Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * – Days 5 & 6

Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day***

Pictured left, “Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day

Fun short story, available at major online outlets.

Preview at end of post below.

***

“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

***


Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in Tweets

Days 5 & 6

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***

Intro

below, are my real time tweets for days 5 & 6 of my yoga teacher immersion training with lex gillan

i cleaned up a lot of the stuff that shows up when you copy a tweet, and kept one picture of me from one tweet

footnotes have added “after-thought” to some tweets 😉


Please Note:

tweets normally show as most recent on top, but, to reflect a narrative, i’ve rearranged the sequence so these will read top down, earliest first

***

Day 5

Adan Lerma - www.yoga-adan.com

adanlerma adanlerma

day 5 lex gillan immersion: cool clear trip to houston this am; got gas near immersion, prince playing on speakers, often quoted by lex 😉

26 Jan


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day 5 lex gillan immersion: morning meditation today: just sitting…gotta remem….just sitting…….she said s…..just sittin’………. [1]

26 Jan


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day 5 lex gillan immersion: the yogic breath, emphasized from day 1, the natural breath we were born-spark-spanked to do – deep as our core

26 Jan


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day 5 lex gillan immersion: full am of 3x yesterday’s practicum poses critiques; water went out for blocks around, a line break, made do [2]

26 Jan


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day 5 lex gillan immersion: teacher pose instructions: make real time; stretch hamstrings, fwd bends, statically; benefits, mods, variety [3]

26 Jan


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day 5 lex gillan immersion: more yoga business: wholesale book sources, sitting pillows, bkcases – profit margins; yoga insurance sources

26 Jan


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day 5 lex gillan immersion: impromtu afternoon assignment: @ of us present 15 min vinyasa to the class & lex for critique, full day of poses

26 Jan


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day 5 lex gillan immersion: class mbr opening “warm” style studio w/wife in nw houston http://www.suntouchyoga.com – “sun touch” nice

26 Jan


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day 5 lex gillan immersion: immersion is now officially more strenuous challenging 4 me than 4 wkshps in a wk last nov incl 2 zumba wkshops!

26 Jan


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day 5 lex gillan immersion: also no doubt this is a “teacher” training, emphasis on what “we” as teachers must can & will do to succeed

26 Jan


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much much homework to do – good night all, after great hot meal need warm bath but gonna skip shaving 😉 namaste, con dios, god be with you

26 Jan


adanlerma adanlerma

ok, 1 more tweet, what “must can will” a teacher do to succeed? communicate, create a line of understanding with another, another live soul

26 Jan

***



Day 6

Adan Lerma - www.yoga-adan.com

adanlerma adanlerma

day 6 lex gillan immersion: clear trip in today but several cars trucks chasing very speeding this am, 1st time this week, not good cowboys [4]

27 Jan


adanlerma adanlerma

day 6 lex gillan immersion: need meditation to realign reconnect recharge this morning, good thing i think this is fun 😉

27 Jan


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day 6 lex gillan immersion: adv meditation most of this morning, began w/chant & 3 ohms o = external, m = internal, complete ohm joins the 2 [5]

27 Jan


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day 6 lex gillan immersion: pt2 short fast vinyasa + “long” solid static sequnce w/guided breathing imagery, then relaxing breath 5:10 ratio [6]

27 Jan


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day 6 lex gillan immersion: pt3 just sitting w/guided imagery releasing consciousness from head to soft belly, totally differing experience

27 Jan


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day 6 lex gillan immersion: pt4 partner easy pose sitting face 2 face w/eye-focus concentration 4 alternating consciousness communicaton wow [7]

27 Jan


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day 6 lex gillan immersion: pt5 (of morning meditation) …savasana………

27 Jan


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day 6 lex gillan immersion: meditation afternotes: integrate breath into visualizations, start w/heart chakra center of up-down energy flows [8]

27 Jan


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day 6 lex gillan immersion: lex’s 30+ yrs 1st hand experience: children’s yoga; studio partnerships; celebrity hosting – decades of it 😉

27 Jan


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day 6 lex gillan immersion: afternoon – full practicum pose critique reviews: voice, clarity, presence, focus: on asanas, students, purpose [9]

27 Jan


adanlerma adanlerma

gonna get a jump on bath (not shaving 😉 supper & studies; practicum approaching – need to integrate humor focus & clarity with inspiration

27 Jan


***

footnotes:

[1] the meditation technique is called “just sitting” and it’s anything but…

start with five minutes and work to 15 or more, concentrating on remaining in the now, or, more accurately, returning yourself to now; it’s an experience 😉

[2] water main break was down the street and took out service to a wide swatch of bldgs, water back near end of day

[3] real time cueing, another important simple concept that took (us) practice to get down; the initial tendancy was to pause for someone to “catch up,” but then, by the time the instructor-in-training (ie, any of us in class) gathered up to give the next cue, other people had been waiting too long in suspended-pose

the idea is, give the cues, in real time, and people will fulfill the pose at their respective paces, having heard all the info they needed to complete the action

[4] i grew up in houston when there were no freeways (really!) and i knew this was a cautionary sign regarding tempers on houston freeways; if safety and courtesy continued deteriating on the freeways, it’d mean it was only a matter of time before something happened

if you already drove defensively, now was the time to strap in and double up; if you hadn’t been driving defensively yet, this was a good time to start

and if you weren’t sure what being in the now really meant, this was also a great time to become aware of it…

[5] this was the right day (for me) to have our most intensive meditative day

it’s hard to describe the immense value and impact of the meditative sequences in the following tweets

the three ohm level chant was a great place to start: external internal merged

[6] the experience of a relatively “fast” flow followed by really really long held poses infused with guided imagery tapered with the relaxing breath ratios, was, well, this you do need to experience 😉

[7] the most powerful partner meditation i’ve ever experienced

have absolutely no idea what the others were doing, into to it, nervous with it, nothing – total authentic focus with my meditation partner

[8] this is a great point where metaphysical speculation and physical science merge –

start with the heart, the center of feeling and spirit and intuition, from whence all love and life and meaning begin –

start with the heart, the center from which the blood and oxygen and nutrients flow, both upward and downward –

the heart is the center – is humanity far behind?

are we the center between heaven and earth?

self-conscious life – dust and life poised on a small planet?

[9] the afternoon crush of critiques and practice runs went the best ever –

…the morning meditation marathon, made its mark i think 😉

cont’d

***

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Days 1 & 2

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Days 3 & 4

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Days 5 & 6

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Day 7

***

Preview, Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day (Paris Shorts)


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thank you Leo, r.i.p.

Cover for "Poems for Lovers Loving & Being Loved" by Felipe Adan Lerma
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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

***


thank you leo, r.i.p. – February 22, 2011

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***


today my wife and i lost leo, our kitty of 16 years

there’s much to thank him for of course, all the warm nights, adamant greetings when we came home after a long day away, head rubs against our legs to deposit pheromones for us, and generally, as long as we fed him 😉 unconditional love

i guess he could argue that being fed is not conditional is this life 😉

and i further guess, that reminders to do with this life of ours, may be his most enduring gift to sheila and myself

many of my thoughts and beliefs are deeply held, and, based on my first memories from my dad and mom, cultivated since those first breaths with them

they (my beliefs) are not something i usually openly easily share, as i as strongly believe each of us arrive at critically valid necessary-to-live beliefs, on our own terms, within our own journeys, in our own allotted time

additionally, i’ve had quite vivid re-arrangements, paradigm shifts [1], of equally strongly belief before; and know i’m working with “in-process” assumptions [2]

Leo Spring Planting with the Rest of Us
Leo Spring Planting with the Rest of Us

finally, my beliefs are just that, beliefs –

something i believe in, even if deeply – but, that i don’t “know” –

any “knowing” i do have, is faith based

to the left is Leo, just a week ago, spring planting with the rest of us –

assuming he’d get to find more bugs as winter’s whisked away by gentle southern sea breezes, not yet heated to the point of driving everyone back inside for 6 months 😉

leo worked from an assumption of abundance, but you had to look for it –

or at least meow loudly for it 😉

reincarnation – yes, i do “believe” in it, but again, don’t “know” that it does indeed exist

if it does, i don’t believe we regress or can slide back into something less evolved –

ie, i believe our kitty leo is more than ready to grow his soul into something higher next time around, whatever that might be, but would not slip into being a snail, for instance

do i have any “past life” memories? naw, and don’t want any – what good would it do me? so i can complain about things or people i had or was?

naw, whatever i learned or shoulda learned in any past life, i’m dealing with it or enjoying it now [3]

more important to me, is the idea that the attachments we make, to ourselves, our friends and family, our spouses, and yes, our pets, are not only not-bad, not only not something-to-rise-above, but vitally significant attachments and beings

an idea so vital, i believe we may be on this earth in these bodies exactly for that reason – not of breaking attachment, but making and keeping attachments –

or more accurately, recognizing those attachments that exist, anyway…

can one really authentically make the argument that we are one energy or life, and part of one god, and not need to be aware of our attachment to all of what we are a part of?

our planet is a tiny speck within our solar system, itself barely a speck within our galaxy, ad finitum –

do we really think we can leave our earth, our physical and spiritual earth, our incredibly necessary sun, without the need of bringing consciousness and conscientiousness to the rest of our group of souls we’ve risen to life with?

whether we wait in heaven for our fellow souls, or do return to this earth, in whatever manner it is that could happen – and one can have a field day with those speculations 😉 much depends on what we do now, while we’re here

and this is where it gets sticky, most of us have pretty strong ideas what it is that’s needed to have us all “get along” – get along “properly” “appropriately” “fairly” “karmic-ly” etc etc etc –

a lot of sticky words huh? and the concepts are soaked with super glue 😉

so, because of all these can’t-get-them-off-my-mental-fingers concepts and beliefs, which i myself believe we each have to define and re-define, in an in-process-process of a duration i have no idea of, i don’t and won’t argue the merits of “what-i-don’t know”

i’ll respect, even if disagree, with ideas offered; but beyond a point, there’s no point arguing what can’t be proved –

so, are some things worth fighting for then?

evidently, yes 😉

so meanwhile…

i am grateful for leo – we lost him –

but as sheila says, he did everything with us –

leo left us with so much more…memories…reminders…

reminders of all these deeply held beliefs of mine, and why i value the people i have grown up with and got to know as i age –

i am grateful for the reminder of so many things i, day-to-day, take so much for granted for –

grateful i grew up in a country believing each of us has an opinion worth respecting – and that there is a rule of law –

that i believe freedom is an inherent concept, still-evolving  –

that “process” itself is so much a part of me now…

that i am alive to still attempt to share…

and for the people with whom i share my life, most of them anyways 😉 after all, it is a process 😉

rest in peace leo, you deserve it

Leo Supervising
Leo Supervising

namaste – con dios – god be with you


***

footnotes

[1] a philosophy class i had in graduate school, way back at the beginning of the 80’s! featured the book, “the structure of scientific revolutions” – if you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a milestone…

[2] i do take a tiny consolation that most of us can’t function without accepting some assumptions as working models, whether we think they’re “in process” or not 😉

[3] at the start of the 70’s, in houston, i first learned of meditation at the esoteric philosophy center

(though i’ve since realized meditation is experienced many ways)

it was an aquarian new-age burst of interest in yoga and more usually thought of eastern ideas, reincarnation and meditation

william david, the director there then, once said to me (paraphrasing) “if you had all those memories of past lives available in memory, you’d go crazy! and not be able to do anything else!” – he also emphasized how what was then, was then, and this is now –

that rang true to me then, and still does


***

INTEGRATING YOGA FITNESS AND THE ARTS

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Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * – Days 3 & 4

Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day***

Pictured left, “Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day

Fun short story, available at major online outlets.

Preview at end of post below.

***

“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

***


Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in Tweets

Days 1 & 2

Tweet


***

Intro

below, are my real time tweets for days 3 & 4 of my yoga teacher immersion training with lex gillan

i cleaned up a lot of the stuff that shows up when you copy a tweet, and kept one picture of me from one tweet

footnotes have added “after-thought” to some tweets 😉


Please Note:

tweets normally show as most recent on top, but, to reflect a narrative, i’ve rearranged the sequence so these will read top down, earliest first

***

Day 3

Adan Lerma - www.yoga-adan.com

adanlerma adanlerma

day 3 lex gillan immersion: long morning journey (50 miles) [1] in the rain today, glad class begins with meditation time, coming to count on it

24 Jan


adanlerma adanlerma

day 3 lex gillan immersion: more on yoga business, today “opening a studio” – costs, locations, size, layout, cash-flow, “it’s all yoga too”

24 Jan


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day 3 lex gillan immersion: more breathing techniques for clensing, strengthing voice, energy-relaxation breath ratios, interesting 😉 [2]

24 Jan


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day 3 lex gillan immersion: guest asana teacher for a few poses; admire how lex brought in someone with a slightly different slant on a pose [3]

24 Jan


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day 3 lex gillan immersion: 1st person acct on yoga alliance origins from a certifying teachers pov to present time; today: “thumbs up” [4]

24 Jan


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day 3 lex gillan immersion: cont wk on headstands for class; shoulderstand for me, prev neck injury; shoulderstand = 90% effect of headstand [5]

24 Jan


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day 3 lex gillan immersion: lex: “In Yoga, there are many experts, but few authorities.”

24 Jan

***



Day 4

Adan Lerma - www.yoga-adan.com

adanlerma adanlerma

day 4 lex gillan immersion: drizzly spritzers of sprinkles on the way today – blessed is our morning group meditation practice….

25 Jan


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day 4 lex gillan immersion: more “yoga business” workshops, advertising, print, internet, the PHONE 😉 + our shared info: SBC, SCORE, etc

25 Jan


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day 4 lex gillan immersion: more advertising info: brochures, websites, google ads, yoga alliance, yoga journal – oh, and word of mouth 😉

25 Jan


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day 4 lex gillan immersion: pose practicum practice full force today, indivdual demos w/group & instr critiques, modifications alignment etc [6]

25 Jan


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day 4 lex gillan immersion: @ pose has a beginning middle & end; standing is the norm, normal; sequences usually start & end with standing [7]

25 Jan


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day 4 lex gillan immersion: info on retreats, ethics; the practicum, uh, rite of passage, looms 😉 much pose practicum homework tonight….

25 Jan


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day 4 lex gillan immersion: speaking of poses & sequences, class put thru a 43 min “intermediate” level round; at least i can still walk 😉 [8]

25 Jan


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my 60 yr old body’s ready for a bath, & my ageless mind’s convincing my 60 yr old brain the homework won’t be “that bad, it’ll be fun!!” 😉

25 Jan


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day 4 lex gillan immersion: re the class pose challenge 😉 inc’d static & dynamic stretches, shouldstand to halasana etc, interval like 😉

25 Jan


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day 4 lex gillan immersion: lex: adaptation of yogic poses 4 americans (us): emphasize stretching vs strengthing, we’re too (more) tight 😉 [9]

25 Jan


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day 4 lex gillan immersion: last item tonite, great 1st hand info on meditation retreats in new mexico & elsewhere in u.s. – wow

25 Jan


***

footnotes:

[1] in texas, a 50 mile trip is “down the road” 😉

the challenge, when driving from galveston to houston, even at just the beginning of rush hour, is, in the nation’s fourth largest city, a drive worthy of the term “challenge”

the meditation sequences we’d begin our teacher training with each morning, would prove to be invaluable over the coming drives

[2] i had no idea there were that many different unique ways to play with the breath; i know, i must’ve led a sheltered life 😉

some of the “noisy” clensing techniques would probably be lots of fun for kids, and the breath ratio ideas, are ideas i talk about and apply in classes i teach

[3] korin brody, who teaches in the houston-metro area, impressed me with both her manner and anatomical-alignment knowledge; her concern for both safety and effectiveness rang real true for me

also, though she expressed great gratitude for lex (who’s immersion we were in) she also emphasized how both he and she felt it was great she has developed her own style of what she’s learned, opening the door further for each of us in class to carry what we were learning to our own interpretation/practice

[4] the stories of  the not-so “easy” beginnings of the beginning of this group from lex are pretty fascinating, and best told from the 1st-hand-person-acct person himself 😉

[5] learning that getting 90% of the benefits of a headstand, as per lex, via doing the shoulderstand, is possible, was particularly encouraging for me, as i have some cervical disc issues, and a headstand is not for me

[6] this is what most if not all of us were waiting for, and the bearing down of concentration and attentiveness was palpable

[7] seems simple enough, but remembering it, and applying it, unfailingly, would prove more challenging than expected; no question as to the value of “finishing” or doing the whole movement, beginning middle and end

[8] no “further” comment, is my comment 😉

[9] this is an important issue, giving rise to much more than just differing body types; the issue of what is yoga, what types of yoga are appropriate for whom, and when, is i believe, fully related to issues such as those that often appear in the magazine of yoga {postscript: see recent post, “are yoga poses ancient history?” by mark singleton

cont’d

***

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Days 1 & 2

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Days 3 & 4

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Days 5 & 6

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Day 7

***

Preview, Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day (Paris Shorts)


INTEGRATING YOGA FITNESS AND THE ARTS

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Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * – Days 1 & 2

Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day***

Pictured left, “Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day

Fun short story, available at major online outlets.

Preview at end of post below.

***

“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

***


Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in Tweets

Days 1 & 2

Tweet

***

Intro

below, are my real time tweets for days 1 & 2 of my yoga teacher immersion training with lex gillan

i cleaned up a lot of the stuff that shows up when you copy a tweet, and kept one picture of me from one tweet

footnotes have added “after-thought” to some tweets 😉


Please Note:

tweets normally show as most recent on top, but, to reflect a narrative, i’ve rearranged the sequence so these will read top down, earliest first

***

Day 1


Adan Lerma - www.yoga-adan.com

adanlerma adanlerma

day 1 lex gillan immersion: huge experiential meditation overview [1], continues tomorrow with teaching practice & asanas commencing immediately

22 Jan


adanlerma adanlerma

day 1 lex gillan immersion: no doubt re depth of both learned & experienced yoga knowledge lex brings to our eager table

22 Jan

***



Day 2


Adan Lerma - www.yoga-adan.com

adanlerma adanlerma

day 2 lex gillan immersion: meditation start of class, perfect bridge tween waking & learning to do; then breakdown of selected asanas

23 Jan


adanlerma adanlerma

day 2 lex gillan immersion: how many asanas are there? how many people are alive right now? several billion? [2]

23 Jan


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day 2 lex gillan immersion: meditation, technique for remaining in the moment; 2 styles at base of all: concentration & guided visualization

23 Jan


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day 2 lex gillan immersion: classical asanas, applicable to any style hatha yoga, each with a correct form, each modified by each person [3]

23 Jan


adanlerma adanlerma

day 2 lex gillan immersion: meditation: in the moment, accepting what rises across one’s space, realizing there’s a journey, now

23 Jan


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day 2 lex gillan immersion: intense continuing “business of doing yoga” from 1st non-guru yoga studio owner in america “back in the day” 😉

23 Jan


adanlerma adanlerma

day 2 lex gillan immersion: can’t do headstand (neck inury) but can do a half decent shoulder stand 😉 yea 😉

23 Jan


***

footnotes:

[1] majority of day spanned wide span of differing meditation techniques; would prove foundational for the length of the immersion

[2] lex spoke in detail of how rare it is any human being can do the myriad number of asanas possible

if we think about it, it is only a tiny few that physically shine in any endeavor, dance, football, swimming, the circus –

and, i believe we can and should enjoy being the best we each can be…

[3] i didn’t get the impression that lex thought “classically” done asanas was the be-all, but rather, like a common language for a diverse group of people, was a reference point to speak from

but then again, that was my impression of what i heard 😉

the magazine of yoga, one of my favorite sites, has had numerous articles (“orgins of yoga and tantra“) detailing the loose foundations of believing anything labeled classical doesn’t have some arbitrary work being done on the definition

the pizza effect article was good too 😉

cont’d

***

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Days 1 & 2

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Days 3 & 4

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Days 5 & 6

Yoga Teacher Immersion Experience with Lex Gillan – in * Tweets * Day 7

***

Preview, Eiffel Tower Pose on Family Yoga Day (Paris Shorts)


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DVD Review – “Body by Bethenny”

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DVD Review – “Body by Bethenny” – Bethenny Frankel

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i recently won a free dvd from acacia via a tweeter contest-alert from them

while i wasn’t expecting to, as the dvd cover promises 😉 “unleash [my] your skinnygirl!” – i also wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as i did

for what it’s worth, my wife [1] previewed it with me and says she enjoyed it also

also, the review is our own, ie, it hasn’t been previewed by acacia or anyone associated with them, and is our honest first impression as best we can express it

***

things we liked:

* playfulness between bethenny and the instructor, kristin mcgee

* the surprisingly challenging curve of poses that started from very basic ones

* good range of simple to moderate to more challenging poses

* nice array of clear stop & start instructions, yet kept a narrative flow

* that the “student” contributed movements that kristin supportively recognized, with reasons as to why

* yoga workout not too long, not too short (approx 40 min)

* captions for muscle groups being used (only a few very girl-centric)

* good alignment cues

* modifications abounded, especially creative bethenny-co-contributed ones

* short bonus workouts, recipes, bio info

* clear video, clear audio

***

Reviews: Clear Sailing?
Reviews: Clear Sailing?

***

things we would’ve liked:

* sub-titles – this is a common gripe for us older folk 😉

* captions for muscle groups sometimes not on-air enough time to catch

* emphasis on “skinny girl” as much a distraction, as touting “being-heavy” [2]

closing thoughts:

i felt, since i am studying to be certified as a personal trainer, that it was really useful for myself, even as a guy 😉 to see how a one-to-one session could be handled

the humor, well grounded knowledge, and interactive awareness with the “client” was to my liking, much like i would like to do things beyond a group classroom setting

mild concern if, after a number of viewings, maybe 3-5? , the enjoyable interaction and instructional cues might become tedious; possible solution: optional soundtrack change to simple cueing, similar to yoga journal’s various audio options in their 3 vol set, “step-by-step 3 pack

but to be fair, that same concern has not become an issue in one of my wife and mine’s favorite dvd’s, anne pringle’s stronger seniors chair yoga dvd so, who knows 😉

all in all, sheila and i liked the dvd 😉

*

namaste – con dios – god be with you

dvd review series


***

footnotes

[1] sheila, like myself, is AFAA group fitness instructor certified, plus is also licensed for Zumba and Zumba Gold; in addition she’s taken SilverSneaker instructor courses for MSROM (muscle strength, range of motion) and Cardio Ciruit

we’re both scheduled to take silversneakers’ yoga instructor course soon

[2] while recognizing the marketing value, sheila feels the skinnygirl emphasis is distracting, that it may send the message that being skinny is the goal, whereas, good health is the real goal; and she feels the same way about the opposite extreme where being heavy is touted the same way

thus, while accepting ourselves as we are is good and necessary, recognizing how we may improve ourselves for our own benefit, is just as good, and needed


***

INTEGRATING YOGA FITNESS AND THE ARTS

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My Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moments! – # 2

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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

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My Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moments! – # 2

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last week, when i posted “My First Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moment!” i should have realized right then, it’d be unlikely i wouldn’t have more of these nifty aha! moments

Layers
Layers

today my wife and i trucked up to clear lake for the morning jazzercise class in a fair amount of coastal fog, knowing from experience it’d be worth the trip

it’s always a brain-smile-pleasure when i’m surprised to learn something i hadn’t expected to, and today, vanessa had choreographed, into the music-mix of fun moves, a plank that moved into a modified warrior 2 – and moved us nicely through both sides! – yes, definitely a pleasant surprise 😉

considering i had just introduced both warrior 1 & 2 to our beginners yoga class in galveston the night before, the synapse-juxtaposition was sharp indeed

granted, our yoga class had “held” warrior 2 for a few breaths within a sun salutation sequence, and our jazzercise class “paused” there within a larger dance-movement routine –

granted, the former was a yin-orientated, strength and stretch, bone enhancing pleasure hold; and the latter was a yang-orientated, cardio, heart hardy pleasure movement –

but the effect and presence in both fitness environments, was equally welcome

yet, this was not my aha! moment of the morning 😉

there’s a move i’ve always favored in jazzercise, [1] a step-ball-change-variation stutter-step forward and back

rather than stepping forward with one foot, usually in a diagonal or to one side (though not necessarily), pressing the ball of the other foot, then changing directions – both feet stutter-step forward in a step-ball-change type move, then stutter-step backward, using the same step movement with both feet

the kick usually associated with the one foot at a time sequence, becomes kinda a kick-forward and up of the torso, esp the hips

my hands usually track my forward movement to the music, flicking upward as i softly arch my lumbar spine opening my chest and heart upward –

tracking the music i’ll then stutter-step backward with both feet, curling my core in a mild distinct crunch, my hands flicking downward as my shoulders and upper back arch forward followed by my neck and head

the knees and legs do a little stutter-giggle to the beat, or maybe it’s just me getting old 😉

but again, last night’s yoga class sprang to mind –

as i enjoyed a series of stutter-step forwards and back, i had a clear sudden impression-memory-joining of upward and downward dog merging with my torso arching then curling rhythmically in the stutter-steps!

aha!

i was feeling a conjoining, a similarity of expansions and contractions the two yoga poses, up and down dog, had offered me in sun salutations, with what i felt, stutter-stepping back and forth to jazzercise’s contemporary music – nice nice nice 😉

please note, i’m not a jazzercise instructor, and though i’ve enjoyed the dance and aerobic moves jazzercise provides for a long time, for more detailed info on this or other jazzercise moves, please feel free to contact a local instructor

***

now i realize many others before me, and right now, are experiencing the same fitness-yoga connections, and hopefully articulating [2] better 😉 but to again experience this feeling of fusion between two activities i enjoy so much, well…

there does seem to be a surge in seeing the similarities, and differences, between yoga and other fitness activities

afaa (aerobic and fitness association of america) has numerous chapters in its current “fitness: theory and practice” textbook, exploring various types of comparison

ace (american council on exercise), in their march “certifiednews” issue, has an incredibly important article, “are some yoga poses more harmful than helpful?

the comments for the above article are equally as interesting

my own comment (with paragraph formatting added for easier reading) to the article is :

“a great reference that ties fitness and yoga together is, Ray Long MD FRCSC is a board certified orthopedic surgeon at http://www.dailybandha.com/

“i myself am still learning a lot of all this, and look fwd to continuing that process —

“yoga, for me, is potentially more than fitness, but without the proper foundation in fitness, won’t get you very far to other areas of interest —

“iyengar himself, in an incredible 18 minute dvd “extra” on the dvd “Enlighten Up!” (i rented it from netflix) tells of how, til he was able to stand up in a healthy way in his early 20’s, spiritual concerns weren’t even a consideration —

“is there yogic posture info a lot of fitness professionals don’t know, i think if anyone speaks to a wide range of fitness people, that’s pretty obvious —

“is there fitness posture info a lot of yogic people don’t know, i think that’s equally obvious —

this just does not seem like an either / or question folks

***

one of my expectations for myself, is that i will continue to find and merge these fun fulfilling aha! moments; and one of my sincere hopes is, i’ll be able to share some of those with others

namaste – con dios – god be with you


***

footnotes

[1] my wife sheila had already been jazzercising for a decade, when she finally convinced me to go to class with her; it was her birthday request for valentines day (she’s a valentine baby) for what jazzercise calls “sweat-hearts” day 😉

february 14th, valentines day, 2011, i attended my first jazzercise class, and have been a member ever since

[2] eric franklin has written a wide range of dance-fitness books, of which i have a few so far, that i’d started reading when sheila and i first started studying fitness with afaa

immediately, i connected with his use of imagery, and ideas of becoming aware of our bodies, and respecting the daily fluctuations of feeling and capacity we all experience daily –

and since becoming group fitness certified plus becoming a yoga certified teacher (via lex gillan’s teacher training}, i have a much deeper appreciation of what eric has to offer, and articulate 😉

***

related:

My First Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moment! – Feb 12, 2011

“‘Heart Beats’ – Happy Valentine’s Day  😉 – Feb 14, 2011


***

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Meditation: Am I Doing It Yet? Part 3 — “yes! maybe, sometimes ;-)

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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

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meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 1 – who defines meditation?

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 2 – definitions mechanisms comparisons

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 3 – yes! maybe, sometimes 😉


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Rowing Past the Walking Bridge
Rowing Past the Walking Bridge

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Part 3

intro thought

i remember, after a particularly vigorous playful rubbing i’d given one of my kitties, of hearing how pets could only take “so much” of a person’s loving, before becoming over-stimulated, unable to endure more –

sometimes just running off with a yell-meow, sometimes taking a nip of me on the skip-out and away, sometimes squirming and turning afraid and unwilling to turn on me but needing release –

are we so different?

from buddhanet’s buddhist studies

“There is no need to meditate for a long time: just remain quietly until you are a little open and able to connect with your heart essence. That is the main point”

we may yearn to be at-one with oneness again, but we are, by definition, only a part of that oneness –

can i splice my 110 volt extension cord onto the main trunk line on the telephone pole out by the road?

no, even though they both run the same juice; the voltage differential is just too severe – my kitty loves me, but a bit at a time 😉 ah yes, the wisdom of animals…

***

[1]

***

so i asked, at the end of my previous post, part 2 of this short inquiry into meditation, what do i think about meditation, what it is, or means?

i truly do believe it includes both my experiences of, and the writing of, each of my poems, “Cross Country” and “Heart Beats

my readings on meditation, abridged as they are, plus talks from lex at my immersion, and really my own experiences of the moments i tried to describe in those two poems, including the experience i had writing each one, convince me at this point in my life, that, yes, i was in a meditative state in all those instances…

i’m enough of an individual, and ornery enough 😉 to want that to be the end of it

but i’m also enough of a social creature, with a memory of many an inadvertent mistake, to gladly take some respected third party re-inforcement 😉

***

three respected third party re-inforcements

***

1)

in the quote below from Buddhist Meditation in the Theravada tradition, i find a strong compliment to my way of thinking of meditation

“meditation is inherently experiential. It is not theoretical. In the practice of mediation you become sensitive to the actual experience of living, to how things feel. You do not sit around developing subtle and aesthetic thoughts about living. You live. Vipassana meditation more than anything else is learning to live”

***

2)

and the following quote is scientific back-up for the existence of true benefits for practicing meditation

“The gamma activity in some of the long-term practitioners was the highest ever recorded in healthy human beings…This type of research is helpful to both practitioners of meditation and to the scientific community…

“It is helpful to meditators because it gives us an idea of what is happening to our brains as we progress in our practice. It provides some independent evidence that our practice does actually make a difference. And this can lead to greater conviction, which is always welcome in a meditation practice…

“Uncertainty is one of the biggest obstacles to continued progress.”

the Himalayan Institute is of courses a widely respected organization and movement

two additional points come out here:

a) the idea is that of “practicing” meditation, it is a practice, not a set thing; again relating back to the idea of meditation being experiential, as the buddhist quote above points out

and,

b) “uncertainty” is a genuine obstacle, a point i will refer to again in the mid-future when i do a small post on the chakras

***

3)

i’ll end my external third-party rah-rah for myself 😉  with this quote, from a speech last month, by the dalai lama

“a quote of the Buddha: ‘A follower of mine should not accept my teaching out of faith or devotion but rather out of investigation on the subject matter, seeing its meaning and then reproducing it into practice.'”

and no  😉  i don’t follow the dalai, or am very familiar with his work or speeches, i was led to this speech via a link on the himalayan institute, to the mind & life website

but i must say i was impressed with the humanity and non-authoritarianism of the text of the speech

and there were some interesting perspectives from the dalai lama regarding the failure, so far, of any spiritual teachings to create a lasting peace on our earth; this is strong stuff from a guy who’s in a spiritual-historical lineage, so i’d recommend a peak at his speech anyways

***

Flowers Rising Flowers Ready

my conclusions on the question of “meditation, am i doing it yet”

meditation is experiential

meditation has been explained, diced and labeled, promoted enough to qualify as a huge ego trip, yet, obviously, has merit 😉

meditation involves concentration, imagination, and an almost emotional union of mind to body to observation that eventually excludes nothing:  neither our thoughts our yearnings our hopes our recognitions our union with god or other souls, and especially, our conscious awareness of all the myriad facets of life

being here now, as the old-new-age saying goes….

***

[2]

***

postscript

RPE – Rate of Perceived Exertion

do we need something like i proposed, half jokingly, for asanas, RPEy, “Range of Pose Explored, Yoga” an adapted version of the RPE used in most fitness routines?

maybe,

RPEm = “Recognition of Personal Enlightenment, Meditation

an RPE for meditation?

…why not  😉

***

in the near future, i’ll do a post or two on my meditation experiences during my recent immersion with lex gillan – i’m still processing much of it 😉

in the meantime, i plan to finally look into a book i bought at that time, “guided meditations, Explorations, and healings” by stephen levine

namaste – con dios – god be with you


***

footnotes:

[1] “rowing past the walking bridge” is a 24 x 24 oil on canvas painting i did ’bout 5 years ago in austin

the setting is in the beginning of barton springs off of lady bird lake; if you go back underneath the walking bridge and paddle round the bend to the right, you’re looking smack at downtown austin, beautiful

i use water based oils, but that’ll be a story for another time 😉

[2] this tiny beauty is a beauty ’cause of the equally tiny flowers i was fortunate enough to catch before the last few weeks’ mid-20’s weather here

mid-20’s weather here in galveston is like above 100º further north, not built for it

but the it’s warmer now, and the flowers are again, “rising…ready….”

– end of 3 part series

***

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 1 – who defines meditation?

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 2 – definitions mechanisms comparisons

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 3 – yes! maybe, sometimes 😉


***

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meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 1 – who defines meditation?

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 2 – definitions mechanisms comparisons

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 3 – yes! maybe, sometimes 😉


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Rowing Past the Walking Bridge

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Part 2

straight off, gonna say the best  working definition i have of meditation right now, that fits with my experiences outlined in part 1 yesterday, is from lex gillan

i recently experienced an immersion he hosted, and his simple clean approach, the depths of the studies he described he’d undertook, and the breadth of the range of meditation approaches he’s studied, all gave me confidence of where he was coming from

quite simply, he feels meditation is a means of keeping oneself in the present

that meditation is one of two modes: concentration, or visualization; the latter being usually guided, but apparently best if concentration has already been highly developed

lex also felt that those of a right brain leaning, might benefit more from concentration, while those of a left brain slant, would benefit by expanding imaginative visualization

remember, the goal is to remain attentive, conscious, and aware of being in one’s body, in the present, yet also either concentrating or using visualization (question: is there a way to do visualization, still be present in one’s body, and not be concentrating?)

so, there’s a con-joining of experiencing (a process) and awareness (being)

lex also felt that reaching true samadhi (bliss), was only possible for nano moments – being true to being in our bodies restrained the amount of time possible in total immersion with oneness

ie, my take: we’re grounded earthlings, like it or not

now, before anyone goes off calling lex and saying, “what!!!!” – the above is my remembrance – my interpretation – and my application [1] of what lex spoke of and led us through, during a daring array of breathings chants and eye-to-eye guided visualizations, many of them powerful indeed  😉

***

definitions

i like zipping down a google search and, preferably, finding what i need quickly

so one of the things i’ve noticed over years of looking up stuff is, a homogeneous blend of search answers usually means a high degree of confidence, and agreement

in my part 2 post on asanas, “do i HAVE to do the pose this way, no, but…” i used RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) to make a few points; my google reference to my RPE definition search was pretty uniform, reflecting my RPE definition experience with AFAA, SilverSneakers, and Zumba

thus, one of the things i noticed in my google search for the definition of “meditation is” was a possible high degree of disparity, relative to other searches i do

the following are, as far as i can tell, highly credible worthwhile sites; each offering insights i found worth pondering, worth trying to merge…

one definition, says meditation is “Whatever you do with awareness is meditation.”

sounds good – but the article goes on to say this does not include worship, prayer, gardening, jogging, music, or art, “creating confusion or misunderstanding”

yes, i’m confused

if worship or prayer or gardening or jogging or music or art is done with awareness, where’s the definitional problem? [2]

and i’ll admit right now, i’m inexperienced enough i might just not be catching it

and to be fair, other portions of the article seem really on target to me, “But yoga is not something eastern or western as it is universal in its approach and application.”

another definiton, describes how learning to concentrate, on “love” for example, is fraught with distractions, such as the thought, “I love candy” which understandably leads to feelings of wanting to head to the store

definitely sounds like a distraction 😉 esp if it’s dark chocolate!

yet, if i proceed as planned for each pilgrim, after conquering concentration [3], passing into meditation, and evolving into contemplation, i should realize that “Everything in the universe that love is connected to will come to you. Every feeling of love, every sensation, every thought…” and  “…everything in the universe is relative to everything else, ultimately your meditation on ‘love’ will connect you to everything”

hmmm, every sensation? what about that candy bar?

yet, how can i argue with this article‘s conclusion? – “It is our birthright and destiny to know this exquisite state first hand and enjoy the Truth, Consciousness, and Bliss that is our eternal true nature.”

maybe i’m just asking to be confused?

maybe i’m just not grasping and grappling with the gap between the lines, creating the synapse needed to snap to the truth

and according to “yinsights” by bernie clark (i’m still working through this, kinda like small bites from a deep rich chocolate) synapses might be a viable concept on more than one plane of being

i’ll do one more search, which right off, i’m hoping will help me nail down a definitive definition of meditation:

“‘concentration, receptive awareness, contemplation, and cultivation’ — constitute the major uses of awareness throughout the world’s great meditative traditions. ‘Meditation techniques are just different paths up the same mountain.'”

this is the stuff of which i like, variety equalling “just different paths”

but wait, what’s this? uh oh, “Unmask meditation poseurs…Thinking…Daydreaming…Repeating affirmations…Praying…”

but wait, there’s more, “Of course, every activity can become a meditation if you do it with awareness or concentration” – that’s it, back to my original feeling

***

Flowers Rising Flowers Ready

thank goodness  😉

now i’m getting some definitional confirmation, from a third party source, that experiences like that of jogging, in “cross country,” and of loving, in “heart beats,” did cross into an awareness worthy of being meditations

so, it seems, this is an article willing to take loose straws, and, making the effort, weaves those thin strands of inquiry, those crinkly threads of thought, into a quality rope to hang onto –

can i really ask for much more? or just let it lay…

if i want to truly answer the question, for myself: “meditation, am i doing it yet?”…

i suppose i should 😉

bottomline, i should ask, “so, what do i think? what can i honestly say or convey to anyone about what i now think about meditation?”

it may well be that the mind is a terrible task master of illusion, but it’s along for the ride, and wants its fair share of input and realization…so…

honestly, i’m gonna have to think about that…

…and contemplate a taste of truth….

cont’d:


***

footnotes:

[1] i want to emphasis that these are my own conclusions of what was presented in class, and my enjoyment and agreement with these thoughts may well be because it aligns so closely with what i’ve thought for many a year anyway 😉 but i’ve tried to present what seemed to me the clarity of how lex presented these ideas

[2] mysticism is something i not only can accept, but can revel in, but i tend to like to know that’s what i’m doing: whether in imagining / being in a state of consciousness, painting with pigments, playing with poetry, or just sitting absorbing the view of tiny birds hopping grazing on the lawn beyond me

definitions are statements of definition-like descriptions, well, i tend to take them apart to see if they fit me, or i can fit into them

[3] is the term “conquering” anti-yogic? hmm, what with warrior poses, and, supposedly, from what i’ve heard, martial arts is a split of from whatever it was yoga and martial arts once were, as one, my vote is no, definitely not anti-yogic

i think i’m digging a larger hole than i need for my bulbs 😉 but, do i even get a “vote?” –

well, in this culture, where i’m rooted, yes…

regardless of lineages; that’s one of the double -edged experiences of a democracy: a ruling dictate, from whomever, won’t do; so barring a revelation or re-assessment that changes my mind, i get a vote, applied for me by me

***

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 1 – who defines meditation?

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 2 – definitions mechanisms comparisons

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 3 – yes! maybe, sometimes 😉

***


***

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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

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meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 1 – who defines meditation?

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 2 – definitions mechanisms comparisons

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 3 – yes! maybe, sometimes 😉


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Rowing Past the Walking Bridge

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Part 1

isn’t that what most of us wonder? are we even meditating? or just fooling ourselves? shouldn’t i be levitating or at least seeing colors?  😉

my position is, all of us meditate and have meditated, and not even known it

last week, i posted a short poem, “cross country,” i wrote about 17 years ago

it’s really about any type of running or jogging – it’s really about one of those moments one finds oneself in sometimes – being in the flow or groove – it’s really about words connecting to images connecting to feelings connecting… to inexpressibles

it’s really about meditation – a way of being present

a zone

and now it’s all being blurred in a blog! 😉

so first, let’s define, or at least create a working definition of meditation – i won’t claim it’s the last or best or only word, just what works for me, right now [1]

when i was a child, i’d overhear the priest and others in church speaking of meditation, and it was obvious this was grown-folk stuff, so that was the end of it; though i did, in passing, imagine it involved some of that great smelling incense that began and ended each mass

my idea of meditation has changed, several times, since then, and i’ve begun to suspect my current “adult informed” idea of meditation, may end up as much a brain-smile memory as that from my childhood

the younger teen years didn’t fare much better in imagining meditation in action than my earlier imaginings

hormone-flexed thoughts gave rise to vistas of carpet-riding swamis gliding ever upward, through soft puffy clouds, girding my teen-hero-resolve as i rose  😉

and 20-something just elaborated everything into a non-hangover nirvana, a somehow-resting-point winner’s-purgatory, as i awaited entry into the still-not-quite -fully-visualized heaven that all the spiritual gurus ancient saints and perfect pets surely gloried in…

it was near this time, the early 70’s, my early 20’s, that the press of authoritarian mantras, sutras, and obediences finally took their toll, and i left attempting attaining meditative nirvana, and left for jogging and raising kids, left to educate myself –

– never realizing, til recently, i’d actually, finally, slipped into a type of serial meditation, a series of being-presents…

i hadn’t even begun to realize that my teen-decade of construction work each summer, rhythmically working a hatchet into wood with nails, day after day, for summers, for years, breathing mornings noons and evenings into patterns of twists and cuts and slams of my hammer-like-hatchet, had already entered me, led me, into a blending movement of the moment

i’d even less, suspected my heart-felt-fusings of breath and trumpet and papered notes, dotting my school band years, were equally meshing a mind and heart and body, mine

***

Flowers Rising Flowers Ready
Flowers Rising Flowers Ready

in other words, i’d never realized, or been told, or suggested to, that i was already practicing meditation…was already, being present…

so, to return to point, or more so, make it, the definition of meditation, for me, must, include the capacity to fit many modes of movement and many mines of mindfulness – it must include what i now know it includes: everyday life…

so why wasn’t i transported my-trumpets-blazing into heaven?

i was practically a walking meditation bottle, free for the sipping, always dipping into modes and moments of obvious present-ness, when alone…

the crux, the bottomline, it seems, is, becoming self-conscious, and remaining present…anytime….

cont’d:


***

footnotes

[1] there’s lots of great sites regarding meditation; a good google search is a great way to see what’s out there

***

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 1 – who defines meditation?

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 2 – definitions mechanisms comparisons

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 3 – yes! maybe, sometimes 😉


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“Heart Beats” – Happy Valentine’s Day ;-)

Cover for "Poems for Lovers Loving & Being Loved" by Felipe Adan Lerma
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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

***


“heart beats” – happy valentine’s day  😉

***


featured in the ebook –

Poems for Lovers Loving & Being Loved

and linked to dVersepoets’ openlinknight prompt valentines 2012

***

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***

Heart Beats by the Lake
Heart Beats by the Lake

my poem below, “heart beats,” was a turning point of sorts

though, as usual, i not only didn’t realize it, but wasn’t even vaguely attuned to any kind of turning point  😉

in my meditation posts (part 1 starts tomorrow) i’ll refer back to “heart beats” as i make sense of what it is that turned…

today though, is my wife sheila’s birthday –

happy birthday!!!

unlike my poem-post on friday, “cross country,” with its union of self to a larger “oneness,” “heart beats” is a meditation by one soul linked to another…

and though i believe each of us must find our own way, i don’t believe our purpose here on earth, is simply to find our lone way back to our source, whatever it may finally reveal itself to be…

i’ve never accepted the viewpoint that our goal is to reach nirvana, or samadhi, or heaven, or any other idealized potentiality, just merely to reach it, to rejoin a lost status, or recover a prior state of being

at what point, in this projected recovery of oneness, would that soul consider that there are other souls that also need teaching or companionship?

at what point would this risen soul feel the universal impulse within their heart, and want to help out? or be a part of that effort?

the fun part, at least  😉  is, we seem destined with this incredible freedom to choose how we’d contribute

i mean, have we ever really ever thought, when we fell in love, it was “merely” physical?

***

Heart Beats

When you smile

or grin

your lips stretching

in a way that pulls at me…

When you speak

softly

to me calming my day

into our night…

When you move

carefree

easily – softly upon the earth…

When we spend

our time together

gathering memories

like the butterfly and bee

harvesting

all that’s good

between us…

That’s when my heart beats.

©  1994-2011 adam light creations / adan lerma

***

Sheila, Land Water & Sky
Sheila, Land Water & Sky

written nearly 17 years ago, my commentary on my old artist’s site, back in 2008, still says it best  😉

***

***

Artist’s Comment: one of my earliest and one of my enduring best poems

widely and wonderfully accepted; one of those rare writing treats, equally as satisfying and mystifying as a painting done in fresh single swipes, written as it flowed off my pen; the words and ink were almost one

adan – january 12, 2008

***

is “heart beats” a meditation? was the experience of creating it a meditation?

tomorrow’s post starts a much more in-depth 3 part look at my views about meditation

poetry series

***

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 1 – who defines meditation?

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 2 – definitions mechanisms comparisons

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 3 – yes! maybe, sometimes 😉

***


***

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