February 5, 2016~ Courage and Living from the Heart

Shanti Yoga Studio, 5:30-6:30 pm

I’m dedicating January and February to Courage and Living from the Heart. What does it mean to be fearless?  Gandhi taught ahimsa, non-violence, as a certain kind of courage, a “matter of the heart.”  When we have fear, the heart is blocked and our actions will be limited.  We can use the tools of meditation to identify the shadows of fear and acknowledge their messages.  Then bring strength and awareness to the heart.  You are bigger than any fear.  You are more powerful and loving than you know.

Use the light.
Come home to your true nature.
Don’t cause yourself injury:
This is known as seizing truth.
Tao Te Ching #52, trans. Eknath Easwaran

 You’ll simply lie still in a soft “nest” experiencing a sensory bath of sacred music, guided meditation, poetry, massage, and more. By adding some deep breathing techniques, you may drop into the healing place of the Alpha-Theta brain waves where you are relaxed and aware in a light meditative state. Here you may access creative visualization, insight, intuition, and spiritual connection.   Feel your stress dissolve and let your mind/body/spirit rest for an entire blissful hour.

$15 drop in, included in Shanti Yoga memberships and Luminaire specials.


Available to adapt for your retreat or private session~


I wish I could show you…the Astonishing Light of your own Being  ~ Hafiz

Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars of light.   ~ Mary Oliver

We understand light as ocular and spiritual awareness. Light behaves as a stream of particles and a vibrating wave, as does our breath.

Georg Kuhlewind emphasizes attentiveness as a way to illumination. Quantum physics holds the seeming contradiction that light behaves both as a stream of particles and a vibrating wave.  And there is the Gospel of John, with his leitmotif of light as the source of God. We may bring attentiveness to our experience as a way to illumination, to make known.

Your Creative Journey

Exploring your personal hero’s journey within your creative field.  What archetypes do you typically inhabit~ warrior, hermit, queen, trickster, companion, mentor…?  We will strengthen your creative field, identify your current themes, and envision your path to more confidently express your power and creativity.

Earth and Harvest

Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,where something might be planted, a seed, possibly, from the Absolute. ~ Rumi

We turn into the Earth cycle of fulfillment, receptivity, and harvest.  The Lap of the Mother.  What may you now harvest?  We also recognize that to harvest is to let something die.  What may you relinquish to the Earth?  In this guided journey we visualize our sacred garden~ its gifts, opportunities, and teachings.

The Seven Ripples of Love

A concentric journey through your universe of acquaintance, beginning with self.  Then consider the depth and range of regard you hold for others, from deep love to indifference to some quality of difficulty.  If you hold each ripple with intentional consideration, how may you deepen that regard, perhaps shift an animosity, become more whole in your personal universe?

Blessings  Slow down just a little and recognize your blessings with the generosity of summer.  Mindfully stop for an hour.  Consider your abundance.  Feel the strength and resources in your body.  Appreciate the breadth and resilience of your spirit.  We will use Julia Cameron’s Blessings and a range of prayers and sacred music from different traditions.  Move through your summer with awareness and gratitude.

Adversity Slowing down and allowing space. Cultivating equilibrium. Tapping into gratitude. Asking for help, giving help, recognizing the necessity of balance. Inspired by Beethoven’s Opus 131, which contains 7 movements instead of the usual 4, without pause.  Which means the musicians have to keep playing even when they are out of tune.  Using the tools of guided meditation to come back into tune.

Wood Blessings Welcoming Spring.  The element and season of Wood is about birth, expansion, growth, creativity, and boundaries.  We look to the tree as our primary symbol, from seed to canopy.  Wood archetypes are the Visionary and Warrior teaching us vitality, confidence, and manifestation.  Wood teaches the virtues of justice, forgiveness and patience. How may we learn from the tree, the warrior, and the promises of spring

When I am among the trees,

especially the willows and the honey locust,

equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines, t

hey give off such hints of gladness. I

would almost say that they save me, and daily.

Your Creative Currentcy Using the Creative Process to explore your Creative Field. Preparation, Invitation, and Generation Consider your path, a purpose, obstacle, project…. Invite your muse.  Choose an intention for your meditation. Incubation and Absorption Explore the shapes, edges, and depths of your intention. Where have you not yet looked? Inspiration and Illumination Invite your divine support. Look for connections, relationships, patterns. Evaluation and Verification Invite devil’s and angel’s advocates to examine and lead. Implementation and Restoration Create a framework.  One step to implement your intention.  Surrender.

Vision Using the tools of the guided meditation to access personal vision.  This may be a centering prayer, invocation, surrendering, or even a request for guidance.  By adding deep breathing and the evocative triggers of music and poetry, how may we open our internal field of vision? We will use three body scans in this meditation~ ~a pelvic bowl / 2nd chakra / kundalini scan to access creative flow ~a left body / feminine / yin scan for intuition and a right body / masculine / yang scan for structures ~a 5th chakra / third eye / ajna scan for higher vision.

The Journey, an exploration of personal archetypes in the Hero’s Path The arc of the journey is a rich field where we experience our lives.  How may we bring conscious attention to this landscape?   It contains the ordinary world, calls to take action, assistance, challenge, celebration, service, and revelation. In this guided meditation, you will explore your calls and gifts within the hero’s path.  This includes attention to the stage of revelation or illumination~ how you understand your connection with divinity as a gift to the world.

Rivers of Stillness, Into Winter “Water knows how to benefit from all things without striving with them…therefore, it comes near the Tao.”  ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching

Wisdom from Water Season teachings may guide us in these months surrounded by water.  A primary archetype in Water teachings is the Sage.  Water wisdom teaches perseverance, courage, and stillness.  Water creates a course of ease, navigating obstacles, polishing hardness, shaping earth.  Water stillness contains depth.  Water currents cleanse and merge.  It cycles through a versatility of forms.

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the ocean in a drop.”   ~ Rumi

Form and Emptiness The Kabbalah cosmology holds the necessity of  of Ayn “Is Not” or nothingness and Yesh “What Is” or awareness.  The Vedic texts emphasize Tat Tvam Asi, “You are that,” the Self being identified with the Whole.  The Christian tradition in Romans teaches, “Hath not the potter power over the clay to make from the same lump one vessel unto honor?” How are we to understand any form, especially our own, in the place, experience, and expression of the universe?

This Clay Jug

Inside this clay jug there are canyons and pine mountains, and the maker of canyons and pine mountains!

All seven oceans are inside, and hundreds of millions of stars.

The acid that tests gold is there, and the one who judges jewels.

And the music from the strings no one touches, and the source of all water.

If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth:

Friend, listen: the God whom I love is inside.


Into the Darkness~a conscious journey of surrendering and accepting

“The night will give you a horizon further than you can see.”  ~David Whyte As our hemisphere tilts a little more deeply into darkness, let’s honor its wisdom.  Mythic personalities lead the conscious way~ Innana sheds her armor and jewelry,  Theseus takes Ariadne’s ball of thread, Persephone gives some kind of consent to Hades.  Shedding, guidance, inevitability. Darkness has gifts.  It is the yin time of resting, revitalization, study, creativity, meditation.  If we consciously journey into the darkness, what may we find of necessity? “Lose what I lose to keep what I keep, / The strong root still alive under the snow…”  ~May Sarton

Sacred Places Where is your sacred inner place?  On this guided journey, you create a place of safety, beauty, rest, and inspiration.

On foot I had to cross the solar systems

before I found the first thread of my red dress.

I sense myself already.

Somewhere in space hangs my heart,

quivering in the void,

from it stream sparks into other boundless hearts.

~ Edith Sodergrass