I Am Not Sure I Am Up For This

Recently my friend (?), Dr. WooWoo gave me a book to read called The Autobiography of a Yogi.  Most of the time, I am open to reading pretty much anything someone puts in my hand.  This was a challenge.   Not only was my cerebral bandwidth at an all time low, the material was daunting.   Paramahansa Yogananda cites as much Biblical teaching (primarily New Testament)  as Hindu in his tome, so naturally this was fascinating to me.    It is pretty much a yoga classic.

My father, seeing the book on the dining room table, said, “Oh!  Paramahansa Yoganada used to live down the street from us in the Pacific Palisades.”   He said the guru’s name right.  I can’t say the name right. And indeed, PY’s Center for Self-Realization was in the immediate vicinity of his teenage home.  Grumbling, Big Mike referred to all the “weirdos” in their garb going in and out of the place.  Hmmm  …  Although my father is not enamored of yoga, he has gone to chair yoga classes  – but only if I am teaching.  He even closes his eyes in shavasana.

But I get ahead of myself.  This is not the type of yoga PY practiced.  He focused mainly on breathing and meditation as a way to get to Samadhi, bliss, union with God.  He called it Kriya yoga, based on the teachings of his own guru.  No asanas, or poses, were involved.

At the end of his autobiography, Paramahansa Yogananda references some of his favorite chants.  A few weeks ago, out of curiosity, I checked out the chants on Spotify.  DING DING DING DING DING!  There they were!  Not only that, Paramahansa Yogananda’s own chanting was recorded!  From shortly before his death in 1952!

I listened to it and was overjoyed I’d listened after reading the book.  I would NEVER have started the crazy long book  if I had.   Bottom line:  I am pretty much ensconced in Christianity.  Karma sounds terrible to me.  The truth is, I do not ever want to come back (DO YOU HEAR ME?).  Reincarnation (unless you are perhaps Jesus) sounds like a terrible idea to me – to keep fixing my mistakes of prior lives, a spiritual “catch and release” if you will.   Jesus for me = ONE AND DONE.    But there was a lot of food for thought in that book and a lot I do not disagree with.  It was worth the cultural voyage.

Finally, as I was doing some glancing research today on karma, I came across this website.   Of course, it is of the organization PY started.  When I get to Heaven, I am sure he will be on my greeting committee.  I can pretty much hear his laugh – he had a great sense of humor – as he points me to the EXIT door ….    Perhaps I will be so enlightened I will change my mind?







Filed under Life, Reading, yoga

Happy Spring!

Another one of my favorite spiritual authors is Brother Richard Rohr.  A Franciscan priest, he approaches the Universe in a unique way, deeply, profoundly.  Sometimes so deep and profoundly I don’t know what he is getting at.  But I persist in trying to understand him.  I do not think I understood most of what he wrote before I turned 50.

Today is his 75th birthday.  Reading his birthday memoir post was a gift to me this morning that I would like to share with you.  The truth, of course, makes an appearance.  Enjoy!

Hot music tip:  download Sarah MacLachlan’s Prayer of St. Francis and Medicine for the People (all of it).

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Filed under Birthdays, Life, Misunderstandings, Reading, Religion

Jesus Calling

As I have noted, I lost my reading brain last year.  It is just beginning to come back.  One of my favorite books is a book some of you know of called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  Jesus Calling is a daily devotional, perfect for short nuggets of truth, Biblical uppers which remind one of important promises.   Texas Belle gave me a fancy edition which I love because it is large print.  In addition to losing my brain, I am losing my eyesight.  You can also get the Jesus Calling app for your phone.  Bea Long gave me one too that’s by my bed.   Even this easy practice evades me frequently.

But today I picked up my book and this snippet of Wisdom spoke directly to my heart:  “I speak to you from the depths of your being. ….  I speak to you in love-tones, lifting you up.  My Spirit convicts cleanly, without crushing words of shame [emphasis mine].  ….  Be transformed by the truth that I live within you.”

This morning I took my yoga class to the beach.  As it was thunder storming outside, we laid our mats down the studio floor.  Each student picked a shell from my collection.  If you can’t find God in a shell, I don’t know what to tell you.  Think about it:  The hard exterior protects our soft insides.  A pearl is born of irritation and friction from the depths of our gushy innards.  How often do you hide your true selves with a complex outer layer to shield our truest self?

Some shells are smooth, others spiny, bumpy, or rough.  Some have crusty ridges.   Some are plain and others are iridescent or colorful.  Large or small, curling or flat.  You get the idea.  God loves variety.   Within each shell there is order.  How would you describe your shell?  Do you honor it?

Johnny Nash‘s Mr. Sea made an appearance on the playlist as did Miley CyrusMalibu and the Eli Young Band‘s Saltwater Gospel.  There was a little Antonio Carlos Jobim bossa nova to boot.  When the class was over, it was a bright, sun shiney day.  When my class leaves happy and relaxed, I know I have done my job.   Inside I am mentally jumping for joy, fistpumping the Universe, giving thanks, and loving the shell that houses me just a little bit more for carrying me through another hour in the ebb and flow of life.



Filed under Life, Reading, Religion, yoga

The Irish Good Bye

Recently, my family was at a party and some of the guests left without saying good bye.  My Things snorted and said, “Well, that was an Irish good bye.”  I had never heard the phrase.  While watching the TV series Schitt’s Creek yesterday, one of the characters mentioned  the  “French exit”.  It turns out they are the same thing.  Americans implicate the Irish and the Canadians and Brits finger the French.

Per Urban Dictionary, “the irish [sic] exit refers to the departure from any event without telling any friends, associates or acquaintances that one is leaving. It is almost always the result of being very inebriated/intoxicated.”  Here is a good article on this topic as well as the very millenial form of separation called “ghosting”.

In the case of the above noted party, intoxication was not the reason.
In other news, my DNA per Ancestry.com revealed that I am about 29% Irish,  27% British, 33% Scandinavian, and the rest is Western European, including 6% Iberian Peninsula.  There was no German, which was odd because I was always told I was also German.  This later Iberian dollop did not show up in my father’s DNA, so we have to surmise it came from The Radish (sadly, she did not spit in her tube before passing away).  My Aunt SuSu had no Iberian Peninsula in her DNA.  Raftbuddy sent me this interesting article explaining why siblings get such varied DNA.  So, sisters, order your kits and let’s see who is the most Irish and who’s the most Iberian!    The truth will out!
I trust that none of my readers pulled an Irish exit yesterday!  My father, Big Mike, made my mother’s corned beef recipe, key lime pie, and soda bread.  You cannot believe what a fantastic, nourishing feast that was.  The potatoes, sadly, never made it to the party.  The Truth be told, I forgot to bring them.  The cabbage, however, was not missed.
Question for you:  Have you ever pulled an Irish goodbye and if so, what were the circumstances?  TELL THE TRUTH.


Filed under Family, Fine Dining, Holidays, Life, Misunderstandings, Parenting

Never Going Back to Malaysia

As today is St. Patrick’s Day, I reread my posts from the past on this day and truthfully, they were pretty darn good.  I really need not say more except that I have totally forgotten the face of my duende and need to find another one, this time perhaps in the yoga studio.   And I never heard the crazy drunken wedding song because I left the marathon festivities in the early evening.

Since snakes have featured heavily here over the past week, I am sharing  this article/video with you.  It is not for the faint of heart.  I cannot explain this behavior.  Thank you, St. Patrick, for ridding an entire country of them.

Congrats to my Irish sisters – MCVWasHere has run her 20th half marathon and MoodRingMomma has another Dawg in the house!


Filed under Family, Holidays, Life, Misunderstandings, Spanish vocabulary


“In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali delineated the eight limbs of yoga. These precepts are intended as guidelines to living a life with meaning and purpose. They may be seen as a kind of map for seekers of greater happiness and spiritual fulfillment.

The first limb consists of the yamas, or universal ethical observances. The second of the five yamas is satya, or truthfulness. Like building blocks, each yama rests upon the foundation that the ones before it create. Satya follows ahimsa (non-violence), the first and most important of the yamas. Hence we cannot practice truthfulness without first considering the principle of non-harming. In telling the truth we should aim to cause the least harm possible. If speaking the truth will cause pain or suffering, then it may be best to remain silent.

So the practice of satya is not about blindly and heedlessly telling the truth regardless of consequences. It is much more about restraint: about taking our time and carefully considering our thoughts and words so that the way in which we express the truth is in harmony with ahimsa. Yoga is first and foremost a practice of awareness. Practicing satya in accordance with ahimsa requires awareness of the effect our words and thoughts have on others and ourselves.”

Christine Malossi, YogaU online

One cannot argue with this interpretation on how to apply the truth, can one?  St. Paul called it “speaking the truth in love” [Ephesians 4:15].


Filed under Life, yoga

The Way of Humanity

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

That’s Mahatma Gandhi with your inspirational quote of the day.


Filed under Life