Tag Archives: yoga social action

One Precious Life in The Third Act


I am not a religious person

I don’t speak of God

But sense the order of things

The smallness or bigness of things


In meditation I hear myself say;

I don’t want to contribute to society

It’s a reaction

To the onslaught of opportunities flung in the face daily

Through the electric waves

That scream aimlessly from every wired port


Electricity is appealing

Particularly in storms

Last night the storm scared the pants off people cowering in their beds

And burned my friend’s folks house down

I stood naked in the brilliant night

Comfortable in the lightening

A sense that lightening makes me strong

This electricity


Not so much the metal messengers when

They carry shock waves of disaster, fear and demand

Lightening may equal disaster and fear as well

So perhaps the relevant word is demand


 Through the internet they beg; know this, learn this!

So often it would be better to learn what I have forgotten

Like shopping in my own closet

I think I need a new blouse

But here in the back is one I’ve forgotten

I don’t need new things

I will not bury myself under but

Pull from the treasure of my past

Piling on others things

Isn’t this the definition of gluttony?

One must be discerning to keep exhaustion at bay


I do not react to ‘contribute’ in the apparent way

And consider as I hear it

The small ways

In the beauty of the garden

The delicacy of the dinners

Helping students find their way

Placing the flower in the vase

The conversation with a friend

Efforts for those I love

And for those I do not

But who need me none the less

In which one cannot be other than in service


Mary Oliver’s question lingers;

What will you do with this one wild and precious life?

This is not the first or even the second act

I now know the curtain will go down

How many years are left in wholeness?

Where wild youth did not care

Or believe in mortality

Now wild stays under the skin

And less inclined to engage beyond;

I will not be bullied into the pen


Join this

Fix this

No and maybe

I see ways small and quiet

To offer this one precious life

To both of us


What is undone here?

Really, not all that much

I notice things are big and small

Endless urgencies press the swollen gates

I hold my ground in quiet ways

To save this precious life


Author’s note: Contribute is the word that came to me but it held more meaning than to help. I’m reworking my website and have been given suggestions on marketing that include a slew of social media sites. And I don’t want to have to contribute so to speak, to that life in order to create mine. And there is the weariness of being inundated daily by requests to sign on or up or give signatures, money etc. and no sooner do I acquiese than there is an additional request. It’s not just the endless information that comes at us but the time spent sifting through it. Where do the days go?



Filed under American culture, meditation, nature, new age enlightenment, poetry, politcal action, social action, social commentary, Uncategorized, yoga, yoga and religion, yoga practice, yoga teaching, yoga wisdom

Entwined; Eight Limbs and Us.

Blogging is good for those recluses who need interaction to retard intellectual apathy. Well, it’s good for me, anyway……..sometimes.

This is a thank you to a cyber soul named “David” whose heart is one of many hearts that make writing into the ether rewarding.  His latest thoughtful response to a bitchin’ rant instigated my response which was the absolute surety that Thoreau hid out at Walden to prevent himself from becoming an asshole as assholes are born of society and rarely alone. I’ll add this link as a footnote to that as it points to genetics and oxytocin as markers for social behavior.

And that inspires this take on the Yoga Sutra’s eight limbs which are known as the system of astanga yoga. Yoga practice which incorporates these limbs is sometimes referred to as kriya yoga.

The eight limbs go from the gross to the subtle from the surface to make a deeper pile; they interface like yarn on the knitting needle; knit one, pearl two, one step forward and backtrack, pick up and thread and go again to weave a cloak that covers all. The threads are only elements on their own and by relationship become whole: This is the action and interaction called kriya.

Yama is ethical observances. This first limb deals with relationship to others. Don’t be an asshole.  It begs the question: Am I an asshole?

Niyama is personal observances. This second limb deals with relationship to ourself. Respect yourself. It begs the question: Who am I and what am I doing?

 Asana is physical practice. It deals with relationship to others in the template of body organization and effort. Relationship through adversity becomes clear. It begs the question: Do I see this body as a cooperative or do I see starving slaves and gluttonous lords? What serves what and who serves who?

Pranayama is the control of breath. The fourth limb is relationship between our life force and THE force. It begs the question: am I part of this energy (as breath) or am I separate? Do I receive energy like oil on water or wind on water? Do I return it enlivened or exhausted?

Pratyahara, the fifth, is relationship of the senses through absorption. It begs the question: Am I absorbed or spaced out?

Dharana,the sixth, is the action of absorption with intention. It is concentration. It begs the question: Can I pay attention?  Can I direct my mind to this task or do I lack the fire, the desire, the discipline?

Dhyana, the seventh, is the relationship of the body to the senses, to the mind and to the present. We are committed, clear, calm, steady and strong. We are receivers. This is meditation.

Samadhi,the eighth limb, is the absorption of the self into the whole. There are no questions. Some call it bliss.


Filed under yoga