Thursday, December 30, 2010


Q:Modern Yoga Practice?

I am reading Mark Singleton's book. Yoga body, and wondering if anyone has knowledge that supports or contests his assertation that modern (transnational) yoga is a modern day thing. Is there a connection between the philosophies and hindu traditions? Is it possible that what we practice is only decades old? I am particularly curious about reaction to the book from various Indian institutions? Do they view this as westerners trying to take credit for their 'invention" or is this consistent with what some have said all along, that the postures are not really yoga?


 I believe modern yoga like most things of this day in age are the conglomeration of many things.  Just yesterday there was a commentary posted on NPR,
that discusses this very idea.  The posting reaches the conclusion that todays yoga, while it draws on ancient Hindu deities and ideas, is a modernized form of practice.    Yoga in history and in India are usually very different than the sessions we employ in our after work endeavors.  I have also heard that present forms of Vinyasa and Ashtanga are forms of British Gymnastics.  That the British, while in India, incorporated some asanas with a training program they had to birth the vigorous style some of us subscribe to now.  

The way that we schedule and perform in our lives; sitting in cars, desks and restaurants, feeding our egos and bank accounts, leaves me lacking most days.  I find that yoga helps me to shed my monkey mind, challenge myself, hear about alternate ways of looking at situations and teaches me to link my breath to my body. These concepts are new to the American culture and not taught in many other venues. Yoga allows me to link to my inner body by opening my energy channels, creating space and allows me to sit still and perform more meditative states.  It has also been told to me that yoga prepares the body so that it can sit in more stillness and meditate longer and more effectively.  This in turn allows  practitioners to find the soft subtle self and reap more answers to thoughtful and seeking questions they might be asking themselves. 

It takes a lot to unplug and remove one self from the technologies and conveniences we have in our daily lives. One teacher of mine, Jenn Wooten, has said, something to the effect that it would be nice to go and sit in a cave (akin to ancient yogis) and meditate and be away from what we are dealing with and then come back with the found approach.  But that is a luxury we cannot afford and we must be able to deal with situations as they come up, as they are happening and choose the higher response.  Yoga can teach us that everything is a miracle and there are no wrong movements or actions,IT just is.

On a basic level yoga has reconnected me to my body.  Our body is our spacesuit or garment that we wear to experience life.  It has been discussed that body posture, correct breathing, even smiling and body language are core aspects that can enhance our experience this existence.  For me, Yoga trains these processes and I can call upon them for assistance throughout my day.  It has been proven (in Science and to myself) that the way we think about ourselves,posture our bodies and  present our person to others will affect our interaction; and in turn this will affect our reactions...

Yoga has also afforded me a community of like minded souls that I do not believe I would find elsewhere.  The studios are communal places where many different bodies, styles, and persons gather to practice, play and participate with each other.  Yoga, once learned can be a very spiritual practice, much like a full body prayer and practiced alone.  I keep coming back to class to fill my soul with new teachings and be with others.  We take turns pouring energy out and taking energy in to balance this life. All of energy has a push and pull, and what we do from the moment we wake until we rest every day affects something or someone.

I also believe in the physical benefits of yoga, as far as, balance, strengthening and flexibility.  Many times I have noticed how, although athletic my whole life, after several years of yoga practices am I the strongest physically. I am also quicker to react when faced with uneven ground and less likely to injure myself if running or doing other activities.  The only thing I can say negatively about yoga is that it does take a bit of time and commitment and will change ones life and habits greatly if taken on as a major activity :)

All in all, the yoga I practice is a modern spiritual soup of the best and beautiful practices, that allow me growth, functionality and enjoyment with this American Life I am now living.  Thank you for supporting me in class, sharing your highest energies and your willingness to dive deeper into your selves. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the sign says significant insignificance

the power of communication is one of those ever intangible things of this world. do others really ever heed what we are trying to convey?  does the message get across, how does one expect another to truly be wholly within your experience.  this takes clear conscious communication from deep inside one's own being.  even then the transmission can only hope to reach a percentage of clarity for the intended participant.  i have a lot to learn in communicating.  placating and dancing: i have no more use for those lessons...  the tough lessons keep coming back for me to take on. and they will continue until the learning has been done.  a big decision is being presented.  a life plan with real tangible results is on the horizon.  this will take communication for me to convey my desires to this world.  no longer can i hope for assumption, luck and irony to tow my ropes.  i know that a message can be sent from myself to others, but no longer can i be lazy or can we take a break from this.  it is the most important thing.  there is no point in talking if no point is to be made.

Also sometimes the power of silence and keeping thoughts and projections to oneself are very important.  By spreading out the energy of a thought or idea or retelling of a circumstance and story do you only feed or take away from its force.  Take care in what you say to yourself as well.  Your self speak is likely the most important place to start using conscious language. AS I said in the beginning of this post, You are the only one who is wholly within your experience, you might as well be nice to yourself and have a bit of fun, and not take this (life) shit too seriously.

I had a moment where dealing with pilot light and gas and heat and had a flash of imagination that there could easily be an explosion and I would be blown to bits.  I took a deep breath and welcomed life and death in the same breath.  It was a powerful moment to realize that this is all a gift and a borrowed one at that.  A friend of mine told me that someone in her class at UT was found dead in his apartment, mid 30 year old undergrad.... poof, gone to the other plane of life after this life.... chew on this my friends and speak from your heart and body mind connection.  This life is significant and insignificant all in the same token.  A one sided coin.   NO ONE GETS OUT ALIVE. LOVE

Monday, November 29, 2010

broken, yet perfect...

Golly gee...
Look at me so fancy and full of intention....
when its all said and done, ask did you have fun? ... 

then you can be sure of the direction.

Days full of technical quirks, the computer is a jerk, the streaming was done while i was dreaming...

Hit a speed bump and dissolve into a lump; try to avoid ditches full of bitches.
No energy to disagree,
still I cannot foster a new agreement.


Nights with screaming streets and easy treats leave me lean, no longer green.
Dark dank alleys mapped in the memory mind,
How lucky I turned at the right time.

My unknown prayer saying, "One day one time it may align, live with this hope or leave it all behind."

Broken, yet perfect... distinguished by scars, barred from biker bars, played by guitars and strung out in a melody of me.

Swim easy like a mermaid, dance like a cat on catnip and smile as a dog with a bone... 
Sing a sigh of relief because you have called your own master home.

Broken, yet perfect... the valley only low because the mountain grew, 
out of the light and into the depth of me with you.

Meet force with the forceful, meet peace with the peaceful, meet love with power of a whole heart.

Once relaxed the bonds coalesce and the caress is felt through and through.

How good, how real: to be broken and perfect and true. 

photos: myquite via Greece

Monday, November 15, 2010

oh and another thing....

just a reminder, just a note, all of this seeming forgone conclusion is all a joke.

It can change every moment, in a flash, the things you hold dear smoked out in a flash.

Just think of what you think of yourself today, and how many costumes you will put on your masked soul in this way.

Imagine impermanence and imagine it for real, take on an idea of  permanence and how does that feel?  The only thing constant and forever is change, just when you get an idea and get used to it, it will go out of range.

You are forever a changeling and others are too, this is not just your universe, I live in it too.

WE don't always get whatever we want, but for god sakes can I get it without getting caught.... getting caught in the memory, or lost in the dream?  for whatever I am into is not whatever it seems.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

true reflections

When the mirror is taken away all I have is you to tell me my projection. There is no truer rendition of reflection. And tell me what do you see?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

wait for it

waiting for it.  the breeze, the traffic light, the rain to fall.

waiting for it. the breath to stop, the breath to start, the love of us all.

waiting for it. the sun to shine, the sun to set, the life i imagined to start yet.

while i sit here and wait, the life blurs by.

while i stand here defiant of what is and cry.

i wait for the alarm, the important call, the slow guy in line, i smile and say this is the life.

this is our choice to be in this car.  this is my choice to let this go on so far.

this is where we choose to begin.  this is where we can let spirit in.

waiting for it. the transition to cease. i will be kept waiting for what ends, repeats.

the life happens whether we ride or not. 

turning into the flow and catching a strand, i wait... and feel the continuous force of life come in.
only after a moment of accepting what is... can i begin to imagine the what if

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Everyone is beautiful in the light that plays with leaves and dances in dirt.

I am sitting here waiting,  patient and free. 
The site of the shadowed tree captures me.
Liquid Sunshine melts in between each of the leaves. 
The Shade and the Sunlight playing frivolously.  

Feel the hunger before you eat. That tired emptiness, an aching void.

Feel the fullness of the meal that has been taken in.

Everyone is beautiful in the light that plays with leaves and dances in dirt.

Just a hint of moving air,  just enough to tickle my hair.

Subtle, gentle and ever so soft; a cotton looking pollen ball hovers aloft.

I am sitting here waiting,  patient and free. 
The site of the shadowed tree captures me.
Liquid Sunshine melts in between each of the leaves. 
The Shade and the Sunlight playing frivolously.   

Saturday, September 25, 2010

whatever works

 I used to piss off my mom to no end, as a teenager, when asked a question , I would shrug my shoulders high, roll my eyes and reply...." Whatever!" 

I recall being wholly committed to the Whatever philosophy as an adolescent. I truly did not care.  It was whatever, I'll go to church. Whatever, going to the Mall.  It was Whatever that I wanted for my birthday.  Whatever was also what I usually had done in school that day.   Whatever replied to the waitress. Whatever was told to my father countless times, when told about Colleges, stocks and other adult topics.

Whatever also extended well in play with friends and teammates.  Whatever was what I wanted to do most weekends, eat at their house, and to watch on TV.

Along the way the Whatever Philosophy fell out of my bag of tricks and was replaced with more engaging and thoughtful replies.Whatever did not seem to serve the purpose driven life, or nail a job interview. Adultism spread like a virus through my brain and canceled the Whatevers that I had swimming in my head.

Today, I would like to try a shoulder shrugging Whatever response to my world.  I think this could be the missing link between me and my highest purpose.  If I can employ a fraction of the Whatevers that I had in high school, I might be able to get out of my own way today.  I could find myself in a hot air balloon trip around the world, a newly scratched off Million dollar lottery ticket, with the band members of KISS, a movie ready wardrobe and my one true love. 

Employing the Whatever philosophy to one's life, although technically rude and obnoxious as a response; one is opening to possibility.  Letting Universe decide. Taking this armchair approach and relaxed devil may care attitude frees up alot of junk and lets things fall into place.

I will get back with you and let you know how this enhances or screws up my day.  Or not...


Saturday, September 11, 2010


I find people fascinating.  I really enjoy conversing, watching and being with other human beings and animals.  I get lost, or more accurately, get tuned in when connecting in this way.  We are all consciousness realizing itself.  I have been working with the idea of being an observer in my life and stepping back or out of a situation and seeing from another perspective. 

Imagine an event, a party.  You have thoughtfully gotten dressed and ready; you also have an idea of what may be coming to pass.  You go to pick up your friends and another version of the storyline begins once you are in their space and energy.  When facing others, I can retreat into place in my mind that is comfortable, when I may not be.  This move in the game of life, if it were a fencing match, would be named “on guard”  This move done so subtly and quietly, out of habit and learned experience, that even the most seasoned soul searcher can easily flip on this switch. 

I have versions of my parents and others that live in a story in my head.  They are stories I tell myself and have told myself since I was a little person.  These stories are not the truth.  The stories are collaborations from years of learning and experiences I have had over time.  When something happens, good or bad, our brain puts it in a categorical file for later use. I have held on to these stories as though they are true and real and helpful, when in fact, they are not. The stories and thought patterns are keeping me firmly anchored in a safe untrue place that is cold and old and musty with age.  This place is not the present fully realized.  It is a restraint holding my foot in a place that helps me to feel comfort, but also causing me distress.  It is distressing because I cannot flow and realize activation and change while in this place. 

While prying open this vault of deep habit I had an image form in my head.  The image is a canoe.  I am in it.  I am looking out over the bow, holding a paddle.  I am driving this boat.  I am paddling.  I see the banks on this waterway and notice the sunlight through the trees.  The water is flowing and I am paddling here and there to keep the boat straight. I see persons, places and things on the both sides of the bank as I pass them.  Then I see another stream branching off to the right.  It looks lighter and brighter and I am drawn there.  To turn the boat I must plunge the paddle deep into the water and hold fast, acting as a brake.  I imagine this action and can feel the force the water would provide in resistance.  It goes smoothly, but also what a force this paddle meets while in the water.  The boat begins to turn to the right and enters the new waterway and I begin flowing in a different stream. 

While inside this image I can feel the Energy it takes to turn a canoe and liken it to changing the flow of ones life.  That is a lot of Energy.  I can really imagine the force of the water against the canoe and holding on tight to the paddle. To stop, slow down, speed up or change direction takes effort.  But it is so worth it.

Change is constant and where we are always.  I don’t know what circles you run in and what they say, but in mine they say this often.  It is one thing to say it and know it cerebrally and another to experience it. This imagination has helped me to see and feel what is occurring when going from place to place and space to space.

BOTTOM Line: Love.  Love yourself, Honor your truth. Ask yourself new questions.  Purge the processes that don’t serve your highest good.  Show up in truth. Show up period.  Just Journey, and savor the energy of your flow.

Monday, August 30, 2010

the train rumbles softly


So how about it.  How about this spacesuit that holds our consciousness.  How about this magical existence we ride along.  What a cosmic game. 

Its actually more of a cosmic joke.  hahaha. I'm not laughing, I'm crying for you and for me. How can this be? How can this be the ticket to ride? to wrestle with whatever is going on inside. to have it all laid out in front pretty in a row.  its alll so messy with so much in tow, cant turn this way or that, not without causing a stir.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

when our hearts collide

The words, they are nothing without the power of your heart;

the Time will come for You to do your part.

As sure as the sky above and the oceans so wide, 

I will see You when our hearts collide.

The moment will be in a curious flash. 

The elements of air, water, fire and humanity shall combine,

and the result will be a piece of our heart's mind.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

- Global Youth Peace Summit 2010 Amala Foundation

 I have no exacting words for  camp that will encompass and encapsulate the experience.

 While you are there trekking about, running into the love and tripping over the open hearts, you are in another world.

A world fueled by love, respect, honesty and community. It is a feeling; a state of being.

Language does not reach it.
 Language was not bearing or a barrier.

 When coming towards someone who did not speak my English words, their heart and eyes held a conversation with mine.

Opening up to possibilities and new pathways.  
Conversations and community created with one passionate purpose. 

Truly One Village

My duties were to hold space, offer support, assist with kitchen set up and clean up for three meals a day for maybe two hundred campers and volunteers. 

I also elected myself the peace keeper of the ranch house: bringing goodies of crystals, sage, candles, rain sticks, drums and my guitar,large plastic flowers, flying monkeys, space aged flashlights, red feather boas, blinking lighted caterpillars and a radio to keep up the spirits of the volunteers :) 
I brought way too much and loved it!

WE stayed up late, others stayed up later.  
WE cried and others cried more.  
WE laughed until our bellies were sore and others laughed even harder.  
WE laid on the road to see the meteor shower in the dark country sky.  
WE gathered in silence around a flag pole for Peace.  
WE hugged and played soccer.  
WE swam in The Blue Hole and Blanco River.  
WE sang songs and banged on drums.  
WE made art pieces and wrote PEACE statements.  WE circled up and shared. 
WE became ONE village and.....


Thursday, July 29, 2010

The cat is named HERCULES...

So the cat.  The cat is named Hercules. Without fail, the lovely fur ball will begin the morning ritual.  He wanders across my chest paying no mind to my supine resting and sleeping body.  He then sits near my face in an effort to be close enough to begin the process of pawing at my nose.

Sometimes he will even take steps to put his "finger" into my nose and play a masochistic game of "Pat My Master's Nostril".  Most times his claw will come out and he will lightly sting my inner nostril with the claw...ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  Although not painful this is not Comfortable AND I don't do this to him!!!

He sleeps 16 hours straight every day and I don't come up on him and play "Toothpick to the Kitty Nostril Game", but lately I have begun to think this is a bright idea...

So it's 6 AM and HERE'S Herky, going to town, making bisquits on my chest and working on my left nostril. Then he starts the staring contest.  I come out of REM and feel the shifting in my sleep pattern.  What the hell!!  I become more awake and squinting ever so slightly to try and stay asleep, I see a cat point blank staring at me.  If this cat had a gun I would be afraid!!! Then he turns on the purring motor to try and trick me into thinking it is love that he is after.  He revs the motor a bit and seeing no results in that, comes closer, pacing around on my head and around and around and around my crown.  I try the Ostrich Technique of putting my head in the sand, in this case under a blanket or pillow OR BOTH, but the paw will sneak in the pacing continues. 

Most times I am able to go back to sleep and he will stop for a while until closer to 7 or 8 AM, but once a while I will hiss at him kick his ASS out and close the door. Half asleep I forget to push the door completely closed and in my stupor wonder how he magically got the door open!?! 
One time I got so pissed I stormed out of bed and grabbed some kibble and tossed towards the cat bowl.  It was a spray of dried bits that landed in an arc on the floor.  I mean I probably just fed them around midnight, which was ONLY 6 hours ago... They don't know about 4 to six small meals a day.  Who told them!! Who let the cat out of the bag ?! 

The saga continues... I need to pet him to fall asleep and he thinks he need to pet awake me for breakfast.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

paper vs cat

I would like to write to you
but my cat likes to sit on my notepad.

If I'm reading a magazine
 he will come and sit right on it.

I don't know if it is because
he knows that's where my
attention is
or he has a
penchant for the slippery surface.

Thing is he likes
 to lay on many different types of paper surfaces.

From maps to books to computer paper, bound wire journals even bookmarks and bills.
If it is near me and face down then it is "the spot"!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Familiar Strangers

There is a saying that a stranger is a friend we just haven't met yet.  I try to uphold this guiding rule when going about my daily interactions.  Recently I have had some travel opportunities and made it to Pennsylvania, Myrtle Beach SC and Port Aransas TX. I have also been doing informal "research" by assigning myself homework. 

My summer reading list has focused on travel themes and the authors have created scenarios of deep interaction within their scope of study. 

I have been reading Familar Strangers, Uncommon Wisdom in Unlikely Places by Gotham Chopra, son of Deepak Chopra.  (A great garage sale find!!) And here he aligns his travel assignments to War Torn countries with stages of Buddha's path.  He reveals his inner discoveries of fear and death and love intertwined within each road trip. He writes a short story about an instance where he and his father discussing death and Deepak says, "until one is ready to die, can they really begin to fully live." I chew on these words and find they ring very true. To release and relax is the full state of awareness and aliveness.  

Gotham reveals a scientific finding in one of his fathers books on a trip home.  It is an old Science manual that outlines a elementary experiment, but illustrates a very significant result.  1. Put a rat under a glass globe and leave it for a few days.  result: it will use all of the oxygen and die. 2.  Put a small potted plant under a glass globe and leave for a few days. result: it will use all of the oxygen and die. 3.  Put the rat and the potted plant under the glass globe and they will coexist, providing the other with necessary elements to survive. The plant provides oxygen through converting the rat's emitted carbon dioxide.

Gotham concludes that the element that stands out from this experiment and also his traveling experiences, is RELATIONSHIP.

Pg 143, Gotham writes...."It's not an entirely mind blowing experiment--the science is fairly easy to explain. It's simple and rather cool--their only chance at survival is in their relationship with one another. Simply put, Life is a relationship."

Our relationship within ourselves is paramount.  How we open our eyelids and bodies and cells and souls to others is the next level.  How we allow and open our hearts to the collective neighbor is another layer.  The relationship of all humans to all humans is a level unto itself.  The relationship of humankind to her host mother earth grows and is strained.  The relationship of our home Earth to the Universe is also relative in our day to day existence.  

How do you relate?  I find that the way I react to things in my daily two hour yoga class is how I relate to the world.  My teacher Pamela B says that exactly, the way we react and approach life on the mat is how we react off the mat.  The on goings and communication between students and each other and the teacher.  I look at myself as a new yoga student and fast forward to today, five years later and that is the woman being human awakened I have become.  Without yoga practice I would not be who I am today.  Another path or relationship would have blossomed, but for me that was the path.  I am glad that it is unending.  There is no destination.  

Rather grumpily today, I was running an errand, taking two boxes to be shipped.  As I returned to my car in a huff, from the heat and band of back pain that has made residence in my lower right quadrant, I saw a blackbird dive toward my bumper.  The car was not on and parked still, so I glance out the window as I turn the key and see the crow nab a wasp or hornet and bite it in half spit it out, pick it back up and two gulps gone.

He shrugs it down the gullet and goes of in search of another bug meal.  I, meanwhile, am stuck staring at the memorial imagery in my mind. Life.  It is just that precious and precocious.  My attitude somewhat realigned I find a special relationship to the road and drive to the yoga class I was thinking of skipping.

Another quote from the book is the last.... PG 185... as Gotham and his father (Deepak) are spending some time together at breakfast on a train in India...

"Both of us stare at the plains outside, the strange but familiar world. 

Deepak:"At the end it'll have been a very interesting trip,"

Papa says, his eye fixed outside on the yellow haze hovering over the dusty earth."  

Gotham: "What Varanasi?" (their destination in India)
Deepak:"All of it, baby" he says tenderly, "All of it."


Friday, June 4, 2010

Georgetown Sun City Tennis

Unique Mesh Pack of 12 Tennis BallsSun City Georgetown is a  community with a bounty of activity for its residents.  There are several golf courses, garden centers, community halls, events and sports leagues.  There is an extensive Tennis community that thrives here.  The residents have formed an intricate system of brackets and substitution rules and monitor this themselves in a professional manner. 
 This Spring, May 21, 2010, Ron Niksich won the Mens A Tennis League Championship. 

Ron is a recent arrival to Sun City; he and his wife Peggy have set up "camp" in a house after five years of touring North America in an RV.  Their Rig of choice was a 40 foot Alpha Gold fifth wheel trailer pulled by a 2005 Dodge Ram Dually 6 speed.  He has recently joined the Sun City Tennis circuit, but is no novice to Tennis at this level of competition.  He has polished his Tennis skills at the McAllen Winter retreat for the last five years and played in leagues in Clear Lake City TX during his professional life. 

Congratulations to Ron Niksich !

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the lunatic is on the grass...

The streaming music of Peter Gabriel, Sting , Phil Collins and Pink Floyd  accompany my ears this eve.
I cannot sleep.  to sleep would be to lose a moment of this magical existence I am in.  I am tired, but not in a way that requires sleep.I will rest my weary head and dream of Love....

I love so much of this experience.  but I also mute and turn off many parts of the machine which I do not like.  I choose to see with eyes of love. 

But I know that others do not have this love in their view. 
I choose to ignore their lack of love.  I do not respond to this. 
It is muted and in the background of my day. 
When it rears it's ungainly head I will see it, it cannot be ignored.  When it screams out in plight I will face it.  The only thing I can do is shine love on it.  The only thing I know is love.  All other is useless.  All other is waste. The other comes, but it goes.

Love stays.  Love has weight.  My form is Love.  My life is Love.  Love is life.

Where--- How Far?....Please enjoy the magic. :)

pg. 50, excerpt from the book of verses, " View from BenAnna Ranch" written by Ben Howard ( my grandpa)

"When you look up at the sky and see the stars, millions of them (he saw them from rural Michigan), some closer, some more distant, do you wonder how far does space go? Is there any end to it and what is beyond it? It is mind-boggling.  We cannot understand it really."

    Where--- How Far?
I study the deep and mystic blue
Of the cloudless evening sky.
Both awe and wonder thrill me through-
At the heavens so wide and high.
I ask about that unknown place
That lies beyond the stars.
Where is the end of endless space?
How far from our earthly bars?

But, the answer we may not yet know.
The universe is God's dimension.
While dwelling here on Earth below-
'Tis far beyond our comprehension. 
Likewise, we cannot comprehend 
His Love and mercy without end.

I plan to read this at his funeral services this Saturday, April 3rd 2010.
I believe he now knows the answer to this question.  I ask it often and now I know why I ask.
Take a moment to relish your life JUST as it is at this moment.  It is magic.  All you have and have lost is magical.  All we have to look forward to is magical.

Please enjoy the magic. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Buddha in the Backseat

Trying to sort out this present moment, I am on my way to work again.  Motivating myself  to get in the car and drive in morning traffic can take a long conversation.

I try to keep peace and I make a deal with myself to remain calm and centered for the entire commute to work (which is not a very far drive).  At the first light I feel the impatience growing as I sit behind a lady who won't turn right on red.  I recall my intention and get back into my happy/angst-free state quickly.  Then, we finally turn right and I am halted at the next red light.  As commuting trips go, I have a pretty simple and easy one but I am usually overrun and there are a lot of opportunities for red lights and cars coming every which way on the well traveled road with a lot of businesses and driveways within the 8 mile 15 minute time period.  One instance I was being very aggressively tailgated and threw my hands up in disgust after I was very rudely passed and then incited a case of road rage in the driver of the truck who decided to stop dead at the next light..  As I go around the truck stopped at a green light, I speed up and enter the next lane the truck gathers speed and impeding my lane and pushing me towards the curb.  My life was being challenged and anger (not mine) was being forced down my throat.  I was in the bike lane and had another maneuver been necessary I would not have noticed or been able to perform it.  Finally the truck relented and turned left, unsatisfied that I did not return the anger.  I was shaken but surprisingly more aware of the realization that other people are in a pained state and sometimes are trying to bring me into that.

The Buddha statue was sitting among several objects placed on a sheet outside of the studio after a class on Saturday morning.  I looked over the items; books and tins and records.  I saw the Buddha and wanted him right away.  I had only $5 in my purse and sheepishly asked the price. The owner was haggling and negotiating with another customer and asked for $20, but they offered him a check.  I piped in that I had $5 in cash and it was mine.  I immediately loved the statue made out of resin or polymer.  It was about 9 or 10 inches tall and not made of expensive material or excessive artistry.  It represented a quest or desire for quiet inner peace.

I contemplated where to store his naked/unpacked body for the trip home in the car.  The armrest in the backseat was down, revealing a small cubby between the seats and I placed him securely there.  I drove home and checked on his travels by looking in the rear view mirror and marveled that the calmness remained and how cute and perfect he fit and existed in the cubby hole.

Upon arriving home I began unpacking my car of various items to take up to the apartment and reached for the Buddha statue.  I hesitated and thoughtfully wondered where he could reside in the house. After a moment, I did not see a clear location I realized he was already seated in a prime spot.

Now I see him from time to time when observing the traffic behind me and when I turn to get something from the back.  I have Buddha in the backseat to watch over my driving and bring a peaceful mind to my drive.

I renewed my vow to have a zen-ful minded inbound commute and remain as peaceful as possible.  I set off on the same old boring drive to work and at a stop light, I did my usual mirror checks and glanced in the rear view mirror.  Somehow the dawn morning light was bending and refracting so that an image of the Buddha statue was appearing somewhat hovering transparently on top of the backseat.  I knew it was a play of reflection with the mirror and lights, but this struck me as so odd and awesome that I laughed out loud alone in the car.  Hearing my own laughter out loud only caused me to laugh again and soon I had forgotten traffic and my struggle to find peace with the drive.  I was simply alive and free and in joy.