Friday, September 21, 2018

apple season - yoga practice schedule


 flame apples
         ~ amy lowell
little hot apples of fire,
burst out of the flaming stem
of my heart,
i do not understand how you quickened and grew,
and you amaze me
while I gather you.

i lay you, one by one,
upon a table.
and now you seem beautiful and strange to me,
and I stand before you,


a seasonal treasure..
and a national one!
remembering the fragrance of sauce
burbling on my mama's stove..
day in and day out for days..

now i make my own..
and happily receive a jar or two from
another mama who conjures sauce
day in and day out..
such good fortune..

i await the apple pie
will make for me

i hope it's not like the peach pie..
that sadly never showed up..

dried apples by the bagful..
for travel and munch and gifting

ciders, crisps and tarts..
just plain themselves..
from the rose family,
imagine ~

it's autumn!
the apples are falling ~

here's the equinox yoga schedule..
by the by,
the seasons - spring and fall
are the best seasons to study..
to receive wisdom and training..
these are the seasons of change and growth
and of course, harvest..

all practices continue at
crescent moon yoga
6th and morris streets
laconner WA
~ the schedule is the same!
thursday mornings @ 9 - 10:30 AM the spirit of reciprocity..
5:30 - 6:30 PM
here are the dates to mark your calendars -

this class is by your generous donation
please be thinking where we might 
offer the monies collected..
last year we gifted a hefty sum (over $600)
to community action of skagit county
together susan s. and i will share
in offering this thanks giving practice ~

what does an apple and a yoga practice
have in common, you ask?
one (1)  a day keeps the doctor away 
(for awhile, anyway!)
ha! it will be one year since the titanium
hip has been part of my anatomy...

one last apple poem :

in orchard country
years ago on a dirt road in orchard country,
a farmhouse burned to the cellar-stones.
that night i stood with the other fruit-pickers
watching flames roll and thunder down the walls.

the next day we found near the ruin,
still warm, a tree with baked apples. and so
after a night too close to the fire, a poet
may hold something delicious in a scorched hand.
                        ~ thomas r. smith

may this harvest season bring good will and love
straight into the hearts of all beings..
may apple pies flourish on kitchen counters..
may we, each of us, share the delights we have ingathered..
our love, our mirth, our great acceptance of all that is..


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

practicing ~ compassion

i am a dharma practitioner,
having studied the Way for
many moons now..
my practice began long before
i read the first dharma book (16)
on a very long list i had conjured..
living zen 
     ~ robert linssen

we had moved from chicago to anacortes (10)
from the midwest to the great northwest -
walking was my first physical practice..

the road has two rules:
begin and continue.
          ~ christmas humphreys

above all, do not lose your desire to walk:
everyday i walk myself into a state of well-being
and walk away from illness:
i have walked myself into my best thoughts,
and i know of no thought so burdensome
that one cannot walk away from it...
             ~søren kierkegaarde

those solitary step, step, steps
would settle my zippity-do-dah mind..
thoughts would cool and calm..
quieting the recycled inner chatter -
i could wear my bones and flesh more easily..
soo much energy to balance ~

one must take that plunge into the abyss
of thought to no-thought
~ think no thinking ~
where one finds one self
resting comfortably with a cuppa
in the sitting still of meditation..
(this would arise a whole lot later!)

human thought is awareness in motion;
samadhi is awareness at rest.
             ~ philip kapleau

sitting still was no easy task ~
jumbling and bumbling
running skipping swinging bicycling
walk walk walking..
tree climbing wrestling
skating - ice and roller
tap dancing acrobatics
tumbling turning twisting
swimming skimming..
practice was being in a body
that sizzled zip, zing and pep
to the point of burning up..

what is to give light must endure burning.
              ~ viktor frankl

my mama had quite a time with me..
my sister wisely ignored me..
teachers were fed up with me..
school mates were enamored and confused -
i was roiling..
poetry spoke volumes of deep visions and confiding notions -
dostovevsky opened the dark spaces i crawled in and out..
having realized i was an illegitimate child -
(adopted by loving parents.. sallie and ralph.. at 3 months)
i took that to the mat and wrangled it down
until i was blue in the face..
( and not the  holy enlightened blue 
of krishna or samantabhadra!) 

growing up
one of my wings beat faster,
i couldn't help it -
the one away from the light.

it hurt to be told all the time
how i loved that terrible flame.
            ~   w. stafford

traveling solo on a greyhound bus
at 16 in 1966 grew me out of much
of the angst and selfie selfishness..
though that is a life long practice,
is it not?

in order to practice compassion,
we have to know our own darkness
well enough so that we may sit 
in the dark with others..  
~ brene brown

it seemed i was a good listener
on that bus ride around the united states..
99$ for 99 days!
(though we all know i am full of the blarney
and like nothing more than to hear myself talk...)
my sense to actually place some one else before me
started to seed up and germinate..
this started my sitting stillness ~
one had to be still to listen, eh?
where could i go on a moving greyhound bus?

o my o!
the stories i heard wore a thin patch
on the self-centered sweater of i, me, mineness..
bearing witness to inconceivable trauma and tragedy,
sagas of love and loss,
tribulations and injustices,
high drama and dark nights of the soul -
it was the historic time of martin luther king..
often taking my seat at the back of the bus,
i became aquainted with a brilliant fresh
species of suffering humanoids..
those days the bus was a cheap vehicle
to get low-incomers, scallawags and hobos
from hither to thither..

i loved it..
it soothed and frightened me..
i felt in the midst of real life..

compassion literally means embracing the suffering of others.
to embrace the suffering of others 
is to be liberated and opened by that suffering, 
to the point of finding love.
compassion is impossible if we can't learn 
to bear our own sufferings and difficulties -
if our old habits of denying and running away 
continues to have its way with us.
so the practice of mind training begins with the effort 
to turn toward the difficulty rather than away from it.
when we are no longer daunted by difficulties 
but are willing to engage and make use of them, 
we become truly resilient individuals.

our very difficulties and sufferings, 
if we hold them the right way, 
can be wedges to pry open our smallness.

dealing with others isn't just dealing with others...
dealing with others is dealing with ourselves dealing with others.
               ~ norman fischer


in the interval..
how about a reading list?

training in compassion
norman fischer

the great path of awakening
ken mcleod

enlightened courage
dilgo khyentse rinpoche

buddhism with an attitude:
the tibetan seven-point mind training
b. alan wallace

training the mind 
and cultivating loving-kindness
chögyam trungpa