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No Sleep Til Awakening



"When you begin to question your dream, awakening will not be far away." -Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



Updated: 2017-11-20T07:04:34.643-05:00

 



Feeling Anxious?

2017-09-10T10:27:43.121-04:00





1. Turn off the news. And your phone.

2. Breathe deeply

3. Read this



.



kick out the jams

2017-08-02T09:39:35.255-04:00




"When you hit a wall - of your own imagined limitations - just kick it in."

-Sam Shepard





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Real Love is Unconditional

2017-07-30T18:21:09.217-04:00




“Yes, love, ...but not the love that loves for something, to gain something, or because of something, but that love that I felt for the first time, when dying, I saw my enemy and yet loved him. I knew that feeling of love which is the essence of the soul, for which no object is needed. And I know that blissful feeling now too. To love one's neighbours; to love one's enemies. To love everything - to Love God in all His manifestations. Some one dear to one can be loved with human love; but an enemy can only be loved with divine love. And that was why I felt such joy when I felt that I loved that man. What happened to him? Is he alive? ...Loving with human love, one may pass from love to hatred; but divine love cannot change. Nothing, not even death, can shatter it. It is the very nature of the soul."


-Prince Andrei, War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy




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The Reality

2017-07-14T18:23:25.669-04:00




“That which is not perceived is Reality."

-Siddharameshwar Maharaj










Sri Ram Jai Ram!

2017-05-31T15:53:08.476-04:00



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New Blog Subtitle

2017-05-26T10:17:13.154-04:00




"When you begin to question your dream, awakening will not be far away."

-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj




from I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj - highly recommended for anyone serious about jnana yoga, or the path of Advaita Vedanta.



Beautiful Reno- Tahoe

2017-05-26T10:12:29.074-04:00

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Pages

    "Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering." 


Thank you, Cory, for being such a considerate (and fun!) tour guide!



The Simple Pleasures

2017-04-27T04:00:44.769-04:00




A dashboard light came on (the one behind the Shiva image). It looked like an old video camera or a clumsy Aladdin's lamp, but I knew it was neither.

I immediately took a photo and texted it to Dreyfus: "What does this mean?"

"Check Engine," he replied. I envisioned a long and expensive trip to the mechanic. The mind protested.

A few hours later, he texted "Could be a loose or worn-out gas cap." and attached this article.

So the next day I fiddled with the gas cap after parking at the Fancy Health Club.

After class: no light!

Jai Guru!







No parasites

2017-04-26T11:08:23.906-04:00




But the O.M. says I should go back and get tested for tropical bacteria-borne illnesses, to 'make sure it is out of [my] system.'

They are not pleased with me at the clinic - long story - but I am due for a checkup and will take care of it then.



Jai Guru!



Last Day Teaching at Rush Hospital

2017-04-14T13:44:54.309-04:00

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Gilda's Club Chicago ended its programming at Rush University Medical Center yesterday.

It was one of the most difficult, most unusual, and most rewarding teaching experiences I've ever had.

From 1:30-2:30 I'd teach chair yoga in the cancer outpatient floor of the professional building. The students tended to be open to a lot of the chanting and visualization I learned from Sri Dharma Mittra, and the chair and gentle yoga practices I'd learned from Lakshmi Om and Sister Leslie at the Shanti Niketan ashram.

Sometimes there wouldn't be any students, and I'd go into the waiting room and do "outreach," telling the patients about Gilda's Club and our programs. I initially had a lot of resistance to this, since it went against some notion I had about "not selling" yoga. I got over it (mostly).

From 2:30-3:30 I'd go to the inpatient ward in the beautiful butterfly-shaped tower, where I'd go from room to room asking long-term stem cell transplant, bone marrow transplant, and chemo patients if they would like to "do relaxation" (savasana) for ten minutes. We did not call it savasana.

You never knew what you would get when you opened the door; some were grateful to see you, some were afraid, some were asleep or indisposed, and some were hostile; one lady was choking and suffering terribly from taking a large pill. It ran the whole gamut and it was a wonderful lesson for me not to take things personally.

This group of students spanned every imaginable color, ethnicity and background.

Once, there was a policemen outside of a patient's door - not to keep him from leaving, but to keep others from coming in and harming him.

Once, I walked in and asked a very thin patient who was relaxing in an easy chair how he was feeling. "I'm great!" he said, with a big, missing-tooth smile. "I'm homeless!" He seemed to be relishing the luxury of being in the hospital.

Oftentimes, the patient only spoke Spanish, so I taught in Spanish.

Once, I taught a man who only spoke Italian in Spanish (in an Italian accent). It worked!

It always worked, when the patients and their family / friends were open to it. I was just the guide.

That was the real lesson: to be open to things (my tendency is to be closed, and this does not work).

This experience also helped me come to terms with the deaths of my parents from cancer in 1997 and 1999.

Now the classes are moving to Gilda's Club Chicago's downtown clubhouse. I found this out while driving to the Mumbai airport last week.

Jai Guru!




insight

2017-04-13T06:41:23.380-04:00





“You may die a hundred deaths without a break in the mental turmoil. Or, you may keep your body and die only in the mind. The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom.”


and


“The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”




― Nisargadatta Maharaj




PHOTO: tile detail snapped last Wednesday at Sarada Devi temple at Ramakrishna Math, Mumbai





Parasite Test

2017-04-11T18:21:45.028-04:00

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Nothing like spooning one's own feces piece-ees into a vial to make one feel like womiting again. Vile!

But(t).....

This too verily is Brahman.



Jai Guru!

2017-04-10T11:05:08.736-04:00

How lovely to see Sri Dharma Mittra this weekend!
and to be blessed by seeing so many longtime students (they and Sri Dharma are the first people I laid eyes on - other than the cashiers at Jewel - since returning from India. I'd been quite ill and disoriented, and it made me feel better - and "home" - immediately). Jai Guru!


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My writeup of the workshop will appear in the May/June issue of Yoga Chicago

Read my 2014 writeup here.







6 airports in 2 days

2017-04-07T17:38:11.090-04:00

Home safe & sound, but the body dorh protest.

Bloodwork scheduled for Monday.....

Most beautiful & user-friendly airport: Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, 

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Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport is also pretty cool

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One Never Tires of Tyres

2017-04-06T03:18:16.828-04:00

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Kamakhya Temple II

2017-04-05T02:59:15.345-04:00

Secrets of Kamakhya Devi Temple Kamakhya Devi Temple in Assam is considered one of the oldest among the 52 shakti peeths of India.  The temple is situated at the peak of Nilanchal Parvat in the Western direction of Guwahati city.  There is no statue, idol or image of Devi in the temple, but in the corner of the cave in the temple, there is sculptured image of the yoni or Vagina of the goddess, which is the object of worship and reverence.  The natural divine atmosphere around the temple keeps the stone image moist. The kamakhya Devi temple is a temple complex of individual temples of all ten Mahavidyas. Three Devi as Tripura Sundari, Matangi and Kamala reside in main temple premises and other seven as Baglamukhi, Chinnamasta, kali, Tara Bhairavi and Dhumavati are established in individual temples outside the Kamakhya Devi temple.  This temple is one of the significant destination for the gernal Hindu Pilgrimages specially Tantric worhsipper and it is said none tantric get the perfection in his tantra method unless he once visit this temple and worship Maa kamakhya DeviThis temple was destroyed and ignored during the tenure of many dynasties and rebuilt or got recognition in several times lastly it was rebuilt in the 17th century by king Nara Narayana.9.  The shakti there is incredibly powerful   More:  http://kamiyasindoor.com/16-secrets-kamakhya-devi-temple.html    "Homage to the Absolute Reality, the source and the embodiment of bliss, the supreme consciousness, here termed as She, the Mother, who is both the magnificent image of the universe and the mirror in which this dazzling reflection appears." (Tripura Rahasya II, I, 1)Day Three Navaratri, April 2016: Lalita Devi, Mother of Eternal Bliss | Astral Harmony BlogDay Three Navaratri, April 2016: Lalita Devi, Mother of Eternal Bliss Posted on April 8, 2016 by Juliana…ASTRALHARMONY.COM[...]



Awesome Assam

2017-04-04T23:53:15.423-04:00

Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati 

Visited on the 20th death anniversary of my mother -  which is also the O.M.'s father's death anniversary.  Jai Ma!

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"When the Supreme Devi [goddess] is well-pleased with the worship of the devotee, She turns into vichara [self-enquiry] in him and shines as the blazing Sun in the expanse of his Heart.

"If once vichara takes root, the highest good has, for all practical purposes, been reached in this life. As long as vichara is absent from a human being, the most desirable form of birth, so long is the tree of life barren and therefore useless. The only useful fruit of life is vichara."

-from Dattatreya's Tripura Rahasya, Chapter II, 70 & 77)



More on the Yoni Temple:






Dakshineshwar & Ramakrishna Math!

2017-04-03T06:22:11.153-04:00

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Arrived in Kolkata !

2017-04-01T23:45:18.518-04:00

Jai Guru!
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Shopping in Jaipur

2017-03-31T14:27:16.418-04:00

Is no fun, compared to my experience in Mysore.  The need to be on alert & constantly bargain is exhausting & only exacerbated by the heat, so I only go when necessary.

A salesman today told me you cannot get a ready made sorry blouse anywhere in Jaipur.., and then proceeded to sell me one. 

The tuk-tuk drivers (who get a cut of what I spend) have takin  me to some cool places. Well not cool per se,  but really interesting.

At this place, they weave the rugs, and hand print the fabric: on site

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Beautiful Jaipur

2017-03-30T01:57:32.019-04:00

Been spending most of my time at the ashram. We are in the middle of Navaratri, The nine nights of the Devi or goddess. Words fail. Jai Guru!(image)  (image)  (image)  (image)  (image)  (image)  (image)  
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much better

2017-03-29T06:42:38.839-04:00

Went to see the Rani's tomb & shop for swimsuits on Monday after the vomiting.  

The latter was an odyssey that took us all over Jaipur (including the mall, which served one of the most amazing utthapams I've ever had).  Jai Guru!

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sick this morning

2017-03-27T03:04:24.431-04:00

But on the mend. 

Tea, toast, and idli down the toilet.

I've never enjoyed vomiting so much.


Jai Guru!

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Lake Palace sunrise



* * *

Yesterday morning I met the auto-rickshaw driver, Keval, at 6:30 AM, and he showed me the sites of Jaipur. The idea was to beat the heat and the traffic. It worked wonderfully.

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Lord Ram (or is it Arjuna?) statue at the entrance to the sports stadium.


(image)  Lakshmi Narayana temple (which reminds me a lot of the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago in Lemont).


(image)  The Albert Museum. The street was closed to traffic, and many people were out taking a morning constitutional, playing cricket, making art, bhangra dancing, and enjoying the beautiful morning.

(image)  Raj Cinema 


(image)  Tw of the Pink Citiy's 11 gates. (The body only has nine gates).

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Saturday, part 2

2017-03-26T13:41:50.379-04:00

In the afternoon we went for a walk to Gurudev's ashram and found ourselves at a lovely Radha-Govinda temple complex, complete with deities inside and adorable and nonthreatening monkeys and a peacock outside (plus a busload of chatty Gujaratis). 

Jaipur or the Pink City is breathtakingly beautiful; the photos can speak for themselves.

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Jai Guru !

2017-03-26T09:26:56.096-04:00

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Yesterday was the kickoff of an astrology festival. The O.M.'s Gurudev was scheduled to appear at the opening ceremony.

There were a lot of overamplified speeches beforehand, all in Hindi. They went on for some time.

(Afterwords I found out they were largely speaking about not killing cows)

I startled to wilt in the heat during these veryloud speeches when suddenly  I felt a surge of energy: Gurudev had arrived.  

Exhaustion & irritation gave way to a calm, focused energy.

Jai Guru!