Reflection Prompt

Take time for reflection, and then see how your ability to know yourself enhances conscious decision making. This is self study (svadhyaya) in action.

We meet a Scorpio new moon on November 7.

The vibe of Scorpio, the archetype of the actor, has us writhing in our roles–sons, daughters, wives, friends, sisters, mothers, peacekeepers, role models, basic bitches.  Do you feel uncomfortable with how things are written in the script? Are you just going the motions or nah?

There is no judgment stronger than the one we put on ourselves. There is no effect without cause. There is no cause without effect.

Consider each action a cross-roads. It’s an opportunity to go in so different directions.

Then maybe we can plug into the Scorpio vibe and turn it up.

This is a friendly reminder that every choice has the potential to generate a multiplicity of new paths. Each path will be punctuated with experiences that have been generated by cause-effect, cause-effect, cause-effect. It’s like riding a subway train where you might invoke autonomy and choose your tracks, but the rails will be the ones to bring you to your destination. The journey you have is care of the choices (cause-effect) that have laid down the track.

Don’t you ever wish you could just levitate above everything? I know I do.

 

Scorpio

The Scorpio new moon feels like a window of opportunity to practice floating.

Scorpio has a reputation that precedes it, right? It’s scary and intense and magnetic. Sometimes people don’t want to go there. Scorpio is the archetype associated with the deep deep, aka the subconscious, the patterns that underlie the direction of our actions. It’s a very Scorpionic statement to say, “I was mesmerized and couldn’t help myself…”

But levitation is just a different way of interacting with magnetic force. It’s the balance of repulsion and attraction that causes the float.

So what I’m suggesting here is the opportunity to bypass the normal route. Go above. Plug into the Scorpio and, effectively, re-write your route.

Let’s go back to floating.

Imagine yourself hovering above your life.

Perhaps in the space above the normal route, your perspective will shift. You will see something you didn’t know about yourself. You will tap into the pure Scorpio part of your mind and activate the POWER to alchemize-process-make conscious choices that will take you in a direction that allows for more consciousness. More awareness.

Let’s get off our crazy, disempowered train.

You can stay floating as you reflect…

REFLECTION PROMPT: Write a description, similar to a social media profile, of a person who exudes confidence in decision making. Give that person attributes, like favorite food and music, that are yours. Float with that person for a few and see how that feels.

That person could be you.

Mindfulness and culture making

I was at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico over the summer for a seminar on spiritual practices, mindfulness, and wellness. The resonance of what I was encouraged to explore still informs my daily interactions.

The spacious, airy room was inviting; the colorful wall hangings and yoga mats complemented the soft, neutral colors of the wall. Sarah Bunting, the Student Services Coordinator, sat in circle with us, greeting our seminar group of approximately 50 people. Her job was to make sure that we were all well situated for the week ahead. As she spoke, explained the Institute’s principle and guidelines, she placed her hand over her heart, looked at each one of us. She conveyed her gratitude to all of us for being there, her joy at being able to share the kinship and respect for Dr. Lad and his work. At the end, she offered us an idea to sit with throughout the week: we were there to make culture together.

Make culture.

That statement really caught my attention because it’s not one that is used every day. At first glance, I observed that our natal cultures (of those attending the seminar) were varied, but what lay beneath that?

The Ayurvedic Institute was founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the 1980s by Dr. Vasant Lad, an Ayurvedic doctor from India; the Institute was meant to be a hub of practice around the teachings of Ayurveda, a body of knowledge that informs of principles for living in balance and harmony. Dr. Lad—his presence was warm, and his teachings were genuinely conveyed with love. The way he transmitted the principles of balance, imbalance, subtle energetic bodies and metaphysical concepts was accessible and immediately applicable. Every time that I looked around during a lecture, the room full of attendees appeared to be deep in communion with his words and presence.

Dr. Lad

Every day, at the start of lectures and at the end of them, we chanted a Sanskrit mantra that honored the beauty of the community and the teachings. We took 2-hour lunch breaks between sessions. We didn’t use cell phones in the buildings, and only took pictures of diagrams that Dr. Lad drew when he invited us to do so.

It was a curated way in which we interacted with each other.

The point was that if you didn’t go along with this, you could disturb the experience for others and you would be asked to leave. The container would be broken. The rules we were given weren’t meant to be fatalistic and rigid—I hope that I am conveying that duly here—but rather, these are all things we did to ensure we achieved the same collective end: a healing, whole experience. The culture we created during the week facilitated mindful and meaningful connection to each other while being in the presence of an incredible teacher. That was the point of the seminar.

Contemplating culture against a beautiful sunset backdrop

I hear a lot about “co-creating” our experience in the transformative dance scene and self-growth communities that I am a part of. Somehow, when phrased like that, the ask seems transient. Like, once the event or experience is over, the next won’t necessarily require to co-create. The events must come with directions. Maybe that’s just part of the embedded, hardwired narrative I employ as an American—that I don’t usually co-create. But the idea is not different from “making culture”—it’s just that the intimate setting of 50 people from around the globe who converged at the Ayurvedic Instiute made the ask of co-creation seem less transient, more necessary, because that’s what Dr. Lad inspired. I’m finding that “my culture is to co-create”—even I don’t call it as such.

Essentially, this is what we do, even when it’s just between two people. The exchanges that we have on an individual level allow us to make culture every day. The mindfulness we bring to those exchanges reflect a culture that values the space-holding for another person.

And while culture connects you to an identity, the power in that identity lies in your ability to change it; to let it go; to reconstruct the identity in a manner that serves you, and with that your community. Making culture is mindfulness in action.

Proudly displaying my certificate of completion

On the last day of the seminar, there was a joyous if not muted mood among the attendees. We knew we had spent a transformative week together, and I believe many of us were considering how to keep up the spirit of the Ayurvedic Institute—how to implement dietary, lifestyle, and other changes for optimal health and balance. How to incorporate breathing, yoga, and meditation as Ayurveda suggests for each individual. Most of all, how to keep up the mindfulness in our interaction with the external world, knowing the sense of community that can immediately be stoked when we agree to act toward a common experience.

As I was leaving, I ran into Sarah. I knew it would be one of the last transactions I had with her. I wanted to profess my gratitude for her support and guidance during the week. We locked eyes in a comfortable way. It was a feature of interacting with her that I came to expect. It felt good, too, in the manner of validation that I had her full presence.

She touched her heart after hearing my offering of gratitude.

I touched mine when she said, “Thank you.”

That has become second nature for me—that when I am connecting with someone deeply, or being given deep sharing—I touch my heart. It’s become part of my practice to honor others. It is my culture.

Reflection Prompt

While the moon and the sun exchange light, while one holds the other for reflection, let’s do the same. If something in these words catches your attention, sit with it. The prompt is meant to engage the iterative processes through which we create our mindscapes. This is self study (svadhyaya) in action.

We meet a Taurus full moon on October 24.

The vibe of Taurus, the archetype of the farmer, makes beautiful connection with Earth. The material world is a sensual playground. You are here to grow what feeds you. Bear witness to what makes your body feel nourished and your being in it safe.

Do you feel safe?

We’re in Libra season in a Venus retrograde. All I feel are flames: the burning systems, the patriarchy, the capitalist mentality, the encroaching mind-manipulation by the media. All of this part of the war on power and the fight that is moving toward power equality.

In the midst of it all, I don’t feel safe.

And yet, I am here. So how can I get through this experience?

Taurus

The Taurus moon has got me feeling the need to root. The need to play-pretend that I call crawl back into the womb. Leave this world behind. Honor and follow the need to feel the cool insides of Mother Earth.

As the season of fall deepens, the mornings are cool. I like to go outside early in the morning before sunrise and walk through the world. Remember that there are still things like mornings before sunrises where the wind is cold and the ground is still beneath my feet.

I feel safe for the moment.

It helps if I make these small observations of the natural world around me, connect throughout the day, come back to myself while the fire in the cultural world rages.

I am reminded, too, that all of this is a practice in being. That when I feel safe, I give up the feeling of being unsafe just for a fleeting moment. I remember that all explorations of the perception of being safe/unsafe are journies to the edge of comfort zones. All of the edges and the crossing of them are like going back and forth from the womb to the world that waits outside.

The Earth supports us, even when the culture doesn’t.

Libra

Libra

REFLECTION PROMPT: What time of day makes you feel safe?  Can you write a story around that experience?

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