on mindful consumption: magic of deep listening + skillful speech

essential food

nothing can survive without food.

everything we consume acts to either heal us or to poison us.

we tend to think of nourishment only as what we take in through our mouths, but what we consume with our eyes, our ears, our noses, our tongues, and our bodies is also food. the conversations going on around us, and those we participate in, are also food.

are we consuming and creating the kind of food that is healthy for us and helps us grow?

when we say something that nourishes us and uplifts the people around us, we are feeding love and compassion.

when we speak and act in a way that causes tension and anger, we are nourishing violence and suffering.

…nourishing and healing communication is the food of our relationships.

~ Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh
The Art of Communicating

snowmaggedon: moving mindfully + class cancellation

kiiks + mama.legsupthewallSnuggling up with my “guru” in SnowBound-Asana!
#MellowOutMonday #PajamaYogaJam

Exercise the utmost mindfulness with your movement today, dear ones. The county officials have declared it a snow emergency and, with winds, drifting snow, and temperatures plummeting toward -30°F, are urging everyone to avoid unnecessary travel.

Live your meditation: Honor the forces of Nature + this gift of shamatha–stopping, being snow bound + grounded, stilled.

Be present with those you love. Be grateful for your safety + shelter.
Be compassionate for those who are without such basic needs. Offer help when you can.

I’m grateful for my mate who, by clearing our sidewalks + those of our neighbors, has inspired others to share shoveling duties. Our neighbor + her kids cleared the pathways to the back entrances while he cleared those at the front.

I’m grateful for the dedication of our community of practitioners, who showed up to yesterday’s dharma discussion + meditation practice, before the storm hit hard. And, to those who helped shovel the walkway to the studio, dig out a yogi’s car when it got snowed in during class, + who drove others home who traveled by alternative means!

I’m grateful to B, my friend + the founder of Just B Yoga, for putting the safety + security of teachers + practitioners above revenue. And, trust, for a donation-based studio (as well as for those full-time teachers like me), every offering counts!  It keeps the doors open so that we can fulfill the mission to serve. Not merely by making these practices for health and well-being accessible to all, especially those who may not otherwise be able to afford it. But also through nurturing relationships in the community: we teach, learn, share, collaborate, mentor, trust, laugh, cry, bitch, moan, hold each other accountable, laugh some more, hug, love, feed each other, eat, give, receive…We grow friendships, ideas, gardens, refuge…Together we are wise + strong.

This is the sacred space of sangha.

It’s present even when we roll up our mats. We don’t have to be within in the walls of the studio to touch + nurture this sacredness.

So light a candle tonight, in honor of our Yin+Yang Yoga class, and gaze into its flame. Breathe in its warmth + radiance. Breathe out, offering these gift to yourself + others.