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Prayers for Peace and Blessings for the Year 2006

Metta - Lovingkindness - and Karma Yoga

Often in class I lead us through a "Metta" or "Lovingkindness" meditation from the Buddhist tradition. This four-part blessing, for ourselves, for a Beloved, a Neutral party, and a Difficult party, may also expand to a fifth part to include Earth or Mankind. A typical Metta blessing to the levels: "May you be filled with lovingkindness; may you be well; may you be peaceful and at ease; may you be happy." Prayer warriors I know "pray the 6 o'clock news"; we too can "send Metta" when watching or reading the news, transforming our reflex action of dismay or empathy into active messages of compassion and blessing toward those affected.

One way this year many people chose to take their "metta" into "karma"yoga, literally, "action" or "cause and effect" yoga, is to choose a gift in the name of someone they love for a total stranger around the world. I love Heifer International for the way they make this concrete. I gave various family & friends this year gifts of livestock and farming education in their honor: chicks, rabbits, share of sheep, pig. Picture cards explaining how the communities benefit from the husbandry training and the offspring can be emailed and/or mailed. This is a gift to yourself, a beloved, a stranger, and certainly the world. I'm not sure how it gives to a "difficult" party unless it is in how "difficult" it is for us to overcome our own protectiveness and insularity in acknowledging that we belong to one world, and in being willing to "care" for all the harm any one of us does, by adding to the good we can all do collectively.

Other favorite giving organizations of mine close to home: America's Second Harvest, delivering food that would go unused from restaurants and food industries to hungry Americans; God's Love We Deliver, delivering meals to New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS; The Hunger Site, where a single click from your computer daily sends donations from the site's corporate sponsors towards the fight on world hunger.

Heifer International


Mantra for Abundance: Personal, Spiritual, Material...

Happy New Year All! "Om Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha" means, in Sanskrit, "Salutations to shining Lakshmi, the Goddess of Abundance; may she bless us with all great abundance". "Maha" which means great allows the blessing to include all that we personally most value and revere, beyond mere material abundance. So, blessings for health, friendship, love, peace, and spiritual growth may all be invoked by this powerful mantra. Sanskrit, like Hebrew, is a language created not for conversational use but for devotional and spiritual purposes. The vibrations of the Sanskrit words can transform patterns of energy within and around us, so the yogis believe. "Healing Mantras" by Thomas Ashley-Farrand is a terrific read and deeply informative, with mantras for purposes from the profound to practical.

Thomas Ashley-Farrand, Sanskrit Mantras Books etc.


Tropical Retreats in the Caribbean with Mary: Summer 06, Feb 07

Nothing is more beautiful than yoga practiced under the sky and on Earth's natural surfaces; I'm always teaching us that we can imagine ourselves practicing in our perfect spot in nature, transforming our mat and our space. Taking the yoga out to nature is a rare treat as well, and I'm planning a weeklong retreat for Feb of 2007 as well as one in summer of 2006 providing I have 10+ students game to go. Four places I'm looking at right now: (1) the lush, unspoiled, English-speaking Caribbean nature island of Dominica, between Guadalupe and Martinique; (2) Its better-known much loved island neighbor, St. Lucia. The retreat host, Tropical Escapes, works with local vendors and guides to ensure a relaxing, exciting experience that meets our unique needs and leaves a gentle footprint on the island, mindful and beautiful and respectful. (3) Another possibility is the Yucatan, Mexico, at Maya Tulum resort which has hosted yoga retreats for years and has spa amenities, huts on the beach, sun, sand, snorkeling, and local tours as well. (4) Pura Vida Costa Rica, like Maya Tulum, has long experience with yoga groups, but is more rural and wild. I have included links on the sidebar for all 4 places. Email or call me with any interest. I am still researching facilities and availability and open to any input at this stage! Keep posted.

Caribbean/Mexican Yoga Retreat with Mary - Your Way 1 of 4 Sites


Current Class Schedules and Requests for More Levels/Classes

Precious are my few group classes and my treasured private clients, and precious is the time I allot for them because I value my parental presence in my son's life highly as part of my own "sadhana" or personal practice. For now, I teach at New York Health & Racquet Club (23 St./6th Ave) Vinyasa Flow on Mondays 1:15-2:30. At Yoga Works East Side (1319 Third Ave., 75/76 St.) I teach 2 Level 1's: on Thursdays 12-1 and Fridays 10:45-11:45. I'd consider adding Restorative and/or Level 2's if a daytime slot fit my hours and the employer offered me tempting incentives. That may never happen; however, positive feedback from students plays a large part in hiring and employment practices, so ALWAYS make your voice known, about any teachers/classes/conditions you like, wherever you may go for health and balance. At NYHRC, it is Mary Ann Donner whom you'd call or email (MDonner@nyhrc.com); at Yoga Works it is a team of folks right now, due to current staff transitions: "Libby.Tonorezos" , "Rachel.Scott" , "Jenny.Aurthur" , "Sky Meltzer" . At Yoga Works in March I'd like to teach a weekend afternoon workshop on balancing the 7 chakras through mantra, yantra, pranayama, asana and meditation. If you'd be interested in that, email JeanK@Yogaworks.com, as workshops proposed by teachers must be approved, and approval is much affected by student demand.

Yoga Works New York


Helpful Feedback and Promise Not to Share Your Address

I value your privacy and promise not to share your email address or send you anything other than teacher-student communications that I think/hope may interest you. I also value your feedback in my e-newsletter formation, just as I do in classes. So, be patient as I play with the new venue and formats; be frank and share with me your thoughts -- I welcome them greatly! Please feel free to "unsubscribe" below if you'd no longer like to receive news and updates from me. Please feel free to forward to any students you think would like to receive it, as well. Much shanti, much peace, to you, dear students; much blessing. Shanti, shanti, maha shanti.

Heifer International

America's Second Harvest
God's Love We Deliver
The Hunger Site+5 related free click sites

Thomas Ashley-Farrand on Mantras

Tropical Escapes - Dominica
Tropical Escapes - St. Lucia
Maya Tulum - Yucatan, Mexico
Pura Vida - Costa Rica

Yoga Works New York
New York Health & Racquet Club

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