Tag Archive: householder yoga

Shaktipat?

Some of the yoga traditions that include a guru lineage believe that a guru can transmit grace (whatever that might mean) through their presence or touch. Back in the days when I was doing my first yoga teacher training, a fellow student asked me whether I had ever received shaktipat? My answer was yes–when I’d had the opportunity to shake hands with William Brennan. He’s not a guru, my fellow student objected.  But he is a being of extraordinary grace, power, and intelligence who has devoted himself to the service of our collective well-being and my being in his presence inspires me to show my best light; isn’t that what’s supposed to happen with shaktipat? I don’t think she was ever fully persuaded by my unorthodox reading, but I had no need to persuade.

I found myself thinking about that discussion today, having gotten to shake John Lewis’s hand when he walked through the crowd to speak at day 2 of the people’s filibuster for health care. In the presence of his inspiration, I am compelled to figure out what more can I be doing.

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On the Way to William Penn House for Tuesday Night Yoga Practice (with a Detour to Stand with the People’s Filibuster)

The filibuster and related activities, including an interfaith vigil on Wednesday the 28th, continues until Thursday. Details on various Facebook Pages–ACLU, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Move On, and others. 

Mostly I will be working during the scheduled times, but I will head over outside of my work day again. Senator Chris Murphy was on his way to dinner with friends from Connecticut who had spent the day doing citizen lobbying–telling their story about why keeping and improving on the ACA was important to them. Senator Murphy said that he’d heard people were outside and felt he needled to at least stop by and connect. He said this is just the beginning, don’t let them tinker and declare a victory if they only deprive 5 or 10 million people from getting insurance; he said keep it up; he’d like to see millions of people coming to D.C. and making their voices heard.  I was starting to get caught up in listening and then realized it was time to be at William Penn House.

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Signs Around Town

Signs with intelligent, thought-provoking, and action-inspiring quotes are proliferating in my neighborhood.  I took this photo last night when I was walking home after getting a Friday evening massage in the neighborhood.

This morning, after practicing, I took care of cat, house, and garden, reading the news, signing petitions (not as helpful as visiting/writing to a Senator/Congressperson–but I don’t have those as a DC resident) and doing targeted giving (today to support a free press) in addition to my expanding monthly giving. This afternoon, I am attending “Active Bystander” training.  Then off to share dinner and then watch friends I know from Contact Improv perform works in progress at Dance Exchange.  I will get time outside by traveling as much as possible on foot.

How are you spending your Saturday?  Did it help you feel more engaged, connected, and grateful or less?  If less, what small shift could you decide to make that would be easy enough that you would actually do it?

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A Job That Would Not Be for Me

These workers were caulking the fifth floor windows of my building today. It was snowing. (the flakes were too fine to show up in the photograph.) I wish them (and will donate money and sign petitions, write letters, etc to back up my wishes for all workers) health care, child care, retirement benefits, and a safe (as it can be) job free from discrimination, harassment, and wage theft.

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Yoga Philosophy Word of the Day

Avidya–ignorance or delusion.

Very roughly stated, the yoga philosophies and guides to practice teach that it is ignorance or delusion that is the root cause of evil and suffering.  When we act from ignorance of our essential nature–it’s divinity (whatever that might mean to you)–then we act in ways that move away from spirit rather than towards it (one way of describing evil).

As I interpret the teachings, the point of the practices for a householder is to help us act and respond informed by consciousness of this essential “divinity” in everything we do, including how we care for ourselves, our community, and the ecosystem that we inhabit.  The closer we come to achieving this state of acting consciousness, though there will still be pain and loss in this human embodiment, the less we will be the cause of suffering for ourselves and others.

Note:  You might say or think it, but I will refrain from actually articulating why this is the word that comes to mind for contemplation today.

2014 10 06_4711

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Householder Yoga (and Getting Out to Vote)

To be a tantrica does not mean wild and indifferent  sensual indulgence.  On the contrary, it means fully engaging in all of life.  A tantric life is one in which everything one does–work, family, relationship, consumption, citizenship–is steadily and progressively more informed by the teachings of yoga and infused with the fruits of the practices.  A key aspect of participating fully in the life of a householder in a democracy is to educate oneself about politics and to participate.  Please vote.  Here’s a short video from the ACLU that you might want to watch and pass along to your friends and family.

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