Monday, November 20, 2017

THANKSGIVING DAY! community action of skagit county benefit

a single meditation cushion, and one is
completely protected,
earth may crumble, heaven collapse - but
here one is at peace.

sacred titles and worldly fame: both fade
away in the sitting,
and the universe assembles on the tip of
a feather.
                daughters of emptiness

join Susan Schanen and dunja lingwood
for a yoga asana benefit class
with meditation for dessert..
9:30 - 11:00 AM  inclusive
Crescent Moon Yoga
521 Morris Street
La Conner

by donation..
all monies will go to:
      community action of skagit county
for their fine work in plumping up our county
with food, employment, legal aid and housing
to name but a few great kindnesses..

this class is all levels..
multi levels..level headeds..
everyone welcome!

any inquiries?
360 941 1975

song of gratitude ~ singing your praises!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017



if only it were possible for us to see farther
than our knowledge reaches,
and even a little beyond
the outworks of our presentiment,
perhaps we would bear our sadnesses
with greater trust than we have in our joys.
for they are the moments
when something new has entered us,
something unknown;
our feelings grow mute in shy embarrassment,
everything in us withdraws,
a silence arises,
and the new experience,
which no one knows,
stands in the midst of it all
and says nothing.
                ~ rilke 
                   letters to a young poet

@ 12:30 PM ONWARD..


Monday, November 13, 2017

thank full ness

dear kind and generous dharma friends..
who share this karmic field ..

i am thankful for your
dana in the alms bowl..
that you found this a worthy cause
when there is so much need
and so many to care for ~
moves me greatly ..

as rumi tells us -
thankfulness brings one to alertness
 an alert wisdom of your presence in my life...

& the gifts, too, that arrive in other forms..
food and medicine and laughter and tea parties!
the greatest is love..threaded thru every encounter

i will write hand written thank you's
to each of you as i am able ..
please accept this e-mail for now..
palms folded in gratitude and admiration ~

each day of life is training
training for myself through failure is possible
living each moment equal to anything
ready for everything i am alive
i am this moment
my future is here and now
for if i can't endure today
when and where will i?
            - soen ozeki

this from a past post 2/25/2014 !!

my community was called a mendicant order -
begging, living off alms.
today begging is shameful to the middle class,
a scandal to those who think
everyone can and should work for a living.
the homeless person on the street is surrounded
by the emotional shadows of reprobation.

yet, the most spiritual activities are funded by begging:
public radio and television,
programs for the disadvantaged,
today many who enter
the most meaningful professions
become mendicants.

if we are not beggars,
we might ask ourselves if we have
any spirituality in our lives.
                   ~ thomas moore -  meditations

then this from now..

o sea of bliss, you have stored
transcendental forms of consciousness
in the heedless,
you have stored a wakefulness in sleep,
you have fastened dominion over the heart
to the state of one who lost her heart.

you conceal riches in the lowliness of poverty,
you fasten the necklace of wealth
to poverty's iron collar.
opposite is secretly concealed in opposite:
fire is hidden within boiling water.

income multiplies from giving ~
the king of prosperity
has said,
o possessors of wealth,
generosity is gainful trade.
riches were never lessened by sharing;
in truth,
acts of charity increase one's wealth.
             ~ generosity is gainful trade
                mathnawi VI

Monday, November 6, 2017


From Barbara Rose...

   In our culture, there are individuals who dedicate their lives to service in the spirit of the ancient sadhus, renunciates and mendicants.  They make sacred vows to inspire and serve others as the core purpose of their own lives.  Such a person inhabits daily practices and ways in accordance with their vows to meet the world as they find it, with all its challenges, colors and complexities.
                Many called to serve in this way join monasteries or orders and take up the methods of their chosen lineages.  They are familiar to us as the nuns, priests and monks of various spiritual traditions. 
                A few, however, choose to walk the path alone. The way of the solo mendicant, though an ancient and venerable calling, is not recognized in American society as it is, say, in India.  We envision the mendicant in a meager garment seated under a tree with a begging bowl or walking with a staff through a dusty landscape.  
                The begging bowl of yore is a symbol of charity, of the life-sustaining bounty of food, shelter and the understanding that for a society to be whole and healthy, even the humblest among us must receive these elemental needs. 
                The ancient words “Alms for the poor!” remind people throughout the ages of this foundational truth—that the wholeness of one is interconnected with the wholeness of all.  Some cultures understand this with more clarity than others.  
                Like the hermit with his lamp held high, mendicants are wayshowers of awareness, charity and reciprocity.   When their bowls are empty, you may see suffering in the communities where they live and walk.  When their bowls are full, you may experience more joy and peace.
                My American mendicant friend and teacher, dunja, recently extended her bowl to me, with a bow, and asked that it be filled with words.  
                “Write of the way of the mendicant,” she said. “Let words be your alms today.” 
                In this era of unrest, anxiety, promise and discovery, when darkness and light flash all around us and the very planet we live on cries out to be filled with the mercy of healing care, the humble bowl of the mendicant is a more powerful symbol than ever.  Awareness. Charity. Reciprocity.  The path to wisdom, peace and fulfillment.
                  dunja lives a life of practice, sacrifice and pure aspiration in service to these principles and to the ageless wisdom of the world, which she studies and shares abundantly in her yoga and meditation classes.         
                When her bowl is full, she takes what she requires and makes her own offerings from the rest. She has been known to give without serving her own needs, also the way of the mendicant.
                Through her many decades of learning, teaching and walking the open roads of the globe with her staff and bowl, dunja has asked much of her strong and flexible body.  It might be said, too much.
                Now she brings her practice, with as much equanimity as possible, to meet a fierce pain in her hip, as she also seeks a way to meet her modest needs, unable to offer the teachings as she awaits surgery and recovery.              
               dunja’s friends and students--who benefit from her wisdom, generosity and example--are invited to put offerings into her bowl to see her through these coming weeks and months while she cares for herself.  I ask you to be generous to our dear mendicant of nowadays. 
                Her bowl is out, with a deep bow of gratitude. 

Here she is, in her own words:

subsisting mostly on alms -
i have been called a mendicant
by many who know me well..

it is true..
my life is possible,
as it has been lived thus far,
by the generosity of friends
and strangers..

the alms are given
in kindness with no claim
or beholden-ness
nor hope for return ...
unconditional gifts -

this way of living has been with me
for as long as i can recall..
i moved around from the age of 16
traveling america by bus..
staying with families..
hanging with strangers..
journeying to faraway lands..
walking the roads of the usa
cared for, loved and supported.

i have made my way in the world
thru practicing and teaching yogadharma...
the sole source of my right livelihood.
dana..a sanskrit word for gift /donation
is the voluntary giving of materials,
energy or wisdom to others..
dana is one of the six perfections ~
dana paramita..
as a practitioner and teacher,
it is the giving of dharma.
as a practitioner and student,
it is the giving of food, clothing and materials
to a mendicant, teacher or community.

a mendicant survives
and lives a lively life -
through the act of seeking charity ..
a humble and earnest manner
of begging..

many a time
when i was heading
to india and elsewhere
for study and practice..
or conjuring a wooden floor
for a yoga shala..
or in need of cushions
for meditation..
shades for window coverings..
paint for the walls and painters!
earnestly requesting assistance..
the bowl,
the begging bowl,
was placed in the yoga studio..
emaho! it would be generously topped up..

when things got tight
i would sell the
art that donned the walls..
blankets and props..
jewelry, prayer beads, books..
even the begging bowl itself ~

in 2007, when i trudged my way
along the western coast
to california for peace is healthy,
a paypal account was created..
a modern day alms bowl, in place,
to assist my heartfelt endeavor..

these days, websites are set up
requesting monies to fulfill a dream,
fund a study or meet a need -

it is no longer possible
for me to offer yogadharma
in its highest and best form.
a hip has turned to dust....
a heart saddened ..
palms are open
i humbly and earnestly request charity ..

offerings of gift cards to a food co-op,
gas cards for mila rubie..the mighty red prius,
a check for payment of bills
would be o so welcome indeed ~

may my life and practice always be worthy of your support