Create Your Own Deck of Cards

“Whatever follows I AM will find you.” This sentiment can be expressed in so many ways. “Like attracts like,” “Energy follows thought.” However we choose to express it, the belief that our thoughts influence how we feel, act and interact in the world is undeniable. This idea is a rich theme and one I’ve explored deeply in Grounded classes. The following activity can serve as an introduction, a culminating project, or an ongoing art activity throughout a class series. These beautifully telling photos are from a special 3 hour Grounded gathering with some of my long time students and a few brand new ones.  

On The Path2

The Okey Dokey Yogi

On The Path2

inspired by Dr. Seuss’s Sutra: the Zax and Patanjali’s Sutra: yatha abhimata dhyanadva (Chapter 1, v. 39)

One day, making Okeys
In the mountain of Dokey,
Posed a West-Going Yogi
And an East-Going Yogi.

{See, an Okey is approval,
An endorsement as such.
Each yogi seeked okeys
So very much.}

And it happened that both of them posed in a place
Where they bumped. There they stood.
Foot to foot. Face to face.

“Look here, now!” the West-Going Yogi said. “I say!
You are blocking my mind. You are right in my way.
I’m a West-Going Yogi and I always think west.
Get out of my way, now, and let me do best!”

“Who’s in whose way?” snapped the East-Going Yogi.
“I always think east, making east-going okeys.
So you’re in MY way! And I ask you to move.
And let me go east in my east-going groove.

Then the West-Going Yogi puffed his chest up with pride.
“I never,” he said, “take a step to one side,
And I’ll prove to you that I won’t change my ways
If I have to keep posing here thirty-nine days!”

“And I’ll prove to YOU,” yelled the West-Going Yogi,
“That I can pose here in the mountain of Dokey
for thirty-nine years! For I live by a mantra
that I learned way back in West-Going Tantra.
“Still the mind! That’s my mantra. Still the mind is the best!
I’ll pose here, quite still! I can and I will
If it makes you and me and the whole world stand still.

Hey… said East-Going Yogi
I learned that as well.
Let’s check yoga sutras
Won’t that be swell?

Chapter1, verse 39
to be quite exact.
Focus on things that
you won’t find distract.

There are numbers of ways
For the mind to become still.
Focus on what you please
To Fulfill!

It is the process of focus
Which makes us a yogi
Not the specific practice
You see, Okey-Dokey?

Patanjali says to practice
Right from the heart
Allow this to deepen,
For that is the art.

Fix the mind!
Any object you choose,
As a focusing prop to
Fully fix and bemuse.

Get absorbed in your focus,
Without distraction.
You can attain stillness
And sweet satisfaction.


Roadmap to Lucidity

The map to LUCIDITY
Inspired by Yoga Sutra 1.33 which reads:

maitri karuna mudita upeksanam sukha duhkha punya apunya
visayanam bhavanatah cittaprasadanam

The map to LUCIDITY?
YES! Have you heard?
Takes four states to get there~
Not that absurd.

The first is of FRIENDSHIP
toward those who are happy.
Even when you feel distant,
resistance and slappy.

The second is of COMPASSION
toward those in distress.
Tough when annoyed,
imposed on and stressed.

The third is of JOY
toward those who are good
through roadblocks of useless
and misunderstood.

The fourth is of EQUANIMITY
toward those who are foul
who are lacking in virtue,
and react with a growl.

Here in our mapping
Four residents are mentioned.
How we perceive them
Is our fierce contention.

Our attitudes we go for
From composure to kind~
Get us closer to LUCIDITY
Where we STABILIZE our mind.

Memorize these four~
And observe in daily life.
During times of quiet,
Noise, and even strife.

So buckle up~
And prepare for a ride~
To align your attitude,
And try the untried.

Close your eyes~
Feel the state you are in~
Soften your heart~
your throat, and your skin.

Drop your breath
right into your heart~
It’s made up of LOVE~
And that’s where you start.

Inhale with the thought~
May I be friendly~
Exhale with the thought~
May I give friendship.

with your next inhale
with your next exhale.

Inhale with the thought~
May I have JOY~
Exhale with the thought~
May I give JOY.

with your inhale.
with your exhale.

When someone comes to mind
Offer these prayers
No matter their issues,
Their stains, or their stares.

May you be LOVING~
May you be LOVED ~
May you be PEACEFUL~
May you give PEACE~

Your states of envy and mean
Get smaller each time~
Intolerance is removed
You get closer to SUBLIME.

Once your mind is CLEAR,
And you’re CENTERED and FREE
Skillfulness in ACTION
Will be … Will be~

shames regrets doubts

Shames, Shames, Go Away! And Don’t Come Back Another Day!

Inspired by Yoga Sutra 2.16 Heyam dukham anagatam


Avoidable is the sufferingshames regrets doubts
that has not yet to come~
That feeling of shame
That sticks like chewed gum.

How do we get through places
That are stuck deep inside?
Where the holdings, the collections
The patterns reside?

The patterns of feeding
Our suction cupped shames~
With secrets and silence
And judgements and blames.

Attract the energy of movement~
And comfort with movement~
Comfort with change~
Comfort with improvement.

Create space between impulseZI60-Hands-Button
And action that binds~
The stuck feelings that resists
Our meetings of minds.

Space is the experience
Of minds open and bright
The Wisdom of Grace
Is filled up with light.

Grace is the knowing
Our mistakes serve an aim~
Instead of allowing
Our mistakes to serve shame.

So to prevent future suffering~
And the feeding of shames~
Create a steady practice
Of breath work and aims.

Here’s a mantra for you
To embody and embed~
Press thumb into each finger
And say in your head~

{I inhale to prepare~shames 2
I exhale to share~
I inhale to release blame~
I exhale to transform shame~*}

{Repeat 11 times}~

Keep your sitting bones rooted.
Slowly rotate your core ~
Counterclockwise 3 rounds
Your breath? Don’t ignore!

Inhale going backwards,
Exhale going forward .
Your movements ride on your

TS24 big

It’s pretty straight forward.

Pause and move clockwise.
Repeat 11 times.
Close eyes and listen.
To your heart beat like chimes.

Find someone you know,
You love and you trust
Show them your shames
And watch your blames turn to dust.

May we have what it takes
To transform all our shames~
To allow our mistakes
To serve our Great Aim~


How to Bliss Bomb the World

PIC-2So you finish your practice~
You feel loving and calm.
There is nothing you dismiss~
You are full of BLISS bombs.

You rejoin your family~’
And what do you hear?
Shouts of anxieties~
Blames, Shames, doubts and fears!

Does loving-kindness deflate
As you join the contention?
Or will your blissed state
Transmit without tension?

Each time you experience
The delight of {I AM}
Your bliss will flow forth~
Like a hydraulic ram.

Embody the KNOWING~
Of your inner LOVE state.
So you can keep it safe~

YOGA says your relationship
between you and your SELF~
can not be diminished,
or put upon a shelf.

You take your SELF
everywhere you GO!
Then everything is spiritual
from Grumps to Sloppy Joes!

Lokanandah Samadhi-Sukham
Shiva Sutra One.Eighteen~
PIC-1Your inner bliss continues
Like you won the slot machines.

So how do we GROW
In our capacity for such LOVE?
Without mermaids and unicorns~
Blue moons and white doves?

We create an INNER space
Direct love toward KNOWERSHIP~
Call forth our virtues,
Our patience, our grit.

We bridge the gap of difference
SERVE in a profound way~
Not cold duty or bargain~
LOVE is the order of each day.

Become capable with powers
By practicing {I AM}
Without useless distracting.

Place your hand over your HEART~
Feel right beneath your palm~
Towards your back body~
Where this is endless peace and calm.

Allow your attention
To be with your BREATH~
To flow in and flow out
Softly in your chest.

Welcome the BREATH~
Right into your HEART.
Feel a soft golden sun
That is bright, warm and smart.

With each breath IN~
make that SUN glow.
With Each breath OUT~
Expand the warmth to and fro.

As you welcome the breath in
To the vast INNER world~
Invite the HEART to reveal
It’s largeness, depth, and swirl.

Flow in with the thought {I AM}
The mantra of the inner self~
(Not I am Sam~
Or I am a silly elf)

The heart receives the breath
With the recognition {I AM}
The exhalation feels space,
The experience of BLISS BAM.

Practice with eyes open
Practice with eyes closed
Practice often
And LOVE will be exposed.

As you greet those outside~
Amongst the chaotic and mundane~
Stay tuned into your heart
And send LOVE to their pain.

You’ll get glimpses of KNOWING
Your yoga is working~
When outer frustrations
Are shirking, not lurking.