It’s Not Just for Buddhist Monks

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Published today on The Mindful Word:

Having spent the holidays in Europe with my two young adult children and their father, our family returned home jet-lagged and plumper. Well, at least three of us did. My oldest daughter lost a pound or two from her already…

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YOGA OVER 50: The journey is in never arriving

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According to the Yoga Alliance’s 2016 report on yoga in America, “36.7 million Americans or 15% of US adults practice yoga in the US.”

Of course, yoga is great for you. It promotes well-being through strength, flexibility, breathing and meditation. But is yoga good for everyone?

According to William Broad, author of The Science of Yoga, “The soothing practice … can lower blood pressure, spice up sex—and kill you.” He claims…(read the rest here)

Imagine Lennon’s Song in Context

 
 
Pleasant read in Elephant Journal yesterday about the meaning of this iconic song that may surprise few but helps to remind us of something important in yet another age of crusades.

Like Heaven and Hell, countries exist only in our minds, yet we kill or die for them. Religion too is made up (imagined) by us—yet another institution that serves only to divide humans and prevent them from living life in peace. Neither are possessions real, except as a shared idea of ownership projected onto things, in turn producing yet more suffering as greed begets hunger.


When enough of us finally awaken to the fact that all of these things—religion, country, possessions—are nothing more than ideas in our minds, a world of unity, a brotherhood of man, with all the people sharing all the world, becomes possible. This may look like a dream, yet what is our current social reality but a collective delusion—a “reality” that only exists because enough people believe it? When enough “dreamers” actually see through the dream, a critical mass (what today we would call a “tipping point”) is reached “and the world live be as one.”

A simple Buddhist message to live within the reality we have, hard as it may be for many, this song also confirms the power of the imagination, whether for the highest of all achievements (Lennon’s song) or the most terrible (killing in the name of the deity of your choice). Imagine understanding and accepting the terrible beauty and destruction we create–as us. Simple and direct, less being more, the song is masterfully reiterating an ancient theme. 

Peace.

On Writing as Suffering

  
Joyce Carol Oates claims, “The effort of memorable art is to evoke in the reader or spectator emotions appropriate to that effort.” And the effort is worth it. When our writing moves others, we affect, share and connect, thus confirming our oneness or perhaps experiencing that oneness as an ancient forgotten memory.

To reach out is to remember. The writer in all of us struggles to be understood through the code of language, a tricky bridge that requires constant constructing, honing, and refining to support the weight of ideas and experiences by which we convey ourselves to others. 

Writing is recursive, ever moving us backward and forward in thought and word–and in time.

Circling, it is an ever circling around the precise words to capture a specific piece of us we so desperately want to convey without misconstruction–that piece of the self we share using only the meager writing tools at our disposal. We search for words. Will this one mean exactly the same for my reader?
 
And the process of building sentences that flow into paragraphs, paragraphs into essays, is tedious. It takes patience. We must persist. Like herding wild horses, we must gather our unruly thoughts breaking wild in a hundred directions per second and corral them into the pen of ordered, confined blocks of coherent patterns. 

We must be painters and logicians both, fighting spirits within us.

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