Gratitude for the Temple

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I met up with a friend of mine yesterday. She’s been my shaman for 8 years, although it had been over a year since I had last encountered her energy. As typical Cancers, we curled up in a blanket and started chatting. I was telling her about some of my experiences this past year and how they are centering around creative feminine energies. And after some discussion where she shared some of her own recent explorations on the subject, she said, “We just have to remember to also appreciate our bodies.”

And that rung a bell for me. Gratitude for my body.

I’ve spent the last 15 ish years analyzing my body, getting to know her, learning what she likes to eat (and in what quantities), learning how she likes to exercise, as well as learning to read the signs that indicate my energy levels. I had been shifting from the language of shit-talking my body, critiquing, and being mean to my body to a place of an intimate understanding of how she works. I wanted to learn how to nurture my body. But nurturing isn’t gratitude, and it is in that space that I would like to breathe for a while.

This body is the home to my consciousness, the temple through which I experience life. Our human suits are what allow us to be present on this earth in a corporeal capacity. They are what literally walk the paths with and for us. Our bodies are here for us and only us (well, in most cases 😉  ). Your heart beats for you, to carry blood cells throughout your body, nourishing your physical existence. Your brain functions for you, synapsing with thoughts, actions, and nurturing you being you. Your kidneys, spleen, lungs, legs, muscles, mitochondria, nerves, bones, lymph nodes, all of you…exists for you.

I was swept away with the idea of nurturing and decorating my temple, I think I may have forgotten to appreciate the temple. I am drawing into myself gratitude for the container for my consciousness. I appreciate that my physical being exists to be engaged with me and allows me to be me, here, on Earth, right now. And she does it all without me even asking. She is autonomous and yet completely dedicated to me.

In a Shamanic Space now, my friend tells me to start a meditation…to dive into my organs and listen. So I am drawing my awareness and consciousness to the depth of my insides. To breathe in that space of union where the mind meets my body.

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Agonizing darkness

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agonyAgony, that which can hunt us, and is waiting for the opportunity to take us down. In all of life’s uncertainty, we know that we will experience pain to varying degrees. Whether it manifests as fear, anxiety, depression, or anger, the human experience involves acrimony. 

There may be times in life when you experience a rip in your reality so profound that you are crippled. Those times when life seemingly unfairly takes, breaks, and/or burdens and the consequential gut-wrenching pain throws your weakened being to the ground. All you see is the destruction of what was burn around you. Your breath is shattered as sobs echo in the newly-made holes in your heart. And you can just hold yourself, with thoughts of disappearing into the shadows that darken your life.

Fear not the darkness.

See those skulls scattered around you? They are remnants of the battles of your past and the challenges you have already conquered.  Past jobs, coworkers, relationships, friendships, deaths, arguments, anger, whatever has challenged, and perhaps devastated you lie in the burning refuse. As Kali bore the skulls, so do you. They support you now for they have revealed you. They tell a story of your strength and perseverance. It doesn’t matter how ungraceful, frantic, terrifying, or horrible it was, you have sustained and are continuing on your path. You are learning and adjusting based on the experiences you have endured. You are getting stronger. You are shedding the old and emerging in a fresh skin.

And as your new skin brightens into brilliance, your energetic spine rises strong and fierce for you. Kundalini, your creative energy, is ready to rise amidst the destruction. It is vital and potent, ready to strike. Part of the cosmic consciousness, it invites you to activate your truest self and ascend. 

So while you writhe in agony, and you, in complete exhaustion finally surrender to the pain of existence…remember the strength you have within. The journey of life has led you to this moment and your dharmic self is waiting to pull you from the fires that burn. 

You have already survived so many battles. You have already fought so hard, don’t give up now. You are ready to stand up in your essence and rediscover who you are.

 

 

 

Celebrate you

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If you were asked to name all the things you love, how long would it be before you named yourself?

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Things in my life have been happening in a quick succession. There have been a few really big shifts that drastically change life. Leaving the corporate world and entering the life of a gypsy with my beau (gypsy in relation to an almost-hermit that had a strict schedule, anyway) has changed so much of my day-to-day reality. My life has shifted and continues to evolve into this beautiful tapestry. It’s not perfect, it has holes, missed stitches, and the such. But it’s my life and I’ve loved watching the moments unfold.

But I’ve been watching, not participating. I’ve been keeping a safe enough distance around myself and remaining just under total excitement. Maybe I was scared of it all being ripped from me. Maybe I didn’t trust how phenomenal and amazing some aspects of my life were manifesting. Maybe I was nervous about ruining it all. Who knows.

But I suddenly found myself in San Diego for the night with my beloved on my right, an old friend from college on my left, a newer friend next to her, and a few soon-to-be friends a few rows behind. We were watching a band that I had been hearing about for over a decade casually, and intensely for the last few years. They are one of those bands about whom you hear of life-changing stories. They are powerful and brilliant. They provide a visual and auditory feast. The entire experience is gorgeous and engulfing.

Part way through the show, during the part where Alex Grey’s artwork syncs with the music in the most perfect of ways, my beloved leans over to me and whispers, “You know that guy (Alex Grey). You’ve had brunch with that guy. You’re performing Glowga & Gongs at CoSM (this home/visual artist sanctuary) this summer.” And I smiled, and said yes. Somehow, out of the thousands of fans in that auditorium, life-long and new…somehow it’s a true statement about me. And it’s unbelievable.

After that show, I felt uncomfortable. Something had shifted within and I didn’t know what, and am only just beginning to scratch the surface of the revolution that had occurred. But after much thinking, meditating, analyzing and the such, I had the thought that I was celebrating and enjoying the events in which I was participating, but I wasn’t celebrating myself as a participator/contributor in the events, or at least that’s the thought that I’m currently mulling over. It’s part being shy, part being socially awkward, part just being a wee bit mental. Analyzing and observing the moment doesn’t necessarily translate to experiencing the moment. Wondering what the best thing to say is isn’t the same thing as speaking. I’ve had all of these amazing experiences and I’ve either spent so much time observing or analyzing that I’ve missed out on some of the experiencing, mainly, the experiencing of myself. I can go deeper into the experience, draw it more into my being and integrate myself. I’m not even entirely sure what that means. And I’m sure it means something different to you than to me and all that jazz.

What I do know is this changed me…and that I have this thought in my head that I want to start celebrating being me.

Twirling round with this familiar parable
Spinning, weaving round each new experience
Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing
A chance to be alive and breathing

– Tool

 

Intending your resolutions

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Happy New Years 🙂
As we ring in 2016, we reflect on the past year and contemplate the future. We consider setting resolutions to help us achieve the idea we have of what we should be doing, who we should be, what we should look like, and what our future should entail. Take a moment to reflect…four days into the new year…what resolutions have crossed your mind?

Personally, I’ve had some of the same resolutions on my list that I’ve had for decades now. Year after year, I was staring at the same damn things in the same journal that has “Dear Diary” entries from the 90’s. It was frustrating and disappointing. Resolutions didn’t work for me and really only made me feel like a failure that I couldn’t achieve what I penned at the beginning of each year. So I let resolutions go. And it seemed that my life started to flourish in ways I didn’t imagine possible. I even started to integrate those past resolutions (now that they weren’t a glaring port of authority of what I should be doing) into my life and started to “achieve” them.

In yoga, we talk about intentions. And I believe that it is from this space that my life started to sync. Intentions has a different feel than resolutions. Compare the definitions:

Resolution

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Resolution is a solution to a conflict whereas intention is an aim or purpose. Resolution begins first with a problem. We see something in our lives we think is wrong or not good enough, and we resolve to change it. Intention guides us on our life path. It aligns us with the essence of our being and sets us on our dharmic course. Both have a place in our lives. For the times of tapping into our universal selves, and setting intentions, there is the Sankalpa Mudra.

San=connection with the highest truth
Kalpa=vow
Sankalpa Mudra=Hand gesture of intention

 

  1. Find a comfortable seat. Outstretch your arms so your elbows are parallel with your shoulders, wrists at a 90 degree, palms outstretched, facing up. Close your eyes and listen to your breath. Tap into the space of your life essence, set an intention and let it circulate in your palms.
  2. Bring your left hand in front of your heart. In this mudra, this hand symbolizes bravery and strength. We bring the hand in front of our heart to merge with our anahata energies, to infuse our blood with these qualities. Pause for a few breaths to feel bravery and strength course through your veins.
  3. Bring the left hand to the right knee, palm face up.
  4. Bring the right hand, palm face down, above the left and let it hover above the left hand. This symbolizes the grounding and manifesting of the intention. Pause for a few moments to let your intention mingle with your strength and permeate the ether.
  5. Bring the right hand to meet the left in a handshake fashion, sealing in your intention.

Namaste.

SankalpaMudra

 

Crows and Coconuts pt 2

I humbly surrender to the universe

You know the story didn’t end here.

I searched for crows still. Throughout history, the crow has been associated with both positive and negative symbolic meanings. The most common are:

  • Life magic; mystery of creation
  • Destiny, personal transformation, alchemy
  • Intelligence
  • Higher perspective
  • Being fearless, audacious
  • Flexibility, adaptability
  • Trickster, manipulative, mischevious

Other traditional meanings associate the crow with bad omen, death, and dark witchcraft. The crow also carries the power of prophetic insight and symbolizes the void or core of creation. (source)

An entity such as this landed on a branch at the same time a coconut fell. It seems fitting. But what does it mean and my question of why still hung in the air. But as I read on in the story…

And what of that coconut? Was it going to fall anyway? Was it ripening and ready to be released to the ground? Was the crows transformative, magical essence an inspiration to the coconut to fall to the ground to offer up its water, its milk, its flesh, its life energy, in a fearless way? For the coconut, things have changed drastically. Once arboreal, dangling, growing, expanding and to have let go of the branch to fall. The coconut was already going through so much on its own, and then to have the crow land…it’s in these moments that the human consciousness befuddles the situation. For a coconut, it just falls when it falls. To the best of my knowledge, a coconut does not swirl into an existential quandary about the influencer of the crow, the ego of wondering at the timing of it all, the wonderment of what happens next, for this coconut and the ones around it.

The coconut just falls. It surrenders to the universe.

It releases its connection to the branch, maybe experiences a brief moment of suspension, and then starts to feel the air wrap around the coconut, enveloping it in a timeless, wind tunnel. Where the energies of the crow and the ground merge, connect, dance in endless combinations, all of them and none of them, swirling, stunning, tickling the coconut. 

And it’s a surreal mix of reality and intuition, knowing and wishing.

“I can teleport to the stars…
like the universe is singing a song.
It’s just a story though
Is it a story though?
I can’t tell if it happened cause it felt impossible
Don’t know whether it was real or a dream
Imagination playing tricks on me
Now tell me what you know
Is this a story or
An allegory for the racket knocking at my door?
What’s the difference if it’s real or a dream?
Imagination playing tricks on me”

~Murakami, Made in Heights

Part I, Part III

Crows and coconuts pt 1

Crow

There’s a paradox parable of sorts in the Vastishana about a crow and a coconut. It explores the idea of timing. Not in the sense of minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day but in the more eternal sense of fate. It’s a befuddling concept that has tickled man’s mind since we discovered opposable thumbs. For me it develops into a question of a conscious universe, in some ways law of attraction, power of the unconscious. What is the nature of energy? Can we influence our future or are we subject to whatever happens…Is it a dance with Fate the way I had come to think of it?

I had just experienced a devastating occurrence of life. I was desperate for the answer to the quandary: do things happen for a reason? I sat down, picked up my Hindu Mythology book and came across the aforementioned crow and coconut story.

A crow alights a branch at the same exact time a coconut falls to the ground. Did the crows’ touch cause the coconut to fall, or was the coconut about to fall anyway?

Cause and effect is a theme in life. We learn it in school in chemistry (I think) and see it on a molecular level. It’s those scientific notions, the law of conservation of energy, law of attraction, that support the energetic exchanges our ancestors intuitively knew. I leaned toward cause and effect and started seeking the crow that caused my coconut to fall. I looked in every possible corner of my mind, heart and soul. And let me tell you, I came up with a shitload of possible crows. But in a sky of crows, I couldn’t pick out one that satisfied the overwhelming feelings of a situation that rendered me baffled. So to choose one crow that landed on that branch causing the coconut to fall was impossible. I started to wonder if it was possible to choose just one and if there was even the possibility of one…is there a why to the things that happen to us? Is there a reason? Or does shit just happen? All possible crows.

Take a deep breath in, open mouth release it out. Crow is about hugging into center, arms externally rotate and squeeze in to create a stable shelf as a foundation for your crow, your core reaches for your spine so much they fuse in fluidity, your legs squeeze together to create a lift in the lower torso, your mind wraps around your breath, funneling your awareness into being Bakasana. Fingers come down to the mat, spread the fingers nice and wide, press down under the nails. Establish your chaturanga arms and bring your knees to the back of your arms. We are traditionally not weight bearing on our arms…just get used to the idea of holding yourself on your hands. Try picking up one foot, and then the other, and then maybe both. Look about 6 inches forward, settle your gaze on a single dristi (focal point), push down into the earth with your hands and as you do that, reach the forearms in toward each other and rotate your shoulders to the outer sides and then back and down your back. Bring your knees to the back of your arms, engage the core, look forward, pick the legs up from the floor, take flight into Bakasana, Crow.

Crow

 

Part II, Part III

Take a Break

Open Mouth Exhale

Take a break. Just breathe. Be present for a few moments. Close your eyes if you’d like. Relax the shoulders back and down. Take a huge breath in, suspend it for a moment, and then release it out.

Open Mouth Exhale

 

Feel better?

 

It’s important for us to take the occasional break during the day, the week, the month, life. We are an on-the-go society and that’s fine. It works for most. Keeping yourself healthy and aligned during the chaos is important. And sometimes that requires us giving ourselves permission to take a break, to step away. It could be from the computer, a goal, a relationship, a job, life in general. And it could be for 30 seconds, minutes, days. And that’s not to insinuate that what we are doing is bad, we could be dedicating our energy to cultivating beauty in our lives and manifesting our dreams, and still need to take a break.

I sometimes use breaks for reflection. I like to see from where I have come, how I have grown and who I am now. I feel like we all change so much and sometimes don’t even realize it ourselves and then one day we look in the mirror and holy shit how the hell did I get here and who is this person with the green hair and tattoos looking back at me. It can definitely be a giggle. Sometimes it’s a lesson that I need to learn so I can move forward with ease. Those moments when you see your dream and you keep bumping up against the same wall, the same damn situation and how the hell do you shift in ANY direction just to experience something new and hopefully rewarding this time. And we learn how to release stuck emotions and energy patterns. And sometimes it’s those times when you look at yourself and realize you need to reconnect with yourself and love yourself again b/c you have lost your connection with your divine soul.

It’s important to listen to your intuition and to be able to read the signs that say it’s time for a break. Otherwise it’s like a tree in a Primorye winter whose sap is freezing and expanding…it expands until the tree bursts, unable to contain what was growing within. And when an explosion like that happens, there is no going back, there is no putting the tree back together, scooping up the sap and stuffing it back into the tree.

So when you start to feel a little claustrophobic, overwhelmed, a little crazy, before you get to bat shit crazy…give yourself permission to take a break. Breathe, reflect, release, do whatever you need to do to feel better. Enjoy yourself, your life, your relationships. And just exist, in the moment.

 

XOXO

 

 

Intending your intention

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I often begin a yoga class asking the students to observe their energy, see what they brought onto the mat with them that day, and to set an intention. Something they would like to cultivate during practice, whether it be remaining present, watching the breath, dedicating their class to someone, finding courage, strength, whatever is on the persons mind at that moment, to breathe that in and shift it, internalize it…to intend it. In fact, it has come up so often recently in life, manifesting intention, those small things that I was thinking about that caused a chain reaction, the many conversations I had with people hearing how they were manifesting their beliefs, that caused me to pick up a book on the subconscious.

With that in mind, let’s backtrack a bit. I can remember being in a yoga class one day following an injury. It was the first yoga class I’d been to in a long time. And it felt amazing and I couldn’t understand how I was able to go so many months without stepping onto my mat. All I could think was, Holy shit, I need to get more yoga in my life. I thought it over and over and over again and I thought it in every single yoga class I went to and during the day when I was dreaming about being on my mat. The thought was always, I need more yoga in my life. Two weeks later I had two classes that I was teaching and I had a full-time practice. It would seem that what I was thinking during all those classes manifested for me. I became a believer in intention, and started to realize all the different areas where similar thoughts had written my story’s path. I could trace the pattern of what I thought and what I intended and how it actually formed my life, on and off of the mat. And I flowed this way for years. Watching as my intentions started to form my life more and more as I became more aware of their importance. I even coined a term, Intentional Coincidence, for those moments when it seems coincidental but when you trace things backwards you can see where your past thoughts would have manifested what you were currently experiencing. I mean, let’s face it, these things are not always immediate but some take time to manifest.

When I thought about the why of it all, I thought in terms of the Law of Attraction: the quality of energy you exude is the quality of energy that surrounds you and that you experience. That which is like unto itself is drawn. Like attracts Like. Birds of a Feather Flock Together, Misery Loves Company, Two Peas in a Pod…the idea wasn’t anything new, we hear it in these adages. Add that I’m really not a science person, that I am a really trusting person (at times to a fault), and that I had limited time to think about it (I was busy intending thoughts, lol) so I had little need for the reason behind it since I had experiential knowledge of the truth in the idea. I could trace it’s presence since childhood…and I was able to just trust that if I put out the positive energy, the universe would take care of me.

And then I forgot the power of my intentions, went to a dark place and remained in a vortex of consuming negativity. And I saw my negativity manifest even more negativity…and my panic create more stress…and my fears take me deeper into the depths of this shadow. The angrier I got the more things happened in my life that pissed me off. Again. Law of Attraction. I was literally creating my own worst nightmare and yet was so blinded by anger I didn’t see that I was the one responsible for writing my story. I allowed life to happen to me. I allowed others to make my decisions. I let go of intention and was swept away…sometimes drowning, sometimes swimming upstream, sometimes gasping for air, sometimes not even knowing if I was under or above water. It was fast and furious.

 

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Years pass. Shit happened. Shift Happened. I emerged from my intimate dance with my shadow self…And a couple of weeks ago I picked up a book on the subconscious.

And here began the thinking behind what I had been experiencing. That law of attraction that manifests in all forms in life without judgement: light and shadow, brilliance and darkness, and everything in between. Maybe it’s a science. Maybe it’s psychological. Joseph Murphy seemed to have been a bit of a gypsy spiritualist with a background in religion and chemistry. (Those are my words based on his wikipedia page, so I could be wrong.) At any rate, I appreciated what he was saying and took into consideration his ideas on the relationship between the conscious mind and our subconscious mind.

All your experiences, events, conditions, and acts are the reactions of your subconscious mind to your thoughts. Remember, it is not the thing believed in, but the belief in your own mind, which brings about the result. Cease believing in the false beliefs, opinions, superstitions, and fears of mankind. Begin to believe in the eternal verities and truths of life, which never change. Then, you will move onward, upward, and Godward.
– Joseph Murphy

The idea is, that our conscious mind is our thoughts, be they fully-intended, habitual, or if we’re even really that aware that we are thinking them. It is the waking mind, the surface self, the voluntary and rational mind. Opposite of that is the subconscious mind, the sleeping mind, the deep self, the involuntary and irrational mind. By the way, here it means able to discern. The conscious mind can consider a thought, mull it over, and alter it so that it is of a quality that the thinker wants to manifest. Whereas the subconscious says, Okay Captain. Whatever you say. And our subconscious listens, without judgment, to those thoughts. It is the seat of emotions and is the creative mind. It is the builder of your body and can heal it. You’ve read, I’m sure, how you can say to yourself right before you go to bed, I want to wake up at 8am. And you will. Well, that’s the conscious mind thinking the thought, and the subconscious mind saying okay and creating the thought in life. And similarly, if you think you can’t quit that addiction or change that habit, you probably won’t.

“The power of your subconscious is enormous. It inspires you, it guides you, and it reveals to you names, facts, and scenes from the storehouse of memory. your subconscious started your heartbeat, controls the circulation of your blood, and regulates your digestion, assimilation, and elimination. When you eat a piece of bread, your subconscious mind transmutes it into tissue, muscle, bone, and blood. This process is beyond the ken of the wisest man who walks the earth. Your subconscious mind controls all the vital processes and functions of your body and knows the answer to all problems.”
– Joseph Murphy

It is the place of healing and manifesting. It is designing a life you love. I believe it to be that space where the muse dances and sirens sing. Where visions are inspired by kundalini surges. Where portals are revealed when the pineal gland is touched. The psychedelic realm where vision is expanded, energy becomes united, akashic records explored, and where you have the influence to navigate the waters in which you flow through life.

As Peter Pan suggested, Think happy thoughts and you’ll fly. Again, it’s a thought we hear over and over. And it’s a powerful thought. That which we think is manifested in our life. Not necessarily the way we want it, but more the way we need it. I like to think of it as a collaboration with the universe…I’ll think general concepts, high level ideas, big picture thoughts…and I’ll trust the universe to think of the details. But it’s my responsibility to bring intention into my thoughts and to follow through with them. It’s no longer an, on-the-mat idea…it’s bigger than that. It’s in everything I do. I still struggle, I still forget…but the time is sometimes 7 hours instead of 7 years. I’ve been “intending” in my thoughts to make habits of setting intentions. When I wake up, thoughts for the day; when I get to work in my to do list; in my yoga classes, for whatever I happen to be needing. And with my students, with you, whatever you happen to be needing, in life or in the moment, craft the thought in such a way that it is uplifting. Our thoughts set the stage for the action of the Law of Attraction. What we think is what we are attracting. Be kind and gentle, loving and compassionate, think about the life you want, the dreams you have, turn them into mantra’s and meditate on them, and every so often, as you’re thinking about these things, smile, and cheers the universe.

 

 

 

Living an artistic life

DesignALifeYouLove

I was chatting with my friend the other day about how much I dislike laundry. I actually have that conversation frequently. It’s one of my least favorite activities…right up there along any other cleaning-related  ideas. I’m not a fan of it so I rarely carve out space to do it and then it ends up just on my dresser and not in my dresser. At any rate, I had found myself in that situation of having laundry all around my room and just being frustrated. Obviously this is a perpetual problem and is something I’ve been aware of since…probably since I’ve been doing my own laundry. LOL, come on, don’t judge, I can’t be the only one out there that dislikes cleaning that much. So, I’m talking to her about it (amongst conversations of biocentrism and chakra energy) and she says to me, you just got to say fuck it and do it. Stop thinking about it and just do it. My response was something like, I’m not a Nike commercial, there are other things I’d much rather be doing. And she said, I know, trust me, I know. But I also know, and tell myself, that it’s helping my future self to do it now.

And it kind of blew my mind. Yep, just do it. Just get it over with so you don’t have to worry about it in the future. Such an easy solution. And I realized I was giving something so small and inconsequential too much power. So, I left work, went home and I wish I could say I just did it…just got the cleaning over with and the laundry over with, but I totally didn’t. I sat down on my couch and picked up the book on Dharma Art I was reading. And I shit you not, one of the first things I read was about how Dharma Art isn’t just about making masterpieces of art, it’s hardly about that at all actually. It’s about making your life your art, living artistically and coming from a beautiful and clear space so that everything you do is art, the way you put down your coffee mug, the way you do your laundry, the way you…<<<WTF? Really? The way I do my laundry?

If you want to become an artist and you want to have the best of everything, you can’t just have it. You have to start by paying attention to reality. You need to learn to eat properly, to cook properly, to clean your house or your room, to work with your clothes. You need to work with your basic reality. Then you go beyond that, and you begin to have something much more substantial. And beyond that, you actually begin to produce a master artistic world altogether. – Chogyam Trungpa

 

So I sat there. And sat there. And then a voice in my head said fuck it, and I just got up and put my laundry away. Hardly took anytime and I felt so much better afterward. But it’s not just about doing it. I mean, it can be, but then that feeling of resentment and irritation is allowed to exist and fester. That was the motivational point for me that night for sure, just fucking do it already. But I want to transform that into something beautiful. Not necessarily visually, but so it feels beautiful. And again, not just the action of doing it, but in how I feel while doing it. So while I was putting my laundry away, I tried to view it as an art project. How would I shift my perspective, how shall I smile with grace…can I turn it into something beautiful. I’m not sure I actually succeeded, but I did my best to not have a mantra of, I hate laundry, I hate cleaning, and more of a my environment is important to me and I want to nurture my environment. I want to nurture my environment as much as I want to nurture my soul, my friends, my family, my beloved. And that helped me make it in art. (As a side note, it was also interesting that I walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water and upon realizing my dishwasher was clean, just quickly put the dishes away. Smile on my face, body swaying to the beat of the music…a byproduct of approaching my room as a work of art. Hopefully that’s a sign that as you bring that perspective into one activity, it will slowly expand to more and more activities.)

And how often is much of our life that way? There are certain things we do that we do beautifully, artistically. And there are the other things we do that are  handled with much less grace and too much aggression (in Dharma Art, anything done with aggression is not art. Aggression is seen as a bit of the anti-art element). I brought this concept into my yoga class and it’s so easy so see the energy shift from poses we love to poses we don’t so much enjoy. The muscles in our face clench, our shoulders rise, the aggression is obvious. Just as it’s obviously serene when we dance and flow through postures we love and that feel juicy. Living artistically, approaching everything, even the most mundane of things, like laundry, is a challenge. It takes a developed discipline. It’s a challenge to come from a space of calm clarity, non-judgement and just being purely observational. I think this is especially a challenge when having unpleasant conversations with people who tend to anger quick and their words quickly become mean and harmful. In those situations staying calm isn’t always enough and I haven’t figured out how to dharmically approach those situations. But I hope to…to be able to gracefully converse, even about difficult stuff, to come from a place of satya (truth) and ahimsa (nonviolence). Dharma art is awareness, of self, of the world, of all of the gorgeous phenomena happening in our little nook of the universe.

“Awareness practice is not just sitting meditation or meditation-in-action alone. it is a unique training practice in hose to behave as an inspired human being. That is what is meant by being an artist.” -Chogyam Trungpa

So take a moment to consider yourself as an artist. I am a believer that we are co-creators of our lives. I usually think in terms of law of attraction, what you put out you get back, and all of those ideas. I truly believe that you can manifest your intentions if coming from the right space. Dharma Art encourages us to go next level and to not just be a co-creator, but BE a work of art. Live as if you are a work of art. It’s not just about putting out the outlines of life into the ether, but also about adding the color to every detail of life. I tend toward visual art, but even consider your life as a symphony, the way the notes flow and merge and caress the ears, touching your heart, making you weep tears of joy and beauty. Or a succulent meal you are cooking that makes your mouth water, your stomach growl…Find something you naturally do and love and is your art, and then approach everything, your whole life, in the same manner.

Let go of aggression, of judgement, of self-hate…You are the artist and the work of art. Your life is art. Live life artistically.

 

 

Conversations…Being Cocreators

Potential

I have a lot of amazing conversations with friends…and I’d like to share 🙂

Not Me:
expand on that thought about being cocreators.

does that make sense?

Not Me:

yes!

we are active parts of the universe. made of star stuff. i agree with that. we are creators of our own worlds.

but the universe plays a role still. ok. i can get behind that. but i don’t get behind the whole fate thing. however, i do believe we each have our own purpose in this blip of a nanosecond in universe time that we call life.

but some people, if not most, fail to reach that purpose. or fully realize it?

Me

It’s my attempt at trying to blend fate and free will, the universal whole and the individual self, and in so many ways, from my rudimentary understanding, the metaphor of Indra’s Net.

how do you separate the universe playing a role and fate?

Not Me:

fate is fixed. the universe can play a role, but ultimately the self has the final say.

Me

what kinds of activities to which are you referrencing?

viz…

you were just in a car accident and paralyzed from the waist down, was that the self having the final say?

Not Me:

nope, but the final say is how you react.

Me

so how do you distinguish between the activies of universe and self?

and, how do you know the universe didn’t set you up with the ability to react in a certain way

Not Me:

and there’s the kicker.

Me

and in fact how do you know the universe didn’t want to send you down a specific path via a specific incident that all depended on your reaction, and if you didn’t react the way to lead you down your path then similar incidents keep happening?

Not Me:

we are all beings of the universe. to differentiate is to diminish the universe itself. i’m just spewing thoughts now. but see, fate is different than universe happenings, if you will.

Me

well, again, I struggle with being a part of and separate from the universe simultaneously. we are one, energetically and mathematically and scienticially, but individual artists of the expression of life

i don’t know, I just made that up, spewing thoughts as you said

Not Me:

i like that. i get that. but yeah, i think that’s the definition of the human condition.

but my logical mind still will not let me believe in fate, or an unseen outside force pulling strings.

Me

well, despite it all, and all that we think, and that we are all made of star stuff, we’re still human beings in this manifestation

Oh, I don’t see it as pulling on strings, though I do adore the Wyrd Sisters

Not Me:

hahaha

greek mythology, ftw

Me

I even dressed up as Clotho for halloween one time

Not Me:

did you??

i can totally see that

Me

yeah, no one got it

Not Me:

peons.

Me

haha. Normals

Think about it in terms of fractals

Not Me:

how so

Me

of mathematical, logical systems at play

Not Me:

?

ok….

Me

or even through chemistry

take the abstract out of it

lay it down with numbers

chemical bonds right, two elements are bound to bond due to their properties, yes

?

Not Me:

yes

Me

different bonds for different situations

Not Me:

ok

Me

our bodies are just bonding with other bodies, as fate would have it, due to our chemical make up

Not Me:

ok but where does “fate would have it” come in? random occurences aren’t so much random as a calculated event?

Me

and just for the record, I’m toying with this idea for me too, I’ve never thought this out before like this, lol

so fate is what gave us our chemical inclinations

and perhaps fate is what generates the bond

take gryoscopes

that thing will spin on an apex (forgetting the technical term) for a long time, spinning into gravity going and going and slowly making a circle down as force slows

but someone needs to pull the string

to start the motion

Not Me:

ahhhh

Me

ahhh yeah or ahh no?

I’m just synapsing thoughts here

Not Me:

so maybe fate isn’t a pulling of the strings but more a slight breeze of outer influence….influencing (lack of a better word) certain events that we can choose how to react to.

Me

Exactly…it’s not god…the pulling of strings is so greek mythology. the idea that they play with us and we’re just marionettes.

I love the slight breeze of outer influence

Not Me:

however, we are still in control. no matter what we do or where we go, how can one say that fate had anything to do with it? is it just an easy way to try to understand things which we do not understand? to put a simple term like fate on something that we do not quite understand is… minimizing i think.

however, i think anything we say and think about the universe is minimizing. how can we understand infinite? our meat bag brains won’t let us. hmmm….

Me

yeah, that’s paradoxical…if got is omnipotent can he create a rock that’s too heavy for him to lift

Montesque said it amazingly, IMO, when he said that all aspects of what we think are true b/c it is so vast and infinite and we are so miniscule how can one comprehend

he probably would have agreed to the meat bag brains usage too 🙂

Not Me:

hahaha!

Me

isn’t saying that we are in control insulting to the universe that is so infinite though?

Not Me:

parodoxical! that’s the word i was looking for

Me

if we are so small, how can we have the audacity to think we are in control

Not Me:

but we are the universe.

Me

if we are the universe are we still meat bags?

Not Me:

and now we go back to the self/universal being.

Me

exactly

Not Me

ha! i like our chats

Me

Me too 🙂