“I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. …Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” Oliver Sacks
The world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don’t mind happiness not always being so very much fun if you don’t mind a touch of hell now and then just when everything is fine because even in heaven they don’t sing all the time The world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don’t mind some people dying all the time or maybe only starving some of the time which isn’t half so bad if it isn’t you Oh the world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don’t much mind a few dead minds in the higher places or a bomb or two now and then in your upturned faces or such other improprieties as our Name Brand society is prey to with its men of distinction and its men of extinction and its priests and other patrolmen and its various segregations and congressional investigations and other constipations that our fool flesh is heir to Yes the world is the best place of all for a lot of such things as making the fun scene and making the love scene and making the sad scene and singing low songs of having inspirations and walking around looking at everything and smelling flowers and goosing statues and even thinking and kissing people and making babies and wearing pants and waving hats and dancing and going swimming in rivers on picnics in the middle of the summer and just generally ‘living it up’ Yes but then right in the middle of it comes the smiling mortician
“It all boils down to this: That all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality.
We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of reality.” Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I was no longer needing to be special because I was no longer so caught in my puny separateness that had to keep proving I was something. I was part of the universe like a tree is, or like grass is, or like water is. Like storms, like roses, I was just part of it all.” Ram Dass
Pose of The Week:
The Buddhist goddess Kuan Yin is the perfection of compassion, mercy and kindness and is often shown sitting in the “Posture of Royal Ease.” This posture is more of a “bhava” than asana and brings about an immediate state of grace, dignity and confidence. While there are many different spellings for the world Kuan (Guan, Kwan) Yin is always spelt the same and in this context means one who hears, who observes the cries of humanity. This week we did the Posture of Royal ease as a means for getting into Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose.) Kuan Yin was originally depicted as a man in China but later morphed into a female goddess. Most images of Kuan Yin are actually gender-neutral.
December 21st, 2020
10:15 – 10:45am PST
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/97711871269?pwd=UUtHM2M0RDcwSmhQYVQ1SGNMenJrdz09
This coming Monday on the Winter Solstice, I will be offering a free guided meditation that will be taking place globally. The protocol for this meditation will be similar for all of those joining in from different parts of the planet at the exact time of the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius. In sitting together, we are not only acknowledging this transition but also preparing ourselves for this energetic shift, collectively ushering in this new Aquarian Age that is full of potentiality. In ancient culture, the Solstice was the beginning of the new year, not January 1st, but the moment in time and space when the sun was furthest from the earth and the dark hours of introspection reign. On this powerful confluence, we have the opportunity to activate these energies inside of us.
Tell others! What would happen if a million of us meditate on this powerful day, during this portal through which humanity can potentially unify consciousness for the good of the planet? The meditation itself will last 20 minutes with a short introduction and closing.
10:22 AM San Francisco
1:22 PM New York
7:22 PM London
3:22 AM Bejing
5:22 AM Tokyo
According to Western Astrology, Saturn entering Aquarius is one of the most anticipated transits of the year. (In Vedic Astrology, which focuses more on the moon and the stars than the sun, Saturn remains in Capricorn since there is a difference of about 23 degrees between these two systems.) Saturn enters Aquarius on December 17, 2020 and will stay in Aquarius until March 2023. Shortly thereafter on the Winter Solstice, December 21st, Jupiter will also join Saturn for the first conjunction in Aquarius since the early 15th century occurring exactly at 0° Aquarius. Jupiter and Saturn are closer in proximity than in 400 years, so close they may appear almost as one extra radiant star. This spectacle is believed to have been the Star of Bethlehem that shown brightly at the time of Christ. You can also add in Venus to make a planetary trinity for that rare heavenly moment that will best be noticed just as the sun sets. The last time we began such a 200-year cycle of air sign conjunctions was in the year 1226 (specifically on March 4!). So this is a new 800-year cycle. That era took us from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance. What will our transition be like this time, in this new day and age, this new millennium?
This conjunction on the Solstice and these planets moving through the sign of Aquarius over the next 20 some years has the potential to revolutionize society but only once we each individually revolutionize ourself, by again, letting go of our attachments to fear and those things which no longer serve our personal/collective growth at this time.
Saturn is Maha Guru or great teacher. Some of Saturn’s keywords are rules, discipline, patience, responsibility, and maturity. It is also about structure, discipline and order. (aka, a great time to keep practising yoga and meditation!) Saturn wants us to grow up and it moves slowly so that we don’t miss the opportunity. It was in Aquarius early this year when the lockdown measures were implemented. These measures forever changed the way we interact with others. We had: Social (Aquarius) distancing (Saturn). Air travel (Aquarius) delays (Saturn). Online (Aquarius) and remote working (Saturn).
Saturn in Aquarius will expose the limitations of technology and make us use it for what was meant for: to spread knowledge and bring like-minded people together. It is concerned with the spiritual, abstract world. It is more about ideas, policies and new visions for the future. Aquarius is that freedom we can only find when we take responsibility for our lives and become fully autonomous. This type of freedom cannot be found by fighting against the establishment, but when we stop looking up to the establishment and giving it our power. What keeps us small, enslaved and out of integrity? The Saturn in Aquarius revolution will take place within. Not that we won’t have a ‘proper’ revolution. With Saturn square Uranus most of 2021, and with an angry Mars conjunct Uranus in January 2021– people will take to the streets…
(“When the moon is in the 7th house and Jupiter aligns with Mars” (actually, Saturn, but poetic license was taken in the song “Aquarius” so since Mars & stars rhyme!)
Saturn in Aquarius is about how we, as individuals – every single one of us – contribute to a better world – by helping ourselves, our fellow humans and other living beings. The highest manifestation of Saturn in Aquarius is the sum of the sustained actions of each individual to make the world a better place. The Global Meditation is just a marker in this long journey but it represents us all moving at our own rate through this threshold.
(The preceding has been taken from several different commentaries on this conjunction and this time, with my own view added.)
After starting season 4 of The Crown, I was inspired to go back and rewatch The Iron Lady (Merle Streep’s 3rd Oscar.) Much to my surprise, Olivia Coleman plays Margaret Thatcher’s daughter, Carol! I didn’t become aware of Coleman until Broadchurch so complete didn’t realize she was in IL and love the full circle and poetic justice of her now playing the Queen to Thacher. There are so many reasons to love TC, the acting, production, the operatic scope of the Royals’ history but I also loveit from a spiritual view–the Royals are in a prison of their own making. None of them is happy with their lives and little realize that they can do something about it, that they possess the power. How often do we tell ourselves a story and then torture ourselves living up to it? We are prisoners by our own choosing? It’s what humans do the best and the most blindly. To feel safe we place boundaries on ourselves and then fight to breakout. Who would we be without these imposed concepts and regulations?
“Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see, Que sera, sera…” I am confident that I have done all that I can around this election to help create positive change. I am also certain that being attached to those efforts and stressing about their impact serves nothing and no one. “Be not attached to the fruits of your labor” Krishna advises Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. The play that we are all a part of is much bigger than all of us. We are not the playwright or director except for the way we react or respond to reality—pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral are the choices of the mind, constantly changing from one to the next.
We are aware that we must build our immune systems and to do those things that keep us healthy and vital in the face of the virus but, we also have to build our immune system to our collective psychic disease and mental madness known as social media. Being obsessed with every play by play, fleeting poll and prediction will only weaken our immunity and we will be on a roller coaster of mental and emotional upheaval no matter who wins. As part of self-care, I will be off of social media and all forms of the news from Sunday evening till Wednesday afternoon.
(Listen to music, read poetry, listen to the talks of Eckhart Tolle, do MOR yoga, hike, bake several pumpkin pies, be with family and friends…)
In 2016 I taught my weekly Tuesday evening class which was on election night and again first thing Wednesday morning the day after the election. Even back then I asked students to shut off their phones and to leave them off for the night. Most couldn’t do this and after a deep practice designed to elevate our collective stress, they immediately turned on their phones before leaving class. I could actually see their skin tone turning grey… They had moved from connection and grounded stillness to victim. We are only the victim to anything and anyone once we react. Both yoga and meditation help create some distance between reacting and responding and from being attached to how we conceptualize reality. “Just breath” has become such an obnoxious passive-aggressive statement, but if we can do that it will help bring us in a moment that is free of drama and the reality that we are not the drama but just a breathing, safe and alive human.
I will again be teaching my Tuesday night 6:PM class on election night and not only invite all of you to join in but we will do a Zoom POTLUCK DINNER after class (7:45-8:30) to delight in our community and to stay off of the news and free of speculation for as long as possible. Please join us anytime. We are in this together.
Do we watch the Presidential debates or not? We have a choice, over and over again. Do we pick things that are toxic to eat, breath, see, or do we pick those things moment by moment which enables us to thrive and be proactive? Self-Care also means watching what we give our attention to and how those things affect us… That doesn’t mean that we are inactive or ill-informed but that we are conscious of how we bring in things to our psyche and how we respond or overreact.