The Crow Pose Challenge!

The Crow PoseOh my gosh, first of all, my eyes are burning, and everything I’m looking at right now has this haze around it because I spent three hours in the pool being photographed doing Yoga poses by this awesome photographer in Dallas, Kathleen Wilke. I haven’t spent that much time underwater since I was a kid.

And, a lot of times when I was a kid I would wear goggles. I had forgotten what it feels like to have chlorinated blood-shot eyes — it burns and even makes it hard to concentrate. I don’t recommend keeping your eyes open for very long in a chlorinated pool. But, I did feel like a kid again. One of my fellow Yoga friends was also photographed with me and it really did feel like we were 8 or 10 just playing in the water. It was awesome. I was just saying in class yesterday how powerful it is to connect with the elements consciously (especially now in the Spring as the expanding sunlight is energizing everything in Nature). As children, we were always immersed in Nature.

For most of us as adults, it requires a little more of a conscious effort. I was saying how powerful it is to practice Yoga poses outside, on the earth, in the sun, feeling the air, and if possible, by water. If we are ever feeling energetically depleted, one of the best remedies and reenergizing techniques is to be in Nature, and of course, practicing a few Yoga poses to really absorb the energy, is even more powerful than just walking, etc. The reason why the elements energize us is that we are the elements. Our body is mostly space, followed by water, earth, fire, and air. We are a microcosm of the macrocosm, as we know, but sometimes we forget the reason why Nature is so powerful for us is that it reconnects us with the pure essence of yourself. No wonder why kids have such boundless energy, because they are constantly connected to Nature’s infinite energy supply. So, I’m glad I got to take my own advice because I got to absorb it all spending so much time outside today…

It is a gift to be awakenedThere’s so much I could write…it’s been a while since I last posted. Sometimes, I want to share my whole life story with you, the True Yoga Blog has often felt like journaling to me. But, to spare you, I will say this. Life is good. The experiences we are growing through are ever-increasingly awakening us to the preciousness of life and the present moment. It’s a gift to be awakened, and often, pain is one of the most powerful illuminators. What’s happened in our world recently has shook us out of our comfort zone. Or, as Shiva Rea would say, it’s been a Mooladhara (1st Chakra) shaking and awakening. And, we are blessed to realize our true security is not fiscal but spiritual. This teaching is scriptural and the strength of Spirit is found in yourself as we recognize Sangha, the gift of spiritual friendship and community. I’m inspired when I think of the community that’s evolved through the True Yoga Blog, and the community of readers that has grown as we share in these thoughts and ideas together, awakening us to new states of awareness individually and collectively.

In one of the books I’m reading right now called The Mystery of 2012 it talks about the rapidly evolving consciousness because of the profound interconnectedness of everything these days, due to the groundbreaking pathways of communication we’ve realized over the past, (it’s hard to believe), but, just 20 years (not even that long).

If you had told Mozart that in the future humans would own tiny boxes the size of a coin, made from some strange material that was neither wood nor metal, with two strings coming out of the box that, when placed in their ears, would enable them to hear any of his compositions as clearly as if they were in a room with an orchestra, would he have believed you? On the contrary, he would probably have thought you mad.

THE OMEGA POINT

One person who believed our destiny was indeed a collective spiritual awakening was the French priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Exploring the evolutionary trends toward greater complexity, connectivity, and consciousness, he argued that humanity was moving toward an “Omega Point” – the final end and goal of evolution.

He believed that the universe had been through several major stages of evolution, starting with what he called “cosmogenesis,” the birth of the cosmosphere, the universe. Next was “geogenesis,” the birth of the Earth (geosphere); following that, “biogenesis,” the birth of life (the biosphere). With human beings, there came “noogenesis” and the “noosphere,” the sphere of thought. He predicted that the final stage, the one that led to the Omega Point, would be “Christogenesis.” This would be the birth of Christ consciousness, not in an individual but the collective-the spiritual birth of humanity as a whole.

Teilhard de Chardin believed this Omega Point would happen thousands of years in the future. Like many others, he did not take into account the implications of ever-accelerating change. In his later years, he commented on the impact of radio and television in bringing humanity together. Technologies like these, he said were bringing the Omega Point much closer. Just before he died, the first computers were being developed. Perceiving the potential of this new technology, he predicted that they, too, would bring the Omega Point even closer. If he had lived to see the emergence of the Internet, he would probably have realized that the Omega Point could come very soon indeed.

BREAKDOWN OR BREAKTHROUGH?

When we look at what is happening in the world today, it is understandable that we might scoff at the very idea of a collective spiritual breakthrough. The daily news may well lead us to believe that we are heading ever more rapidly toward breakdown rather than a breakthrough.

That is, indeed, one likely possibility. I do not want to downplay the dire urgency of the world situation. If we don’t make some radical changes, we are surely headed for a disaster of one kind or another.

I also believe that positive change is possible. If we can develop the wisdom needed to navigate our way through these turbulent times safely, the potentials are staggering and unimaginable in scope. Let’s put our hearts and minds to proving that we can pass Buckminster Fuller’s final evolutionary exam and become a genuinely magnificent species. We are, after all, our only hope.

– The Mystery of 2012

One of the things you can do is take affirmative action. Of course being in service is one of the best ways we can take decisive action. One of my teachers says the most potent practices are Study, Service, and Meditation. When we yoke these three practices together, it becomes a trinity and amazing things awaken within us and around us. The one I get to be committed to, that I have yet to develop a consistent practice with, is service. It is my commitment to awakening this third practice as I grow into the Spring.

I also encourage you to take personal action, meaning, what are how you can better yourself. Of course, practicing Yoga is one way. But, our Yoga practice must go beyond our weekly training. That’s why I’m encouraging each of us to cultivate a daily practice of Crow Pose throughout Spring. The reason why I am suggesting Crow Pose is that it is the foundational arm balance in Yoga. The arm balances are the way we awaken optimal core strength; there is simply no other way to awaken your core strength that deeply. So, the arm balances, and specifically, Crow Pose, is just a place we get to grow into and practice, consistently, if we aspire to realize real progress and positive change. What kind of progress awakens from a consistent practice of Crow Pose?

While each of our practices evolves in a personal way, some of the awarenesses I’ve awakened to through Crow Pose are that it activates Manipura Chakra (3rd Chakra). The 3rd Chakra is the center of will and determination, self-confidence and energetic strength. It is the place where we realize our potential, what’s possible when we commit ourselves to a vision. As we stoke the fire, which is the element connected to 3rd Chakra, unhealthy, heavy egoic habits are dissolved, and the lightness of inspiration is awakened. It literally strengthens your energetic field (aura) causing impure influences to be impenetrable, especially the negative intentions of other people. So, yes, Crow Pose is all this and more. Start practicing it each day, for just a few minutes, and you will be amazed at what transforms within you and all around you as we grow into the Spring season of our Soul.

Namaste!

Om Namo Amitabha Buddhaya

I am writing a quick post before I head out of town this Wednesday morning. I’ll be going to Portland, Oregon to visit a couple of friends. They are longtime friends of mine from my childhood. I’ve known them since I was only 6 years old. That’s a long time. What a blessing it is to have lifelong friends. My friend Brinn and I took ballet together when we were in first grade.

Amitabha BuddhayaWe carpooled but we were also friends from school, too. We were friends all the way throughout grade school and high school. We lost touch a little bit in college but reconnected several years ago around the time of our ten year reunion from high school. When she got married three years ago I went to her wedding in Portland and I reconnected with her older sister then, as well. Her sister and I didn’t know each other really well in school, but we’ve become friends in the last couple of years. I had a chance to hang out with her at the wedding and we had a lot of fun. I’m really glad I’ll be getting to see them both. It’s especially cathartic seeing them since my father passed away almost two years ago. Our families went to the same church going up and her parents knew my parents pretty well.

Brinn also knew my father from spending so much time together when we were teenagers. It’s really incredible to have people in our lives who have known us almost as long we have known ourselves. What an amazing thing to think she’s been a part of my life since I was 6. I’ve realized, in the last several years, how important it is to me to continue to nurture these relationships in my life. I know many of us have discovered this, as well, especially with Facebook and all of that these days. As great as Facebook is, it doesn’t compare to real human connection. The people I really care about seeing are the ones I make the effort to see and I can do that with or without Facebook. But, I do love that Facebook can help people who have lost touch to find one another. And, I also think it’s a good social networking platform. Other than that, I think it can be a bit of a waste of time.