The holidays are a busy time for us all, and self-care is usually the first thing that gets pushed aside amidst the flurry of activities. Even when you think there isn’t enough time to take care of yourself and to practise yoga, it is so worth making time for it. Practice can help you to reset and feel grounded again, so that you can be more fully awake and appreciative of whatever this joyful season brings. David and I hope you can join us for a Kirtan at Yoga Public on Friday, December 18th, 7:15-9:00 pm ($15). The winter solstice will be a few days after, so we will be marking the passing of time with chanting and music. Hope to see you there!
Hi everybody! For those of you that subscribe to our newsletter, the latest one was sent out just this morning! It is a special one, as it includes a message from my better half, David Quiring. If you have come to a kirtan before, he is the one holding down the beat with the djembe. Not only possessing a great sense of rhythm, David is a multi-talented fellow who has been studying the craft of photography for several years. While I might be biased, I think he takes some pretty awesome photos. He’s also very dedicated to his meditation and yoga practice, which he fuses into his approach in photography.
David’s prints and greeting cards are available online at his Etsy store (it’s almost December, hint!) Many of the images express the beauty of our Canadian wildlife and landscape. You can also sign up for his newsletter here to stay up-to-date with his photographic adventures. Check it out and use the coupon code HOLIDAYS to get 10% off your order until December 24th, 2015!!!
Here is how David describes his conscious integration of mindfulness into his art:
Focus, awareness, and equanimity; these are the things we work to cultivate in our mindful meditation practices so that we can live more engaged lives off our cushions. The thing is, our pursuit of these goals need not, and should not, be limited to only practice in the traditional forms. In a modern world, where we aren’t practically able to retreat from society, meditation practice needs to be extended into our modern lives. In all of our varying situations, there are unique ways that we can find to integrate practice.
For myself, photography is one of these ways. The act of taking a photo can be a deeply contemplative practice when approached with reverence and attention; one that allows me to see the world in a clearer light, whether a camera is with me or not. In this respect, I see it as entering a dance with life’s fleeting moments…recognizing one’s role in the greater picture, relinquishing imagined control over things, seeing with clarity and understanding, and making choices from this space. Here, as an attentive observer, creating a photograph becomes more than just a mechanical or artistic endeavour. In this place of presence, you create a snapshot of the world as it is and never will be again.
Given a room of meditators pursuing similar foundational practice, the manifestation of the fruits of each person’s hard work will be as unique as each of them. Photography happens to be one of fruits, and if you give some thought I’m sure you can come up with a few for yourself as well. Celebrating each and every friend’s, student’s, and teacher’s fruits of meditative labour brings me so much joy and hope. In unique integration lies the key to how we bring positive change into the world. By being in the world we share ourselves with the world, and inspire others to do the same.
This quote from the film Waking Life sums it up: “Film is a record of the ever-changing face of God. This moment is holy, but we walk around like it’s not holy. We walk around like there are some holy moments and there are all the other moments that are not holy. [But they are] and film can let us see that. Film can frame it so we can see that, Ah! This moment. Holy.”
Join us for an evening of chanting and music! Our friend Bahram is hosting us in his space at 3-1200 Portage Ave (between Erin and Wall Street) on Friday, November 20th, 6-8 pm. Kirtan is the practice of call-and-response chanting rooted in Bhakti (devotional) yoga. All are welcome and no experience is necessary. If you have one, bring a meditation cushion to sit on. There is no pre-registration; it is $25 at the door and free parking on the street. See you there!
Join us this fall for another silent retreat with Jonathan Austman, September 30th to October 4th, 2015, at Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, Beausejour, MB (less than an hour outside Winnipeg). Meditation, yoga and dharma talks will be led by Jonathan, and I will be cooking yummy Ayurvedic food! Space is limited, so register early at Yoga Public’s website. If you have questions, you can email Jonathan at jonathan(at)yogapublic(dot)com.
Cost (includes program, room/campsite, food): single room – $580.00+GST; camping – $500.00+GST
Wed, Sept 30
2:00-3:30pm Check in
7:00-9:00pm Orientation, Sitting/walking review, Talk (Silence begins at 7:30pm)
9:30pm Lights out
Thurs, Fri, Sat, Oct, 1-3
9:30pm Lights out
Sun, Oct 4
1:00-3:00pm Lunch/closing (Silence ends at 1:30pm)
Hope you can join us!