It’s National Poetry Month! Each week a different poem will be featured as the dharma talk in my 90-minute classes! Along with this week’s schedule below, you’ll also find a poem by Rumi called The Guest House.
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The guest house ~~ Rumi
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, Some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, Who violently sweep your house Empty of its furniture, Still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out For some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, Meet them at the door laughing, And invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, Because each has been sent, As a guide from beyond
This week #mythmonday became #epictalestuesday when it was posted by Jivamukti, but I just received the video, so now it’s a #flashbackfriday lol
The word “utsav” in Sanskrit means ‘spontaneous celebration” which is what happened throughout Ayodhya when Rama and Sita were declared king and queen. This declaration lasted just a few hours before Kaikeyi cashed in on her boons, and then an instantaneous depression fell upon the kingdom, just as quickly as the celebration was started.
As we close 2019 and the decade of 10’s, I want to wish you a very happy new year. For many students and teachers of Jivamukti NYC, we may be thinking of the last 4 weeks rather than the last year, and are ready for something fresh. But I have to say, overall 2019 wasn’t so bad…
In the wake of Jivamukti NYC closing, I wanted to get my harmonium worked on so I could bring it to the “pop-up” Jivamukti classes I will be offering in the city. Classes wouldn’t me the same without a mantra jam session to start it off! This harmonium was a hand-me-down from another teacher, who I bought it from for only $100, about 4 years ago. It unfortunately was in no shape to bring to class – it was out of tune, some of the keys were sticking, and it was wheezing a bit. (I also realized it was SUPER HEAVY.)
I brought it to Mindra Harmoniums in Ozone Park (please go there if you are looking for a harmonium! It is a family run business, deeply connected to Jivamukti, AND they offer you home made dahl while you are there!) where Mindra told me there was a big crack in the “heart” of my instrument. He also said usually no one fixes this, but that he would look into the cost of parts. But after some investigating, it was realized that it would be too much time and effort to fix, and it was more worth it to buy a new one. So I am now the owner of a brand new Baby Bhakti, and it is much lighter and sweeter sounding than the old one.
This whole situation was a mirror image of the Jivamukti situation. My (our) heart was broken, the problem was too expensive to fix, and now we have to start new. And so off we go into 2020 with new adventures and a sweet sounding Baby Bhakti 🙂
Also in the wake of Jivamukti NYC closing, I find myself with A LOT of free time. Too much really. I have gone from 9 public classes a week, to only 3 at the moment, and although this is temporary, I am going stir crazy. But this forced “vacation” is a good thing, and I am getting back to long overdue projects, including drawing again. In the past 3 days I have created 8 drawings that are part of a larger project coming to you soon! One of which I will share with you today:
This is Nandini – a magical cow who offers to you everything you need. May 2020 offer you everything you desire.
The attempt to string Shiva’s Bow is also the beginning of Ravana’s wrath and desire to have Sita to himself. He bent down to pick up the bow, and almost succeeded! He got closer than any other before him, but then he lost balance and the bow pinned him to the ground.
Janaka and his warriors tried to help, but even together they were not strong enough to lift the bow off of Ravana. Sita was called for, and easily picked up the bow with one hand. Ravana sneered, ” If I could not pick up this bow, then no man can. Your daughter will die a lonely spinster, Janaka.” Unflustered by these words, Janaka said, “Alone maybe, but never lonely. She is not you.” (Adapted from Devdutt Pattanaik’s Ramayana)
Sita and Ram would have never met if it weren’t for an on-going feud between the sages Vishvamitra and Vasishtha!!! For full background, I’m reposting episodes 8 & 9 of the Yoga Mythology here as well. Enjoy 🙂
Excited to announce that in the next 14 episodes or so of #mythmonday I’ll be telling the great Indian epic The Rāmāyaṇa – the epic tale of Rāma, Sīta, Lakṣmaṇa and Hanumān and their battle against the evil demon Rāvaṇa (and sooooooo many more characters that you are familiar with!)
We start with a prequel…Rāvaṇa wasn’t always evil! He was just a yoga nerd with lofty yoga goals! And then his 10 heads got a little too big…
The re-telling of the story of Rāvaṇa is based on the one told in The Ramayana: Divine Loophole, written by Pixar animator Sanjay Patel!
So far we’ve heard stories of 4 of Vishnu’s avatars – Matsya the Fish( 1), Kūrma the Tortoise (2), Rāma (7), and Kṛṣṇa (8). This week’s story is about Vishnu’s 4th avatar Narasiṃha, a part man part lion, with mention of his 3rd avatar Varāha, the Boar.
The story of Narasiṃha is also the reason for the Indian celebration of Holi – a celebration of good triumphing over evil.
The āsana associated with this story is siṃhāsana – lion’s seat.