Santosha, unmet needs, and how desire lights our way through the darkness

Usually the end of summer and beginning of autumn is a time of contentment. We look back on all the fun we had during the expansiveness of summer, not only that but the earth is bursting with harvest goodies - apples tumbling from trees, the plants are dripping with vegetables full of the juiciness and sunny warmth of the hot(-ter.. Scotland..) summer months.This year though has been a little different, with all its challenges. As the leaves are starting to turn and the early mornings dusted with frosty dew, we turn inwards for the cooler season not really sure what we have to show for the year so far. We look around feeling a little anticlimactic, and where…

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Nothing is Special

The other day I was taking a shower at twenty past five in the morning before going to early mysore class and thinking, ‘Why don't I do this more often?’ I realised that it's still hard for me to make it to morning mysore on a regular basis because it's still kind of a big deal. Deep down I still feel like going to the 6am class (the traditional way to practise) proves your extraordinary dedication and self-mastery that you can get up with the dawn chorus and be finished your practice as everyone else is only leaving for work. And this is the problem – because I think of it as a feat of tapas, spiritual discipline,…

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the constancy of change and rebirth of spring

We just had Easter and I have come to realise that for me, it far outstrips Christmas as far as holidays go. This time of year brings lovely lambs, warmer weather (if we're lucky in Scotland- thankfully this year we are, yipee!) , pink blossoms burgeoning on the trees, not to mention some excellent sweet treats (vegan creme egg, anyone?) I inevitably started reflecting on why Easter is so much nicer - not only is it less In Your Face than Christmas and obviously has more pleasant weather.. but there is a deeper optimism at the heart of the holiday that celebrates the turning of the seasons, the greater scheme of the Natural order. the Wheel of the…

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Are Selfies Yogic?

A while ago I noticed myself posting more selfies than usual - and I started to wonder what that was all about. I have always had mixed feelings about selfies, as something self-indulgent and something that you maybe do, but only secretly! It wouldn't usually occur to me to post them - after all it's 'just my face'.  But then after some recent conversations with friends about the value of selfies I started to reflect on whether they are actually all that bad, and if they can in fact be useful..  Two inspiring ladies have recently been starting interesting conversations about selfies - my sister, a professor at Boston University, who asked her students to take a selfie with…

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