Illustration by Teresa Villegas Happy New Year! I began thinking about the coming year and all the new ideas and journeys I want to put into place and experience. Interestingly enough, a zen koan came to mind from a book I read many years ago. It's been retold in various ways, and my retelling here is another addition among millions I'm sure. I like this story every time I read it or hear it again and again. It's a great reminder that in order to learn, we have to be humble, to empty our mind and make room for the new. A Cup of Tea Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a student who came to inquire about something he wished to understand....
via GIPHY Illustrated GIF by Teresa Villegas (to replay gif simply refresh this page in your browser) Yeah! It's Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere! It happens at the same instant for all of us, everywhere on Earth. In 2015, That’s on December 22 at 4:48 Universal Time (on December 21st at 10:48 p.m. CST for us in the USA) It’s when the sun on our sky’s dome reaches its farthest southward point for the year. We are now in mid winter (contrary to the common misnomer as "the first day of winter") and this solstice has its shortest day and longest night of the year... Here Comes the Sun! Celebrate!! Being a parent is what inspired me to write and illustrate...
The days have gotten shorter again. We love this time of year in Arizona especially because the harsh constant sunny days (yes too much of a good thing does exist) become obvious by the longer nights. Here's a beautiful poem I'd like to share. Usually I'm not a fan of rhyming poems, but I guess I'm changing as is the season. I hope you like it too.
Life is unpredictable,
It changes with the seasons,
Even your coldest winter,
Happens for the best of reasons,
And though it feels eternal,
Like all you’ll ever do is freeze,
I promise spring is coming,
and with it, brand new leaves.
~ Erin Hanson thepoeticunderground.com
Today is the first International Day of Yoga to be celebrated all over the world. For those of you who know about yoga, I'm sure it has touched you in some way for the better; even if it was a class taken on a whim at your local gym club and finding a mere moment of bliss in shavasana pose at the end of class. For me, I have been a follower since the early 80's when yoga asana practices and meditation classes were becoming more available in Tucson, AZ. Fortunately for me and everyone else in the US, the momentum of yoga that began here in the 60's and 70's kept moving forward and is now widely practiced. Do you like...