Take Your Practice to the Source

KathaImagine: You are sitting in an ancient prayer hall, lined with the images and divine figures of Tibetan buddhism. You feel vibrant and alive, having just completed your daily practice of pranayama (breathing) and asana (postures). The hall where you are sitting has been infused with the vibrations of thousands of monks’ mantras (chants) since the mid-15th century, and you feel the resonance of these buddhist devotees supporting your own spiritual aspirations and insights. As you sit quietly in meditation, the movements of your mind slow down, eventually becoming completely still. Through this stillness of mind, you become aware of the expansiveness of your being. The totality of the world exists within you. [click to continue…]

Fall: The Season of Death and Dying

Tributo_a_los_muertosFall is upon us, with temperatures dropping, the wind gusting, and nature moving from it’s outward expression into a state of dormancy. Light is decreasing as darkness grows, with the days becoming shorter and nights longer. As nature around us is “dying,” traditionally fall is a time to celebrate and honor death, which is evident through the traditional holidays of this time of year: Halloween, Samhain, Dia de los Muertos, All Saints’ Day…even parts of the Hindu Festival of Lights, known as Diwali, celebrate death.

Ayurveda is the ancient Indian healing system that teaches us how to live in harmony with each season in order to support longevity…staving off our inevitable death as long as possible. According to Ayurveda, fall is the season of Vata dosha, the principle of movement that is associated with the elements of air and space. These are the elements that will eventually dry out our body’s tissues, leading to decay and death. As such, during this time of year we are much more prone to imbalances of these elements, such as gas and bloating, aches and pains, dry skin, and feeling stressed out. With the mobile, light, dry, rough, and cold qualities in the atmosphere, we can achieve and maintain balance through grounding, stable, moistening, nourishing, and warming foods and lifestyle practices. [click to continue…]

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

RoutineQuoteSmallHere we are in September, on the cusp between summer and fall. During this seasonal transition, we are shifting from the Pitta season of heat and dampness into the cooler, drying, and often stressful Vata season. It’s the end of summer vacations, travel, and late nights. And it’s back to school, back to work…back to routine.

For the last month, I’ve been packing, moving, and getting settled in my new place in San Antonio, Texas. Needless to say, my previously established routine has fallen to the wayside during this transition, and I’ve only recently (as in the last 2 days) begun getting back into it. But already I am noticing a big difference in my feeling of centeredness. This has happened with much more ease than previous moves. I credit this to my good routine prior to moving, which no doubt supported me through this last month of transition and change. [click to continue…]