Sunday, September 25, 2011


"Fill what's empty, empty what is full..."

What speaks to your soul?  What speaks to the places in you that cannot be articulated in words, but are there nonetheless, perhaps feeling empty or overflowing like a well? Is it a sunrise over the ocean?  Or maybe working in your garden, smelling the earth and feeling the sun on your skin?  Chances are many, many different things touch your soul depending on what it is trying to tell you.  

Late last night as I was finishing up some work I was listening to one of my favorite singers, Ray LaMontagne. His voice is soulful and full of some unnamable longing or sadness.  The message in his songs is genuine, from his soul, and full of fervency. So as I listened, his voice and music reached out and touched a part of my soul that needed tending to on a deep, visceral level and it released something that I hadn't even realized was there.  Although the song was melancholy, it released a feeling of love and connection. I somehow felt lighter.

We all have deep wells inside of us; sometimes empty and in need of filling, and sometimes overflowing and in need of emptying.  In our practice, we use the breath and the energy of the breath to fill and empty the physical body and the mind in order connect more completely with the soul.  As we do this, we become more sensitive to the needs of the soul. We're aware when it's in need of filling (with more love, compassion, time, space), or when it needs to release something (judgment, anger, fear, worry).  With each inhale, we simply fill what's empty.  With each exhale, we empty what is full.

Take the time to listen to the song that tugs at your heartstrings, or let your soul be touched by the bright blue sky, or heavy rain.

What speaks to your soul?  What speaks to the places in you that cannot be articulated in words, but are there nonetheless?

Until next time...listen :) 

“There are different wells within your heart. 
Some fill with each good rain, 
Others are far too deep for that. 

In one well 
You have just a few precious cups of water, 
That "love" is literally something of yourself, 
It can grow as slow as a diamond 
If it is lost. 

Your love 
Should never be offered to the mouth of a 
Only to someone 
Who has the valor and daring 
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife 
Then weave them into a blanket 
To protect you. 

There are different wells within us. 
Some fill with each good rain, 
Others are far, far too deep 
For that.” 

Friday's Playlist:

"Empty"-Ray Lamontagne
"My Sweet Lord"-Yim Yames
"Jolene"-Ray Lamontagne
"Champagne Supernova"-Scala & Kolacny Brothers
"I and Love And You"-The Avett Brothers
"Let It Be"-Joan Baez
"Helplessly Hoping"-Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
"Let It Be Me"-Ray Lamontagne
"Nothing Else Matters"-Scala & Kolacny Brothers
"The Sound of Silence (Live)-Simon and Garfunkle
"Sleep Dog Lullaby"-The Be Good Tanyas
"Use Somebody"-Scala & Kolacny Brothers
"All The Wild Horses"-Ray Lamontagne
"New Morning"-My Morning Jacket
"Die"-Iron and Wine
"The Wind"-Cat Stevens
"Find The Cost Of Freedom"-Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Shift Happens

"What can we take on trust
in this uncertain life? Happiness, greatness,
pride - nothing is secure, nothing keeps."
~Euripides, Hecuba

There's a saying: "If you're in a bad situation, don't worry it'll change.  If you're in a good situation, don't worry it'll change". For anyone who uses Facebook, Wednesday was a day of change. As they have in the past, Facebook changed the layout of many of its main features.  This did not surprise me.  Being part of a generation of people for whom using computers daily is the norm, I've become accustomed to the way things change and adapt accordingly. Soon enough, we'll all be used to the change and won't even remember what it was like before.

What did take me by surprise was how upset the change was to so many.  The reactions ran the gamut from annoyance to outrage and everything in between.  One Facebook user posted no less than 15 posts back-to-back decrying the change while attempting to rally the troops to revolt. A fairly extreme reaction to the whims of a free social networking site, no?

Now, don't get me wrong, there was a time when I felt the same way about change. I dreaded it, resisted it, complained about it (still do sometimes!), but the funny thing is, it keeps coming.  Over the years and with a lot of practice, I started to realize that change is something that I can't control - none of us can - but what we can control is the way we choose to react to it.  If you've ever engaged in the practice of really paying attention to your body, mind, or thoughts, you most likely noticed that your body, your mind, and your thoughts are constantly in flux and never the same.  They are always shifting and morphing, like the weather, from moment to moment.  Shift happens.  It is an undeniable fact of life from which nothing that belongs to this earth can escape.  

Buddhist philosophy looks at change in this way:
"According to the teachings of the Buddha, life is comparable to a river. It is a progressive moment, a successive series of different moments, joining together to give the impression of one continuous flow. It moves from cause to cause, effect to effect, one point to another, one state of existence to another, giving an outward impression that it is one continuous and unified movement, where as in reality it is not. The river of yesterday is not the same as the river of today. The river of this moment is not going to be the same as the river of the next moment. So does life. It changes continuously, becomes something or the other from moment to moment." (

So why is it so hard to accept change?  Why do we resist it?  Why does something so trivial as a changed format on a free social networking website throw so many of us into a frothing frenzy?  We suffer with change because we cannot accept the truth of impermanence.  We know on a primal level that we are impermanent, but we stubbornly refuse to believe it.  In actuality, it's not so much what happens to us, but it's how we navigate and respond to those happenings.

So, when inevitably Facebook makes another big and confusing change, or we suddenly find ourselves with an unexpected illness or in the middle of a career shift, instead of getting upset or irritated, we can practice reminding ourselves that everything is in flux.

Our practice is not to want the river to stop flowing, but to be at peace as we flow from one moment to the next.

Until next time...

"Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure.  But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it.  Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer."  ~Shunryu Suzuki

Thursday night's playlist:
"Of A Broken Heart"-Zwan
"Skinny Love"-Bon Iver
"Awake My Soul"-Mumford and Sons
"I'm In Love With A Girl"-Big Star
"Baby I Love You"-Aretha Franklin
"Killed Myself When I Was Young"-A.A. Bondy
"Hard Sun"-Eddie Vedder 
"Tennessee Me"-The Secret Sisters
"Love Is All"-The Tallest Man On Earth
"I And Love And You"-The Avett Brothers
"Love Is My Religion"-Ziggy Marley
"Heart of Gold"-Neil Young
"Helplessly Hoping"-Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
"My Sweet Lord"-Yim Yames
"Love (2000)"-John Lennon
"Love and Communication"-Cat Power
"Don't Let Us Get Sick"-Warren Zevon

Monday, September 19, 2011

Inner Guru

"The invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you." (Wayne Dyer)

When I was a kid, I heard my hero, Kermit the Frog sing the following words from one of my all-time favorite songs, "The Rainbow Connection": "Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices? I've heard them calling my name. Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors? The voice might be one and the same. I've heard it too many times to ignore it. It's something that I'm supposed to be."

Back then, the world seemed a wide open place full of places to explore, things to do and people to meet. It still does, although now it doesn't seem quite as big as it once did. I can vividly recall hearing Kermit's words and wondering what exactly it was that I was supposed to be. And although I can't fully explain it, I think there was something in the 10 year old me, that somehow knew that all these years later, the 42 year old me would be exactly where I am today. That's not to say that the 10 year old me knew the specifics, but there was a part of me that could see where I wanted to be even though I didn't have the words to articulate it or the life experience to really know what it meant.

Some say that we all possess something like an "inner guru" (guru, intuition or a "gut" feeling, whatever you want to call it),  a wisdom, a truth deeper than our understanding that helps guide us along our path to awakening.  We hear the word "guru" often but what does it really mean?  In sanskrit, "gu" = dark and "ru" = light, so a guru is someone or something that leads us from the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge all while Illuminating our innate brilliance to show us what our gifts are to offer the world.

The problem is that we're often so busy "doing" that we can't hear our own inner guide.  The voice of the inner guru gets lost in the commotion of our lives - it's still there, just unable to be heard, felt or noticed.  So we practice yoga and meditation to shift from "doing" to "being", to heighten our intuition and to establish a daily connection with the source of our wisdom - something greater than ourselves.  

The greatest teachers are those who emphasize finding your own path and not that peace can only be found by following theirs. Kermit the Frog was such a teacher for me all those years ago, encouraging me with his song to listen to my inner guru. As the saying goes: "When the student is ready, the teacher appears".  

What are you ready for?  What do you need?  Which direction will you move in? 

When we connect with our inner teacher, we realize that we don't have to follow in the footsteps of anyone else and we don't have to walk someone else's path.  We can take the wisdom set forth by the teachers we encounter in life and find all of the ways that this wisdom works and doesn't work for us, and turn it into a path of our very own. 

Have the courage to trust and follow your inner guru.  Follow with passion, joy and curiosity!

Until next time...try this:

Inner Guide Meditation:
Get settled and begin breathing deeply. 
Quiet your mind and allow silence to seep into your being. 
Cast your awareness into your heart and picture a small doorway there. See the doorway open and feel a warm and welcoming presence calling you to enter. 
Step through the doorway and find yourself in a sacred place that you know to be your inner temple. In the middle of the room is a figure sitting silently in prayer. Wait patiently. 
When finished, the person turns and you look fully at this person. Opening arms to you, you recognize this being as your inner guru.  
Walk forward and stand in front of this wise person. 
Speaking to you, the wise one shares knowledge of your own inner wisdom and knowing. Open your heart and listen, feel, and know
When you are finished, you and the wise one bow together. 
Finally, the wise one bids you goodbye with a word and a bow. 
With one breath, you remember the word. 
With a second breath, you return to your space, and with a third breath, you open your eyes. 
Breathe in the word and remember it as a key to your own inner wisdom.

 "The Master is within; meditation is meant to remove the ignorant idea that he is only outside." ~ Ramana Maharshi

‎"Be your own guru: begin to watch how you think and speak...notice how often negativity rules your world and begin to bring your attention to those thoughts and speech patterns. When in doubt, sit quietly and quiet down on the inside. The answers are always revealed when we stop the whirlwind of the outside drama." -Stephanie Keach 

Friday, September 16, 2011


"The healing of our present woundedness may lie in recognizing and reclaiming the capacity we have to heal each other, the enormous power in the simplest of human relationships: the strength of a touch, the blessing of forgiveness, the grace of someone else taking you just as you are and finding in you an unsuspected goodness. Everyone alive has suffered. It is the wisdom gained from our wounds and from our own experiences of suffering that makes us able to heal." -Rachel Naomi Remen

On Sunday afternoon, I was sitting outside the yoga studio while a workshop was taking place inside.  It was a gloriously beautiful day, the kind that makes you feel happy to be alive: sunny, blue sky with fluffy, white, cotton ball clouds, hawks flying overhead casting large shadows upon the parking lot, and a hint of autumn in the air.  Just beautiful!  As I sat there, reveling in the day and keeping watch over merchandise that was for sale at the event, I gazed down at the sidewalk and noticed a small, black beetle lying on its back, slowly moving its legs, trying to right itself, but clearly losing strength and the energy to do so. It was dying. The strong afternoon sun was slowly creeping towards where this beetle was struggling and I knew that its suffering was about to increase.  Filled with compassion and lovingkindness for this tiny being, I suddenly found myself in a quandary: do I step on it to end its suffering, or do I just leave it to die in misery?  The Buddha-nature in me could not bring myself to kill it. It just seemed too brutal to do so, but to watch this living being suffer also seemed unbearable.  

After a minute or so, I scooped the beautiful beetle up into the palm of my hand and held it. I decided to remove it from the hot, sunny sidewalk. I walked it over to a patch of woods near the studio and placed it in a shady recess beneath a jasmine bush, thinking that it would at least be closer to the soft, cool earth - a more comfortable place to die, I imagine. I wished it a peaceful passing and quietly walked away.

As I made my way back to my place on the sidewalk in front of the studio, I was filled with the sudden realization of how much practicing yoga and meditation have changed my life. Years ago, I either would not have even noticed the beetle suffering on the sidewalk, or I would have smashed it by stomping down on it out of fear or ignorance.  Following this spiritual path has opened my eyes to the fact that all beings deserve compassion and lovingkindness, that this beetle's suffering is no different than my own. I now firmly realize that my enlightenment depends on this beetle. 

A few weeks ago in class, I talked about lovingkindness and came across the following excerpt from "Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chenrezig".  My encounter with the black beetle reminded me of it: 

"Often we see other sentient beings as hassles: 'This mosquito is disturbing me. Those politicians are corrupt. Why can't my colleagues do their work correctly?" and so on. But when we see sentient beings as being more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel, our perspective completely changes. For example, when we look at a fly buzzing around, we train ourselves to think, 'My enlightenment depends on that fly'.'This isn't fanciful thinking because, in fact, our enlightenment does depend on that fly. If that fly isn't included in our bodhicitta (compassion and wisdom), then we don't have bodhicitta (compassion and wisdom), and we won't receive the wonderful results of generating bodhicitta -- the tremendous purification and creation of positive potential.

Imagine training your mind so that when you look at every single living being, you think, 'My enlightenment depends on that being. The drunk who just got on the bus -- my enlightenment depends on him. The soldier in Iraq -- my enlightenment depends on him. My brothers and sisters, the teller at the bank, the janitor at my workplace, the president of the United States, the suicide bombers in the Middle East, the slug in my garden, my eighth-grade boyfriend, the babysitter when I was a kid -- my enlightenment depends on each of them.' All sentient beings are actually that precious to us."

In "Compassion, the Supreme Emotion", Sharon Salzberg states that:  "Sometimes we think that to develop an open heart, to be truly loving and compassionate, means that we need to be passive, to allow others to abuse us, to smile and let anyone do what they want with us. Yet this is not what is meant by compassion. Quite the contrary. Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion... is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception."

We can become so bogged down in our small selves that we lose our perspective and become hardened to the suffering we encounter around us.  The question is, how can you, in all circumstances, break the shell of indifference and open your heart?  How can you recognize that your enlightenment, your peace, depends on that beetle, flat tire, difficult co-worker, or bill collector?  If we cannot extend our compassion to the challenging things, how can we hope to find peace?  

Until next time...

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it..." -Helen Keller

"The practice of compassion begins at home. We have our parents, our children, and our brothers and sisters, who perhaps irritate us the most, and we begin our practice of loving-kindness and compassion with them. Then gradually we extend our compassion out into our greater community, our country, neighbouring countries, the world, and finally to all sentient beings equally without exception.
Extending compassion in this way makes it evident that it is not very easy to instantly have compassion for "all sentient beings." Theoretically it may be comfortable to have compassion for "all sentient beings," but through our practice we realize that "all sentient beings" is a collection of individuals. When we actually try to generate compassion for each and every individual, it becomes much more challenging. But if we cannot work with one individual, then how can we work with all sentient beings? Therefore it is important for us to reflect more practically, to work with compassion for individuals and then extend that compassion further." -Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are You Awake?

One of my favorite teachers often employs a powerful approach while leading students through practice. While in the middle of a pose or even just sitting in silent meditation, he poses the question - sometimes in a whisper - "are you awake?"  This is a moving reminder for his students to remain mindful and not to slip into sleepy habits and to recognize that life is happening NOW. It prompts us to be awake and alive in the moment.  

Admittedly, I've been sleepy for the past week or so. Sleepy as in tired, yes, but more than that, sleepy on a deep, sub-conscious level.  Being a devoted student of yoga, I've experienced this before and realize that it's part of the process of unfolding and awakening. It's part of the ebb and flow of the journey.  It's the quiet "yin" to the more active "yang".  It's my body's way of saying "rest", my mind's way of saying "wake up", and my heart's way of saying "listen to me". The interesting thing about this deep sleepiness is that it makes it challenging to muster up the energy to get on my yoga mat, but it's precisely at these times when practice is most important.  When the sleepiness arrives I honor it physically by practicing primarily Yin Yoga.  Yin offers a wonderful opportunity to stop, listen and feel. I honor the mental sleepiness by getting on the meditation cushion and observing the root of the lethargy. I spend some time alone to listen to the voice of my heart.

The practice of yoga provides us with a ladder which we can use to climb up and beyond our everyday boundaries and the ruts we find ourselves in, towards greater understanding and awakening. Setting an intention to live mindfully is the first rung on that ladder.

Take a moment to set this intention: "My intention today is to be awake and aware of how I move, speak, act, and listen."

Until next time...

The Laughing Heart 
by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Monday, September 12, 2011


"One branch from an old plum tree extends splendidly;
thorns become attached to it in time." -Keizan Jokin

Sometimes when I think of my yoga and meditation practices I see them as beautiful, fragrant roses.  Delicate, sweet smelling, sometimes full and blossoming with layer after layer of petals opening, opening, opening.  Sometimes once those petals have blossomed, they drop away one-by-one as parts that were once useful but are now no longer needed. Or, sometimes those petals are wrapped up tightly like tiny buds full of possibilities, but they're not quite ready to emerge into the world of being.  But these roses are never without thorns.  When the rose of our practice blossoms so sweet and beautiful, our practice is easy, buoyant and peaceful, but there are inevitably times when we encounter the dark and prickly stickiness of thorns. Lately, my practice has been rife with prickly thorns.  When this occurs, my instinct - like so many of us - is to avoid the thorns or to wait until the rose becomes beautiful and fragrant again... to ride it out until things are prettier. But the practice isn't just about the beautiful, peaceful parts of life, sometimes it's purpose is to make things prickly in order to wake us up more fully.

Keizan Jokin, a revered zen teacher who lived in the 14th century who's two-line poem sits at the top of this page, illustrated with his simple words that we all encounter times where our practice resembles a branch from a wizened old plum tree; extending splendidly from the trunk of the tree, but not without spiny thorn-like twigs pushing out of its bark. Sometimes we feel that our practice is splendid. It flows and extends out of every part of us.  But like the old plum tree, in time we discover thorns growing on our practice (resistance, lethargy, doubt, judgement-you name it!).  One of my favorite teachers, Michael Stone, says that "sometimes we get a little too comfortable. So in the process of practicing asana and stilling the mind, we start to find that the thorns become the practice and how we meet the thorns is basically right when they start popping up."

Part of our spiritual maturation involves deeply feeling and working with the thorns that grow.  A really big part of our practice is leaving nothing out.  Flowing along with the easeful parts of ourselves and our experience, but also witnessing the thorns that grow upon the graceful limbs of our existence. Our task as human beings is simply to stay the course, to be the branch, the blossom and the thorn.  To not deny the stickiness or the presence of those thorns, but to watch and work with our reaction to them with equanimity. When we do this we begin to see that the beautiful blossoms of our practice are a result of navigating through and allowing the thorns to be part of us. 

"One branch from an old plum tree extends splendidly;
 thorns become attached to it in time."

And so I continue to get on my yoga mat and practice even though the thorns I encounter make it uncomfortable to do so.  I sit in silence and witness what's there with compassion. I arrive to what is, knowing that eventually I will be able to feel the soft petals of peace and drink in the beautiful fragrance of clarity.

When we come together as a group in class, the basic practice that we're doing first is to arrive, to calm down, to connect with the part of ourselves that is still and peaceful: our blossom.  We sit and we follow our breathing to the source of peace. We remind ourselves that the larger purpose of yoga and meditation is to connect with this calm, real, unsoiled part of ourselves.  Take a moment right now to close your eyes, connect with the slow, organic flowing of your breath.  Follow the breath into silence. Arrive.

Today, practice becoming settled and take care of the thorny parts that present themselves by offering them the space to be seen and felt.  When we follow the breath and begin to find mental and spiritual stillness, we begin to clearly see our own mind and allow it to rest in its natural state which is free from the thorniness and chatter that grows on us as a result of living in the world.  We allow our experience to blossom freely and we take care of the thorns with the same attentiveness that we regard the blossom.

Until next time...

Thorn and Rose
by Henry Van Dyke

Far richer than a thornless rose
Whose branch with beauty never glows,
Is that which every June adorns
With perfect bloom among its thorns.
Merely to live without a pain
Is little gladness, little gain,
Ah, welcome joy tho' mixt with grief,--
The thorn-set flower that crowns the leaf.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Look at this egg.  It's just an ordinary egg, right?  We've probably seen and eaten thousands of them over the course of our life.  We probably don't give them much thought as we crack them into a frying pan or beat them into a cake mix.

But look again. This time, see the chicken that laid the egg; the farmer that fed, housed and cared for the chicken and carefully collected the egg; the workers who packaged the egg in a carton and loaded the cartons onto a truck; the truck that picked the eggs up and drove them to the store; the stock boys who unloaded the cartons and stacked them in the dairy case. Now, go even deeper than that: the corn that fed the chicken; the soil, sun, rain, wind and dark starry nights that coaxed the seeds from the earth; the field hand who picked the corn; the person who engineered the truck that drove the corn to the farmer's silo, and so on.  When we begin the practice and process of seeing clearly, what we begin to realize is that we are here as a result of the labors of countless other beings. Our very lives are interconnected with the lives of all other sentient beings.  We are not alone... ever.

Monday was Labor Day.  Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  To me it's a wonderful opportunity to not only honor our own work, but it's also a reminder of how the efforts of others allow us to live comfortably. 

Remind yourself today - and always - that the people you meet, the products you use, etc, are there as a result of another's labor.  All sentient beings form an infinite tapestry, and life inextricably weaves us together.  We are here to support each other, not be separate from one another.

Until next time...

"Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.  -Chief Seattle

LOKAH SAMASTA SUKHINO BHAVANTU: May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

When we practice yoga asana, we practice taking the seat of others. We practice being the moon, the warrior, the dog, the cow, the cobra, and the trees. We take their form and connect with their essence. With time and practice, we begin to develop empathy for all beings and realize that we are not different from each other after all. We learn that all beings share the desire for happiness and freedom. (from the Jivamukti practice)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Staying Afloat

“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.”
-Ajahn Chah

Several years ago my mother-in-law was vacationing at the beach.  While out for an early evening walk, she noticed a young boy swimming and splashing in a creek that ran along the beach. The creek was subject to the same currents and tides as the ocean and upon taking a closer look, she noticed that the boy wasn't actually splashing playfully but was struggling to keep his head above water. No one seemed to be supervising the boy and there was no one else around so she called out to the boy and asked him if he was ok.  The boy shook his head "no", so my mother-in-law jumped in the creek, clothes and all and swam out to the child. It didn't take her long to realize that the boy was stuck in a rip current and that she was caught up in it as well.

Riptides, or "rip currents", are long, narrow bands of water that quickly pull any objects in them away from shore and out to sea. They are dangerous but are relatively easy to escape if you stay calm. There are about 100 riptide related deaths per year in the United States, but most of these deaths are not caused by the tides themselves. People often become exhausted struggling against the current and cannot make it back to shore.  The key to escaping riptides is not to struggle against the current.

So, my mother-in-law grabbed the boy and tried to swim across the creek to safety to no avail. She was beginning to get tired.  The boy was exhausted. Thankfully, a man passing by called out to her and told her not to swim against the current, but rather to swim out of it by swimming parallel to the shore.  This is an exercise in trust. It can be scary to go with the flow of something so strong, but once my mother-in-law began to do this, she was released from the strong current and was able to get herself and the child back to safety.

So often in life it is our willingness to trust and let go of struggle that allows us to live more fully.  This reminded me of a post from the "Daily Om" that I read last month:

"Our lives are continually in motion, buoyed by the wave that is the universe's flow. As the wave rises and falls, we are carried forward, through life's high and low points. The universe's flow may take us to a place in life where we would rather not be. As tempting as it can be to fight the direction and size of this wave that propels us, riding the wave is intended to make life easier. When you ride the wave, your life can evolve naturally and with minimal effort. Riding the wave, however, is not a passive experience. It is an active process that requires you to be attentive, centered, and awake. You must also practice stillness so you can flow with, rather than resist, the wave's motion.

Because life is dynamic and always changing, it is when we try to make the wave stand still or resist its direction that we are likely to get pulled under by its weight. If you try to move against the wave, you may feel as if you are trapped by it and have no control over your destiny. When you reach a low point while riding the wave and find your feet touching bottom, remember to stay standing so that you can leap forward along with the wave the next time it rises. Trying to resist life's flow is a losing proposition and costly because you waste energy.

Riding the wave allows you to move forward without expending too much of your own efforts. When you ride the wave, you are carried by it and your head can stay above water as you go wherever it takes you. It can be difficult to trust the universe and let go of the urge to fight life's flow, and you may find it easier to ride the wave if you can stay calm and relaxed. Riding the wave will always take you where you need to go."

Life will never wholly allow us to float along without getting stuck in the occasional riptide.  Every moment is a chance to let go and feel peaceful. Today, can you practice letting go of the things that you resist?  Can you trust that you will be moved in the direction that you need to go?  

Until next time...