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iHanuman

Love, Service, Devotion, Yoga

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Journal Post

I woke up Sunday morning to an email message from my friends who were visiting from California saying, "I am so sorry that your event got rained out...." It did rain for the Yogathon and Blissfest. Hard, torrential rain. In retrospect, I am so glad it did. On event day, at 10:15a.m. Saturday morning I took 3 steps on the field at Thunderbird stadium and my flip flops became 'slip slops'... It was a wet field worthy of a brutal rugby match or for a medieval Excalibur type battle, but hardly the type of weather that would ever inspire people to come practice yoga outdoors and listen to live music.
I have a new habit. It is free, simple and fills me with peace. Moon Bathing. Try it sometime. Find a place to sit, lie or be mellow. Turn off everything electronic. Bask in moonlight. I am lucky that the we have a huge window in our place that faces due east. Each month around the full moon when the Pacific Northwest skies are clear, you'll find me surrounded by pillows on a futon in the white light of the moon.
How many past generations have enjoyed such simple splendors? With 70% of your being made of water, allow the tides of your soul overflow. Let the deep peace of this radiant sphere pour into you.
We just finished our Yogathon and Blissfest meeting last night. There is so much to do to make an event like this happen. Last night, I went to bed probably like all the other committee members thinking "man, there is so much to do for this event it is overwhelming. How can I possibly do all of this along with all the other millions of things I have to do in my life?" It is good during these times to have a check in with oneself. Why are you doing what you are doing? Do you ever do that? Just stop and think about why you are doing the things you do?
This past Saturday I attended the Step It up 2007 rally here in Charlottesville, as part of the nationwide effort to raise awareness about global warming and to convince lawmakers to create legislation and policy changes to reduce greenhouse emissions 80% by 2050. Despite the rain, about 150 people showed up to hear speakers from engineers to city councilmen, from biodiesel enthusiasts to environmental lawyers.
Michelle and I watched Born into Brothels last night, a moving documentary about a children living in Calcutta's red light district. Having seen first hand children living on the streets of India, and knowing how desperate and hopeless those situations typically are, I was even more inspired by the incredible work of Dr. Prabhavati and Ramana's Garden, a home and school for orphans and destitute children in the mountains of Northern India. Ramana's Garden houses 55 children, whom no one else would take in or care for, and provides an education to 138 children.
This weekend I was thrilled to be asked to talk about "Love" at my friend Tom and Rhonda's wedding. Since I have always wanted to get a doctorate in the "Philosophy of Love" this was an apt topic. We spend so much time thinking about it and it is good to become clear about what this powerful force called Love really is. Here are excerpts from the wedding speech I came up with. Enjoy: Is there any other concept that is more important that LOVE? I spend so much of my life trying to answer many questions about Love: Specifically, 'What is it?', 'Why does it feel so good?' and 'How does so much of it fit in one body?' We all seek it.
The Buddha has said "All that we are is a result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become." What are you thinking today?
Many of us can get caught up in the idea that we have to be in a relationship to enjoy Valentine's Day. And many people become depressed or lonely on Valentine's Day. Everyone around us is receiving flowers, candy and invitations to fancy dinners. Even those of us in relationships build up expectations about what we are supposed to receive or perhaps compare our relationships to those of others. We are lead to desire more instead of being content with who we are or what we already have. Instead, perhaps we can see Valentine's Day as an opportunity to practice some of the philosophy of yoga.
This Christmas I was lucky enough to go on a photographic Safari. I had no idea how "life-changing" it would be, but I am uploading photos to my Google Web Albums and my personal webblog. I hope that you will visit and enjoy the unfolding.
Last week, after class, one of my friends and students asked me if I had any recommendations on where to find good mens yoga pants. I told him that I have a couple pairs of Swadeshi Yoga pants that I really like, but didn't know if they made any long enough to fit his 6'5" frame. He sent the following email to them:
The following is excerpted from a story that appeared in The News Virginain on 12-6-06. "Food Pantries Struggle" by Alicia Petska A drought in federal food supplies has hit local food pantries hard, leaving them with a dwindling inventory at a time when their clients most need their help. "It's a really bad time, out of all times, for this to hit right at winter," said Hunter Fauber, director of one of the Shenandoah Valley's largest pantries. "This has really been a blow. In all my years doing this, it's never gotten [as low] as it has now."
The idea of "monkeys building a bridge" comes from the Ramayana, one of India's two epic poems and one of its most loved stories. It tells of Rama, the prince of Ayodhya, and his wife, Sita, who is kidnapped by the demon king, Ravana, and carried across the ocean to his fortress city on the island of Lanka. The storyline then centers on Rama's efforts to find and rescue Sita. He is aided by his loyal brother, Lakshman, and an army of monkeys; foremost among them is Hanuman, a monkey with not only amazing powers and unbelievable strength but an intense devotion and love for Rama.
iHanuman has now officially launched! I feel very good about the vision behind this site and what it's about. I am also very excited about the excellent group of teachers who have agreed to be a part of this, and look forward to that community growing. I think iHanuman has a lot to offer students, teaches, and the yoga community as a whole. I think its contributions will ripple out in both subtle and direct ways to make a positive difference in the world. Jai Hanuman!

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