Yoga Awareness
Awareness: being grateful for the everyday miracles and blessings in your everyday lives!




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This really is the little tree that gifted me with shade.

“Surely the Lord is in this place,

and I was not aware of it.”

Genesis 28:16

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Since I have begun yoga, yoga has challenged me to become a better Christian and has inspired me to eat better and exercise.  I am a Grandfather and soon to be a Great-Grandfather in October 2014.  I have even started to run again at 61; almost 62 years old!  The other day, a hot July summer day in Texas I set out to do 1-2 mile jog.  Not a cloud in the sky. It was hot but I was motivated.

I ran my 1-2 miles not in record time but I did complete the run.  So far nothing extraordinary. 

When I finished my run I took comfort in the shade of a small tree.  I was really sweating.  I could feel my sweat dripping down.  I watched as drops  fell and splattered to the ground.   I was grateful for the small patch of shade protecting me from the beating sun.  Then a nice cool breeze swept past me; again I gave thanks.  This is where yoga has made the difference.  I really was in the moment.

I really appreciated the cool breezes.  A cool breeze in the middle of July is something to celebrate.  I rested under the tree giving thanks to God for my blessings.  At 61 I have few medical problems and I can still run; that is something to be thankful for.  I was grateful for the little tree that gifted me with shade, the cool breezes, and even the hot sun for making a beautiful day. 

I believe that one of the secrets for Happiness is simply being grateful; being grateful for what you have.  When you are in a state of “Gratefulness” the wanting of things is less.  You long and want for less.  You find that you are more satisfied with what you have.  You are grateful for that moment in time. Grateful for all of your blessings. 

Yoga has helped me to recognize and to be more aware of the present moment and to be grateful for that time.  Thanks be to God.


By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.     - Thomas Merton


This is the Day the Lord has made;  

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24


Really hearing the bird sing

Or really seeing the blue sky,

We touch the seed of the Holy Spirit within us.

Thich Nhat Hahn



Thich Nhat Hahn Quotes. Inspirational meditation nature video with the Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hahn. - Bible Basics... Layers of Understanding.



Sunday, July 27, 2014 

My “Awareness” story...  it was on the tip of my tongue and I had an opportunity to share it in Pastor Jack’s Sunday School class at Arapaho United Methodist Church.  Later at the Worship Service Kay Ash shared a wonderful story about God’s love for us surrounding us everywhere at the Kid’s Church Lesson.  And from her lesson it really hit me; God was in the Shade, God was in the Cool Breeze. 

I have had time to reflect on my little tree and cool breeze.  It amazes me to think of how easy it would have been to have skipped past this moment.  If I had been in a hurry I could have missed the whole thing.  Granted shade from a tree and a cool breeze is a common occurrence.   It doesn’t compare to a parting of the Red Sea, but for me it was a “Burning Bush Moment.”  God was in this place and it has taken me time to reflect back to recognize this “Sacred Moment.”

“Surely the Lord is in this place,

and I was not aware of it.”

Genesis 28:16


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How often do we walk past these “Sacred Ground Moments?”

One of the lessons I have taken from Awareness story is that when you are in a State of Gratitude you are in a State of God’s Grace.  And when you are in this State of Gratitude you are in a State of Happiness; you have no wants, you have everything you need.  And you just might find that what you need is very little--- just shade from a tree and a cool breeze; a Gift of God’s Love and Grace.

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What is the Secret of Happiness?

Gratitude!


    In everything give thanks.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

       

Be joyful always,
pray continuously,
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 adapted


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Awareness

No man ever steps in the same river twice,
for it's not the same river
and he's not the same man.


You could not step twice into the same rivers;
for other waters are ever flowing on to you.


If you do not expect the unexpected
you will not find it,
for it is not to be reached by search or trail.

Heraclitus



Yoga: What is Awareness?

In Yoga we also exercise the mind through “Awareness” and Breathing.  For some this may sound a little foreign and exotic.  What does it mean?

 Often our body and mind are NOT connected; they are in two different places at the same time!  How often have you talked to someone but your mind was somewhere else? You were talking to your spouse or child and you were thinking about work, the next thing on your to-do list?  How often have you been talking to someone and you are texting or talking on the phone at the same time?

 One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen was at a restaurant.  A mother and her son were sitting across from each other in a booth.  The mom was on her cell phone and she was completely oblivious to her son sitting sullen and alone.  I can’t stress how “ALONE” this child was!  His mom was just right across the table but at the same time she was miles away.  The child was neglected, totally insignificant, and abandoned.  How could a child have any self-value, self-worth, or self-esteem?  Now the mother is NOT a monster! We have all been guilty of doing the same thing!  What this mom lacked was “AWARENESS” she was NOT aware of what was right in front of her.  Now yes, sometimes life and business do get in the way. There are many interruptions in life.  Yoga is about paying attention to the here and now.  Life can only be enjoyed in the present.  Too often our mind dwells on the past or stresses about the future.  The Kingdom of God is experienced in the Here & Now!

 

Really hearing the bird sing
Or really seeing the blue sky, 
We touch the seed of the Holy Spirit within us. 
― Thich Nhat Hanh

  

We do not have to die
To arrive at the gates of Heaven. 
In fact, we have to be truly alive. 
The practice is to touch life deeply
So that the Kingdom of God becomes a reality. 
This is not a matter of devotion. 
It is a matter of practice. 
The Kingdom of God is available
HERE and NOW! 

― Thich Nhat Hanh

 

The Kingdom of God is experienced in the Here & Now!

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Snow Geese

By Mary Oliver

"Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!"

   This wonderful poem, "Snow Geese" by Mary Oliver  is a good example of "Awareness."



Impermanence a poem inspired by Mary Oliver's
"Oh to love what is lovely and will not last."




Beautiful video! On The Future of Aviation was written and performed by Jerry Goodman from the LP "On The Future of Aviation".
These are not snow geese

http://youtube/yjzxtv7zIhU


We should live with few possessions
and dwell with our backs turned
to the things that cause grasping.
We should be as wanderers in foreign lands,
taking food as it is found,
like birds in migration.
―Atisha

The Great Middle Way




 Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!

What a task
to ask
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look 
shot upward; it was
a flock of snow geese, winging it
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the 
color of snow, catching the sun
so they were, in part at least, golden.                                      I held my 
breath
as we do
sometimes
to 
stop time

when something wonderful
has touched us
as with a 
match,
which is 
lit, and bright,
but does not hurt
in the common way,
but delightfully,
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt.
The geese
flew on,
I have never seen them again.
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won't.
It doesn't matter.
What matters
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.

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"What matters is that, when I saw them, I saw them...

this is "Awareness!"


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Eclipse
Eclipse on October 8, 2014

I witnessed an eclipse the other night
It was an amazing sight.
The moon seemed to struggle to keep shining bright…
But the earth’s shadow slowly devoured the moon’s soft light.
Finally the moon disappeared from sight.
But like the Phoenix born from the ashes…
The moon is Reborn…
For nothing can hide the Light.

eoa 10/16/14

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

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You can’t always start over… But you can always begin again!


NEXT: Thich Nhat Hahn


NEXT: Animal Crackers

Awareness: recognizing the small little wonders in our lives.