the illness started as a small cough, then moved into days of uncontrollable chills, high fever and weakness . i now only have to deal with diarrhea, which is a huge topic of conversation amongst the westerner travelers, which is why i can freely tell you about my unpleasant condition. like any event here in india, it must be taken in stride and know that it will pass, literally, as everything does. i did go to see a tibetian doctor who checked my pulse at the wrist and from this assessment was able to tell me a detailed description of my current condition as well as my past health history... amazing. i am now taking this black and yellow pills throughout the day that taste like a mixture of bitter herbs, cow droppings, mold, bark and yeast..... so fowl, but they seem to help... more to come on this topic.
feeling very home sick, i almost lost it a few days back and then realized that on top of all this i was experiencing pms... really?

yesterday i did spend some time outside at a temple in kangra. a small town outside dharamshala, where the sun was hot and i culd get away from the cold weather for a bit. i was sitting next to franca, my mothering italian friend, and she looked at me during one point n the trip and said "my dear, it is all ok, you must trust in god, in your faith as a woman and tell yourself, it is all ok" i must have looked green from the hairpin turns on the bus but i just was so settled after she spoke this few words. i looked out the window, watched the monkeys on the side of the road, watched the river churn below the steep majestic cliff, watched the grain fields light up in the patchy sun and just breathed in the fresh air. i sat there thinking when was the last time is surrendered to god. had i ever really surrendered to a higher power, a universal love, god, a goddess, grace? i have had moments of surrender, no doubt,  and then i thought about what it would be like to live a life in complete faith to the universe but with two feet planted in the ground. what would that life feel like, look like, taste like? i can tell you it looked like, felt like and tasted like that moment on that bus going to kangra. for about 45 minutes on the bus  i felt really connected. aware of the place i was in. open to having to move if needed, change seats, but also just totally in tune with everything around me. as though my body and mind where still, but my eyes and part of my mind where still active, grounded to earth but with heart filled with god.

this feeling i have felt before and it is one worth cultivating each day. it is my intention to just feel god, feel the universe and check in. from my experince here in india, this does not take hours of metal training, meditation, or complicated yoga asanas. most of my revelations have taken place on stinky, crowded, loud, city buses. this simple act of being present amidst action, the foundation of the yoga asanas, makes even more sense as we move through our daily lives, which back home are filled with abundant action and less surrender.

 the "mouse pad" i am using at the moment, which is the backcover of an old book ( a living metaphor of reincarnation, in india everything has at least 20 uses beyond its origional purpose) states, "just step at leisure as we all have our own pace and our dance is our harmony"

wishing you all the freedom to dance your own dance, to dwell in your own god and to be at leisure with your thoughts. sending love as always and a huge hug. xoxoxox

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

dear tanto bigfoot:

te amo.

tanti abbraci, jackiejoyner

travelers

cleo is the lovliest woman i met in yoga class. she has been traveling all over the world for the past 2 1/2 years and is such an insperation. so many travelers here have been far from "home" for years or many months. they are all searching for adenture or seeking peace and truth within their lives.

joanne is the australiam woman who is traveling on her own and with a group all over india. she has her own yog astudi in sydney and i helper her splint her finger the other day. we melted a popsicle stick and i busted out my first aid kit and the next thing ya know i am feeling like i am embodying scenes from shantaram. we got to talking and we had a great connection. i loved her smile

sanjay, a local bit who fixed my shoe and then asked for my hand inn  marriage. he had a hand full of missing fingers form being brutilized as a street kid, but says he is now happy fixing shoes in himachal pradsh, love him.

mikko and karrissa from the netherlands who took me out on the town and really know how to have fun. they were my neighbors for a few nights. we would sit on the patio and watch the monkeys steal and play with clothes that hung on lines from nearby windows.

then there is the brit, the aussie couple, the kiwi, thomas and claire from france, jeff the MIT grad who is exploring consciousnesss, parvati, karsh, alyse form SF, Franca the loving italian from spain and pabloo the cab driver.

without all these new friends and many more strangers i would have been lost in this massive country. Depsite the 1.6 billion people, sometimes i feel as if i am totally alone.

i have had many hours to contemplate my life and i still have no idea what i am doing. however i am fully aware that we are not alone on our journies. we are accompanied by friends, by family, by strangers and God. Last night before i went to sleep i said a prayer. as i began to speak i felt as though the moon shone a little brighter and the tall trees on this mountain leaned in to listen. I asked to keep me safe, to help me find my way and to continue to keep all those i love and am yet to love safe and free.thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and this journey is yours too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

where the old wind blows

life in mcleod ganji and bahgsu and are to be loved and cherished. after the bustling city life i am so settled in this himalyian village. the ride here was of course crazy but i expect crazy now.

in amristar i was planning on getting the fastest bus straight straight to dharamshala, home of the dhali lama, but the wind would have it otherwise. of course the direct bus had been cancelled that day, no reason, just cancelled. so my only option was to get on a bus headed to gagaal, close but 2 bus stops away from dharamshala. so i got on the bus which was built circa 1975 and said to myself here wego.ok so a breif note on state buses. we are talking straight out of a movie. these are funky, smelly and packed with people. 3 in a row, your  jammed into an upright position with little room to breath for about 8 hours. for this reaon alone i can see now why inidans can meditate for so long. the only way to survive these long sweaty bus rides is to comletely remove yourself from the sitaution and check out.

but dont check out for to long, becasue on the less traversed tourist routes there is really no way of knowing where you are. the bus pulls up on the side of the road in a village with an enegetic voltage that makes your head spin, by the time you can read a sign that can clue you into where you might be, the bus has already taken off. ohhh and let me spend a scentence or two on the cruise director of the bus, the ticket collecter. this man runs the show. equipped with the loudest whistle invented, he corrdinates the exchange of money and tickets via the entire bus, we are his workers, helping to exchange money, maneuver luggage, carry small children across the backs of seats to their parents, pass food, and water. at each stop he blows the whistle and when people get on he blows the whislte to alert the driver, whom you can barely see if your in the back, taht all legs and arms are in and it is time to hustle. love these guys they are like little bus master and make it all work.


ok back to the story. so i get dropped off in gagaal, a random village in the middle of nowhere. i took me an hour to find it on the lonely planet map. anyhow now it is like 8 om, dark and there i am standing in a bowl of dust looking for the next bus to dharamshala.completely lost and confused, but so calm and like whatever. i look up and the enitre bus is shouting and pointing to the bus i need to be on, ahh the power of the blank stare!!


now here nestled in this windy,m cool and majestic place. i spend mornings in 2 hour yoga classes. i read on balconys of funky restaurants, drink chai, and play backggamon with other tourists. I can tell you all would love it here and i can see myself chatting in the cool breeze with you. sending love with old wind, hope it finds you soon. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

energy information is always truthful... and stories on letting go

disclaimer: time limit on this computer and so the spelling is outrageous. good luck ....
so last we spoke i had landed safely and was wisked into a frenzy that is india. SO second night i spent with tracy's freind karsh. I had been tramping through dehli in the rain and mud and cow shit and had not changed my muddy pants. Lucky for me karsh takes me to a really nice bar in dehli, super fancy diamonds and beautiful music and drinks. Ok were not in the slums here and i am felling way out of place, part one of letting go.
After way to many long islands we get in the car, yes i nkloe part 2 of letting... mom dony go into cardiac arrest after readubg this. We go to a birthday party in dehli. A great house party with full on Indian youth dancing and smoking. I was taught some trditional hindu dance moves that went very will with j-zay, shakira and m&m. I love this country. BY now it is 3am and my train to Agra leaves at 6am.

Karsh in his infniite Indian wisodom says no problerm i will get you there in the moring, now we rest at my friends house. long story short i wake up about 4:30 am from my 'rest' in a frenzy trying not to wake up the other bodies all spread over te ground. we get in the car. of course i am in apanic. we have to get all te way to dehli train sation which is a zoo and i have no clue how the trains work.

PArt 3 letting go. about 15 minutes into the drive to my hotel karsh decides he is too tired. he calls me a cab and drops me off in the middle of no where at some radisson outsiode dehli. I am dying inside. he can tell my energy level has just shifted and i am about to fing blow up. The entire time he is lijke chill youll make. it. i levae mad. in the taxi over to the hotel i am staying there uis ahuge trafic jam, i now have 15 mintes to pack, get to tarin and borad. not easy. we get tio hotel, i am dripping in sweat, i gran b my stuff, say good bye, run to thee train staion, about 6 blocks in broken strets and then go to the wriong platform.

part 4 letting go. my energy is no frantic. i am lost. this old as dirt man looks at me, throws a rag on his head, thorws by bag on his head and we run. he is howling yip, yo, bahgh, all kinds of stuff and we ae running over children, dogs, humans. we get to the car. I hop ion like a wild monkey as it pulls away. and the old man jumps off as i tos ruppes out the window. I then look around at teh entire car of people looking at me like i am nuts, obvisouly i am, and all i can do is smile. In a puddle of sweat, my bags everehere, all i can do is smile. i think of karsh who left pissed off at and i am like fo course, lesson for the day, trust in india, she is in control, not you.

 that smile of which has not been my last are ever abundant ad free.  here when you catch the glimpse of a smile from a small child as she peeks beneth her mothers flownig sari, it is breath taking. The quite exchanges i make here with nods, hand gestures and smiles are truly magical. Like my last tarin from agra to jaipur. I meet this amazing family and all we did was smile.

My journal is now filled with pictures fro Yosha. A 4 year old girl who made herlsef right at home as we road from agra to jaipur. she was like a moneky hagning from the overhead luggage carts and i told her father that he had a little monkey and he said 'you have no idea.' i quikly wisked out my journal and any colorful pen adn asked yosha to come draw- a lesson i learned form my own mother, when traveling with children bring stuff fro them to do or else they will be swinging like monkeys in trains or in zanni and my case, over the grand canyon. Anyhow for the next 5 hours we drew, took photos and played. She was a gem, all squirmy and silly. i would draw a picture with  black pen and she would color it in. "orangi colore" she would say. Her family and i spoke, the father spoke english, we shared biscutes,  tea,  mango slices and chapati. we laughed and drew and took pictures. going with the flow.

final thought.. met the indian version of daniele ramazzoti minus the joints, what a riot. His favorite saying, just like daniele " everting is possible" in india this could not be more true.

off to a movie with this aussie girl and her hinud boyfreind.

have I told you I miss you. I love you and your in my thoughts.

Friday, September 10, 2010

flying over ubekistan and 108

newark flight to dehli gate 108. 108 is an asupicious number in the hindu religion and has many meanings of  which, i wish i knew. i do know there are 108 beads in the mala prayer beads and i took this as my first good omen that i was headed in the right direction.
speaking of direction, this is my first trip east and flying over pakistan and ubekistan is like flying over a sea of red sand. an ocean of vastness that seemed to expand forever in every direction.
now finally in dehli.....and nothing can prepare one for the smell. it wraps you like a warm blanket of moth balls, spices, smoke and diesel fuel.
when i was met by 'juan' i had no idea what to expect and even where he might take me. talk about complete faith. looking out the back seat window cars buzzing by, rickshaws, bikes and humans are everywhere. already it became clear that in india  all social structure and norms i know of do not exisit. people are hanging out of cars, sqautting beside the highway, construction is taking place at 10 pm and cows have the right of way. so far i have said little and am just soaking in the flavor of this place. i already love it. the internet cafe i am in has the worst keyboard and touching makes me so happy i brought the xl bottle of hand sanitizer. wow, this is so surreal. love, love, love and faith... will be my mantra for tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

tomorrow is the send off....

After years of anticipation, I embark to India tomorrow, Sept 9th 2010. For years I have dreamed of a solo trip to India and it seems very surreal and very right, that this time, right now is my time to go.

The past year has proven to be challenging both emotionally and physically. I am left with a whirlwind of emotion leaving my family and friends and sparky dickle. Yet I leave with very little fear, and for the first time in a while, I know I have made the right choice.

I talked about choices in a speech I gave at my sisters wedding a few weekends ago and I talked about how fortunate we are to be able to choose our life's path.

I have to say from personal experince, the choices I have made out of fear, anger and resentment have only led me to pain, suffering and heartache. What I feel in my heart is that India has been calling me. The choice to go has been easy and painless, which has shown me that when I lead with my intuition, life becomes effortless.

What I hope to share with you all is my adventure and more so my perspective on what it means to seek the truth. To be truly free is to live in the truth. 

Thank you all for sending me off with love.
I miss you already....
xoxoxox