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

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