"Ultimately we just have one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace,

and to reflect it to others. The more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world."

- Etty Hillesum

Struggling less
Savoring more

METTA Prayer

Charles Kasler

former member of Kripalu Ashram

May I be at peace with life as it is.
May I be free from ill will and fear.
May I be at peace with sorrow and pain.
May I sense my own worthiness and wellbeing.
May I hold myself and others in compassion.
May I trust the present moment.
May I have a calm and open heart.

Danna Faulds

 Breath, the mindful breath,
the rhythm, out and in,
the wave that washes
through our days, creating
space for stillness, sorrow,
joy, or exaltation.  Full,
then empty, ebb and flow,
breath accompanies each
step into the unknown.
In the breath, the soul
finds an opportunity to
speak.  Images or intuition,
poetry or wordless wisdom
come and go -- no effort but
to breathe and listen.

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our touch, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit."                          e.e.cummings

Make me an instrument of peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

- St. Francis of Assisi

One Soul
Danna Faulds

Release the harsh and pointed inner
voice. it's just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.

Let go of self-judgment and the old,
ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.

Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet. When you shift
out of inner criticism, life
suddenly looks very different.

Release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real you.

What's needed here isn't more striving

toward the illusion of perfection.

What is needed is intimacy - seeing clearly, and
embracing what you see.

Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquility and change.

Let It Go

Danna Faulds

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold;
the holding of plans or dreams or expectations --
Let it all go.

Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now will only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for.
Let go.

Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes through your days, whether you receive it gently or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on faith:  the mind may never find the explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward nonetheless.

Let go, and the wave's crest will carry you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams or destinations.

Let it all go and find the place of rest and peace, and certain transformation.

P.O. Box 406 Charleston, WV 25322     Phone: 304-595-0742       email: info@laotongyoga.org

What lies behind you and what lies

before you, are tiny matters compared

to what lies within you.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Seasons Change

(Written by a participant in the Yoga Teachers Training at Lakin Correctional Center)

As I gaze out my window, I watch as the leaves change every day.
I have come to realize that I too change year after year.
Surrounded by the unknown, I am unknown.
Digging within my meticulous inner being, I sift through trying to decipher the truth.
Nevertheless, there is no true answer.
As my breath decides to flow, Seasons change just as life is so.
Much like a leaf will not return the same; I dare to repeat history as this always results in much pain.
I sit by myself, having a debate within
While meditating on the abyss I search for true meaning.
Can I change without a season?
Can a season exist without a change?
I believe with every breath I become one with my thoughts, my being,
And with deep awareness that life-changing seasons are one leaf away from the path of consciousness, and the possibility of true bliss.

“At times our own light goes out and

is rekindled by a spark from another person.

Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude

of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

— Albert Schweitzer

Just For Now

 Danna Faulds

Just for now, without asking how,

let yourself sink into stillness.

Just for now, lay down the
weight you so patiently
bear upon your shoulders.
Feel the earth receive
you, and the infinite
expanse of sky grow even
wider as your awareness
reaches up to meet it.

 Just for now,

allow a wave of breath

to enliven your experience.

Breathe out
whatever blocks you from
the truth. Just for now, be
boundless, free, awakened
energy tingling in your
hands and feet. Drink in
the possibility of being
who and what you really are
so fully alive that when you
open your eyes the world
looks different, newly born
and vibrant, just for now.