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Showing posts from July, 2011

Beginning Anew All the Time!

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No matter how old you may feel, you are not old. My great grandpa is old. He just turned 99(!!) At his birthday dinner someone asked him how it felt to turn 99 and you know what he said? "The same way it felt to turn 23." This venerable badass lives alone, has a Facebook and just got his license renewed for another five years. Sometimes he has so many bridge dates with cute little casserole-baking ladies that he doesn't have time to see us. I witnessed him fist bumping someone recently. What?! Who is this guy?


My grandpa attributes many things to his advanced age and great health, and I have my own theory. While some people opt to slow as they age and begin to contract away from the world, he has remained active and engaged with life. He never plateaued, reaching a point where he felt he had learned and did enough and was done. At 91 he got his first computer, took every class for it in his retirement community in a month and was immediately writing emails and his memoir…

Becoming the Eye in the Storm

For the first two years of my Kundalini yoga journey, I was living in the Tenderloin. The neighborhood was a fairly good reflection of the state of my mind at that time: loud, messy and occasionally obscene. I would sit down to do my home practice and fidget forEVER, trying to settle myself enough to be still and breathe. I was so busy and noisy and resistant. Sometimes I would give up, determining that I was just not in the place (literally and figuratively) to be meditative. "Too many sirens outside, too many screaming crackheads," I would reason, "Who can sit still under such conditions?"

Teaching at the Hanuman Center is fun because of its proximity to the Castro: fabulous gay men with good sound systems drive by blasting Lady Gaga when we're in class. There's also the din of the 33 rumbling past, the Tuesday noon siren, construction, the crying baby who lives above the studio...etc. Like my old TL abode, these conditions may seem unideal for yoga or me…

Tending Your Garden

Last Wednesday Regina and I were, for separate reasons, both feeling shitty. We numbly, glumly sat in her bed, assessing our options: We could get drunk and go to sleep, or we could go to yoga. We independently mulled it over for a while and when I came back to her later to tell her I was going to class she replied, "Well yeah, was there really another choice?" We agreed that if we still felt like getting drunk afterwards that we would reserve the right to do so.

Of course, after a Divinely inspired kriya of Relieving Misplaced Anger, all we felt like doing was getting dinner at The Citrus Club and talking real about life and love. I am inspired by the ways in which Reg and I have been (are being...) transformed by our spiritual practice. According to the legend she spins, I was the first person she met in San Francisco so many years ago, and since then we have become completely different people together. I (barely) recall a New Years Eve in Las Vegas in which our response t…

Doubt as a Virtue

Faith, it's presence and strength, is traditionally the test of someone's legitimacy as a believer. The deeper the faith, the better someone is doing spiritually...right? I've been spending the last couple of years cultivating faith, admiring the roots that it seemed to be growing, how much more difficult I was becoming to sway. Recently I picked up a copy of Osho's The Book of Understanding, though, and got a completely different perspective on the merits of doubt...
"They say, believe. I say, explore. They say, don't doubt. I say, doubt to the very end, till you arrive and know and feel and experience. Then there is no need to repress doubt, it evaporates by itself. Then there is no need for you to believe. You don't believe in the sun, you don't believe in the moon. You don't need to believe in ordinary facts because they are there...The moment you destroy doubt, you have destroyed something of immense value, because it is doubt that is going to…

Dropping that boring, outdated "@!#% you" defensive reaction

Try an experiment. Ask the people that know you well how they perceived you when they first met you. The first impression feedback I get most often is "gentle," "calming," and "happy." Dig a layer deeper and descriptors like "intense," "real," and "crazy" start popping up ("real" and "crazy" always appearing separately and never as "real crazy").

The people who know me best, the ones I have lived many lifetimes with, know that all these things are true. They also know that under the sweet heart on my sleeve, I carry a little vial of poison that makes appearances that sometimes even surprise me. I teach a yoga of elevation and claim to want everyone I encounter in life to feel loved, but sometimes I come out with some seriously rude words and/or actions.

With growing consciousness around this incongruity, I began to watch myself and realize that this is a reflex to sensitivity. When I am most vuln…