It’s easy to maintain a sense of detachment when you’re only passing through. It’s also simple to have perspective and true vision when looking at the trifles that capture people’s egos and lead to conflict
When you don’t call a place home or interact with people every day, it’s simple to see the overarching harmony that we all share and are capable of. When I first arrived to California, I was able to observe moments of tension for what they are — a distraction from our shared One Human Spirit and an opportunity for each of us to learn. That is the gift of being a traveller. As a gypsy, I hadn’t alighted down. The perspective provided from that height allowed me to see how small these stumbling blocks truly are and how easy to overcome.
When you align yourself with intention, the universe begins to open for you. That’s not to say that suddenly your days become easier, the dishes do themselves, and responsibility fades away. However, when you begin to take action towards a goal – no matter how small the action — the goal gets closer to you.
“When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.”
Sometimes it’s difficult to take action because you don’t have a clear idea of what the goal is. In those instances, quiet yourself.
A practice I find myself constantly refining is a return to the present moment. The more I learn about this world and people, the more I believe that the secret to happiness is moving our consciousness away from the constant chatter of the mind and into the here and now.
I know I’m not revolutionary for thinking so. All of my inspirations essentially say the same. Whether it’s Patanjali saying “yoga chitta vritti nirodha,” yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind, or it’s Ram Das reminding us to “Be Here Now,” this simple teaching is oft repeated by teachers throughout the ages.
This is a good an helpful thing. Because of the fluctuations of the monkey mind and the strong distraction from the present moment, we often need to hear something said multiple times in different ways before it sinks in and we can integrate it as truth.
I had this realization in the middle of a yoga class when a teacher was offering a refinement cue for Warrior Two. As I worked to ground my back heal into the earth and inner spiral my back thigh, it suddenly hit me that *this* is what my other yoga teachers had been trying to correct. It just took a different combination of sound bites and a mind unclouded by what to buy for dinner for the wisdom to sink past the thought bubble and into my body.
It’s no accident that I consistently return to the practice of yoga. Revelations like this on the mat reflect right back to life experiences. Read the rest of this entry →
I woke at 5 and captured this recording of the monkey’s morning ritual to share with you.
Howler monkeys can be heard throughout the day here, but tend to more active right before dawn and at dusk. I’ve also noticed that they’ll hoot and holler if they hear a sudden loud noise, like the large trucks that rattle down the road throughout the day. Read the rest of this entry →
I finally got to see the sun yesterday in this Costa Rican paradise. The heat and light transformed the town and brought the beaches to life. Still pristine, the ocean yesterday was peppered with people from all over the world enjoying their dia libre a la playa.
Today, it’s back to un dia fresca, with a bite in the air and lots of rain. I noted the grey crowds as I began my yoga practice this morning, looming heavy above the green canopy of the forest. Read the rest of this entry →
One of the gifts of this world is that every person we encounter is a reflection. We are each a mirror for all the beauty and chaos encompassed deep within our hearts. We are each shining examples of our one flawed, shared humanity. When we notice a particular attitude exhibited in the people around us and it triggers a reaction in our own hearts, that is information telling us that we are holding a similar fear or emotion within that needs our attention.
The Negative Mind is represented by the number 2 in Kundalini Numerology
This is the pretty roof of the room I call home these days. On Sunday, said room began to smell a little mousey. I cleared out all my things, shook out and then refolded each item of clothing and each bag and suitcase, yet did not find a mouse. My friend correctly guessed that some small animal must have crawled between the tiles on the roof and the bamboo on the ceiling before Spirit left the body behind. Unfortunately, there was nobody who could tear the roof apart for a day and a half, so the smell permeated the space I sleep and practice.
I can’t help but bring Kali to mind. Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction and time whose devotees dance in graveyards and spread themselves with the ashes of funeral pyres. Read the rest of this entry →
Counting cordobas is a practice in staying present. A practice I sometimes find more difficult than my meditation practice some days. The thing about cordobas is they value 24 to the dollar, so you very quickly reach large amounts of money that you are regularly counting.
I can’t count quickly and accurately in Spanish, at least not up to high numbers. Perhaps someday. Let’s be real, I often don’t count quickly or accurately in English, either. I get distracted so easily during this task! Thoughts will intrude mid-count, or my ears will latch onto snatches of conversation occurring around me. Conversations in Spanish become harder to ignore the higher my comprehension level rises.
So I count and I practice. Each day at the start and end of my shift, I count and recount the cordobas. I train my mind to stay present on the number – in English, in Spanish, in the moment.
Taoism states that we can only know a thing by knowing and understanding its opposite. For example, how can we know light if we’ve never been engulfed in darkness? How can we know happiness if we’ve never plumbed the depths of sadness? Each is just one side of a coin, with oneness being the reality and dualism the illusion.
Another way we can know a thing is by its absence. As Nataraja dances the world into existence, feet rise and fall, hips undulate, and we come in and out of being as we watch. Each time a toe rises, happiness is there or it isn’t. A hand waves down dancing to the universal rhythm, and a wish is granted.
Feliz Ano Nuevo! The bombas exploded at midnight, lighting the night sky and filling the barrios with even more explosions than have been heard during the whole month of December. Nicaraguense set afire both fireworks that exploded individually and effigies of the old year — scarecrow men stuffed with firecrackers, newspapers, and messages of a happy new year. When the explosions quieted, the visiting began – house to house as neighbors visited neighbors and friends and families mingled. After 1 am, the crowds dispersed – either early to bed or out for late night fiestas celebrating until dawn broke the sky. Don’t ever let anyone tell you the Nicas don’t know how to party.