Happy Lunar New Year!

The snake the littlest yogi and I made to celebrate Seolnal.

The snake the littlest yogi and I made to celebrate Seolnal.

Happy New Year, yogis! I am very excited to be here in Korea for the lunar new year. Last lunar new year I was in the US, so I missed this most important of all Korean holidays. I was sure I was missing a great deal of fanfare, but truth be told, I’ve never seen Seoul this empty or quiet. It’s almost unnerving.

Korean New Year is called Seolnal and is generally celebrated for three days. It is a family holiday and most people travel to their homes and participate in a ritual to honor their ancestors. They also honor their living elders, wishing them blessings in the New Year, and children are given money for good luck. The traditional food consumed is dduk guk, a rice cake soup,  and various types of hangwa, or traditional sweets.

We are now in the year of the snake, which I learned recently is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Sounds like a great year to be a yogi.

Wishing you all many blessings, good luck, and lots of steady progress and attention!

Namaste.

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Embraceable You

Happy New Year, yogis!

Please forgive me for being approximately (or exactly) 11 days late in wishing you a good new year. My tardiness does not properly reflect my wishes for you to have a healthy, heartful 2013.

I don’t ever set resolutions at the new year, though I do find that it is often a convenient time for me to begin a new practice or to change a behavior or to assess what is working and what isn’t working in my life. This year, prompted by conversations with others, I’ve thought of a few words that I would like to focus on in 2013.  All of the words are connected, but if I had to choose one to encompass all the others it would be embrace. This year, I really want to wholeheartedly embrace.

Embrace1

For me this goes beyond letting go of judgments and accepting. This means truly enjoying, celebrating and owning who I have been, who I am now, and who I may become. And not just me. Others as well: my friends, my family, my nearest and dearest as well as perfect strangers and those I’ve kept at a distance.

Shiva, help me. This is going to be a tough one. But I embrace the challenge. Or, at least, I try to.

What about you, yogis? What are your words for 2013?

Namaste.

 

 

New Year, New You?

It’s that time of year when many are making resolutions for the coming year.  A good question to ask while identifying and committing to these goals for the new year: Is my goal to change a habit or adopt a new one, or is my goal to change who I am or to adopt a new personality?

Changing behaviors that no longer serve you and adopting new ones that do is a healthy part of evolution as a person. Attempting to change who you are is merely a form of non-acceptance that will lead to frustration and suffering.

So who are you?

I am not mind, intellect, ego or field of consciousness;

Neither hearing, smelling, sight, nor taste.

I am not speech, hands, or feet, nor am I the organs of reproduction or excretion.

I am not dharma, not purpose, not liberation, not desire.

I am not sin, happiness, or suffering.

I am neither the enjoyer nor the enjoyed; neither death, fear, nor social class; neither father nor mother, nor friend, nor teacher, nor student.

My nature is the bliss of pure consciousness.

Shivo’ham. I am Shiva

– Shankaracharya

We ARE the bliss of pure consciousness and that is all that we are. Why would we want to change that?

New Year, New You? How about: New Year, Same You, More Bliss.

I wish you all a very productive new year. Here’s to resolving to eliminate that which keeps us from seeing and accepting who we really are, while we adopt practices and habits that help us on our way towards the unlimited bliss that is our true nature.

2012 here we come!