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growing into a new website..

October 14, 2014
photo 1
Don’t you dare
Shrink yourself 
For someone else’s comfort -
Do not become small
For people who refuse to grow.
I’m moving towards a new website with trepidation. It’s a weird process to define who you are, what you offer to the world and then actually create something that expresses it. Anyway, here it is It’s still a work in progress, just like me. But I cannot shrink myself for my own comfort anymore. All content will be posted and transferred to my new site from now on. Upwards we must grow! xo

a good spot.

September 30, 2014

when I feel ____________________,   I visualize I am here:


Firekeeping – transforming the old

September 24, 2014
fireFirekeeping Practice – Transforming the Old
(from Shiva Rea’s book ‘Tending the Heart Fire’ … a powerful and clearing practice in which to enter the reflective winter months..)
As we enter into the last six weeks of the year, that which is dying and longing to be released calls for us to let go and allow it to be transformed, like dry stalks into the fire of winter’s rebirth. Create a fire in your fireplace, outdoors or in a ‘cauldron’ or iron pot that can withstand the flames – or even use a candle – to make an offering on Samhain (on Oct 31 as observed by the Celtic peoples) or during the waning nights before the new moon or in the last days of Navaratri (Hindu celebration of the mother).
In this way you can experience the liberation that death can bring as the closed fist lets go of what it has been holding on to: an old habit, thought, relationship, or process that is calling to be transformed. Write it down on a piece of paper, or symbolically infuse your offering into herbs from the land, such as sage or dried rosemary. Watch the offering burn all the way to ash. 

A prayer to light the way home…

September 14, 2014
Adorable Goddess,
These practices are a nectar I share with you.
Drink from this cup whenever you are thirsty
Or crave to be refreshed in the essence of life.
Know that this ambrosia is available to you
Everywhere, for the universe is made out of it.
Simply go to the intersection of flesh and spirit,
Breathe the tiny sparks that fly.
Within this very body
Are many gateways to the infinite,
Where incarnation and immortality
Consummate their passion for each other.
Even when the senses are turned outward,
Your attention on the external world,
Attend also to the inner throb,
The pulsing of the creative impulse within you.
Friends, relatives, neighbours, people who abide 
In your village, city, country …
Be not concerned with their attitudes 
Toward these teachings.
Everyone is discovering the intimate universe 
In their own way.
Openings to this nectar are there 
In every breath, every desire, every transition
From waking to sleeping and sleeping to waking.
Once you have set out on the path of intimacy with 
The immortal essence of life,
Never turn your back on it, my shining one.
Never turn away.
Though every moment be surprising,
Revelatory, unrecognizable and full of wonder,
Continue to cherish each breath.
Live in gratitude for the supreme nectar we imbibe
In each turning, outbreath to inbreath into outbreath.
(the end of Lorin Roche’s Radiance Sutras)

take a moment. resources to stay clear…

September 5, 2014



Some tools/events for balancing and grounding,  besides pianos and the forest-
1 – How to Meditate by Pema Chodron: An audio book of lectures from an intensive with Pema.
2 – MOMENT pop-up space, Chinatown: pop in Sept 9-14 and stop. The lulu blog has an informative article on it!
3 – step out of city life for a recharge. Yoga, meditation, forest hikes, delicious food, introspection with me on Galiano Island Oct 3-5.
4 – stay clear with clean food. Visit the Juice Truck in Vancouver, these guys are all about health,meditation and community!!

come out of the unconscious closet..

September 3, 2014

Oh longing mind,

Dwell within the depth

Of your own pure nature.

Do not seek your home elsewhere…

Your naked awareness alone,

O mind,

Is the inexhaustible abundance

For which you long so desperately.

(Sri Ramakrishna)


“Throughout September … many circumstances.. encourage us to own up to aspects of our shadow-self which may have been causing concern and allow them to show us where and how they need to be accommodated to align with the flow of life.
The problem with the shadow is that we allow it to isolate and shame us into silence. That’s why we repress it, denying the thoughts and feelings which cause so much consternation. Anger, despair, hatred, jealousy, fear, feelings of rejection, of unworthiness, any or all of these can be cast into the unconscious in order to keep our every day consciousness free of troublesome emotions. The process seems tidy and efficient, but in practice it doesn’t work so well.
“The amount of energy used trying to keep everything hidden, albeit unconsciously, is energy taken away for our own well-being. It’s like leaving an electrical appliance plugged in, using up power when we don’t need to. It’s costly and unnecessary. Energy is precious. 
“What’s funny about the unconscious is that we all have one and mostly its contents are the same as everyone else’s. The details may vary a bit, but basically it’s the usual morass of anger, lust, envy, fear etc… We’re simply hiding what we all share, but somehow, somewhere along the line we’ve adopted the belief that we are alone with these feelings and we must ensure no one finds out otherwise there’ll be all kinds of trouble!! This is how we collectively prevent others from owning up and why no one points out what’s really going on in the human psyche.
“September is a great month for normalising what we all share; for accepting, without fuss or fanfare, that we all have these strange and sometimes troublesome tendencies and it’s all part of being human, rather than a dreadful aberration with which only we have been burdened.
“Anger, jealousy, depression, hatred, despair, violent impulses, lust, whatever it is we’re not owning up to –  rest assured there are thousands out there not owning up to the same things!! It’s what makes us human! We don’t need to make a huge drama out of it, wailing and beating our chests. By simply accepting that this internal mess comes with the human territory can we instantly clear away a whole load of pain and stress! 
September can be a ‘coming out of the unconscious closet’ month and if we make it work we’ll all feel significantly more relaxed by the end of it!”


Be Real. Buddhism for every body… musings from Wanderlust…

August 26, 2014
buddha plantBuddhism offers so much freedom because there is no one path to follow.
You question what you have learned and you strip away what you dare to.
Buddhism is scary as hell because there is no one path to follow.
You question what you have learned and you strip away what you dare to.
Sigh, here we go again.
Upon returning from a week of yoga with amazing yogis at Wanderlust in Whistler, I thought long and hard about the bright and joyful chaos of it all and realized there was a lacking representation of Buddhist philosophy…. what I would have given for a teacher preaching “there is no perfect way to enlightenment! forget all that you think you know! practice however you want to!”
The end of Wanderlust also marked my participation in a new series on how to touch enlightenment simply with our bodies –an insightful workshop explaining how basic embodied aspects of Buddhism have been lost over the millennia. This course had come at the perfect time when I left Wanderlust saturated with many offerings and inspiration yet without a clear direction on what the next steps in my spiritual journey should be. This uncertainty and unknowing is always a ripe place to further contemplate finding peace in the present moment, rather than grasping into the abyss of the future. The place to find peace is not in overthinking, but within my unique body.
Buddhism is so radical and yet so rational. I am continually confused and frustrated by the  heady philosophy. With the mind blowing foundation of ‘all beings suffer’  and ‘concepts created by humans are not reality’, it then emphasizes cultivating compassion for other beings. No wonder some find it a depressing and challenging theology to embody.
On the other hand – Buddhism is just being real. Yes, there is suffering and sadness around and within us. Yes, we must take a hard look into our worlds, re-evaluate our beliefs and perhaps throw them out the window. And what we might find is perhaps too real: THE PATH IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE. Your practice is whatever you want it to be. You call the shots on how you will release your attachments to your past to get present in your body. Your unique self dictates whether you will pray, study or exercise and it’s perfect so long as it takes you closer to kindness, to the moment you are in and to a place of non-attachment. 
My unique practice spirals in the following cycle:
I will slip into habitual thoughts of “I’m not good enough, I’m not thin enough, I’m not strong enough, I’m not successful enough” and take a trip down the rabbit hole into gloom and doom. I question and judge all that I think I am.
At a certain point, I decide to lie down on my back to breathe, or I use some means to connect to my body, this vessel of wisdom and strength that I have had a lifelong love affair with, and it all shifts. I transform. I become something closer to peace. I remember that I only have control over my body and my current thoughts. I become freedom and relief. I might call this Buddhism, or Yoga, or Church. 
The beauty of getting lost within myself and exploring how to relax and let go will feel poetic and surreal. I will feel totally healed from the darkness and will have gained wonderful insights on how to get out of it more quickly next time. 
And then back into the hole I go.
As a student who now guides others through all these storms, I can see the angst of practitioners trying to carve out a unique path while teetering on the verge of a big understanding—they are feeling things in their bodies as never before, they are writing new stories in their tissue and in their hearts…. And it comes out of them as it does. Sometimes unaware, sometimes hyper sensitive, sometimes all-knowing.
The varying reactions and emotions to being in this internal battle between habit and presence are wonderfully real and important to going further within. We unfortunately compartmentalize those around us or label and over explain everything. But if we sit back and thankfully observe that no one can dictate how the individual path ought to look, that we can simply be in process and in honest transition, then to me, that moment is enlightenment. We make our process and the goal of enlightenment such a big deal. But it’s just life. It’s a gift to be alive for this short while and lately part of my rabbit hole is how devastating I feel to be wasting years in the same thoughts and insecurities. I want to be here for this small time and not in my tiny head.  When I take the time to shift out of my dark and repetitive thoughts and re-connect to my physical body – I also feel more connected to others around me and the truth that we are all on this journey supported and together, whatever form our practices/rituals take.
As I reflected upon the sheer excitement of each teacher at Wanderlust offering their own perspective towards personal transformation and an embodied presence on this earth, I saw in a new light that the whole festival was a truly inclusive Buddhist bash. With so many paths and so many offerings to soak up – I instinctively retreated from it all and went deep within to find out what was best for me. I let myself feel awed and overwhelmed by all the inspiring teachers. I reevaluated my insecurities and doubts about my personal journey and my offerings as a teacher. It all led me within. To the unknown. To another sigh of realizing – yes this is just life. This is another moment to be brave. To step out and question. Some days I jogged. Some days I sat beside my companion the river with my breath. Some days I did yoga with a goofy wide grin.
Many paths lead me inside.
I am here for yours. And I vow to remain here for whatever is mine.

Buddhism also asserts that the spiritual journey is unique to each individual. Therefore, of course, it cannot be held, circumscribed, limited, or even ultimately judged by any institution, tradition, or external authority. The unique journey that lies before us does not exist in any text, external person, or religion. In fact, it does not yet exist at all, but only lies ahead of us, to be discovered literally as we go. Thus it is that the spiritual journey cannot in any way be preconceived or pre- determined; it is not humanly constructed or fabricated. The journey to ourselves is truly a journey into the unknown, a setting forth onto a sea that has never before been sailed and never before been fathomed or mapped.

(Reggie Ray)



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