Many of the people I contact on a daily basis are striving to make a difference in the world. I have had the great blessing of working within a community of well intentioned people seeking to make transformations both inwardly and externally.

I feel overwhelmed with the forces that work to undermine the efforts of the green movement. In my view these forces include marketing strategists co-opting the Yoga community and turning it into another commodity to buy, use and dispose. The only solution for ecologically minded people is to be a better consumer -buy organic, buy solar panels, buy certain brands, turn off lights, cut water usage, buy a hybrid, recycle the things you buy. All of these things, while admirable, are still falling under the model of consumption. Clearly this is not enough. Better consumption practices only address the surface and do not affect the kind of change truly needed to support future generations.

Therefore, my dear friend Cassandra Purdy and I have been developing a program in collaboration with Whole System Design to re-empower people by steering them toward a lifestyle of green regeneration. Gaia Weaving, is a program designed to equip each individual with the skills and knowledge to tap into their own wellspring, this includes; growing and making herbal medicines, healing and avoiding illness through the nutritive power of food and herbs, affecting social change through non-purchasing power, planting designing and developing a multi-storied landscape of nutrition rich food in your backyard and enabling those who want to get off the grid with the skills and community to live a life free from dependency, if they so choose. This program is offered as either a relaxing informative retreat experience or a certification program.
For those who wish to deepen their knowledge and expertise Gaia Weaving will continue in five sequential levels. Upon completion of all five levels enrollees will receive a Gaia Weaving 100 hr. immersion certificate which can be applied toward the 300 hr. Lila Tandava Yoga TT 500 RYT certification. A 200 hr. certification is required to receive this advanced certification.

TO YOU
Walt Whitman

 

Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams,

I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet 

 and hands, 

even now your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, 

         troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, 

your true soul and body appear before me,

they stand forth out of affairs, out of commerce, shops, work, 
         farms, clothes, the house, buying, selling, eating, drinking, 

  suffering, dying. 

whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my 

 poem, 

I whisper with my lips close to your ear,

I have loved many women and men, but iIlove none better than 

 you. 

O’ I have been dilatory and dumb,

I should have made my way straight to you long ago,

I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted 

        nothing but you. 

I will leave all and come and make the hymns of you,

none has understood you, but I understand you,

none has done justice to you, you have not done justice to your-

self, 

none but has found you imperfect, I only find no imperfection in 

 you, 

none but would subordinate you, I only am he who will never 

     consent to subordinate you, 

I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, 

  beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself

 

– Walt Whitman

 


I left home at a young age. In fact my cousin recently reminded me that I began running away from home at a very young age. As a child I would fill a red bandana with my most precious items and fasten it to a stick over my shoulder like I had seen in the cartoons. I’d climb the ladder to my treefort staying until it got cold enough to force me back inside. Often my parents wouldn’t notice I was gone -or they pretended not notice as that was likely what they thought a good parent should do to not encourage the behavior. It didn’t work, I ran away because I felt unseen and unheard, so a pattern of extreme behavior to get attention was emerging. While in the treefort I’d imagine a world free from parents and rules and fighting. As an adolescent I began to see this pattern emerging in a larger, more global context. People who feel unseen and unheard will try to get their needs met in all manner of ways, some inflict injury to self, while others inflict pain on others. People screaming at each other to close the gap between them to feel heard. In a larger social context people create radical extremist groups to terrorize the oppressor. The old adage hurt people, hurt people comes to mind. A cycle of pain begetting more pain emerges. Our legal system punishes in punitive ways failing to excavate the root cause of the crime. Why is someone stealing? Why have they become violent?

The question then becomes do we know who our oppressor is? How can we know if we are responding to a perceived threat rather than a real threat? What measures can we take to tell the difference between real and perceived threats? What does this work look like on a personal and global scale?

When I left home the final time I joined a commune of young like minded folks. Many like me, escaping their own history and hoping to create something meaningful and radically different than what society was offering. We had our challenges, many of us had yet to process the emotional pain that we brought with us and with little skills to master this pain it was easy to bring that pain into the group dynamic and allow it to richochet off of one another. That said, we got a lot right. We created together, built families together, made music together, birthed our children at home together, we made clothing and built homes together. We ate meals together and fell apart and came back together many times. We learned a lot about ourselves and while many people our age were learning in college, we learned to live in community and off of the land.

I left Hawaii and the community setting a few months after my son was born. I had confidence at that time that I could bring the gifts that I had learned from the group back to my family of origin to heal the original wound from which I came. I felt it was holding me back from realizing my full potential. In the setting of community, I felt valued and honored and therefore rose to meet the challenges I faced. In the setting of the community there were ample opportunities to create and therefore I consumed less and felt more satisfied and whole. This all changed when I came home to Connecticut. When I returned I learned I was too young to be a mother (21) and that my unmarried status was shameful and embarrassing to the family and stigmatized me as an ‘unwanted woman’ in the culture regardless of the truth. I was expected to be dumb for having chosen to bear a child at a young age and was treated as such by almost everyone I encountered. Strangers offered to adopt my child from me, etc. While having created a whole community with friends I was thought to have no skill sets to offer. I felt under valued and unseen again, the original wound re-opened and I had to hold tight to the memory of my worth.


Dear Friends,

My heart is breaking I can barely eat, sleep or teach. As I was emotionally railing over my son leaving for college, as I was feeling the threat of an empty nest and all the changes and implications that come with this seemingly major life shift… my dear friend, Stardove’s, 19 year old son Koshari was senselessly murdered on Molokai, a blow to the head by a complete stranger, no known motive or affiliation (Koshari Waits). I fell to my knees. I have my son, he’s alive… while her firstborn is dead.


Stardove & Koshari 1996

This comes on the wake of the shooting in Santa Barbara by Eliot Rodger and the senseless cries that drown out the tragedy that scream for rights to be armed. I watched the entire video of Eliot’s self named retribution it has since been taken down from You Tube, he is a tragic, lost, self-possessed individual, overcome with grief turned into rage, misdirected by mysogyny and social myths; isolated by mental illness, entitlement and blame. He is one of many victims of a society steeped in the illusion of what we call social ‘norms’ -materialist expectations of suceess and achievement based in objectification, the acquisition of trophies (beauty and stuff) of which sexism, mental illness and rage are all a by-product.

Meanwhile, the ice caps are melting, Fukushima is threatening to extinquish the human race and people are watching TV, eating poison -or- alternatively they are smugly eating organic food in their massive homes and living the lie of complacency generated by the corporate machine, buy this, wear this and don’t notice your mind has been hijacked by commercial images and excellent marketing strategy.

Yoga plays into this, it plays into notions of spiritual superiority and exceptionalism…not us, but them. PLEASE WATCH Michael C. Ruppert, part 6. A fantastic quote by a realized being Adyashanti ‘You can use meditation to fall asleep as well as WAKE up. It’s time to WAKE UP! Don’t you agree? Playing by the established set of rules no longer works for any of us.

I don’t say this to upset or depress you, if you’re reading this you are likely of the same mind when it comes to the outrage you feel for the general asleepness of the world at large. I say this to rally you. Our concerns for stuff and image are more than a minor flaw in the human condition, the media and all the bullsh*t notions of sucess and togetherness it relentlessly stuffs down our throats is more than marketing strategy and business as usual. It’s a poisenous infection to our collective health, safety and well being as humans. As we kill each other the machine is eating us alive, the SUV’s and monstrous houses we live in are our coffins.

So, Yoga world are we going to use our voices -or- are we going to promote another corporate Yoga brand to promote ourselves and our injured ego’s?

Are we going to fall prey to the machine and let it swallow us whole and along with it the opportunity for change..the chance to give a platform to the ideas and concepts that could save our planet and the human race.

I’m sure as F*@K not!

Maya Angelou
Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise
Up from a past
that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling
I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.



Thanksgiving is my favorite of all the American holidays, the idea of gathering to break bread with those we love inspires me to make creative and meaningful offerings. I found a beautiful blessing written by one of my favorite poets, John O’ Donahue that I’d like to share with you, perhaps you would like to share it with your family and loved ones.

Grace Before Meals

As we begin this meal with grace,
Let us become aware of the memory
Carried inside the food before us:
The quiver of the seed
Awakening of the earth,
Unfolding in a trust of roots
And slender stems of growth,
On its voyage toward harvest,
The kiss of the rain and the surge of the sun;
The innocence of animal soul
That never spoke a word,
Nourished by the earth
To become today our food;
The work of all the strangers
Whose hands prepared it,
The privilege of wealth and health
That enables us to feast and celebrate.


As many of you know my dear friend, Chris Tompkins is presenting this weekend for the Lila Tandava TT on the history, practice and philosophy of Yoga. This weekend is open to the public and is broken down into segments. You are all welcome to attend this workshop. Chris flew in from Boulder, Co. so it’s a huge treat to have him with us. I hope you are able to attend. Below is an interview I did with Chris this summer on using this practice as a method for transformation through radical self acceptance, check it out!

DETAILS:
Thanksgiving Weekend w/ Christopher Tompkins
Nov. 29, 30, & Dec. 1st 2013

Friday 6-9 pm -Satsang and Ucchara meditation practice $30. (Om Shri-The Yurt, Chappaqua, NY)
Saturday 9-12 -History of Yoga $45 (Om Shri-The Yurt, Chappaqua, NY)
Saturday 2-5 pm -Introduction to Kaishmir Shaivism $45 (Om Shri-The Yurt, Chappaqua, NY)
(Saturday full day $75)
Sunday 10-4 -Delving into the Heart of Conscious Living $75 (The Gym, Armonk, NY)
Full weekend $175.

To register for this event please contact Colleen via email at: colleenlilayoga@gmail.com


Summer Vibration~ Yoga, Philosophy, Drumming with Colleen Breeckner & Christopher Tompkins
SEPTEMBER 1st, 2013 4-7 pm
Hampton’s Yoga & Healing Arts, Westhampton Beach, NY
“There can be no separation in the state of vibration, for this universe is comprised of the flowing liquid essence of divine consciousness (cid-?tm?-ras?sh?yana). Embracing this insight, the yog? plunges in.”

-Shr? Kshemar?ja

We need not bid the summer farewell quit yet. We need only to stretch the days as long as possible and beat the drums late into the night! Join Chris Tompkins www.shaivayoga.com and Colleen Lila www.colleenlilayoga.com for an end of summer bash at the beach. Yoga, Drumming, Philosophy, Inspiration & Insight.

Learn to sequence advanced arm balancing poses using the power of pulsation! Bang a drum with Shaktipat Drumming Troupe http://www.shaktipat.mfbiz.com/

Join lead teachers, Christopher Tompkins, MTS, MA, PhD track (2013) & Colleen Lila Breeckner, eRYT 500, for a deepening practice through the radically transformative teachings of the reknown Tantrik revelation, the ‘Stanzas on Vibration’ (Spanda K?rik?s).

In this workshop, you will learn how to practically apply the insights gained through the philosophical teachings of Spanda to your physical Hatha Yoga practice as well as your meditative practice. You will learn how to feel and recognize Spanda within and without. Teachers will learn how to sequence and assist advanced arm balancing poses and will also learn the sacred breath practice Ucchara.


“Realizing that one’s true nature is the dynamic essence of Consciousness imbued within everything, the Yog? immerses into the fluid power that comprises his very nature, and experiences the thrill of perceiving his own awareness continually surging forth from within as the dynamic liquid essence of the Universe.” -Shr? Kshemar?ja, commenting on the ‘Stanzas of Vibration’

Yoga & Philosophy: 4-7 to register contact Abby at: info@hamptonsyogahealingarts.com
Drumming Workshop with Shaktipat: 7 and on www.shaktipat.mfbiz.com
COST:$55.


Dear Friends,

The most common reason people give for not joining the Yoga & Rock Climbing Retreat is a fear of heights. The second most common reason is, ‘I have never climbed before’.

A few summers back a woman joined our group who had an extreme fear of heights and had never climbed before. My dear friend and guide, Bobby Ferrari worked with her all day until she felt safe, she’d go up a foot come down, she tested the ropes, she tested Bobby’s commitment to her, she went three feet up and came back down, she did this all-day with Bobby patiently instructing her footwork. By the end of the day she climbed to the top! I wish I had captured a picture of the joy on her face, the elation from having overcome her own fear. Wouldn’t you like to feel this free?

For some of us it may not be a fear of height that holds us back. Perhaps, its simply a resistance to stepping out of the routine, a hesitation to try something with new people. The Gunks are spectacular! The climbing meets all-levels, from advanced to beginner. Please don’t let fear or resistance keep you. If money is an issue email me I’ll work with you.

We spend so much of our time racing around, this mini getaway will recharge you, reset you inwardly with the rhythm of nature and bring you back into a space of presence and gratitude, reminding us of the simple joys that life can offer.

We have a great group forming. All that’s missing is you!! I hope you can make it.

With Love,

Colleen Lila
Yoga & Rock Climbing Day Retreat Baby Nataraja
The Gunks, New Paltz, NY
w/ Colleen Breeckner & Professional Climbing Guide’s from High Xposure

Fee: $170 (includes park entrance fee, climbing, & yoga)
Location:
Peter’s Skill Area
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
New Paltz, NY 12561
Time: 8-5

Namaste,
This is my 6th season hosting the, Yoga & Rock Climbing Adventure Retreat in New Paltz, NY!! Here is what you can expect; we’ll arrive in New Paltz at roughly 9:30 a.m, begin our day with a brisk morning hike alongside the mountain stream in Peter’s Kill, past the mulberries to the top of a rocky cliff where we will practice Yoga for about an hour. After Yoga, we will enjoy picnic lunches followed by an early afternoon meditation by a waterfall. The climbing guides will arrive at 2 p.m. and assist us in what is called a ‘top rope’ climb on -beginner to intermediate terrain.
NO FEAR!
Your climb will be lead by professional rock climbing guides. The High Xposure guides have undergone extensive training and teach regularly to people of all ages and ability. No experience necessary, the High Xposure guides regularly introduce people to climbing. All levels are welcome.

Yoga & Rock Climbing Day Retreat Dates:
July 9th & 30
August 6th, 13, 20
*PLEASE NOTE* weekend dates will be made available, weekend rates are significantly higher.

**Private group adventures can also be arranged with a minimum of 4 people per group. Group rates vary depending on peak or off-peak (weekday).

For more information or to register contact, Colleen at: colleenlilayoga@gmail.com

(m) 203-313-4281
colleenlilayoga@gmail.com
www.colleenlilayoga.com


© 2018 Colleen Lila Yoga