Sep 06

Attachment, Surrender, and Giving Birth

A little surrender and a lot of non-attachment allowed me to receive what was given and open to new possibilities.

Recently, I looked back on the birth of my daughter. The struggles I am currently facing in writing my first book have mirrored some of my experiences in labor. I sat down and wrote a long piece about it, but didn’t feel I could share all those gory details. Going through the birthing process was not what I had expected, yet it gave me an important gift.

It was the end of September of 2004. My labor started around 5pm, and by 4am the next morning I headed to the hospital with my husband an doula. My plan – a natural birth, without anesthesia. I had prepared myself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually for this experience. A yoga practitioner and teacher for over 10 years at the time, I believed that my reasonably supple body would handle this just fine. Continue Reading »

Oct 06

Cutting My Hair

cutting-my-hair-1I sat in the hairdresser’s chair, elevated enough so that I could see my reflection in the mirror before me. I asked her to take a photo from the back to show my long tresses, flowing in waves and soft curls almost down to my waist. This was going to be a big change, and I wanted to have a visual memory of it.

For almost my entire life I’ve worn my hair long, with the exception of two short periods in my childhood that I decided to experiment – which turned out poorly – and four years in college where I wore my curls about chin length. I’ve strongly identified myself with the image of long hair – but is it Who I Am?

Recently, I’ve been revisiting this image, and the attachment I have towards aspects of myself, superficial or internal. The need to be the expert and to know what I’m doing. To shy away from getting dirty. To avoid taking risks. And, on a surface level, a woman with long hair. I’ve limited myself by these ideas of who I am. Continue Reading »

Jan 14

Sit in Not-Knowing

Close prayer flagsFor the first time in a long time, I really don’t know what’s next.

What a relief!

Yes, I’m used to always knowing what I was going to do. To have a plan. Plenty of ideas would come to me and I’d figure out how to make them happen.
Continue Reading »

Oct 31

Would the Buddha Eat An Ice Cream Cone?

Posted in: Acceptance, Buddha, Choices, Happiness, Illusion, Judgment, Nonattachment, Now, Presence, Right Action | Comments Off on Would the Buddha Eat An Ice Cream Cone?

The funniest thought arose in my meditation today, after I had been contemplating the Eightfold Noble Path – Buddha’s prescription for eradicating suffering and attaining liberation.  Apparently, my thoughts weren’t entirely still (big surprise) and thus this image of an ice cream cone being offered to the Buddha somehow sprang to my awareness.  Would he eat it?  What would the Buddha do?

I can’t claim to know what the Buddha would do, to be quite frank.  But, based on his teachings, I can certainly take a stab at it.  There’s one thing I do know – the Buddha would be aware that he has choices.  He can choose to eat it, he can choose not to eat it.  He would know that any desire or aversion that arose regarding the ice cream would be continuing the cycle of suffering in this life.  He also knows that judgment would be a slippery slope – it feeds the ego, the idea that we are right if we choose one way, and wrong if we choose another.  This would lead to either pride or shame, which again is back on the hamster wheel of suffering. Continue Reading »