Never too late

February 19, 2017

Remember that it is never, ever to late to believe in the dreams that believe in you.

Advertisements

First things first

June 5, 2014

First things first.

 

Image

 I don’t often go to classes these days.. I find that for me a personal practice finds more juice for me.. it means I can go slow, take longer in the process and find a way to engage with the body or the mind. Some days I might have to hang upside down rocking on my feet till my over busy thinking mind takes a breath.. it sometimes takes longer and a bit more rocking to get there.. but the busy mind can settle.

 At the moment I am all ideas.. and this can come in the way of practice.. yes a mind is a wonderful thing for coming up with this way to experience the world however the business must have a break. If we are always on the go we are always one ramped up adrenalised world.. and that is not pretty, certainly not peaceful and just brings about so much wear and tear on the body and mind.

 So when I go to a class I look for ones that allow me to take stock, take a pause and a breath to engage with my body in ways I may have forgotten. For me Asana is not a gymnastics challenge but a reminder to us of what we can do with our bodies if we allow it..

 So yoga practice whether it is in a class or at home should be a pause between the pace of life.. if you find you are racing in your practice or your class.. and not find the gap between the busyness maybe its time to rethink the class..

 

Image

Do you have a control disorder? I do and I think we all do… we try to shut out things we don’t like, we try to manage a situation so that we get the best outcome for ourselves; we imagine that we can control our lives and our environment. If anything about our weather and our environment, particularly if you are in Australia, shows us is that the universe is far bigger and more unpredictable than we can imagine and that our egos can control.

So maybe something inside of us knows that the world seems out of control so we find things that we can control. Do you use headphones to shut out the crowded experience of commuting? Being present means being able to exist in the present, even when the entire world is a cacophony of discomfort.

In my day job at the moment there are building works with a constant thudding and banging of hammering blocks of cement to rubble for three days running. It affected our nervous system, our energy levels and in the end my colleagues and could only put on headphones and shut out the noise in order to feel sane.

The other day I read an article about a couple who were so disturbed by a screaming child that they complained to the staff of the café and the parents. The parents left upset, the couple who intervened were upset and the rest of the café welcomed the interference. What intrigued me more was the outpouring of online comments applauding the couple’s actions and coming up with diagnoses for the child’s behaviour. When did we become so upset about our chaotic world that it became OK to criticise, condemn and not consider the experience of the others in this situation? For me all parties had some part in this conflict and it seemed to me that each person’s sense of entitlement was far greater than the larger group.

Underneath all of this is the role that stress plays in our live, when we are stressed we try to find peace by attempting to exert an external locus of control. What we need to find is the stillness in the noise. When I was sitting with my Zen group in Clifton Hill I would often be there when the children in the neighboring school came out to play, even in that space I could sit with the noise of the school in peace. I didn’t need to leave or change or control I was just there sitting.

So can you truly shut the world out and still be present? Wouldn’t we all love to be in a silent still and peaceful place all the time? When that is impossible can we find the stillness and peace to accept what experience we are in right now?

So back to the building works, you know after a while it doesn’t seem so bad. Like everything it just becomes part of the background UNLESS you pay attention to it. A stressed mind will always pay attention to the things that aggravate it, a still mind will wonder at the ripples of disturbance in the environment.

 

My teaching in action.. not the best video but its a start..

Clearing out..

January 2, 2013

It started with a bonfire on New Years Eve.. and our break is finishing up with a clearing; all symbols of clearing off what was no longer needed and starting again.

Having a few days off over New Years we started on the garage.. then the outside freezer.. then some cupboards which were a surprise to me.. and finally my bodyImage.. slowly slowly cleaning out.. throwing out what no longer works for us.. and giving away to the op shop all that can be saved. I did not of course do that to any of my limbs but did decide to give up sugar for the month. If its a new year its a new start that is why we get caught up in resolutions. Our intention was to clean up the garage but it started an avalanche of change and de-cluttering.. where will your intentions lead you in 2013?

 

Be the space in which my words happen.

When they are heard inside the heart, your mind goes naturally into Samadhi – a state of complete rest, stillness, unity and joy.

All these conversations are to remove you, the stubborn stain called ego and to reveal the immaculate Self.

Don’t be insulted by my words.

 

~ Mooji

DSCF1366

I struggle with my own confusions/illusions as do we all, however as teachers and students we are always seeking that inner ‘guru’ or inner wisdom that guides us through life and in growth.

For me this unfolding can happen quickly with sudden inspiration or with slow steady work/practice as we clear out the brambles of our minds.

As Yoga teachers we have a special place in people’s lives and with that comes attachments such as saying ‘my yoga teacher’ which is lovely but limiting, and as teachers sometimes also there is ego in the notion that their offerings and style and unique skills in their owned studio space is everything that a student needs and that their ‘techniques’ are the complete journey. There is no one path and one answer to lead you into the truth of who you already are.

We all have a human experience striving to connect with the essence of yoga… and also in struggling to make sense of that space within us.If the ego is the basis of our relationship with teaching it will be impossible to be open to teaching and the wisdom of our teachers and students. The ego can show up in a handstand, an opinion, or a belief in our own rightness as well as in thinking that what we offer from our hearts is not enough as well.

In my own journey I have come across teachers who are genetically gifted in being able to twist their bodies in ways I can’t even get my head around and teachers who offer a stillness that invites me to just ‘be’ in their presence.

All teachers offer their own blessings, and all students are their own teachers. I remember when I started teaching I found teaching my ‘dharma’ a word I enjoyed exploring. What I was trying to convey was that teaching  was my path of learning and growth. I would not be the teacher that I am today if I did not recognise and try to understand the students who crossed my path.. and I am still learning. As (one of) my teachers Judith Hanson Lasater said .. “you can’t be a teacher if you don’t have students”.

There is no one style one teacher or one story that fits us all but we all offer something to the story of Yoga.

If we think we have all the answers perhaps we weren’t asking the right questions..

Are you waiting?

December 5, 2012

Waiting By The Windowby Carl Holsoe

Waiting By The Window
by Carl Holsoe

I was waiting for my mother the other day… or was I? I have had many times where my mother often runs late because she forgets the time she is meant to be somewhere or what she is doing, I always found it incredibly frustrating.

Then one day I chose not to wait. What I did was just be and enjoy the space that I was in.. and I knew that when she arrived is when she arrived. This doesnt mean I kept myself busy using distraction to avoid thinking and feeling, it means that  I simply stopped all the chatter and time checking and arguments that were in my head and chose to simply enjoy the space.

If I continued to overthink and recycle all the thoughts that builds the frustration and impatience I always use to describe the repeating experience, I would be stuck in the same story that always happens when we go out. Mum would be late; I would got annoyed; we would rush off flustered and grumpy .. it was stressful. So for that day I was just there in the moment NOT waiting.. just being. It meant that the time I experienced at that moment was peaceful and I was free of the emotional story that comes with wating… and as a bonus it didn’t seem to take that long at all.

Maybe try not waiting one day, see if you can change your thought process when you get annoyed wondering where the train is..

“As Thich Nhat …

November 18, 2012

“As Thich Nhat Hanh teaches, wash each dish as you would a newborn baby”

This wonderful comment from Travis Eliot on MindBodyGreen, reminds us that there is a calmness and a teaching when we slow the ^&*%&^ down.. (his words not mine)…

Do you rush through everything? What would happen if you slowed down and just washed the dish..

Forced to slow down

November 16, 2012

I wonder who else is feeling the pinch a little financially? Business is slow, everything seems expensive.. the world seems tighter and constricted. Every day I remind myself that I am still here still working, still eating and still alive. My problems, as they like to say are first world problems.. if I don’t earn wonderful amounts of money what I miss out on aren’t the essentials.

But what does this give me? is there a gift in this experience? My less optimistic frame of mind will always look at ways to pull back to budget and to self flagellate about issues around spending? Should I have bought that coffee, sunhat, material? etc. But maybe I should view the long term and trust the impermanence. The story that I think is happening now isn’t the same story that we are going to experience tomorrow. Although sometimes they seem very familiar. Everything that happens now is my perception and my mind experiencing a short coming and maybe its more about sitting with it than letting things take hold, letting fear set in or letting doubts rule.

Today I found $20 in the park.. you never know what tomorrow might bring while I wait for new opportunities to arise. In the meantime sitting with what is happening now helps me allow a sense of distance to develop around those worries.

So tonight I took the wider perspective.. when you have little money you can’t afford to go out and not be where you are at home. You have to learn to make do and watch without being part of a wider world of consumption. So maybe in this gap between new teaching jobs and new opportunities its a chance to see what we have now rather than what we lack.

That’s a blessing and a pause in the journey. Joy!