I remember when I was going through a messy divorce many, many, another-lifetime years ago. After the initial separation, I returned to what was once our shared home and dedicated every ounce of energy I had to the hustle. I progressed from room to room: painting, moving, fixing, anything-and-everything to change the space, to make it mine, to start over—again.
I filled every moment with busyness, but I felt lost and I felt alone. I had no idea what to do next, how to make ends meet, where to go, or how to move forward. I clearly remember standing in the office, my bare feet on the cold hardwood floor, looking out the window into the backyard, and talking on the phone with an old friend from New York.… 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
We finished our group study of the yamas before the holiday with the fifth of the restraints. There’s always a lot to think and talk about when it comes to aparigraha, and the timing was ideal to consider the ways we grasp at everything, everywhere, all the time. Breaking it down:
pari– on all sides
graha– to take or grab
Aparigraha is the practice of non-hoarding, non-attachment, of taking no more than you need. It is the practice of choosing faith. It is the practice of letting go.
2020 has provided no shortage of opportunities to practice this foundational principle of yoga.… 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
Cultivating faith and devotion
by Jill Sockman
By the time you read this, I’ll be far from Raleigh, having just arrived to Varanasi — arguably one of the most chaotic cities I know. Hopefully by now I’m over the jet lag, and presumably I’m inundated and awestruck by the complete overwhelm and sensory overload that is India. This will be my third trip to the subcontinent, and I’m not yet sure if it’s three strikes you’re out or third time’s a charm. Mmmm. Neti Neti says the knowing Self — not this, and not that.
My preparations for this pilgrimage have been extensive — making the arrangements and gathering the things needed for a journey of this kind; trying to complete any and all undone tasks that they not clutter my mind or my desk while I am gone; loosening my grip on expectation and attachment; deepening and steadying my practice.… Read the rest
Fear or Faith?November 21, 2014 in Blog
Fear or Faith?
by Jill Sockman
As you start each new part of your ongoing journey, (om gum ganapatayei namaha!) consider the road before you. Ultimately, I’d say there are only two options: The Path of Fear and The Path of Faith.
The Path of Fear is haunted by our regrets and worries. It is laden with the obstacles of indecision and doubt. Its winding way distracts us, and leaves us with feelings of unworthiness and discontent. The Path of Faith is no less haunted. There are no fewer obstacles. It is every bit as windy and steep. The paths, I believe, look exactly the same.… Read the rest