where a girl and her discursive mind meet

auspicious coincidence

¶ bittersweet insanity

An excerpt from a birthday message I received yesterday:

Welcome to a new year of bitter-sweet insanity.

§1371 · February 11, 2011 · unfiled ·

¶ positives redeux

When this journal was in its infancy and distractions such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr didn’t exist (and it was just mostly me and a couple hundred other geeks on the Internet) I used vigrx plus to participate in a weekly meme called Participation Positives.

Those of you that know me know that my depression has gotten out of hand and I am desperate to do something about it. Today I will thus engage in an exercise of positive thinking as suggested by cognitive behaviorists to work on re-framing my state of mind by keeping a running count of positive occurrences.

Trader Joe’s Gingerbread coffee
Bought my love a new pair of Diesel jeans on the cheap.
Ajja the pet rat was super friendly and cute this morning.
I left late for work but wasn’t that late because the trains were somewhat in my favor for a change.
Our apartment was filled with delicious bread this morning.
I just sent an email seeing if the Visual Alchemism team could join the VJ line up at Sundari Festival.

Just came across this quote:

The future depends on what we do right now.–Sakyong Mipham

Does that mean that I am on the right track? Can I once again invite the “right” energy back into my life?
§1366 · February 8, 2011 · unfiled ·

¶ depression

I’m tired of my life long depression. I’m disgusted, embarrassed, and ashamed of it. I have a vague recollection of reading some Shambhala wisdom that suggests that we can revel in the sour stink of our suffering because maybe the odor will wake us up to do something about it.

I’ve started to deal with my own foul smells a number of times, but it’s never come to pass that I’ve finally stayed sweet. Perhaps working with one’s depression is like needing to bathe–it’s not like one day you can take a shower or go to the banya and simply declare yourself clean for life. Eventually, no matter what you do, you are going to need to bathe again.
§1365 · January 27, 2011 · roots · Tags: depression

¶ taller

listening to Broken Toy

I’m taller today, standing up straight to face the world, an unfamiliar smile spread across my face. I’m a little more here than I’ve been and a whole lot happier, brimming with joy. In Shambhala we talk about sitting with a strong back and a soft front, that soft front leaving with us with an open and exposed heart. We all have the capacity to meet the world at the heart level, even me, despite the smothering depression I’ve found myself wedded to for a good six months.

For many years I thought that I was on the cusp of overcoming my depression to the point that I could help people. I once received a message from the Vidyadhara that said as much, perhaps encouraging me not to lose heart and maybe even to wrap myself around my depression with open arms, thanking my pain and suffering for the teachings that it brings into my life and for the trainings that it forces me to embrace. Then, somehow, I closed off. My chest drew narrow and my eyes landed on the floor or the ground as I walked through life.

There was something about my energy yesterday that made people want to be near me, touching my hand or resting their head in my lap or stroking my face. Such moments ground me, rooting me to the present moment, making me aware that I have this body here and am not just a mind floating in space. Integration is key to openness. At some point integration could be seamless given that integration is truly the natural order of things. Our minds are tied to these bodies, wetware and hardware coming together to form the ultimate symbiotic relationship. And I have been ignoring my body lately, skipping the long walks I thrive on for mental and physical health, abandoning my yoga practice, not running, barely interested in sex. The further I stray from these things that keep me present, the more lost I become. The more my body weakens the more powerless I become on all levels, gutless and willing to succumb to suffering in the hopes that following the path of least resistance will allow me to become so enveloped within it that I myself could disappear and lose awareness of the suffering altogether. Although there may be some wisdom in giving up the fight losing heart to become my own cocoon won’t allow me to reconnect with the world or even my true self.

Many years before I had an hallucination with a message about transformation, rocketing down a tunnel where I met a purple butterfly. I watched her emerge from her chrysalis, wings dripping wet and glistening in the morning sun. Somewhere, in the depths of my subconscious, I have always known that my transformation is key.

Following the instruction to abandon all hope of fruition doesn’t mean that you should give up on working on yourself, whatever that work should happen to be. The slogan is just a reminder that we can indeed relax our ideas and expectations regarding the outcome of any given situation and even our lives as a whole because at any given moment we’re never going to have it all together.

…good and bad,
happy and sad,
all thoughts vanish into emptiness
like the imprint of a bird in the sky…
–from the Sadhana of Mahamudra

‘Relax, baby,’ she silently whispered to herself, “and just breathe.”
§1315 · January 24, 2011 · shambhala · Tags: abandon all hope of fruition, lojong

¶ bait

He has reappeared, a ghost in the machine that has sent a few emails that perhaps I should have ignored. He claims he’s dying and yet looks fine in the pictures he’s sent even if he is a bit too thin.

There’s a list, he claims, with the names and numbers of those who should know that he’s died. I don’t know that he’s dying but I supposed I’d like to know that he’s dead, so I asked to be on it. His response was such that it seemed that perhaps he’d lost his mind. I need a doctor’s note to be included on the list, the doctor to say that I am mentally stable enough to here the news. Since I have no intention of jumping through such hoops, I didn’t respond. He later sent me an MMS with a picture of Sangye the buddha dog, but I let that go, too. Besides, I don’t want to confirm to him that I have the same phone number.

Initially he said that he wanted to apologize and so I let him, but do I respond now? Or do I just allow myself to get caught back up in my own life and forget about him? Maybe he’ll reach out again, and then again, maybe not. Should he die he most certainly will not.

I cried a few times when he sent his letters of apology, reconnecting to the great love that I felt for him and the loss of what I thought was once our potential, but I might have cried it out and I do not wish to return to a time of crying every day from never was and never could be so I guess I’m done, although typing words that sound so final makes me want to do the opposite and reply once more. He always had some kind of hook that I couldn’t resist, baited with my belief that he and I were somehow special, which begs the question of whether or not I can resist the shininess of the hook glimmering in the water now that I’m no longer going to bait it for him.
§1311 · January 2, 2011 · boy ·

¶ juice

I want to tell you that I cried when I came home but words fail to capture the essence of the moment and the multitude of feelings that were behind it. I feel an acute and insufferable loneliness when separate from the collective you.

We are a tree of intertwined limbs, complex and diverse, not quite singular, not quite plural. I cling to you without grasping, a feat that wouldn’t seem possible were I not somehow returning home, an electronic device jacked into its dock to recharge. No matter how conservative I may be, the battery can only last so long without a chance to take in some fresh juice.
§1309 · January 2, 2011 · mafia ·

¶ mother

I cried yesterday, reading the trauma book.

I’ve always thought that mourning for one’s child self to be something far too New Age-y for me. It works for some people, I’d think, and that’s great, but it’s not for me.

And yet I cried, somehow, not really for the past, but for the now. I wished that I had a mother–No, not a mother, a mom.

I want a mom. Someone to be here with me, to look around the room and say it’s okay as she whisked around the room with enthusiasm, automatically dusting and straightening as she went. ”A fresh coat of paint and freshly laundered curtains is all you need,” she’d say, leaving dusted knick-knacks and vases full of flowers in her wake.

Is Donna Reed available?

§55 · September 22, 2010 · roots ·

¶ the silent girl

She is a hungry ghost starved for affection that was born in the child that stood just outside the room where her mother sat, reading a book. Although gentle and timid like the most defenseless of prey, she developed the skills of a wily predator, padding around the house with nary a sound. There was safety in silence–it was best for everyone if she pretended not to exist. She kept her voice still and practiced her ability to speak with her mind; she learned to read someone’s thoughts and feelings with a glance or maybe a touch. Terrified of her fellow humans, she kept herself closely guarded, avoiding physical contact at all costs. She practiced her ability to communicate with the animals that surrounded her–they were always eager for her touch. They spoke paragraphs with a ripple of the skin beneath the fur or a toss of the head and loved so much to be understood.
§8 · September 19, 2010 · roots · Tags: hungry ghost

¶ Pincha Mayurasana

Pincha Mayurasana, or feathered peacock pose, has several physical benefits. It strengthens the shoulder, core, leg and spinal muscles, alleviates tension in the legs, frees up the spine, and reverses blood flow as well as prepares the yogi for handstand. Key points of anatomy involved in pincha mayurasana include the following:

Adductor longus
Psoas Major
Rectus Femoris
Gluteus Maximus
Rectus Abdominus

Pincha mayurasna also offers several psycho-spirtual benefits:

Improves focus and concentration.
Increases confidence.
Like all inversions, it offers a shift in perspective as the yogi flips upside down.
Cultivates bravery, providing the yogi an opportunity to stay present in the face of fear.
Deepens the yogi’s insight into others, the eyes on the top of the peacock’s feathers help remind the yogi that “true sight” comes from within.
Because peacocks can ingest poisonous snakes without coming to harm, pincha mayurasana helps the yogi to remain unaffected by environmental toxicity (such as the chaos of living in New York City).

Prepatory poses:

Adho Mukha Svanasana (especially with dolphin arms)
Chaturanga Dandasana
Plank Pose
Prasarita Padottanasana (with a block squeezed between the bent elbows)
Supta Virasana
Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Resources used in creating this post: Pincha Mayurasana Essay by Emily Cass, Om Sweet Om Yoga, Yoga Journal
§30 · May 19, 2010 · Fire Dragon Yoga Homework · Tags: mayurasana, pincha mayurasana

¶ Parivrtta Parsvakonasana Verbal Cues

“Step your [right] foot forward into a wide stance.”

“Plant your back foot at a 45 degree angle, pressing firmly into the blade of the foot while allowing your inner arch to lift.”

“Bend your front leg to a 90 degree angle so that your thigh is parallel to the floor.”

“Keep the heel of your front foot pressing down, extending your toes.”

“Plant your hand to the outside of the front foot.”

“Bring your top arm up, stretching it out over the ear.”

“Draw your outer thigh back into the hip socket of your front leg to keep your knee from folding in.”

“Make sure that your shin is perpendicular to the floor, keeping your knee directly over your heel.”

“Check to make sure that your knees is in line with your 2nd toe.”

“Allow both the inner and outer thighs of the front leg to release down evenly toward the floor.”

“Keep your back leg straight, extending all the way from your outer thigh down to your heel.”

“Lift your knee and femur upward to keep your hamstrings from shortening.”

“Create length in your waist by pulling your front thigh back while drawing your back leg forward.”

“Allow your abdomen to revolve over the front thigh.”

“Lengthen from your pubic bone to your sternum, bringing more extension for you to gently twist the body.”

“Pull in your back ribs and lift your sternum to open the chest and free up the diaphragm.”
§23 · May 19, 2010 · Fire Dragon Yoga Homework ·