Friday, February 25, 2011

What does F.R.I.D.A.Y. mean to you?

For some, Friday = T.G.I.F.: Thank God it's Friday . . . an opportunity to wind down (or, to be topical: "wine dong") at the end of a hard workweek by liming, drinking and now, in the season of Carnival, attending a Carnival event or going to a pan yard. Drinks of choice for relaxing, letting go and heightening the spirit are rum, beer, vodka, scotch, whisky—maybe in that order. In my days of liming and drinking, my drink of choice was Carib beer.

For those who are not that way inclined, there is a delightful alternative that brings and maintains a more lasting state of relaxation, enables you to let go of stress and gives your spirit a buzz. Plus, it gives you a good workout (for those who, after months of inactivity, are rushing to get in shape for Carnival) . . . and you don't get a hangover the next day.

F.R.I.D.A.Y. = Forget Rum! Instead, Do Amazing Yoga.

Kundalini Yoga Class
6:30 - 8:00 p.m., Reimedi Spa, 1 Ragbir Street (cor Gordon & Ragbir), St. Augustine.
$45 per class—or purchase a Passport (see link for more info) for pre-paid discounted rate on ten consecutive classes.

Bring a yoga mat, a bottle of water and wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Please e-mail me if you:
(i) would like to attend the class today/on any other Friday 
(ii) would like to attend my Tuesday POS evening class
(iii) have any questions

Thank You.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sprout is being adopted!

A short while ago, I got an email that made me scream with joy and immediately run to the phone to dial the sender to thank her profusely. I will copy and paste her email below. While reading it, you will agree with me that she is the IDEAL companion for Sprout (who turns out to be a boy, not a girl).

Talking with Halcyon on the phone and hearing the excitement and joy and love in her voice, I have no doubt that little Sprout is going to the right home and will have a very happy life!


The email (also as a comment on the last Sprout post):


I just wanted to let you know that I went to see Sprout today, and have decided to adopt him. BTW he is a boy. I have no clue how I stumbled upon your blog yesterday, and read the "update" posting. Before I had even read the first posting of his rescue and survival, I had already decided that I would adopt him. After reading that first posting about his survival and yoga start...I absolutely knew he was the kitten for me. I have spent months pondering the adoption of a kitten, as I lost my beloved 13 year old cat last April. Ironically his name was Baby Cat...and he was 27lbs of girth. My heart has been broken since his passing, and I did not think I would ever be able to have another cat. But Sprout has changed that.

I was always told that I would know when the time was right...and I know that this is that time. I have to wait three weeks before bringing little Sprout home....

Thanks so much for rescue-ing him...nurturing him....and blogging about him.

Warm regards,


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Awakened by a long-tailed creature

I was awakened this morning by the sound of Jasper leaping through the window. The furtiveness with which he landed made me realise he had something in his mouth. Sure enough, I opened my eyes to see his face hovering above mine, a creature with a long tail clenched between his jaws. In the dark, I thought it was a rat.

I leaped out of bed, turned on the light and saw the iguana. (Iguana as power animal.) As Jasper dropped it to the floor, I ran to get a bucket, which I placed over the reptile to (a) protect it from Jasper and (b) prevent it from running all over the bedroom. It stayed under the bucket until dawn.

In an attempt to take it outside, I lifted it by the tail. It started to squirm, gripped its feet onto my sneakers with surprising force and started to pull. The tail broke off and wriggled at my feet.

My only option was to place the bucket over the iguana and push the bucket outside. The above image (somewhat blurry) shows the iguana, either half dead or still stunned, lying behind the hedge near the driveway.

(Just went to check on it and it's gone . . .)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sprout (the kitten) update

Tiny Sprout on the day she was found (1st week of Feb)
In case you missed it, here is the story of how Sprout the kitten was found.

And here is the story about her being adopted by a mother cat with two nursing kittens at Vinmer Vet Clinic.
Sprout as of yesterday
Yesterday before yoga class, one of my students and I went to see Sprout, as Vinmer is near to The Sangha (formerly Moksha Yoga Trinidad).

Sprout is a lot bigger now—almost the size of the other two kittens who were about three times her size when I first took her in. For the whole time we were there visiting, Sprout was suctioned onto a nipple, drinking to her heart's content. Once finished, she lazily pulled herself away and fell asleep.

She is up for adoption and deserves a loving home. If you are a genuine cat lover, please consider her as your new companion. You can call Gina (the Vinmer vet) at 628-2773 to arrange a visit.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tune in to WAHE GURU (new Tek Har Kaur release)

A collaboration between Tek Har Kaur (vocals) and cozyprone (producer).
Click just above the photo and under the name Tek Har (on top left of player box) to access play button. Enjoy!

Wahe Guru is the mantra of ecstasy. It is beyond translation, but can be said to mean: "Wow, God is great!" Chant it to elevate your spirit.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Raven speaks of Spirit, Flow

Last week one of my online peers, Raven, sent me a copy of her new book—a photographic prayer entitled Spirit, Flow. Interesting concept and important message, worth sharing.

Learn more about the artist and her work in the below interview, which I conducted with her via email late last week.

What personal space were you in when the inspiration for this project came to you?

January has been an immensely creative month for me. My epic poem, "Chrysalis" finally wrapped after 10 years of carrying it around -- and I published that on my website. I also finished an extensive greeting card project for Pyramid Wellness and was "full of color", so to speak. Yet where I was headed next artistically was a huge question mark. I've been having an ongoing dialogue with my Muse -- which is basically, "Okay, what's next, let's get going, I'm ready..." -- and as I drove home last week from town blasting the radio, the words "Spirit, flow" started to repeat in my head. I saw the images and words flow together and I'm sure the river running parallel to the road largely had an influence.

It was so simple, that phrase -- but I saw the book and rushed home so I wouldn't forget any of the lines. I finished a rough version that day. Talk about flow!

Prayer has always been a part of my life -- though I'm not a steady "pray-er" myself -- and Nature has always been my friend and guide. It was important for me to start the year in gratitude and thanks to the Divine Artist. "Spirit, Flow" was a natural offering of that desire. A prayer.

 Beyond traditional dictionary definitions—what is your personal definition of prayer?

Prayer is connecting to our innermost being -- which is an extension of a wiser self that is beyond this form. Or to make it even simpler, in the words of Meister Eckhart: "If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice."

As a reader of Tarot, you work with images and intuition to bring messages to your clients. What part does intuition play in the process of creating your own (photographic) images?  

The two are a similar process using different tools. When I take a picture, I "see" the image I want to capture within the image. Often I have to coax it out of the original -- crop, add contrast, enhance the color a bit -- for the greatest beauty to emerge. Certainly beauty can be found everywhere once you know how to recognize it -- but the particular expression I wish to share can be elusive. I like the challenge. If I'm patient enough, she'll come to me.

I don't stress photography the way I do my writing (but I'm getting better at that). I just snap photos when I feel so inclined or have a running theme in my head that I want to marry with color. It's the same with Tarot and my clients. It's so important for me to keep my head & heart balanced so that the message can be as clear as possible. With this work and my connection to the Divine, it's not about trying hard. It's being in a space of openness and what I call the "expectation of kindness". As I heal, they heal. And vice-versa. The same goes for my photography. There's healing in the images themselves -- just like observing a Tarot spread. For example, I guarantee that if a client sat long enough with the cards and me not saying a word, they'd have a pretty good idea without my interpretation. That's the power of symbols and color. I just help them go beyond the initial image and "see" other possibilities.

Imagine that this book, Spirit, Flow, is a seed. What grows from the seed? What is the biggest destiny you can envision for this photo-prayer?

As far as the winds will take it. The effect of "Spirit, Flow" is immense because the images and words work their magic in the viewer. And who doesn't love a good prayer? I also don't pray to a particular diety. Just "Spirit" -- because that was the voice of the river as the book came to me. I have a convoluted relationship with my past-life as an evangelical Christian, but I've never lost my faith. Faith in the life-force, faith in the incredible beauty all around us (which I believe is heaven in disguise). I think many people can relate to that.

I see "Spirit, Flow" mass distributed as a coffee-table book. (I'm old-school like that), as well as the digital version spreading far and wide. I'm working on a Spanish translation at the moment and will move onto other languages in the future. Of course, the book is also a walking portfolio for me in terms of media exposure and other outlets.

But in the end, it all comes back to: I love what I do. Producing work like this thrills me -- because it's where I stop and say, "Whoa. There's more than just me at work here." If it can help heal others and bring ease, then it's an even greater gift.

"Spirit, Flow" can be found on Raven's Bookshop page

Raven Mardirosian is a self-taught healer who believes that everyone is blessed with the gift of intuition. Her passion is empowering women and her specialty is “healing the healer”. She privately mentors those who have decided to offer their intuitive gifts in service to others.  Raven lives in southern VT and happily offers sessions to US and international clients. LGBT welcome. Contact Raven to schedule an appointment. Sessions live, by phone or Skype.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A new life for Sprout the orphaned kitten

Sprout feeds from her new mother

Yesterday when I took Sprout, the orphaned kitten, to the vet, the vet looked at her and said, "She looks just like the others" (same colouring as the mother cat's two kittens).

Turns out that Sprout is approximately two weeks old—older than the other two kittens who are 6 days old . . . yet Sprout is less than half their size! The fact that Sprout has one eye open indicates her possible age.

To prepare Sprout to be placed in the pet carrier with the mother cat, the vet rubbed her against one of the other kittens, then put her in. The mother immediately took to her, accepting her as one of her own, licking her fur and her genitalia.

We had to help Sprout to find the nipple, but once her mouth got hold of it, there was no letting go! She drank to her heart's content and when she was done, she curled up and fell asleep with her new siblings.

This morning I called the vet to find out how Sprout was doing and she told me she was fast asleep with the other kittens, looking very content.

Now to find her a good home for when she's old enough to be adopted.

Guaranteed to be a very sweet pet.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are you destined to have her?

Jasper is more curious than jealous at this stage
Yesterday, despite pouring rain, a friend and I took a break and went to San Fernando on the water taxi.As you may know, the San Fernando wharf is densely populated with stray cats. On the way back to the water taxi after our San F'do excursion, we noticed two very young kittens dead in a puddle. They had probably been washed down from wherever they were by the heavy rain. Next to them was another kitten, its head smashed in. Then my friend noticed another kitten, eyes not yet open, bravely dragging her way through wet bush and mud on the other side of the locked gate before us.

Luckily she was moving in our direction. I stretched my arm through the bars, pinched the skin on her neck and lifted her. She was covered in muddy water. We took her to the bathroom, wiped her off, wrapped her in toilet paper and put her in a plastic sieve purchased for the purpose of sprouting beans. (Hence the reason I named her Sprout). We smuggled her onto the boat, safely nestled in her new receptacle.

She is a survivor and it is her destiny to be elevated beyond the life into which she was born.
 Using a syringe, I have been feeding her Enfamil Premium Infant 1 Formula (for babies 0 - 12 months old). She drinks it in small doses, scrambles around a bit, then sleeps, wrapped in my homemade "Vote for Kamla/make Herstory" t-shirt and either on my lap or in a gift box. Last night was somewhat sleepless, as I had to wake every hour or so to feed her and make sure she was warm.
Sprout attached to my body for yoga

At this age, when she would normally be accustomed to the warmth of her mother and siblings, it's good to hold her as much as possible for body heat. When I woke to do yoga, I strapped her against my body using a piece of turban cloth. Together we tuned in, but it was difficult to do warm ups and a kriya without waking her—so I did a quiet Sat Kriya and closed with some chanting so she could get the vibrations.
Praying mantis sitting on base of lamp after sadhana
 Afterward, I realised that the insect that had been flying around us in the lamplight during chanting was a Praying Mantis. It felt very fitting and sacred. I thought: "Whoever adopts Sprout will have a special yogic kitten."
Sprout feeling totally relaxed after yoga
This morning I will take Sprout to Vinmer Vet clinic, where there is a mother cat with two nursing kittens.  Once the mother cat accepts her and allows her to suckle, I will leave her there to be nourished properly and bond with her own species.

One day soon she will be ready to be adopted. As Jasper is a strictly one-woman cat, I won't keep her, but I know that the perfect owner is out there . . . maybe even reading this . . . maybe even you.