Ah, to be Human.

•October 21, 2009 • 2 Comments

Shakti Sunfire here. Dancer, writer, crafter, yogini, explorer, ninja-in-training.

Like many of us humans I have a diverse list of past experiences that have contributed to the person I believe myself to be today.  And there are more limiting titles, besides what’s above, I could peg onto our favorite question…’what do you do?‘ But I won’t. Because with that question we’ve already missed the mark.

I started this blog because I wanted to externalize the challenges I was encountering carving space for myself, my unique talents and gifts, in this vast world that on the surface cares little for the renegade artist. At it’s inception, I played the edge of heart and head. But you know? One year later I smell progress. Or maybe it’s the fog rolling in.

I am LOVE. So are you.

I am following my bliss in complete trust, doing what sings to my heart and it’s working.

This is just one of the obvious-to-people-at-different-times-in-their-lives topics I write about. Enjoy!

Me in India

Me in India

The Shri of Wanderlust 2010.

•August 10, 2010 • 1 Comment

“Remain true to yourselves, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and great love! At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who, from every direction have made the same ascent. For everything that rises must converge.”

~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Purno ham.

It’s early Friday morning at Wanderlust and I’m on the balcony of the Anusara House, centering in my practice and journaling for the workshop I was to co-teach later that day. The Sierra sun had just rounded the corner of Father Pine—huge 30 foot, sweet-smelling giants, with pine cones the size of my open hand—to warm what was chilled mountain shadow just moments ago.

I thrive in the mornings, in my sacred routine of salutation to the day and all it contains…to the reflection of the previous and the sweet moment before unfurling, the space of stillness in open potential for anything.

That morning in particular, my heart was full. Purno ham we chanted together the day before in class with Sianna Sherman and Christopher ‘Hareesh’ Wallis. Purno ham: I am perfect and full exactly as I am now, in this very moment with no need or desire to add or remove any aspect of my being or of my external surroundings. I am full. It was out of this fullness, this overflowing joy that words of inspiration spilled onto an open page, tea in hand.

I wrote:

The heart of what brings us into these experiences of ecstasy and community is a yearning for direct contact with our True selves, a tapping into our unique expression. Tantra teaches us that our ground of being is chit and ananda, consciousness and bliss, inherently free, and full of joy. And that consciousness is ever spiraling and unfolding in co-creative lila – the dance of divine play…

Wanderlust was one big co-creative celebration of that play and I left there four days later with a deep conviction, an embodied resolution that sings my heart awake: I know what I stand for. I know, in radical affirmation, what I will hold onto with all my strength of heart.

Read the full article here on Elephant Journal.

The Mystery in Fantastic Experience. Dancing with String Cheese.

•August 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

…a lot happens in 3 years. Lives have taken on new flavors; groups dispersed to pursue new passions, we’ve moved, grown, changed, and lived life large. I’ve discovered other communities and new things to stand up for. I’ve learned inside the hoop and out, to delight in the Mystery I was introduced to so long ago. But as it tends to happen, there are some things and some experiences in life you that shape you and leave an imprint – for good or for worse – on the soul of your being. So you can imagine that when String Cheese announced a return to Red Rocks this year, the overwhelming urge was to complete the full circle in dancing prayer. To express my gratitude again and again for having such experiences – made all the sweeter for the passing of time.

Read the full article on ElephantJournal.com

Accessing Your Inner Warrior.

•July 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Living art in community for the future of social, sustainable commerce.

This week I had a great friend of mine help me design my new business cards. These are the 5th set of business cards I’ve printed in the last 3 years – each one a design for a new project, a new company, a new iteration of all the flavors and colors of my particular contribution. I learned early in my career, one turn short of the hula-hoop, that authenticity in your company’s brand is perhaps the most important marketing move you can make…an idea that unfortunately is still very undervalued.

The business world being a fractal of the larger picture of reality, I can understand why. To show up in full light, in full authenticity, requires an active practice of self-love. To be on the frontier of your identity, as David Whyte says, is stepping into a space of vulnerability. Four years into the game of vulnerability and the active unfolding of the layers of my heart have allowed me to look at it in a different way. David is his poem; “The Sudden Streams” speaks of vulnerability as competency – as a faculty for understanding the immensity of what is about to happen.

When you present the core of yourself to the world it is raw, it is humble, and shy, and quick to play hide and seek – eager for the affirmations of your social group to give it anchor. Here in San Francisco I interact on a regular basis with individuals who put themselves, their art, their deepest dreams, on the interrogation line – to be critiqued, loved, hated, and deemed success or failure in this world of fickle change. This act of open vulnerability and trust takes the strength of a warrior, and courage only the heart can provide.

I come back to this over and over again. Osho says; “The way of the heart is the way of courage. It is to live in insecurity; it is to live in love, and trust; it is to move in the unknown. It is leaving the past and allowing the future to be.”

One of these entrepreneurial businesses that I’ve found myself enamored by is the offspring of Jen Fritz and Maria Tabia – the aptly named Warrior Within Designs. I love these ladies and what they’re creating not just because their product – seriously sexy one-piece jumpsuits of all varieties, called – ‘The Onesie’ – are my favorite thing to wear, but because the way they do their business and engage in the world is a beautiful reflection of the depth of their self-love, their vulnerability. Jen and I understand each other as sisters on the path of artistic validity. Two nights ago I got her take on what it means to be a Warrior, and how her business came to be.

Read more on Elephant Journal.

Colors of Inspiration and Soft Silent Sounds of Value.

•July 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This bit, (gifted to me by a great friend) from Paramahamsa Satyananda has been a source of endless inspiration. Pinned above my desk I check in with reflections on my life and feel caressed in his message. Wanted to share it with you all…

“I am an invisible child of a thousand faces of love, that floats over the swirling sea of life, surrounded by the meadow of the winged shepherds, where stillness of midnight summer’s warmth pervades. Strength lies in the magnification of the secret qualities of my own personality, my own character; and though I am only a messenger, I am me.

Let me decorate many hearts and paint a thousand faces with colors of inspiration and soft silent sounds of value. Let me be like a child, and run barefoot through the forest of laughing and crying people, giving flowers of imagination and wonder, that God gives free.

Shall I fall on bended knees and wait for someone to bless me with happiness and a life of golden dreams? No. I shall run into the desert of life with my arms open, sometimes falling, sometimes stumbling, but always picking myself up, a thousand times if necessary. Often life will burn me; often life will caress me tenderly. Many of my days shall be haunted by complications and obstacles, and there will be moments so beautiful my soul shall weep in ecstasy.

I shall be a witness, but never shall I run or turn from life, from me. Never shall I forsake myself or the timeless lessons I have taught myself, nor shall I let the value of divine inspiration and being be lost. My rainbow covered bubble shall carry me further than beyond the horizon’s settings, forever to serve, and to love.”

On Intimacy and Relationship in Community.

•July 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This morning I woke up to a clean, empty house, a considerably small to-do list, a well-managed order queue and a brimming heart. This profound sense of next level understanding invites journeying to the depths of a deeper meaning I didn’t know was there. How is it, I ask, that there is so much more – infinitely more, to learn, to grow into, to celebrate?

In fog-provoked reverie I sat and tasted the flavor of this unfolding chapter. Hints of the usual excitement, joy, and wonder and their counterparts, anticipation, desire and anxiety – but within the usual a new ingredient, a better understanding, a silver lining threw in its hand and took the shape of sweet communal intimacy.

I recently listed to a pod cast with my favorite poet, David Whyte, where he spoke of parenting. He said, “everyday the person you love is growing away from you and so you play an endless game of catching up.” I have learned that to be effective in our intimate relationships is to practice seeing that person in light of what is arising at this present moment, not in light of yesterday, or the day before, or even the year before that – to hold space for the flux of personality that growth requires – and I learned this first on myself.

Read more of Elephant Journal.com

Esalen Yoga Festival, 5 Days 5 Deities for Personal Transformation

•July 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment
The sun is coming up over the mountain to the east, the hillside lush with a mist-fed green not of this world. Long, glittering columns of light like God’s fingers, chase sepia tones from the land – thick with sweet humanity, heavy with history. Its humming, provocative vibration invites effortless dropping in…borne of ancient connection and respect to the earth and her natural rhythms. The rocks jut out along the coastline and break the beautiful monotony of each cresting wave as they ride, pulsating power, to caress the shore and the dawn is made dynamic by the swoop and song of the mountain blue jays —Grandmother’s bird.
photo by Janet Stone

Aldous Huxley said, There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.

This perception – becoming aware via the senses – doorway, space, threshold, this slightly askew, one-off reality, leaves the freedom of the midline open, like Nataraja’s twisted dance. Esalen’s 6th annual Yoga Festival, with Douglas Brooks, Saul David Raye, Janet Stone, Sianna Sherman & MC Yogi, invited us to embody the divine, 5 days, 5 deities through myth, music, movement and magic.

Read more at Elephant Journal.com

How Do We Measure Progress on the Spiritual Path?

•July 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Joy vs. Happiness.

Suffice it to say, whatever metrics we embrace for our own progress tend to be subjective.

There are inner hints of sticky situations handled with more grace than muscle, clarity of thought and purpose, compassion and acceptance of yourself and others.

In the last Anusara yoga immersion weekend with Kenny Graham, we took a good look at some of the more obvious qualities that we inevitably adopt as we spend more and more of our time practicing yoga. Things like spiritual centeredness, greater wisdom, understanding, and ability to give and receive love, gratitude for all of life’s gifts…

Depending on the day, these things seem attainable —even embodied.

On other days, in other moments, the list glares out at me like some over-done, cotton candy, cheerleader-esque caricature that shouts in the most obnoxious way; ‘Beeeeeeeee happy!’ A picture perfect, bright and shiny new…it sometimes makes me want to turn on my heels and reclaim my edge…I rather like my edge, thank you very much.

As the discussion progressed I discovered I wasn’t alone—when the ideals of ‘progress’ don’t reflect the messy turmoil life throws our way the fall-back is to ask; really?

Read more on Elephant Journal.com


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