Silver Apples of the Moon

Taos, New Mexico. May 3. In the Ortenstone Delattre gallery in Taos, as Alan and I were looking at this lovely print, Silver Apples of the Moon, the elderly artist Pierre Delattre walked up behind us and recited the beautiful poem by W.B. Yeats: I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in…

You Have 30,000 Unread Emails

My boss stopped by my desk to chat, and as we talked she glanced over my shoulder at my computer screen. She squinted, focusing on my Inbox. “Do you know you’ve got over 1,000 unread emails? Wow, I could never stand that.” Over 1,000? Was it really that many? Embarrassed, I mumbled something about being…

The Great Dinner Party

Invitations have gone out, weeks ago. Ads enticing ticket buyers to attend the Annual Event are appearing on radio and in the newspaper. Posters are pinned up all over town. Everyone has an opinion about the details and execution of such an important party. Some jump in to help, others to point out how they…

How I Lost My Yoga-Cool (And Got it Back Again)

Years ago, I worked as an executive in New York City. For most of my professional life I comfortably defined myself by that experience. Some years later I moved to Florida, but continued to work as a consultant for a New York firm. Then the housing market crashed, the economy tanked, and my life built…

The Seventh Yoga Sutra

The sources of right knowledge are direct perception, inference, and authoritative testimony. How can we understand things more clearly and make better decisions? Patanjali outlines the three reliable means for gaining information about Life and about The Self. They are: DIRECT PERCEPTION: Or, experience is the best teacher. But beware of the dreaded “mental modifications”,…

The Sixth Yoga Sutra

They are right knowledge, misperception, conceptualization, sleep and memory. These are the five types of thought, and in the subsequent sutras Patanjali will discuss each of these. As I slowly move through these first yoga sutras, I realize I am observing myself – watching, thinking. Almost as if I am watching a movie about “Someone…

The Fifth Yoga Sutra

There are five kinds of mental modifications, which are either painful or painless. “We forget that the pleasure we seek is actually who we are,” notes my reference text in a discussion of this sutra. This is so radically optimistic. And certainly a different perspective from the general notion that we are made of darker…

The Fourth Yoga Sutra

At Other Times, the Self Appears to Assume the Forms of the Mental Modifications Over the past several months I’ve been looking for a job, and finding it incredibly difficult. On one particular morning I woke up in a complete rage. I was angry at all the people who had not offered me a job,…

The Third Yoga Sutra

Then the Seer (the Self) Abides in Its Own Nature This sutra seems to complete the idea put forth in the Second Sutra: when the mind is still, not only are we able to see what is, but we are able to experience ourselves as pure awareness. In a perfectly still, clear mind ignorance vanishes…

The Second Yoga Sutra

The Restraint of the Modifications of the Mind Stuff is Yoga Here’s where the language of the sutras can lose you. “Modifications of the Mind Stuff”? What the heck is that?  And jumping ahead to peek at upcoming sutras, I can see it doesn’t get much better. A reference book comes in handy*, and also…