impermanenceJuly 31, 2023 in Blog
Last week, I heard from a longtime student that her beloved furry companion of 12 years died suddenly and unexpectedly. Deep in grief, she had questions about the why of it all. What are the lessons? How do we pay attention to what matters most and what are we supposed to learn through the process? Coming up on two years since Padma’s departure, I could easily feel into that pain and immediately thought of this is what love feels like. Love. Loss. Two sides of the same coin.
Every person I know was faced with these questions during the pandemic- a season of loss and change for all of us.… Read the rest
liminal spaceJanuary 2, 2023 in Blog
Putting aside my fervent wish to enjoy a lazy morning after this morning’s practice, I got moving early to head to the store to pick up the final ingredients for a day-long cooking project. It doesn’t exist in any tradition I know of, but I say forget about bitter greens or lentils or black-eyed peas. If sticky toffee pudding can’t bring in good luck for the new year, I don’t know what can. So despite the desire to hang out by the fire, I got myself together and headed out.
The driveway here drops down to the road, which descends into the valley.… Read the rest
When there’s something we need to learn, to focus on or to remember, the forces of the universe converge to make it so. While I’ve found that a daily meditation practice is a non-negotiable element for my general sanity, these days I’ve been reminded that no matter how extensive and consistent morning cushion time may be, it’s inadequate to sustain peace of mind throughout the entire day. Things seem to shift out of clear, calm and peaceful more quickly than ever before. As we continue to roll through hard times, the choices and practices that lead us to mind full or mindful are the difference between being part of the solution or part of the problems we see in our lives and in the world.… Read the rest
resilienceMarch 24, 2022 in Blog
Grief and resilience live together. -Michelle Obama
Our theme for April is resilience. It’s the central topic in our Immersion program, the subject for April’s Best of Blue video collection and the theme for my Thursday Movement + Rest series. It feels appropriate to talk about, cultivate and practice resilience after a time of so much grief— as they do, indeed, live together. Sometimes when we are faced with grief, we find we are more resilient than we could have imagined. Other times, we recognize our resilience has waned and we are without the resources to cope.
So, what is resilience?… Read the rest
Today marks day 7 of the rest of life without Padma. I feel like I’m wearing someone else’s skin, in someone else’s life. 17 years- more than half my adult life- is a long time to have a constant companion. I’m grateful for it all, and lucky, I realize that. At the same time, everything feels quite sideways and probably will for a while. I’m sharing this with you because much in the same way that blue lotus was never really mine, it was the same with the Boo. Even before blue, she was the yoga dog: visiting, welcoming and ignoring in equal measure.… Read the rest
Last week I had porch coffee in the blazing heat with a dear friend. It had been a while since we’d caught up, so we were sharing all the latest events and feels when she asked, somewhat out of the blue, “what do you miss the most?” Without skipping a beat (or even weighing the context or the options) what came out of my mouth was “the illusion of certainty.” The idea hadn’t even crossed my mind before, so I’m pretty sure it was, straight up, a message from The Universe. The illusion of certainty. Pause for reflection.
If you’ve been on the planet long enough, I imagine that you, as I, have survived at least your share of life pulling the rug out from under you.… Read the rest
A couple of weeks ago, a longtime student, fellow teacher and dear friend sent a note to see how I was doing. This is, of course, a bizarre and difficult question for any of us to answer these days. I fumbled through a reply, trying to be as transparent as possible, while acknowledging the wild roller coaster of emotions that I move through in an hour’s time makes a clear answer unwieldy at best. Her response to me was, “you’ll get through this with your usual grit and grace.” Yes, I thought. This is the answer to this most impossible quandary I’ve been faced with since March 16: How will I ever get through this?… Read the rest
PilgrimageFebruary 13, 2020 in Blog
By the time you are reading this, I will be in India. It is my fourth visit to the subcontinent, and somewhat like the other trips, it just kind of happened. Over the course of several short weeks in the fall of 2018, I had a number of people ask- completely out of the blue- when I was taking a group to India, and that when I did, they were in. Clearly the plan was out there, I just hadn’t heard about it yet. Synchronicity, divine timing and spirit commingled, and I was again swept (with excitement and anxiety in equal measure) into a pilgrimage beyond my own making.… Read the rest
Back in April, after about six weeks of deep, aching back pain, I went for an MRI. Unlike most test results I’ve had in my life where I’m told “everything looks fine” I was given an actual diagnosis: a stress fracture at L4. It’s not a big deal. I was in a brace for a month and still have one month more of limited activity yet to go and everything should heal completely. It did provide fodder for a good laugh with a friend– that I’d been going on for such a long time about needing “a break” that I finally got one.… Read the rest
While I occasionally have a plan for what I’ll talk about in the opening meditation for class, most of the time it’s a surprise even to me what comes out. Sometimes, it’s what has been showing up in my own life and practice, what I’ve been reading about or what I am consistently hearing from students. Other times the message seems like it is arriving from the universe as a dharma lesson for me personally as much as it might be for anyone else in the room. Over the many years of teaching, I have come to trust the impulse of what rises whether planned or unplanned, comfortable or not.… Read the rest