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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Jun 12, 2012

Nice Bowl

When the winds of change are wild and fierce, an automatic response can be to grasp at a cause, a concept....anything to cling to like a life preserver.  It can go like this: I am a certified _______"; I am a registered _____";  I align with this cause; This is my brand and trademark. 

Clinging to name and brand and affiliation works relatively well when things are calm and stable but can take on a desperate quality when change starts pushing hard. While it promises to strengthen us – it can – over time weaken us.  And it does not work AT ALL at the end of life.  

The earth and nature is generous in the way she teaches us how to be with change.  Set a strong root into the common earth - "just dirt" - no brand or affiliation.  Grow down first.  Root down into "just this", life as it is. Community. Friendship.  Work.  Grow strong from that root and from there you will be able to reach for the light ------ without forgetting that the deeper you grow into the not-famous dirt, the higher you will be able to reach for and align with the clear light of consciousness.

When I am aligned and full of clarity is when I am also grounded and steady on the earth. 
I don't have to feel happy, cheerful or even optimistic to be aligned with the clear light of my heart or to be rooted in the solid ground of life as it is.  To be aligned with the clear light - to not fall away from not get lost or drop the thread...... is worth everything.  
Here’s some of of the poetry and wisdom that has helped me when I have needed to remember to stay aligned to what’s Real.
Thanks for reading! 

Change is constantly pushing against the restrictions our psyche has placed upon us.. If we remove those restrictions, change will happen naturally by itself because the nature of existence is natural evolution.   ~~~~Lee Lozowick
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.  
~~~David Waggoner

Bugs in a Bowl
Han Shan, that great and crazy, wonder-filled Chinese poet of a thousand years ago, said:
We're just like bugs in a bowl. All day going around never leaving their bowl.
I say, That's right! Every day climbing up
the steep sides, sliding back.
Over and over again. Around and around.
Up and back down.
Sit in the bottom of the bowl, head in your hands,
cry, moan, feel sorry for yourself.
Or. Look around. See your fellow bugs.
Walk around.
Say, Hey, how you doin'?
Say, Nice Bowl! 
~~~David Budbill 

 The Duck
Now we're ready to look at something pretty special. It's a duck, riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf. No it isn't a gull. A gull always has a raucous touch about him. This is some sort of duck, and he cuddles in the swells.
He isn't cold, and he is thinking things over. There is a big heaving in the Atlantic, and he is a part of it.
He looks a bit like a mandarin, or the Lord Buddha meditating under the Bo tree.
But he has hardly enough above the eyes to be a philosopher. He has poise, however, which is what philosophers must have.
He can rest while the Atlantic heaves, because he rests in the Atlantic.
Probably he doesn't know how large the ocean is. And neither do you. But he realizes it.
And what does he do, I ask you? He sits down in it! He reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity — which it is. He has made himself a part of the boundless by easing himself into just where it touches him.
I like the duck. He doesn't know much, but he's got religion.
 ~~Donald Babcock