Winter Solstice Poem

For Courage

When the light around you lessens
And your thoughts darken until
Your body feels fear turn
Cold as a stone inside,

When you find yourself bereft
Of any belief in yourself
And all you unknowingly
Leaned on has fallen,

When one voice commands
Your whole heart
And it is raven dark,

Steady yourself and see
That it is your own thinking
That darkens your world,

Search and you will find
A diamond-thought of light,

Know that you are not alone
And that this darkness has purpose;
Gradually it will school your eyes
To find the one gift your life requires
Hidden within this night corner.

Invoke the learning
Of every suffering
You have suffered.

Close your eyes.
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark.

That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear.

A new confidence will come alive
To urge you toward higher ground
Where your imagination
Will learn to engage difficulty
As its most rewarding thre

- John O'Donohue
(from To Bless the Space Between Us)
Some wise words from David Whyte....

The Poetic Narrative of Our Times

Night mist hangs on the Conamara mountainside above Mameen, hiding the immensity of its sleeping, background bulk and at the same time magnifying its presence, bringing out its depth and making known to us its essential rough, unspeakable mountain-ness even as it veils and takes full sight of it away from us. Over stone precipices, the lazy movement and hanging drifts of fine-silvered water vapor outline and enhance what we call the beauty of the mountains, by enabling us to see them again and again, as if new and reborn through each shifting pattern. We are strangely delighted by our imagined fears of what it would be about to be abroad in teh dark and the mist and the stones, out on their ridges and peaks, in that night where so much is hidden. Then, above the ridgelines, a full moon suddenly appears from between clouds, accentuating its own luminosity and the luminosity of the mountains by its swift appearance, seeming to demonstrate its very essence through a sheer, round, isolated contrast with what it looks down upon.

Looking up from the lit door of Keane's Pub in the heart of Conemara, these clouds, landscapes, and even the Irishness of the night seem fuller and more essential through their disappearances as much as through their appearances. Human beings stand at the center of these sometimes swift, sometimes slow, always moving patterns of presence and absence, but rarely intuit their own essence might be revealed and magnified by what is veiled and hidden, or by what has been taken away. Yet this form of subtraction may be the very hallmark of our time. At the present time we are asked to live in companionship with patterns and dynamics that are either disappearing, have not fully emerged or can never be fully named; patterns perhaps already changing into forms for which we have yet no language.

It is tempting, in this limbo time between the traumas of a world once said to be in ceaseless war with terrorism and a not yet fully formed future ideal, to feel righteously lost. Everything seems to be paused and hanging in a mist-wrought, barely moving dance. The world's economic systems, the world's ecological systems, the relations between haves and have-nots, the sovereignty of nation states upon which many millions of individuals have based their identities, all these are taking forms which we cannot quite recognize, and in that movement through form seem to be on the verge of disappearing. Even the recent worldwide enthusiasm for the American presidential elections has waned, as the poetic narrative that put Obama so enthusiastically in the White House is dissipated by the cares of office and the sense that he is already half-captured by the very denizens of Wall Street that brought everything so dangerously to the brink. The problems seem immense; the forces at play absorbing and able to deflect the need for reform.

Little wonder then that if we prefer the appearance of stability or clear unobstructed vision we will manufacture fake narratives to replace the complexity, changeability and raw beauty of real ones, especially if the stories we always wanted to be true seem to shimmer and disappear. The flat earth vision of Thomas Friedman is well articulated, but ultimately based on a human identity parsed solely through economics, as if human life can be defined by whether one is more productive or educated than the next person. It is the task of poetry, and the poetic narrative, to bring our eyes to bear on the raw immensity of these patterns and the heartbreaking nature of our disappearances, which are unavoidable no matter our economic standing or our education; what Yeats called the terrible beauty that is a consequence of being alive in this world, no matter how relentlessly positive we may be. It is the province of poetry to be more realistic and present than the artificial narratives of an outer discourse, and not afraid of the truthful difficulty of the average human life. A good poem looks life straight in the face, unflinching, sincere, equal to revelation through loss or gain. A good poem brims with reflected beauty and even a bracing beautiful ugliness. At the center of our lives, in the midst of the busyness and the forgetting, is a story that makes sense when everything extraneous has been taken away. This is poetry's province; a form of deep memory; a place from which to witness sthe intangible, unspeakable thresholds of incarnation we misname an average life.

I think of a good friend, once robustly healthy, adventurous, hard working, inventive and entrepreneurial, now confined to a wheel chair and barely able to function intellectually after a terrible accident. His wife and children have lost many of the outer stories they had told themselves about their future but the central story, the one that lives under the busy surface of a family's life, the one that was always there, still remains clearly, luminously at the center. HIs wife has spoken many times of the essence of his spirit and the essence of her love for that spirit, which remains as a thing of beauty in and of itself, informing all the work that must be done to adjust and adapt to the new outer narrative.

It might be liberating to think of human life as informed by losses and disappearances as much as by gifted appearances, allowing a more present participation and witness to the difficulty of living. What is real can never be fully taken away; its essence always remains. It might set us a little freer to believe that there is no path in life - in the low valley, in the shelter of Keane's comfortable bar, snug by a turf fire or abroad in the mountain night, that does not lead to some form of heartbreak when the outer narrative disappears and then reappears in a different form. If we are sincere, every good marriage or relationship will break our hearts in order to enlarge our understanding of our self and that strange other with whom we have promised ourselves to the future. Being a good parent will necessarily break our hearts as we watch a child grow and eventually choose their own way, even through many of the same heartbreaks we have traversed. Following a vocation or an art form through decades of practice and understanding will break the idealistic heart that began the journey and replace it, if we sidestep the temptations of bitterness and self-pity, with something more malleable, compassionate and generous than the metaphysical organ with which we began the journey. We learn, grow and become compassionate and generous as much through exile as homecoming; as much through loss as gain, as much through giving things away as in receiving what we believe to be our due.

It may be that we live in a time of collective heartbreak, where for the first time in history we are being asked to witness the disappearance and reappearance on a global scale of what it means to be fully human; to give away our identity and see how it is returned to us through a sincere participation in the trials and necessities of the coming years. Part of that heartbreak is the sense that we might not be equal to the ecological, political and economic transitions that are necessary, that our own selfishness may be writ too deeply into our genes and that the future is therefore untenable and unreachable. We do not as yet know if this is true, but the old humanistic story around ourselves as a successful species, always on the up and up and appointed to some special destiny, is fading and silvering into the night air, and we are left, at this point in history, contemplating the unknown immensity of the night behind it.


Be infinitesimal under that sky, a creature
even the sailing hawk misses, a wraith
among the rocks where the mist parts slowly.
Recall the way mere mortals are overwhelmed
by circumstance, how great reputations
dissolve with infirmity and how you,
in particular, live a hairsbreadth from losing
everyone you hold dear.

Then, look back down the path as if seeing
your past and then south over the hazy blue
coast as if present to a wide future,
recall the way you are all possibilities
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons
whether you reach them or not,
admit that once you have got up
from your chair and opened the door,
once you have walked out into the clean air
toward that edge and taken the path up high
beyond the ordinary you have become
the privileged and the pilgrim
the one who will tell the story
and the one, coming back
from the mountain,
who helped to make it.

- David Whyte

Taking Refuge in the home practice....

As we mature on the yogic path, the home practice becomes an important part of our practice life.

During this busy time of year, you might find it harder to get to class, or you might find that you need the support of practice time in between classes, Your home practice can be a lovely way to expand and deepen your relationship to yoga and to yourself.

Many students share with me the feeling of really wanting to have a home practice, and yet feeling equally challenged in making that happen. There are several common issues that come up for students, inspiring the list of suggestions below.

1. Set aside a time, perhaps the same time every day, and schedule it as though it is a commitment or an appointment. Turn off phones and computers and let family members know that this is your personal, quiet time.

2. Set out your mat, and/or meditation cushion, to help remind you of your commitment. Decide on a practice "area" and keep it the same. It's a great idea to leave your mat and/or cushion right there as a reminder!

3. You can start off by using candles or music if these are things that will feel inviting for you.

4. Decide on a length of time that you want to practice, making sure that it is very manageable. 15--45 minutes is a great place to start.

5. Take extra care to invite yourself into the practice in a kind, encouraging way. If you are critical and judging towards yourself on the days that you don't make it to the mat when you had hoped you would, your commitment will die away very quickly.

6. Take care to maintain that kind, encouraging tone as you practice. Your gentle, patient presence during your home practice will help you to inspire you to return again and again.

7. Use your body sensations as a guide-- i.e. do the poses that really **feel** right to you. Try to use your body as your guide, not your head.

8. A few minutes is MUCH better than nothing.

Your home practice can be a wonderful time to connect deeply to yourself, and to offer yourself respite and refuge from the challenges of whatever is going on in your everyday life. Treat yourself very kindly in this. The more patient and kind you are, the more you will want to return to the mat again.


Here are is a suggested sequence for a home practice. Use it as a jumping off point and add the things as you go that feel right that day.

1. Sit and breathe for a few minutes.

2. Lay on your back and come into a gentle laying down twist. 5-8 breaths on each side.

3. Come to seated, and come into a badda konasana forward fold for 3-5 minutes.

4. Come onto your belly for sphinx for 3 minutes.

5. Come back to seated, for a straight legged forward fold for 3-5 minutes

6. Come into downward dog ( 5-10 breaths)

7. Come into a low lunge with the left foot forward and right knee down. In between sides, you can move through plank and either cobra or boat pose. Hold the lunge for 6- 8 breaths. Repeat on the other side with the right foot forward and the left knee down.

8. Repeat this same thing, only with Warrior 2 on each side, instead of lunge. Move through plank and either cobra or boat pose. Hold Warrior 2 for 6- 8 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

8. Come into pigeon (10-20 breaths each side)

9. Come onto your back for happy baby ( 5-10 breaths)

10. Rest.

Awakening Now

Why wait for your awakening?

The moment your eyes are open, seize the day.

Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons?

Would you deliver your litany of sins

like a child's collection of sea shells, prized and labeled?

"No, I can't step across the threshold," you say, eyes downcast.

"I'm not worthy, I'm afraid, and my motives aren't pure.

I'm not perfect, and surely I haven't practiced nearly enough.

My meditation isn't deep, and my prayers are sometimes insincere.

I still chew my fingernails, and the refrigerator isn't clean."

Do you value your reasons for staying small

more than the light shining through the open door?

Forgive yourself.

Now is the only time you have to be whole.

Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true Self.

Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.

Please, oh please, don't continue to believe in your disbelief.

This is the day of your awakening.

-from: Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga

By Danna Faulds

Week 4: Awakening the Heart

The idea here is that bodhichitta, this capacity for love and care, is inherent in us and we can tap into it; the image often is given of a spring of fresh water that is encased in rock and then make a crack in the rock by starting to do these practices. It is like a crack in your heart, breaking open your heart. And once the crack is there the force of the bodhichitta is so strong that it is unstoppable. The crack starts getting wider and wider and wider amd wider until the capacity to love, the capacity to feel compassion is actually unlimited. This is what is said: do these practices to connect to what you already have but what you actually find is that by doing these practices the force of the bodhichitta, just like the force of water that has been encased in rock, will expand by itself.

-Pema Chodron

The word bodhichitta refers to our awakened heart-mind, a natural state of wisdom, clarity, warmth and compassion. This week we discussed the way that specific yogic teachings can help to awaken this bodhichitta.

It is important to start with a clarifying distinction-- we are not contriving or "efforting" to be more kind or loving. We are doing the practices that help to awaken the naturally occurring kindness and warmth that is intrinsic to our nature. The wisdom traditions understand that as we awaken, compassion is our natural, expressive response.

We can begin at the fundamental level-- bringing warmth and gentleness into our everyday foundation practices. In fact, we can practice anything -- yoga, meditation, inter-personal communication-- with gentleness and warmth. Practicing anything with lightness, gentleness, open-ness -- a true generosity of spirit -- calls on and brings out the intrinsic warmth and openess that is at the essence of who we already are.

We can also learn the specific practices that help these innate capacities to expand and unfold with more fullness of expression. Metta Practice -- the practice of generating goodwill towards ourselves and others -- is one of the foundation practices of the Buddhist tradition. Metta is Pali word (the original language of the Buddha) that translates as "friend". Metta is the form of meditation practice that helps us to generate a genuine friendliness towards ourselves, others, and the world at large. This friendliness is not contrived, or syrupy sweet. It is a solid, grounded, courageous quality of open-ness and warmth. It is our willingness to soften our defenses and let the tenderness of our hearts shine through.

Here are some classic metta phrases. Try practicing metta by repeating one or more of these phrases for 5-20 minutes. (I often practice metta at the end of a shamatha or vipassana practice.)

May I be at peace. May all beings be at peace.

May i be free from harm. May all beings be free from harm.

May I be at ease in body, heart, and mind. May all beings be at ease in body, heart, and mind.

May I be happy. May all beings be happy.

May I be well. May all beings be well.

As a final suggestion: practice being kind to yourself throughout your day, especially when you notice that you are not being kind. Keep in mind that our areas of challenge and messiness so often stem from places where we've been hurt, places where we've disconnected from ourselves because we don't know what else to do. The nature of this material merits extra tender, loving care. True compassion practices starts with making friends with ourselves, even our shadows. Especially our shadows.

These teachings run radically against the grain of the typical way we interact with ourselves, so it can be helpful to have resources that support your inquiry.

1. Poems of Self Compassion, by David Whyte (This is CD that can be ordered from David Whyte's website. On this CD, David Whyte collects a number of extraordinary poems related to the path of personal awakening and weaves a beautiful journey of poetry and inspirational teachings all with the theme of self compassion.)

2. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of the Buddha.
This beautifully written book, by psychotherapist and meditation teacher Tara Brach, guides us in integrating some of the most powerful practices of the wisdom traditions into our daily lives.

3. Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron.
Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron
Awakening Compassion ( CD) by Pema Chodron

Week 3 Meditation : Cultivating Clarity of Mind: Shamatha Practice

Though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the truth of who we are.



Days full of wanting, let them go by without worrying that they do. Stay where you are inside such a pure, hollow note.


The basic technique that we use in meditation practice is anchoring in our breath. Our breath is constant and of-the-moment, so using the breath as our anchor trains us to come back to the moment, back to the present situation.

Using the breath as the object of our meditation is especially good for calming a busy mind. The consistent, rhythmic flow of the breath soothes the mind and allows for steadiness and relaxation.

This is ordinary breathing; nothing is exaggerated.

As you focus on the breath, you'll notice that various thoughts and emotions arise. When this happens, acknowledge that you are thinking (you can just say quietly to yourself "thinking) and return your focus to the breath. As you do this, no matter how many times you do this, you'll notice that you are slowly settling. As the mind slows and as you settle down, you're starting to actually land in yourself.

When your focus is wavering, check your posture. Imagine a string pulling your spine up straight, then relax your body around that. Slouching and slumping affects the breath, the mind, and the rest of the body. Sometimes the littlest shift into a more upright state can help us sharpen our commitment and return to our anchor.

The practice of using a simple anchor, like the breath, and coming back to it again and again, calmly and patiently, is called shamatha. One way of translating this term is "calm abiding". So the word shamatha captures both how we practice and what we experience when we practice. We come back to the breath again and again, learning to calmly abide there, and in time, we experience a state of calm abiding.

Try this simple shamatha practice for 10 minutes a day.

For further support:

Tara Brach's simple, free meditation guide:
Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield
Mindfulness in Plain English by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana
Start Where You are by Pema Chodron

Week 3 Meditation : Cultivating Clarity of Mind

Week 3: Cultivating Clarity and Wisdom through Meditation

Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.


Over the last month we have explored the many facets of yogic teachings.

We've especially focused on why we practice-- to discover our true nature as present, open, wakefulness in the body, heart and mind, and on what we practice. Last week our emphasis was on yoga asana, and this week we focused on meditation.

During Tuesday's classes, we talked about how to get started with meditation practice.


It can be helpful to set up a regular space in your home for your meditation practice.

It doesn't have to be big or special, just a consistent space that you can keep clear. Having a designated space serves as a reminder, calling out to us when we might otherwise just walk right by.

It can be helpful to have a meditation cushion to support good posture. Remember, good posture is upright but also relaxed. I recommend using a timer so you don't have to constantly interrupt your practice to check the time (try your cell phone-- most have timers, just be sure to turn the ringer off so that it doesn't disturb you while you sit).

You might find it inspiring to create a small alter with a candle or meditation bell or bowl or a memento from nature, or even a picture of your teacher or some other figure who inspires you to practice.

None of these things are necessary, however! All you really need to meditate is a few minutes and willingness to sit down and be with yourself.


Even if you can only carve 10 minutes a day for meditation, do it! 10 minutes counts!

Scheduling your sessions can be the key to success in maintaining your practice. It clarifies the intention to practice by giving practice a set time in your day. Practice is supported by the force of habit when it is part of your daily routine.

Early morning is often found to be a convenient time, and it can be great way to start your day, though any regular time is fine.

If you miss a day, or even a week, simply reconnect to the daily schedule. If you haven't started practicing yet or if you have gone a long time without practicing and want to start up again, take a look at the details of your day and find a place in the flow of the day's events. If your inspiration is waning, go sit with a meditation teacher and group, or read over a book that speaks to you about your original motivation to meditate.


Here's the best part: you don't need any tools or special techniques to meditate. Meditation is simply the act of sitting down, getting quiet, and paying attention.

In our next blog post, I'll describe shamatha practice -- which we we'll review in class on Tuesday-- and mindfulness practice -- which we'll review in class on Thursday.

Week 2 : Yin Yoga Sequences for Health and Healing

You carry all the ingredients to turn your life into a nightmare-- don't mix them!

You carry all the ingredients to turn your existence into joy-- mix them, mix them!


As we discussed last week, the yogic path offers powerful practices that support us in discovering a holistic experience of body, mind and heart. We need these practices in order to move out of the shadows of our habitual patterning and into the light of our essential nature. Our essential nature is expressed and can be experienced at the level of the body, the mind, and the heart. The most effective practices are the ones that help us to experience our natural aliveness--grounded presence, open warmth, clear, wise wakefulness.

Of course, we are deeply inter-connected beings but we need different practices to address these different aspects. All our practices will relate to and feed one another, but we need to understand which practices are most effective for which aspects of our being. Again, good practice methods can help us to move beyond the constriction of our usual patterning and into the freedom of our innate potential!

The physical practice of yoga asana is one of the most powerful methods on the yogic path, and the most effective method for awakening at the level of the body.

My specific intention this week was to support you all in establishing simple, home Yin yoga practices, since Yin is an especially powerful and unique practice.

Remember, growing more mature in your yoga practice is about learning how to listen to your body, and how to support it in a compassionate and precise way. Yin Yoga sequences can be one way of doing just that! Taking responsibility for your own practice, even if just for a few minutes a few times each week, can be inspiring and invigorating, and is an important step in your maturation.

Here's a review of the sequences we touched on this week.

Kidney Sequence: Good for overall nourishment of body-mind. Especially good when tired, sick, or just a little run-down. Good after or during travel. Can help resolve the emotional state of fear. Even if you're going to emphasize a different meridian pair, it is skillful to begin with a few kidney poses because of the way these postures relax and open the body-mind.

Badda Konasana Forward Fold - 5 minutes
Sphinx - 3 minutes, Seal - 2 minutes
Straight legged forward fold - 5 minutes

Badda Konasana Forward Fold - 5 minutes
Sphinx - 5 minutes
Seal - 5 minutes
One leg straight legged forward fold - 5 minutes
The other leg, straight legged forward fold - 5 minutes
Laying Down Spinal Twist - 3-5 minutes each side

Stomach/Spleen: Can be helpful for those who have digestive trouble as well as those who experience frequent anxiety. Can bve helpful for those with circulation issues, as well as for women with hormonal imbalances.

Badda Konasana Forward Fold - 5 minutes
Lunge - 3 mins
Lunge on other side - 3 mins
Straddle Forward Fold - 5 minutes

Badha Konasana Forward Fold - 5 mins
1/2 Virasana (Deep Thigh Stretch) - 5 mins
1/2 Virasana (other side) - 5 mins

Lunge (3 mins) into Pigeon (3 mins) - 6 mins
( add 1 minute high pigeon, optional)
[other side] Lunge (3 mins) into Pigeon (3 mins) - 6 mins
(add 1 minute high pigeon, optional)

Happy Baby - 5 mins

Liver/Gallbladder: Helps to support the detoxification processes in the body. Good to practice if you're noticing irritability, agitation and/or anger. Also good to practice if you've had a fatty meal, been exposed to strong environmental toxins, are a women on your menstrual cycle, or have had some alcohol.

Badda Konasana Forward Fold - 5 minutes
Sphinx - 3 minutes
Knee Pile - 5 minutes each side
Wide Legged Straddle Forward Fold - 5 mins

Badda Konasana Forward Fold - 5 minutes
Sphinx - 5 minutes
Knee Pile - 5 minutes
Pigeon ( top knee in knee pile becomes front leg) - 5 mins
[other side] Knee Pile - 5 minutes
Pigeon ( top knee in knee pile becomes front leg) - 5 mins
Wide Legged Straddle Forward Fold - 5 mins
Happy Baby - 5 mins

For more support with your Yin practice:

Yin Yoga : A Quiet Practice by Paul Grilley
Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers

Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers
Yin Yoga by Paul Grilley

Please let me know if have comments or questions!

Week 1 : An Overview of the Path of Yoga

"You're perfect just as you are..... and, there's always room for improvement!" - Suzuki Roshi

The practice of yoga is commonly defined as a practice of self transformation-- transformation at the level of body, mind, and heart. While I often use this definition, and I appreciate the incredible potential for change offered in yogic methods, I am going to suggest a different perspective to explore this week and ongoing -- yoga as a practice of self discovery.

When we use the word "discovery" instead of "transformation", we are putting an emphasis on the implicit capacities that are part of who we already are, right here and right now. So instead of thinking of yoga as a way to improve ourselves, we can think of it as a practice that enables us to uncover our essential nature, our innate well-being of body, heart and mind. This innate quality is intrinsic, it is our birthright. It can be experienced as a grounded presence in the body, as a warm, tender open-ness at the heart, and as a clear wakefulness at the level of the mind. These qualities of our being are never far away, since they are intrinsic and indestructible. This innate, open, clear presence is what Suzuki Roshi was referring to when he reassured his worried students -- "You're already perfect just as you are!"

Meanwhile, the methods of the yogic path can absolutely enhance our experience of our bodies, hearts, and minds. We can build strength and flexibility in the body, clarity, concentration and spaciousness in the mind, and compassion and connectedness in the heart. These increased capacities enable us to work more skillfully with those things that block our access to our intrinsic, essential nature, which is like a sun that always shines regardless of the clouds that may temporarily block our view.

A common part of the human experience is to take on defensive structures, or armoring, at various levels of our being. We do this in an attempt to protect ourselves from the ways in which life has been difficult, the ways in which we have been let down, the ways in which we have not been fully met, seen, held in safety, and loved. These defenses exists in the energy body, in the physical body, in the heart, and in the mind. The yogic path includes methods for working with these blockages and for recovering our access to our essential selves at each aspect of our being. This is what Suzuki Roshi was referring to when he told his students "....but there is always room for improvement!" . We must have awareness-based practices that help us to uncover our essential selves! The essential self may be innate, but it can easily remain undiscovered, not understood, and not lived from.

In order to awaken our full human potential, we need to be able to hold the paradox of this statement. You ARE already perfect just as you are--your essential nature is intrinsic, indestructible, and right here! -- AND there's always room for improvement-- you need practices for the body, heart, and mind in order to break free from the defensive structures and conditioned habits that block access to this essential nature.

We'll spend the rest of our time this summer working with the specific methods and practices that are most effective for body, heart, and mind-- the different aspects of our being require different methods and practices.

Our starting point, however, needs to be an understanding that while we may need these practices to support our unfolding, rather than a self-improvement project, yoga is about discovering who we already are.

For further reading:

Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope

Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Suzuki Roshi

New Directions....

My dear, dear students,

I have some news to share with you about a new direction in which my life is unfolding.

I am moving to Northern California this fall. I am going back to school, and going to work more closely with my yoga mentors and my spiritual teacher.

I am very excited about this new direction-- I'll be getting a master's degree in counseling psychology with an emphasis on transpersonal psychology. Transpersonal psychology is the integration of western psychological work and eastern spiritual practice which, as you know, is one of my passionate interests. Of course, I am also very, very sad to be leaving my weekly classes and students in Southern California. I so love you all, and love the work we do together.

I am happy to say that I will be coming back frequently to teach. I'll be teaching weekend workshops, meeting with small groups of students who specifically want support for their personal practices, and generally doing what I can to continue to support and nurture the connections I have with all of you. I am planning a weekend yoga and meditation retreat for early 2010, and will also be using a new website/blog to keep in touch and to share with you what I am learning as I continue on my journey.

I'll be teaching on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at Yoga World until the middle of August; my last class will likely be on Thursday August 13th. In these last two months of regular classes together I plan to provide as much information and teachings as I can. I hope to "prepare" you for my departure by doing a thorough review of the teachings that I think are most vital.

I will be in touch again in the coming weeks with specifics about my last two months of teaching, as well as the dates for my fall classes and workshops.