Tag Archives: Kirtan

Catharsis In Ashes~We Are Stardust

 “Our abandonment is over

We will think that way no more

We belong here, we belong here

We are blazing at the core”

                                                                ~Kenneth Robinson

Autumnal equinox turned the southern corner; spilled light through my front windows in a way not like yesterday. We are anointed by voluminous blue radiance come to illuminate an internal life of winter.


A home that holds light is good fortune in a season of change as change is a leap into darkness.


Days before the definitive shift a friend’s poem grew roots in my head:


Our abandonment is over

We will think that way no more

We belong here, we belong here

We are blazing at the core


He had set it to music and asked me to dance.


And a mirage moved through the hot dust of the Nevada desert at Burning Man as I remembered a photo of my son.  It became the backdrop for the song. I couldn’t say why except for the timing of events.


Jack at Burning Man

Jack at Burning Man


Catharsis, revolution, turning of tides, defying the status quo, beginnings and endings, grief and redemption can’t be ignored. Blame the super moon; the radical shift of planets and tides. Blame big events and small incidents. Blame a storm of happenstance for the hand up out of the muck. Wake up. Wake up. There are more procrastinations than tomorrows can hold. It’s time to move on. Things happening in familiar circles and those circumnavigating the globe are boiling. Can you feel it?


In this moment of upheaval and assimilation I, ruled by Virgo who is both my sun and rising sign and governor of the intestines, thrive as separating wheat from the chaff is my forte.


The beginning of a new year marked by the Hebrew calendar is a good occasion to scrutinize the tribes that declare us their own~ culture~ nation~ family~ friends~ community: We take stock of our people and ourselves. Our people because they’re a reflection but also the company we keep. And they could be holding us down as comfort often trumps and turns in to conviction whose binding eventually reveals all. The company blows apart.


 What if we’ve come from stardust as conjecture has it?

We would be like stars: They come together until the energy that binds at the core

Is so bound it cannot move.

Claustrophobic and toxic with stagnation,

We blow apart from the others like supernovas.


Scientists found that neurons that do not make contact with other neurons in the human body shrivel and die.

Philosophers liken that to a human need for contact but what of too much contact:

Does closeness also foster destructive tendencies?

When toxicity breeds from stagnation and stagnation comes in many forms, anger involutes to depression or to volatility for one.


Oh it’s easy to come together from disparity. To rally against a foe is the easy work.

How to come together and stay together in closeness?


We struggle toward unconditional love and fail and try again.

Relationship is a puzzle that frustrates all but whose heart is frozen.


Get to the bottom of the frozen heart and find abandonment. That is my over reach for today. When and how were you abandoned in big but mostly small ways; ways that excused you from humanity’s mores?


Someone did not want you, could not hold you as you were, could not hear you, could not suffer the burden of being loving or even responsible in a selfless way. You don’t remember every detail or you do but your actions say there is memory. We are wired to remember the cautionary tales. How ironic that this means of survival stands in the way of our evolution.


We are guilty of tiny mistakes natural to new beings navigating unknown waters. Little piles of pebbles become the boulder blocking our door.


What of yoga and/or faith can help us here?

In the way memory is coaxed to the surface,

In the way relationships with others who resonate with positive vibrations raise us,

In the way unconditional connection to Mother Nature softens us,

In the disconnected moments that we connect because we learn thoughtfulness,

In the way we are taught that becoming our best means excavating our worst.


 I have woven a parachute out of everything broken. ~ William Stafford


The Jewish holiday that marks the beginning of the year is called the Day of Atonement.

It is excavation day that follows a week of reflection;


To say pardon me,

If I was ignorant,

If I was selfish,

If I was greedy,

If I was insecure,

If I harmed you or myself or our maker in any way


And then to hear by virtue of all sins forgiven;

I am worthy

I belong here

I am not abandoned because I have embraced myself

And the magnificence of the universe within me is surprisingly magnified by contact with others doing the same work.


In my favorite outfit, sweatshirt and bare feet, the cool breeze on naked legs and hot sun in my hair, I welcome the change which comes whether I choose it or not. We are walking through our own fire.


Happy New Year.

May my fire light your way

And yours light mine.

(In the year 5775)


Sanchi, golden flower,

your aura sanctifies.

Your love, and your will

are stronger than the tides.


A morning star awaits us

as we awake from troubled dreams.

The fool stumbles, the heart redeems.

Ecstasy has opened me, though I still break my vow.

I may still fall prey to fear, but it’s clear to me now—


Our abandonment is over.

We will think that way no more.

We belong here, we belong here.

We are blazing at the core


Of Mystical Reality,

Highest Vibration,

Crystalline Perception,

Total Liberation,

Superbliss Buddha,

Self Realization,

Elemental Know-How,

Miraculous Transformation.


Gate Gate Paragate Parasam Gate Bodhi Svaha


Gate Gate Paragate Parasam Gate


Our abandonment is over.

We will think that way no more.

We belong here, we belong here.

We are blazing at the core.

                                                         ~Kenneth Robinson



Filed under American culture, family, Healing, nature, new age enlightenment, poetry, social commentary, yoga, yoga and blogging, yoga and religion, yoga teaching, yoga wisdom

Yeah, I Built This Thing and Now I’m Gonna Burn It Down

New Year’s Day began with a party where I was introduced to someone as the woman who created the first “intense” yoga in Nashville. Maybe it was brain vacuum from the eve before or the glass of wine that too quickly followed my toothbrush that morning but my response was “Yeah, I brought it here and now I want to burn it down”.  Frankly, I don’t think that woman liked me as much as she should have after what seems to have been a shocking statement. It kind of shocked me too.

But it delighted an encyclopedic friend of mine with a wicked sense of humor who overheard the exchange and shrieked, “You’re Herostratus! He was an arsonist who burned down the temple of Artemis in ancient Greece ‘cause you know, folks might not remember you for some things but they will definitely remember if you commit a crime.”

I guess that stayed with me because here I am. And I wonder about the banner I picked for my website now dusty and old as your first laptop;

Forget Safety, Live Where You Fear To Live, Destroy Your Reputation, Be Notorious.

At the time I hadn’t heard of the poet Rumi who wrote those words.  It was from a sticker a friend put on a gift one birthday long before. Life has a funny kind of synchronicity.

This year has already delivered one offense and another in yoga internet arguments. Despite its self indulgent swibble and silly sanctimony, the yoga community is sloppily slogging out of the muck in a race toward who is more authentic, many running from the title of asana teacher which is much decried by the elevated speakers for the eight limbed path.  And all I can think of is Oh for fuck’s sake, get me out of here.

When yoga was still India’s domain, some of us got indoctrinated into it on the sidelines in little ways: a TM mantra (I opted for that over the downers prescribed to me for anxiety in college), or accompanied by a little weed and communal sit/stretch languorous sessions, sweet afternoons curled up with the books of those exotic authors of yoga, attempts at the pranayamas we read about and for years the one posture that I practiced was headstand because it was so peaceful it would lull me to sleep which I later learned is pretty strange. We didn’t think too much about any of it and it certainly wasn’t a career choice or even a college elective.  You didn’t think you were eligible to teach something so foreign and vague, nor would you want to.

Twenty some odd years later I held the suspicious title of yoga teacher. No need to go over how or why. Who cares? The fun thing is that it exploded what was the silent work of a secret society into a mainstream party in a town I happened into by accident which is how I do all my big moves. I have no regrets. In less than ten years that town, this town, the country was a melting pot of yoga, dance and music. Folks more ambitious than I am marketed it.  It flowed freely through every neighborhood; power this and creative that. Ho Hum. Then people fought about it.  Now it’s just boring.

I haven’t done the work of hold your edge like a Marine while you vamp like a lady in years but people still associate me with it. Destroy your reputation is harder than it seems.

I didn’t mean to pose as a yoga guru, I just used the word yoga because I taught what I knew of it. I had started a class called the Bodymind Workout which seemed like a unique name at the time and a decade or so later the new age mantra of mind-body turned that name into something as unremarkable and not trustworthy as a Swanson T.V. dinner. Now yoga is starting to look like its ugly swarthy cousin who forgot to wax her upper lip.  But you need a name to go with a picture or you can’t describe it, right?

Tomorrow on the big Dreamer’s day I’ve got a Kirtan band of fellow travelers playing and singing their renditions of ancient chants depicting timeless sentiments and beautiful fables for my not yoga class. This one’s coming out of the fire like a soft silent bird. I am a dreamer too. I will dream up a way to move and breathe together with you in harmony with our friend’s music. Call it what you like.

(written on the eve of  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)


Filed under yoga