30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge – Day 29

Today I made Day 30’s and tomorrow I’ll make Day 28th’s – mixing it around mainly because I didn’t want another cucumber and celery combo today. So, today’s was the Liver Detox Smoothie: Cranberries, mango, cucumber, kale, ginger, cinnamon and almond milk. Another good one. I should have gave them star ratings so I can easily see what my favourites were over the days. Well, here it is, with my ailing potted herbs behind:

Liver detox smoothie

Alarm went at 0620, too early and I slumbered an hour before getting up for meditation. This was the highlight of my day, even though it was tough. Me and my body and its pains and my learning  about my reactions to the pains and sensation, the mind quietening all the while and learning about division, or the reality of division, between me and what I feel. Such a simple and genuine and healing activity. I wish I’d dared do it years ago. Better late than never, as they say. This evening was Iyengar yoga class over near Winchester. Twists standing, lying and seated, with the trademark Iyengar precision and care even whilst working strongly. A cold winter’s day, bright sun, and minus 4C on the drive home. Merino was worn all day, including in class.

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Journal 3 June 2013

The day is winding down, the sun setting soon. It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.

Dreamt I took out anger by knocking down the outer bricks of a strong wall, blow after blow after blow with the sides of my fists. It didn’t hurt. Not sure anything was different afterwards but it felt good, satisfying. In dreamland.

Got up at 0530 and sat. The mind unsettled, darting here and there. Fizzy. Like it’s over stimulated from yesterday’s event. Very soon, right wrist shaking, then intense shaking of head and the torso twisting left and right, faster faster to some kind of climax, then slowed right down. By the end of 45 mins, the mind was much quieter. Some fatigue by the end of it and I laid down a while, feeling the tired areas where the refreshment of sleep hadn’t touched.

Listened to a bit of music while getting ready for work, including the postman in the sand song, here turned into a surf video:

At work, the reorganisation of the vault continued, with the help of an ex student who was volunteering in the foundation this morning.

Lunch in the sun with a staff member who is leaving this summer, another yogi.

Then a walk. Bluebells fading out, their leaves flopped to the earth, superseded by the ancient and mighty ferns. Then when the view opened out, the yellow on yellow of rape in full flower, behind liquorice beech trees.

Why is ‘liquorice’ liquor and ice?

Surprise visit from C who popped in after dropping a birthday gift off for a friend. Some hugs and smiles before post lunch post walk napping.

Talking of smiles, a friend finished her video project. People of 37 countries, young and old, smiling. That’s it. As she puts it:

Everyone can be a small stepping stone towards a place of compassion and kindness

I’m at 4:21, in a bobble hat, palms together. Many friends are in it, including Doug looking outstandingly hippyish at 1:21. With a goat on his lap why not. I smiled throughout. It’s contagious.

Carrying On A Smile from Carrying On A Smile on Vimeo.

My laptop screen says ‘Godammit’ under the big ‘SMILE’ but don’t tell anyone.

In the evening: Iyangar Yoga class with Sandy Bell in Compton. It’s a really good class with about 10 of us, who have been stretching together for some years for the most part. Lots of arm, shoulder, wrist releases today, along with the usual forward bend emphasis, which is my tightest direction but I appreciate it. I touch places deep inside during Iyengar yoga. I call it yoga with no cheating. With alignment everything stretches in the way it should, safely yet extensively, and maybe you don’t get so far in the pose but it’s done right.

The drive on the way back from yoga is always special, totally there with the car, the road, the music. Today with the sun through the trees as I climbed from the Itchen up onto the open downs, taking the racing line through the bends.

There it is, the sun now set and I’m soon into bed.

Light on Life by BKS Iyengar – Chapter 4: Clarity – The Mental Body (Manas)

Quotations I’ve selected from the forth chapter of Iyengar’s Light on Life.

You cannot hope to experience inner peace or freedom without understanding the workings of your mind and of human consciousness in general.

With right perception and understanding of our minds the door opens to our liberation, as we go through the veil of illusion into the bright day of clarity and wisdom. The study of mind and consciousness therefore lies at the heart of yoga.

Yoga points out how we generally react to the outside world by forming entrenched patterns of behaviour that doom us to relive the same events endlessly in a superficial variety of forms and combinations.

The historical change from killing with stone clubs, to swords, to guns, to nuclear weapons is clearly no change at all, and it’s certainly not evolution.

What we call consumer choice is not choice at all but selection. It offers only an illusion of freedom.

Lao Tzu: “Know yourself. Know what is good. Know when to stop.”

A bowl of rice is good. A full belly is desirable. But should it be full all day? Do we really want “more is better” to be the epitaph of the human race?

Every time we say the word “I” we feel something hard and monolithic inside us, like a great stone idol. … Whatever the shape of our “I”, however defenceless and permeable we allow ourselves to become, a separation between self and other continues in normal consciousness.

Overweening pride is the symptom of the diseased self.

Ego has been compared to the filament in a bulb, which, because it glows with light, proclaims itself to be the light’s source.

The soul is a separate entity and should not be confused with with any form of “I” consciousness.

The soul is democratic; if in us then equally in others. It is not personal; if anything it is we who belong to it.

From our ignorant identification with our ego and its morality arises man’s creativity and his destructiveness, the glory of culture, the horror of his history.

Consumerism is an ineffective and temporary balm against mortality.

The egoic self is an exhausting companion, forever demanding that his caprices be pandered to, that his whims be obeyed (though he is never satisfied), and his fears be calmed (though they never can be).

Intelligence does not chat. It is the quiet, determined, clear-eyed revolutionary of our consciousness.

The ego is comfortable rearranging the same old furniture in the same old room and standing back and saying, “Doesn’t it look different?” Does it? Yes. Is it? No.

Freedom is the innermost desire of all our hearts.

Yoga has the ability to take us further, to an unconditioned freedom, because yoga sees even good habits as a form of conditioning or limitation.

Direct action stems from direct perception, the ability to see reality in the present, as it is, without prejudice, and act accordingly.

The yogic action is an action that is absolutely unfettered by past habit and without desire for personal reward in the future. It is the right thing in this present moment just because it it right and is colourless or taint-free.

The yogi knows that pleasure leads to pain and pain to pleasure in and endless cycle.

Our consciousness increasingly becomes what we feed it.

When breath is calmed and attention focused on its inward movement then consciousness is no longer jerked by outer stimuli.

Time heals. It does but only if we allow it to.

While mind reacts to memory, intelligence interrogates memory. … Memory consulted by intelligence gives completely different answers to memory consulted by mind.

When intelligence is awakened in the cells then instinct is transformed into intuition and the past loses its deterministic grip on us, as our inner intelligence tells us what the future requires.