Friday, December 28, 2012

New Years Resolution

Here comes the new year again. I, as a list maker, have already planned out my year financially (even though I understand that we make plans and god laughs) and have begun to create intentions for the upcoming year. I have decided to work on being more positive.

I have been inspired by Baba Hari Dass. He writes:

"Life is not a burden; we make it a burden... We don't accept life as it is. That's why it becomes a burden...We can only do one thing, and that is to keep our mind positive in the present."

So I pledge to:
  1. Be more positive about my work life 
  2. Live in the present with my relationships and be happy with what I have
  3. Share this idea with others


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's the Holiday Season

I find that the holiday season can be the hardest time of year to let go of attachment. It is easy to compare your holiday to years past and live in a place of disappointment or resentment.

My partner and I have had a hard time as both of us are from aging families who pair off into groups of parents and children. He has a particularly difficult time as his mother was the person who made Christmas wonderful for him. Now he no longer has her and others are also missing from our holidays for one reason or another.

As a "nontraditional" family (whatever that means) we realized that we have to create our own traditions. We can no longer define our holidays by what they used to be. We decided to begin our own holiday traditions at home and take a moment to remember those who we loved while still remembering to enjoy our time together.

It is this time of year that I remember a writing from Adyashanti - he says that winter is a time for a stripping away, like leaves from a tree. Unlike trees, human beings tend to hold on to our "leaves" in the form of ideals, pain, and I would even venture to say that we cling to our past traditions in an effort to keep everything the same.

I feel a little freer knowing that I have moved on to something new - something that helps me focus on love, the present, and my life and practice today.

Namaste and love to everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Patterning of Conciousness

A new interest of mine has been looking at different translations of the yoga sutras. I can then take those new or differing ideas and apply them in my own practice. One differing translation that I love is from a translation by Chip Hartranft (free copy @ Hartranft's translation of sutra 1.2 is "yoga is to still the patterning of consciousness." I particularly like this translation as it differs greatly from others that often replace the word "consciousness" with the word "thought". This could then lead the reader to believe that yoga is to still thought - which I believe is not the intent of this sutra.

In my mind, the meaning of "the patterning of conciousness" means gaining a greater understanding of the self. The mind is trained to bring the person back to their patterns -whether they be right or wrong. Yoga is intended to pull those patterns into conciousness. This includes your physical practice as well as your attitudes, actions, movement, breath, and more.

When you take yoga classes and begin to create your own practice, you get to know your patterns and tendencies. For example, I know that I have difficulty fully extending my spine in forward bends. Through yoga, I then learn to come into poses slowly, with integrity, to keep the spine lengthening fully - even if it is difficult.

What I learn on the mat is also applicable outside off the mat. For example, if I know I comfort myself with eating - I can draw this to my attention and learn to bring that pattern into consciousness. From there, I can hopefully make better decisions. 

Through yoga we bring ethical matters to our attention. Our body, breath, mind, and concentration all come into consciousness (or at least move toward consciousness). 

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