Sunday, November 3, 2013

Finding Meaning

This is what I know today:  that we are all groping for meaning and connection and that we seek it, and often find it, in nature.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


A footnote from the introduction to Gurumayi Chidvilasananda's book, Inner Treasures, says that according to Avinagupta, who is sometimes referred to as the expounder of the Pratnabijna tradition of Kashmir Shaivism:

Artistic expression is a natural link to divine knowledge.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Everybody's Meditating, why aren't you?

Catchy, no?

The truth is, I am meditating. Meditation is my closest friend, my dearly beloved. I was just wondering, if you haven't been meditating, lately, or maybe never, why not?

Here is what I know about meditation -
It has saved me, countless times.
When I have forgotten, resisted, or just failed to make time for it, unlike other relationships, meditation has never felt hurt, forsaken, or been resentful. Just the opposite.

I have been actively following a path of meditation, through all kinds of weather, for twenty-seven years now. We just had our anniversary in September.

Just this summer, meditation yielded up to me a whole new level of experience that has brought even greater peace, expansion and wonder than in all the previous years. I am more in love with meditation now than ever.

Sitting outside, early in the morning, listening to my breath moving quietly in and out, in and out, for some time, and then - two new things --

Breathing in my own discomfort, anger, loneliness, distraction, resentments, obsessions -
Breathing out  - ease, compassion.
And again.

Soon, my circle expands.
Breathing in pain, fear, cynicism, of people I know, and people I don't.
Far away, people tramping through dangerous, unfamiliar land, escaping war torn homes,
carrying only their children and the clothes on their backs. People who have lost faith, for generations.
Breathing in their fear, despair, rage, breathing out - ease, compassion.
Again. And again.

Then, the smooth bark of the trees beside me, their leaves, the growing, the dying, the young, the broken, and the breeze, carrying the scents of everything, the ocean at the end of my street, the cows in the field in between. The breath of it all, comes in, and goes out.

Thin, translucent skin. I am permeable tissue, wondering if the waves are speaking to us in a language we have not yet translated, if the pattern of reflected light on them is morse code for truths we have yet to understand about the places that the water has traveled and all that it knows. I am breathing out ease and compassion for the earth and the wounds we have created there.

Now, each day I cannot wait to meditate. And I think, everything, everywhere, is meditating, even if you think you aren't, look again. You are. Look, breathe, observe.
There you are, already, meditating.
Hello, welcome.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

But What Are You REALLY thinking?

That what I'm most interested in, is living a life not so much about helping people, but about being with myself and others, deeply, fully alive, awake, creatively. My experience is that the greatest help that people experience when we work together often comes from exactly that – being fully present with them and allowing them to be exactly as they are, with whatever experience they’re currently having. That when we're fully present to our experience, to the best of our capacity, no resistance, excuses, defenses, denial - then blockages dissolve, shifts happen organically, it’s the nature of living things, of life, to create and dissolve, again and again.

As a yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner, when I became a Network chiropractor, using the Reorganizational Healing techniques of Somato-Respiratory Integration and Network Spinal Analysis, my capacity to help people, as well as my outreach expanded. People, who might not take a yoga class to begin with, often do seek out assistance from some type of doctor or health care practitioner. Many of my practice members have benefited from the principles and practices gleaned from my yoga and Reiki training and practice that are integrated into my work as a Network chiropractor. Some of them have gone on to become yoga and Reiki practitioners themselves as well.

Before becoming a chiropractor, yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner, though, I studied and worked as a painter, an actress and performance artist, a director, and, more recently, a writer. I juggled and performed in mask on the streets of San Francisco, did theatre in NYC for a tour of homeless shelters, wrote articles about healing from Cystic Fibrosis and burying loved ones at home. Even as a child, there was never been a time that I can remember not thinking of myself as some kind of artist / creator. 

Recently I looked up the dictionary definition of art and found quite a few definitions. Here's one of my favorites:

"a skill at doing a specific thing, typically one acquired through practice."


Abhinavagupta, a Kashmir Shaivite guru who lived over a thousand years ago, taught and practiced artistic expression as a natural link to divine knowledge.

Being a practitioner of a "healing art", practicing health, from that point of view, is an ocean of possibility.  For those of us who believe, as I do, that our opportunity while we're here on earth has something to do with learning that we're not separate from one another, that we're all part of one teeming, oozing, mass of life, then how do we live into that more fully in our daily lives? 

"ViolinCello" Wood Engraving by Evan Charney
I also found this wonderful phrase in my search:

"art is long, life is short", with the explanation that - "there is so much knowledge (or skill) to acquire that a lifetime is not sufficient."

If living itself holds the potential to be our ultimate artistic endeavor, and I believe it does, then the life that we carve out of our time here is our most complex and sophisticated creation isn't it? 

Who's with me here?  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Surround Me

     I parked my car at an angle at the edge of the parking lot to watch the afternoon sun coming down over the Nantucket Sound behind the light house in Woods Hole - a momentary respite, a little spa break of serenity. I ate a ham and cheese sandwich on a long hard roll and sucked down a warm, slightly sweet cappuccino from the fancy new French bakery on Main Street in town for comfort and sustenance before I began the latest round of calls. Besides my mother, there was the hospital case manager,the nurse, the latest doctor, my mom's 83 year old sister, valiantly trying to take care of her big sister, various other family members and friends in this country and others. Besides the phone calls and endless e-mails, there were all the crushing details and the exhaustion of trying to hold so many pieces at the same time, while shouting over the din of hospital machinery surrounding my 93 year old mother, hard of hearing and definitely not wearing her hearing aids, trying to speak across the airwaves, soundwaves, whatever freaking unfathomable kind of waves it takes for cellphone communication to reach from one sea to anotherI never really looked at the water, closing my eyes as I endlessly repeated details, and asked questions about " $20,000 chartered critical care air ambulances", "acute long-term care facilities", "Medicare coverage and time frames", and "levels of oxygen supplied by compressors versus wall units". I closed my eyes to keep my thoughts straight, undistracted by the beauty of the pinks and blues of the sun setting over the water. I knew it was there though, surrounding me, like a mother's love. I knew it was there.