Scar Tissue


Today I planned on writing another meditation-based lesson/insight.  But, sometimes you have to go with your intuition, and recently the universe provided me an opportunity to observe myself and where I am growing from my meditation practice.  As an instructor I want to share what is working (and not working)–hopefully this offers some idea of what you may expect. Additionally, it is important to savor the small victories.  But, don’t accept anything I say–meditate, meditate, meditate and find Truth for yourself.

A “glitch” I have wrestled with is holding grudges.  Who knows where it arose from?  I come from a long line of spicy Panamanian women– perhaps we ate to many chili peppers!  But, it doesn’t matter where it came from; what matters is that it a pattern or samskara, “those deep impressions. It is those deep impressions or seed habit patterns, which are at the root of ALL of our Karmas (actions)” (Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati).

Samskara– it sounds like a scar– a deep etching a groove left in the mind which, like a cd stuck on a track, leads to habituated behavior.

When we sit to meditate we are first taught to let the stream of thoughts come and go without obstruction.  We are taught to let the mind behave naturally and develop the perspective of a detached witness to this stream.  Why?  What purpose does this serve?

Over time this art of gently allowing the mind to unfold and bloom helps the aspirant to “see” that the mind has a limitless capacity for creation.  A meditator learns to have more an impersonal relationship with “their” thoughts; they are just thoughts and not who we are at the core.

Once there is some space between the thinker and the thoughts; the fun starts to really happen… A consistent meditator notices that there are trends and habits of thinking which does not serve them.  In my case, the habit is to become very defensive and angry when I perceived that I have been wronged.  This tendency can lead me to hold a grudge.

Earlier this week, I was relaying to a dear friend some feelings I had about the Yoga community in my home town.  I had a particularly unhappy experience which someone who has a very financially successful studio in-town.  When the antagonist of my drama and I parted company, it left a very sour taste in my mouth. But, this time when I shared the story I finally felt more “neutral”.  I am not going to say it was as if I was a newscaster.  But, it was the first time my blood did not boil.  Furthermore, I was aware of this new sense of “neutrality”.

I have begun to erase this groove.

The yoga sutras speak of four attitudes to cultivateMaitri: Friendliness, pleasantness, loving-ness; Karuna: Compassion, mercy; Mudita: Gladness, goodwill; Upekshanam: Acceptance, equanimity, indifference, neutrality.  The last of these is to be cultivated specifically towards “those we perceive as wicked or evil”.

In addition to the concept of neutrality– notice that the sutras say “those we perceive”, because the truth is, when our minds are deeply entrenched in thought we don’t really get the truth of what is going on.  We ride off on each thought into the land of fantasy where we are the protagonist and the star of our drama.

As we move further into our path we work towards not creating new etchings by a committment to observing the thoughts. Then they don’t unconsciously affix to us– we are aware of their comings and goings.  When an unsavory thought attempts take hold we label it as “not useful” and let it go.  After all, we aren’t defined by them– they are just thoughts– and we understand that they are the product of our beautiful, boundless, ever creative mind.

Consistency in Meditation Practice

Cardiovascular fitness

I was listening to an audiobook that is a staple in my library now, “Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation” by Professor Mark W. Muesse Ph.D.  The lecturer eloquently describes our exhibitionist media’s stereotypical image of a meditator: young, scantily dressed woman, on a beach or in a lush garden.  He artfully explains this image makes meditation seem relaxing, easy, and fun.  However, Muesse goes further to explain how polarizing this is–if you can’t sit criss-cross applesauce, if you’re not young and lithe, and if you’re not a sexy woman you may feel excluded from the club.

I’ve got news for you: meditation is not necessarily easy (in fact, at times it may be difficult).  Furthermore, with an untrained body and mind there will be discomfort.  But, like an athlete systematically trains for a marathon by consistently increasing their running on a weekly basis, a consistent practice will unfold in the ability to sit, reasonably comfortably, in meditation.

The Himalayan Tradition prescribes sitting in meditation four times a day!  Yes, that may be daunting.  Furthermore it may not be your reality.  I have to maintain flexibility in my practice schedule.  But, I sit every day!

The Yoga Sutras explain, if one wants Realization (if that is what you want), this requires committment.  Realization is the greatest undertaking of a Human Life– it is not to be taken lightly.  If you want to lower your blood pressure and zone out, then you should meditate sporadically.

All the Masters prescribe a relationship with The Silence, from Jesus to The Buddha.  So I guess the real question, before we determine why so many people don’t meditate regularly–is, what do you really want?

Classically, in Raja-Yoga (the path described in the Yoga Sutras), one does not start with meditation.  One begins with getting their house in order.

Perhaps you attracted to the idea of meditation, as stated it is recommended by The Best.  But, you don’t know what you want for your life.  Perhaps, you don’t have a goal.  The aforementioned runner does not only hit the road to prepare for a marathon (meditation), they also use weights, they stretch, and they modify their nutrition.  The Himalayan Tradition affords adjunctive practices to prepare and enhance meditation.  One such practice is internal dialogue (atma vichara).

Internal dialogue is just that: having a two-way conversation with the mind.  Don’t let that seem schizy to you– we do it all the time.  Sometimes it is more that a two-way conversation– Muesse describes it as a committee meeting!  Internal dialogue is a practice which allows you get to know your own mind, to befriend it, to learn your true deepest desires, and to have a goal for your life.

If you’re already meditating, but not using atma vichara consider adding it to bolster your practice.  If you’re meditating inconsistently, understand your level of effort will yield fruit accordingly.  If you haven’t begun a meditation practice, and you feel an aversion or hesitation, start with atma vichara (internal dialogue) to learn why.

Then meditate, meditate, meditate.  As my beloved Swami J says, “May your meditation today bring you peace, happiness and bliss…“.  


I am NOT a Yoga Teacher…

Golden Om

I am not a Yoga Teacher… It sounds so ominous, as if I am rejecting my “career” path of the past 20 years! But, it’s quite the opposite; I am affirming my sadhana (spiritual path)–and that’s what matters.

All speech has an intention underneath it– allowing the propagation of a misnomer, for the sake of simplification, is egregious to a seeker.

I am not a Yoga Teacher–really there is no such thing.  Among many definitions: Yoga is the transcendental state of consciousness; Yoga is the union of the microcosm and the macrocosm– how can one embodied being teach that???

Yes, there are Realized Masters who benevolently impart their wisdom. They have Realized their True Nature and they are guides– but, the aspirant must still walk the path.

In fact, the Yoga Sutras explain that there are three ways to obtain knowledge. Intuition, Experience, and a Qualified Teacher. But, the highest knowledge, truth, is the convergence of all three.

The aforementioned Masters are desireless– but, they share these teachings with the understanding that we are all one and it is the right and privilege of all to Self-Realize.

There is no “Teacher’s Training” that can offer this– because it requires direct experience.  That is the part that seems to be ignored by the conventional.

At this junction I am a Sadhaka, not a Yogi (they have attained Yoga), I hope to Realize this state. But, until then I am a coach, a guide, and an aspirant.



Love is the ultimate state of consciousness. This love is of a transcendental nature–not just the emotion-based physical level. This is the layer of Consciousness that has an infinite numbers of names. It is the layer that I attempt to Realize in deep meditation, contemplation, and prayer. I choose the word, “Realize”, as opposed to attain, because it is our true nature. In a sense, we have forgotten it. It is the realm of deathlessness. In fact, when someone dies the pain is due to the separation from their body–not the loss of Love. Because, what is left is what is Real and Permanent, and what is Real and Permanent is Love.

Temple of Efflorescence

I was
but tiny fury, each moment before.
Aimless energy
moving small, making little sound.
Still, strong enough to shake me awake!
Chain reaction
mingled with law of attraction
drawing on tempered intention
positively building the perfect munition.
Now, a nuclear
Breaking, shaking the ground.
Energy profound
from the well of stillness,
it blooms from a lovely calm.
Be humbled, bear witness,
bow to the sweet devastation
alive in the detonation of
our beloved bomb.

The Pitch

So different
than you thought
it would be
it’s so much better
it’s kind of like water
but colder and wetter
it’s like the sun
and the miracle
of its twenty four hour run.
it’s like the alphabet,
actually, it’s more like
your favorite letter.
it’s like the best movie
before it’s even begun
or a sports car
that couldn’t get any redder
it’s the hills
and people singing
it’s one of the old adventures
in a little blue pill
it’s a relative’s telephone ringing
it’s the sky
that hasn’t fallen
it’s the person
that was just calling
it’s a resume
with a perfect header
it’s the girl
that wanted to go to prom
but her dad
just wouldn’t let her
call the papers
ready the type setter!
because I have an interesting story
of an odd little caper
that smacks of love
and life in all its glory
all I need is your ear
and the best of your time
it’s an epic that’ll spans years
a true masterpiece
that exemplifies rhyme
deserving of your sweetest tears
So what do you say?
does it sound good to you?
come sit down
there’s so much to do
Let’s start by rethinking thought
and all the food we’ve fed her,
and you’ll be surprised
at how easy it’ll be
to write this story together!


Hello Lovely

Wishing you a day that is perfect as can be

Thank you for your kind words

I will not and do not take them for granted

So happy to have another pair of kind eyes

to enjoy this diverse garden planted

from single letter to written word to full blown verse.

Two kindred spirits meander

Into a clearer message concurred

Revealing the gift

From distant shadows of perceived curse.

Traversing front to back and the reverse

You me us them all one

We are the sweetness that is the end before its begun

thanks to our embrace and what we’ve spun

This tapestry weaves itself with our splendid thread

Into a bigger picture for our third eyes to see

Illustrating a point on which we all agree,

A peace that transforms waking life

breaking the chains perceived as living or dead

Hold tight to this new found immortality

Surrender kindly to the collaboration

that is sweet infinity set free