Please feel free to read this blog and join in. I hope you will write something inspirational, inspiring, spiritual, controversial, amusing, engaging or just plain run of the mill. But please don't be brusque, churlish or licentious.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Man in the Moon

He landed on the Moon and never came back
the merry man who was shot from a cannon.
If you look up in the sky when the moon is full
you can see his face still shining.

His name is Man, and he's still there 
every night, all night long
as long as there's
a full moon glowing. 

He's happy up there
looking down
at the wonders
of what's here.

For he is
the Man
in the

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What is this thing called Yoga?

There are different kinds of yoga. Some of the more common forms of yoga in the United States are Hatha, Kundalini, Ashtanga, Krapalu, Bikram, and Iyengar. Although they are different in many respects they all use asanas (poses) in their disciplines. The original intent of yoga, as written in the Yoga Sutras, is to reach a higher state of consciousness known as Samadhi. The use of asanas is one of seven steps for reaching this higher state.

The word yoga literally means "union" - union of the body with the breath, the mind, and the spirit as well as with all things. By doing yoga, not just asanas, we may begin to realize that we are not separate but rather one within ourselves as well as with all that is. So, yoga poses are not all that make up yoga but are one part of the practice.

There is no one particular style or form of yoga for everybody. Each person must find what works for him/her. Once a person finds his/her style of yoga the benefits are virtually limitless. Some benefits are: becoming more peaceful with one's self as well as with others, internal and external purity, contentment, austerity, better concentration, improved strength, flexibility, balance, lung volume, spirituality and well-being. Also, improved posture, mental attitude and immune system not to mention the final goal - Samadhi.

If one follows the original intended path of yoga, through all eight sutras (paths), purity of mind and body will occur automatically. Asanas alone cannot completely unite the body, mind, breath, and spirit. Union comes by following all eight paths with impunity. If a person does only asanas he is not doing yoga - he is only doing asanas. The eight limbs of yoga are: 1. Yamas - non-violence, truthfulness, moderation in all things, and non-covetousness; 2. Niyamas - keeping the body and mind free of impurities, being austere and studying the sacred texts; 3. Asanas - postures for internal discipline; 4. Pranayama - regulation and control of breathing; 5. Pratyahara - withdrawl of the senses in order to still the mind; 6. Dharana - concentration; 7. Dhyana - meditation; 8. Samadhi - unity of self with all that is.

Having said all that, asanas are very important and are an integral part of yoga especially when they are combined with the power of the the breath (prana) and a focused mind. Moving through a series of asanas (vinyasa) while directing prana with the mind can be highly therapeutic. Where prana goes so does energy (shakti). The movement of shakti through the astral tube of the body (the sushuma) by using prana is what pranayama is all about. Once a yogi has perfected pranayama the healing power of shakti can be very powerful. 

Last but not least it is important to say that yoga is not something one does for 90 minutes twice a week. Yoga is a lifestyle.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Favorite Way to Meditate

My favorite way to meditate is to sit cross legged in my butt swing, gloves on, blindfold on, and earplugs in. This way I am isolated from most outside stimuli. This is about as close as I can get, without being in an isolation chamber, to pratyahara.

I believe it is best to sit in an upright position and as comfortable as possible. If this requires cushions, pillows, bolsters, or what have you, that is fine. It is important to be as comfortable as possible. Do not sit in a position that is uncomfortable, bothersome, distracting or takes away from the meditative process. When you are comfortable the spine is less likely to be injured and when the spine is in a vertical position energy is allowed to flow through it more freely.

I begin with chakra breathing. My practice begins with the first chakra at the base of the spine. I visualize the chakra as a wheel with the axle of the wheel lying horizontally to my body, from left to right, and the chakra looking something like a water wheel. The breath flows in at the bottom of the chakra and out at the top. The breath turns the chakra. As breathing continues the chakra opens, becomes aligned and stable. The first chakra is very important because it lays the groundwork for the remaining chakras. It may take ten or twenty minutes of slow, rhythmic breathing at the first chakra before my breath moves up to the second chakra. For me, the process has become automatic once through the first chakra and very little effort is required to move up the chakra system. Once the seventh chakra is reached, energy expands out the top of the head into universal consciousness. 

I don't use a timer because I feel it would disturb the natural flow of energy. It may take 30 or 40 minutes to go through all seven chakras and the remaining time is spent in universal consciousness, for maybe an hour or more. So far I have automatically come back into my body and mind after that.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Flying Boy

You may have heard about the boy
who tried flying by jumping off a barn.
He sailed into the air with tremendous joy
soaring off like a kite on a big ball of yarn.

It was so windy the windmill was churning
around so fast it was humming
like a tornado snaking and turning.
The tower exploded and so did the plumbing.

The cows in the pasture had to lay down
as the boy flew by like a bat out of hell.
The wood from the barn spread all over town
and the chickens and pigs were lost in the dell.

Someone saw the boy high in the sky
yelling out loud for someone to help.
He had to come down or surely die
up in the sky they all knew how he felt.

As time went on he got higher and higher
and soon he was so high he was out of sight,
known far and wide as the high flying flier.
Too bad for the boy, it was a terrible plight.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into years
and still there was no sign of the guy in the sky.
For the people in the town there were tears
for the boy who went up so very, very high.

Then early one morning the boy appeared
on top of the water tower just down the road
where a crowd was yelling "you disappeared."
They wondered what happened all those years.

"I flew 'round the world" he shouted.
"I saw strange and wonderful places" he said,
as he spread his handsome wings and departed,
to never return to the town of the dead.