summercushman

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So far summercushman has created 33 blog entries.

Habits and Kleshas : Yoga Sutra 2.3-9

Now, the teachings of yoga [are presented]. Yoga is the stilling of the changing states of the mind. When that is accomplished, the seer abides in its own true nature. These are the first three aphorisms in the Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjali. The goal of yoga practice is clear: to still the ever changing states of our mind. Once we have accomplished this goal, we will be able to rest in our own true nature (the tradition calls this nature Pure Awareness). Otherwise, at other times, [the seer] is absorbed in the changing states [of the mind]. There are five ... (Continue Reading)

By |2017-11-08T09:24:14-07:00January 31st, 2014|Asana, Embodiment, Meditation, Nature, Practice, Pranayama, Retreats, Spirituality, Yoga|2 Comments

Being Present with Suffering

When I'm wrestling with an idea I can sometimes (OK, often) be guilty of staying too high in the mountains, rather than down in the valleys---down in the mud. Lately I've been working with an especially tough subject though (did you read the title of this post?) and not getting very far. Mostly I've been writing and deleting, writing and deleting. Suffering and pain are in the mud. When one attempts to write about such things from a theoretical perspective, it can quickly sound hollow. Suffering and pain are real. They are aspects of life that can't be avoided. Last ... (Continue Reading)

By |2014-11-18T14:35:14-07:00December 10th, 2013|Embodiment, Meditation, Practice, Pranayama, Relationships, Yoga|10 Comments

Vegan Thanksgiving Menu (2013)

My sister and I both spend a lot of time reading cookbooks, thinking and talking about recipes and, of course, cooking. We love to make and eat good food and we both love to feed people! I have been working on creating a classic Vegan Thanksgiving menu for a few years now, but this year I asked my sister to help me perfect it. We've been working hard to adapt, create, test and write these recipes. This picture is from September, when we did our huge test of the recipes. Here's the menu: White Bean Pot Pies Green Bean Casserole ... (Continue Reading)

By |2019-10-08T15:07:21-07:00November 12th, 2013|Cooking, Holidays, Recipes, Relationships|9 Comments

An odd way of saying thank you

I’m sitting in the attic of my house. Currently one of my favorite places. The floors aren’t finished and the ceiling has steep slopes so you can’t fully stand in most of the room. I’m surrounded by art supplies that I’ve lugged across the country and back---finally able to spread out---and books, and my practice space, a little corner with my altar and meditation bench. I’m sitting in the middle of it all, at my computer, writing. I’m writing because nothing else seems a satisfactory way to express the gratitude I’m feeling this morning. Last week I wrote about the ... (Continue Reading)

By |2017-08-31T17:10:01-07:00November 5th, 2013|Creativity, Meditation, Nature, Practice, Relationships, Spirituality, Yoga|8 Comments

Roadblocks and Deepening Practice: The Need for Yoga Sutra 1.14

These days, I've noticed myself turning into an introvert. Anyone who has known me for any length of time would be surprised by this. I have always been exceptionally extroverted. I have always found energy in people and crowds and events. For most of my life, too much alone time would leave me feeling drained and even slightly depressed. But these days even a simple dinner party takes me a few days to recover from. It's quite strange and feels foreign. And I'm not sure how to understand it. What I do know is that I'm in a different place ... (Continue Reading)

By |2014-11-18T15:36:15-07:00November 1st, 2013|Practice, Spirituality, Yoga|0 Comments

A Yoga Practice to Welcome Fall (2013)

It's officially fall. It will be October next week and my body can feel the weather changing. I always try to mark the changing of seasons in some intentional way. A season change seems to provide an auspicious time for personal retreat. I have dreamt of offering seasonal retreats for years. Hopefully someday... When I think of fall, I think of the harvest, of scarves, of halloween and thanksgiving. I think of routines finally starting again and about making soup. I think about my skin losing its exposure to the world as I wrap myself in more and more layers. ... (Continue Reading)

Reading Scripture

In the introduction to Bhagavad Gita and its Message, Anilbaran Roy writes: [Truth] cannot be shut up in a single trenchant formula, it is not likely to be found in its entirety or in all its bearings in any single philosophy or scripture or uttered altogether and for ever by any one teacher, thinker, prophet or Avatar. Nor has it been wholly found by us if our view of it necessitates the intolerant exclusion of the truth underlying other systems; for when we reject passionately, we mean simply that we cannot appreciate and explain. ... [T]his Truth...expresses itself in Time ... (Continue Reading)

By |2014-11-18T15:37:48-07:00September 19th, 2013|Books, Practice, Religion, Spirituality|2 Comments

Reflections on Light : Yoga Sutra 1.36

The 6th limb of yoga practice is dharana, a word that is most often translated as concentration. Dharana is the beginning of meditation practice; the object of our focus. Concentration is the fixing of the mind in one place. [YS 3.1] As you begin meditation it's important to know where you're attempting to direct your attention. What's the "one place" that you're trying to fix your mind? In other words, what's your dharana? In my own practice I've been experimenting with taking Yoga Sutra 1.36 as my dharana: Visoka va jyotismati. This sutra comes in a list of ideas for ... (Continue Reading)

By |2014-12-08T12:54:21-07:00September 9th, 2013|Books, Meditation, Spirituality, Yoga|5 Comments

Reflections on Transition, Pain & Gratitude

Early this year my husband got a job that meant moving. I closed my business and we moved across the country to a small town in the state where we were both born---and in which all our family still live. With this move I'm transitioning from busy studio owner and yoga teacher to unemployed blogger. This transition comes with both excitement and sorrow. I'm grateful to live only 90 miles from my sister and one of my closest friends. But I'm sad to now live thousands of miles from other people who have become important to me. I feel incredibly ... (Continue Reading)

By |2013-08-27T17:31:46-07:00August 27th, 2013|Embodiment, Nature, Relationships, Yoga|3 Comments
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