• Ego,  Inner Work,  Practice

    Ego’s Got a New Job

    Can you let go?  Can you take a leap of faith and become voluntarily passive in front of the life that lives you right now?  Becoming voluntarily passive is a notion that comes from Gurdjieff and has greatly illuminated the role that my ego plays in daily suffering.  Here’s how I understand the notion in a nutshell:  Every day I am impacted by life.  I (little I/ego) instantly judge those impacts as being something pleasant or unpleasant.  Based on these judgements I react to the impacts in all sorts of neurotic ways to keep myself from experiencing the unpleasantness or to grasp the pleasantness.  Essentially, I never actually feel the resonance of life’s impacts in my…

  • Consciousness,  Inner Work

    Yoga, Dreams and Courage.

    All my life I’ve had very vivid and occasionally lucid dreams.   I can still remember nightmares from when I was about 7 or 8 years old that left me jolting awake with heart racing and breath heavy.   Other times I’ve adventured through my dreams in conscious control of my actions – talking to dream characters, flying here and there at will.    Recently, I’ve had an interesting upsurge of both nightmares and lucid dreams.  A few nights ago I found myself in a dream where a young boy had been kept hostage in his own house for a number of years without sunlight.  I helped release him from this imprisonment but after years of captivity he…

  • Ego,  Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice

    The Dead Season

    There is a moat around my house.  It is white and fluffy and it feels like it is imprisoning me.    A few months ago I wrote “The Dying Season”  about the transition of the lively summer season into winter.  We have now hit the true “dead of winter” and I have to say that I accept it with about as much grace as a aardvark with a broken leg stuck in a mud hole.  Inside, I feel smothered by the snow and paralyzed by the cold. Over the last few blizzardy days I’ve deeply felt the conundrum of the winter in me.  Nothing I do will melt the snow, bring back…

  • Ego,  Inner Work,  Intelligence,  spirituality

    A New Resolve About Resolutions

    Let me tell you about a resolution I once made.  I was living in Calgary after graduating from my undergrad and was working at a natural food store.  I hadn’t had much experience with holistic living at that point and was mesmerized by the alternative lifestyles of my coworkers.  At one point, with characteristic immoderation, I agreed to go on a raw foods cleanse with a friend I’d been spending a lot of time with.  So, cold turkey, I resolved to eat only raw, organic food in accordance with what was touted to be “the healthiest possible diet”.  Such a move would surely secure me a spot in hippy heaven. …

  • Inner Work,  Inspiration,  spirituality

    The Call of Something Holy

    I used to love Christmas.  I still remember the incredible excitment that used to reverberate in me as a child.  I loved the Christmas shows, the food, the gatherings, the music and the toys.  It was a unique time of year when I saw words such as “Joy to the World” and “Peace on Earth” splashed across walls and greeting cards.  But, as I grew older I began to notice a profound contradiction in what Christmas was said to be about and what really took place over the holiday season.  People really didn’t seem any more joyous, in fact, they seemed rushed and preoccupied.  I didn’t feel a greater sense of peace, but rather a…

  • Embodiment,  Inner Work,  Practice,  spirituality

    Living Compassion – One forward bend at a time.

    In my last post I introduced the process of learning how to embody wisdom.  In this post I will offer you one way to approach compassion through yoga and enact it as a living virtue in your practice or life. I find myself in a standing forward bend.  Today, it feels like it’s the first one I’ve done in a long time and my whole body is talking.  My hamstrings feel like over-wound guitar strings and my upper body feels tense and suspended over my legs like a marionette just waking up.  My breath feels constricted, like I’m wearing a girdle and despite having two feet planted on the floor I feel a little wobbly.   But,…

  • Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice,  spirituality

    We Must Become The Sun

    Can you enter your inner landscape the way that sunlight enters a garden? A garden is a dynamic, living system.  Within it resides plants and grasses of endless varieties, rocks and soil, insects and weeds.   None of these elements are more valuable to mother nature than the other.  So often, in our own inner garden, we wish to eradicate, fix, change, redecorate, renovate and throw out more things that we are willing to appreciate just as they are.  We label anger as a noxious weed, happiness as a rare and coveted flower, that niggling ache in our back an invasive cockroach.  We spend more energy trying to make the garden conform to some idea of how…

  • Consciousness,  Inner Work,  Practice

    Halloween and the Shadow

    “The evil of our time is the loss of consciousness of evil.” – Krishnamurti I have to admit, Halloween is one of my favorite “holidays”.  And by the way that people adorn their homes with Halloween paraphernalia I don’t think I’m alone.  It is one time in the year that we get to openly recognize the dark side of human nature.  Not that all things Halloween are ghoulish, there are plenty of ducks and princesses running around.  But it is a time when we get to be something “other” than what we are from day to day.  We get to be something evil, fantastical, ridiculous or odd without social convention…

  • Inner Work,  Inspiration,  spirituality

    Awake!

    Mystical poetry has been an ongoing source of strength and inspiration for me in my life.  It speaks on a level beyond the intellect, straight to the part of us that knows the immensity of our being.  Below is one of my very favorite excerpts from Hafiz, a 14th Century mystic from southern Iran, and my interpretation of it. Awake, my friend, awake, Be kind to your sleeping heart, Take it out into vast fields of light, And let it breathe. -Hafiz Awake, my friend, awake.  Awaken to the nature beyond the stories and narratives that keep you bound in patterns so much smaller than your expansive Self.  Awaken –…

  • Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice,  Yoga in the Everyday

    The Dying Season

    Over the past week I have been feeling funny.  For me “funny” can lead to all sorts of misplaced reactions and compensations when the feeling isn’t seen clearly and understood.  So the process of finding balance goes something like this:  I get short tempered – bossy with husband, frustrated with domesticity, mad at my cat.  A lucid moment strikes, sometimes spontaneously, sometimes in the middle of my practice – all these things are symptoms of an underlying feeling that’s not being seen.  So, what’s the feeling?  Anger?  Nope.  Worry?  Nope.  Sadness?  Maybe.  Loss?  Yep, that’s it.  Loss about what?  Family issues?  Nope.  Marriage? Nope.  I remember at this point looking outside at the gray…