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29 08, 2018

Keep Good Company

By |August 29th, 2018|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

Dr. Douglas Brooks, Tantric scholar and professor extraordinaire teaches, “You become the company you keep. So, keep good company.” This couldn’t be truer. As I look back on my life and my relationships, I’ve always been defined by those I was with. As a little boy my parents took care of me. I have memories of going clothes shopping with my Mom once I started school. For years, she bought all of my clothes for me. I never really thought much about it. I was grateful to have enough clothes. But over time, I realized that I was totally influenced by my Mom. By the time I became a teenager, I couldn’t wait to exert my independence and individuality. I have so much compassion for kids today who just can’t wait to change the color of their hair, wear their own clothes, and get a nose ring!

I remember, as a teenager, my parents gave me so many guidelines, rules, regulations, and curfews, that I felt like a prisoner in my own home. (I do understand that rules are needed for good reasons to help keep an undeveloped adolescent brain safe.) But because of feeling so controlled, I acted out and wound up hanging out with the ‘wrong crowd’. I became influenced and defined by them, their bad habits, minor pranks, and derelict behavior. I knew this wasn’t me. But I got swept into it and it was fun for a while.

In my college years, I see how I was influenced by my music friends and professors. I lived, breathed, ate, and slept music for years. I was completely influenced by that crowd. All in a good way. Moving into the yoga ashram at age 23, […]

1 08, 2018

Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

By |August 1st, 2018|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

I recently attended a meditation retreat at Joshua Tree Retreat Center in California and I had several profound experiences. I’d like to share one of those with you. It was a totally ordinary experience but, because we had been meditating for a few days prior, what was ordinary transformed into the extraordinary.

After a few long days of meditation, we gathered one afternoon in the meditation hall with the teacher as part of the daily routine. We practiced together for a while. Then at the bell, the teacher told us we were going outside to take a walk in silence. I was game!

The teacher led the walk at a moderate pace. At one point I thought, “Oh, he’s going too fast. I wish he would slow down.” But then I simply picked up my pace a bit and that thought faded away. I remembered one of the instructions was simply to watch the mind and thoughts as they arise. But don’t give the thoughts much energy. Just observe and let them go.

It was a most beautiful afternoon with the light of the late afternoon sun shining brilliantly down on the beautiful Southeastern California desert landscape of sparse vegetation, hills, valleys, distant mountains, and high clouds. The temperature was perfect – warm but not hot. We followed the teacher to a fountain area with pools of water shaded by trees. The air was fresh, filled with the faint fragrance of pine. The sound of the fountain and flowing water was soothing for the mind. We stood near the water for a few minutes until everyone arrived. A cool mist rising off the pond felt refreshing and rejuvenating on the skin. We paused here for a minute […]