30 March 2010

Quote of the day...

With every effort of will toward purification and unity with that `Self-god,' one of the lower rays breaks and the spiritual entity of man is drawn higher and ever higher to the ray that supercedes the first, until, from ray to ray, the inner man is drawn into the one and highest beam of the Parent-Sun.
H.P. Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine I-639.

29 March 2010

Quote of the day...

When you say, I enjoy doing this or that, it is really a misperception. It makes it appear that the joy comes from what you do, but that is not the case. Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you. The misperception that joy comes from what you do is normal, and it is also dangerous, because it creates the belief that joy is something that can be derived from something else, such as an activity or thing. You then look to the world to bring you joy, happiness. But it cannot do that. This is why many people live in constant frustration. The world is not giving them what they think they need.
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to your life's purpose

28 March 2010

Quote of the day...

When an idea reaches critical mass there is no stopping the shift its presence will induce.
Marianne Williamson

27 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Whatever you have in your mind - forget it; Whatever you have in your hand - give it; Whatever is to be your fate - face it!
Abu Sa'id (Essential Sufism)

26 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Whatever we perceive in the world around us tends to reflect who we are and what we care about most deeply, as in the old saying, "When a thief sees a saint, all he sees are his pockets."
Robert Frager, Heart, Self & Soul, The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony

25 March 2010

Quote of the day...

What is done for you - allow it to be done. What you must do yourself - make sure you do it.
Khawwas (Essential Sufism)

24 March 2010

My first yoga teacher

Funny, how we come to yoga or find our first teacher. My first experience of yoga was on the Greek island of Skyros back in 1995. My husband had booked me on a two week holistic holiday. I had been through a fairly traumatic period. I had sat with my mum in hospital where she passed away after a two week illness; I was with her when she died and watched her take her last few breaths.

Having left my husband and two young children at home, I arrived in Skyros emotional and exhausted. My husband had booked me on a workshop called “creative change”, bless him. I lasted two days on this course, as it really was not for me at that time. I changed courses and moved to the other side of the island, where they offered windsurfing and yoga.

The yoga was practised outside under the pine trees and while practising yoga you would occasionally be hit on the head by a stray pine cone. The smell of pine takes me right back to that outdoor shala.

Now to my first teacher and class... The teacher on that two week course was the Ashtanga yoga teacher David Swenson. Although I had worked in fitness for a fairly long time before this, nothing came close to my first class. I clearly remember my arms shaking while doing the downward facing dog and had to sit out a lot of the practice and observe the experienced yogis flow through their practice.

David was a fantastic, kind and gentle teacher who encouraged everyone to be with their own practice. We would do yoga twice a day and a morning meditation which included tree hugging (this was a first for me too, but I haven't pursued this though). The power of breath and movement was amazing. The creative change had come, but not through the course, but rather through the introduction to yoga. Watching my mum take her last few breaths was in a way the instigator to me connecting to my own breath through yoga; thus opening a new chapter in my life.














David Swenson

Quote of the day...

What happened to my generation is that we never grew up. The problem isn't that we're lost or apathetic, narcissistic or materialistic. The problem is we're terrified.
Marianne Williamson

23 March 2010

Quote of the day...

We have all had the experience of failing time after time in changing old habits. Then suddenly these old habits lose their hold on us. What was so attractive suddenly becomes unattractive. This is a sign that God has accepted our repentance. At this point, my sheikh used to say that we are no longer responsible for those old sins. We have truly changed and we are now someone who is not even tempted to commit them.
Robert Frager, Heart, Self & Soul, The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony

22 March 2010

Advanced Ashtanga practice with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

I recently found this Ashtanga yoga footage from the mid 80's in which Sri Pattabhi Jois is teaching to advanced yoga students. It is an amazing piece and you can clearly hear Gurjji teaching in both Sanskrit and English. I really enjoyed watching some of his hands on (feet on) adjustments too.

Quote of the day...

We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what's wrong in your life, or you can focus on what's right.
Marianne Williamson

21 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Unless the higher Self or EGO gravitates toward its Sun-the Monad, the lower Ego or personal Self will have the upper hand in every case.
H.P. Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine II-110.

20 March 2010

Quote of the day...

The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.
Marianne Williamson

19 March 2010

Quote of the day...

To be a man of knowledge one needs to be light and fluid.
Yaqui Mystic

18 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Those who know don't talk. Those who talk don't know. Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity. Be like the Tao. It can't be approached or withdrawn from, benefited or harmed, honored or brought into disgrace. It gives itself up continually. That is why it endures.
Chapter 56, Tao Te Ching

17 March 2010

Quote of the day...

The thought occurred to me today that self-obsession is tiring. When I am thinking of renunciation and service, I feel awake, and when I am thinking of myself, I get tired. Granted that I include a sense of self-awareness in both cases. Of course, it could go either way. Maybe it isn't tiring. What do you think? Do you find self-obsession tiring.
Common Tennessee

16 March 2010

Quote of the day...

The Thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it.
Bayazid Bistami (Essential Sufism, p. 37)

15 March 2010

Quote of the day...

The sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that. It lights up the whole sky.
Hafiz

14 March 2010

Quote of the day...

The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.
Marianne Williamson

13 March 2010

Quote of the day...

The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes.
Pema Chodron

12 March 2010

Quote of the day...

The man who, being really on the Way, falls upon hard times in the world will not, as a consequence, turn to that friend who offers him refuge and comfort and encourages his old self to survive. Rather, he will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help him to risk himself, so that he may endure the suffering and pass courageously through it, thus making of it a "raft that leads to the far shore." Only to the extent that man exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible arise within him. In this lies the dignity of daring. Thus, the aim of practice is not to develop an attitude which allows a man to acquire a state of harmony and peace wherein nothing can ever trouble him. On the contrary, practice should teach him to let himself be assaulted, perturbed, moved, insulted, broken and battered – that is to say, it should enable him to dare to let go his futile hankering after harmony, surcease from pain, and a comfortable life in order that he may discover, in doing battle with the forces that oppose him, that which awaits him beyond the world of opposites. The first necessity is that we should have the courage to face life, and to encounter all that is most perilous in the world. When this is possible, meditation itself becomes the means by which we accept and welcome the demons which arise from the unconscious -- a process very different from the practice of concentration on some object as a protection against such forces. Only if we venture repeatedly through zones of annihilation, can our contact with Divine Being, which is beyond annihilation, become firm and stable. The more a man learns whole-heartedly to confront the world that threatens him with isolation, the more are the depths of the Ground of Being revealed and the possibilities of new life and Becoming opened.
Karlfried Graf von Durckheim, The Way of Transformation

11 March 2010

Quote of the day...

The first necessity for obtaining Self-knowledge is to become profoundly conscious of ignorance; to feel with every fibre of the heart that one is ceaselessly self-deceived. The second requisite is the still deeper conviction that such knowledge - such intuitive and certain knowledge - can be obtained by effort. The third and most important is an indomitable determination to obtain and face that knowledge. Self-knowledge of this kind is unattainable by what men usually call 'self-analysis.' It is not reached by reasoning or any brain process; for it is the awakening to consciousness of the Divine nature of man. To obtain this knowledge is a greater achievement than to command the elements or to know the future.
H.P. Blavatsky, Lucifer Vol. 1, No. 2; Oct. 15, 1887

10 March 2010

Quote of the day...

The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves "inside the skin" of the other. We "go inside" their body, feelings, and mental formations, and witness for ourselves their suffering. Shallow observation as an outsider is not enough to see their suffering. We must become one with the subject of our observation. When we are in contact with another's suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us. Compassion means, literally, "to suffer with."
Thich Nhat Hanh

09 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Some men know that a light touch of the tongue, running from a woman's toes to her ears, lingering in the softest way possible in various places in between, given often enough and sincerely enough, would add immeasurably to world peace.
Marianne Williamson

08 March 2010

Quote of the day...

So if we love someone, we should train in being able to listen. By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person.
Thich Nhat Hanh [True Love. A Practice for Awakening the Heart.]

07 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Pray for what you want, but work for the things you need.
Modern Traditional (Essential Sufism)

06 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.
Marianne Williamson

05 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Occultism is concerned with the inner man, who must be strengthened and freed from the dominion of the physical body and its surroundings, which must become its servants. Hence the first and chief necessity of Chelaship is a spirit of absolute unselfishness and devotion to Truth; then follow self-knowledge and self-mastery.
H.P. Blavatsky, Lucifer Vol. 4, No. 22; June 15, 1889.

04 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Maturity includes the recognition that no one is going to see anything in us that we don't see in ourselves. Stop waiting for a producer. Produce yourself.
Marianne Williamson

03 March 2010

Quote of the day...

To reach Nirvana one must reach Self-Knowledge, and Self-Knowledge is of loving deeds the child.
H.P. Blavatsky, Voice of the Silence

02 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself- if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself- it is very difficult to take care of another person. In the Buddhist teaching, it's clear that to love oneself is the foundation of the love of other people. Love is a practice. Love is truly a practice.
Thich Nhat Hanh [Shambhala Sun March 2006 ]

01 March 2010

Quote of the day...

Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.
Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief