Friday, April 14, 2017

Last Day Teaching at Rush Hospital

  

Gilda's Club Chicago ended its programming at Rush University Medical Center yesterday.

It was one of the most difficult, most unusual, and most rewarding teaching experiences I've ever had.

From 1:30-2:30 I'd teach chair yoga in the cancer outpatient floor of the professional building. The students tended to be open to a lot of the chanting and visualization I learned from Sri Dharma Mittra, and the chair and gentle yoga practices I'd learned from Lakshmi Om and Sister Leslie at the Shanti Niketan ashram.

Sometimes there wouldn't be any students, and I'd go into the waiting room and do "outreach," telling the patients about Gilda's Club and our programs. I initially had a lot of resistance to this, since it went against some notion I had about "not selling" yoga. I got over it (mostly).

From 2:30-3:30 I'd go to the inpatient ward in the beautiful butterfly-shaped tower, where I'd go from room to room asking long-term stem cell transplant, bone marrow transplant, and chemo patients if they would like to "do relaxation" (savasana) for ten minutes. We did not call it savasana.

You never knew what you would get when you opened the door; some were grateful to see you, some were afraid, some were asleep or indisposed, and some were hostile; one lady was choking and suffering terribly from taking a large pill. It ran the whole gamut and it was a wonderful lesson for me not to take things personally.

This group of students spanned every imaginable color, ethnicity and background.

Once, there was a policemen outside of a patient's door - not to keep him from leaving, but to keep others from coming in and harming him.

Once, I walked in and asked a very thin patient who was relaxing in an easy chair how he was feeling. "I'm great!" he said, with a big, missing-tooth smile. "I'm homeless!" He seemed to be relishing the luxury of being in the hospital.

Oftentimes, the patient only spoke Spanish, so I taught in Spanish.

Once, I taught a man who only spoke Italian in Spanish (in an Italian accent). It worked!

It always worked, when the patients and their family / friends were open to it. I was just the guide.

That was the real lesson: to be open to things (my tendency is to be closed, and this does not work).

This experience also helped me come to terms with the deaths of my parents from cancer in 1997 and 1999.

Now the classes are moving to Gilda's Club Chicago's downtown clubhouse. I found this out while driving to the Mumbai airport last week.

Jai Guru!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

insight





“You may die a hundred deaths without a break in the mental turmoil. Or, you may keep your body and die only in the mind. The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom.”


and


“The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”




― Nisargadatta Maharaj




PHOTO: tile detail snapped last Wednesday at Sarada Devi temple at Ramakrishna Math, Mumbai


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Parasite Test

  

Nothing like spooning one's own feces piece-ees into a vial to make one feel like womiting again. Vile!

But(t).....

This too verily is Brahman.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Jai Guru!

How lovely to see Sri Dharma Mittra this weekend!
and to be blessed by seeing so many longtime students (they and Sri Dharma are the first people I laid eyes on - other than the cashiers at Jewel - since returning from India. I'd been quite ill and disoriented, and it made me feel better - and "home" - immediately). Jai Guru!


 
   


My writeup of the workshop will appear in the May/June issue of Yoga Chicago

Read my 2014 writeup here.




Friday, April 07, 2017

6 airports in 2 days

Home safe & sound, but the body dorh protest.

Bloodwork scheduled for Monday.....

Most beautiful & user-friendly airport: Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, 

 





Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport is also pretty cool


 
 
     

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Kamakhya Temple II

Secrets of Kamakhya Devi Temple

 

  1. Kamakhya Devi Temple in Assam is considered one of the oldest among the 52 shakti peeths of India. 
  2.  

  3. The temple is situated at the peak of Nilanchal Parvat in the Western direction of Guwahati city. 
  4.  

  5. There is no statue, idol or image of Devi in the temple, but in the corner of the cave in the temple, there is sculptured image of the yoni or Vagina of the goddess, which is the object of worship and reverence. 
  6.  

  7. The natural divine atmosphere around the temple keeps the stone image moist.
  8.  

  9. The kamakhya Devi temple is a temple complex of individual temples of all ten Mahavidyas.
  10.  

  11. Three Devi as Tripura Sundari, Matangi and Kamala reside in main temple premises and other seven as Baglamukhi, Chinnamasta, kali, Tara Bhairavi and Dhumavati are established in individual temples outside the Kamakhya Devi temple. 
  12.  

  13. This temple is one of the significant destination for the gernal Hindu Pilgrimages specially Tantric worhsipper and it is said none tantric get the perfection in his tantra method unless he once visit this temple and worship Maa kamakhya Devi
  14. This temple was destroyed and ignored during the tenure of many dynasties and rebuilt or got recognition in several times lastly it was rebuilt in the 17th century by king Nara Narayana.
9.  The shakti there is incredibly powerful 



 

     

    More:  http://kamiyasindoor.com/16-secrets-kamakhya-devi-temple.html

    



Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Awesome Assam

Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati 

Visited on the 20th death anniversary of my mother -  which is also the O.M.'s father's death anniversary.  Jai Ma!

 

    

"When the Supreme Devi [goddess] is well-pleased with the worship of the devotee, She turns into vichara [self-enquiry] in him and shines as the blazing Sun in the expanse of his Heart.

"If once vichara takes root, the highest good has, for all practical purposes, been reached in this life. As long as vichara is absent from a human being, the most desirable form of birth, so long is the tree of life barren and therefore useless. The only useful fruit of life is vichara."

-from Dattatreya's Tripura Rahasya, Chapter II, 70 & 77)



More on the Yoni Temple:



Monday, April 03, 2017

Saturday, April 01, 2017