Photos

Making Themselves At Home

Sully and Uma have been here for 10 days.  It’s true that the cat tree came with them, but it is amazing how quickly they adapted to a new space and a new person, given that they are middle-aged.  Part of their resiliency is due to how affectionate they are and that they came together (though I suspect she would be happy as an only cat).  I can definitely learn from witnessing them.

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New Spinach (and Udyamo Bhairava)

The fifth sutra in Abhinavagupta’s Siva Sutras, is “udyamo bhairava” — the great upsurge of consciousness.  When we are open and aware, we can witness this upsurge, the very pulsing of life energy in all that is in and around us, from the springing up of thought in our minds to the burgeoning of spring.  The more we practice and live attentively, the more we will see the joy in this upwelling.

When I go out into the garden on the early spring days to see what needs to be cut back, what is volunteering, and what is coming up from fall plantings, I approach with great openness.  When we plant in the fall, we do not know with any certainty what kind of winter we will have.  Although the long-range forecast was for colder than normal with precipitation near normal (which translates into more than average snow), who could have expected three mammoth snow storms?

I plant with hope and some expectation, but am ready for the loss of some perennials, the failure of some seeds to germinate, and the unexpected pleasure of experiments working or welcome volunteers.  This steady planting without specific expectation, with openness to discovery, with joy and attention to the miraculousness of what rises up in the spring, is a very tangible example of what I read in the yoga philosophy.  It is how I, I believe, we most optimally would approach asana and meditation, as well as all aspects of our daily being.

Below:  new spinach coming up in a container from seeds I planted around Thanksgiving from an expiring packet.

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Full Moon

The moon had risen in all her glory when I left Willow Street Yoga in Silver Spring (from a talk with Dr. Manoj Chalam about archetypes yesterday evening and headed for the metro home.  I thought about how the moon shines fully no matter what is below:  a pristine mountain lake, a construction site, a palace garden, a land devastated by one of the Four Horsemen, or the street in front of my house.  What I think is the goal of most “spiritual” practice is to find a place where, being able to see the light all the time, one can live with uncertainty and challenge and have a greater capacity to serve from one’s unique place.

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