Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Graduation memories....

I met some beautiful friends along this journey and it is a part of my life that I will always cherish. These moments, all of them, are only experience each moment one present. We all had doors opened, closets cleaned out and windows smashed into a thousand pieces. It seems now that all the raw interior is's time to minimize the external, organize what is needed and move forward to the next spiritual hurdle. Our circle was so tight that to let go of the ring feels like I'm abandoning something....but, I feel it tightening. I feel the threads of friendship weaving together, the colors bleeding like that of the red towel in the white wash, forming an inseparable pink bond of trust. Goddess Energy is powerful. I feel it here in this group of yoginis. I send my love to each of you on your spiritual quest and know that I am your faithful devotee...

om shanti shanti shantihi

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name.......

it's Radha. The divine, transcendental love of Krishna. Yesterday I graduated from the teacher training program at Yoga Life and my teacher and friend, Sati, blessed us all with Sanskrit names. This is the story of Radha...

"Radha is recognized as the loveliest of all the cowgirls. Theirs was a love hidden from society, given Radha's status of a married woman. The word Radha means the greatest worshiper of Krishna. 'Krishna enchants the whole world, but Srimati Radha enchants even Him. Therefore, Radha is the Supreme Goddess.' Radha's love for Krishna is all consuming and compels her to ignore her family honor and disregard her husband. Their relationship develops on Krishna's captivating charm and aura of passion as Radha falls into a state of desire for this God. Radha is the soul; Krishna is the God. Krishna is the shaktiman - possessor of energy - and Radha is His shakti - energy. She is the female counterpart of the Godhead. She is the personification of the highest love of God, and by her mercy the soul is connected with the service and love of Krishna.

Radha is married or involved with someone else, and still cannot resist Krishna's musical call. In being with Him she risks social censure, alienation and humiliation. Riddled with shame and inappropriateness, this is hardly a relationship that purportedly embodies the highest union of pure love. Music becomes the voice of their illicit love which is too passionate, and secretive. Krishna is the cosmic musician who woos the gopi's (cowherd girls) with his tunes. Krishna's flute sounds so powerful that they embodied the energy of the cosmos. His beauty, charm and musical skill impassion women everywhere. In the embrace of Krishna, the gopis, maddened with desire, found refuge; in their love dalliance with him who was the master in all the sixty-four arts of love, the gopis felt a thrill indescribable; and in making love with him in that climatic moment of release, in that one binding moment, they felt that joy and fulfillment which could not but be an aspect of the divine.

Krishna represents the private life of the Absolute. His relationship with Radha, His Divine consort, actually constitutes the private life of Krishna. In this relationship, Love reigns supreme as Krishna surrenders to Radha. Krishna is lovestruck while Radha has taken over control. He has surrendered to the Power of Love. Very few people really understand this relationship and the message it contains. The supreme object of devotion, Krishna, worships the highest devotion, Radha. The zenith of Radha and Krishna's love affair is the Raas-Leela, the circular dance of love. The Raas-Leela points to the highest potential of the soul. It is within this context of the circular dance that the highest is couched in apparent selfishness.

Real love exists between Radha and Krishna. Real love is transcendental and spiritual. We have to become attracted to spiritual love and give up false love and beauty, which are only skin-deep. Krishna consciousness means to be serious and determined to transcend the material attraction between man and woman in order to become attracted to the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna. Srila Prabhupada said, "The sum and substance of material life is attraction for woman. And the sum and substance of spiritual life is attraction for Radha-Krishna".

Wow. That is pretty hot! I have to admit that when I first heard my name at the graduation ceremony, it didn't immediately click with me. Maybe I felt that the namesake was so powerful that I wouldn't be able to fulfill it. But, the more I read this story...the more I am dissolving myself into it...intertwining myself and irreveocably surrendering to the Radha-Krishna story. I love that Radha was a cowgirl...I'm a western, cowgirl....rough-and-tumble, not-gonna-give-up, gonna wear my cowgirl boots and belt buckle kinda that definitely appeals to me. I have to say that Radha's devotion to Krishna is breathtaking. I have much to learn of their love and hope with my biggest heart-filled joy that I can love like her and be a lover like her!

This time of my life is a time of death, birth, and rebirth...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dedication to the teachers....


Preparation for the Final Exam is underway for the Teacher Training, and I will be graduating in just under two weeks. Wow. I've grown. I feel I've been uprooted, a little bit raw and exposed, but where the sun can shine on my face. Every aspect of my life has changed. I have a new outlook and that makes me hopeful. I have inspirations to meet and dreams to ponder. I feel that my knowledge of Yogic science and philosophy is just surfacing and I need to delve more deeply now. The journey has begun and its definitely not ending with graduation.

It is amazing how many emotions bubbled up from deep down inside me. Confrontation to these things that have been with me through this life, that I have carried along as baggage when all they are "things." They are not who I am. Letting go of the blame for why something makes me the way I react to life is transformational. I am not this, I am not that. I am a part of the present moment....extended in all directions simultaneously. I am a part of you as you are a part of me.

I don't doubt that it will often be difficult to be disciplined with myself. Such is the journey of life....a collection of unending choices to govern all our future karma. Dealing with what has already been dealt to us is the surprise. I feel graced to have a support system of beautiful teachers all around me....even You as you're reading this. You inspire me to stay on the path of yoga. I learn from you that life is for loving and giving and sharing and growing. Thank you, Oh teacher!

Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Sak Shat
Param Brahma
Tash Mayi Shri
Guruvey Namah

(Our creation is the teacher
Our present life is the teacher
Our trials, hardships, difficulties and death is the teacher
The Guru nearby is the teacher
The Guru indescribable beyond all form
I offer all my efforts to the teacher...)