Jewish Journal

the embrace of IT all

by Michelle Azar

August 30, 2013 | 10:37 am

I sat at my little red meditation center last night and gently surveyed its surface. I moved an earthen pot from one side to another, and by doing so I noticed something. Many of the items on this little shelf were gifts from my mother. This took me by surprise, and NOT because she is not the “gift-giving sort” – quite the contrary! To see her represented on this little table though WAS of interest. I thought it housed items for my yoga and meditation practices, neither of which have anything to do with her. Or so I had always thought. She is quite a physical sort, and deeply rooted in both a “spiritual” life quest as well as in traditional Jewish beliefs, but I do not view her as a “meditator”. So why would she show up here, in this spot filled with some worship type accoutrements collected by me from yoga friends and teachers? Maybe the simple answer is: your mother is everywhere. She housed me solely for the first 9 months for goodness sake. Perhaps this is a cord that is not meant to be fully severed. What a complicated and beautiful that connection is. How vulnerable a dance it is to set up a table for the purpose of deepening your individual spirit only to find that your dear ole mom has followed you there. Or even beat you to the punch with her decorating tips! A sense of helplessness was about to set in, but then I re-examined. The pieces from my mother were unique. Strong in the materials from which they were made, yet soft and simple in the feelings they conveyed. They were about quiet embrace, mindful movement, and love. Maybe exactly the elements of meditation itself. So here is to the embrace of the opposites, and to the purity of love, At this reflective but often hectic time of year, I need all the reminders I can get to slow down, move mindfully, and love. Fully. May this be a sweet and healthy time for us all. Michelle Tracker Pixel for Entry


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Michelle fell in love with the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, the system of Hatha Yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, some 13 years ago while doing a play in San Francisco. Having...

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