We don’t have to pursue our passion; our passion is always pursuing us.
Once Upon a time, a girl prayed for true love. Her Prayer was answered. She learned to love herself.
Perhaps a revolutionary happiness is possible if we allow our boats to flee. Such a happiness would be alive to chance, to chance arrivales, to the perhaps of a happening. We would not wait for things to happen. You make happen. Or you create the ground on which things can happen in alternative ways.
That Sacred Pause
In addition to teaching yoga to “big kids” (college students, my peers), I also teach yoga to little kids at the after school program in my college town. These little kids are in kindergarten and first grade and are unbelievably precious, but that’s kind of besides the point in this story.
Last week, one of the kids didn’t want to participate in the asana class. As always, asana is a 100 percent optional part of the yoga practice so I let him draw in the corner of the room (today, when I used this story as my dharma talk in a class of “big kids,” I told them that they are more than welcome to draw in the corner instead of doing a side crow as well; they laughed). One of the students who was participating in the class drew all over this other little boy’s drawing when he wasn’t looking. The little boy who had his drawing effed up got really upset, but contained it momentarily.
On our way up to homework help, I didn’t see the upset little boy. I panicked, afraid that I lost a kid, but when I looked down the stairwell, I saw a small body sitting on the bottom stair, head buried in his hands.
I sat down next to him and asked what was wrong.
"I…I…I just got so mad I didn’t know what I was going to do," he said. Then, he threw his hands in the air and said, "Sometimes I just can’t control myself, Miss Shira! So I’m giving myself a time-out!"
I responded, “The fact that you are sitting here and giving yourself a time-out means that you can most definitely control yourself. That is something most grown-ups don’t know how to do.” Then, I told him to give me five high-fives and he went upstairs to homework help and made more drawings, forgetting what he was mad about in the first place.
In my head during that entire interaction, I was amazed. That “time-out” that six-year-old took when he was agitated and hurt is, to me, the essence of yoga. It is the space between the cause and the reaction. It is that sacred pause where we can breathe deeply, collect ourselves, and then learn how best to move on.
And sometimes, if we’re lucky, our best teachers are kindergarteners who are learning all of this for the first time and have not yet had the chance to forget.
Our stability is directly connected to our ability to love.
What happens when you combine smart liberal arts college students with fitness, wellness and yoga classes? A really fucking well-written blog on incorporating health into a college lifestyle often stigmatized as unhealthy. We’re just trying to let the world know that wellness + college aren’t mutually exclusive and I think we’re doing a damn good job so far. So…READ THIS! So grateful for my fellow teachers and this incredibly cOMmunity!
When I say artist I mean the one who is building things â¦ some with a brush â some with a shovel â some choose a pen. ~ Jackson Pollock
What White writes about in this article has been on my mind a lot a la the incumbent graduation lately. Great inspiration!
I looked up to Foss Hill mid-way along the path from Allbritton to Usdan. Groups of friends, hall-mates and new acquaintances walked together, some carrying yoga mats and others in leggings or sweatpants. It was 11:25am on a Saturday and we, traveling from all different parts of campus, had a common destination: the first WesBAM! class of Spring Promotional Week.
As the clock in Fayerweather ticked just past 11:30, people kept flooding into Sonia Max’s Zesty Vinyasa Flow class. I spotted another yoga teacher in the crowd and put my mat next to hers, relishing in the opportunity to practice led by a peer, to be told what to do rather than tell others. What I did not expect was the feeling of overwhelming joy and gratitude that I was possessed by as I looked around in Mountain Pose at all the other students in the class and at a freshman who was also the yoga teacher who joined WesBAM! this year. I beamed as I realized how far we’ve come.
Read the rest here!
The big sky is wild mind. I’m going to climb up to that sky straight over our heads and put one dot on it with a Magic Marker. See that dot? That dot is what Zen calls monkey mind or what western psychology calls part of conscious mind. We give all our attention to that one dot.
This goes on endlessly. This is monkey mind. This is how we drift. We listen and get tossed away. We put all our attention on that one dot. Meanwhile, wild mind surrounds us. Western psychology calls wild mind the unconscious, but I think the unconscious is a limited term. If it is true that we are all interpenetrated and interconnected, then wild mind includes mountains, rivers, Cadillacs, humidity, plains, emeralds, poverty, old streets in London, snow, and moon. A river and a tree are not unconscious. They are part of wild mind.
This is what Zen asks you to do: to sit down in the middle of your wild mind. This is all about a loss of control. This is what falling in love is, too: a loss of control.
Can you do this? Lose control and let wild mind take over? It is the best way to write. To live, too.