Yoga For A World Out Of Balance

Photo taken by Sherry Robinson - Notice Quiet Nature Photography 2010
Vidette Gold Mine-Resort, Deadman Valley, Savona, BC

Sporadic yellow leaves dangle on the trees as if painted mysteriously, hinting that inevitable change is coming. As the sweet aroma of ripening fruit waifs in the air, birds collectively call out to gather and forage in the neighbourhood. I have to keep an eye out for all these visitors not only to keep them away from the fruit, but soon it will be time to hang up the bird feeder under the maple tree.

Over eight years, I have watched the young Maple tree spread her limbs higher and canopy over the yard outside my studio window. She too hints that autumn is here. I can see one red leaf on the flaming Maple tree hinting that soon, she too will be ablaze of brilliant color and reflecting her light inside my studio.

We mainly focus on the leaves of trees to notice the passage of seasons, although trees are also a symbol of balance. Trees remain balanced because of its roots hidden beneath the ground. Despite continual changes or life threatening events, the roots hold and draw nutrients from the earth. Beneath the trees lie layers of geological history in the earth like stacked pages part of a larger story.

Therefore, like a tree, we too can remain rooted by deepening our awareness of ancient wisdom, the interdependence of human and nonhuman life and the new shoots of modern psychology. We too can send out roots and shoots to strengthen our relationships and experience balance not only in our daily lives, yet for the world as well.

With the end of the summer season, I also came to the end of a great book. Its pages are curled; there are insights scribbled throughout and sticky notes popping out for future reflection. I close and rub its bright yellow cover that reminds me of an autumn leaf and with a sigh noting how I love contemplative books. This excellent book is, Yoga For A World Out Of Balance-Teachings on Ethics and Social Action by Michael Stone 2009 Shambhala Publications Inc.

Photo taken by Sherry Robinson- Notice Quiet Nature Photography 2010
This is an excellent book for Book Clubs or small groups
In Michael Stone’s book, he introduces the ancient teachings taught in the ancient Yoga Sutra by Patanjali and considered by Patanjali as universal ethical disciplines.  Michael applies them with modern psychology and ecology to our everyday lives.  These five principles or yamas are ethical suggestions that can increase awareness of the relationship between our actions and effects to help us respond and root us with clarity to live in a sustainable and respectful way in our current world out of balance.  As Yoga is a system of education more than a religion. This is an excellent book for book clubs and small discussion groups.

Yoga can be more than just an hour on the mat a couple times a week. An exploration of Yoga can take us deeper and show us the interconnectedness of all life, which includes the elements, the breath, the body, and the mind. To balance our own lives, is to balance the world.

Overlooking Schiedam Flats near Kamloops, BC ~ Photo by Audrey Meuse 2010
It really does not matter that you can hold the poses perfectly. Breathe and hold the pose even for a couple of seconds. Feel the focused balance. Feel the momentary stillness and clarity. 

“Look into the nature of any one thing and you begin to see where it stretches out,
what sustains it, and how it interacts with other things. There is no separation.”
 ~Yoga For a World Out Of Balance pg 158 by Michael Stone 2009

Michael Stone will lead a retreat workshop, Yoga For A World Out Of Balance at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, BC in July 20-24 2011. I highly recommend this retreat destination.
For more information visit:

For more information on Michael Stone, his books and his teaching schedule

For more information about Shambhala Publications:

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 "Sustainability means living in a way that allows future generations to prosper."  ~ Raffi Cavoukian, famous Childrens Performer and World Leader for Child Honouring and Sustainability
I invite you to take time to do two things today, no maybe three!

1. Listen to Raffi's wonderful song:
(Click on this)
2Visit his website to learn more about his committed work for the global 
Child Honouring movement!
(Click on this)

3. Share these resources with your friends, family and community!
Happy Earth Day Everybody!

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Seeing With New Eyes ~ Insights from a Deeper Time

Travelling a familiar road along the Thompson River last year I noticed a white line in the eroding benchland. Long ago the road was cut into this benchland and exposed some geographical layers. These are some of the earliest chapters that carved out the history of this Thompson River valley in British Columbia.

  I assumed that the white line was the Volcanic Ash layer from the ancient Mount Mazama in Oregon some 6700 years ago. I like to look at layers of dirt deposits as it is like pages in a storybook. I pay attention to stuff like this because my Father introduced me to Geology as a child.

So this spring I stopped to look at that white layer. But this was not ash because ash does not sparkle in the sunlight! What I discovered was a layer of ancient mussel shells embedded between the clay silt dirt and smoothly rolled bedrock. These shells were preserved in the layers of mud and silt that built up due to recurrent flooding and receding waters of glacial lakes to form the Thompson River benchlands.

Now it does seem absurd to see mussel shells in a semi arid desert terrain.  I admired my un-fossilized discovery as I gazed far away at the Volcanic cliffs to the north where a famous fossil bed  contains layers and layers of leaf, bug and fish fossils. 

People had obviously picked away at this fragile layer as I noticed sparkles glimmering in the dirt, which in fact were strewn shards from the ancient iridescent fresh water mussel shells. They shimmered and I picked them up to inspect closer and noticed they were fragile and quickly flaked like glimmering fish scales in my hand.  I collected some of the loose shells  bound to be pulverized by being exposed to the elements.

Researching on the Internet I was able to read a SFU Masters Thesis by Shauna Huculak January 2004 and another SFU Masters Thesis by Corene T. Lindsay December 2003.  Both made references to Freshwater Mollusks on the Interior Plateau of British Columbia around 4200 to 5700 years ago during what is referred to as the Early Nesikep or Lehman Phase.  These Mollusks or Mussels were a last resort food source for natives who primarily depended on Salmon, Elk and Deer.  It is also noted Natives at this time were migrant and preceded life in Pit houses until much later in history.  Cool hey!
The purpose of my writing and photography is to notice and pay attention in nature and allow these experiences to inspire and stretch my creativity.  For when we experience a deeper connection to something in the natural world, it strengthens our attachment to the interdependent web of life.  It is from these moments that we can be inspired by past and future generations and other life forms. This enables us to to respond to the present condition of our world and meet the challenges to create sustainable societies.

INSIGHTS INTO THE BASIC MIRACLE OF OUR EXISTENCE - be they from generational living systems theory, Buddhist teachings, or other ancient voices- have broken upon us in the very century that has brought us to the brink of destroying our planet as a home for conscious life. They are fundamental and far-reaching enough to help us liberate a Life-sustaining Society. If we can let these insights shape our own life purposes, they can enable the Great Turning.
From Pg 57, Chapter 4 THE WORK THAT RECONNECTS In the book, COMING BACK TO LIFE- Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, our World by Joanna Macy & Molly Young Brown  1998.

For more information about Joanna Macy or The Great Turning please visit Joanna Macy’s website which has abundant and inspiring information.

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Kamloops, BC Opposes A Gasification/Incinerator Plants Plan To Burn Creosote Treated Railway Ties

Update on March 19, 2010
A plan to process waste railway ties in Kamloops 
at the Aborigional Cogeneration plant is dead. 
Way to go Kamloopsians!! 
Keepin' it Clean


                                                             Video~ The Dodo bird metaphor

Today I participated in an important Rally opposed to the new business Aboriginal Cogeneration Corporation operating a Creosote Gasification Plant burning Railway Ties here in Kamloops, BC, Canada.

Somehow British Columbia's Ministry of the Environment approved a permit application for this business to gasify railway ties. The plant is intended to create a synthetic gas which can then be put through two small engines to create electricity.

Kamloops is a city of 85,000 people situated beside an important salmon river, the Thompson River that flows into Kamloops Lake. Kamloopsians are opposed to this company with no track record pilot-testing a toxic waste burning facility in our community!

The body responsible for funding this gasification project is called the Sustainable Development Technology Canada which is a Not For Profit agency reporting to the Minister of Natural Resources of Canada. Protesting Kamloopsians believe funding should not have been approved for this initiative that does not have local government and civilian support.

Can you imagine burning decades of old creosote soaked railway ties from all over Canada here in Kamloops?  This decision affects not only Kamloops BC, but all of Canada!!!

Please visit the following link for more information:

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