the image on top is "Welcome Home Sweet Sugar" by Kelsey Brooks

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Having a mentor is the most magical thing in the world.

I have one.

I feel like I won the lottery.

He just teaches me stuff. All sorts of stuff, all the time time. In a continuous stream of unconditional love. He just transmutes throves of information, freely, for no good reason apart from apparently I'm a pretty nice person ;).

I met Arthur at an OccupyLA rally. He had the approachable air of someone actually here at the time. To a stunning degree- he was giving someone a private lesson, and I think I asked him to how to go about teaching at Occupy. .

He advised me, of course.

His practice is over a decade old, and many of his experiences chronicled in Y Yoga, a movie he directed. Arthur says that it's not that he made the movie- the movie made him. The experiences he had, and the people he met along his filmmaking journey inspired him to become the person he is today.

And it's a pretty impressive person. It's a human without hesitation- just transmitting truth at intergalactic rates, speaking up for those around him, and standing up for what's right. As far as I can see- without intermission.

Arthur says the most powerful thing you can do for a human being is to see them clearly, for their pure truth and intentions.

After our first meditation, he hugged me and said, "Stop. Just, feel how much love I have for you".

I burst into tears.

He's been mentoring me two months now, in increasing frequency. I set out to write about it several times, but its hasn't quite come through. See, what's happening is that I'm getting so much information from Arthur, that after being unable to contain the wealth of experience that spending a few hours with him allows, I've begun to require recordings. I'm learning so much from each session, and I committed them to memory fully.

But I'm spending a week in Massachusetts with fellow yogi Pat Banker, and hopefully that will lead some time to reflection.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Welcoming a Guest! -Allison Brooks-

Allison is a writer and advocate for spiritual bell-being. Today, she's sharing her thoughts on the link between meditation and health. Thanks, Allison!

How the use of meditation can reduce medical bills

Over the years, there have been many studies regarding the use of complementary and alternative
medicines paired with allopathic treatments. In a recent study, there was a rise in the use of mind-
body therapies (MBT) being suggested by medical-care providers, and now there is more evidence that
meditation practices can ease up the costs of medical care.

In a long five year study, Canadian researchers explored the effects of Transcendental Meditation on
health of people. Since a small fraction of a population normally accounts for most of the medical
spending, researchers wanted to see if there was a way to reduce the problem. In the Medicare
community, alone, only 5 percent incurred 43 percent of the spending, and the bills just keep piling up.
The reason for the continuous health issues was due to stress.

Chronic stress of patients is the main reason why medical expenses are so high. The constant worry
can lead to severe side-effects resulting in recurring hospital visits. To help ease the stress, researchers
suggested the use of Transcendental Meditation (TM). They studied and compared the cost changes in
284 “high-cost” participants; 142 practicing TM and 142 non-practitioners. The results were surprising
and affirmed their thesis.

During the five year period, the TM group’s annual rate of change in payments declined significantly.
After the first year, the medical costs of the TM group’s dropped 11 percent and their cumulative
reduction was 28 percent. These are good, solid numbers, especially compared to the non-TM
participants, which saw no change in their medical expenses.

These studies prove as another “win” for mind-body therapies. Not only do they serve as a catalyst for
healing but they also help ease the payments, which is good for times like these. Many doctors now
prescribe the use of MBT for serious treatment plans like ones for a chronic condition or an aggressive
cancer, like non-hodgkin’s lymphoma or mesothelioma. At first it was just to ease the stress, pain, and
other side-effects of conventional therapies, but now they can reduce prolonged medical costs.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Viewpoint of Presence.

This essay is intended to entice the reluctant reader with the beneficial aspects of seeing in the moment.

Many times, I lives in a purpose driven world. I wake up and I see the brush as a device to detangle my hair. I may notice characteristics about the brush, such as that it is black, or full of lint. These things are “facts”, attributes to and associations with the brush. Maybe I take a note of the brush's position in relation to other things, or the stark contrast of the brush on the table. This the “image”, or mental picture of the brush.

Other times, I live in a presence-driven world. This is when I wake up and I see the brush as a specific and unique configuration of energy at that moment. Those are the rare moments that I see that brush as if discovering it for the first time, I recognize that it is here, inhabiting the same world as me. Truthfully, this sort of connection happens almost never with a brush, seldom with a rose, yet with notable frequency with human beings and other animals. As complexity increases, the recognition of intelligent awareness is striking to the point of envelopment.

Besides, the being seems to say in a tantalizing tone, here we are.

At first glance sitting with oneself appears be a worship of the ego. Yet the practice is intended to make one more aware of beings surrounding oneself, more aware of the needs and feelings of others. More aware of connection and similarity, of value and marvel.

When I move through my practice, it is with the intent of journeying to this way of experiencing the world.

The benefits of living in presence include, but are not limited to, a sense of unprecedented wonder and awe.

This is not intended to suggest that this way of seeing is the only, or the best, interesting and majestic ways of viewing. There is, for example, the lens of history, which gives a background story to the existence of things in one's environment. Or resourcefulness or opportunism, which sees everything as a potential source of benefit. Even the lens of nostalgia, used sparingly. I do believe that the lens of presence is a foundational component of a well-balanced and awe-ful life ; )