“When happy I go alone into the mountains.
Only I understand this joy.
I walk until the water ends, and sit
waiting for the hour when clouds rise.
If I happen to meet an old woodcutter,
I chat with him, laughing and lost to time.”—Wang Wei
we’ll be kissing the warm dry earth of our southern california home next week but for now, the abundance of radiant snow, its sweet forest speed, its blue powder beauty, the stars bright as pain in the hard black sky— it’s pretty good. cold smoke, they call it. it’s pretty cold.
Hey, I saw in a recent post of yours that you were using lavender eye pillows in yoga. I saw this... and thought it sounded so lovely. So I used some of the lavender I grow and made my own!
Your blog is always so inspiring- and I guess I just wanted to thank you for inspiring me in a way I never would have expected! All my love.
“Sit and be still until in the time of no rain you hear beneath the dry wind’s commotion in the trees the sound of flowing water among the rocks, a stream unheard before, and you are where breathing is prayer.”—Wendell Berry
I've just read "Awakening" and I am so thankful for you . Just days ago, I touched THAT for the first time, myself . I was face to face with my lusts for answers and realized the answers were immaterial . Everything I knew, meaningless . I felt like I had nothing to offer anyone, no identity other than love, and for a moment I was completely terrified . I just broke down in front of everyone around me, but their love is what saved me, what reminded me, that love is everywhere . That I am not separate from the whole . And I just laughed and cried at the same time, the same as you did, and yer words have healed me of my confusion . We truly are so serious about this denial of love, about everything about our identities that isn't loving . But yer words have helped me to remember, as I hope to be reminded the rest of my life . I love you, Singing Bowls, whoever you are, where ever you are . I love you . :)
I love you too! thank you so much for your sweetness in sharing this with me. WE ARE LOVE!
“Everything becomes smooth once the blessing of His touch has been felt. It is just as, when bathing in a river, one at first swims by one’s own strength; but once caught in the current, whether a good swimmer or not, one is simply carried away.”—Sri Anandamayi Ma
it breaks through for more & greater moments, supreme moments in which everything— you, me, all that is— shatters into THAT.
call it love.
of all the hundreds of times I’ve meditated, I’ve only experienced this caliber of awakened state a handful of times.
somewhere between laughter and tears, the lines blur.
I laugh at the sweetness of my mantra, and the sweetness of guru, and the sweetness of a stranger’s cough in the great void of silence. this, too, is love.
it goes in waves. michael says, that’s how the bliss moves.
I cry because I am humbled.
I cry because, although we have been asleep all this time, WE HAVE NOT! this is the true beauty of wakefulness: it sees through time. this is the beauty of THAT.
I laugh because we take it all so seriously sometimes, this denial of love. it is not a serious matter. we are all coming home to love. we are going home, and ARE home, all at once, in the space beyond time that is the only reality we can call home.
these thoughts just the surfacing after the dive, the choppy waves on the ocean of love that creates & sustains & destroys us in a brilliant dance with itself.
it’s just the weirdest thing, isn’t it, this being awake.
“On the clear mirror of the luminous mind my guru, my deity, and my mind reflect as one; may I soon attain the good fortune of practicing night and day this perfect meditation.”—Chone Lama Lodro Gyatso
tonight I did something I never thought I could do: I walked out of a yoga class halfway through.
I’ve been to classes that weren’t ideally suited to me before, but I’ve always viewed them as learning experiences, either unlocking new parts of my mind & heart or renewing my gratitude for what I do love.
however, I’ve been practicing long enough to know what is not going to serve my practice. bikram yoga is one of those things. (one of my favorite quotes from the article I’ve linked: ‘you were born in the wrong country, with the wrong skin color, in the wrong culture. you can never be spiritual!’)
I swear this was an accident! I would never have stepped foot into a bikram-style class. nothing about ‘hot candlelight yoga’ suggested ‘2 sets of 26 poses’ to me. I’ve been to plenty of hot yoga studios & attended candlelight sessions that were absolutely lovely, fiery, challenging, and cleansing.
bottom line: I could have suffered through for whatever lesson was in store for me. but I think the lesson, really, was this— I don’t need to suffer. I’ve seen what real (sorry) yoga can offer, and it’s transcendently beautiful. and when something is not in line with that transcendence or beauty, I can walk away.
michael just stopped by the yoga center on his walk to the ocean to ask me if I’ve meditated yet today. no, not yet, but I’ve been counting down the minutes until my front desk shift ends so I can snag one of the empty studios & get my cocoon ready to get my bliss on.
just ten minutes ago, I saw one of my very favorite yoga teachers carrying a book of rumi translations by coleman barks, so we got to talking. he had just finished teaching a class in which he had planned to read this poem— he quoted the first half by heart & we marveled at the unspeakable !!!-ness of it— but had lost his bookmark in the middle of class and after some frustrating searching decided it wasn’t meant to be.
but we did find it, right then.
and… I had quoted the second half of the poem on this blog last night!
the most !!! part of all is that this isn’t the first, or the second, time this has happened.
these poems are moments of transcendence that can keep creating new moments of transcendence, rolling forward through the centuries into one gorgeous bloom after another of radiant love.
“The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn’t understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you’re given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further.”—Pema Chodron
from my journal after my first yoga class, 1/22/2008:
Afterward I felt so completely, wholly happy and like the world was “still as it is only so much more so”— which is beautiful, complex, full of love and light and god, and maybe it was just flashback, the breathing and the concentration setting off some molecules in my spine or whatever (yeah right) but I feel like I’ve stumbled upon some glorious thing, some key to unlock my soul, which probably sounds silly to say but to feel it is another thing entirely. GLORIOUS. I LOVE IT. And we’ve scratched only the surface. It ended on a note like dying, melting into the ground, feeling your body decompose and the fear of that melting into the ground too. I swear to god I’ve been smiling all day. My body and the world so alive and so holy.
“Every bit of Sadhana done is surely recorded without fail in your hidden consciousness. No Sadhana ever goes in vain. Every bit of it is credited immediately towards your evolution. This is the law. Think not negative thoughts, but calmly go on with the Sadhana. Be regular at it. Without missing a single day, proceed onward with your spiritual practices. Little by little, the power accumulates and it will grow. Ultimately, the cumulative force of all the continuous earnest Sadhana done perseveringly and patiently over a long period of life has its inevitable grand consummation at the supreme moment when it bears fruit in the form of blissful Realization.”—Sri Swami Sivananda
“Spiritual progress is like the spiral. In the beginning, great striving is needed. Gradually, the circle becomes smaller and smaller. So also, the striving becomes less and less. The aspirant gains spiritual strength slowly. He marches faster and faster. Finally, he does not go by furlongs after furlongs. He proceeds by mile after mile. He gallops and gallops.”—Sri Swami Sivananda
here it is
it’s as I suspected! unless there’s some context I’m missing, the person most probably tagged you to the video because they enjoyed watching it & thought you might be interested, too. it definitely seems like you’re down with the meaning of namaste! it’s this kind of thing— the questioning of other people’s motives & perceptions of you— that makes social networking sites a great breeding ground (battle ground?) for our ego & our unconscious. try to approach these things not from a place of doubt or fear but from a point of equanimity & lovingkindness, as well as the beautiful, freeing truth that nobody thinks about you as much as you think they do. namaste. <3
'that's just the grain of sand polishing my pearl'
this insight is infinitely helpful to me whenever someone or something continues to rub me the wrong way.
that, and allowing myself to sit with my feelings— without having to act, but without trying to push them away. I know this lesson has been sent to me to help me grow & refine, and some of that does not feel easy. the next step: standing up for myself & the integrity/authenticity I believe we can ALL manifest.
so we can all shine on (without standing in another’s light).
Last night the moon came
dropping her clothes in the street.
I took it as a sign to start dancing,
falling upwards into the bowl
The bowl shatters.
Everywhere is falling everywhere;
Here’s the new rule:
Shatter the wineglass and fall
into the glassblowers’ breath.
this morning, at work, a spider jumped onto my head— after screaming and doing the scary spider dance for a few moments, I was able to collect myself enough to take it outside.
thank you, dear spider, for showing me that I have not yet expanded my field of pure consciousness & love to include weird little beings like you. if I had, I would have laughed at your clumsiness & immediately recognized you as another beautiful expression of the unmanifest divine. in the awakened state there is NO FEAR, and no scary spider dance.