Saturday, April 23, 2016


Many artists I have admired have died, but never before have I felt the loss that I'm feeling in the wake of the recent death of Prince. I don't think I realized the impact that he and his music had on my life until the sadness hit, and the flood of musical and personal memories began on the day of his death. I don't usually do tribute classes or playlists but his music is all I want to hear right now. Here's the playlist from this morning's class. Rest in Power.

Purple Power
  1. A Case of You                                                         A Tribute to Joni Mitchell
  2. Around The World In A Day                                   Around The World In A Day [Explicit]   
  3. If I Was Your Girlfriend                                          The Hits/The B-Sides (Disc 2)           
  4. Givin Em What They Love (feat. Prince)                [Janelle Monáe] The Electric Lady
  5. Thieves In The Temple                                             The Hits/The B-Sides (Disc 1)           
  6. I Feel For You                                                          Best Of Chaka Khan           
  7. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker                                 Sign O' The Times (Disc 1)           
  8. Xtralovable                                                               HITNRUN Phase Two           
  9. Stand Back                                                                Timespace - The Best Of Stevie Nicks    
  10. Strange Relationship                                                 Sign O' The Times (Disc 2)           
  11. Purple House                                                             Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix
  12. Purple Rain                                                                The Hits/The B-Sides (Disc 2)           
  13. Nothing Compares 2 U                                              The Hits/The B-Sides (Disc 1)           
  14. Sometimes It Snows In April                                      Parade - From Under The Cherry Moon           

Monday, February 01, 2016


Normal. It's a familiar word, and is one that gets used often. It seems, however, to be a word based completely on context and personal experience. Sitting here in wool slippers and a vest, looking out at a cloudless blue sky and a frozen lake is normal to someone living in the northern midwest on the first day of February. Not so for someone living in South Florida. Normal is subjective.

When I started practicing yoga, harmoniums, mantras, and deep devotion were part of the experience from day one. As a result these aspects of the practice seem very normal. I have spent much of my yoga life living in a bubble; being part of a community with folks on a similar path, sharing common practices, and speaking the same (heart)language. In some ways, though we didn't live under the same roof, it was a bit like living an ashram life. Same teachers, same satsang, same practice day in and day out. The thing about normal-bubbles is when you step out of them what was normal might now be the opposite.

For the past three-and-a-half years this normal/opposite dichotomy has been my life, approaching my practices and teaching as I have for many years, having them slowly accepted – a student once told me that she enjoyed my classes but often thought some of what was offered was "a little out there", but still being a little too round for a triangular hole. On the other side of that coin, I return to San Francisco every few months to a space I can navigate blindfolded, teachers who have been guide since the 90s, and students with whom I've been sharing yoga for a decade or more in some cases. It shouldn't surprise me that there are times I return home feeling like I'm a bit rounder and the hole a bit more triangular. I've never, in those moments, decided to try to fit in because ultimately I don't really want to be normal, and I believe in this practice. But I have thought that maybe this practice I love so much might always be a little opposite where I am now, and that I might be the guy who shows up to teach asana with the strange little music box, who asks his students to sing the names of God.

Yesterday that scenario began to crumble. After a weekend discussing and sharing the roots and practices of the bhakti marga or the path of devotion with a wonderful group of teachers, we spent our last hours together playing harmonium and singing praises. At the end, half of the group was ready to buy their own harmonium, and to begin incorporating some of these practices into their life. I couldn't be more surprised or more thrilled. And I'm very excited to see what happens next now that there are a few more folks with love bites from the Lord of Love.

mama mana mandire raha nisi-din
krishna murari sri krishna murari

Please abide in the temple of my heart both day and night,
O Krishna Murari, Sri Krishna Murari!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hari Bol!

Yesterday was sweet beyond words. Spending the day with our twenty-two amazing Courage & Grace Advanced Teacher Trainees, talking all things bhakti, and dissolving together was such a gift. The second stage of the bhakti path is sadhu sangha or association with a holy community. It felt like just that. I'm so grateful for this time, and for this life I've been blessed with. Bowing deeply.

In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu the science of devotional sevice is explained as follows:

In the beginning stage there must be a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will lead one to the platform of desiring to associate with spiritually advanced persons. The next step is to become initiated by an authorized spiritual master and to perform devotional service under his guidance. Through the execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one will become free from all material attachments, achieves steadiness in self realization and finds taste in hearing about Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This taste leads one to further attachment in Krsna consciousness which is called bhava or the preliminary stage of pure love of Godhead. Pure love to the Lord is called prema or the supreme perfectional stage in life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Faith is not a belief. Faith is what is left when your beliefs have all been blown to hell. Faith is in the heart, while beliefs are in the head. Experiences, even spiritual experiences, come and go. As long as you base your faith on experience, your faith is going to be constantly flickering, because your experiences keep changing. The moment you recognize that faith lies behind experience, that it's just being, but the experience of being, then it's just "Ah, so".

~ Ram Dass from Be Love Now

Monday, June 16, 2014

European Satsang

Dance with the circumstances
But keep aware of the dancers
and the of the purpose of the dance.

The relationships you keep have a great effect on you:
you become what you associate yourself with.
So stay only in Holy company,
on travel with those in the same boat.
Nothing is better than Satsang so keep your friends Here.
Associate only with those going in the same direction
and go to Truth at any cost.

A friend is one who does not disturb your mind.
Maintain no friendship with ones who disturb your mind,
no matter how close they are,
be it a person, a place, or idea.
Do not accept the invitations of foolish persons
because when you live in their society
Truth will not kiss you. ~Sri H.W.L. Poonja

I'm packing today. Off to Germany and Spain for the next few weeks. It's the European Teaching Tour, Summer 2014 edition. I'm looking forward to seeing those I know and those I haven't yet met but are meant to.

Things get started on Thursday in Berlin where I'll be teaching the daily yoga classes, and making music for the 11-day Thai Massage Course for Beginners taking place at the Osho Mauz Zentrum. I also get to be the student during this time. I'll be exploring new ways to assist and heal, and I'll come home with a few new skills to share with my community here.

From there, to the Couch in Köln, the Conference in Barcelona and my shanti in Nürnberg. All the specifics are on I'm sure I'll have reflections along the way.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rest in Peace great sage

This is one of my favorites from Maya Angelou. She left us many, many more. Rest is peace.

A Brave and Startling Truth

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

whoopsie daisy

Usually I limp into my Friday, grateful that my long week is over, and I generally don't practice on Fridays. Maybe that's where I went wrong.


The howling winds woke me up earlier than planned so I showered and decided to spend some time on my mat. Nice and simple. Some pranayama, squatting, vajrasana, virasana, padmasana, and meditation. The perfect little TGIF practice. Feeling great, I got dressed and headed downstairs to feed the pets and walk the dog. Halfway down I lost my footing, and was suddenly sliding down, trying catch myself with a growing pain running up my left side. When I came to a stop at the foot of stairs all I could do is groan and try to collect myself while assessing my situation. Once I was on my feet, I realized that nothing was broken - obviously - and that at most would only be a bit sore and perhaps a little black-and-blue.

The lesson? Well there's more than one. First: wool socks on a wooden staircase means ALWAYS use the handrail. Always. But the main take-away is that a healthy body is my friend in moments like these. Moving my body dynamically, strengthening my muscles efficiently, and cultivating better circulation regularly, on the one hand means that I occasionally have some muscle soreness. But because I balance out everything I with regular breaks and days off, the bounce-back doesn't take long. A balanced yoga practice really does prepare you for anything and everything that life can throw at you. Sitting here on my couch alternating between cold and heat I can feel where my leg is going to be little tender for a day or so but I'm okay with that. I didn't end up in the ER. I'm reminded to trust my instincts and to trust my routines. Today was supposed to be a day of rest after a couple days of intense practice, exploring some deep shapes. In the end, it has been. I get it. Tell the Universe I'm listening.

Monday, December 02, 2013

the search

There was a child made of all salt who very much wanted to know where he had come from. So he set out on a long journey and traveled to many lands in pursuit of this understanding. Finally he came to the shore of the great ocean. How marvelous, he cried, and stuck on foot in the water. The ocean beckoned him in further saying, "If you wish to know who you are, do not be afraid." The salt child walked further and further into the water dissolving with each step, and at the end exclaimed, "Ah, now I know who I am."


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

i thank You God for most this amazing
day; for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes. 
~ e.e. cummings