Tag Archives: reflection

Afternoon Reflection

Standard

The afternoon light sparkles
on gently waving leaves.
My body wants rest; I listen.
I take a moment,
one little pause to reflect.
Who thinks these thoughts?
Who writes these words?
Who causes the leaves to dance
and the wind to blow through them?
It can be spacious, this moment,
this life.
The light keeps sparkling
and something within me
recognizes it.
All at once I realize,
I’m here. I made it.

Look Deeper

Standard

I subbed a yoga class this evening.
I went into the ladies room
before I taught
and nearly ran into a woman
changing
right in front of a full length mirror.
I wondered why,
with all of the benches around,
was she changing right there,
staring at herself in the mirror…
This young woman ended up
in my class.
She was quiet and graceful;
I wondered if she was plagued
by the same body dissatisfaction
that is sold to us by our
body obsessed culture…
or maybe does she love her body??
After my class
I nearly ran into yet another woman
changing
right in front of the same mirror.
This one exclaimed
“SHIT! I forgot my pants!”
She was not as quiet
and maybe not as graceful.
I keep thinking about these two,
wondering about how we learn
to be preoccupied with our appearance,
obsessed with our reflection,
needing to see ourselves doing
the simplest things.
Maybe this is why
I often ask my students to close their eyes.
You don’t need to see to breathe.
Sometimes what we see outside
is such a distraction
that we have no attention left
for what’s inside.
Why stare at yourself
as you change one shell for another?
Could we learn to look a little deeper?

Look Into the Mirror

Standard

When you look into the mirror
don’t be afraid–
stand naked and look
at the truth of your being.
Don’t cover yourself
with illusions;
drop the veil
that shields you from being fully alive
and stand fresh and vulnerable and spontaneous,
curious about who you really are.
There is nothing to fear,
open your eyes even wider.
Don’t ask the mirror
to reflect what you want to see
and then break it in anger
when it doesn’t comply.
Look at what is there
and love this self that is you.
The mirror is a friend.
It shows us where
the healing balm of self-love
is most needed.
As we apply this loving kindness to ourselves
the mirror will reflect it
back into the world.
All of our likes and dislikes,
our strengths and weaknesses
our shortcomings and our gifts–
the mirror reflects them all,
shining in the freshness of this now moment.
As we stand and look with courage
at the truth of ourselves
we see the whole world reflected
back to us;
the whole universe is held
in the glint of our eyes.

How to Meet an Obstacle

Standard

When you are met with an obstacle,
don’t turn and run in the other direction.
You could run faster than the wind
to the other side of the universe
and the obstacle would be there waiting for you,
waving, saying, “Remember me? I’m still here.”

When you are met with an obstacle,
take a deep breath,
look inwards.
See what is being activated in you,
what feels sticky, hot, dark,  heavy…
what you are pushing against,
what you deny, hide, or repress
in your quest to control
the uncontrollable.

Breathe again,
let the thoughts and feelings
move the way they are meant to,
learn about yourself,
open your eyes,
awaken,
grow.

Whatever you perceive as “trouble” out there
is a juicy opportunity for self-knowing
in here.

Don’t hate the mirror
for reflecting yourself back to you–
smile,
open heart, open hands, open mind.
See your reflection in all things,
learn from all things–
there is no separation.

Choose the Reflection of the Purest Self

Standard

Searching.
For what?
What is it that I think I want in order to be happy?
And can I look at that wanting,
and watch how it melts into more wanting?
Can I watch the anger,
and witness it fueling more anger?
Peace flowing into more peace?
Love blossoming into more love?
Joy dawning upon fathomless joy?

Whatever we give our attention to
fully and without pause,
this is what we become.

Let us awaken to our patterns,
let us choose where we send our thoughts.
The world waits for us to know it.
The universe is hushed, ready for us to see it.
Our shining self glows brightly,
let us open our eyes.
Let us see the mirrors all around us,
and choose the reflection of our purest self.

We Are All Mirrors

Standard

As you exercise more discipline in your relationship to the world, your ability to concentrate and focus the mind will grow.  With this enhanced mental clarity and stability, new understanding and insight will reveal better approaches to living.  In this way, inner and outer discipline reinforce each other.

Joel & Michelle Levey, The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation, p 22

Lovely isn’t it?  As we forge more meaningful relationships with everyone in our lives, we are able to enjoy a more meaningful relationship with ourselves.  And isn’t it beautiful–this idea that when we do the work of finding clarity in our inner life, our external lives will mirror that clarity?  This kind of thinking really puts us in the driver’s seat of all of our life experiences.

It has been said many times in many different ways, but it’s worth saying again because so many of us never grasp the responsibility that we have in creating lives that bring us joy and fulfillment–we need to start with our selves if we want our lives to be different.  Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  The Buddha said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”  Michael Jackson was aware of his supreme responsibility in making the world a better place when he sang, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.”

What would happen if we were taught from the very beginning to start with the person in the mirror when we wished to experience change?  In our yoga asana practice we learn how to view life and ourselves from different angles as we move into inverted, standing, seated, prone and supine postures.  We learn how to breathe, and we see how our breathing affects our experience of our bodies and ourselves.  As we relax into a posture that challenges us and as we discover that the thoughts we bring with us into the pose will color how we experience it, we gain the insight necessary to apply this same awareness to the postures, angles, and challenges of our lives.

If we can commit to moving in the world with peace in our hearts, if we are dedicated to serving those around us with the sincere desire to see them flourish, if we are able to slow down and enjoy the precious little moments that combine into a lifetime of experiences, then when it is time to be still and go inwards, we know that there is nothing to fear.  We have nothing to hide from anyone out in the world, and we have nothing to hide from ourselves.  Slow down just a little, and you’ll be able to notice tiny little details of this grand existence that you otherwise would’ve missed in your rush to get on to the next thing.  Slow down a little, and when it is time to sit, you’ll find that each slow, mindful breath is a miracle.

The spiritual path has been likened to a steep ascent to the peak of a majestic mountain.  Treacherous footing makes it dangerous, there is so much effort involved that at times it seems impossible, and often there might be a strong feeling of wanting to give up completely.  But walk the path one step at a time and the peak is highly attainable.  It is the same with the path of self-knowing.  It is the same with the path of being a courageous crusader of lovingkindness out in a world that often seems bleak and stricken with pain. One step at a time, and it is possible.

Courage my friends.  We can all make this place, this life as beautiful, as enjoyable, as healthy, and as balanced as we dream they could be–but we need to begin with ourselves.  Discover your beauty, your joy, your wholeness, and your balance within, and then mirror these gifts out into the world.  Look for the beauty, the joy, the wholeness, and the balance that already exist in the world around you, and you’ll be able to see the reflection of those qualities within yourself.  We are all mirrors.  Let us choose to reflect the very best in ourselves, let us choose to see the the good in this world, and let us give back to this existence that has offered us so much.  Joy awaits!