Finding Kapwa

This past May our 12 year old son Robbie was chosen by the National Park Trust to be a “National Park Ambassador.” His mission is to educate children and adults in underserved communities about the benefits of nature and going to parks.  Robbie got to this point by a journey we started in the National…

Yoga Props

At the beginning of my classes, you will often hear me say: “you will need a mat, a blanket, a strap, some blocks, and a chair for transitions or extra support.” I thought I’d give a few suggestions with links to purchase props. Recently a student suggested that I become an Amazon affiliate so that…

Agmurmuray ka pay

My mom used to say to me, “some things just can’t be translated.” I would hear her mutter something when perplexed – and irritated – over a phrase while working as an editor or in trying to explain her experience in everyday life. Perhaps she was distracting me from words that were not appropriate for…

Correct Yogic Posture

There is nothing about the true practice of yoga that says fancy postures, alignment, and flexibility are essential to doing it correctly. I would argue that there is nothing about healthy standing posture that is about alignment and flexibility as well. Where I would say the true practice of posture and yoga come in is…

Paglalakbay – Journey

Paglalakbay in Tagalog means “journey”. I was invited to write a wellness column for the Manila Mail, an online and quarterly printed paper in the Washington DC area. The name of my column “Paglalakbay” was a word I chose to describe not only the healing practices I use but my inner and outer journey on the…

Shadow of Loving Kindness 100719

Metta Monday October 7, 2019 All meditations have their shadow side, the compassion practice of Metta is not absolved. Recently as I was going through the loving kindness meditation, I was aware of deep discomfort. I generated the feeling of Metta, and the attendant feelings that come with imagining being loved and loving others. Somewhere…

Plant Food Journey and Heart Disease

Six years ago I was diagnosed with heart disease. My symptoms started occurring at high elevation when hiking up past 5000 feet above sea level. Initially because I appeared healthy and fit – in the 99.95% in fitness for women my age, to be exact – the physician told me I was “anxious” and suggested…

Resolution fail…or success?

Resolution fail…or success? Good Day everyone… We are almost midway through February and I have been hearing from people who are flagging in their “resolve” to change or do things differently than last year. This brings up a few things that you may want to consider…     1.  What are your values? Are you living…

Forget about New Year’s Resolutions: Do this instead

We are coming upon the New Year 2019 – a time of beginning and all the attendant excitement of starting anew.   Many people will make goals, dust off their exercise shoes, and reset their minds according to the vision of what they want to make happen. Some are cynical and say, “New Year Resolutions…

Hunting for Connection

“When you tug at a single thing in Nature, you will find that it is attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir Last month a family we traveled with in the National Parks posted a picture of the Dad proudly standing beside a bear he shot. He had the rifle on the…

Late Fall Cooking Goodness

I love to cook in the late fall of November and December. It is the transition time of going into the cave of well-being, and settling in to winter’s longer nights and introspection. Society has evolved to continue at a frantic pace all year, to include the holiday time, which was not the original intent.…

May I, I am.

If you have studied any Self Help modality for healing or self compassion, inevitably “how to make an affirmation” will come up. How we direct the mind is important, and the intent behind an affirmation is to give the mind a direction in the affirmative before something has taken shape, a type of “stating what…

You can come home now

Another shooting occurred. This time several days ago on February 14, 2018 at a Douglas High School in Florida. The conversations at the military gym today ranged from “wtf, I’m turning in my automatic gun”… to fear that the government will enforce laws that will take away rights. There is no reasoning or “making sense”…

On Taste (Part 1)

Most mornings when we get up, Robbie and I pay attention to the sounds around us. We name 5 things, taking into account the sounds inside and outside of the house. It is a technique we use sometimes throughout the day to bring us “back in”, to center or calm when the input of the…

6th Day of Yoga Meditation, Balance, Whidbey Island

Today was the last day of meditation here before we continue on on our journey in the U.S. National park system and the surrounding landscape. For 6 days now, I have come down to this little dock on a Whidbey Island bay, watching the sun rise, the waters change from still to white breaker waves.…

Eating My Breakfast As I Walk

Eating my breakfast as I walk, plums and blackberries hang full and ripe along the roadside. An eagle appeared above as I approached the ocean, carrying my heart up among the heavens. The mist is heavy, smoky from the fires up north. The air is cool and damp. I am in the midst of life.…

Balance in the San Juan’s of Puget Sound

Last year at this time my son and I were driving in the early morning hours through the caldera of Yellowstone, bubbling hot pots of mud steaming by the road side. We watched a black bear foraging for road side berries, a golden eagle skimming the surface of Lewis lake, and a bison grazing in…

Morning Yoga at Swan Lake Sanctuary

This morning’s prayer and yoga practice was at swan lake nature sanctuary in Victoria, BC. One of the many wonderful things about revisiting a spiritual practice is the subtle and sometimes not so subtle “re-iterations” of realization that occur. For me this morning, it is again the pause, breathe in, receive and marvel at the…

Rhythm on the Road

“Thoreau read Wordsworth, Muir read Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt read Muir, and you got national parks.” – Robert Haas, UC Berkeley, Environmental Studies professor When raising a child, a sense of place and home is important for attachment and belonging. So you can imagine my discomfort over these last several months as we have traveled across…

Heart Ease Wherever We Go

The full moon above always reminds me of the transient nature of life: she is full, she wans, she waxes. Watching the moon as my son grew through toddlerhood into a child, my son and I have traveled with the earth, spinning on her axis across the seasons. Watching the moon across the nation, we…

Whatever You Do Long Enough…

“Whatever you do long enough is a meditation.” We were driving down the road and I heard Robbie say this to his friend Matteus in the back seat. They were playing with Lego’s and his friend asked why he was quiet. Lego’s have always been Robbie’s “meditation”. He immersed himself in it, processes his emotions…

Learning to Identify Bureau of Land Management Horses and Number Placements

Nature and Culture Awareness Journal May 14, 2017 While at the Big Water Visitor Center at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the BLM ranger gave us a junior ranger booklet to do on our own. There was no formal “junior ranger program, nor one specific to any BLM territory, but there was a BLM pin that…

Bryce Canyon May 2017 (Part 2)

Nature and Culture awareness journal May 2017 “Mom, can we go down there?”, Robbie said pointing down into Bryce Canyon as we stood at the rim. We checked our supplies, aware we needed more water at 9400 feet, and headed for Navajo trail at Sunset rim. It was a steep descent full of switchbacks and…

Bryce Canyon May 2017 (Part 1)

Nature and Cultural Awareness Journal May 17, 2017 We have been here for 3 days now, our first night spent in an RV park just outside Bryce national park. We made our way from Southern Utah and Lake Powell, through parts of the vast and majestic Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Kanab, eventually getting to Bryce…

Grand Staircase-Escalante May 14, 2017

Nature and Cultural Awareness Journal May 14, 2017 Part 1 After a very brief drive, we landed at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Visitor Center in Big Water, Utah, just north of Lake Powell. What a wonderful little museum for kids with a penchant for dinosaurs. It was our first experience with the BLM…

Compensations Are Good??!

Pop! In the Tetons last summer, I was teaching a yoga class and felt my bicipital tendon snap. At first I thought it was just the fascial sheath, and since I have an old injury there, I knew “what to do”. But I didn’t. Instead I forced myself to get into a particular way of…

Lake Powell, Grand Staircase-Escalante May 13, 2017

Nature and Cultural Awareness Journal May 13, 2017 One of the wonderful things about being on the road is the people you meet. With all the very profound changes occurring across our political landscape, it seems imperative to understand and listen to why people believe the way they do, to see how they live and…

On Generosity and Grief

I’ve been considering the deeper meaning of generosity of late, past the slippery slopes of codependency of “over-giving and that of “giving away” money, time, and energy. This contemplation has made me aware of a certain amount of heartbreak that has ebbed and flowed over the last two weeks. And it finally occurred to me…

Making Our Way to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell

Nature Awareness and Culture Journal May 12, 2017 We hitched up and drove north this morning. First stopping at Phoenix Skyharbor Airport to drop off Bart. Ascending from the flatness of the Phoenix valley, we passed through the desert, into the red magical Cathedral rocks of Sedona to the evergreens of Flagstaff and the vicinity…

Breakfast at Montrose Pool: Nature Journal May 11, 2017

We hiked up a mile to Montrose pool this morning to eat our breakfast, a place that ran with clear and cold snow run off in February. Now at the beginning of May, it’s dry except for large pools formed by the full moon rains of the day before. Sometimes it’s nice just to sit…

Warm and Nourishing Breakfast Cereal

This morning we made a warm breakfast cereal that has anti-inflammatory properties, tastes great and is nourishing and warming for the body! Fresh spices are better if you have them. Takes 5 minutes at most! ½ cup sunflower seeds ½ pumpkin seeds 2 tablespoons sesame seeds ½ teaspoon cardamon ¼ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ginger…

Adult and Child Intuition

“That feeling you have in your gut”. Everyone has intuition. Some have it more developed than others. For some, their radar is in their emotions, for others in the physical body, and yet for others in their “movement” or “kinesthetic” body. Our senses in a way are the gateway to our intuition. Said another way,…

Remembering to Listen to My Child: Nature Journal May 8, 2017

Nature and cultural awareness journal: A few drops of rain dotted the rocks and the skin of my arms. “Mom, I think we better go back”. I paused and looked up at the sky. We were in Saguaro National Park hunting down petroglyphs to show his Dad who was visiting us on our trip out…

At Some Point in Metta Practice…

From the Metta (loving kindness) journal of Rita Naomi (april 2015): At some point in this practice, a type of subtle realization occurs: we start to become aware that the response we have to people in our life represents a reaction within ourselves, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant…An understanding starts to unfold where the…

Rattlesnakes and Friends in Catalina State Park (Part 2)

(from nature awareness and culture journal March 13, 2017, part 2) The sun was low in the sky now, and a lone coyote walked by 100 feet ahead. He saw us and ran in the other direction. Robbie: “Look mom a vermillion fly catcher! Those are my favorites!” Mom: “They are beautiful Robbie. Do you…

Rattlesnakes and Friends in Catalina State Park (Part 1)

(from nature journal March 13, 2017, part 1) The heat rose in waves off the dry ground, rippling up against the mountain backdrop. It was the hottest March on record in Catalina, Arizona. I was reminded of a Clint Eastwood western and laughed to myself as Robbie sprinted with his bike over the asphalt onto…

Moving Through Painful Moments

Pain is inevitable and a fact of life. Some of the compensatory responses to pain include “freezing”, holding our muscles tightly, and shutting down emotionally. If you can allow yourself small gentle movements in areas that are pain free, even just with your jaw, face or hands, the other places of pain can start to…

Nature Awareness School in Catalina State Park, April 19, 2017

(from Nature journal April 19, 2017) Robbie and I have attended several bird walks at Catalina State Park (Arizona) this year. We meet with the group usually by 7:30 a.m. and walk through the mesquite forests lining the wash of the park. One morning in March there were so many birds it took us 45…

Morning hawk meditation at Catalina State Park

This morning the air was crisp and cold. My ears ached from the bite of frosty air and I had on 2 down jackets. My friend Heather who was visiting from the Washington D.C. area got up to come along. As we walked along the trail, we came to a point where the path opened…

Meeting Jane Goodall…and Listening to Your Heart Call

Robbie and I were invited with our homeschooling group, Ancestral Knowledge, to meet Jane Goodall yesterday. She is a tiny woman, yet larger than life. Robbie told our friends her story later: “When she was 4, she wanted to know where the egg came from in the chicken. She followed one chicken into her coop…

A Birding Adventure in Catalina State Park

Today was our 5th birding adventure with a very knowledgeable group and ranger guide at Catalina State Park. The trees and flowers were coming into bloom. We watched nesting cooper Hawks build their nest and a mother great horned owl sitting on her nest, her head just peaking over the top. In the video, Robbie…

Metta in the Mountains of Catalina
Keeping Focus with Kindness

Yesterday, my son ran up to me, put his face close up to mine and said, “Mom, sometimes my head is so full of thoughts, I just hate all the thoughts that I can’t stop!” I asked, “do you want help with putting those thoughts on hold?” A type of eagerness to teach my son…

Nature, the Witness Mind and Change

All things change… One of the most powerful side effects of living close to nature is the developed power of the witness mind, and of recognizing how our emotional and physical states are always changing.   Nature and its rhythms are constantly changing, regardless if you are in the desert sun, ocean front, or mountain…

May Your Every Breath Be a Prayer of Wellbeing for You and All Beings

Happy Valentines day 2017! Sometimes the simplest things can remind us of just how important we are to the world around us. Keep it simple today…remember your breath…something you can take in and let out no matter where you are. Your breath feeds the trees, their breath feeds you. May your every breath be a…

“Upgrading” from Tent to Tiny Home Trailer (Part 1)

Morning prayers and yoga at an RV dealer in southern Tucson: Robbie and I bought a used 16 foot trailer and have been staying here the last 2 nights as the dealer fixes up the trailer and installs a hitch on my Subaru.     This place would be ugly by the standard of mountain,…

What Do You Hear When You Look…?

How do you perceive you with each sense? Pause and try each of these for a brief moment: Look at yourself in the mirror. Smell your body. Hum and hear your voice. Taste your sweat or a loved piece of food. Squeeze your arms and legs. What are the voices you hear as you engage…

Behavior is Movement…

The expression of emotion and thought into form. If our thoughts make us do and act in one way, our movement can make us think and feel another way. Where there is inner motor impulse, there is external sensory reciprocation. Where there is movement in one direction, there is a reciprocal movement in the other.…

Loving Kindness Practice and the New Moon

The subtle force of nature is always around us. Today in particular, the fingernail crescent is hanging in the sky, the new moon. So much is going on around us at any given time. While it’s important to remember to love oneself, we must also strike a balance with self focus otherwise it becomes narcissistic…

Is That True?

About 14 years ago, a close friend told me of a “letting go” technique called the Sedona method…it was a tool that was used to help people resolve and break up negative thinking patterns and emotional triggering. In the Sedona method, the process involves the following:   1. Naming the issue and the emotions that…

The Metta Practice of Loving-Kindness

Loving kindness meditation or “Metta” is a traditional Buddhist prayer that wishes benevolence and good wishes toward oneself and another. It is not a religious meditation, every major religion prays for the relief of suffering and the wish of peace toward others. The difference is the form in which this meditation is done, you can…

Yoga and movement awareness classes with Rita

In the yoga and mindful movement classes, you will explore practices that will energize and strengthen you, helping you to release deep-seated tension and cultivate a sense of presence and well-being. Most classes are designed to be inclusive for all levels of yoga, from new to experienced. A few details: * The movement session starts…

45 days of Metta, January 20-March 5, 2017

On Friday, January 20, 2017 at 6:30 a.m. Rita Naomi ( Rita Moran) will be inaugurating a Loving Kindness practice that will continue for 45 days, ending on March 5. The first session we will do online live via video. See @meditationhealingcompassion for more information. A couple of things to know about the 45 day…

Sensation: a Simple Method to Finding Your Center and Recovering Vitality

For most people, the oldest and most constant connection outside of our mothers is sensation. As babies, when we feel the sensation of hunger, we turn our heads to our mother’s breast. When we feel discomfort, we cry out to be held or touched, or to be covered to get warm. As we get older,…

Reestablishing a Rhythm

When everything around you appears in disarray…your thoughts befuddled and nothing makes sense…there is usually 1 of these 2 things going on: “creational chaos” or exhaustion. Creational chaos is a phrase I use to describe a normal pattern that occurs when life is organizing into a new way of being or living. Exhaustion occurs from…

Downloadable Practice for Centering in the Midst of Change

A step by step Home practice for Centering Oneself in the Midst of Change The one constant in life is change. To balance and maintain health during happy or sad times, try this practice of breath, movement and prayer/meditation for 30 days. Over the years, I have found this practice deeply restorative and helpful to…

Making New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 (Part 2)

“Sometimes you hear a voice through a door calling you…This turning toward what you deeply love saves you.” -Rumi My focus as a healer is the internal wound and shadow, for that which we carry cannot help but be manifested in some way in the world. Our lives, bodies, and minds, serve as a template…

Making New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 (Part 1)

Happy New Year Everyone… What a roller coaster this last year has been! With our travels through the U.S National Parks and Monuments in 2016, from the Northern United States to the west coast and now in the southwest, what has become clear is just how everyone is caught up in the ups and downs,…

Who Do I Pray For?

On the Mondays I teach yoga, I have a long drive to Arlington, Virginia. With about 60-75 minutes in traffic, sometimes more, I have made it my ritual to pray. I pray for people I know, people I don’t know, people that will come to class, and people suffering around the world. I take in…

A Pattern of Strength

Nature operates in patterns and rhythms. The moon rises, the sun sets. Winter comes, replaced by the sun of summer. For every life, there is a period of chaos that comes followed by structure. Within biological systems, a period of cellular chaos becomes the building blocks of life. If that structure is not living in…

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

“Don’t ask children what they want to be when they grow up, but what problems they want to solve. This shifts the conversation to who they want to work for to what they need to learn to get there.” – Jamie Casap   We put children on the spot all the time with this question…

“Mom, was Jesus “a” Einherjar?”

In the heart of the city of Santa Fe lies the church of St. Francis. Beautiful and lifelike statues, a large crucifix with what looked like real hair, and relics of saints reminded me of Catholic churches in Spain and Rome I visited as a child. I remember how strange I felt in those old…

Walking on Stilts and Awareness

One of the things about learning to stilt walk is noticing how much we depend on rolling from the heel to the big toe when we walk. There are other things as well, stilt walking forces us to pay attention to the core of the body, such as the abdominal muscles and the hips. These…

12 Steps for a Smooth Transition During Challenging Times

This summer my son Robbie and I spent a week tent camping in Mt. Rainier National Park. We camped in an old growth forest, a place called Ohanapecosh, a Native American name thought to mean “standing at the edge”. I thought about Ohanapecosh again today. We as a society are at our edge right now,…

Petroglyph National Monument

Several million years ago, massive upheaval in the earth’s crust shifted upward to form the Sangria mountains and the plateau in which Albuquerque now resides. Just 200,000 years ago, hot magma seeped through cracks in the earth crust, creating a ring of cinder cones along the western edge of Albuquerque. The Boca Negra canyon formed…

In Every Dark Problem…

Even as a baby, my son has always been fascinated by the mythical animal, the Phoenix. At first it was the idea of something disappearing and re-appearing. Then the idea of something that could be completely destroyed and then show up again unscathed, if not better. Children know first hand about creation and destruction, yet…

Whatever Park I’m In

My 7 year old son Robbie and I have been tent camping in U.S. National parks and monuments since June 21st of 2016. We did not set out to do this. Our “goal” was to camp in the Tetons, but I was also aware over the past year of great changes underfoot in our country,…

Blessings to the Waters that Nourish Every Soul

Saturday we went to “the place of the Red willow”, the Taos Pueblo.   The Taos Pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited dwelling in the United States and a designated World Heritage Site. Upon entering the Pueblo, a sign reads, “The Red Willow People of Taos Pueblo welcome visitors as they have for over 1,000…

Patterns of Pain, Patterns of Happiness (Part 2)

When working to relieve or eliminate chronic pain, it is essential to understand the underlying patterns of thought, movement and types of “tissue holding” that contribute to pain. Most people who come to see me for physical pain get this. And for those that really are committed, they discover the mental, physical, and energetic components…

Patterns of Pain, Patterns of Happiness (Part 1)

Perhaps the simplest and most efficient way to initiate healing and maximize efficiency and balance is through becoming aware of your Breathing.   In this short 2:34 minute video, we will explore breathing “naturally” and “unnaturally” to become aware. This movement lesson is taken from the book “Awareness through Movement”, by Moshe Fekdenkrais.   My…

More Awareness, Better Health

Most adults experience movement through mimicking a teacher of movement. They do the movement, very often a movement with an emphasis in one plane such as running, which provides minimal enhanced awareness for sustaining cognition over the life span. There is much evidence in neuroscience now that multiplanar* movement that challenges the mind and body…

Skeleton Meditation

Well it’s halloween, and it seemed appropriate to bring up the skeleton meditation. The skeleton meditation is done in Tibetan Buddhism and in other traditions of Buddhism as a form of embracing death and impermanence. This meditation is profound for cultivating a deep sense of groundedness and vitality, as well as equanimity within the self.…

Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon (Part 2)

(part 2 continued) Sitting on the patio, with the vast canyon behind and below us, Ranger Gaylen told us stories of oceans, of hardened sand dunes, melting islands and continents that eventually formed the the Colorado Plateau and the Grand Canyon. At one point, the wind gusts blew half the ranger exhibit off the table,…

Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon (Part 1)

We watched the sunset over the Vermillion Cliffs of Northern Arizona. From Zion earlier that morning, we ascended 4000 feet into the Boreal forest and the remains of an ancient ocean floor. We were going to the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon. As we came into the park, meadows of wheat colored grass were…

Our Results Will Bear Fruit

Whatever a person does, the results will follow him to the farthest reaches. There is nowhere, not on earth or in the sky, that the results of our deeds will not bear fruit. —The Dhammapada It is hard to get the perspective on just how deep Grand Canyon of Yellowstone park is. When I took…

What to Pack for a 1-2 week Camping Trip with Kids: Clothes and Personal Items

“You must have been planning this trip for a long time”, a woman said to me the other day. “Well actually, no I haven’t, we decided to go because it was time to go”, I said. As I reflected on my response while driving the 600 mile stretch between Lava Hot Springs, Idaho and Yosemite,…

Coyote Raven Scorpion Familiar

Sun rays appeared at the horizon. It was close to 600 a.m. and I was standing in tadasana, breathing in and out. Ujjayi. Dirga. I was fighting the urge to run inside. A raven cawed, sitting on the pine with ghostly green needles, another landed nearby.   Just 12 hours before, a coyote appeared before…

What to Pack in Your Backpack for Kids

We have been camping our way across the United States, staying at National Parks, spending most of our time in the Western parts of the country. It is the Centennial Anniversary of the National Park service and we have met many families and couples, giving us many people to play with! Robbie is asked repeatedly,…

Oh The Sky. What Beauty Is This?

I never understood how the Greeks could see Gods in the stars. The constellations have always appeared blurred and without detail, a leap of faith that I just could not fathom. But here in Montana at East Glacier National Park, the stars leap out of the sky, the blackness of night pure and magical. The…

Grove of the Patriarchs Meditation

We hiked in the Grove of the Patriarchs today. The fir and hemlock reached 300 feet into the sky forming a canopy overhead, teeming with silent life. About the forest floor lay their brethren, fallen comrades from their journey over time. New shoots sprang from root systems forming a mandala of green in the understory.…

What We See Before Us…Fire Meditation at Mt. Rainier

What we see before us can be the deepest meditation. A brief lull in the pouring rain at 7000 feet above sea level, approaching Sunrise Visitor Center in Mt. Rainier National Park. Camping in the woods for 4 days in pouring rain with temperatures ranging from 35-54 degrees Fahrenheit has been a process of deep…

Mount Rainier (Day 2)

We are on our second day of camping here in Mount Rainier National Park. It has alternated between pouring rain and damp wet coolness. Campfires feel good here. Robbie learned to build and make fires several months ago through the homeschool program, “Ancestral Knowledge”. He has been able to practice his skills intermittently this summer,…

Gratitude to Change the World

A park service employee was busy swishing out the toilets. I said, “thank you so much for doing this.” “Wow, no one ever says that to me”, he said. “I appreciate what a good job you are doing, really. When I came here the first night, it was pouring rain, there were tracks of mud…

It’s A Good Life

My son and I were taking a break this morning from reading and made our way to drop off things at a Wider Circle, a center dedicated to ending poverty for families in the Washington, DC area. That morning Dad had dropped off a trunk full of quilts, pillows and stuffed animals. Robbie was delighted.…

Wholistic Fitness

True fitness of the heart, mind, and body or “wholistic fitness” relies on our ability to   1) Contract the muscles and whatever we need to contract in our behavior and sprit, AND 2) Relax and rest in the in-between phases of exercise and life.        

True Healing Can Occur Right Now

You can heal right now.   You can.   True healing occurs in many dimensions, at the heart, the body, the mind, and the spirit. True healing also occurs at many dimensions, in planes that we cannot possibly see or be aware of.   The other day my son asked me, “What is a tesseract?”…

Living In The Flow (Part 5)

I had planned the Grand Tetons as our destination, but had no idea when we would get there. Dad took a great interest in our route across country, and so it was with him I spoke before and during the trip. When I was young, we drove several times across the United States. Dad was…

Living In The Flow (Part 4)

June 22, 2016 I planned for the western border of Minnesota today. At mile 300, feeling very tired, something made me look to my right at the approaching highway exit. At the same time, Robbie and I saw it: huge water slides and chutes, some extending into a building 6 stories high. We had reached…

Living In The Flow (Part 3)

Our first night was in a KOA campground in Indiana, 100 miles shy of Chicago. I brought Robbie a special treat of butter cookies with chocolate and pop rocks. (Yes, pop rocks. He had never had pop rocks and what better way to celebrate finishing 1st grade?) We set up our tent. Robbie exclaimed, “Mom,…

Living In The Flow (Part 2)

Surrendering to the flow of life does not require a place or anything special, it can happen right now in one breath and then the next.   Yet to surrender very often means letting go into the “unknown”. For many, fear of the unknown will stop people for years from making any move forward into…

Living In The Flow (Part 1)

I have always been a believer that when living in the dharma, the flow of life naturally pulses through you, and the ability to achieve, be well and happy happens easily. And when illness and unhappiness come about, the flow is blocked.   This approach can seem to have little compassion and affluent based, depending…

Nature Gives Us Healing…

Nature gives us healing in all ways. When we can meet the elements and the animals where they are, preparing ourselves and being open, we prepare for the possibilities of wonder.   One of the more amazing experiences this summer while camping in the Grand Tetons was receiving snow and hail.The Lower Saddle received 4…

Caldera Sunrise and Traveling West

The sun rose over the mountains of Yellowstone. After 34 days of camping in the Grand Tetons, I broke camp; we were headed for British Columbia and the Wanderlust Yoga Festival. The mist rose over the caldera, hot pots of mud bubbling and boiling while animals stirred. A golden eagle swooped down to the river…

Presence and Love During The Process Of Dying, Day 4

During the process of my mother’s death 3 years ago, she was in day 4 of a coma from an aneurysm, I was in the middle of leading a 40 day meditation on love. Here is the writing from the 9th day: Pure presence is one breath at a time. Love exists somewhere in there.…

Friend, What Can I Do?

A homeless man reached out to me the other day, he was young but his shoulders were hunched over and his chest collapsed. He was carrying a sign that said, “homeless veteran”. As I drove up closer to him, he held up his sign. All I had available were 3 packs of tofu on my…

You Can’t Step In The Same River Twice…

After 29 days of living and sleeping outdoors with 21 days of them in Grand Teton National Park, people have asked me, “aren’t you tired of this?” They seem surprised that we have slept outdoors AND stayed in the same place.   But here in this place is great beauty. Everyday I stare at the…

Finding Your Guidepost

Sometimes we reach a crossroads in life. Old ways, old paths pull at us telling us to keep the status quo. Yet there is something larger pulling, calling us toward our best selves, the self in alignment with our higher calling.     Very often the pull to our higher calling starts out subtelty, a…

Wait 5 Minutes…

My son and I were standing on the prairie, looking out at the clouds rolling in. A black sheet of ominous rain appeared on the horizon and I was nervous about our tent. “The cowboy” rolled up asking if we were okay and I replied yes. But I must have looked nervous. “If you don’t…

Big Horn Mountains and Shoshone National Forest (Part 2)

We continued on down through the Big Horn mountains, the scenery gradually changing. The geology  was similar to Needles highway (see Needles highway post) in Custer State forest.   Robbie and I talked this morning about the elements of earth, water and air. All of them move, have their own stories and histories, magical and…

Big Horn Mountains and Shoshone National Forest (Part 1)

June 28, 2016   My son asked me to be his teacher this summer instead of summer camp. The Rocky Mountains called us, so taking the Northern routes, we camped and drove. Our destination: the Grand Tetons.   Today we traveled across a mountain pass through the Big Horn National forest to Shell Falls. We…