Namaste to all…
It’s been so long since I last posted on the True Yoga Blog and I’m really happy to have found the time to write again. I hope everyone is well. Oh my gosh, there is so much I could write about and say. It’s hard to know where to begin. Feels like I could write another book with all that’s happened in the last several weeks. Well, let’s start there with the book, the Fresh Fruit Cleanse.
The Fresh Fruit Cleanse
It’s almost finished! It’s even in layout now, which means it looks like it will look when it’s published. It was so awesome seeing it like that. Once it goes to the printer in a couple of weeks, it will take about 3-5 more weeks for it to be printed and distributed. We will be having a fabulous book release party here in Dallas, TX for the Fresh Fruit Cleanse. It will be at the W Hotel! How awesome is that!?! I taught a Yoga class there a couple of weeks ago. Smartwater asked me to teach it for an event they were sponsoring in partnership with Bliss Spa at the W. So, we had an outside Yoga class, poolside, about twenty stories up overlooking the Dallas skyline. It was awesome! There was a great turnout and I’m so grateful for all of you who were able to join me for the class. The W, smartwater and Bliss Spa loved the class so much they asked to have the book release party for the Fresh Fruit Cleanse there. I couldn’t ask for it to be in a better place in Dallas. This event will be so incredible. It will be a party, so we won’t be wearing Yoga clothes, which, will also be great since so many of us in the Yoga community don’t ever get to see each other dressed up. This will be an event to come dressed and looking fabulous. We will have a DJ, drinks, and one of the chefs from the W hotel will be making some of the recipes from the Fresh Fruit Cleanse book, as well as, their own inspired vegetarian creations. I am so looking forward to this and I will keep you posted on when it will be. I look forward to you joining me for this wonderfully special and blessed event…
The Transcendental Absolute
We are all so blessed and it’s time we realize it. It doesn’t have anything to do with dollars in the bank account. It has to do with the Spirit within us and all around us that moves in every cell and molecule of our being. The Spirit that ignites us to life. This Spirit of Life/Light is briliant…brighter than a thousand million suns and moons and stars. I am grateful because I feel like I am finally waking up. Like I am finally coming out of the slumber of the last many years of my life. When Buddha was asked if he was a God or a man, he simply replied, ‘I am awake.’ Yoga is the practice of attuning ourselves with this Light…the Light of God/Consciousness/Love. It certainly helps to live a healthy life, as much as possible, to be attuned with that Light. Fasting, cleansing and eating healthily are powerful practices for attuning ourselves most powerfully with that Light and clearing our body, heart and mind for the sanctuary of Light and Love that God intends us to be. He intends us to be a clear channel to share that Light in the most positive way possible with others. Is it easy always? No. But, I do believe the healthier we become in our choices, keeping in mind moderation is the key to life in everything (I believe…even healthy stuff…gotta indulge a little sometimes)…the clearer we become and the more easily that Light and Love can flow within us and through us to everyone and everything. Certainly meditation is one of the most powerful tools for aligning our body, heart and mind with that Light of Consciousness and Love. And, don’t be hard on yourself. When stuff that doesn’t feel positive comes up, just let it go. Let go of judging yourself or anyone else. It’s a good thing when those thoughts or feelings come up because then we can release it and let it go and come back to the Transcendental Absolute.
Place your burden
at the feet of the Lord of the Universe
who accomplishes everything.
Remain all the time steadfast in the heart,
in the Transcendental Absolute.
God knows the past, present and future.
He will determine the future for you
and accomplish the work.
What is to be done will be done
at the proper time. Don’t worry.
Abide in the heart and surrender your acts
to the divine.– Ramana Maharshi
The Dalai Lama
All of that brings to my awareness the recent trip I took to see the Dalai Lama at the University of Arkansas. It was such an incredible experience to be in the same space and place as him. He is absolutely one of the most gentle and compassionate souls I’ve ever been in the presence of…the sweetness of his Spirit is palpable-it’s an energy that fills every cell of your being with the feeling of love. You can also feel his energy simply by bringing him into your conscious awareness. One of the things I loved that he spoke about was the simple phrase, my enemy, my teacher. I love the way he expressed that so simply and succinctly. I’ve elaborated on that awareness many times in Yoga class. But, it’s powerful to have it expressed in such a simple way. Again, when situations, experiences, people, relationships bring up negative feelings or emotions in us that is part of a purification and an opportunity to allow those feelings and thoughts to be released, let go of and healed so that we continue to heal our hearts and minds. He said if we only had people in our life who loved and adored us and who we loved and adored, we wouldn’t ever learn the profound spiritual teachings of love, compassion, forgiveness. The people who have been in our life who have felt like they have given us some kind of difficulty or trouble have really been our teachers. Through those experiences or people we learn the invaluable and healing lessons of unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion and it is that healing that makes the world within us and all around us a better place. So, the next time it feels like someone gives you trouble…rejoice. They are a teacher awakening your heart and mind to greater Light and Love within yourself and all around you. However, it’s important to realize that the Dalai Lama also said if a dog is attacking you, obviously, don’t just stand there. Get out of the way and protect yourself from its attack. The same is true with situations or people in life. Do not let yourself be harmed by people. Protect yourself if someone is attacking you, but, still, continue to offer love, forgiveness and compassion with a healthy space between you and the person or situation. With space and time and love all things can heal…including our own Self. I love the quote by Michael Brown who says love is giving someone the space to evolve. It’s definitely not about putting ourselves in harms way, but, always offering love and compassion all along the way to ourselves and to everyone and everything.
Which, all of that brings to my awareness something else I want to share about. I recently went to my high school reunion and it was really awesome. It was incredible seeing so many people I have known throughout much of my life, but, many of whom I hadn’t seen in 5 years and some I hadn’t seen in 10 years or longer. What did I realize from this experience, besides just having a lot of fun? High school, middle school, adolescence, etc., was like the breeding ground for our greatest insecurities in life. Who among us wasn’t afraid of peers making fun of you if they found out some silly secret about you? I realized I was still harboring superficial fears about silly things from my past that I would have been horrified had any of my friends found out about those secrets in high school or middle school, but now, I just laugh. Being able to laugh at ourselves is everything in life. I write about this in the Fresh Fruit Cleanse. (which is available for pre-order now on amazon.com) I think so many unhealthy behaviors are triggered from superficial fears or paranoia’s about being known or seen by others. Shiva says our greatest fear is the fear of being seen. How fascinating is it that it seems that we long for connection more than anything in the world, and yet, we’re afraid of being seen? That’s understandable though. I suppose the fear is that if we are seen, we will be rejected. When the exact opposite is true. When we let ourselves be seen…silly secrets and all…then and only then…can we be loved, fully and completely by ourselves and others. You don’t have to tell everyone your secrets, but, it’s good to be able to get to a point with ourselves that we can be that comfortable, loving and accepting of ourselves that we could tell the whole world our deepest secrets and it would be OK. But, I’d recommend telling one or two close friends to begin with. That’s what I did in the last year and it was really freeing and liberating. All in perfect timing because by the time I went to my high school reunion last weekend, I was able to laugh at myself. No one else really knew anything. But, I knew and I accepted myself for who I am, which, is all that really matters. Not only could you be loved, but, you will be loved when you love and accept yourself fully for everything and anything that has ever happened in your life. Tell a friend, tell a loved one, tell a family member…but just let it go and let yourself be loved, not just by people, but by God. God loves you completely. This is one of the teachings of a monk from the Self-Realization Fellowship. He says to write on a piece of paper that God loves you as much as he loves Jesus. He says to put this piece of paper on your mirror and to look at it everyday and it will change your life. Write: God loves me as much as he loves Jesus. The monk says God loves us more than we could ever imagine. He loves the sinner and the saint all the same. We are all God’s children. Let yourself be loved. Like Rumi says…
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers in yourself you have built against it. – Rumi
I have reflected on that quote many times over the last week. Thank you, Rumi…God bless us all…may we feel God’s Divine Love flowing in every cell of our being with every breath we breathe. Sitting outside in the sunshine also helps to feel the warm current of God’s love flowing through our lives. Let yourself close your eyes and soak in the Light of the One.
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation
Hmmm…oh, I can’t believe I forgot to write about this also. So, Ulysses Press is going to make a donation to the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation in honor of the Fresh Fruit Cleanse! I learned about FTPF a couple of months ago. I asked Ulysses Press if they would be willing to donate part of the proceeds from the Fresh Fruit Cleanse to FTPF and they said they would make a donation! How fabulous is that!?! What a blessing. I am so inspired by the work of FTPF and completely believe this is the direction that it’s essential we grow individually and collectively, nationally and internationally. I believe we must return to the Source and to natural and resourceful living. There is a quote in the Fresh Fruit Cleanse book. The editor initially took it out, but, I’m so glad it found it’s way back in because it’s one of the most powerful quotes I’ve ever read. I’d like to share it with you here…
May mankind instead of hunting for gold, racing for fame, or wasting productive forces in useless labors: choose the better part: the peaceful emulation in the discovery and direction of the natural forces for evolving nutritive products and the peaceable enjoyment of the fruits which the earth is able to produce in abundance for all. May man use his divine heritage of reason to attain true happiness by discovering the sources whence all earthly blessings flow and thus put an end to self-seeking and greed, to the increasing difficulties of making a living, the anxieties for the daily bread, to distress and crime-such is the aim of this little work, and in this may God aid us! — Julius Hensel, Bread from Stones, October 1, 1893
The Fresh Air Fund
Speaking of the charitable donation, I recently learned of another incredible charity called The Fresh Air Fund. Here is a little information about this wonderful non-profit organization. If you live in the area where they are looking for host families and have a peaceful place where a child could spend the summer, this might be the perfect way for you to make a positive difference in someones life…not just for a day…but, possibly, forever.
THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2010, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.
“It is rewarding to see the smile on our Fresh Air child’s face as she enjoys the simple things we take for granted…”
What do Fresh Air children enjoy?
- Playing in the backyard
- Laughing in the sunshine
- Catching fireflies
- Riding bicycles
- Learning to swim
- Running barefoot through the grass
- Gazing at the stars on moonlit nights
- Building sandcastles
- Making new friends
- Simple pleasures of life away from the inner-city
“We made s’mores and hot dogs over the fire. I’ve never cooked outside before!”
When we focus on the gifts in life and on what we are grateful for, we realize we have enough always. In fact, not only do we have enough, we have joy and love in our hearts to share and that’s what makes the world a better place. So, let’s focus on God’s blessings in our lives, on all that we are grateful for each day. Simply taking a few minutes to just close your eyes and be still and feel the love of God and all of the amazing people in your life who love you…it will fill your being with so much love you will melt into a peacefulness that passes all understanding. You will know in your heart and mind that you are OK and all is well no matter what the external world or circumstances are. This life is a gift. It is important to know we are provided for and all of our needs for life are met, like food, clothing, shelter…this is a spiritual teaching that they are and will be. So, trust in that. Have faith. Focus on what’s Good always. Let your heart flow and overflow with love. Keep feeling the Grace and the loving Presence of the One who has loved us all into Being. The One who has ignited Life within all of us. Feel the Love and the Energy of the Creator flowing through your body, heart and mind and, literally, every vein and cell and organ…every molecule…everywhere within you and all around you. Feel that and keep feeling it. Spend time everyday simply closing your eyes and feeling the One. And, realize all is well. All will be well…always…there is enough. There will always be enough. God is Good…God is amazing…God is incredible…so let’s keep planting fruit trees and be grateful. Remember, this life is only a dream. So, let go of taking it so seriously and wake up…like the Buddha. Or, as my friend said…step out of the dream. When I went to work today and asked the fitness director how he was doing he said…I’m just living the dream. And, I said…aren’t we all. Let’s wake up and be grateful we are alive. We are not this body, we are not this mind. One day the body and mind will be gone and we will let go of this world… The way to let go is through Love…loving God, loving ourselves, loving each other and loving the planet. Love, love, love is all we need. Thank you to the Beatles for that. It’s not always easy, but it is possible always.
Love, love, love, give, serve…jai guru!
Also, one more thing to check out:
Mountain Pose Yoga Festival
For Medical Professionals and Wellness Enthusiasts
The Mountain Pose Yoga Festival, July 7 – 10, at beautiful Copper Mountain, Colorado has been organized to educate medical professionals on the benefits of yoga as part of a treatment program for specific diseases. Additionally, wellness attendees will learn the amazing, life-long health benefits of yoga through medical researchers and professionals, yogis, musicians and motivational speakers.
Organizers have collaborated with Dr. Satkirin Khalsa of Integrated Health Medicine, to present this educational opportunity, featuring such renowned presenters as “wellness warrior” Kris Carr, and yoga guru Rodney Yee.
Attendees will be able to experience first-hand some of the ways yoga can be used for treatment of back pain, stress, anxiety and depression, the symptoms of menopause, altitude sickness, and heart disease. Many of the techniques can be easily added into existing treatment programs, simply integrating an additional approach to health and healing, without abandoning traditional therapies.
Mountain Pose Yoga Festival for the Medical Provider, has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 6.50 Prescribed credits by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
Festival Packages start at $399. For session information, schedule details, complete bios of the presenters, additional rates and packages, please visit mountainposeyogafestival.com or call (888) 258-0565.
As always, thank you for reading the True Yoga Blogs…
God bless all of us…everyone and everything…