living in a cocoon
January 31, 2008, 9:02 pm
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I’ve been Reflecting upon my life for the last 8 years living in the ashram and being guided by my Gurumaharaja. Today I read this wonderful quote which gave me a little more insight into the relationship I have with him and our organization’s purpose.

“If you clip a cocoon to help a butterfly emerge, you will cripple the butterfly. Pushing against the interior of the cocoon is an essential, organismic struggle that brings fluids into the spiny tubules that will eventually harden into wings. Without this resistance and great effort, the wings will not develop and the butterfly will not fly. Likewise, if you meet a child with nonjudgemental support at the edge of his or her struggle, that child will break through challenges into the next developmental stage in his or her own time and own unique way. Every individual longs for a cocoon of safety, for loving support and encouragement to break through the discomforts of learning in order to discover his or her unique and personal vision of the self and to realize fulfillment as an individual.”
-Don Stapleton, Self Awakening Yoga

This is what I look like in my yoga cocoon.


don’t break the ice
January 30, 2008, 5:04 pm
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On an other BMX note, did you ever see that movie “RAD”? Well I’ve watched it thousands of times and there is that song at the beginning “Don’t break the Ice”. It has taken 15 years to experience the importance of that song. A few days ago I walked across a two mile lake! Back and forth! It was the scariest thing I have ever done.

What happened was I was out on a walk trying to get out of the giant building and connect with nature. I made it to the lake and saw that it was frozen solid. Im from Arizona originally so frozen things are of great interest to me. One time a friend and I walked across one of the ponds at New Vrindaban.

Here I went out on the ice and I met Brenda from my yoga class. She is very quiet woman who I haven’t spoken to much. I dared her to walk across the lake. So we both decided to take the challenge. It took an hour or more. We walked in great fear light footed and shallow breathed. Do you know that sound in those sci fi films of unseen life forms woowoomp woowoomp woowoomp? After some time we realized that it was the sound of air being released from cracks in the ice.

We wanted to turn around every few minutes but felt so much excitement meeting our fears. It was so much fun. We reverted back to our child inside. One time I dared Brenda to jump on a big crack on the ice and she did. Nothing happened until I stepped forward and we heard the sound of cracking ice. We both screamed and started walking faster and softer towards the shore. The sun peeked through the clouds and the ice started cracking more and more as we walked and the woowoomp sounds became louder and more frequent. After a half hour of great terror we made it to the shore where we were greeted with dark chocolates and hugs from other members of our class.

Smoker Dave
January 29, 2008, 2:44 pm
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My old friend Dave Schilling called me yesterday with the best of news. One year ago He was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Everyone was struck with amazement. We all thought he would get lung cancer! His nick name was Smoker Dave. We were all affected in various ways. For me it allowed us to reconnect after a long period of separation. He was really going off in the wrong track. It was truly a blessing now that we reflect on the past year and all the transformation he has gone through. What seemed like a curse was actually a great blessing. Oh Yeah he called me in great joy. After intensive chemo and many life changes mentally and physically there is not any trace of cancer in his entire body! Amazing, simply amazing.

Check out a video part of his:

fasting til death.
January 28, 2008, 6:08 pm
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Yesterday in the depression of my sickness I spoke with my close friend William(picture above). He was revealing the glories of his recent fasting. I took it as a message from God. I remember Gauranga Kishore Prabhu explaining sickness to me many years ago. I often forget its purpose. My body is talking to me, What is it saying? So I fasted the yesterday and today. For bfast I drank maple lemon drink and now I just burped out the last drink of my Trilogy Kombucha. I feel much better today but still need recovery time.

Tomorrow is my last practice teach before my certification. Im nervous and need to do a long head stand to relax a bit. I got a new roommate last night. I was chatting with my psychotherapist til 11:30pm and went back to the room thinking I would be creeping in on my new roommate. Amazingly he was not there. I turned on my night light and read Bhagavad Gita until he came in. He arrived after a few paragraphs and we chatted til 12:30am. Just like last time I was here I got teamed up with the perfect roommate. He is a very mature man who owns a yoga studio near by and teaches iyengar, vinyasa and astanga. He is very interested in the spiritual side of yoga now and we connected very well.

Got to go now!

when you eat whats available.
January 27, 2008, 1:42 pm
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Last night I slept horribly. I felt like I had poison in my stomach. Those that know me know that I don’t sleep much(meaning I always sleep horribly) so when I say I slept bad it really means something. I’ve always had stomach problems my whole life. Lots of stress and thats where I hold all of it. I guess all the stress of being here, all the physical asana, all the pranayam, my over endeavor, not eating right etc culminates in a night of absolute pain and agony. Luckily my roommate left Kripalu for the night so he didn’t get disturbed by my rolling around. I woke up at 2am vomited, showered then read and chanted for a bit in one of the yoga rooms. I prefer this one yoga room over the others because its clean and it has wood floors. Around 4 am I slept on my yoga mat in that room til 5am where I returned to my room and slept for another hour before getting up for morning asana practice. Its a hard day when I don’t chant atleast half of my rounds in the morning. Ill chant at lunch in the basement if I can get my mind into it.

My solace this morning was the warm Kichiri. Thank you Lord for answering my prayers.

Oh yeah, I miss the cows too.

Conversations with God
January 26, 2008, 1:41 pm
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Last night I had a wonderful conversation with my friend Oren. He is taking the massage therapy course here at Kripalu. We met randomly the other day and have since kept up our conversations about God. He has been intensely studying his birth religion over the last two years, something which I have great respect for. In our conversation and sharing of quotes about Teachers he pulled out a book he has been reading over the past month called “Conversations with God’. He read the following passage:

A true master is not the one with the most students, but one who creates the most masters.

A true leader is not the one with the most followers but the one who creates the most leaders.

A true king is not the one with the most subjects but the one who leads the most to royalty.

A true teacher is not the one with the most knowledge but one who causes the most others to have knowledge.

And the true God is not the One with the most servants but the One who serves the most, thereby making Gods of all others.

For this is both the goal and the glory of God: that His subjects shall be no more, and that all shall know God not as the unattainable, but as the unavoidable.

January 25, 2008, 3:21 am
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Here are some recent emails sent in response to recent posts.
Thank you all for sending your love.

Dear Balaram Chandra,

Haribol, I just read this letter over and it’s a bit intense. So brace yourself.

I was reading your blog from January 1st, and I feel such a bittersweet resonance with what you were going through – especially with the deities. Ever since I took the Japa Retreat seminar, I have felt a deep void and loss of faith that Krishna is really there. I feel as though I call out and call out and nothing’s there. But I haven’t spoken with very many – if ANYone – about this because I feel as though s/he will not understand. And (deep breath) I feel a loss of faith in guru that he can really help me when I’m going through such hurdles of faith – personally, eye-to-eye. I think that’s the worst part.

Sigh, I wanted to write to you because your post soothed me. It let me know that others go through what I’m going through… and that Srila Prabhupad still encourages those who are stumbling and committing so many offense like I have been.

I hope you’re doing well and that you continue to write,

think what you’re doing is incredibly amazing and inspiring. I thing ISKCON is an amazing organization. I remember there was an article printed back when we were in high school about Krishna Consciousness in Spin magazine (I think) and I remember thinking what an amazing thing to be a part of. I wish that I had gotten a chance to know you better in high school, but I myself was unstable, struggling to find a place to live, and didn’t really want anyone to know what I was going through. I guess I was afraid of the possible rejection or humiliation from my peers. I basically kept to myself and tried to stay as invisible as possible. I don’t think I ever really discussed my living situation with anyone at school, but I probably should have. I don’t even know if you remember who I am, but I felt inclined to drop you a comment and let you know that what you are doing is incredibly inspiring.

Balarama Chandra Prahuji, You are a true inspiration to me, as I have recently fallen down, seriously broken the principals I have no devotee association. We did meet breifly at your stay at Bhaktivedanta manor,but you probably don`t remember my fallen self. Keep posting as your everything I could wish to be, a simple and honest surrendered soul.

Thank you Prabhu
Thank you for the inspiration.
You’re such a solid, wise example for this bumbling fool who is trying to follow in so many footsteps.

See ya in a few! I’m ready for the Yoga Crew!