Most days I go for a short walk around a marsh that is close to my home, anyone in Nanaimo knows Buttertubs Marsh as it is such a lovely place and it is right in the heart of the city. Today on my walk, which was the first sunny day in many not so bright ones, I noticed how the ducks really had it made. These ducks know how to live, effortlessly, spending time with friends and family, soaking up the sunlight and fresh air and getting a little exercie when they feel like it. Swimming, sunbathing, not a worry in the world.
Nature is like this, without a thought it unfolds each day, no struggle, no planning, no agenda, going with the flow. The flowers just grow. I aspire to live like this, even with my daily ‘to do’ list and plans for the future in hand, I aspire to allow each day to unfold its grace to me. Along with the ducks, one of my favourite teachers who helps to keep me coming back to this daily awareness is Maya Tiwari, author of numerous books on Ayurveda and a woman so inspiring just by way of her example and how she has chosen to live, that she has affected thousands of people worldwide.
For most of us on the spiritual path the concept of Sadhana describes our ‘dailly practices’ whether it be meditation, chanting or asanas and pranayamas, we make a commitment to some practice and then return to it daily as part of our dscipline and devotion. For Maya all of life has become Sadhana, or at least that is what I am learning from her, to let everything I think and do be part of my practice. So now cooking is Sadhana and so is walking, talking, gardening and being with others. Everything becomes an opportunity to align with nature’s rhythm thereby bringing the timeless quality of grace into each activity. Life flows effortlessly.
As we ease into spring I find myself welcoming the season with cleansing practices that have kept me healthy for many years. It seems we need to continually adjust to natures harmony to stay in the flow. Ayurveda asks us to make adjustments especially at the change of seasons .This year as usual I began with herbal bitters for a few weeks then a three day fast, as well as my usual yogic cleansing kriyas. This time of year is considered the kapha season, moist, cool and prone to excess mucus, hence the tendancy for sppring colds. there are many ways to cleanse. I know that these simple seasonal efforts will prepare me for the next season and that I will be able to avoid a sping cold. These common colds are generally just the body’s way of eliminating mucus from the system. a spring cleanse will also shake off any lethargy and shed excess from the winter. We stay in sync with natures changes by making an effort to balance this body to her rhythm.
Maya Tiwari in her excellent book ‘ The Path of Practice ‘ has many tips for aligning with natures wisdom. Here are a few MANTRS for the SEASONS
p558 “As you practice the food Sadhanas – whle you are cutting fruits and vegetables, grinding the spices, cooking the foods, and when you sit down to your meal – you can bring positive energy to the experience by reciting mantras that are appropriate to the season you are in. These simple affirmations remind us of that the cyclical nature of our own biorhythms reflects the cyclial nature of the universe and that we can use the seasons as a guide for our own spiritual transitions.”
spring regenerate and transform
summer celebrate and rejoice
early fall reorganize and revitalize
autumn harvest and simplify
early winter gather and contain
late winter rest and reflect
I wish you all a Happy Spring!