Monday, April 13, 2009

Sun-shiny beauty of dandelions...

When unpacking boxes this weekend my fingers tripped over this poem written nearly a decade ago. Amazing how our own written words take us back, back, back, like some strange warped time machine.

Sun-Shiny Beauty

When I was little I used to delight
in the sun-shiny beauty of dandelions.
I would gather them in bunches and bouquets
and give them to my mom with joy.

She always seemed to appreciate them.

One day the story changed.
Someone told me they were actually ugly
weeds that ought to die
at the hands of plant poison.

Plant poison, as it was explained to me,
was a reverse fertilizing product
created to destroy.

It came in giant white plastic bags
that weighed as much as my 4-year old self
for the bargain price of $4.50.

$4.50 was all it cost to kill the dandelions
in our yard for an entire year.

Perhaps the bag could have lasted longer
had I not dumped a large portion of it
over our fence into the neighbors yard.

Their prize-winning roses didn't grow that year,
but I managed to save a few dandelions
from a poisonous fate.

Friday, April 10, 2009

We Are Pacha Mama

Evan and I just returned from our back country journey in Big Bend...

When over-looking a 2000 ft cliff, my chattering ego-mind vanishes. All I am left with is the visceral knowing that I am a part of something greatly larger than myself, a part of Pacha Mama, Mother Earth. It is so easy to forget our inner connectivity to Nature in our day to day city lives. In so many ways we have constructed a world of "comfort" that separates us from Nature - we drive instead of walk, we eat in chairs instead of under canopies, we visually consume television instead of the nightly sunset. In detaching ourselves from Nature, we have forgotten that we ourselves are Nature.

Funny how the clickity-clatter of the mind can often find a way of muffling this knowing, replacing it with rowdy, clammering tales about the "weighty chore" of filing taxes, the "stagnant frustration" of Lamar traffic, or the "looming" skyscrapers of post-moving boxes that must be tended to in every room of our home.

But the beauty of merging with Nature is that we come to recognize that labels like "weighty", "frustration", and "looming" belong to our over-active minds. These labels do not belong to Nature. (But isn't our mind part of Nature, one might ask...) When consciousness merges with the Nature, the mind's suffocating labels disappear. This merging with Nature, this smoothing of my mind's waves (vritis), is the driving force of my yoga asana practice - another way to merge with Nature.

Just as Nature smooths the waves of our thoughts, reminding us that there is another mode of existing that is not purely mental, so too does yoga return us to a state free of heady-tinkering. Like Big Bend National Park, the breath too soaks the jars of my thoughts and peels back my labels, reminding me that I am a part deeply interconnected to the Whole. I am liquid. I am air. I am the cycle of life and death. I am the seasons. I am animal. I come from the Mystery. I will return to the Mystery. I am a peon. I am a miracle. I am both insignificant and divine.

Less labels, more freedom. Less labels, more flexibility. Less labels, more peace. Less vritis, more Truth.

On our last night Evan and I were humbled spectators of what seemed to be a never ending sunset. Pinks, oranges, yellows spread out across the omnidome of sky doppled with clouds and graced by falcons. Though cold winds whipped across the upper cliffs of the South Rim, our senses were muted by the grandeur of what surrounded that which we are all interconnected.

As I return to Austin, the city, my life as a yoga teacher...may I remember to inhale and let Pacha Mama sweep through me. May my daily practice and this breath hear and now serve to remind me of the Nature I am...of the Nature we all are.