February teaser

February was a busy month, I wrote this on a flight to Vancouver in between nodding off. So, take this with a grain of salt (or sand?!)

What if the universe could be contained in a grain of sand, as William Blake has suggested? If it is infinite, then wouldn’t that mean that size and space become irrelevant. Does a grain of sand contain infinite multitudes?

Just as our DNA – our biological building blocks of life – is infinitely complex yet too small to view without a microscope, couldn’t a grain of sand be equally as infinite?
Places can shape our feelings and guide our thoughts. There is a world of feeling in all places, an infinite source for newly experiencing ourselves. The opportunity for reinterpretation of whatever in us is stuck or rotting.

Places have an infinite wisdom, and can be an external mirror to our internal self.
I’ve always identified with certain places as microcosms of peace that I can go to whenever I want. Whether it be Olympus Mons, or the furthest end of the ocean. Hovering over the water and listening to vast open space, filling in every detail of the sky, the stars, the ripples in the water. Letting go of the grasping, letting it all fall away to the beauty of a place that expands consciousness by simply being.

Knowing that this place actually exists, and is available to me through my thoughts is one of the most profound truths of life. It gives meaning to the term infinite, and yet I cannot begin to imagine what the word truly means although I know that I feel more infinite when I choose a place and go there in thought.

These are the safe havens that fill the universe and are always available. They are real, and traveling to them in our thoughts can make life feel more real. The concept of infinite can be tangled in complexity and unending realms of meaning, or it can be touched through simple thoughts that reach beyond the layers of what is mundane and expected and limiting. The mind is infinite, anything is possible as there are no corners of the universe that are inaccessible through thought.

Once we go to a place, it never leaves us. Even if we go through mind-travel, it stays with us forever. How we view places and, specifically, our place in places is a reflection of who we are and this is the origin of the infinite. Interpretation and experience of a place provide infinite depth and breadth as it is different for every person, situation and time.
Yet places are real on their own. Living and breathing with matter and energy, even if there are no living organisms certain places exist as part of a collective energy. They give energy and serve a purpose.

We are part of the places that we inhabit, there is no separateness. We feel separateness but it is consciousness that produces the feeling of separateness. In reality, everything and everyone is inter-related. We all represent a collective consciousness and places are included in this consciousness. They exist in an energetic universe, they are the energetic universe just as we are the energetic universe.
It is impossible to understand or comprehend, but amazing to consider. We feel separate but we are not separate.

help me spread the word!

IY Mag cover
My Yogaville 108k is quickly approaching and I am asking for your help in raising awareness! To learn more about the run, please check out the story in Integral Yoga magazine:

http://integralyogamagazine.org/running-a-moving-meditation/

I am using this as an opportunity to raise awareness for the Woodstock 50th Anniversary and Swami Satchidananda’s role in setting the tone for the event as a gathering of peace, love and joy.

This will be a “moving meditation” run on sacred ground – the message that Gurudev delivered at Woodstock captures the intention of this run to align mind-body-spirit in all endeavors.

I know that many of my followers are fellow bloggers and I enjoy checking out your content. If you are interested in a guest blog post from me, or sharing content (you share a guest blog post with me, I share a guest blog post with you), please reach out!

I’ll be sharing more details on the experience in the coming weeks, please stay tuned…

OM Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

 

OKT: Yogaville 108k

woodstock Guru
Sri Swami Satchidananda speaking at Woodstock in 1969

The Spiritual Life Board at Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville has approved my request to run 108k on the trails of Yogaville to honor Sri Swami Satchidananda, the ‘Woodstock Guru’ as this year is the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock.

I’ll be running the “Only Known Time” for 108k at Yogaville on my birthday weekend at the end of March. This run will be different than any other trail run that I’ve ever taken on since I will be primarily focused on honoring Gurudev and the Ashram.

The significance of 108 is that it is the number of beads in mala beads, which are used for prayer and meditation. In addition, the number has a scientific foundation as the circumference of the sun times 108 is the distance between the sun and the Earth as well as the moon and the Earth. There also are 108 nadis – energy channels – in the body.

Yogaville is located at 108 Yogaville Way in Buckingham, Virginia. Swami Satchidananda chose the location from a helicopter as he recognized the area as a spiritual place and the preferred site of his dream of ‘heaven on Earth.’

Yogaville follows a Daily Schedule that includes meditation in the morning, at noon and in the evening in addition to a morning 90-minute Hatha yoga class, as well as an evening Hatha yoga class. I will be participating in all meditation and yoga sessions during the run. When available, I will be stopping for Puja at Kailash as well. In addition, I will be taking my shoes off to walk through all sacred sites and will stop to show respect at Kailash at the Nataraja Shrine, Chidambaram, and LOTUS on each loop.

I will follow the general guidelines of Yogaville – no meat, fish, eggs, alcohol and only minimal intake of sugar and caffeine. My phone will be off throughout the weekend.

Yogaville encourages a monastic lifestyle to quiet the mind and bring peace. The message that opened Woodstock 50 years ago remains the powerful message of Yogaville – Always choose peace by seeking the kingdom within.

The run will be a moving meditation for me, each step will be guided by Gurudev and the beauty and peacefulness of the magnificent hallowed ground beneath my feet. The opportunity will allow me to promote the message of Yogaville and importance of appreciating the peace, stillness and happiness that is ever present within each of us.

Nothing brings me greater peace than becoming one with nature by freeing and opening myself to the freedom that is available when fear drops away and the journey fills with pure possibility. To bring this passion to my experience on the trails at Yogaville is a profound, magnificent opportunity.

My sangha – spiritual community – at Yogaville has changed my life. I am deeply grateful to Siva, Prem, Santoshi, Swami Mataji, the Spiritual Life Board and all the beautiful people who have inspired me during my sacred times at the Ashram.

While I haven’t decided on the path that I will follow, I’m estimating 2-mile loops on trail primarily, with a few brief road sections within the LOTUS gate and on Karuna Lane leading to Kailash. Not only will I be following a “leave no trace” approach on the trails, but will stop to care for the trails as necessary.

I will be camping during my entire stay and will arrive early to first establish a greater sense of well-being before beginning the run.

While I still have more planning to do, I am thrilled to find more ways to honor and respect Gurudev, my sangha, and the Ashram through this moving meditation.

Peace, love, joy to all.

Om Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.