Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Mind is Like a Clear Glass of Water

I started reading "Coming to our Senses" by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a book about mindfulness, meditation, and cultivating a fuller awareness of our experience.

Early in the book, the author writes about his encounters with Zen Master Seung Sahn, and the wisdom he imparted to his students.

I looked him up online, and came across this quote about the nature of mind:

Our mind is like a clear glass of water. 
If you put salt into the water, it becomes salt water; 
sugar, it becomes sugar water; 
shit, it becomes shit water. 
But originally the water is clear. 
No thinking, no mind. 
No mind, no problem.”  

-Zen Master Seung Sahn

The quote speaks for itself, and tells us that the energetic phenomenon we recognize as "mind" is intrinsically empty. We can get a glimpse of this when we focus on our sensory experiences, and let the chatter of our internal dialogue quiet down. There is "nothing" there of solidity, it is simply energy patterns bouncing around in our heads, and we can learn to direct this energy through meditation & simple mindfulness.

Whatever our attention turns to, internally or externally, is what will fill the clarity of the pure essence of the mind. This is why it is so important to practice mindfulness and directing our thoughts and actions toward positive, beneficial states of being if we do not want to be overcome by suffering.

By seeing the mind as a clear vessel, we discover that we can shape our thoughts and experiences to create the life that we wish to lead.

 -Paul Micarelli

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Want to Start Yoga?

Want to start yoga?...

This flyer posted to a telephone pole (by an anonymous, frustrated person) has some advice on how to get started.

It suggests an unconventional approach to "downward dog position":

Yes, cleaning up after yourself and your pets is a form of mindfulness! It is also an act of consideration toward others, who may have to encounter the mess you leave.

-Paul Micarelli

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Mountain Lake Yoga in the Poconos

After our wedding & honeymoon earlier this month, Loretta & I went to the Poconos with my family for our summer vacation.

I took it easy & didn't really work out the few days we were there, but Loretta did yoga and made videos for her classes throughout the week. One day, she decided to go to a cove on the lake (that we call "P&L Cove") to do yoga.

I took the kayak out to meet her and filmed her doing her asanas from the water, & also took some photos. It was a wonderful setting in which to practice, and I wanted to capture her beauty and strength within the amazing lake scenery.

-Paul Micarelli

Monday, July 9, 2018

Honeymoon Yoga

As I mentioned in the last post before we left- last week, I got married to my partner on this blog (& in life!):

After our wedding, we went to Cape May, NJ where we stayed at a bed & breakfast for most of the week. We laid out on the beach during the day, and went out to eat at the different restaurants in the evening. It was a great time for us to be alone and enjoy a mini-vacation.

Although we both like to stay healthy & physically fit, Loretta is definitely more of the workout fanatic than I am. We decided to take it easy on our honeymoon, but we did do a short yoga session one night in the backyard of the place we were staying. Loretta was also practicing some of her poses on the beach. 

It just goes to show that there is always time to practice conscious living, to improve your health & well-being!