Happy Easter

“He [Jesus] is calling everyone to resurrect with him and letting the old one, who is inside of you, die and letting the new one resurrect with Him. This is the Resurrection of Christ. Oh, yes, let’s praise Him. He resurrected 2,000 years ago, and even if he had not resurrected, He would still be Christ Himself. But to show the resurrection is possible, to show that God-Realization is possible or your own Realization, He has shown it. He has shown the Way. That is why He said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Light.'”

Sri Swami Vishwananda
“Death is a change of form…Nothing can be dead totally.  Because everything is fully alive, because created by a living god.  How can a living god create a dead matter?  God created everything in god’s image.  What is god’s image?  Life.”

Swami Satchidananda, one of the great teachers of the Sutras, on death:

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Beautiful Blogger Award

Many days ago I received the Beautiful Blogger Award from Cassandra of her name was cassandra.  I love everything about Cassandra’s blog.  She is open and funny and writes about yoga, writing and life in a relatable way.  I love this post, about being Unapologetically Narcissistic, which prompted me to write this post.  Her writing is also worth a gander.  I especially love Empty Room.  Go read.  Be inspired.  Then come back and read 7 random things about me.

I am supposed to pick 15 bloggers to pass this on to, however I am following in her steps and nominating 3.

1.  The most beautiful blogger I know is Alyson of  Six Imposserous Things. Her photos (check out these ones of Holi) are captivating and her insights always smack me over the head in the best way (see if this doesn’t throw you for a loop!).

2.  Theresa of Taozi Tree Yoga has the best insights into living a full yogic life.  This post on Bramacharya was particularly well-thought out.

3. Birdwrites was the first blog I followed.  I love the vulnerability and openness that comes through her writing.  I also love all the little projects she posts.  This post about a spider she named Patrick was just so adorable I had to share.

7 random things about Jennifer:

1. I was a synchronized swimmer throughout my youth.  I swam in competitions around the tri-state area.

2. I hate the wallpaper in my bathroom, but there is a swirl in the pattern that reminds me of an angel that somehow began to remind me of my grandmother and I will be sad when we finally get around to taking it down.

3. I love taking trains and buses.

4. I got robbed in Namibia while in a car.  This led to an adventure trying to find the proper police to report to, which though it led no where was kind of interesting.

5. My favorite food is salad, because it can be anything you want it to be.

6. I am terrible at games because I cannot pay attention to the order of turns or the rules and then I usually get bored.  Drinking games are even worse.  Though I always have fun.

7. I’ve never seen The Notebook.  Apparently this is some sort of crime.

Are we missing the point?

If government was a magician, marriage equality would be the distraction we are meant to look at while the real work happens right in front of our eyes.   It is embarrassing that a nation which prides itself on “Justice for All” would have any question about what is right here.  Yet, no matter how ridiculous it may seem that we are talking about this year after year, it is important to stand with our brothers, sisters, friends and strangers in order that they be granted the same rights as all of us.  

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I have not heard a logical explanation as to why we should not allow legal gay marriage in the United States.  Most of them are framed in religious traditions that should not be used as the basis of any laws according to the Constitution.  Religious morals and beliefs are wonderful and personal, but the Constitution upholds many  laws that might offend certain parties.  There are religious sects that do not believe in the right to bear arms and groups that still believe all races should not have the same rights.

In truth though, I believe we are all missing the point.  On a political, religious and personal level it does not matter what “makes” people gay.  It does not matter if it is a sin.  It does not matter whether you agree with the lifestyle, chosen or otherwise.  It does not matter.

The point that matters, whether Christian, Yogi, Muslim or Atheist, is that as human beings we are charged to “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”  

This, The Golden Rule has been around since writing began.  It does not belong to any particular religion, but rather seems to be a thread through all religious traditions (check it out!! Wiki).  It is the only true north that can guide us when making any decision.

“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?’
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
—Mark 12:28-31
If we are to take Jesus literally here, he is telling us that love and equality between all are the two greatest commandments.  All others must come after. All else is distraction.  This is why I say we are missing the point.  We are being distracted from our true purpose by these flashy tricks.  It’s not so easy to love one another.  It’s easier to pick one another apart.  It’s easier to condemn than it is to have compassion.
It is easier to condemn that which we don’t like or agree with.  It is easier to hate than to love, especially when faced with something we can’t understand.  Searching for understanding, is the first step to acceptance.  We often fall short.  We stop at the law or teaching and forget that we must wrap each in a love blanket.  Love is the bacon of the world, it makes everything taste better.

God did not create us all the same, yet we are created equal.  If life is to be a lesson, differences are our greatest teacher.  The greatest lesson we can learn is to accept differences with love and compassion.  God did not create normal.  At the deepest level we really are all the same.  If our life is to be judged at our death, it will first be judged according to how we treated our neighbor.  All the rest will come after.  What happens when you don’t pass the first question?

The Golden Girls had it right the whole time:

You cannot fix the world

This quote comes from the article “Social Justice Burning you out? Stop Trying to Change the World.”

“Our aim is not to put an end to all darkness but our aim is to be a light in the darkness.

It’s the difference between being in a pitch black cave and trying to transform the entire cave into a beacon of light versus being in a pitch black cave and steadily and faithfully holding our one lit candle.  One of these is overwhelming and impossible.  The other will change the world.

Have you realized you don’t have to change the whole world to change the world?  If you help someone, you’ve changed their world, and that is definitely changing the world.

Although we cannot fix the world, we can certainly change it.”

We have the power to change the world.  We have the power to impact our world, which in turn impacts the world of others.  Each day we have the choice to change our world for the better or worse.  Each choice is a stone thrown in water, sending ripples from your world out into the world at large.  Make conscious choices.  You can change the world.

This tip totally changed my life!

If you have a problem with smelly yoga clothes, even after washing this tip will help you.

Yoga clothes wreak.  Even after being washed.  Even if you spray them down with perfume and fabreze and maybe rub a little deodorant on for good measure.  So what do you do?

Soak them in vinegar!

I read this tip on a blog awhile ago (couldn’t find the link…).  It works like a charm.

I like to throw the offensive clothing into the washer and run it on a rinse/spin only cycle.  I let the clothes sit for 15 minutes after running them in the water and then wash them as I would normally.

It would work just as well to soak them in a bath and then run them in the washer, however running the vinegar through the washer serves to clean the washer as well so it is a two for one!

I do this with all my yoga clothes about once a week, or every other week depending on how many times I do yoga.

Hope this helps!!

Adding to the Noise

A great new tool for yoga playlists and for any lover of music and free stuff!  Plus a bonus playlist!

So if, like me, you need more music in your life and, like me, cannot afford your habit… Rejoice!  There is this awesome site called NoiseTrade that allows you to download whole albums for free.  There are all types of artists and the quality is good.  All you have to do is type in your email and postal code and you will be emailed a link.  Click the link to download the zip file.  Unzip and enjoy in iTunes or where ever you play your music!!

So head over to NoiseTrade and get your music fix!

Here are a few of the songs that I love from albums I’ve downloaded: