Shine On: Happy Diwali!

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Be Light. Happy Diwali!

Today is one of my favorite festivals in India. Well, except, when I am, actually in India–then it’s a little harrowing, very loud, and driving a scooter across town is akin to traveling across war zones as one needs to weave deftly around pockets of merry-making firework-obsessed celebrants making noise and explosions very few meters from each other.

Diwali is the Festival of Lights. It is a reminder than even in the darkness of the new moon today, that each of us is an oil lamp, that we each have a role of lighting each other’s path.

It has been an amazing period of time for me here in San Francisco. Amazing for all of the gifts, but likewise so were all the challenges. Being stationary for the last 7 months has given me a chance to really sit with myself and stand in my own life–and it was at the darkest stages where I saw the most light. That is the relationship between light and dark, the great common sense between the duality of it.

I am grateful to all those night lights, bright and shiny human beings, who I feel incredibly blessed to know. I also know that in these exchanges, I have been the same, a little light that has helps in the dark.

I like to think that at some point, I should be able to see my own light all the time. Perhaps when that happens, the path disappears and there isn’t anywhere else to go. Until then, let’s tend those oil lamps, celebrating not just the lights all around us, but that deep internal glow that never gets extinguished. Shine on, everyone!

Happy New Moon, as well as Diwali, no class at Mysore SF today. Take rest. See everyone back on the mat on Thursday. 

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Light Up Your Practice

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Light Up Your Practice

In India, celebrations have begun for Diwali, the Festival of Lights. And for those of us who can’t join in the lighting of lamps and the igniting of fireworks in India, we can still bring the festivities into the practice.

Think of each moment of practice as an opportunity for light. Every breath, every movement is an act of lamp lighting. The illumination from practice, the experience of it, and what we are able to observe about ourselves in the process then helps guide us through the dark night back to the home where we belong.

Like the story in the Ramayana, where the citizens of Ayodhya put out lamps to lead Rama, the Prince of the House of the Sun and his wife, Sita, home on a moonless night, the practice shines the light of consciousness into our everyday, so that we ourselves can shine.