Spirituality

A Time of Suffering

What if there is only ONE suffering soul, one being, one consciousness in the whole world?

“I am not alone in my tiredness or sickness or fears, but at one with millions of others from many centuries, and it is all part of life.” — Etty Hillesum

“The image of Jesus on the cross somehow communicates God’s solidarity with the willing soul. A Crucified God is the dramatic symbol of the ONE SUFFERING that God fully enters into WITH us—much more than just FOR us, as many Christians were trained to think.” — Richard Rohr

black hawk soaring
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com
Spirituality, Yoga

Yoga for Lent

I am offering a two-hour Lent-themed Yoga class at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hampton, VA. The class will be held on Saturday, March 14th, 1:30-3:30PM in the fellowship hall. This class is open to the public, cost is $5. Join us for a prayerful experience integrating body, mind, emotions, and spirit during the holy season of Lent.  (Bring your yoga mat if you have one.)

Lent

Spirituality, Yoga

Advent Yoga

For the second year in a row, I am offering a two-hour Advent-themed Yoga class at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hampton, VA.  This year, the class will take place on Saturday, December 7th, 1:00-3:00PM in the fellowship hall.  This class is free and open to the public.  Join us for a prayerful experience integrating body, mind, emotions, and spirit during the holy season of Advent!  (Bring your yoga mat if you have one.)

SONY DSC

Spirituality, Yoga

Always There

“Yoga is constancy and equilibrium – a place that is ever the same.” (Bhagavad-Gita)

Yoga means ‘union’ of our Higher Self with our lower self. It’s the path to that union and it’s the union itself. Yoga just IS. We fickle humans are the ones that wander away and wonder what’s wrong or missing. Nothing is wrong or missing! We already have everything we need. Deep within ourselves, when we take opportunities to really look, we find ultimate peace, deep contentment, and joy/bliss. Always there – no matter what. May we trust the process of life, the process of yoga, and the constancy of yoga! Namaste….

meditate

 

Spirituality, Vibrant Health, Yoga

Traditional Paths of Yoga

The word “yoga” encompasses much more than physical exercises. In The Yoga Sutras, Patanjali tells us that yoga means “stopping the fluctuations of the mind-stuff” (YS 1:2). All the practices and paths of yoga help bring us to this place where we experience yoga (“union”) of our lower self with our Higher Self.

A main reason I chose to complete my advanced yoga teacher training with Integral Yoga is the fact that they teach and incorporate the six major paths (or branches) of yoga as recognized in India. When we consciously work to bring all of these paths into our daily lives in some way – to balance them in a way that works for us as individuals – we become healthier in mind, body, and spirit.

The six paths are:

Raja Yoga
Balance and control of the mind through ethical practices, concentration and meditation. Also sometimes known as the “eight-limbed path” or ashtanga (not to be confused with a style of hatha yoga known as ashtanga).

Hatha Yoga
Focus on the physical aspects of yoga through asanas (postures), pranayama (breath control), mudras, kriyas, yogic diet, and deep relaxation.  Hatha is one of the eight limbs mentioned above under Raja.

Karma Yoga
The path of action and selfless service. Serving without attachment to the fruits (or results) of the action.  All of our work and daily activities become part of our yoga practice.

Jnana Yoga
The intellectual approach. Through the knowledge of what really exists, that is, what is not changeable, one who engages in the “Path of Wisdom” realizes Oneness with the entire Universe.

Bhakti Yoga
The path of devotion by constant love, thought, and service of the Divine. This can be practiced by everyone regardless of religious or spiritual affiliation. All that is needed is faith and constant remembrance of God or Higher Consciousness.

Japa Yoga
Japa means repetition of a mantra – a sound structure of one or more syllables which represents a particular aspect of the Divine Vibration. (An example is OM Shanti [“OM peace”] or “peace be with us.”) A mala (a string of prayer beads) can be used to count the repetitions of the mantra.

I encourage you to learn more about these paths of yoga, to explore them and their usefulness in your own life.  More info can be found here.  Please contact me if you would like personalized guidance on how to practice in your own life.

Spiritual Direction, Spirituality

About Spiritual Direction

burning (2)Spiritual direction inspires people to experience authenticity in their lives as they connect with and explore the ground of all being, that deepest of truths which is beyond life and death and goes by many names and no name at all. Spiritual companions are intuitive spiritual friends – accountable and compassionate.

In spiritual direction, you reflect deeply on the experiences of your daily life. Gradually, as you contemplate, you may begin to recognize a deeper connection, presence and grace in your life. You may come to realize how spirit is truly with you every day and everywhere.

You may come to spiritual direction for a variety of reasons, including to:
— Identify and trust your own spiritual experiences
— Integrate spirituality into your daily life
— Discern and make difficult choices
— Share your hopes, struggles, and losses
— Live the essence of your spiritual affiliation with integrity

Most spiritual directors have formal training and are seasoned in the art of spiritual direction. They continue tending their own spiritual life by engaging in ongoing education, confidential supervision, and also meeting regularly with their own spiritual director.

You and your spiritual director will agree on a convenient location and time for meeting, usually once a month for an hour. After three or four sessions, you will have an opportunity to evaluate the relationship. Whether your relationship with the spiritual director continues for many years or for only a short period of time, it is very important to be comfortable with the person you choose. What is shared between you is held in strict confidence.

For more information and to search for a spiritual director near you, please visit Spiritual Directors International and consult their Seek and Find Guide.

(This post is composed of excerpts from the pamphlet, “Explore with Spiritual Direction,” published by Spiritual Directors International.)