Listening Fiercely/Liberating Light

We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a hope. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light–Hildegard Von Bingen

You are listening to yourself, then out of that listening there is clarity, there is sensitivity; out of that listening the mind becomes healthy, strong. Neither obeying nor resisting, it becomes alive, intense and it is only such a human being who can create a new generation, a new world–Krishnamurti

The theme you choose may change or simply elude you, but being your own story means you can always choose the tone. It also means that you can invent the language to say who you are and what you mean. But then, I am a teller of stories and therefore an optimist, a believer in the ethical bend of the human heart, a believer in the mind’s disgust with fraud and its appetite for truth, a believer in the ferocity of beauty–Toni Morrison

Hello Friends,

Consider this– even though we may have been born into different families,received a different education, lived in any number of places, speak other mother tongues, and represent a cornucopia of cultures and traditions from every possible geographical and historical root known to us on this planet–each time we meet, my heart lights up.

I need not know the specifics of your past experience, nor the details of your future aspirations, and still our meeting is inevitably one of great happiness;not because we always meet under happy circumstances, but because by being with you, I am given a singular opportunity to witness, to listen, to experience some fundamental truths about the person in front of me. You will reflect something back to me that I never knew. Each and every time we are face to face it is possible to capture –if only for a moment– that intangible light of yours, your innate value, your singular essence, the reason you are roaming about the face of this beautiful and troubled earth doing what ever it is your are asked to do. The Truth.

The key to catching this light, I suppose, is that of being in a receptive state of mind. This is a mind that excludes nothing, that is tolerant and open, relaxed and free of judgements. This is not an empty mind nor a mind dulled by intoxicants or distractions, nor is it a mind full of resisting and full of concepts or ideologies. It is simply, the trusting mind, available and not wanting of anything, it happens to feel like looking into the face of a good friend.

However, the minute this same mind becomes colored and in some cases saturated with fear, greed, anger, jealousy, envy, pride you will notice how difficult it is to receive the gift that every human being, every creature, every situation potentially presents. In fact, an unsettled mind will confuse and misread a situation, time and time again, assigning blame where praise is due, recoiling from help, or perpetuating harm in the name of benefit. A wild mind will run anywhere but it is not free, it cannot offer creative solutions to pressing problems, and sadly, it cannot experience the essential state of loving self and others. All an unhinged mind will do is declare its independence from any discipline that would truly liberate it from its suffering, all the while denying itself the possibility of living a life free of harm to self and others, depriving itself of the ability to enjoy all the gifts this life has to offer, moment to moment. The antidote is to cultivate an independent mind, one that has no need for declarations but one that simply IS accepting (which does not mean conforming nor does it mean ignoring thus denying or repressing)–simple, satisfied and free from the need to be right at any cost.

As we work to observe our habits of the body and mind in yoga and in our day to day relationship with others, slowing down and learning to act without reacting to whatever emotion presents itself at any given moment, we begin to experience a very different foundation for happiness, one that does not require outward pleasing perfection or controlling expectations.The generosity of life itself will keep giving and giving until we learn to experience this for ourselves, inside ourselves, in our bodies and through our breath. Starting again, day after day, a new beginning possible every time we decide to practice. This is the opportunity to get off the carousel of our preconditioned and conditioned beliefs if only moment by moment, by experiencing them directly through our self imposed limitations, our society’s false assumptions, and as difficult as it may seem, live everything directly, no filter, no translator and– most definitely– not apart from one another safely removed behind a screen. We simply come to live life LIVE.

May we continue to meet and great each other and ourselves with great joy, affection,patience, and care. This new world is already written in our hearts, now we must only breath it to life, witnessing its expression in all that we do, by listening to ourself, others and supporting others to do the same, again and again and again.

Registration open for 2017-2018 Yoga Retreats!
Join David, me, and our community of yoga friends for extended practices in some of our favorite places. All levels welcome. Twice daily offerings of asana, pranayama, and meditation. Deepen your exploration and connection to yourself and others in beautiful natural settings. Delicious meals are included and are prepared using local,organic, sustainably sourced ingredients. All retreat locations are family owned and run with a commitment to preserving the cultural and environmental heritage of their communities.As always we limit participation to 18 students and assign accommodations on a first come first served basis after receiving full payment. Let me know if you have any questions!

December 11-December 18, 2017
8 days, 7 Nights
Makawao, Maui
Banyan Bed +Breakfast
Airport : Kahului (OGG) –Direct flights from SFO on Hawaiian Air, United, Virgin
$1800/per person double occupancy if paid in full by 9/30/2017, $2000/person after.
$200 deposit due 9/1/2017

June 25-July 8, 2018
14 days, 13 nights
Ubud (4 days) + Balian (10 days)
Alam Shanti & Gajah Mina
Airport: Denpasar(DPS)–Flights from SFO via Hong Kong/Taipei/Australia on China Air, Singapore Air,
$2000/per person double occupancy if paid in full by 2/15/2018, $2250/person after.
$2500/per person private room if paid in full by 2/15/2018, $2750/person after.
$250 deposit due 1/15/2018






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