As a follow-up to last week's post about rethinking inclusion in our spiritual practices, consider the following "Lord's Prayer' alternative:
Source of all that is and ever shall be,
Loving Parent in whom we discern heaven,
May knowledge of your holiness inspire all peoples,
And may your commonwealth of peace and freedom flourish on earth
Until all of humankind heed your call to justice and compassion.
May we find the bread that we need for today,
And for the hurts we cause one another
May we be forgiven in the same measure that we forgive.
In times of trial and temptation, help us to be strong;
When life seems overwhelming, help us to endure;
And thus from the yoke of sin deliver us.
May you reign in the power of human love,
Now and forever.
Adapted from the prayer book of the Anglican Church of New Zealand
Yoga has been such a blessing in my life. Not only as a physical practice but as a spiritual practice as well. Although yoga is rooted in the hindu tradition it has taught me (through the meditative aspects of yoga) to experience my own christian tradition in a more affirming. more interesting light; a progressive spiritual light.
One of the identifying themes of progressive spiritual practice is to be inclusive, in all aspects of humanity. Therefore, I feel, it is necessary to update our prayers and hymns to suggest that we are thinking with that 21st century awareness. Although this seems to plunge some folks into chaos, it is important to remember that it is from chaos that we re-organize and grow. (Yoga meditation is an awesome way to work through the chaos)
Not all reworkings will resonate with everyone, so I'll present a couple of new 'Lord's prayers over the next few postings for your consideration. I would be happy to have your thoughts. (Please remember to frame your responses in a positive way).
Dear One, closer to us than our own hearts, farther from us than the most distant star, you are beyond naming.
May your powerful presence become obvious not only in the undeniable glory of the sky, but also in the seemingly base and common processes of the earth.
Give us what we need, day by day, to keep body and soul together, because clever as you have made us, we still owe our existence to you.
We recognize that to be reconciled with you, we must live peaceably and justly with other human beings, putting hate and bitterness behind us.
We are torn between our faith in your goodness and our awareness of the evil in your creation, so deliver us from the temptation to despair.
Yours alone is the universe and all its majesty and beauty.
So it is, Amen.
As many of you know, in addition to being a yoga teacher and spirituality enthusiast I am also a elementry/junior high school' librarian. I serve a clientele ranging from age 5 to 60 (including teachers and staff). While I help students and staff find appropriate reading materials, primary sources and troubleshoot technology for their school work; the number one conversational question I am asked (outside the school work bit) is: What is your favourite book? Even parents will ask for recommendations for books as gifts for their children!
It is a question I can't definitively answer. I have too many favourite books. So I started putting together a little blog to list my (our) favourites. So, if you are a teacher (looking for picture book classroom connections), librarian (looking especially for quick reads, programming) or a parent (looking for a special gift), check out my new blog: http://MrsPsPicks.weebly.com.
There is a tab at the top of this page that will take you there as well.
Yoga will help you to approach life in a less stressed manner and in doing so you will get more out of life. You will be able to achieve more each day and still feel more energized at the end of the day.
One of the most important factors that you will learn from yoga is correct breathing techniques. It is with correct breathing that you will teach your mind and your body to gravitate towards the more natural state of relaxation. You will be able to bring about a peaceful and relaxed state more easily and that in turn will help you to cope with stressful situations. The deep breathing techniques that are taught in yoga can bring about calm in your life while at the same time energizing you.
Many people feel that they need some form of stimulation to get energized but yoga will show you that this can be far from the truth. Yoga gives you a long term energy that is not influenced by hyper activity or nervousness.
You can practice basic yoga breathing techniques anywhere you like. Even while sitting at your office desk it is as easy as following a few simple techniques… Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Rest your hands on top of your thighs and begin to relax, slowly closing your eyes.
Now begin to think about the various parts of your body. Starting from your feet, relax each body part one at a time. As you feel them become soft and relaxed tension begins to release. Feel your lungs filling with air, expanding and contracting in a relaxed manner. Don't 'push' your breathing. Just maintain a relaxed breath in and out. With each exhale, the tension that is being held in your body is released. Set it free and breathe in the next breath of relaxed energy.
This will come more naturally the more often you do it and you will find that you can get into a relaxed state faster each time. The energy that you get will carry over into each day of your life until you are constantly in a more relaxed state in your everyday life. Try it now and see how easy it is to change your mindset. When thoughts come into your mind while doing this, let them float on by and don't hold onto them.
Generally, at our end of fall yoga class, I share a live version of my song Quiet, Still and Well. I didn't get to do that this year so I am providing a link to it here. I hope you and yours have a healthful and joyous season.
There is so much going on in life at the moment. I am thankful for all the wonderful opportunities that come my way! Sometimes, though, something has to 'give.' I am taking Wednesday yoga off the schedule until further notice to allow me to focus on my day-job; prepare for the upcoming performance (with the East Hants Choral Society) at Carnegie Hall, NYC; spend some time with Joyful Noise; and to do some research into developing a special "Signature' Women's Empowerment Workshop. I'm not sure that relinquishing one night will result in all the time I need but it is a start. Wish me Luck!
Wellness is the goal of many. And many have discovered that it isn't easy to achieve. We want to lose weight, we want to be stronger, more flexible, faster, happier. I'm sorry to say that there is no quick fix or fast track. It requires a determined effort at lifestyle change. Fad diets, punishing workouts, expensive vacations seem to be the way or fast track but these efforts tend to be short-lived and unsustainable.
So how do you even start a wellness journey? You start with baby steps. Create an action plan Choose one or two things that you can incorporate into your life this week that are doable and sustainable.
"Humbly seeking through the fog"