Belief

Types Of Quiet

I entered the hall with our group, filming to capture the moment. Then, I turned towards the statue of Sri Ramana Maharishi and my world flipped upside-down: the power and presence of Maharishi reached in and took hold. I directly experienced Bhagavan and crumbled to my knees crying. Quiet #1: SpiritYears ago, I’d read a few books containing Ramana’s teachings, but I never imagined visiting Sri Ramanashram. It seemed to me that it was a place reserved solely for highly committed devotees. Yet, there I was, unmistakably overwhelmed in my heart and not understanding why. Over the following two weeks,

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Arunachala

I understand now why people return to this mountain. Here’s my experience…. The prose below were written as I sat at the foot of Arunachala Mountain outside the Samadhi Hall at Sri Ramanashram. I had taken  up the habit of listening to early morning chanting at the ashram, walking to a lookout point on Arunachala for sunrise Surya Yoga and meditation, then returning to the ashram to continue looking within. On my last morning before departure as I sat in meditation, the mountain pulled my body into complete stillness, just as it had done the first time I meditated on

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All Is One

In this Santhi Yoga retreat, our teacher Govind is guiding me and affirming a lifetime of experiences and intuitions. He adds clarity and understanding that allow me to see more clearly and more deeply, providing a framework for both the body and (subtle) mind aspects. He is teaching me how to ground to Mother Earth and with all Creation. I see now that when this body breathes the whole of existence breathes. (It’s not just the worldly physics of all beings sharing the oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen on this planet through the breath.) Arunachala Mountain is tuning this “clay

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Moved To Tears

Never did I imagine that I’d visit Arunachala Mountain and the Sri Ramanashram in India. Nor did I expect the intensity of the experience once it happened. Tears came quickly in Ramana Maharishi’s presence. I crumbled to my knees. And now, each time his image comes to mind I’m overwhelmed again. I do not entirely understand what this is about. Perhaps it will be fully revealed. Perhaps not. It does not matter. One morning, during satsang, as I looked at Ramana’s face my attention moved to his eyes. For the first time I saw love—soft, relaxed, and calm. Previously, I only

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Cultural Paradigms

How do I convey the intensity of experiencing a completely new and different cultural paradigm? Thus far, only video recordings and hours of conversation have helped me chronicle and process the myriad of events, heartwarming interactions, fantastic tastes, iconic themes, disturbing sights, unfathomable realities, and personal insights into my own nature. Not even two days pass before the feeling of being overwhelmed begins to arise. I question my ability to survive the rest of the trip. Compassionately, I hold space for managing it all by reassuring myself that it’s OK to spend a day in nature’s quiet, away from the

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2nd Place Overall

Endurance Insights

One of the overarching reflections I have of racing Ultraman Canada 2019 can be summarised as, “Where did that performance output come from?!” In one regard, I wouldn’t have extrapolated my prior data and experience to predict the achieved results. On the other hand, there are clues to be found in the methodology and mindset. I entered the event believing in the possibility of achieving excellence. This is fundamental because without a positive mental attitude a low ceiling is already cemented into place. Removing perceived boundaries provides room for potential to express itself in extraordinary ways. Keep in mind, however,

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Twist of Lime

It was a miserable, miserable day at Ironman Ireland, Cork. Nearing the finish line, I was tremendously grateful that it was over. Yet, a few days later I began to taste a sweet twist of lime that I had missed during the 11+ hours of heavy rain and wind. The pelting downpour, cold temperatures and poor logistics management by the race organisation were challenging, to say the least. However, the continual outpour of well-wishing and support from the spectators was heart-warming; for them, I kept digging deeper. Deluge The Youghal and County Cork residents are perhaps the most wonderful people I’ve

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Clarity

When we’re not clear with ourselves about who we are and what we want it’s impossible to have clear and effective communication with others. We’ll make things up (consciously or unconsciously), and we’ll take things personally because we don’t really know what we feel or believe. Until we get clear about what we feel, and learn to express this with nonviolent diction, we’re only fooling ourselves. Growing up I learned to be a perfectionist because it provided a way for me to feel like I had some control in my life. What I didn’t realise was that the OCD behaviour allowed

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Eternity

When does eternity start? 5 minutes at a stoplight can seem like forever, and 3 hours on a treadmill moves into the realm of hell eventually. But at what point does it go from bearable to endless? As a young child, I remember clearly the time when my mom put me down for a nap. On some level, I was cognizant of my disdain for the forced downtime. Heck, I probably wanted to be out chasing geckos. I must have recently overheard the saying “a watched clock never moves” because, thinking myself clever, I moved the dial on the old-style

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Preservation

Inquisitive. Cautious. Curious. Veiled playfulness, uncertain about the rules of the game, and unnerved by conflicting messages in the ocean of human interaction. …That’s what I see when I look at the picture of my two-year-old self. As that child grew, wariness morphed into self-protection and preservation. I would have preferred that the outward manifestation had become foresight and restraint. Instead, the key theme was vigilant anger. The most insidious criminal is the inner terrorist, the part of your mind that bullies you or accepts bullying by others. An agitator in your psyche attempts to keep you small by encasing

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Nature. Silence. Energy.

Reflections

In a recent blog post Shawn Bearden was brave enough to write and share his deeply personal reflection. Now it’s time for me to step up and say, “me too”. His first two paragraphs echo almost word for word thoughts I had from ages 10 to ~40. And that feeling of finally being heard, yes; that was the changing point for me as well. Not the bottom, but the start of change. “Sometime in my early 20s, I thought about my future self. It was a little unsettling that I couldn’t imagine myself after 40-45 years old. It wasn’t that

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Simplicity

A Simple Life

I’m learning that the simpler my life is the happier I am. Yet, there is renitent energy. Even while acknowledging my happiness-simplicity experience, there’s something inside me that is resistant to living increasingly simply. What is that element? I can hear the addictive patterns scream out in fear of answering the question. Fear/Addiction: Don’t look closer, don’t inquire. And, God forbid, don’t even think about asking the question about what it means to live a simple life? Me: Why not? Fear/Addiction: Because you might have to give up something? Me: Um, well, isn’t that kind of the point? (In order

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Ironman Sweden

Courage & Confidence

I often ask myself why I continue to train for and compete in Ironman events–both half- & full distance. To be honest, it’s a scary question because what if the answer is “I don’t want to”. Then what? The question then becomes whether I’m doing this in order to create an identity to hold on to. But down that rabbit hole is not what this particular post is about. It’s very clear to me that I really enjoy training, being fit, and improving my health–mind, body, and spirit. However, much of my athletic life has been testosterone driven. The underlying

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Everything is possible

What really matters

Numerically, I’ve lost fitness during the last 4.5 days of full rest while the body eliminated a sinus & lung infection. The timing–transition week between maximum build & beginning of taper leading into Ironman Sweden–wasn’t great. But without creating space for healing, I knew that my health would have deteriorated much further. Thus, an opportunity arose; time for focused spiritual strengthening. In the long run, that’s actually what’s most important to me. Mentally, I feel refreshed and eager to move along the path, which is a joy! (Physically, the body is still regaining its energy stores.) With a positive mindset

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On Point

Vigilance

I’m feeling on point with my training. Healthy, even. Body, mind, spirit. Does that mean everything is perfect? Definitely not. Development is a process. Vigilance, commitment, and consistency are key. Admittedly, sometimes I want to throw them out the window. Actually, sometimes I do, but then, like a kid after a temper tantrum, I go and pick them up again. Why do I get fed up, and why do I return? Those are questions I’ve inquired into a lot. It’s just so damn much work at times. But I can’t not do it. Occasionally, when I’m listening, Grace reminds me

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