Yearly Archives: 2008

The Journey of the Angels…

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If you haven’t heard this new song by Enya, it’s definitely one to download. It’s from her new album And Winter Came. It has definitely brought me a lot of peace over the past week since I first heard it. I’ve been playing it in Yoga class, as well. Speaking of Winter, the Winter Solstice is this Sunday, December 21st. This is a time of great energetic change and transformation, and as I write this it seems the sun may break through the clouds that have been hanging over our heads for several days.

I used to think of Winter as a negative time. Less sunlight, cold days, dark nights. But, I am beginning to see that the change of any season brings positive changes, even though it may be hard to see with our minds exactly what the positive is immediately. If we are attuned, however, we begin to feel it and recognize what positive is already opening up inside us and all around us. For me, preparing for this change has literally looked like hibernating and resting in my house as much as I can, revitalizing myself energetically. As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Fetal Pose these days. Just this morning, I reconnected with a time when I was an infant, pure consciousness, no mind, and no pulling of my mind to have me be anywhere else than where I am in the moment. How energetically draining it is to not simply allow ourselves to simply be where we are, but to often feel a pulling or distraction from our mind to be somewhere else…

My friend, Oren Harris, actually has a video clip on his website I really enjoyed listening to. It’s about being in the Flow… Go to orenharris.com, click on Home and at the button left-hand side of the screen you will see something that says Media Player, click on that and you can watch a video clip of him describing Flow v. Mind.

Here are the lyrics from the beautiful song I mentioned above. I’m pretty sure I will be downloading the entire album. You can also listen to it on Youtube.

Journey of the Angels

Somewhere
In a winter night
The angels
Begin their flight;
Dark skies
With miles to go,
No footsteps
To be lost in snow.

They fly to you
Oh, new-born king
They fly to you
Oh, angels sing

One is sorrow
One is peace
One will come
To give you sleep
One is comfort
One is grief
One will take
The tears you weep

New star
In a midnight sky
In heaven
All the angels fly
Soft wings so true
And all things
They will give to you

Somewhere
In a winter night
The angels
Begin their flight

Tonight
All sing
Oh, angels,
A new-born king
Tonight
All sing
Oh, angels
A new-born king

I’ll also be attending a meditation this Sunday in celebration of the Solstice. I encourage you to spend some time in a spiritually uplifting practice of some kind, where you are practicing being conscious of the One Consciousness, in your heart and in your mind. Namaste!

There’s No Place Like OM For the Holidays…

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It feels almost as though time is standing still. The experience I am growing through since my father’s passing is the total embodiment of the practice of Yoga, living in the present moment, embracing the Unknown and letting life unfold one breath at a time.

At times I feel as though I am having an out-of-body experience wondering how it is I am making it through the days, fulfilling my responsibilities and accomplishing what life is asking of me. And yet, I am managing to do it. Since last weekend, it seems I am able to feel pretty strong for a couple of days, and then, inevitably, I find I hit a wall that has me stop and feel and go into an entirely therapeutic place of total rest and complete withdrawal from everything. I am learning what it means to embrace and let go into Childs Pose, Fetal Pose and Savasana. These are the poses of rest, nurturing and restoration in Yoga. In the past I have felt somewhat guilty for spending “too much” time in those places, but not anymore…this experience is teaching me how essential it is to embrace our healing process and to let go of feeling guilty about taking the time we need to rest…

Speaking of OM, for the last few years I have been aware of what the OM symbol represents, but for most of us, this is not something we grasp overnight. Through continuous meditation and repetition of the OM sound, we gradually begin to awaken to OM. Here is some information which I found to be particularly helpful on clarifying the significance and meaning of OM, and what each aspect of the symbol represents. I hope you enjoy this. It may not all sink in at once, but eventually you will find your states of Consciousness are not so differentiated, but merge, and merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily…life is but a dream.

The Picture:

Visually, OM (as pictured to the right) is a mystical symbol and shows us a lower curve 1 which symbolizes the conscious turned outward through the gates of the senses. The larger size signifies that this is the most common state of the human consciousness.

The upper curve 2 denotes the state of deep sleep or unconscious state. This is a state where the sleeper desires nothing nor beholds any dream.

The middle curve 3 signifies the dream state. In this state the consciousness of the individual is turned inwards and the dreaming self beholds an enthralling view of the world behind the lids of the eyes. These three curves, the three states of a person’s consciousness, together represent the entire physical phenomenon.

The semi circle symbolizes maya and separates the dot from the other three curves. It is the illusion of maya that prevents us from the realization of this highest state of bliss which is represented by the dot above the semi circle. The semi circle is open at the top and does not touch the dot. This means the highest state is not affected by the by maya. Maya only affects the manifested phenomenon. The dot signifies the coming to rest of all differentiated, relative existence. This utterly quiet, peaceful and blissful state is the ultimate aim of all spiritual activity. This absolute and non relative state illuminates the other three states.

The Sounds:

In Sanskrit the vowel ‘o’ is a diphthong compound of a +u; therefore, OM is representatively written as AUM and carries four sounds with it. The first sound “A” is pronounced at the back of the open mouth and is said to be included in every other sound produced by the human vocal organs. The second syllable is “U” and is sounded in the middle of the mouth, between the roof of the mouth and the floor of the tongue. The third sound “M “is at the front of the mouth and closes the lips. This last sound, known as ma or maker, when closing the lips is said to be like locking the door to the outside world and instead reaching deep inside our own selves, in search of the Ultimate Truth.

The fourth sound is the invisible fourth dimension, the soundless silence that follows the uttering of AUM. This space produces a quieting down of all differentiated manifestations and an emergence of the non-dual state. This peaceful and blissful state is symbolized by the dot in the traditional iconography of AUM.

According to Indian spiritual sciences, God first created sound and from these sound frequencies came the phenomenal world. Our total existence is constituted of these primal sounds which give rise to mantras when organized by a desire to communicate or manifest. Matter itself is said to have proceeded from sound and OM is said to be the most sacred of all sounds. It is the syllable which preceded the universe and from which all was created. It is the root syllable, Mula Mantra, the cosmic vibration that holds together the atoms of the world and the heavens. The ancient texts of the Upanishads say that OM is God in the form of sound. Thus OM is the first part of the most important mantras in both Buddhism and Hinduism, for e.g. Om Namoh Shivai and Om Mani Padme Hum.

Another ancient text equates OM with an arrow, laid upon the bow of the human body (the breath), which after penetrating the darkness of ignorance finds its mark, namely the lighted domain of True Knowledge. Just as a spider climbs up a thread and gains freedom, so the yogis climb towards liberation by the syllable OM. “Thus OM is the best of all essences, deserving the highest place” As stated in the Ancient text of Chandogya Upanishad. http://www.yogagainesville.com/aboutyoga/meaning_of_om.asp

I will be back shortly to share more on the intention of Yoga. What I love about this description of OM, is it is in complete alignment with what I recently learned the true intention of Yoga is when I studied with Rod Stryker.

So many of you have asked me how I am doing and that is such a difficult question to answer since every moment is different. Overall, in the big picture, I feel very optimistic, about my own experience and the direction we are flowing in collectively. In the here and now, there are obviously difficult moments, but I feel tremendously grateful to be connected to such amazing people through my work. So, please know, you all mean so much to you. I can feel your loving care and support and it helps to sustain me through the hard times. I will be back soon…

Namaste…

Shared Inspiration

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I received this e-mail from this gentleman, Joseph, who attends my Yoga class.

It’s one of the most beautiful and powerful e-mails I’ve ever received. I would like to share it with you as a reminder of the power of the human Spirit and it’s ability to positively touch another human being.

Hi Leanne,

I hope you and your family are doing well. This last time I saw you I
want to tell you I appreciate you telling me about your dad. I have lost
both of my parents so I know the feelings you are going through right now.
So many emotions you will be going through the months ahead…

In our last class you played a song with the words “It’s time to believe in
what you know”. I remembered those words and will use them to begin
my new year of 2009. Maybe these words come from your dad telling
you “it’s time to believe in what YOU know”. He doesn’t want you to
feel sad. Just for you to look around you. You know honesty you know
strength you know what’s around you. Guiding and helping others to
know themselves. You explain Yoga to us and it’s history. You do know
what you know. Plus Leanne… you have the best laugh:) It’s so healthy.

I’m ready for today and I’m ready for tomorrow. It is time to believe.
I wish you and your family lots of strength.

I will see you this Saturday afternoon at your Holiday Yoga! If you
need any help before class please let me know. I’ll be glad to help.

The best to you,

Joseph

It has been an incredible blessing to be able to return to my work through this challenging time. Each of you has positively touched my life in your own way, whether it’s through your words, beautiful flowers, cards with caring sentiments, or simply the power of your Presence, (which should never be underestimated.) Thank you for being here with me throughout it all. Love, Leanne

A Legacy to Live By…

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Many of you may know that my father passed away on November 24, 2008. The last two weeks have been a surreal whirlwind between having one funeral service here in Dallas and another service this past weekend in Chargin Falls, Ohio, the suburb I grew up in outside of Cleveland.

Although my father was fighting a battle against cancer, his passing came unexpectedly just two weeks ago. He was admitted into the hospital for what the doctors thought were flu like symptoms, which turned out to be an adverse reaction to the cancer drug he was taking. His body developed an infection and he passed away about 36 hours after having been admitted into the hospital. My father lived a life full of vitality and energy all the way up to his last several hours. He was a mind-blowing 81 years old, resembling the youthfulness of a Dick Clark in his physical appearance. (the picture above was taken just last year on his 80th birthday) I could write forever about my dad…he was my role-model, my friend, one of the funniest people I know and a true lover of life. He found joy in the simplest things and my life, as his daughter, was magical and full of wonder. Just being in his Presence was a gift. He was the kind of person I wish everyone could have had the chance to know. Many people were blessed to know him. His funeral service this past weekend was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. His business partner of 36 years spoke, someone who worked for him at his advertising agency spoke, the son of the owners of The Honeybaked Ham Co. spoke, (who like so many of us, felt my father was his mentor. I didn’t realize this, but he actually said my father had a major contribution in the development of their companies structure, which has grown to be the success it is over the past few decades… I also think it’s ironic, that as a vegetarian Yogini, one of my father’s biggest advertising clients was a company that makes hams), anyways, my sister shared some incredible sentiments about my father and I read something to everyone which spoke to the kind of individual my father was. The whole service was recorded, and I’m looking forward to being able to hear, again, all of the amazing sentiments and memories that were shared by some of his closest and dearest friends.

Many of you may receive this as ‘bad’ or ‘sad’ news. But, although it is an incredibly difficult loss, I feel so blessed to have had my father in my life. Although I knew the gift he was while he was here, I am sure I will realize everyday just how blessed I was and am to have had him in my life. So, I would like to share the words I read at his service, which he wrote. Six years ago, on Christmas Day of 2002, my family and I sat around the dinner table and each filled out this form which I had typed up for everyone. I had just returned from an Anthony Robbins seminar called Date With Destiny. I was overflowing with inspiration and eager to have my family share in my experience. So, I typed up this sheet entitled: The Life I Dream is Mine to Receive…December 25, 2002. The sheet had two sections to fill out, the first was My Ultimate Vision and the second was The Life I Dream

Here is what my father wrote…

My Ultimate Vision:

To be a human being that loved and was loved – by his wife, his children and those that were a part of his life. A person who thought of others, treated them the way he wanted to be treated and made them feel good about themselves…like he felt doing it. To do all of the above with a great sincere depth.

The Life I Dream:

Maintain my physical and mental well being until or as long as possible. To acquire enough financial security to do what I want with peace of mind (without sweating it) which would be at least 5 million. ;)
To reach a relationship with my wife that is completely trusting, totally loving and utterly uninhibited.
To enjoy the love and be loved relationship, described above, with my family and their loved ones.
To stay positive – to stay positive – to stay positive with my thoughts and with my behavior.
(And then he made some joke about beating my brother at golf and my mom at racing, meaning racing home in their cars from some place. He always loved to do that.)

It’s hard to imagine my life without my dad, but even in his passing, he left me such powerful guidance to live by. So, I think I will take his advice, which I have so many times before (but not always ;)) to stay positive, stay positive, stay positive throughout it all. I love you Dad…maybe you are reading this right now. (My dad enjoyed reading my newsletters and blog.) Thank you for being my dad…the most awesome Dad in the world to me…

I will be back soon with some info about the Holiday Yoga Class at exhale this Saturday and other Yoga inspiration as we awaken to the ever-illuminating light of Consciousness with each breath we breathe.

Namaste…