Sunday, May 23, 2010

Your Own Greatness Affirmed = YOGA

Sat Nam,

I wanted to share some photos from my teacher training. Since Wednesday I've been taking classes with Krishna Kaur, Kia Miller, Hala Khouri, and more! It's been an honor and a definite growing experience.

I was driving one of my mat-mates back to her house after training tonight. We started chatting about the training. I
mentioned how difficult it was for me to do something so concentrated for 5 days since my personality is already so focused and intense. She said she had noticed that about me and that it showed great dedication.

I've been thinking about this more and more...

Because I bring so much of my attention to the projects I do (especially when they involve self-work, which they usually do), it amplifies the process greatly. It drains me out more quickly than others.

I asked myself: Is there something I can do about this?

And I thought: yes! I can see what it's like to get totally drained and be OK with it.

Part of this process is breaking through walls, because, as Krishna says, that's when we really get to grow. When it starts to get really uncomfortable, you're onto something!

This is why I am at once so drawn to and so frightened of kundalini yoga.

It only takes 3-11 minutes of a given breathing exercise to realize that I might flip. I might start crying. I might start feeling the power awaken in my navel. I might "awaken."

I am training myself to go through this fire, so I can reach the point of looking back at it.
When I start teaching incarcerated youth, I'll need that perspective. It will help me to be a clearer and more "awake" human. At the same time, I will be able to hold that space for them. I will be able to be a living example of what I want to teach them.

Phew. It sure is tiring.

But that's what it takes to affirm your own greatness!

May the longtime sun shine upon you and ALL love surround you,
Sirgun

Monday, May 17, 2010

Proud Compassionate

Greetings Divine Being,

Today I attended one of my favorite events of the year: World Fest!

It is an animal rights Earth Day event. I love walking around: reading all the "I'm vegan" tee shirts, strolling through the activist booths, seeing and sampling so many amazing cruelty-free treats (including vegan Thai iced tea! yes!). What a joy to be among so many like-hearted people!

The most indelible experience I had today by far though was hearing Colleen Patrick-Goudreau speak "her truth" as she put it. Not only does Colleen have a delightfully humorous way of expressing her opinions, she was extremely well informed and genuinely invested in her topic.

At one point she offered this little jewel of a thought:

"Wouldn't it be great if we just called ourselves compassionate instead of vegan?"

That way, if someone asks you if you eat meat you respond "no, I'm compassionate." Or someone else would say: "Oh, she doesn't eat chicken. She's compassionate."

She suggested that this would get people thinking... "hmmm... wait, I'm compassionate..." I would argue that if one is not conscious of the connection between suffering and slaughter, they need a compassion coffee jolt!

Indeed, as she said in her lecture, everyone is compassionate. We see this in children. In the medical field, mental health is often gauged by a person's ability to feel compassion for animals.

As we grow older in a culture that encourages us to become desensitized, we lose the connection to our own compassion.

Here is to reclaiming your compassion and love for all living things!

Let's all go hug a pig for breakfast!

Blessings,
Sirgun


Monday, May 10, 2010

See the Light!

Hello Oh Divine Lit-From-Within Reader,

I have been listening to Snatam's "Azure Salver" from her live album on repeat. It's a beautiful English translation of a Sikh text describing the beauty of nature and how everything is emanating from One Light.

The last part goes "It is Thy Light which lives in every heart, and Thy Light which illumines every soul."

So after signing it a hundred times, I wondered if I could apply it.

When I took a walk yesterday on a beautiful sunny day I felt the "fan" of the wind, the "azure salver" of the sky, "the insights" of the trees... Feeling and seeing the Light in Nature is easy!

I wondered if I could see that Light in every soul. That is, in every person I encountered.

So as I walked I tried to see everyone who was in their car, walking their dog, holding their lover's hand, from the inside out. I tried to see them as a ball of light covered by clothing or whatever protections they had placed around their true nature.

Let me tell you... this is no easy practice. I know intuitively that everyone is this magnificent ball of Light, but there are some convincing coverings out there!

I found it easiest to close my eyes with the hardest ones. I would close my eyes and picture them bright, like a light was bursting through the fabric of their clothing.

I realized that most of the people I deal with on a regular basis are easily seen -- "seen" in that Avatar kind of way.

I am so fortunate to be surrounded by people whose light is so readily apparent. Namely, the children I spend most of my social time with.

After a yoga class or a kirtan, people are pretty shiny too.

I wondered how much the world would change if everyone made an extra effort to see the Light in people in whom it wasn't so easily visible.

From this day forward I intend to wear my light-magnifying glasses.

Shine on and let it show! (It'll make my pursuit MUCH easier.)

Love love,
Sirgun


Monday, May 3, 2010

:: It's All Right to Cry

"... it might make you feel better.

It's all right to know. Feelings come and feelings go."


I just spoke with my bestest friend and told her what had been troubling me. I expressed how frustrated I was with myself that I wasn't over it yet, and she said: "but it's OK to be somewhere if that's where your heart is" (I paraphrase).

I realize that, once again, I forgot that being spiritually intelligent doesn't consist of being in perpetual joy.

I live on Earth.

I have an incarnation. And there things I am here to learn.

So I decided to relax into my uneasiness and had a glass of wine.

I decided to accept that for a period of time I would be walking through gloom because my heart was heavy with worldly thoughts.

I will continue to do yoga. I will continue to treat myself well.

But I will accept that there is sadness there.

I will make friends with the sadness. All feelings are welcome. It's how we react to them that counts.

Blessings on your path.

Listen to Rosey Grier. He knows things. =)

Love,
Sirgun

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