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Archive for January, 2012

Meditations on Spring

I was in a bit of a hurry this morning and nearly tripped over my backpack as I rushed out of the door. My apartment has been a bit of a mess for a while now along with everything else—I’ve been a moving whirlwind. Sometimes, in order for things to come together, the tangled energies that produce chaos must unravel causing more chaos. It takes time to reorganize, restructure and create new order. In many ways, it is a remarkable display of how life seems to be orchestrated by infinite invisible hands gently moving in concert with impeccable rhythm and precision. I’ve learned to trust and appreciate such wisdom comes forth from an unknown place deep within us all. To understand paradox and contradiction is to understand life itself—straight from the pages of my book of internal dialogue.

After making it out on the patio I rushed around fiddling with the keys to lock the door. I skipped down the stairs, missing steps all the while thinking of the endless errands to finish before the morning ended. It is a wonder I didn’t fall flat on my face as my mind raced against my footsteps. Pacing down the sidewalk, I felt something float past my face and gently graze my nose. I froze mid-step, looked around me and found myself being showered by hundreds of blossoms drifting from the trees. The neighbor with the infant across the way looked puzzled as I stood in awe. It was as if I’d instantly become a child ushered into a world that seemed so tranquil and magical. Maybe in some strange way, we are all just children making our way through a strange land. Moments like this remind me that we don’t make our way along this road alone.

I turned my head toward the sky while rotating slow enough to absorb the wonder. The red and pink blossoms danced and swirled around me. They seemed to mingle with one another with such boldness and grace. For a brief moment, I let my imagination run wild as I wondered what the rooted buds thought of the descending blossoms. I imagined them full of compassion and appreciation for the tree’s ever-fleeting oneness of the great trees. Each bundle of petals clinging to the branches, hugging the neighboring leaves while the others are flung from paradise. They make surrendering look so beautiful. They were so graceful and charming as they bowed in the air. I felt like them, in a way. I felt like I was awakening, in every sense of the word–

I felt like I was awakening, in every sense of the word--

I felt like I was awakening, in every sense of the word--

“He leaped gracefully, arms holding the thin air while the crown of his head bowed towards the ground. Smiling gently, he danced–awakened from a deep slumber.”

After I composed myself, I walked toward my car conscious of each step. The shameful face of the moon flashed its betrayal off in the distance just before it vanished deep within the blue. I noticed the grass soaked in dew even though the sunlight had spilled had spilled everywhere. The shimmering, shining drops made me smile as they mixed with the elegant rays. With the wind moving calm and easy, the blossoms roamed far and wide with an energy that seemed to be full of intent. They rolled across the jagged pavement with minds of their own as if they knew where they were going. I took one last sip of the scene and I headed off before the morning slipped away.

In that moment and time everything seemed sacred to me. What a luxury it would be if every moment could be just like that. It is an amazing thing to be able to witness such simple elements of divinity that great us every day while here on earth. Even while we remain cloaked in layers of flesh, clothes, statuses, labels…etc, we can taste a bit of the sweet nectar we hope to one day attain. I’m not quite sure when the notion of ‘Heaven’ became an unruly hostage of the popular imagination, to be completely honest. It seems nearly all of the major practices have some conception of an ethereal space beyond here that will one day allow us to bathe in eternal bliss. But for now, how blessed and very fortunate we are to see a hint of that spectacular vision of divine beauty unveiled–even here on earth and within us all.

Brian Bowers

Brian is musician, writer, intellectual, amateur photographer, and Fullbrigght candidate for 2012. Most importantly, you will find Brian practicing yoga and rediscovering his beautiful soul through Bhakti yoga in our center.

How many times we have heard that “it” has nothing to do with us. Well, I think as I get older (or wiser) I realize how these saying are even more true and real. As I sit through satsang on Friday, and I hear the words of a devotee of Radhey and Krishna explaining this, the words become just so real. Of course, I immediately think of passing these just wonderful concept to “my” yoga students.

As I understand these ideas and listen to them in my head, I can see how it all connects. We try so hard all the time to do our best. We have so many hopes and expectations and desires about the outcomes of our actions. Yes, I do this all the time. I am always hopeful that this idea or thought or action might provoke change in this or the other person or situation. I guess there is nothing wrong is wishing the best to the people we love. However, these expectations do not have to turn into attachment. Let them be. The consequences of a deep breath we hope are to trigger that deep energy inside of us, and to open the alveoli, to remove impurities from the metabolites of our cellular respiration, etc. The subtle difference is if we sit and expect, desire, attach our thoughts to that result, and we wait. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it does not. Either way, it is ok. The result is not ours to control. There are many forces that will act and affect on the result of our actions. In the Bhagavat Gita Krishna tells Arjuna (and to us all through him) that we should always do our duty, and offer our results to the Divine.

Trust and surrender

Trust and Surrender

As I reflect on this, I can think of so many times that I am not even focused on the now, but on the reactions, the effect of my actions. It is so much simpler (not always easier) to be present, to do and live this moment the best I can. The fruit of my actions will happen. I will learn as I evaluate the reactions, and do this better next time. There are plenty examples where my actions have brought undesired reactions to others. Many times it is very hurtful and difficult to see this. All I can do is try to stay humble, and try my best again. I guess, it is another lesson learned from surrendering in yoga.

It is simpler to concentrate in the now, to do our best in the moment. Just listen, be attentive, do your best in this asana. The fruit of our actions is not up to us. The intent of our action is.

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