Mirror, Mirror


On Sunday morning, I saw the image at the left.  I read the text and let it sink in.  I nodded gently and continue to scroll through my Facebook feed.  This was a lesson I learned early from Gurudev.  I wrote a little snippet about it on the day I first heard Gurudev talk about it in 2009.  He summarized his lecture with, “Your ability to live with yourself is revealed in how you live with the other.”

There are still moments in traffic when I need to be reminded of this.  I’ll yell “Well, that was stupid!” and about three seconds later a reminder that I’m reacting will float through my mind.  That will make me shake my head and start to laugh at myself.  I can then pinpoint why I was yelling, usually because I feel rushed, and then laugh a little more at myself.

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The Unexpected

7 Days to Something PodcastChristian, Finn and Gunnar—the voices of 7 Days To Something—interviewed me Friday morning.  Gunnar said he found my voice very soothing.  Naturally, they asked if my voice has always been like that.  What happened next was something like the video below, at least it was in my head.

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Adventure Time!

imageWhen my grandmother was dying, she said to me, “Ty, you can cry because you’ll miss me but don’t you dare cry for me.  I am looking forward to this, it’s my next great adventure.”

I have always taken comfort in her words but today, they shine in a whole new way.  If death was her *next* great adventure then life was her present great adventure.

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I Don’t Know Who I Am!

Who Am I

This morning I saw a quiz on Facebook that asked, “Which 4 friends are you a combination of?”  These types of quizzes are very popular right now.  Why?  Most of us have no idea who we are.  When I was little, I often heard a mocking tone as people talked about others running off to “find themselves.”  I watch some of those same voices as they publish quiz results on Facebook.  What mythical creature are you?  How old is your soul?  How many gnomes live in your earlobes?

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Time Bound


In 2009, I began practicing Amrit Yoga.  That was the first time I had heard the Asatoma Prayer.  I have chanted it well over a thousand times since then.  One line always seems to cause trouble because it is so contrary to the way we tend to live.  Mrityorma Amritam Gamaya, the traditional interpretation of this is, “Lead me from the illusion of death to immortality.”  Gurudev interprets this as, “Lead me from a time bound consciousness to a timeless state of BE-ing.”  Immortality is great but not really practical at this moment.  Understanding the timeless state of BE-ing is very practical.

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Not Nice

You might have seen me mention that I’m not nice.  It’s true but many of you who’ve met me are working under the illusion that I’m the nicest person you’ve met.  Some of my students have taken to calling me Guruji.  A guru is one who who leads from darkness to light.  Just saying that I am not nice only causes more illusion, more darkness.  Let me set the record straight.  I am not nice.  I will throw rocks at you without hesitation.  I will watch you pour tears from your eyes and say, “It’s about time.”  I will, with joy, help you see the darkest, most cruel parts of you with a simple question, “How do you express your love to her?”  You will want to bash my head with a large tree limb* or stab me with knives* because I am not nice.

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Bapuji January 13, 1913 – December 29, 1981

January 13, 1913 – December 29, 1981

Bapuji, also known as Swami Kripalu or Swami Kripalvanandji, was my guru’s guru.  Today is the anniversary of his Mahasamadhi, the day he passed out of this life.  Mahasamadhi is said to be a conscious and intentional act but it stands in stark contrast to a night, decades earlier, when Bapuji decided to end his life as a 19 year old.

He had decided that his life was a failure and no longer worth living.  Bapuji went to a local temple and prayed.  He would turn 19 and end his life all in one breath by throwing himself in front of the midnight train.  He spent the day in the temple, waiting for the appointed hour.  During that time, an old sadhu tapped him on the shoulder and instructed the young man to follow him.  Startled, Bapuji followed.  The old man said, “Son, you are contemplating suicide.  You must not do it.  Come to my ashram tomorrow afternoon.”  Bapuji was shocked, he hadn’t told anyone his plans but this sadhu knew them.  Bapuji did not jump onto the tracks; rather, he went to the ashram and began his studies with the sadhu, Dadaji.

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