Tag Archive: Dakshinamurti

The Murtis Rearranged Themselves Again

murtis

It’s an idiosyncratic grouping, but it is my weaving of stories for the moment.

I believe the brass dish under the cactus on the left was a wedding present, though I am not absolutely certain of that.  It was a long time ago.

The cloth with the tassels came from a shaman in Peru; I was there for 9/11.

I bought the gray scarf when I was in Costa Rica on a retreat with John Friend from a world-traveling fellow yoga practitioner who had brought an array of beautiful scarves to Costa Rica from Thailand.

Other things were brought home from India–mostly by me, but one a treasured gift from a friend.

The porcupine quills were also an inspired and loving gift.

The square of marble under the cactus on the right I found on the street in the neighborhood.  The cactii came from a yard sale over a decade ago.  They were being sold for only blooming once a year.

The bit of mother of pearl comes from Centerport beach on Long Island. I went there last fall the day before my father’s memorial service.

Other things came from vendors at Eastern Market and one from New York City.

The chestnut is from Stanton Park. I picked it up on my way to work one beautiful day last year.

The heart-shaped stone came from Arizona when I was on a meditation retreat some time late in the last decade.  I’ve been to some really lovely places on this planet.

The mala Kuan Yin is wearing I strung and designed:  rudraksha beads from my first meditation mala (which had broken), labradorite, and emeralds on silk thread.

The jet beads belonged to my grandmother Rose.

There’s a story about the lump of black and red rock behind Ganesha, but I think I’ll leave that for another day.

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Visiting Friends at the Freer and the Sackler Before They Close for Renovation

On the first day of my staycation, I slept late, joined a good friend for a big bowl of spicy noodle soup for lunch, went to the Freer and the Sackler, and then to see the Star Wars movie. I did read a work email or two. Now some restorative asana practice before bed.  I will miss these murtis when the galleries are closed for renovations.

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Some Musings on Guru Purnima

This full moon is both the one called by some “guru purnima“–with rituals to honor the teacher–and also  the relatively rare blue moon. I’ve been seeing lots of postings on social media about guru purnima by my friends who are engaged in the practice, study, and teaching of yoga.  The variations in the postings about guru purnima are as wide as what the person believes is the guru–from recognition of a person who has been named a guru; to teachers, recognized as such; to simply the invocation of our own teacher within.  Suggestions for ritual range from specific puja to just an invitation to think about the concept and to recognize those who have imparted wisdom to us that has enhanced our lives (even if we have to do a lot of work to know that).

I’ve never personally been called to have a guru (among other things, it is too counter to my unprogrammed Quaker upbringing).  I do, though, have many teachers, some more formally serving in that role than others and I cheerfully honor them today.

I invite you to think about what it means to have teachers, i.e., to be a true student.  How we might be living if we consciously interrelate with all around us, human and not, as both a student and teacher all of the time?  What quality of listening and openness would that require?  What might we be learning?  What might we teach?

Dakshinamurti

 

 

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Web Version of E-Newsletter (Yes, I’m Still Teaching)

Dear Friends,

My apologies for being so long in sending a proper newsletter.  2014 was a challenging year for me.  I started the year sick, ended the year sick, and was limited by injuries for several months out of the year.  Work was intensely challenging on just about every level, day after day, week after week, and it continues to be so.  And then there’s concern about the state of society and the planet and trying to figure out what I, honoring my capacity and limits, can do to do more good and less harm (I’ll never get this sent if I get side-tracked in that direction).

I also had some great adventures, including a major home renovation and an extraordinary trip to Cuba, but then was working too hard in between to appreciate and integrate fully my experiences (which is a yoga lesson in itself–addressing whether we need more stimulation when we haven’t had time to address/process previous experiences whether delights or challenges to mind, body, emotions, creativity).

Yes, I’m still teaching, even though working as much as I am these days.  You can find me leading an all levels group practice with a wonderful group of people on Tuesday nights from 6:30pm -7:45pm at William Penn House in Capitol Hill.  100% of the proceeds (pay what you can; suggested donation $12-15) support the work camp program at William Penn House.  There’s also a weekly group practice for more advanced students on Wednesday nights.  Email if you are interested in the Wednesday night practice.  More info on classes on my rose garden yoga website.

Yes, for those of you who don’t subscribe,  I’m still blogging.  With the help of wonderful web designer, friend, neighbor, and fellow yogi, Jess C, I just updated the look of the website.  I hope to find time to blog about the many layers of meaning that went into the new design, which has the colors of Kali (goddess of sequencing); the murtis are  Dakshinamurti (Siva as teacher) and Saraswati (goddess of learning, the arts, etc.); the books are a small, but important to me as yogini, portion of my library.

If you’re in town, join me for practice one of these weeks or perhaps we’ll run into each other another class or workshop.  Please let me know how you are.  Best way to be in regular touch are to subscribe to the blog.  When there isn’t an interval between working and living and loving, and all the rest, to share more detailed written contemplations about living yoga,I’ll share the signs and exhortations I see around town and remind myself and anyone else who wants the reminder that no matter what is going on, there’s always a moment to appreciate a little beauty–perhaps to notice a heart-shaped cloud in the sky.

Feel free also to friend me or like “Rose Garden Yoga” on Facebook.  Instagram possibly coming soon in my copious free time.  Ha.

Peace, love, and light,

Elizabeth

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Dakshinamurti

Sometimes we call out the names; sometimes they call out to us.  I’ve been too tired and stressed to yearn for more adventures in the near term, but this week, I have found myself wanting to be in India, to be surrounded by the colors and the sights and the outrageous display of creative imagery.

The photo is of a roadside temple, with Siva in the aspect of Dakshinamurti–guru of all knowledges (jnana).  I have been told that is good to chant to Dakshinamurti when one is looking for support and guidance in teaching.

In my work as a civil servant, I spend much time informally teaching colleagues and the regulated community the details of the complex area that is my specialty.  I set my intention to be able not only to be clear, but to convey a bigger purpose even in that which does not readily come to mind as being something of spirit.

Dakshinamurti

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Jackfruit

This vendor was right outside a Siva temple we visited on the day after we went to Rameshwaram.  I don’t remember the name of the temple (I was not good about writing down the names of the temples that were added to the itinerary after the fact).

I liked the temple more than many.  Partly because it was quiet and peaceful since it is off the pilgrimage path (going to some of the temples reminds me of seeing the Rolling Stones at Wembley Stadium, both for crowds and noise level) and partly because it had all eight versions of Dakshinamurti–Siva as teacher.

I was most ready for dinner after a very long day on the bus to detour to this temple, but alas, the sight of street food brings more fear of disease than it does thoughts of slaking hunger and thirst.

jackfruit

 

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