Category: Reading notes

I sat back down, crossed my legs, lit some incense, meditated for a half hour, and then proceeded to write what felt like “channeled material.” After about a minute of “channeled writing,” my dog, who had been lying peacefully next to me for hours, threw up … right on my keyboard. Then my Lady spoke:
This is a Relationship, Sera.
Not a one-way street.
You’re not a slave taking dictation.
I Want to Do My Wild Thang with you
Not despite you!
Remember, We’re In This Together!

Months after this incident, I came across wise words of Barbara Marx Hubbard in her book From Ego to Essence, which share a similar realization

“We don’t want to confuse this kind of self-expression with “channeling,” which occurs when people put aside their local self [ego self] and feel an external entity coming through them. If we want to incarnate fully, we cannot have hovering entities telling local selves what to do…. This kind of writing is the next step after so-called channeling. It is the process of the incarnation of deity…. You are not channeling a higher entity. You are the higher entity yourself. You are allowing “the word to become flesh”

Excerpt From: Beak, Sera. “Red Hot and Holy.” Sounds True. iBooks.
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Triangle experience

I am reading and delighting in Stephen Cope’s book The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living – a very warm, personal and et scholarly take on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

There’s lots (too much) to reflect on and write about this book, but here is a passage I want to share. It is a person’s experience in triangle pose (incidentally, one of my favorite poses):

… When I moved down into Triangle Pose, I slowly turned my head upward to gaze along my outstretched, reaching left arm. Energy kicked in again, and I felt my body light up like one of those energy charts on the wall at my acupuncturist. I felt all the lines of energy from my left foot up through my spine, and then through the crown of my head, from my sternum up through my left arm and simultaneously down through my right arm which reached toward the ground.

It was the reaching that did it, I think. Reaching up out of the center. Up toward heaven, down toward earth. With my heart and sternum open. And feeling my legs and abdomen so strong. I dropped my left shoulder slightly back, and this opened my sternum and heart even more.

In a flash, I felt energy stream through my arms and legs, pumping blood and heat. The hard shell of my body melted into liquid light, and there was no more posture. Only energy and light and heat and pulsing and oxygen. No me. No effort. No form. Just life. There was no more reaching now – or at least I was not the one doing it. Only a kind of effortless streaming. …

One of the reasons I love triangle pose is because of the deep stretch in my back. But the more important reason, I think, is because of the way it makes me feel. I love the feeling of grounding and rooting safely through the legs while flying my arm upward and opening my heart to the experience. I love the expansiveness of this pose – it helps me grow in all directions, while keeping a safe, strong, and grounded center. I have very rarely had the experience of feeling the energy signature of a pose. It requires being very still and present, and all of a sudden, there is more to a pose than muscle and effort – there is a signature emotional state and a precise meaning that eludes my words, however.

I am not saying that we should practice asana looking for and hoping for these extraordinary experiences. I am  just saying that we should be open to the possibility that they might happen. And that the stretch of a limb might be much more than that – it might be moving energy in that direction.

Have you had any experience of energy while practicing asana? Please share!


Triangle pose description and instructions from Greenville Yoga and from Yoga Journal (the latter with video).


After being deeply moved and impressed by Brenee Brown’s TED talks, I picked up her book, The Gifts of Imperfection. It is based on a lot of (qualitative!) research, it is warm, honest, and helpful – not in the cheesy self-help kind of way.

One of the findings Brenee writes about is this emergency procedure used by wholehearted people. You know those moments where, she explains, you have to dig deep to find an extra ounce of energy to push through the day/task/moment.

I think this procedure can be applied just as well to crisis moments. You know that feeling when you get an email and your heart sinks, then starts racing, then blood boils in fear and outrage. The first thing most of us do is to start typing furiously in an attempt to solve the problem quickly, to get rid of it. Luckily, many times we don’t actually send those emails! What if instead of tapping on the keyboard we were to DIG? That is, we would get…

Deliberate – by taking a moment to breathe, reflect, pray, etc.
Inspired – after step 1 above; and only then get:
Going and take action?

I get it. I dig it. But I can’t always remember it in that moment of crisis when I feel tired and flustered.

As the saying goes, the challenge is not to be mindful – it is to remember to be mindful. What tips do you have for remembering to be mindful in (mini) crisis situations?