Order of Essenes: Book 3 [Self-Engineering]

We continue our review of lessons gleaned from the Order of Essenes.

Order of Essenes: Book Three mentions the idea of “human engineering.” The entire Order of Essenes course is about self-improvements, but this is the first mention of the “human engineering” concept.

I dig it. I might modify to “self-engineering.”

Most of us haven’t graduated with an engineering degree, but we’re all engineers at heart. Will our constructs be strong and build us up, or are we building on a foundation of quick-sand that is pulling us down.

It’s your choice.

  • “The heights of great men reached and kept were ne’er attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night,” are words of wisdom, the expression of a universal principle.
  • You understand that you have taken years to acquire your present accepted opinions, your habits of thoughts and action. Your condition physically and mentally is the result of your past. Your social and financial position is an effect of long-standing causes. Life Science is a study of causes, and how to motivate them – human engineering.
  • There are unlimited possibilities for you. You will soon come to appreciate this — When you do, a new day will dawn for you.
  • When Christ, who was an Essene, taught that “as you give, so shall you receive,” he was not talking religion; he was expounding a metaphysical law that always works. The time and thought that you give to this study cannot be lost. No effort is ever lost. Men are not rewarded nor punished for their deeds, but by them.
    • Get what you give. Simple, but not easy.
  • If on all occasions you express thankfulness, that giving has an appropriate reward for you in the cosmic universe. If in your work you give your very best efforts, that form of giving will be rewarded though you may not appreciate it at the moment. Each should be a stylist in his work.
  • This is a world of cause and effect, of action and reaction, of law, of perfect order.
  • It is the dominant trend of your secret thoughts that make or break your whole career, which beautify or mar your personality and which render you either radiant or repressive.
  • Therefore, be more careful of your thinking than you are of your money if you would safeguard the greater values.
  • One of the first principles to learn is that there can be no effect produced, without there being a cause back of it.
  • Take the lantern in the hand and you will always have light enough for your next step, no matter how dark, for the light will move along with you. Do not try to see a long way ahead.

History: Egypt, Order of Essenes, and Jesus

  • About fifteen hundred years B. C. Amenhotep III, Pharoah of Egypt, is known to have written certain philosophies, and deductions with respect to natural laws.
  • A society known as the Essenes, two centuries B. C., which was a secret order,
  • Jesus at the age of twelve was adopted by the order and therein He learned principles, philosophies, and the secrets of the order of the Essenes.
  • He became so enthused with the teachings, and saw in them such possibilities for the human race that he became possessed with the urge to give to the world this understanding, and began his ministry at the age of thirty…
  • There could be no question but that the 104th Psalm of the Bible was taken almost literally from the writings of this Pharoah 1500 years B. Ć.
  • What Jesus was trying to teach was that the life spark, the spirit, the soul, or whatever it is within man that is permanent, the you, is a part of the universal.
  • All religions are but aspects of the one truth.

Instructions – Eating:

I’m not following these suggestions at this point, but they are very interesting. There is a lot of discussion online about these food combining ideas.

  • Scientific combination of foods
  • Proteins don’t mix with starches – different digestive environments
  • There are certain foods which together form a harmonious combination, and require the same digestive juices, while others in combination conflict, and the digestive enzymes are ineffective because in opposition. Making up a general list of these we find that there are two classifications, one that we can call positive, and the other negative
  • Polarity is operative throughout all Nature, as we have seen, and its cardinal rule is: Likes repel and unlikes attract. So we find that two positives conflict if combined, thus the rule is not to combine any of the Protein list with any items of the Carbohydrate list, either of them will combine with items of the Negative list. Another Rule, is, not to combine Proteins with a concentrated oil or fat.
  • The simple way to understand this is to take the list of protein foods which will follow and call it group one (1), then, take the carbohydrates and mark it group two (2), and then, take the Neutrals and mark it group three (3). Then remember you can combine in one meal 1 and 3, or 2 and 3, but avoid so far as possible combining foods in groups one and two.
  • Avoid too many soft foods that are simply swallowed without being chewed and are therefore improperly prepared for treatment in the digestive tract.
  • Never eat when you are mentally disturbed and the negative ’emotions are aroused. Do not eat rapidly. Thoroughly chew what you eat. Do not wash down food with your drinks. Have your food reduced to almost liquid form by the chewing process. Immediately after eating do not engage in violent physical exercise
  • A safe rule. Each meal a few simple foods. A variety in the different meals. Don’t strive for great variety in a single meal.

Order of Essenes: Book 2 [Power of the Breath]

Order of Essenes

Order of Essenes

I introduced the Order of Essenes in the last post.

Order of Essenes: Book 2 doesn’t disappoint – wide-ranging advice that reads like it’s been passed down for generations and closes with a focus on the power of the breath.

  • Life is a search for power; and this is an element with which the earth is so saturated there is no chink or crevice in which it is not lodged — “no honest seeking goes unrewarded.”. All the power you can ever use exists and awaits your intelligent mastery.
  • To each is given the power to become a master builder in the temple of destiny but it is latent power and must first be discovered, then used.
  • Let us do our best to satisfy the hunger of the mind, to ascertain the secrets of nature, to the end that we may make the invisible forces of nature the servant of man and fill the land with happy homes.
  • Our mental attitude, our heart’s desire, is our perpetual prayer which nature answers. Heart prayers, not head prayers, are answered.
  • Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action rather than the dead calm of ignorance or cowardice.
  • When we are in tune, life lengthens, fear dies, joy de ens, love intensifies and the world is free.
  • “A Life Principle” Be not disappointed, if you find the so-called supernatural is in reality perfectly natural.
  • He who seeks to discover must first reduce himself into a kind of abstract idealism and must make way for the faculties which meditate and contemplate, and give rein to the faculty of imagination
  • In this world, there is neither chance nor caprice, neither magic nor miracle. Force is eternal. It can neither be created or destroyed.
  • An open mind is the one essential–the first step, the great necessity, and the forerunner of progress.
  • You have a higher self and all the while you have been thinking in terms of flesh and blood, and not as a center of consciousness, just clothed by a garment of flesh.
  • To get these powers into proper channels, to come into a realization that you not only possess them but can manifest – make use of them in, every situation and under all conditions, in the everyday affairs of life, is our objective,
  • And just as a preliminary training we suggest that whatever task you are engaged in, whatever thing you have before you to do, do it just the best you know how, not to please another, but to experience an inner satisfaction on awakening of unused power sources.

 Breathing:

  • After retiring each night and upon awakening and before you get up – lie prone (upon your back) then lift up or puff out the triangular space just below the sternum.
  • By “puff out’ we do not mean to breathe and puff out with your breath, we mean for you to learn to throw the abdominal muscles out and the diaphragm down.
  • The diaphragm is the arch of muscles over the abdominal cavity.
  • You will have the position correct if you feel a pressing outward high on the side of the ribs. This will free the solar plexus and put you in position for the next step.
  • When in position, close your mouth and inhale through your nose in a series of small puffs, the same as though you were pumping up a balloon short little strokes.
  • Fill your abdomen first, then gradually extend to the upper part of the chest, then after reaching your capacity in expanding, hold the breath for a short space.
  • Then get rigid or stretch-which is a tightening of the muscles of the entire body.
  • Then suddenly exhale through your mouth, ejecting the breath somewhat forcibly.
  • Don’t strain or try to over-do.
  • After some days or weeks of practice, you will be taking in a lot more air and expanding more.
  • You are requested to do this five times night and morning.
  • You will more than likely want to yawn. Go ahead and yawn, but don’t count that as one of the five exercises. That is just nature’s welcome and putting a balance in the system.
  • If you don’t pump that air into the abdomen and get way down with it, you miss three-fourths of the value.
  • When correctly done you have pressure from within, by reason of a full breath held, and pressure from without by reason of muscular tension.
  • The objective is to give a sort of squeezing to the cells of the body just like squeezing liquid out of a sponge – the cells and organs of the body being the sponge.
  • We want you to thoroughly understand the objectives of these exercises so that as you do them you picture in your mind what is taking place.

Order of Essenes: Book One [Old, New Thought Resurrected to Offer an Operating System for Life]

Order of Essenes

Order of Essenes

For a number of months, I’ve been studying a 24 “book” mail-order course from a now-defunct New Thought organization called the Order of Essenes.

Also referred to as “Life Science.” I dig the science of living. 🙂

New Thought is a bit tough to define, but if we must…New Thought as defined by Encyclopedia Brittanica:

New Thought, a mind-healing movement that originated in the United States in the 19th century, based on religious and metaphysical (concerning the nature of ultimate reality) presuppositions. The diversity of views and styles of life represented in various New Thought groups are difficult to describe because of their variety, and the same reason makes it virtually impossible to determine either membership or adherents.

I don’t necessarily prescribe to the board idea of New Thought, but I am a fan of systems…

Before the internet, people actually took courses through the mail. Not email, actual mail. Crazy, right?!

The Oder of Essenes mail correspondence course was recently put online by John Greer (also mentioned recently in the Box Breathing post.)

I’ll let Mr. Greer share his background with the Order of Essenes: A Few Notes on American Magic.

For purposes of this discussion, a few points…

  1. I’m going to share my notes from the 24 Books here.
  2. These notes allow me to digest what I read and easily review going forward.
  3. These thoughts align well with the systems thinking I mentioned above.
  4. To move into Book 25 and beyond, the Order requires written commentary on the passages – I’m hoping these posts qualify to see what’s next.

The “books” are short, but they are full of insights on life – love, work, relationships, self-improvement, spirituality, etc.

The books are intended to be reviewed 1 per week – read, think, practice, rinse and repeat.

Each book also offers a direction or instruction for the week.

Check out the list of great thoughts in Book 1, including some basics on water…

Order of Essenes: Book One

  • The greatest sin is fear.
  • The best day is today.
  • The best town is where you succeed.
  • The most agreeable person is one who would not have you any different from what you are.
  • The great bore is one who will not come to the point. A still greater bore is one who keeps on talking after he has made his point.
  • The greatest deceiver is one who deceives himself, The greatest secret of production is saving waste.
  • The best work is what you like.
  • The most ridiculous asset is pride.
  • The worst bankrupt is the soul that has lost its enthusiasm.
  • The cleverest man is one who has always done what he thinks is right.
  • The most dangerous person is the liar.
  • The most disagreeable person is the complainer.
  • The best teacher is the one who makes you want to learn..
  • The best play is work.
  • The greatest comfort is the knowledge that you have done your work well.
  • The greatest mistake is giving up.
  • The most expensive indulgence is hate.
  • The cheapest, stupidest and easiest thing to do is find fault, The greatest trouble maker is one who talks too much.
  • The greatest stumbling block is egotism.
  • The meanest feeling of which any human being is capable is feeling bad at another’s success.
  • The greatest need is common sense.
  • The greatest puzzle is life.
  • The greatest mystery is death.
  • The greatest thing, bar none, in all the world, is love.
  • Careful planning, backed by enthusiastic effort, is as essential in human engineering, as it is in structural engineering.
  • Millions now living are dead but don’t know it. Dead to the possibilities of their future. Dead to the opportunities of lite. Dead to a vision of their own potentialities.
  • Experience is cumulative and the next best step begins where the last one ended. We can’t go back and do the thing over; neither can we reach a destination ahead without setting our gaze in that direction. The shortest route is a continuous straight line.
  • It is not selfishness to think about yourself, only by self-enlightenment can you be prepared for a full measure of service, giving of yourself, and thus attain your cherished aims.

Instructions – Water 💦:

  • 85% water
  • Vehicle of life
  • 2 quarts per day
  • Drink when you get up/before bed
  • Drink balance of 2 quarts through the day
  • Don’t wash food down
  • Best time is 20 mins b/f eating

Settling Into Life as a Special Needs Family

It’s been a while since we chatted about special needs, the Dudes, and Handsome Mack

No time like the present for a catch-up sesh. We’ve definitely grown – figuratively and literally.

We’re no experts – because no one is – but we are settling into our life as a special needs family.

The shock and awe of the diagnosis, the rapid learning phase, and mobilization of a “team” are behind us – although the ground is always shifting. The true tests are underway – how do we manage our day-to-day?

No small task.

I’ve located a few interesting Mack-related links that share similarities with my perspective of this journey…


I like this open letter from a dad to his non-verbal autistic son. I understand the feels. Sometimes the deeper meaning is right on the surface. “I promise you I will spend my life keeping you safe and making this world better for you.” Hard to get deeper than the natural love from dad to son.


I try to relate to the thoughts in Mack’s head. Not easy. We’re all locked in our own heads, but Mack can’t even attempt to describe. Non-verbal is an interesting quality.

This article attempts to explain what it’s like to be autistic. Decent attempt for someone that isn’t autistic. I really like The Reason I Jump for a glimpse inside an autistic mind. Might be challenging for caregivers, but it sure is hard for the autistic mind too.


Mack turned 7 in January. I feel this mom worried about her non-verbal son that just turned 10. Special needs begin to stand out as you age. School becomes less relevant as the progress gap widens. Support is harder to find as the years add on. Reality can be raw.


The above article is our present – starting to see a vision of the short AND longterm perspectives. This complex life of a mom and her 22-year-old non-verbal son is a glimpse of the future. The challenges coming into view at 7 are real.

Challenges build.

But so does resilience, strength, love, beauty, appreciation…a life lived with a view of a deeper meaning that is hard to find and harder to hold onto.


Siblings live a life touched by special needs as well. Our family – top to bottom – is forever improved by our everyday life. This article sharing the deep relationship between brothers, one disabled and non-verbal, offers an understanding of connections made beyond words. It’s amazing to watch these relationships form with people around Mack – especially his sister and brothers.


Mack seems most at home outside. Especially at the edge of the ocean. He can dodge crashing waves all day. Sun. Wind. Movement. Fresh air. A peace that is difficult to recreate away from the water.

I feel this dad of a son with a “shockingly rare genetic disorder” – also non-verbal – when he explains The Importance of the Family Cottage…

[I]t was also a place where Walker could be who he was, free from the stares and expectations of others. As could the rest of us. The light and the wind seemed to change my son, calm him down

[A] developmental pediatrician revealed how delayed Walker actually was. He told us Walker would never read or drive a car. Then he asked if had any questions. I replied by explaining how Walker changed when we went up there to the island, how he seemed to lift his head toward the light and the breeze in the west and settle. I asked if I would ever be able to explain to Walker how much that place meant to me.

“Not rationally, no,” the doctor replied. “But it sounds as if he already understands it anyway, in his being. You know what the Buddhists say: get out of the way of your own mind. In that way, Walker’s miles ahead of all of us.”


I wonder how much words get in our way? How much thought diverts our attention and delays our true potential?

Huckberry tackled this question in a post I’ve held onto for a while – Active Mind: Thinking Without Words.

They build a strong case for the power of words…

Put simply: the words you know and use are going to affect the way you act. It’s Mom’s famous advice: you are who your friends are; it’s just that your friends happen to be the words you know and use. So the better words you have, the better you can describe and (ostensibly) understand and experience the world.

But, more importantly for this discussion, also the great happiness and peace of no words.

The absence of inner speech does not mean unhappiness, in fact, it may lead to profound joy.

So to complete our question: No, man didn’t think before words, he acted on instinct. But, it wasn’t a horrible existence, and it may have been extremely peaceful.

Knowing there may be profound joy and extreme peace in Mack’s mind makes me happy. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons in Love: 10 Years of Marriage…and a Bunch of Blog Posts

The Mrs and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this year.

A 7 day all-inclusive trip to Antigua – pretty awesome, but we did lose an iPhone (last picture to the right), get food poisoning, and realize we’re not all-inclusive people.

Life is full of lessons.

This momentous occasion led me to think about doing my part to make the next 10 the very best they can be.

Wish I could say I have it all figured out, but really do we ever have it figured out – life, love, ladies…very confusing topics.

I horde links of great blog posts on the reg, so I turned to my “Love” category to see what lessons I need to incorporate in the next 10 amazing years of wedded bliss…

Lessons in Love

Let’s start with a couple quotes from Esther Perle

A Definition of Love by Esther Perel

It’s a verb. It’s an active engagement with all kinds of feelings—positive ones and primitive ones and loathsome ones. But it’s a very active verb. And it’s often surprising how it can kind of ebb and flow. It’s like the moon. We think it’s disappeared, and suddenly it shows up again. It’s not a permanent state of enthusiasm.

Marriage by Esther Perel

Marriage is an aggregate of multiple narratives. It belongs to the people who are in it, but it also belongs to the people who are supporting it and living around it: family, friends, community. As I once said, and it became a kind of a saying for me, when you pick a partner, you pick a story, and then you find yourself in a play you never auditioned for. And that is when the narratives clash.

How to Easily Make Your Relationships Awesome: 4 Secrets

  • Bids & responses
  • Turn toward bids
  • Decode bids
  • Ok to miss 20%
  • Curiosity, depth, and feelings
  • Collector of emotional moments

8 Things Happily Married Couples Do 

  • Pay compliments
  • Express thanks
  • Take their workload
  • Apologize when wrong
  • Help de-stress
  • Physical – light touch, small kiss
  • Send partner out
  • Send self out

Became More Self-Aware in Your Marriage

  • Tripple A
    • Attention
    • Affection
    • Acknowledgment
  • “Thank you for putting aside yourself to do this for me.”

100 Small, Nice Things

  • All good ideas

5 Habits of Happy Marriages

  • Prioritize positivity
  • Cultivate healthy passion
  • Savor experiences
  • Focus on character strengths
  • Emphasize gratitude

7 Tips for Building a Marriage

  • Daily practice
  • Make sure on the same page
  • Control your own happiness
  • Balance parenting and marriage
  • Ask, “how can I help?”

8 Communication Traits of Happy, Healthy Marriages

  • Daily appreciations – quantity leads to happiness
  • Active listening
  • Write down criticisms – if ever needed
  • Practice positivity – 5:1 ratio positive:negative
  • Embrace the power of timeout
  • Make contact
  • Use “I” statements
  • Ask questions – get curious

How to Keep a Long-Term Marriage Thriving, According to 7 Happily Married Men

  •  Prioritize date-nights
  • Remember the little things
  • Revisit places
  • Know love languages
  • Surprise romantic gestures
  • Court once per month
  • Compliment her

How to Have a Happy Marriage: Powerful Secrets from Research

  • Bad things are exceptions, good things are traits
  • Give thanks
  • Celebrate the good times (capitalization)
  • Communication is key
  • Try a new restaurant after you go skydiving

10 Relationship Skills All Husbands & Wives Need to Master

  • Show appreciation (validation): be there, listen
  • Listen: what would help you most right now?
  • Avoid interruption
  • Flirt: practice posture of interest
  • Set appropriate boundaries
  • Prioritize marriage
  • Watch words during arguments: use “I” statements
  • Stay clear of invalidation
  • Know when to take a timeout
  • Pay attention to body language

Small Facial Expressions Let You Know Your Marriage is Happy

  • 80% of communication is nonverbal – faces display an immense amount of information
  • Grab nose = more space
  • Bite or grab lower lip = solve a problem/get rid of something
  • Upper lip = stimulated by conversation or appearance
  • Copied or repeated behaviors = positive
  • Rolling eyes and not focusing on the partner = lack/loss of respect

4-Fold Breathing (aka Box Breathing) is a Killer Addition to Your Meditation and Daily Routine

Breath control and breathing exercises are killer, brah.

And there are a variety of methods to choose from…

When I added discursive meditation to my daily routine, I also added a breathing routine/exercise – 4-Fold/Fourfold Breathing, aka Box Breathing.

I start my meditation with a few rounds of 4-fold breathing to center, relax and get in the meditation groove.

  • In for 4
  • Hold for 4
  • Out for 4
  • Hold for 4
  • Repeat

The same cool Druid cat that intro’ed me to discursive meditation also open the fourfold breath path – they go hand-in-hand. Here’s the description

“Once you’ve settled into your position, consciously relax each part of your body, starting with your feet and moving step by stap up to the top of your head. Then spend a few minutes paying conscious attention to your breath, breathing in and out slowly, evenly and fully. A traditional breathing exercise called the Fourfold Breath is commonly used here. Breathe slowly in while counting mentally from one to four; hold your breath in, while counting from one to four; breathe out, counting from one to four; and hold the breath out, with the lungs empty, while counting from one to four, and repeat. The counts should all be at the same pace, and the breath should be held in or out with the muscles of the chest and diaphragm, not by closing the throat, which can lead to health problems.”

Navy Seals dig box breathing, Laird Hamilton/Gabby Reece are down with it too, and the interwebs are full fo love for the fourfold breath.

Super easy. Works wonders.

Discursive Meditation: An Opposite Way to Meditate and An Awesome Life Hack

Discursive meditation is not new – unless you consider Pythagoras new. But it sure was new to me.

I”ve discussed my love for meditation a few times, but that love was for Eastern meditation that focuses on daily practice to quiet the mind.

Discursive meditation focuses on daily practice to engage the mind. A deeper mind than we engage on the surface.

The opposite of the quiet mind – an active mind focused on one theme.

How much can we learn from that deep mind?

It’s pretty cool. I switched my daily practice to discursive meditation a few months ago, and i’m not sure I’ll go back. The deep mind is super cool.

As I mentioned, it’s not new, and there are a variety of sources for reference – many Christian.

I learned about it from this cool cat in the Druid scene.

 

 

Reflexology: The Missing Ingredient in Your Movement Routine?

I’ve mentioned movement/mobility a few times – here, here, here, over here, one more here, and oh yeah, right here.

I’m a bit of a link-hoarder. I follow topics I’m interested in and save links to review – at some point. A lot of these lists sit idle.

But I recently made time for the mobility/movement links. Below is the categorized list of my recent review.

There are a lot of great ideas in that list. But one caught me by surprise with its simplicity and effectiveness.

Reflexology is an alternative medicine involving the application of pressure to the feet and hands with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques.

I’ve been working my feet and hands the past month or two. I’m amazed at the connections that run throughout the body – from your big toe to the top of your neck!?

Here’s a good overview video, and some suggestions to practice sitting at your desk. Give it a whirl.

Recent movement/mobility link review:

 

 

Wu Wei: The Foundation to Systems Thinking and the Game of Life

If ever forced to choose one philosophy, Taoism seems like a rad path to wander.

One of my favorite Tao parables is about a farmer.

Alan Watts spins a nice esoteric yarn… [hat tip Kottke]

Once upon a time, there was a Chinese farmer who lost a horse. Ran away. And all the neighbors came ‘round that evening and said, “that’s too bad.”

And he said, “maybe.”

The next day, the horse came back and brought seven wild horses with it. And all the neighbors came around and said, “that’s great, isn’t it?”

And he said, “maybe.”

The point, according to Watts’ interpretation of Lao Tzu’s teachings, is “to try to live in such a way that nothing is either an advantage or a disadvantage”.

The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad, because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune. Or you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.

[Hat tip Medium]

Making the most of whatever comes your way. Flexible. Accommodating. A level of emotional intelligence to remove labels – no good, no bad. Taking responsibility to maintain the flow of the every day, every moment.

Much easier said than done.

The simple always is.

The Tao refers to this idea as Wu Wei – literally, the art of non-action, or non-doing.

The Tao, like life, is a paradox.  How do you “do” nothing?

The Wu Wei of the farmer is a great model.

Brue Lee offers another metaphor – “Be like water, my friend.” [Hat tip BrainPickings]

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~Bruce Lee

I’m tempted to share a personal example. Yet, better left undone.

We ALL live so many examples of Wu Wei every day. Every moment is an opportunity.

If the Game of Life is won with happiness, Wu Wei keeps a smile on your face.

If systems are designed to maximize success, Wu Wei leverages available strengths.

I like this description by Stuart Wilde – find your middle way…

Aligning to nature and its softness is the middle way. It involves no struggle, or confrontation, you can act coherently in life, but you do not need to force your way along, as the emotion of that often pushes things away from you. It’s like the Zen philosophy, it’s a solid calm, it’s the way of love and the path of least resistance. The Tao is full of love because it respects animals and nature, and other humans, also in the calm of the middle way you can communicate more clearly with yourself, aware of your feelings and intuition.

Related Posts:

Inside Edge: A Yoga Secret to Staying Present in the Now

Yoga has become a staple in my fitness/movement regimen. A great mix of strength, flexibility, and quiet.

On a good week, I can hit four classes. When I miss a week, my body feels it.

In addition to keeping my body right, yoga helps keep my mind right.

I’m no expert in yogic traditions, but yoga carries a strong component of spiritual training that has been passed along for eons. Life lessons are often sprinkled into a yoga class.

As your physical body is stretched to the limits, your mind is forced to move to the present.

A great supplement to meditation.

A small comment from the instructor this week stuck with me.

“As you practice your forward fold, shift your weight to the ball of your feet – focus on grounding the inside edge of your foot. When you do this, your mind will be forced to stay present in the Now.”

Balance is crucial in yoga (and life). Your body has a tendency to shift your weight to the outside edge of your feet as you try to maintain balance in difficult positions.

When you focus on shifting your weight to the inside edge of your feet, you get a deeper stretch (in many positions), and you work against your default mode. You force your mind to focus in the moment – presence, awareness, Now.

This presence is the essence of meditation.

Perhaps the essence of spirituality.

A simple shift of your weight. A shift that is applicable at any moment in your day. A physical shift that also triggers the most fundamental mental shift.

The Inside Edge of Life. My new secret to staying in the moment.