Tuesday, July 31, 2007

common to the Work of Byron Katie and Feldenkrais

Both don't say:
you have to change.

Both open a door:
you can feel better,
be happy,
be more free.

Both don't tell you
what you are doing wrong.

Both allow you to discover
and at some deep level
to make a change
if it's sweet and good for you,

by providing an options

by providing options.

If we are unhappy,
the katie work says:

judge your neighbor (know your pattern,
don't try to be too good)

write it down (slow down the obsessive thoughts
behind all suffering)

ask four questions
(let mind meet mind,
use the power of comparison
to heal,
not as often, to dig ourselves into a hole)

turn it around
(try a completely opposite pattern)

The four questions:
is it true?
can i absolutely know it's true?
how do i react when i believe that story or thought or belief?
who would i be without the belief?

Two sets of comparing:
is it true, vs, is it a belief, story, opinion, interpretation

how am i when i attach to the belief
who would i be without this attaching and believing?

no command to stop
the belief
an experiment

The Feldenkrais Method
us to try our habitual pattern,
then add on this alternative
and that variation,

try it in different
than we usually do
(on ground, on side, on stomach, back and so on)

change speed pattern:
slow down

change unconscious moving pattern:
pay attention

change having to get something done,
and done Right pattern:

we become young
learners again

a whole new world
opens up

is this fine?


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Sunday, July 29, 2007

The "Spunky" Group Leaves

gard ceremony
Our class of 18 happy,
and wise

the spunkiest
to come along yet,
good for "stretching"
our teacher's

has just finished
our "Last Breakfast"

Is it true?
Seems like it.
And then
can we absolutely

Love is everywhere,
and geese,
and laughter.

Good spiritual

We are finished
with certification
and what is next?

I don't know.
WE don't know.

Not knowing

life is


we rise joyfully to meet each


and some links
via ananda2007.blogspot.com


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Friday, July 27, 2007

The Power of Ananda Yoga Plus Wake Up Feldenkrais

The Feldenkrais Method, and Wake Up Feldenkrais
is superb at this:
allowing us
to come to the moment,
allowing us to train
and improve our awareness,
our brain,
and alongside that:
our grace and ease
in moving.

Yoga, of the traditional sort,
is pretty good at giving us
a guiding path of
how to place of bodies
in positions
that allow us to feel more full
of life,
a little more flexible,
more in tune
with how great it is to be in a body.

Ananda Yoga,
with an emphasis on affirmations
that accentuate and hone the poses
into arrows of direction,
directing our energy in
and up the spine
to our brain,
directing our attention
to higher emotions
(One, for example is,
"I radiate love and good will
to soul friends everywhere.")
and to
the Higher Nature in either ourselves
or some Higher Spirit (God??)
in the Universe.
(for example:
"With calm faith,
I open to Thy light.")

So with Ananda Yoga,
with not only have the body
and mental awareness of most yoga,
but we have a deep confirmation
and accenting of
the emotional
and spiritual basis of yoga.

And with a Feldenkrais companionship,
we have a deepening of
the immensely easy
and pleasurable
improvements in
and thinkng
and moving
that can come from a system based
on learning and discovery
rather than that old trap
of "Doing it Right."

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

what's missing in yoga therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic

In these three,
the human body
is like a machine,
a car say,
and when the car is broken,
you get it back into
or you adjust this
or that,
and then it can go back
to being a good bone
and muscle
and posture machine.

in feldenkrais,
the job is more like
you are a chetah
that thinks and acts
like you are a car;
how to wake you
back up to realizing
the grace
and power
and beauty
of being a chetah

and how is that done:
by learning
and discovery
and transformation

not therapy<
but expansion:
how can we tap
into forgetten abilities
to learn
and to change
and to become new
and newer
and newest

that's what's

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Not eating dinner

Not eating dinner seemed like a great idea
at six thirty

but now
at nine thirty
i'm way hungry

is that true?

can i absolutely know that's true?

when i attach to the belief:
this is too hard,
i'm going to starve
or hurt myself,
or deprive myself
or miss out on something

without the story:
amused that the stomach
can be such a big shot
in my life
amused at these sensations

in love with myself
and life

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Nothing to Say

Is that true?

Well, once I ask that question,
I recall how wonderful it has been
to have the Work of Byron Katie
as the system I find most human
and useful
for those troubled moments in life
when something doesn't go my way.

Funny about life,
how it hasn't woken up
to it's job
of making everything just so
comfie, comfie,
flattering to my image
for me.

of course,
then there's the turn around:
I haven't woken up
to realizing that it's my job
to make this life what i want it
to be.

And what is that?
Useful to others.
Useful to nature.
Happy when the yap yap mouth starts yapping.
Aware and awake when the yao yap mouth starts yapping.

the tongue
organ of taste
organ of speech
organ of conditioning

our mother tongue,
the lie:
these words are reality,
the miracle:
these words can makes sense to other
the drag:
these words can tell us what to do
and who we are
and shame and twist us
the glory:
these words
can sometimes be sprung loose
and be used to remind us
of the glory
when we are
and not in words
but in Reality

what is reality?
who we are without the story,
which brings us back to katie
and to the end of this little entry.

a bit to say
after all.


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Saturday, July 21, 2007

What is Yoga?

Wouldn't you like to know?

It's a way of awakening.

It's a path of spiritual unfolding.

It's a chance to reconnect body and awareness.

For some it's a way to torture themselves,
for others a way to do calesthetics more elegantly.
For others a desparate attempt to lose weight.
For others a quest for looking good naked.

For more and more,
it's a chance to connect
to something calm,
and real,
and Higher in themselves.

For more
on this way of going about defining
might as well come on over to the

tai chi yoga weightloss health blogsite

and read today's essay there.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

What is Ananda Yoga?

Ananada Yoga is a style of yoga
that emphasized yoga as not just a way
of improving and toning our bodies,
but of creating conditions for a connection
to our Higher Selves,
and even,
if you have such a way of thinking in your life,
to God.

By use of affirmations in each pose,
that emphasize inherent spiritual tendencies of that pose,
and help channel the physical energy of that pose
to a higher place within our body
(to the area often called the Third Eye,
or in modern terms clearly understood as the frontal lobe
of the brain),
and a higher place within our feeling and spiritual self,
Ananda Yoga
allows us to come closer to
our Higher Self/ the Infinite/ God.

An example of an affirmation without the G word
might be,
"I am calm. I am poised." in Vrikasana, the tree pose.
An example of a G word affirmation might be,

"I joyfully manifest the power of God,"
in Warrior 2, Virabhadrasana 2,
getting in touch with the powerfulness of our lower body,
and the joy in our upper body,
and a connecting this all to something higher in us.
Call it God, or our Higher Selves,
this is the way that
Ananda Yoga

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Is Yoga a Religion ?

Carl Jung once, supposedly, said a pretty fun thing,
sort of like this:

God wanted to help humanity out
so she gave them spiritual pathways
to find the way back to Her

Commenting to the Devil on
how great this way,
the Devil said,
"No sweat,
I'll just turn that stuff into
institutions and religion,
and then I'll have 'em all coming
right on back to me."

So is yoga a religion,
in the sense of Jung's distinction,
to me,
hints that religion is rigid
and rule bound
and pretty much an enslaving activity
disguised as something to do with
uniting or serving God,
whatever God is.

Some yoga seems like a religion
to me.
Bikram for example.
Very rigid, very dognatic,
no room to explore,
come to your own truth,
all set down from on high,
lots of effort,
no questioning,
no joy,
no inner stillness.

Lots of the Hollywood flash,
body building yoga,
seems like a religion,
worshiping at the altar of Eternal Youth,
or bust.

Some of the yoga or
nothing else people
(as in no Feldenkrais,
for example,
for some reason, I bring that up)
seem mired in true believerdom
which is what makes a religion,
in many ways.

So how about Ananda Yoga?
Is it a spiritual practice,
focused on finding a route for people to
connect with the Highest in themselves
and in their life?

To a large extent it is.
Some of it gets into what I'd call
the religion trap
when the reasons for doing something
are of the
Thus Spake Yogananda,
Thus Spake Swami Kryananda,
therefore it must be true.

By in large, though,
the essence of Ananda Yoga
is intensely spiritual,
to help people find and connect
to something Higher in themselves,
be that called God
or their Higher Self.

This is what spiritual work
is about,
and the path can be
or being present,
or serving humanity,
or even passionate simplicity and stillness.
But it all points to something deeper
or higher or more "real"
than the muck and shuck of
ongoing ordinary
run around in robot circles life.

I plan to use it as a spiritual
as well as the Byron Katie work,
and the be present work,
and the see the God in nature
and everyone work.

Some have even said,
no it's not a religion,
it's a science,
but even that statement to
is just more true believerism.

And from the Byron Katie
Blessed be the true believers
and blessed be the unbelievers,
and blessed be the power yoga people
and the hot yoga people
and the snarling dance sex bod people.

For me,
what i wanted when i came to learn Ananda
Yoga was
something to get back to Patanjali's
Second sutra:
Yogas chitta vriti narodah.
Yoga is the stillness and calming
or the whirlpools of thought/feeling/attachment/belief
in our consciousness.

In the stillness,
there lies the path of spirit,
at least as far as I know so far.

That's the long answer:
the short answer
Is Yoga a Religion?
Yes, to some people.
Sometimes the religion
of My Body
sometimes the religion
of Doing it Right

To some people
yoga is a spiritual path
and I say,
for them,
and us on that path.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

rain, rainbows, byron katie, life, yoga, and so on

the six o'clock get up bell
and the six o'clock sun
met the six o'clock drizzle
and double rainbows

rain in july

is the world upside down
of what
nice for the deer,
hard for the fires later,
great for the air,
fun for the shaking up
of all our set ideas
of how it's
"supposed to be."

people at dinner interested
in hearing about Byron Katie
and her weird lineage:
and then
waking up
in Barstow,
to the nothingness of herself
and all the thoughts
that kept that myth
and her love for
anything and everything
in front of her

good world

tired today

learning goes on
classes popular.

So nice to do so little
in the efforting department,
and get such huge results.



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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

the river

we went to an amazing river today
the yuba


life is

here's a link
to one of the ring leaders
for getting us
to the river:
Wild Women Workshops

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Energy of an Asana

In Ananda Yoga,
they emphasize finding the deeper,
spiritual essence of each pose.

There are a bunch of quite nice
affirmations that come from the community's leader,
and part of the training is to not only learn
the Sanskrit,
(Balasana, child's pose)
but to learn as well
the affirmation
that goes with each pose
(for Balasana:
I relax from outer involvement
into my inner haven of peace.)

This allows one to use yoga
as a tool to come deeper
into oneself.

we had a class in
which first we all did a pose,
for which we have not yet learned
the affirmation,
Parvakonasana, the side angle pose.

We held it for about five minutes each
which was hard,
but we had a chair into which to sort of
do and not do the pose, as we sat into chair
and kept the shape.

Then we all felt what image came
(for me a river,
for others fountains, waterfalls, and others i don't
remember, flowers, hearts, sunshine, maybe),
and then to feel for our own affirmation;

I got:
A river of strength and love
flows through me
from Earth to Sky.

Then for the second half of the class
we were to come up with our own pick
of pose,
and see what we arrived at.

I'd been missing headstand,Sirshasana
and certainly didn't do it for ten
but all this work on the spine
and bringing energy to the brain,
and i arrived at a flooding down
thtough the spinal cord of light.

I put this into an affirmation:
Through the center of my spine,
floods into
my brain.

Maybe you had to be there.
who knows.


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Sunday, July 15, 2007

If we want to be happy

We can do a couple of really great things.

we can decide that this is our right
and our duty to be joyous
into the world.
Joyous as an affirmation
of why we are here,
in the midst of this miracle of life.

we can pull the plug on our unhappiness.
Easiest and most thorough
to do this,
is one vriti at a time.
Here the good old Work of Byron Katie
helps wash away our suffering
and makes it very clear how to
deal with other people.

get clear,
as Byron Katie says,
that what other people do, say and feel and think
is their business.
If we let it get to us,
that's something we
did to us,
and we can do the work on.

If we wish to be free.

wish to be free.

live in the present
where there are no
words to make ourselves
miserable with
by discribing any story
about how what is
should be different.

No words,
no comparisons that lead to suffering.

Good comparison:
which is warmer right now,
your right or your left hand.
Which feels longer: your spine
or your left leg.

find real things to pay attention to.

have some awareness and gratitude
reserved for the miracles,
the miracle of having awareness,
and life,
and being in this great game.


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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Beyond Strength and Flexibility

In a Feldenkrais class
a teacher doesn't have the problem of "What to do
with students at different levels?"
since the work is so slow
and awareness oriented.

But in a yoga class,
where people come wanting to improve
strength and flexibility,
what is a teacher to do
if people come at all sorts of different levels.

How can the class be made challenging for all.

let's try a whole list of ways to challenge people
in a yoga class starting with these two.


what else:
ability to go beyond habits
i.e. non-competitiveness
self love
love in general
joy in general
attention to inner states
attention to inner habitual judgments
ability to not judge ourselves
ability to come back to present
ability to come back from "edges"
ability to follow the breathing
ability to discover something new inside ourselves
ability to enjoy the process

loving now
isn't that the greatest challenge
and the one
that gives
the biggest payoff??

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Friday, July 13, 2007


means non-violence
and is one of the ten
suggestions in yoga.

five are things to cool it on
and five are things to cultivate
(see contentment, santosha, earlier posting)

non violence
is yoga
is pretty easy to realize
and often forgotten:
let's not hurt ourselves
let's not confuse learning to move
and to be in our bodies
and to find the spiritual essence of a posture
with this weird idea that if it
isn't painful we aren't getting
anything out of it

and in teaching yoga
is to be kind
to all the students
what can they do
that they will enjoy
in this class
what can we all do
that they will learn
what can we not do
that they will have a chance
to be silent
and connected to all
that beauty that comes
in the stillness


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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Awakened Beings and Suchnot

The nice thing about Byron Katie
(you know, thework.com
is that though she shows all the signs
of an awakened being:
no desires,
no real sense of self
(listen to her or read the latest,
Thousand Names for Joy,
where she enjoys her body,
doesn't think it's real,
loves being a woman,
doesn't think that's real,
loves the sights and sounds
of the world
and doesn't think they are real).

To finish the sentence:
even though she shows all the signs,
she never uses the word
or realized,
says that's just one more concept
to take us away from reality.
won't claim anything
except to have had
"a moment of clarity"
which just happened
to have radically changed
her life.

She doesn't even have desires
that people do her work.
It's just there,
and she keeps offering it,
because people keep asking.

when she's with people
she says that our suffering
and what we are going through,
she can understand from our point of view,
from hers none of it exists
and since there is nothing left
of her,
we are her
when she is in interaction with us.

One of my favorite times with her
was at one Nine Day School
she came into the room
(no bowing or whatnot,
just smiles of love
to everyone in front of her)
and said:
"Isn't it a beautiful day,
even though none of it is real."

Another favorite
at a New Year's Juice Fast,
people getting cranky,
someone stands up and starts
chewing her out,
she's beaming,
lets the woman finish,
and says to everyone:
"Don't you just love it.
Isn't she speaking for all of us."

So be it.

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Contentment,,,,,, Satosha

Here we are studying all sorts of things.

Part of the study is
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras,
short verses
that explain
a life that will lead to spiritual advancement
and ultimately liberation.

Whatever that is.

Let's start with the doable:
Loving What Is.

is the Niyama
that says: cultivate contentment.

Which is nice,
as in being happy
when things go our way.
Most of us can do that.

And be happy when things
don't go our way.

And how to do that.
Well, it should be no suprise
to anyone who has read in here,
I'd suggest
the The Work of Byron Katie
a gal who Woke Up
in the desert town of Barstow, California,
with no spiritual practice
but only a deep wish to die.
She was an alcoholic, obese, chainsmoking,
depressed and raging.
So she had reason to want all that to die.

And one day it did
and she was left with nothing.
Only bliss.
People had to explain that she had a name,
that she was a woman, that she was a wife,
a mother.
For awhile they had to pin her name to
here when she'd go wandering around,
because she had no identification with that.

And her

Well, she discovered, brief moments of unbliss would
always from a thought,
and that by following this path,
she'd be back in bliss

Judge Your Neighbor
Write it Down
Ask four Questions
Turn it around.

When discontent,
write down
the "should" or the "shouldn't"
that you are throwing away your joy for.
Do the four questions.
Find the turn around.

Where are the four questions?
See once more,
if you wish
The Work of Byron Katie
(and Katie never wants anyone to
do her work unless they want to,
never prizes anyone more for doing it
than rejecting it)

And if you aren't more content
do the work
on your annoyance that it didn't happen
or do the work more deeply.

It works
if we do.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What happens when we realize
we are asleep
and want to live a more full and awake
and wonderful life?

we can go right back to sleep
by telling ourselves that
we waited so long to discover this

we can go to a more interesting sleep
and make a dedicated vow to be all
the time awake

we can cultivate an awareness of what
we like
what we love
in the moments of beign awake

we can cultivate a taste for the difference
a hunger for the real
a subtle alertness to the quality of our life

we can laugh when we wake with a start
to knowing
once more
that this now
is it
this is our life

we can smile with happiness
and breathe a sigh of relief:
i'm home again.
i'm here
i'm now,

what is my life right now?

how nice to realize that is
a fine
and fun
and fruitful
place to put out attention:

what is my life right now?

there is love
and amusement
and some little sweet and amazing

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Happy Monday

One way of looking at yoga is as a chance to return to a
connection to our bodies,
to an enjoyment of moving in precise
and conscious way.

Another way of looking at yoga is as a chance to
slow down the rush of the world and
come inward with our attention and energy
and thus recharge ourselves.

Another way of looking at yoga,
is as a chance to become that which
we are at our core:
that is as vast as the universe.

Thus the second sutra of Patanjali:
yogas chitta vritti narodah:
Yoga is the stilling of the whirlpools of our feeling driven thoughts.

As if coming to the center, the eye of the huricance,
yoga can,
bring us to a stillness and peace
that is truly who we are.

And, as those who've read these remarks
over the years know,
the Work of Byron Katie
is another path
to still the rushing of thoughts
thoughts that lead us to suffering.

And the Feldenkrais Way
in a strange and beautiful way,
can lead us back to the glory
of awarenss and learning
as pathways to the Bigger Self that is
down there
inside our little self,
waiting to be discovered.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Life on a Sunday

The sun rose around six
and set around eight.

The day got warmer and
then cooler.

The Ananda people here believe that all in life
is a waste except a striving for unification with God.

This gives them focus
and a great deal of peacefulness:
they know their life's purpose.

They are also nice
and friendly and kind people
with little desire to convert
and no desire to say any other path
is wrong.

And me:
I'm glad they have this place
I can spend a month here
around very interesting people in
my yoga training:
2 from Croatia
2 from Slovenia
1 from Spain
1 from Georgia who decided to come five days before the training started
one who leads nature expeditions, including those to Tibet.
a gal whose writing a book of her four years in Africa.

how do all these people
come to yoga

well it means union
maybe that's a start.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

What are the sweetnesses in our life?

The smile of ones we love,
the song of a bird,
the flight of the hummingbird,
the smell of sweet food,
the taste of cool water,
the richness of the Earth,

a song
a chant
a walk
a dream
a pathway
an ocean
a cloud
a happy child
a happy us

and on
and on

where does the sweetness in life
come from
does it have a source?
what would a life lived in the sweetness
more often be like?
who are we really?
where does the sweetness come from?
where do we go when we forget it?

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Friday, July 06, 2007

One of life's secrets is to go
ahead and do things that you want to see
done and other people aren't getting around to
doing it.

in the Ananda Yoga Teachers' Training (YTT)
we had a check in,
and this guy I'm starting to like and enjoy
a bunch said banana split was all that was
on his mind.

I said,
go on down to the store,
buy yourself some bananas, ice cream, chocolate and whatnot
and make one yourself.

I mentioned it a couple of times.
No spark.
So, just before dinner I hoofed on down
got some organic chocolate, and soy ice cream
and bananas and coconut
and brought them back.

Got to dinner a little late
and lo and behold
some bit of soy ice cake and strawberries
for desert,
so I took one for the project
went to the table just in time to
catch Robert about to eat his own

I grab it away,
tell him he had to finish his

He's like HuuuuuH?
And then i put his desert on a big
add banana
and the rest.,

He then takes it all around giving people
and luckily I'd gotten a couple of bananas,
so a lot of people had the jollies
and I just watched
and got jolly on that.

This lead later to
the discovery of banasana,
which is like the lion's pose
with the licking tongue,
to mirror Robert's licking each bit off his
plate when he finally let himself have some.

We need some pictures of Robert on here.
With a little technology,
it should be possible.
anyway he licked his plate clean
and banasana,
includes circular licking at the front end
and circular rotation of the pelvis at the
other end.

Then some skits began to be born.
Since in Ananda yoga the poses
have affirmations to go with them,
has this one:
Life is delicious.
I will lick it to the last drop.

This probably sounds childish.
it is in
a way,
but after all the work of the week,
and the delight of letting the kid
in us come out,
the banana split wish
turned into a rather fine evening.


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Thursday, July 05, 2007


Up here in Ananda land
they are big on affirmations,

they gave out an all purpose one
that i find quite nice

maybe you'll like it:


and then i like


who knows?

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Work of Byron Katie

We are alive

We go about our days

Life is what it is.

Thoughts come up, in our minds, and suddenly unhappiness descends.

We can tell the thoughts to go away.
We can go to affirmation.

We can write the thought down,
or get it clear in our mind
as a set of words.

and then question:
is this thought true?
can i absolutely know this thought is true?
what are the fruits in my life and feelings and actions of believing this thought?
who would i be without this thought?

and then,
what is the upside down,
the turn around of this thought?

So and so should be nicer to me
turns around to
i should be nicer to so and so
and i should be nicer to me.

then, we go about our business of
and ourselves
and others
until another thought comes along
and we can then question that

a game of love
and learning
and freedom

better put,
for sure,
at TheWork.com

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What who thoughts on:: : God

This was our assignment in class tonight as part of to yoga teacher training,
I'm presently taking at Ananda.

Here's what I wrote:

Thoughts on, Who is God:

is the world of Nature
is the Vastness of the Universe
via Byron Katie, God is everything

old time assholes' God:
God is the big dude who has all the rules
God is My Rules get to kill your rules
God is the Judge who says what people should do
God is on "our side."

in this Ananda setting, it appears that God is
beyond words
supremely worth unifying with

My now idea of
being silent
that thrilled current of Life
of Awareness
of being part of a VAst Universe
of being given this gift of Life

God as evolution and Nature
and some weird sort of
mystical undercurrent
of love

right now (when i wrote the assignment)
God is being in this class
where the teachers are good
enough to bring up the chance
for us all to write
"What is your idea of God?"

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I'm here

At Ananda.
One minute
and I've got a meeting.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Summer Learning

Just finished nine more days of training
with the amazing Anat Baniel.
See, if you wish,
Anat Baniel Method.

Today up to Ananda
for four weeks of yoga training
after which
I plan to return
and teach


And on the 29th, of July,
the day the Ananda thing ends,
I'll get on a plane
and fly to Portland
to attend the
Feldenkrais Guild
yearly conference.

Back on the 4th
to attend a wedding
and hopefull come to Center of Universe Cafe.

for now

and Marlie is
keeping going the
Monday Feldenkrais
create a miracle for yourself

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