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Lovely Lammas

Friday, Freya's day, will be the first day of August, with both the sun and the new moon in Leo - we will also have the auspiciousness of a total solar eclipse! Eclipses always bring a quickening, a transformational invitation, a burgeoning. The new moon adds to the magic;  we empty out as the moon wanes to make room physically, emotionally, and energetically for that which we invite into our lives with gratitude, and then plant into the darkness of the new moon, our deepest, fiery longing for what we invoke.

August 2 is Lammas, an ancient Celtic holy day that heralds the beginning of harvest time. Crops ripen, life abounds, and our hearts and homes are full, and we head deeper into the dark half of the year. Lammas means "loaf-mass" and is both a fire festival and a harvest celebration of the the first grain harvest. For many of us that honor the wheel of the year, Lammas is the first of three harvest festivals, a time to bake bread and offer thanks.

You can bake corn bread, scones, loaves of bread, or make preserves and share them. Take some time to contemplate and say goodbye to what is passing in your life, what you are letting go of. Throw regrets into the fire. Think about what your harvest has brought forth, what you are reaping.

May our hearts dance in exuberant fulfillment to celebrate the last days of summertime! May we live each moment to the fullest, and savor the miraculousness and preciousness of this embodied experience.

Let us sing praises to Nature in all her Glory! Let us seek the magic of this new moon, while we roar our gratitude with beautiful ferocity like Leo.  

Blessed Lammas, lovely kula.     

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Guru Purnima

Blessed Guru Purnima!  The July full moon is the full moon of the Guru. It is a very special time to honor our teachers and gurus, and a time when we receive powerful blessings from those teachers not on the physical plane. We appreciate and honor deeply the complex and beautiful interactions between teacher and student.

We honor the guru-principle. Guru means "heavy" or "weighty". Another definition is remover of ignorance. The guru is the weighty one, saturated with wisdom, permeated with Grace.

The moon will be in Capricorn, which invites us into the realm of the wisdom of the ancestors and ancient ones. The Kosmic Kula has been exploring and expanding on the concepts of purna for a year or more, and it will be an exceptional adventure to deepen our experiences of purna during this most auspicious full moon.

I invite you to let your home become heavy with the scent of incense and the sounds of prayers and chanting. Clarify intentions in candlelight and offer respect in your own way to the Great Ones. Contemplate purna as it feels today, and reflect on who and what you are heartbreakingly grateful for. 

The primordial yogi, the great yoga adept and teacher Lord Shiva, is celebrated wholeheartedly as the Adi Guru. Om Namah Shivaya! We honor the Great Mother. Sri Maa Namaha!                                                  

May our hearts become sanctified and saturated with the nectar of the bliss of the Divine. May we become full like the moon with the soma of honey-like awareness. 

May we practice pada puja; pranams and offerings at the lotus-feet of the Beloved.

May we remember we are whole and holy!

Shivo'ham! Purno'ham!

 

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Contents: Contentment

What a beautiful Solstice we had. It was a Solstice miracle! A bright and hot day full of sunshine and blue skies ... the perfect way to celebrate the purna of the light. And as we watched the sun set into the ocean on Friday evening, setting intentions and offering gratitude, it was the perfect sendoff to the the sun ... as now the light wanes and we wander softly into the dark half of the year. Gurumayi's birthday is this week; it is the perfect time to check the reading list and begin to read (or re-read) Courage and Contentment. Gurumayi says that contentment is when you enter into possession of what you already have. Meditate on this definition and see how it resonates with you.

Contentment is not fake happiness, an excessive heart chakra out of balance, a contrived smile, or excessive niceness that has no authenticity. Contentment is knowing your purna, your wholeness, even in challenging times in your life. It is being grateful for the fullness of your life and believing wholeheartedly that you are a radical, wise, and worthy being. When we truly know that freedom is our essential nature, and that we are the same Supreme Consciousness that pulses in the universe, and that we are as wondrous as Nature ... we become more like Nature. Nature knows its perfection. It doesn't try too hard, it doesn't want to impress you, it doesn't try to make you feel like less... it just is. Nature is natural.

May we all be more like Nature, may we all remember our perfection, may we all bathe in contentment. 

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Sunshine is awesome and sweet

Happy Midsummer! We have reached another turn of the wheel of the year; Solstice occurs (in the Northern hemisphere) this week when the sun enters the 0 degree of Cancer. This is the longest day of the year, when the sun reaches its peak, its purna (fullness). After Solstice, the days will slowly begin to shorten once again as we head toward  the dark time of the year. Solstice is a time of sun and celebration of life, fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers, bright fires, and feeling grateful for what fills your life. Let your yoga be bright and blissful. Make a feast for the eve before, and then on Solstice morning awaken before dawn so that you can greet the Solstice sun as it rises. Make offerings and prayers.

Venus moves into Cancer and the full moon will be in Sagittarius on Wednesday. Mercury goes direct on Thursday morning, but plan for its shadow period for about a week before things start to get back on track.

At this full moon and solstice, meditate on your own purna (fullness). Contemplate what you are grateful for, what you are filled with, how all that you need already lives inside you. Feel your heart as a moon, full of bliss and overflowing. Let luminescent moonbeams of gratitude and bliss stream from your heart in an offering back to the universe.

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New Moon

Happy quiet new moon in Gemini! The new moon is the time to create new intentions and new wishes for this moon cycle in your life. Focus on turning inward more and listening. This is a good time to be quiet and reflective. Release and recycle all of the compost you’ve been carrying. Its the perfect time to let go of the old; let it fertilize the ground of your new intentions. When the moon is new, be clear with your vision and intentions. Don't be shy or play small. Anything can happen. Today and tomorrow, meditate on what you want to cultivate in the garden of your heart and set an intention. May it be so.

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Birthdays and Gratitude

Here are some cute photos I wanted to share with you of me with my teacher. More cute photos to come. These remind me of devotion and adhikara (studentship) and delight. The first one is from the level 3 intensive in February 2001 in Scottsdale, the second one is from the advanced intensive in Tucson in February 2004, and the third one from February 2003. Yay advanced yoga intensives!

 KK and John - Scottsdale Advanced Intensive 20012004 Advanced Intensive TucsonFeb 2003

John's birthday is this week, and so is my mom's. I send them both so much love and appreciation.

Who are your greatest teachers? They may be brilliant souls who floated into your life for a short time to teach you something amazing. Or maybe you have a committed relationship of study with a specific teacher. Who has sparked something glorious within you, or helped you to recover the grandness of you being?

Offerings and gratitude to all our teachers, to our mothers and fathers, our ancestors, our guides, our deepest wisdom that speaks in whispers through our intuition. long-nights

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We love you Mercury

Mercury is retrograde today, until it turns direct June 19. Neptune is retrograde today too. Tomorrow the waning half moon will move into Pisces.  The planet Mercury is the planetary muse of communication (and thought and travel). It is close to the earth and so we humans feel the effects of its retrograde period in pronounced ways. Mercury governs all things that deal with communication, such as listening, sharing, travel, phones, computers, and other such technologies. When Mercury retrogrades for three weeks several times a year, these communication technologies often break down, communication with friends and lovers can become sticky, and travel plans may come to a halt. It is a time when many get more parking or speeding tickets than usual, some miscommunications arise, and people literally trip and fall.

The message that Mercury offers us is... slow down. Take your time. Don't get in a rush or you may trip, or get a ticket. Or miss your flight anyway. So let Mercury retrograde be a reminder to ease up on your fast pace, your frantic scurry. Play "Slow Ride" on your ipod (if it still works today) and take it easy. For the next three weeks, let Mercury create a cosmic coffee break for you. Rushing around and forcing communication is going against the flow. Use this time to be quiet, to enjoy silence, listen to nature, listen to your own guidance and intuition. Send people blessings just by thinking of them. 

During Mercury retrograde, the Kula and I focus on reviewing. We focus on reviewing, renewing, revisioning. All the re we can do in honor of retrograde. So for homework, review something that you already know, but spend some extra time thinking about it, feeling it, journaling about it. How about ...    First Principle.... Open to Grace. Review what it means to you.

Some practical advice to always think about for Mercury retrograde:

Drive and walk slowly. Pay extra attention to those those drivers and bikers that don't know Mercury is retrograde. Back up your computer! Try to avoid signing contracts or making really big decisions until after Mercury goes direct. Wait to make big purchases. Give yourself extra time to get there - to appointments, at the airport, etc. Don't take miscommunications personally. Be quiet more often than usual. 

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Happy Birthday Baba!

Ekapadarajakapotasana 4     This week Baba Muktananda's 100th birthday was celebrated all over the world. Happy Birthday Baba.

I just returned from teaching in Pittsburgh at Yoga Matrika (www.yogamatrika.com) over the weekend - it was super awesome! My hostess Sharon was so wonderful and the students were great. Anusara is fairly new there, although there was one Inspired teacher and several that have studied Anusara. They were very grateful to have me there, and just soaked in all the KK-ness and Anusara-ness they could take! I appreciated their enthusiasm and willingness to learn new things. Thank you to the new "satellite Kula" in Pittsburgh at Yoga Matrika! Yay for new friends!

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Moonday

Happy Moonday. The waxing half moon has just moved out of Leo and into Virgo, and I just returned from Denver where I was with my amazing teachers, so the shakti sizzles within me still. The Kula participants today were eager to hear all about my experiences at the Certified Anusara teacher's gathering, and I shared the sri with them happily...  just passing it on.  Our collective Kula theme for this moon cycle has come back to exploring contraction and expansion ...a theme we love, and you can never get enough of it. The magnetism and explosion of our radiant consciousness drawing in and beaming out over and over so that we embody twinkling, throbbing stars is a radical thing to contemplate and explore.

I love the idea of sphurana which means gleaming, glittering, radiance. Its the twinkle in our eyes, the beauty in our hearts. We literally are pulsed by a grand throbbing, and when we tune in to it and look for it, it makes the whole relative world come alive before our eyes in a new way. The life-affirming philosophy of Anusara sets our hearts ablaze with celebration.

How long has it been since you have used the adjectives sparkling, glittering, glistening, luminescent, twinkling ... to describe yourself? Its about time now.

 

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