Abhyasa and the Hot Buddha

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
Showing up. Romney Pilates. September 2015
Showing up. Romney Pilates. September 2015

Abhyasa: continuous endeavor; constant practice; repetition; exercise; exertion (from A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy; Sanskrit Terms Defined in English)

“And so I practice without knowing how it will all turn out. Clearly, along with clarity and faith, my commitment requires some will and effort. As Patanjali says in verse 14, establishing a firm foundation in practice requires sustained exertion over time. Commitment to practicing means I practice if it is easy for me, and I practice if it is hard for me. If I am bored, I practice; if I am enthusiastic, I practice; if I am at home, I practice; if I am on vacation, I practice. There is a saying in Buddhism: If it is hot, be a hot Buddha. If it is cold, be a cold Buddha. This is the consistency and determination in practice that Patanjali means when he speaks of abhyasa. In the beginning, this sustained exertion may be an act of will, an act of ego. But as we continue, the practice itself creates a momentum that propels us through the difficult moments of fear and boredom.”

-From Yoga Journal article, Hot Buddha Cold Buddha by  Judith Hanson Lasater

River of Life, Grace of a New Day

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
The Mississippi River, Yesterday. August 31, 2015. Photo: Mbuffett
The Mississippi River, Yesterday. August 31, 2015. Photo: Mbuffett

…Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
Into your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

-from On The Pulse of The Morning by Maya Angelou

BIRDWINGS

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
Inhale Exhale. New Orleans. August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Inhale Exhale. New Orleans. August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

BIRDWINGS

Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror up to where you’re bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look, and instead, here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings.
-Rumi

be happy. becOMe this mOMent

Monday, August 17th, 2015
River Road Train Tracks, New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
River Road Train Tracks, New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

Being able to stop and be aware of the present moment is part of the definition of happiness. It is not possible to be happy in the future. This is not a matter of belief; this is a matter of experience.

- from Silence by Thich Nhat Hanh

Lotus : Sweetness In The Depths

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
Urdhva Padmasana, New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Supported Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Facing Lotus), New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: MBuffett

LOTUS

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.

-Rabindranath Tagore

Dolphin Love

Monday, August 10th, 2015
Dolphin Pose. Fish River, Alabama, August 2015. Photo: LBuffett & MBuffett
Dolphin Pose. Fish River, Alabama, August 2015. Photo: LBuffett & MBuffett

This weekend while paddle boarding with my mother and her sweetheart on Fish River in Lower Alabama, dolphins appeared and swam beside us.  It was an extraordinary blessing and reminder that all sentient beings are essentially bonded to and by

Nature, Spirit, and Love.

In their honor I did a variation of dolphin pose on my board.

“Dolphins have a wise, innocent, purity of being which reaches out to our inner nature. Follow their lead and open yourself to the energy of love, harmony, and balance. Express your inner truth, be true to yourself. Follow your inner joy. Dolphin is asking you to go back to your roots, to the depths of your being and rediscover the love that you truly are.
Dolphins spend most of their day playing. Their life is lived in joyful harmony with each other and their world. Apparently they have learned the lesson that love is the most important factor in life.
Dolphin wisdom includes – knowledge of the sea, change, patron of sailors, harmony, balance, communication skills, freedom, trust, understanding the power of rhythm in your life, water element magic, unselfishness.
Dolphin reminds us to get out, play, breathe and most importantly to love.”
-from shamanicjourney.com, Dolphin Power Animal, by Ina Woolcoat

Yoga Roots

Monday, August 3rd, 2015
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Downward Facing Tree Pose/Handstand). New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: BKane & MBuffett
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Downward Facing Tree Pose/Handstand). New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: BKane & MBuffett

A lamp does not flicker in a place where no winds blow; so it is with a yogi, who controls his mind, intellect and self, being absorbed in the spirit within him. When the restlessness of mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of Yoga, the yogi by the grace of the spirit within himself finds fulfillment. Then he knows the joy eternal, which is beyond the pale of the senses which his reason cannot grasp. He abides in this reality and moves not therefrom. He has found the treasure above all others. There is nothing higher than this. He who has achieved it, shall not be moved by the greatest sorrow. This is the real meaning of Yoga – a deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow.

-from Chapter 6 of The Bhagavad Gita

Dance When You’re Broken Open

Thursday, July 30th, 2015
Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose). New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: BKane & MBuffett
Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose). New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: BKane & MBuffett

A secret turning in us makes the universe turn. Head unaware of feet, and feet head. Neither cares. They keep turning…

Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us. We taste only sacredness…

Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.

Dance, when you’re perfectly free.

-from The Turn: Dance In Your Blood by Rumi

Love Lifts Me

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Amer Palace, Jaipur Rajasthan, India. March 2011. Photo: MBuffett
Amer Palace, Jaipur Rajasthan, India. March 2011. Photo: MBuffett

 

SHE RESPONDED

The birds’ favorite songs

You do not hear,

For their most flamboyant music takes place

When their wings are stretched

Above the trees

And they are smoking the opium

Of pure freedom.

It is healthy for the prisoner

To have faith

That one day he will again move about

Wherever he wants,

Feel the wondrous gift of life —

Less structured,

Find all wounds, debts stamped canceled,

Paid.

I once asked a bird,

“How is it that you fly in this gravity

Of darkness?”

She responded,

“Love lifts

Me.”

-Hafiz