Thursday, December 8, 2011


Ignoring your passion is like dying a slow death…Passion whispers to you through your feelings, beckoning you toward your highest good. Pay attention to what makes you feel energized, connected, stimulated- what gives you your juice. Do what you love, give it back in the form of service, and you will do more than succeed. You will triumph.

Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where to find silence

There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Friday, December 2, 2011


Never in this world can hatred be stilled by hatred; it will be stilled only by non-hatred -- this is the law of eternal.
Meditation quotes

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Celebrate the Journey

Who knows why life unfolds
the way it does; why we choose
one path or another, share the
way for a while or a day, then
say goodbye. There is no
predictability here, and less
control than we might wish.
But there is the quiet urging
of the heart, the knowing in
the soul, the wisdom that's
beneath the mind, accessible
if we breathe and turn inside.

When the tide of change rolls
in we can resist or be at peace,
struggle or release. The stuff
of life may not be ours to
understand. It's enough to
offer love, to receive the best
and worst, to embrace and
say farewell. What matters
most is to celebrate each
moment of the journey.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 66

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Joy for No Reason

I am filled with quiet
joy for no reason save
the fact that I'm alive.
The message I receive
is clear - there's no time
to lose from loving, no
place but here to offer
kindness, no day but this
to be my true, unfettered
self and pass the flame
from heart to heart. This
is the only moment that
exists - so simple, so
exquisite, and so real.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 62

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Operative Conjunction

Every day, a choice to be
made, a thousand decisions
between the dim and fearful
view (I can't do this. I've
bitten off far more than I
can chew) and the other
side (somehow this will
all work out).

The mind insists on
choosing sides, pitting
pessimism against optimism,
not content to let life be
exactly as it is. I imagine
the best or worst, and react
to mere possibility, not
present fact. But the desire
to control and judge, to pick
one experience over another -
is that just what humans do?

Every ingredient is welcome
at life's banquet. There's
nothing wrong with this stew
I'm cooking up. Whatever's
here; the bland or spicy mix
of shadow and light, the
grasping and the pushing back -
it's all equally sacred in the
eyes of the creator. The only
operative conjunction is "and"
not "but". How much
can I let in - both sides
and the middle, front and back,
the water and the wine glass
each are full. The feast of
life is laid out for the tasting.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 55-56

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Am Already

One flow of
energy and breath
connects the full
depth and breadth
of consciousness.
There is nowhere to
go but here, no time
but now, no why or
how or maybe - just
the knowing, simple
and complete, that I
am already what I
thought I had to seek.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 52

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You Know Me

We are intimately acquainted, you and me.

I am the Creator and Sustainer, the life force
that animates the trees, the faith that transforms
belief into something deeper.

I am as eloquent in death as birth, the always
and forever essence of emptiness and breath.

Speak any of ten thousand names and I am there
before the words leave your lips.

It is I who lift the heavens up, bind water into ice
or send it flowing toward the ocean.

You know me in every moment, yet you can't own,
define, or even make me line up with what your mind
would posit as reality.

My presence doesn't leave when your awareness
shifts from prayer to serving tea. The mind will
often need to focus elsewhere, but that doesn't
change the truth of me.

There are countless ways I can present myself to you,
but what is it that I truly wish to say?

It's this: Don't miss me in the rush to get things done.
I'm here right now, the pinnacle and root of love.

You don't have to stop doing what is yours to do,
retire to a cave, close the curtains tight, or meditate
from dusk to daylight.

I'm here right now. You are so much a part of me
that you tend to miss the forest in the trees.

Choose to behold me. Choose to know me. Choose
to acknowledge the communion occurring even as
you read these words.

Choice is all that is required for the spark of me
within you to catch fire.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 48-49

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Swallowed Whole

When I let go of what I
know, what's left? If I
set off without a compass,
will I be led? An inner urge
too strong to overlook insists
that I go forward. I stumble,
fall, get up and start again.
Longing lights the path like
a lantern. The mountaintop
looks so far away that I
stop to rest, and in the quiet
I realize that practice isn't
about getting anywhere
changing anything, making
something happen or slowing
what's in motion. Union
can't be forced, won't be won
by fighting. It alights like a
moth on a dandelion or swallows
me whole like Jonah's whale.
All it takes is receiving what
is here right now, being intimate
with all that is, and knowing that
the act of offering what I really
am will never be refused.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 45

Friday, August 5, 2011

Center of the Stream

Soften. Soften. Sink into
the still center and receive
the body's wisdom. Drink
it in. Feel everything. (Can
I really risk embodiment?)

Breathe until sensations rise
in a wave. The feelings I've 
always pushed away now
take center stage. (Am I 
strong enough to witness this?) 

Relax. A deep, connected
breath sends the message,
"All is well," even as
sensations swell. (Can I drop
the masks and feel the armor
start to crack?)

A parade of stories, needs
and dreams move past. (Can
I watch them all and not react?)

This moment is unfolding,
whole, unique, felt and seen.
(Dare I allow myself to be
carried to the center of the
stream where the water is
too deep to stand, and
there are no handholds?)

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 44

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Precisely Where You Are

There is no turning back, you
know. Once the soul is awake,
and the voice of spirit beckons,
there is only one direction. Of
course, the route may look a
bit circuitous. Yes, it may
look as if you move every which
way but forward until you see
the broader view, the one that
shows you with arms thrown
wide, embracing absolutely
everything, your long stride
carrying you to the exact spot
on which you stand.

The path to truth moves through
some quite peculiar landscapes,
and there are times you'll swear
you're going nowhere.
But if you tried to iron out
the twists and turns and make it
all into a perfect, straight and
narrow walk to the finish line -
think how boring and predictable
that would be! Where you need
to be right now is here, just here,
precisely where you are.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 43

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Light Pours Into Light

I sit on the cushion,
using will, applying
firm determination to
stay still. It is an ordinary
morning, thoughts
and stories flitting through
the mind like Spring
birds at the feeder -
going, coming, singing,
fighting. My mind is
anything but quiet. And
then there is a shift.

Light pours into light,
and the small being
that was me expands.
There is open space
and energy, as if the
cosmos chose to birth
itself within my breast.

Light pours into light,
and then I'm back in
ordinary time and thought,
birds begging me for
more seed in the feeder.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 41

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Love Laughs

Listen. Love laughs
at fear. Can you hear it?
And fear fades in the face
of laughter. Let nothing
distract you from the fact
that fear will grow if you
feed it, and shrink when 
you pay it no heed. There.
See? Fear disappears, and
leaves love laughing.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 35

Friday, July 29, 2011

Everything I think I'm Missing

I am struggling. There's who I
believe I ought to be, and who
I really am. It's humbling, isn't
it? This being, this mystery, this
me sits here radiating energy, yet
I'm gripped by a nameless fear
that I'm missing exactly what
I came to experience.

I am suffering, telling myself
stories of what life should look
like. And then I get the message
like a meteor, like the power
coming back on after hours
in a storm.

This life, this extraordinary
imperfection, this moment
just as it is, this is all I'm
here to receive. The infuriating,
limitless simplicity of day-to-
day living holds everything
I think I'm missing.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 33

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beneath the Surface

What will I know if I go
below the choppy surface
of the mind? Focus flow,
and there are no fixed points.
Slow currents swirl, and slip
still deeper. I grow very quiet.
The mind attends the subtlest
sensations. It is a different
world and I am an explorer
of these inner realms, where
nothing stays the same for
very long. Energy shifts and
changes. I find peace beneath
the surface, bring it back with
me, hold it in my hands like a
small, white bird and then
release it, that peace might
fly where it's most needed.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 32

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Buddhists say desire is a
hindrance, but I see it as
an invitation. It opens
doors, draws me outside
my smaller self, inspires
me to be creative. Desire
is the proof that I'm alive.

The lesson lies in whether
I can value emptiness as
much as being filled. If I
can live with wants and let
them go, if I can know that
I don't know, then desire
is one among the many
paths to freedom.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 25

Friday, July 22, 2011

Let go of Something

Let go of something,
somewhere. Use yoga
to become aware, to
touch what lies beneath
the surface of the skin.
Is there tension longing
for release; a knot of
fear so deep and familiar
that you believe its
part of who you are?

Ease into dark corners,
locked rooms, unexplored
hallways. Gain entry
not by force of will
but only by softness.
Enter on the wings of
breath, and turn the
key of self-acceptance
to let go of something,

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 24

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Intimate with All Things

The Buddha said, "I am
intimate with all things."
Imagine that. To be on
the same close terms with
suffering and panic as bliss
and rapture; to know the
souls of water buffalo as
surely as my own; to push
away nothing; to let the
sweet or bitter taste of
life linger; to see the
Beloved in everything -
and when that isn't my
experience, to be intimate
with self-hatred, unmet
preferences and the many
ways I don't show up as
saintly. Imagine that.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 18

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Practice of Being Present

Attend the breath.
Let the rhythm
slow and settle.
Filling, emptying,
draw the outside
in, and then release.
Simplicity and ease.
Nothing to do but
breathe, relax and
feel the free
movement of air
and life force,
watch the play
of energy and
sensation, allow
everything to be,
without the need
to change or fix or
make it different.
This moment, you
can listen to your
soul. This breath,
you can have no
goal but being.You
are already complete.
This, just this, is
what it means
to be whole.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 16

Friday, July 15, 2011

Self-Observation Without Judgement

Release the harsh and pointed inner
voice. It's just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.

Let go of self-judgment, the old,
learned ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.

Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift
out of inner criticism and life
suddenly looks very different.

I can say this is only because I make
the choice a hundred times a day
to release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real me.

What's needed here isn't more
prodding toward perfection, but
intimacy - seeing clearly, and
embracing what I see.

Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquility and change.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 14

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Breath by Breath

Life proceeds breath by breath.
Deep, full and easy, shallow or
uneven, breathing is the key to
cultivating peace.

Breath by breath, choose to
stay present. It isn't success
you are seeking, but surrender
to the flow of energy.

It's not control that matters,
but letting go, allowing life
exactly as it is this moment
to touch and change and
breathe through you.

One Soul: More poems from the heart of yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 9

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peaceful Landing Meditation

 Close your eyes and place one hand on your belly
Let your shoulders drop
Breathe slowly and deeply
Feel your hand rise and fall
Allow a gentle feeling of relaxation to flow through your body
Repeat this mantra: "I am calm and patient."

Travel Yoga: Stretches for Planes, Trains, Automobiles and more!, Darrin Zeer, pg 54

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Turbulence Tension Tamer

When turbulence hits, let your shoulders drop, relax tight muscles, and release facial tension. Remind yourself to breathe slowly, and focus your attention on your beath. Make the out-breath two times longer than the in-breath. This will immediately calm you. Repeat this mantra: "I am calm."

Travel Yoga: Stretches for Planes, Trains, Automobiles and more!, Darrin Zeer, pg 50

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What Happened to Downtime? The extinction of deep thinking and sacred space

Wonderful article!

What happened to downtime?

Quitting Time, Breathing Meditation

Place one hand on your belly.
Breathe slow and deep.
Feel your hand rise and fall.
Let your shoulders drop.
Feel your body relax and renew.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 85

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Focus on This Moment

Here is a good way to focus when your mind gets distracted.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Using your right hand, place your thumb against your right nostril.
Inhale deeply through your left nostril.
Hold your breath and close your left nostril with your index finger.
Release your right thumb and exhale slowly through your right nostril.
Repeat, inhaling on the right and exhaling on the left.
Let each breath become longer. Feel the calm and balance.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 74

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Natural Face Lift

Pretend to chew a large piece of gum up and down and side to side, mouth open.
Squeeze your eyes shut and lift your eyebrows up and down.
Massage your cheekbones, forehead, and temples with your fingers and knuckles.
Knead your brows with your fingertips.
Make sure shoulders are relaxed.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 42

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eye Strain Solution

Take minibreaks from your computer screen as you work.

Refocus every ten minutes by looking out the window or around the office.

Each hour close your eyes and let your face soften.

Slowly roll eyes in a circle.

Take a few breaths, and return to action.

For soothing relief, rub palms together very fast till they get warm, then place them gently over your eyes. Softly hold them there till heat dissipates.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 41

Friday, June 24, 2011

Email Meditation

While you are reading your e-mail, remember to breathe slowly and focus your attention on your breath. Make the out-breath two times longer than the in-breath. This will immediately calm you.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 34

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Office Yoga Posture

Want to ease your back pain and improve and energize your mood at the same time? Good posture is the best start. Throughout the day and when preparing for your Office Yoga stretches, take a moment to align your body properly.

Most important is to sit on your sit bones; to find these sharp bones, place your hands under your buttocks and rock forward and back.

Notice how, when you rise forward, your body aligns on top of your sit bones; immediately your back straightens, your chest expands, and your shoulders, neck, and head rise and align.

Now sit back on your tailbone - everything slumps and drops, including your mood!

Rise forward again. Feel your spine lift into a straight line all the way up to your head.

Let your shoulders relax, soften your jaw, lower your chin, and take a few deep calm breaths.

Can you feel the difference? This simple shift in posture improves not only your physical well-being but your confidence and sense of self.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 26

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rise & Shine

First thing in the morning, practice this two-minute calming meditation.

Sit up in bed and breathe gently into your belly.
Feel your body soften and your mind relax.
Focus on the day's activities.
Think about what you want to accomplish and what the day will bring.
Breathe deeply.

"The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear." - Baba Ram Dass

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 14

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Breath, the mindful breath,
the rhythm, out and in,
the wave that washes
through our days, creating
space for stillness, sorrow,
joy or exaltation. Full,
then empty, ebb and flow,
breath accompanies each
step into the unknown.
In the breath, the soul
finds an opportunity to
speak. Images or intuition,
poetry or wordless wisdom
come and go -- no effort but
to breathe and listen.

Go In and In:Poems from the Heart of Yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 4

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Commitment and mindfulness

... you will also need to bring a particular kind of energy or motivation to your practice. Mindfulness doesn't just come about by itself because you have decided that it is a good idea to be more aware of things. A strong commitment to working on yourself and enough self-discipline to persevere in the process are essential to developing a strong meditation practice and a high degree of mindfulness.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 41

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Letting go, part 2

If we find it particularly difficult to let go of something because it has such a strong hold over our mind, we can direct our attention to what "holding on" feels like. Holding on is the opposite of letting go. We can become an expert on our own attachments, whatever they may be and their consequences in our lives, as well as how it feels in those moments when we finally do let go and what the consequences of that are. Being willing to look at the ways we hold on ultimately shows us a lot about the experience of its opposite. So whether we are "successful" at letting go or not, mindfulness continues to teach us if we are willing to look.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 40

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Letting go, part 1

In the meditation practice we intentionally put aside the tendency to elevate some aspects  of our experience and to reject others. Instead we just let our experience be what it is and practice observing it from moment to moment. Letting go is a way of letting things be, of accepting them as they are. When we observe our own mind grasping and pushing away, we remind ourselves to let go of those impulses on purpose, just to see what will happen if we do. When we find ourselves judging our experience, we let go of those judging thoughts. We recognize them and we just don't pursue them any further. We let them be, and in doing so we let them go. Similarly when thoughts of the past or of the future come up, we let go of them. We just watch.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 40

Friday, June 3, 2011

Acceptance, part 2

In the meditation practice, we cultivate acceptance by taking each moment as it comes and being with it fully, as it is. We try not to impose our ideas about what we should be feeling or thinking or seeing on our experience but just remind ourselves to be receptive and open to whatever we are feeling, thinking, or seeing, and to accept it because it is here right now. If we keep our attention focused on the present, we can be sure of one thing, namely that whatever we are attending to in this moment will change, giving us the opportunity to practice accepting whatever it is that will emerge in the next moment. Clearly there is wisdom in cultivating acceptance.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 39

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Acceptance, part 1

Acceptance does not mean that you have to like everything or that you have to take a passive attitude toward everything and abandon your principles and values. It does not mean that you are satisfied with things as they are or that you are resigned to tolerating things as they "have to be". It does not mean that you should stop trying to break free of your own self-destructive habits or to give up on your desire to change and grow, or that you should tolerate injustice, for instance, or avoid getting involved in changing the world around you because it is the way it is and therefore hopeless.

Acceptance as we are speaking of it simply means that you have come around to a willingness to see things as they are. This attitude sets the stage for acting appropriately in your life, no matter what is happening. You are much more likely to know what to do and have the inner conviction to act when you have a clear picture of what is actually happening than when your vision is clouded by your mind's self-serving judgments and desires or its fears and prejudices.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 38-39

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Non-striving, part 3

... in the meditative domain, the best way to achieve your own goals is to back off from striving for results and instead to start focusing carefully on seeing and accepting things as they are, moment by moment. With patience and regular practice, movement toward your goals will take place by itself. This movement becomes an unfolding that you are inviting to happen within you.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 38

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Non-striving, part 2

... if you sit down to meditate and you think, "I am going to get relaxed, or get enlightened, or control my pain, or become a better person," then you have introduced an idea into your mind of where you should be, and along with it comes the notion that you are not okay right now. "If I were only more calm, or more intelligent, or a harder worker, or more this or more that, if only my heart were healthier or my knee were better, then I would be okay. But right now, I am not okay."

This attitude undermines the cultivation of mindfulness which involves simply paying attention to whatever is happening. If you are tense, then just pay attention to the tension. If you are in pain, then be with the pain as best you can. If you are criticizing yourself, then observe the activity of the judging mind. Just watch. Remember, we are simply allowing anything and everything that we experience from moment to moment to be here, because it already is.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 37

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Non-striving, part 1

Almost everything we do we do for a purpose, to get something or somewhere. But in meditation this attitude can be a real obstacle. That is because meditation is different from all other human activities. Although it takes a lot of work and energy of a certain kind, ultimately meditation is a non-doing. It has not goal other than for you to be yourself. The irony is that you already are. This sounds paradoxical and a little crazy. Yet this paradox and craziness may be pointing you toward a new way of seeing yourself, one in which you are trying less and being more. This comes from intentionally cultivating the attitude of non-striving.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 37

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Trust, part 2

It is impossible to become like somebody else. Your only hope is to become more fully yourself. That is the reason for practicing meditation in the first place. Teachers and book and tapes can only be guides, signposts. It is important to be open and receptive to what you can learn from other sources, but ultimately you still have to live your own life, every moment of it. In practicing mindfulness, you are practicing taking responsibility for being yourself and learning to listen to and trust your own being. The more you cultivate this trust in your own being, the easier you will find it will be to trust other people more and to see their basic goodness as well.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 36

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Trust, part 1

Developing a basic trust in yourself and your feelings is an integral part of meditation training. It is far better to trust in your intuition and your own authority, even if you make some "mistakes" along the way, than always to look outside of yourself for guidance. If at any time something doesn't feel right to you, why not honor your feelings? Why should you discount them or write them off as invalid because some authority or some group of people think or say differently? ...

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 36

Friday, May 20, 2011

Beginner's Mind

To see the richness of the present moment, we need to cultivate what has been called "beginner's mind", a mind that is willing to see everything as if for the first time.
You might try to cultivate your own beginner's mind in your daily life as an experiment. The next time you see somebody who is familiar, ask yourself if you are seeing this person with fresh eyes, as he or she really is, or if you are only seeing the reflection of your own thoughts about this person. Try it with your children, your spouse, your friends and co-workers, with your dog or cat if you have one. Try it with problems when they arise. Try it when you are outdoors in nature. Are you able to see the sky, the stars, the trees and the water and the stones, and really see them as they are right now with a clear and uncluttered mind? Or are you actually only seeing them through the veil of your own thoughts and opinions?

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 36

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Patience, part 2

Patience can be a particularly helpful quality to invoke when the mind is agitated. It can help us to accept this wandering tendency of the mind while reminding us that we don't have to get caught up in its travels. Practicing patience reminds us that we don't have to fill up our moments with activity and with more thinking in order for them to be rich. In fact it helps us to remember that quite the opposite is true. To be patient is simply to be completely open to each moment, accepting it in its fullness, knowing that, like the butterfly, things can only unfold in their own time.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 35

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Patience, part 1

Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time. A child may try to help a butterfly to emerge by breaking open its chrysalis. Usually the butterfly doesn't benefit from this. Any adult knows that the butterfly can only emerge in its own time, that the process cannot be hurried.
In the same way, we cultivate patience toward our own mind and bodies when practicing mindfulness. We intentionally remind ourselves that there is no need to be impatient with ourselves because we find the mind judging all the time, or because we are tense or agitated or frightened or because we have been practicing for some time and nothing positive seems to have happened. We give ourselves room to have these experiences. Why? Because we are having them anyway!
When they come up, they are our reality, they are part of our life unfolding in this moment. So we treat ourselves as well as we would treat the butterfly. Why rush through some moments to get to other, "better" ones? After all, each one is your life in that moment.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 34

Friday, May 13, 2011

Non-judging, part 2

This habit of categorizing and judging our experience locks us into mechanical reactions that we are not even aware of and that often have no objective basis at all. These judgments tend to dominate our minds, making it difficult for us ever to find any peace within ourselves. Its as if the mind were a yo-yo, going up and down on the string of our own judging thoughts all day long. If you doubt this description of your mind, just observe how much you are preoccupied with liking and disliking, say during a ten-minute period as you go about your business.
If we are to find a more effective way of handling the stress in our lives, the first thing we will need to do is to be aware of these automatic judgments so that we can see through our own prejudices and fears and liberate ourselves from their tyranny.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 34

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Non-judging, part 1

Mindfulness is cultivated by assuming the stance of an impartial witness to your own experience. To do this requires that you become aware of the constant stream of judging and reacting to inner and outer experiences that we are all normally caught up in, and learn to step back from it. When we begin practicing paying attention to the activity of our own mind, it is common to discover and to be surprised by the fact that we are constantly generating judgments about our experience. Almost everything we see is labeled and categorized by the mind. We react to everything we experience in terms of what we think its value is to us. Some things, people, and events are judged as "good" because they make us feel good for some reason. Others are equally quickly condemned as "bad" because they make us feel bad. The rest is categorized as "neutral" because we don't think it has much relevance. Neutral things, people, and events are almost completely tuned out of our consciousness. We usually find them the most boring to give attention to.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 33

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Meditation, general introduction

People have used meditation for thousands of years in their quest for inner harmony. All the major religions, including Buddhism, Isla, Hinduism, and Christianity, use it in their teachings to help attain spiritual enlightenment. Meditation improves concentration, increases self-awareness, and enables us to combat stress by helping us to relax and cope. It even helps us to get on better with others. Many people who meditate improve their physical and mental well-being, and some have been able to conquer depression or addictions to drugs, caffeine, or alcohol.

A Guide to Meditation, Lorraine Turner, pg 4

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Attitudinal Foundation of Mindfulness Practice

The attitude that we bring to the practice of mindfulness will to a large extent determine its long-term value to us. This is why consciously cultivating certain attitudes can be very helpful in getting the most out of the process of meditation. Your intentions set the stage for what is possible. They remind you from moment to moment why you are practicing in the first place. Keeping particular attitudes in mind is actually part of the training itself, a way of directing and channeling your energies so that they can be most effectively brought to bear in the work of growing and healing.

Seven major attitudinal factors constitute the major pillars of mindfulness practice as taught in the stress clinic:

  1. non-judging
  2. patience
  3. beginner's mind
  4. trust
  5. non-striving
  6. acceptance
  7. and letting go

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Danna & Richard Faulds coming to Breathe Studio June 12th!

The Art of Inner Listening: Yoga and Writing as Doorways to the Soul
3:00pm-6:00pmDanna and Richard Faulds

Poet Danna Faulds discovered years ago that her best writing arose organically from her yoga practice. Grounded in breath and connected to body, messages surfaced in her awareness that weren’t accessible at other times. Yoga teacher Richard Faulds discovered the transformative power of this inner flow in meditation.  In this 3-hour workshop, Richard will guide you in movement, breathing, easy yoga stretches, and relaxation practices that open the doorway to the essence of your being. Danna will lead simple writing exercises that bring your inner wisdom to light and help reveal the next step on your life journey. No experience with yoga or writing is needed. Please dress for ease of movement and bring a journal or notebook and pen.

Poems From the Heart of Yoga: An Evening of Poetry and Stories
7:30-8:30 PM
Danna Faulds will share published and unpublished poems along with stories from her writing practice.

Danna Faulds is a long-term practitioner of Kripalu Yoga and a poet whose writing has inspired a broad audience interested in the opportunities life provides for healing, growth, and awakening. Danna is the author of five books of poetry: Go In and In, One Soul, Prayers to the Infinite, From Root to Bloom, and Limitless. She is finishing a memoir titled Into the Heart of Yoga.

Richard Faulds, MA, JD, has practiced yoga and meditation for more than 30 years in close association with Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. A former President and Board Chair of Kripalu, he is the author of Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat, and three other books on the Kripalu tradition.

New approach to learning

To cultivate mindfulness awareness requires an entirely new way of looking at the process of learning. Since thinking that we know what we need and where we want to get are so ingrained in our minds, we can easily get caught up in trying to control things to make them turn out "our way", the way we want them to. But attitude is antithetical to the work of awareness and healing. Awareness requires only that we pay attention and see things as they are. It doesnt require that we change anything. And healing requires receptivity and acceptance, a tuning to connectedness and wholeness. None of this can be forced, just as you cannot force yourself to go to sleep. You have to create the right conditions for falling asleep and then you have to let go. The same is true for relaxation. It cannot be achieved through force of will. That kind of effort will only produce tension and frustration.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 32

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


It does not mean "rehearsal" or a perfecting of some skill so that we can put it to use at some other time. In the meditative context practice means "being in the present on purpose". The means and the end of meditation are really the same. We are not trying to get somewhere else, only working at being where we already are and being here fully. Our meditation practice may very well deepen over the years, but actually we are not practicing for this to happen. Our journey toward greater health is really a natural progression. Awareness, insight, and indeed health as well, ripen on their own if we are willing to pay attention in the moment and remember that we have only moments to live.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 29-30

Friday, April 29, 2011

Life is short

Our visit to this planet is short, so we should use our time meaningfully, which we can do by helping others wherever possible. And if we cannot help others, at least we should try not to create pain and suffering for them.  

- Dalai Lama

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Moment to Moment

Knowing what you are doing while you are doing it is the essence of mindfulness practice. We call the raisin-eating exercise "eating meditation." It helps make the point that there is nothing particularly unusual or mystical about meditating or being mindful. All it involves is paying attention to your experience from moment to moment. This leads directly to new ways of seeing and being in your life because the present moment, whenever it is recognized and honored, reveals a very special, indeed magical power: it is the only time that any of us ever has. The present is the only time that we have to know anything. It is the only time we have to perceive, to learn, to act, to change, to heal. That is why we value moment-to-moment awareness so highly. While we may have to teach ourselves how to do it through practicing, the effort itself is its own end. It makes our experiences more vivid and our lives more real.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 29

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Active Collaboration

 When something goes wrong with our body or our mind, we have the natural expectation that medicine can make it right, and often it can. But as we will see farther on, our active collaboration is essential in almost all forms of medical therapy. It is particularly vital in the case of chronic diseases or conditions for which medicine has no cures. In such cases the quality of your life may greatly depend on your own ability to know your body and mind well enough to work at optimizing your own health within the bounds, always unknown, of what may be possible. Taking responsibility for learning more about your own body by listening to it carefully and by cultivating your inner resources for healing and for maintaining health is the best way to hold up your end of this collaboration with your doctors and with medicine. This is where the meditation practice comes in. It gives power and substance to such efforts. It catalyzes the work of healing.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 27

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Awareness of the body

One very important domain of our lives and experience that we tend to miss, ignore, abuse or lose control of as a result of being in the automatic-pilot mode is our own body. We may be barely in touch with our body, unaware of how it is feeling most of the time. As a consequence we can be insensitive to how our body is being affected by environment, by our actions, and even by our own thoughts and emotions. If we are unaware of these connections, we might easily feel that our body is out of control and we will have no idea why... When we are more in touch with our body as a result of paying attention to it systematically, we will be far more attuned to what it is telling us and better equipped to respond appropriately. Learning to listen to your own body is vital to improving your health and the quality of your life.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 26

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Agitated Undercurrent

When the mind is dominated by dissatisfaction and unawareness, which is much more often than most of us are willing to admit, it is difficult to feel calm or relaxed. Instead, we are like to feel fragmented and driven. We will think this and that, we want this and that. Often the this and the that are in conflict. This mid state can severely affect our ability to do anything or even to see situations clearly. In such moments we may not know what we are thinking, feeling, or doing. What is worse, we probably won't know that we don't know. We may think we know what we are thinking and feeling and doing and what is happening. But it is an incomplete knowing at best. In reality we are being driven by our likes and dislikes, totally unaware of the tyranny of our own thoughts and the self-destructive behaviors they often result in.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 25

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


But once you see the critical need to nourish your being, once you see the need to calm your heart and your mind and to find an inner balance with which to face the storms of life, your commitment to make that time a priority and the requisite discipline to make it a reality develop naturally. Making time to meditate becomes easier. After all, if you discover for yourself that it really does nourish what is deepest in you, you will certainly find a way.

Full Catastrophe Living,  Jon Kabat-Zinn

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mindfulness is universal

Although at this time mindfulness meditation is most commonly taught and practiced within the context of Buddhism, its essence is universal. Mindfulness is basically just a particular way of paying attention. It is a way of looking deeply into oneself in the spirit of self-inquiry and self-understanding. For this reason it can be learned and practiced... without appealing to Oriental culture or Buddhist authority to enrich it or authenticate it. Mindfulness stands on its own as a powerful vehicle for self-understanding and healing. In fact one of its major strengths is that it is not dependent on any belief system or ideology, so that its benefits are therefore accessible for anyone to test for himself or herself. Yet it is no accident that mindfulness comes out of Buddhism, which has as its overriding concerns the relief of suffering and the dispelling of illusions.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 12

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cultivating mindfulness

Cultivating mindfulness can lead to the discovery of deep realms of relaxation, calmness, and insight within yourself. It is as if you were to come upon a new territory, previously unknown to you or only vaguely suspected, which contains a veritable wellspring of positive energy for self-understanding and healing. Moreover it is easy to get to this territory. The path to it in any moment lies no farther than your own body and mind and your own breathing. And this territory is always accessible. It is always here, independent of your problems. Whether you are facing heart disease or cancer or pain or just a very stressful life, its energies can be of great value to you.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 12

Thursday, April 14, 2011


... live life as if each moment is important, as if each moment counts and can be worked with, even if it is a moment of pain, sadness, despair, or fear. This "work" involves above all the regular, disciplined practice of moment-to-moment awareness or mindfulness, the complete "owning" of each moment of your experience, good, bad, or ugly.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 11

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Catastrophe here does not mean disaster. Rather it means the poignant enormity of our life experience. It includes crises and disaster but also all the little things that go wrong and that add up. The phrase reminds us that life is always in flux, that everything we think is permanent is actually only temporary and constantly changing. This includes our ideas, our opinions, our relationships, our jobs, our possessions, our creations, our bodies, everything.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 6

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Facing difficulties

There is an art to facing difficulties in ways that lead to effective solutions and to inner peace and harmony. When we are able to mobilize our inner resources to face our problems artfully, we find we are usually able to orient ourselves in such a way that we can use the pressure of the problem itself to propel us through it, just as a sailor can position a sail to make the best use of the pressure of the wind to propel the boat.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 3

Friday, April 8, 2011

Stress, Pain, and Illness: Facing the Full Catastrophe

An excerpt from Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD (pg 2)

The problem of stress does not admit to simpleminded solutions or quick fixes. At root, stress is a natural part of living from which there is no more escape than from the human condition itself. Yet some people try to avoid stress by walling themselves off from life experience; others attempt to anesthetize themselves one way or another to escape it. Of course, it is only sensible to avoid undergoing unnecessary pain and hardship. Certainly we all need to distance ourselves from our troubles now and again. But if escape and avoidance become our habitual ways of dealing with our problems, the problems just multiply. They don't magically go away. What does go away, or get covered over when we tune out our problems or run away from them, is our power to grown and to change and to heal. When it comes right down to it, facing our problems is usually the only way to get past them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Live Consciously Conscious

An excerpt from The Mind: Its Projections and Multiple Facets  by Yogi Bhajan (page 109)

Everything else you have been told so far is totally W-R-O-N-G! You are not a body, not a mind, not a soul, not God, and definitely not a devil. Every normal person thinks, imagines, and projects through his mind. He ultimately identifies with the mind and becomes dependent on the mind. The reality is that he should not depend on his mind. Instead, he should project from the point of view of his consciousness. When you live consciously conscious with mind and consciousness balanced, you develop a capacity for sensitivity we call reverence. Then relationships are healing, wise, and productive.