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Courage Dear Heart

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Courage Dear Heart

The most important thing is to find out what the most important thing is.
There I said it, thats all you need to know. Yet in The world of ten thousand things, how hard is it to focus in on any one?

Finding the most important thing is not something anyone else can do for us, perhaps by sharing our stories and our hearts, we can help each other in finding at least the right direction.

In our modern digital culture, the connections of social media, and the endless web of the internet, the opportunity for distraction are ever increasing.

But even before all of this our own minds are true masters in the art of distraction, of throwing ten thousand thoughts up to cloud the heart of the matter. The mind wants at least half of those ten thousand things and will happily spend the rest of eternity trying to work out how to get them.  And even our achievements offer little respite from the deep well of wanting, our mind skips to the next thing it want’s so quickly.

The heart however in my experience has a little more magnitude. We all know the best things aren’t things, The best things are living, feeling, breathing, being, LOVING. When I am willing to surrender the minds need to manipulate and control reality into what I think it should be, what I think I should have or want, surprise surprise all these things that matter to the heart were here all along.

It takes courage to remain in the heart in a world that tells us we can’t afford to, but when I really touch that presence I know I can’t afford not to.

I don’t need a better car, job, lover, or hairstyle, I just need to learn how to feel and live life directly from the heart. I don’t need your approval, likes or attention, (as lovely as they are!) I need to learn to focus my intention and energy into the heart of my own matter; physical, metaphysical and beyond into the beating heart of life itself.

So forgive me if I don’t seem interested to have the most, to be the best or most popular. The sips I’ve taken from the hearts cup have already made me love drunk, and that sweet simple joyfulness of an alive heart is more important to me than anything in this world that can be bought or sold.

The world tells us we need to fight fire with fire, but we all know if you want to put out a fire you use water. When I indulge the minds capacity for endless wanting it feels a lot like burning.  This fire can only be tempered by the cool calming presence of my own Compassionate heart.

courage

Featured image :”Life Isn’t Tragic” by Arturo Vega.

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Perfection amidst the chaos

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Manjushri Pauba

Manjushri is a Bodhisattva considered the personification of the combined wisdom of all the Buddhas.

He holds a sword in his right hand — symbolizing his ability to cut through delusion.

In his left hand, by his heart, he holds the stem of a lotus flower, which bears a book — the Perfection of Wisdom teaching.

Manjushri mantra
Om A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhih

The literal translation of this Mantra gets into some pretty cosmic Buddhist philosophy but I first fell in Love with this mantra through this simple translation offered by Deva premal from her album of Tibetan Mantras for Turbulent times with the Gyuto Monks.

Amidst The chaos, everything is Pure by nature”

 

Here is a great simple version you can chant along with to get you started

 

Living Stories

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What if your life was a story you were telling? What would you like it to say? All the choices we make, what we say, do and think have a powerful effect on the world around us.

In this post-Factual world in can be easy to become obsessive about the truth, and caught up in never ending arguments. Perhaps it’s because facts aren’t half as interesting as feelings.

So let’s forget about the so called facts for a moment. Facts without stories have no context with which to relate from this felt sense of self. A good story gives us hooks to relate and remember information, it provides a solid foundation on which our imagination can build.

To be human is to be vulnerable, to feel. When we are willing to directly experience and embody this felt sense of the stories of our lives, our sense of self expands accordingly. Our lives become Bigger, broader, Greater.

In telling, listening and sharing our stories, we strengthen our connection to all of life around us. Read the rest of this entry

Fear-less-ness Bunnies and Breathing

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A short while ago, the cutest little white bunny turned up unexpectedly in my life – or more precisely in my front yard. Friendly enough to have been somebody’s pet at some stage, he liked company, offerings of flowers ,(dandelions!) and skritches around the ears. He didn’t much like being picked up, and even though we repeatedly invited him into our back yard he preferred as most wild creatures do, freedom and open space.

When we listen, life talks to us in many different ways. Having happened upon my furry friend, I decided to look into the spirit medicine of the rabbit; I found that they traditionally represent sensitivity, abundance, fertility, desire, creativity and anxiety. Some Native Americans refer to the rabbit as the fear caller. “Fear sends out a certain vibrational energy that may attract the very thing we fear,” writes Ina Woolcott. “Fearful thoughts reproduce (like rabbits) and manifest what we fear.”

Perhaps I need to be careful, or at least more creative about what I fear….

Much like we all do, at times I find myself falling down the rabbit hole of fear: will I have enough? Am I doing enough? Do enough people like me (or my posts on Facebook?).

Read the rest of this entry

WHAT LIVES IN US

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“If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer

lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land-
that sacred earth that is your body.

If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.”

~ RUMI

yoga-circle

Scientific research into how yoga helps us live well is a fascinating subject but for those of us who already know it from the inside, poetry says it best.

Yoga primarily is a sacred practise, we use the body through the asanas to worship life itself flowing through us in every breath.

The yoga of Growing through pain

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It’s a natural response to want to get away from pain. We all like to feel good, But pain can hold important lessons for us. Your body and mind are a complex interactive operating system for your life. Pain is a warning signal that something isn’t working optimally. If we refuse to truly experience our pain, then we rob ourselves of the healing potential it offers. As the mystical Poet Rumi put it “the cure for the pain is in the pain.”

As a yoga teacher I often hear people telling me that they can’t do yoga because  (insert current issue here) . Be it a painful back, an aching hip, a dodgy knee or a bad mood, there’s not much that a yogic approach can’t work to improve. I’m not saying that you should always attend your fast strong asana class no matter what, I’m saying the practise of yoga goes beyond the fast strong classes and that these issues maybe your invitation into a different approach.

Pain can be physical, emotional or mental, it can be chronic or acute, whatever the case the fear of the pain can be just as bad or worse than the pain itself. Once you’re caught up in the stories and resistance it can be really hard to see things rationally and clearly. In my research I’ve come up with this 3 step strategy to safely navigate my way through any painful experience, maybe it’s helpful to you also.

rumi
Read the rest of this entry

Fierce Gods

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I recently came across this image on a late night google meander annotated ‘krishna as Narasimha’, and it struck me as a most interesting contrast to the flute playing/lovestruck/cowherd familiar face of Lord Krishna.

The Ṛg Veda contains an epithet that has been attributed to Narasiṁha.

like some wild beast, dread, prowling, mountain-roaming.

His main claim to fame is as the ‘Great protector’, defending his devotees in times of need. Vishnu/Krishna is said to have taken this form as an avatar to destroy a particularly difficult demon king. But thats a story for another day.
Read the rest of this entry

In beauty

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Whatever it is your doing right now, do it in beauty where you can. 

Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

~ Joy Harjo

Yoga-and-sky

Photo by Wari Om Photography

Song

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I am what they did not tell me and I knew.
Oh, I wanted everything to be mine!
I am everything I have already lost.
But everything’s elusive like the wind and the river,
like the golden summer flowers
that die in your hands.
I am everything, but nothing, nothing is mine,
not the pain, nor the joy, nor the terror,
not even the words of my song.

~ Silvina Ocampo

emma hack

 

Art: Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo in Wattle Spiral  © Emma Hack 2009