Karachi Yogini

Yoga for Life!

thoughts on impermanence April 22, 2011

Filed under: spirituality,Uncategorized — yogini786 @ 1:48 pm

Except for the end, the rest was written in November 2010.

today i sat on my patio, listening to music, on my day off (feels like a long time since i had one), while watching the crows do their usual antics in the garden.

it is bittersweet to accept the impermanence of life. in some ways it is so freeing to feel that nothing stays the same, that change is only one breathe away, and in other ways it is this deep sense of longing for some things to never change.  life and death. hardly an uplifting way to start the day i know…yet i’m trying to learn how not to numb myself to emotions through meditation and relaxation, but to experience them more fully and accept them through that process.

i don’t remember a time when I felt so content before, where the feelings inside me were so pure and honest. I lived away from home for so many years, and now that i’ve returned i can’t believe that I had made an agreement to live away from the people who love me the most, unconditionally.  i’ve learned since moving back to appreciate the moments as they come, because too often we realize our blessings only once we’ve lost what we will never have again.

I sit with my bittersweet thoughts, of how there may be a day that I will look out on this garden and my father won’t walk through that door. how there will be mornings in my future that won’t resemble anything of my present.  It brings tears to my eyes but it also brings a realization in my heart and soul.  that life is beautiful because of love, love that has no reason to exist except through the grace and blessings of God.  And in a way, though things will change, connections remain, since we all come from the same source.

Reading Eckhart Tolle’s  A New Earth, I was reminded of this unpublished post.  “Once you realize and accept that all structures (forms) are unstable, even the seemingly solid material ones, peace arises within you.  This is because the recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death. Jesus called it, “eternal life”. (p 81). 

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drishti is on! April 17, 2011

Filed under: And the Journey begins...,Uncategorized,Yoga Class,Yoga In Karachi — yogini786 @ 11:16 am

practice practice practice, and all is coming, said one of the most profound teachers of yoga in our modern day existence, Pattabhi Jois.

Today was the culmination of a week long yoga detox program that I was blessed with right when I needed it (starting to see a pattern here?).  Sabena, 360 Degree Studio, Karachi, Pakistan.  With love and care but also strength and determination Sabena provided us the support to be just whatever we needed to be this week.

I have been seriously practicing yoga, sometimes obsessively, for the last 2 years.  I have achieved some personal feats in terms of my asanas, and reached milestones in my emotional, psychological, and spiritual journey.  But I have finally accepted something today that my practice has been trying to show me about how i move through life off the mat.

When i practice yoga, I have a strong tendency to keep my eyes half closed or close them completely.  And if I can’t close my eyes my gaze will wander everywhere.  Though if you looked at me in the triangle, or the twist, or even the headstand you would never know that despite the effort, despite the concentration, I am not entirely focused on the drishti point.  somehow, and i’m sure i’m not the only one, I can appear to be balanced & aligned even when I am not.

For those of you who don’t know, drishti is “a point of focus where the gaze rests during asana and meditation practice. Focusing on a drishti aids concentration, since it is easier to become distracted when the eyes are wandering all over the room.” Depending on the pose it can be the tip of your nose, between your eyebrows, and so on…

I’d like to add to this definition that for me the drishti symbolizes our ability to focus  on our paths off the mat.  If our gaze wanders more than it stays steady than its very likely our journey will be marked with repetitive patterns and unconscious behavior.

of course I know and accept that the human condition is imperfection.   And that sometimes falling 100 feet is what you need to awaken. like Tolle says, we are more likely to be motivated to wake up from a nightmare than from a dream that just disturbs us.  and I also know that even when you’re on a spiritual path, where your drishti is to be in the present moment, to fully embody the experience of being human, that ultimately nothing is a mistake or a diversion, because everything happens to only bring you deeper into your truth. and my favorite quote for today – The late Indian sage J. Krishnamurti…”Truth is a pathless land.”

Yet the practice, the effort (or tapas in yoga terminology), is what makes this journey that much more interesting, that much more difficult, and above all that much more satisfying.   So without regret I honor the many many times I let my drishti wander and allowed life to flow through me on and off the mat. But finally I acknowledge something that I had been willing to overlook for the last 2 years.  and so I made an intention today in class, that just like I consciously relax my shoulders every chance I get, I will also practice refining my drishti, an energy that feels like a warrior’s gaze fixed and sharp, but with the softness of clear eyes that only express from the heart.

PS – in finding a picture to go with this post I came across this http://ksuperioridad.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/the-bow-the-arrow-and-the-target/ – no such thing as a coincidence it seems like to me!

 

its been… April 10, 2011

Filed under: spirituality,Uncategorized — yogini786 @ 10:42 pm

Written on December 23, 2010.

a long journey…every moment shifts into something I am unaccustomed to, something i never expected again to feel or realize. and somehow i am here floating yet submerged in it all.

feeling again like i can feel, like i can be scared, and also remembering the oh so familiar traps of my ego, i keep on bringing my attention back to my heart and my breathe.

its funny in a city, living with millions, being constantly stimulated how different the beat of my heart is.  Its easy to slip into distractions, to live in a state of personality, and just brush over the difficult emotions that come up.

my 6th day in ulpotha, about 12 hours before leaving I got a Kahuna massage from a beautiful soul Eren.  I had been bottling the feelings of my incredulous  disbelief that I am so far away from anything that I ever planned to be my life, or the person I had chosen to spend my life with.

after the massage, I suddenly couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.  they were too close too intense and I let them out.  I went up to the telephone rock behind my hut and started to write in my journal a letter to say what I needed to say.  Thank you. I forgive you.  I love you.  May you be blessed.

I truly intend to live a life free of pain, yet to get there I know that I will risk feeling pain at every step because that is the mysterious yet undeniably consistent experience in life.

we fight so hard only to learn to let go.  we attach so much only to learn to that nothing stays the same.  this time i watch myself move forward…incredibly connected to a larger presence that protects and loves me unconditionally.

 

“how to know god” – Deepak Chopra April 5, 2011

Filed under: inspiring books,spirituality,Uncategorized — yogini786 @ 8:53 pm

I can’t lie but its been a rough 2 1/2 days.  But knowing that everything is as it should be always comforts me.  last night i came home to a book i had just started before my life took its most recent unexpected shift.  thank god for always giving me what i need when I ask for it.

I asked before opening the book last night to take me to the place that will help me the most.  and after reading what i’m copying below i know it is no coincidence that i opened to page 167. starting with the question & answer

“What is my life challenge?” “To be myself”.

One is reminded of the story of the saffron monk: a young man in India used to attend a discussion group with his friends. They considered themselves to be serious seekers, and their discussion ran to esoteric subjects about the soul, the existence of an afterlife, and so on.

One night the talk grew very heated and the young man stepped outside for some air.  When he returned to the room, he saw a monk in saffron robes sitting off to the side.  No one else in the room seemed to notice this.  The young man took his place, saying nothing.  The arguments continued in loud voices, but still the monk sat silently and no one took any notice.  It was after midnight when the young man got up to go; to his surprise the saffron monk got up and followed.  For the entire walk home in the moonlight the monk kept him company, and when the young man woke up the next morning, the monk was waiting by the bed in the young man’s room.

Perhaps because he was so spiritual, this vision didn’t frighten the young man or make him fear for his sanity.  He was delighted to have the peaceful presence of the monk around him. For the next week they remained constant companions, despite the fact that no one else saw anything.  Eventually the young man had to tell his story to someone; he chose his teacher J. Krishnamurti (from whose writings I got the story).

“First of all, this vision means everything to me,” the young man began. “But I’m not the kind of person who needs symbols and images to worship.  I reject religion – only Buddhism ever interested me because of its purity, but even there I didn’t find enough to make me want to follow it. ”

“I understand,” Krishnamurti said. “So what is your question?”

“I want to know if this figure is real or just a figment of my mind. I have to know the truth.”

“You said it has brought you a great deal of meaning?”

The young man grew enthusiastic. “I have undergone a profound transformation. I feel joyful and at peace. ”

“Is the monk with you now?” Krishnamurti asked. The young man nodded, but hesitantly.

“To be quite honest,” he said, “the monk is starting to fade. He is not so vivid as first”

“Are you afraid of losing him?”

Anxiety showed in the young man’s face. “What do you mean? I came here wanting the truth, but I don’t want you to take him away. Don’t you realize how this vision has consumed me? In order to have peace and joy, I think about this vision, and they come to me.”

Krishnamurti replied, “Living in the past, however pleasant and uplifting, prevents the experience of what is. The mind finds it difficult not to live in a thousand yesterdays.  Take this figure you cherish. The memory of it inspires you, delights you, and gives you a sense of release. But it is only the dead inspiring the living. ”

The young man looked crestfallen and glum. “So it wasn’t real after all?”

“The mind is complicated,” said Krishnamurti. “It gets conditioned by the past and by how it would like things to be. Does it really matter if this figure is real or projected?”

“No,” the young man admitted. “It only matters that it has shown me so much.”

“Has it? It didn’t reveal to you the working of your own mind, and you became a prisoner of your experience. If I may say so, this vision brought fear into your life because you were afraid to lose it. Greed also came in because you wanted to hoard the experience. Thus you lost the one thing this vision might have brought you: self-knowledge. Without that, every experience is an illusion.”

I find this a beautiful and moving tale, worth recounting at length. Before stage seven the full value of being yourself isn’t known. Experience can be shaped to bring great inspiration. But in the end this isn’t enough. Every divine image remains an image, every vision tempts us to hold on to it. To be really free, there is no option except to be yourself. You are the living center around which every event happens, yet no event is so important that you willingly give yourself up to it.  By being yourself you open the door to what is, the never ending play of cosmic intelligence curving back to know itself again and again.  In this way life remains fresh and fulfills its need to renew itself at every moment.

What is my greatest strength?

Unity…