Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Deer Creek

Earilier in the week (Wednesday) my mom and I were introduced to a neat little jewel of a place nestled up in the Mount Charleston area, who knew...So on Sunday, the temperature was inching up to the 106* mark, I said, "Hey all, lets go up to Deer Creek and cool off." We did and we did. Mind you, Larry and I like to get away from other people when we can, this really wasn't one of those places, but it was beautiful, pine trees, smallish oaks, and a crystal clear stream which runs along several picnic spots and bbq pits, hey - I'll take 76* any day of the week! Harry and mom came up too and did such a great job up there, the elevation was a good 8,000 feet. I'm so proud of those two!
Larry and Logan had a marvelous time building a dam. They had created a very nice pool of water. I wouldn't be surprised if it's still there when we return, they really did a great job on it.
All the kids are really starting to play together - alot. Logan can be a little rough and annoying with the twins at times but we're just trying to be as consistant as possible with taming the critters.
This week there has been lots more noise (than usual) and we're having to get more creative at bedtime. They are staying up later, playing, running after one another and still manage to wake up at 6am, argh...
I think we'll be spending more time up on the mountain this summer, the heat here in the valley is extremely intense.
We'd love to have a pool but we've decided to wait til the kids are a little older.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Here Comes the Sun

I LOVE practicing Surya Namaskar and for the Summer Solstice we did 10 Salutations in the beginning of class. The energy was amazing and all the new yogis were swept away in the floods of Shakti that poured out, it was just indescribable.

That most familiar of asana sequences, Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is as rich in symbolic and mythic overtones as it is in physical benefits.

By Richard Rosen

In many cultures, light has long been a symbol of consciousness and self-illumination. "The world begins with the coming of light," wrote Jungian analyst Erich Neumann in The Origins and History of Consciousness (Princeton University Press, 1995). "Opposition between light and darkness has informed the spiritual world of all peoples and molded it into shape."
Our primary source of light is, of course, the sun. When we look at our closest star, we may see nothing more than a big yellow ball. But for thousands of years, the Hindus have revered the sun, which they call Surya, as both the physical and spiritual heart of our world and the creator of all life itself. That's why one of Surya's many other appellations is Savitri (the Vivifier), who, according to the Rig Veda, "begets and feeds mankind in various manners" (III.55.19). Moreover, since everything that exists originates from the sun, as Alain Dani┼Żlou wrote in The Myths and Gods of India (Inner Traditions, 1991), it "must contain the potentiality of all that is to be known." For the Hindus, the sun is the "eye of the world" (loka chakshus), seeing and uniting all selves in itself, an image of and a pathway to the divine.
One of the means of honoring the sun is through the dynamic asana sequence Surya Namaskar (better known as Sun Salutation). The Sanskrit word namaskar stems from namas, which means "to bow to" or "to adore." (The familiar phrase we use to close our yoga classes, namaste—te means "you"—also comes from this root.) Each Sun Salutation begins and ends with the joined-hands mudra (gesture) touched to the heart. This placement is no accident; only the heart can know the truth.
The ancient yogis taught that each of us replicates the world at large, embodying "rivers, seas, mountains, fields...stars and planets...the sun and moon" (Shiva Samhita, II.1-3). The outer sun, they asserted, is in reality a token of our own "inner sun," which corresponds to our subtle, or spiritual, heart. Here is the seat of consciousness and higher wisdom (jnana) and, in some traditions, the domicile of the embodied self (jivatman).
It might seem strange to us that the yogis place the seat of wisdom in the heart, which we typically associate with our emotions, and not the brain. But in yoga, the brain is actually symbolized by the moon, which reflects the sun's light but generates none of its own. This kind of knowledge is worthwhile for dealing with mundane affairs, and is even necessary to a certain extent for the lower stages of spiritual practice. But in the end, the brain is inherently limited in what it can know and is prone to what Patanjali calls misconception (viparyaya) or false knowledge of the self.
History and Practice
There's some disagreement among authorities over the origins of Sun Salutation. Traditionalists contend that the sequence is at least 2,500 years old (perhaps even several hundred years older), that it originated during Vedic times as a ritual prostration to the dawn, replete with mantras, offerings of flowers and rice, and libations of water. Skeptics of this dating maintain that Sun Salutation was invented by the raja of Aundh (a former state in India, now part of Maharashtra state) in the early 20th century, then disseminated to the West in the 1920s or 1930s.
However old Sun Salutation is, and whatever it may originally have looked like, many variations have evolved over the years. Janita Stenhouse, in Sun Yoga: The Book of Surya Namaskar (Innerspace Map Studio, 2001), illustrates two dozen or so adaptations (though several are quite similar).

The Party

We're not really the "themed birthday" type at this stage. I'm happy to say that Logan prefers the outdoors and fishing to having Batman plates, matching hats, noisemakers, etc...Hey, I don't much mind either. Twenty screaming 4 or so year olds wired on sugar isn't as appealing as our "outdoor tradition". Well, that's not to say we didn't have cake and ice cream, we did! I made a Chocolate Cherry Surprise Cake in the Dutch Oven, it was tasty and quite simple. (last years Dutch Oven desserts were a Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Mississippi Mud Cake - OMG, they were delish!) Larry and I will occasionally watch an episode of "Outdoor Nevada" which was the inspiration for my Dutch Oven cooking intrest.
(That first picture just goes to show how crazy tired but excited the little guy was after fishing all afternoon)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mammoth Creek, UT

Here are some more pictures that I thought were indicative of our trip.

Fishing in Panguitch Lake, UT

ATV fun

I will never forget my mom whoopin' and hollerin' with that big smile on her face as she came cruising up the mountain. She was so reluctant to ride the ATV but with Larry's encouragement she was up and riding. Like my uncle Ed says, "Boy, Larry could talk a cat off a fish wagon". That's the truth! It was so much fun riding and checking out the scenery on the ATV.

Mammoth Creek Cabin, Utah - Wow!!

This was an amazing cabin that we had the opportunity to stay in thanks to Dick and Terry Rogers for Logan's birthday/Father's day. Oh, how we would love to call this our own...The cabin 4599 sq FT, is situated on 7.6 acres and is made from ponderosa pine and douglass fir, it was truly amazing. There were 3 floors so it was easy to lose the little ones, they really loved those stairs (my nerves didn't) Every room was beautifully decorated with the finest attention to detail. Thank you beautiful people for sharing an incredible space. We were truly blessed.

Park Day

The critters LOVE the park! We've been going at least once per week with one of the homeschooling groups. Every week we get to experience a "new" park, it's really great. It's so good to get out and see the little ones play and chat (when I'm not chasing a toddler) with other mamas...