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October 2015

Happy Birthday

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May 2015

Embracing What Is

It has been reported that the Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti asked a group of devoted followers, “Do you want to know my secret?” A hush fell across the audience. They had been following him for decades with the hopes of understanding enlightenment. Now the moment had arrived! “My secret,” he explained to the enthralled group, “is that I don’t mind what happens!”

As plain and simple as this “secret” sounds, not minding “what is,” is a profound idea that can transform lives. Please read on:

It’s no secret that life is a series of ups and downs, good times and bad, smooth patches and rough. And yet, so much of how we experience these daily fluctuations is all in our heads.

In the case of  “good distractions,” we tend to cling to them, or worry about them, knowing that we can’t hold on to them forever (E.g. “How will I survive if I ever lose him/her/it?”).

Conversely, we tend to get distracted by our negative thoughts of “what if” (e.g., “what if this bad thing goes on forever?”), or “I will be unhappy unless… (something changes),” etc.

These thoughts distract us from the present moment and take us away from our focus of “what is.”

J. Krishnamurti shared a powerful tool for experiencing life: he didn’t mind what happened; he was ok with it all. Ok with the good. Ok with the bad. Embracing it all. Embracing what is.

And yoga is the perfect place to practice embracing what is. As we enter the yoga studio, we can set an intention to stay focused on our breath and our physical sensations so that we’re not distracted by anything external. We can then practice keeping our minds quiet and clear, allowing any noise, or temperature, or anything else that might otherwise bother us, simply be.

It is, however, a natural inclination of the mind to begin to wander and start its habitual ruminations about what should or shouldn’t be. It is precisely at this point that we can practice making note—with non-judgment—of these mental distractions and bring ourselves back to embracing “what is.”

This practice of observing the mind and bringing it back to a neutral “what is,” is extremely nurturing. It nurtures a sense of well being and wholeness that, as author Eckhart Tolle says is “The joy of Being” that “emanates from…consciousness itself and thus is one with who you are.”

Poet Rumi, put it this way in his poem “The Guest House:” “Be grateful for [whatever good or bad] comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

May we all embrace what is.