The wisdom of having a spiritual practice

Hi Everyone,

Hope you have been having an awesome, amazing and abundant summer.  How did you do on that Pacific Northwest checklist of fun?  Let’s see, just this week, I logged:

  • Blueberry picking
  • Camping
  • Visited the San Juan Islands
  • Watched the Orcas swim by
  • Jumped and played in three separate lakes
  • Danced to Pink Martinis at Zoo Tunes
  • Meditated – lots and in some really cool places
  • Finished a couple of books

Whatever you decide to do these next few weeks make sure it nourishes your soul.  So often we forget about that in the hustle and bustle of living, and then I wonder if we really are living.  Find Joy & Embrace it.

Next month (September) I will be hosting two workshops at Village Green Yoga.  More info to follow shortly, but mark your calendars now.

  • Loving Your Sun – learning the fun-damentals of the Sun Salutation Sequence
    Sunday, September 23, 1:00 – 3:30
  • Taking the Time to Meditate – opening to the heart of a meditation practice.
    Sunday, September 30, 1:00 – 2:30

And here it is, the reason for the title of this posting.  This is an excerpt from a letter from my rabbi on this week’s Torah portion.   The whole of his writing is powerful, but this short bit says it all.  Enjoy!

 

When we make spirituality an essential part of our existence, however, what we are able to see is radically different. Because our spiritual path serves to reconnect us to Source, it expands our awareness beyond the tunnel vision of the ego. In removing our blinders and opening our eyes it also opens our heart. As we become spiritually aware, we are able to see the essential goodness of the world, the miracle of life, the unfathomable gift of our own birth, and the preciousness of relationship. We are able to hold the pain and suffering, the struggling and the fear with acceptance, understanding and compassion. The existence of love brings up feelings of gratitude, the wonder of aliveness, feelings of pure joy. In such awareness the other is no longer seen as a means to satisfy one’s needs; one is able to leave the past in the past, welcome the future with an open heart, and be fully present to one’s experience in every moment, just as it is. When awareness transcends the ego, one can’t help but see abundance and love.

 

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Living Sutra I:33 – Life with Joy and Balance

May I be happy. 


May I be peaceful. 


May I be safe from harm. 


May I enjoy happiness and the root of happiness. 


May I experience ease and well-being in body, mind, and spirit.

Today has been perfect, and I am only half way through.  I attribute it to my morning meditation on Pantajali’s Yoga Sutra 1.33.

maitri karuna muditopeksanam sukha duhkha punyapunya visayanam bhavanatas citta prasadanam
Tranquility of thought comes through the cultivation of friendship, compassion, joy, and impartiality in spheres of pleasure or pain, virtue or vice.

There are 4 words that stand out for me in this sutra, and they are:  Metta or maitri (lovingkindness); Karuna (compassion); Mudita (joy); and Upeksha (equanimity).  Patanjali places these words in balance with their opposition.  Yes, in difficult situations and with difficult people it is especially important to cultivate joy, compassion and equanimity.  But what really resonated for me today, was the importance of living fully in the moment, aware of the need to bring joy, compassion, kindness and balance into all aspects of my life.

 
Thus, I started today’s class with the prayer/chant above.  We then moved into a practice that allowed everyone to deepen and yes, sweat.  We did vinyasas, we did the sagital series, we did arm balances, head stands and more, but the best came at the end.

Because our focus was on staying happy, and peaceful, and practicing compassion, everyone slipped gracefully into Svasana.  I could feel the room melt.  The pranayama practice and the meditation happened effortlessly.  We were all breathing together.  Breathing in to a place of peace and joy.  There a a tangible sense of letting go and letting in.  It was truly a moment of blessing.

And then after class, I got to totally yoga-geek-out with my good friend Pat.  We played with hand-stands and arm-balances and jump-throughs.  I still have yet to master lifting up into a handstand with legs together but we got awfully close.  And again, I think it all worked so well, because I came to it from a place of Mudita/joy, and Upeksha/equanimity.  I left the need to “conquer/master” and just went to have fun with some cool and challenging asanas.  And it worked.

 
Later in the afternoon, I got to romp in the woods with my dog.  The air smelled so good, and the leaves were just changing colors.  because I didn’t stress out about my to-do list, I was able to get that one more thing in.

So, I just wanted to let you know that, yes, today it worked.  Starting off with a meditation on balance and joy and compassion, can and does make a difference.

Now it is off to feed kids, make dinner, run errands, drive kids and teach again.

Have a great day

Shalom & Namaste,
Diana Bonyhadi