Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Nor darkness —
Being walkers with the sun and morning.
Erica + Spiros
(classes + lunar notes)
OUR VIRTUAL SHALA SCHEDULE
◯ We’re on teaching sabbatical.
EATING THE SKY
(Los Angeles timezone)
◯ The moon is full Wednesday May 26 at 4:14 AM PDT. This marks the ONLY TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE of 2021. Because the moon will be cruising at low altitudes, it will appear quite large from our earthly abode. And it will be reddish in color. Step outside if its clear weather, or watch the live broadcast from Griffith Observatory.
“The farther west you are, the more of the event you’ll see,” from Astronomy—
Partial eclipse begins: 2:45 A.M. PDT
Total eclipse begins: 4:11 A.M. PDT
Total eclipse ends: 4:26 A.M. PDT
Partial eclipse ends: 5:52 A.M. PDT
◯ Eclipses are neither good nor bad, per se. But they are certainly phenomenological events that necessitate awe. We intend to set aside time for silence and stillness.
◯ Mercury stations retrograde Saturday May 29 at 3:27 PM PDT. This is commonly conceived as a time when communications are troubled, and our communication gear (e.g. computers, cell phones, cars, pens and pencils) acquire some quirks if not outright malfunctions. It’s nothing to be afraid of, rather an astrological memo to take breaks, breathe, and remember that the best escape is through. As a picture on our friend Doc Harry’s wall recently encouraged us: “you grow through what you go through.”
This Edition’s List of Links
“Dowsing is the old-world way of finding things. It is not, definitively, a science; it is pre-science—a method born before the Enlightenment to find, among other things, water, minerals, oil, gemstones, buried treasure, energies emanating from the earth, fugitives, missing kids, missing dogs, missing cats, and, according to some fervent practitioners, the pears that are ripest in the produce aisle. Its names are as numerous as its aims: divining, doodlebugging, water witching, water smelling, peach-twig toting, well prophesying, rhabdomancy, and, from the lips of the most pragmatic among them, finding water with a stick…The power is not in the device, for it merely channels, dowsers say; the power is out there, and an attuned hand and quieted mind can discern it.” — Into the Mystical and Inexplicable World of Dowsing | Outside Magazine
“Sometimes nature calls you and says, ‘come live with me.’ So I decided to experiment with the simple life.”
Agnes Martin: The Distillation of Color is now on view in New York City. The exhibit showcases her work from the five-year period during her relocation from New York to New Mexico—“one that crystalized her pursuit of perfection and quest to deepen her understanding of painting’s essence, unattached to emotion or subject, yet radiant and meditative in its pure abstraction.” | Pace Gallery
How do our wounds “know” how to heal? How do the tissues of our unborn bodies differentiate and take shape without direction from a brain? When a caterpillar becomes a moth, most of its brain liquefies and is rebuilt—and yet researchers have discovered that memories can be preserved across the metamorphosis. “What is that telling us?” Biologist Michael Levin asked. Among other things, it suggests that limbs and tissues besides the brain might be able, at some primitive level, to remember, think, and act. Levin has spearheaded the notion that the cells in our bodies use bioelectricity to communicate and to make decisions among themselves about what they will become. | The New Yorker
“Translation is an aesthetic and ethical and political stance. Aesthetic because it’s an art, ethical because it has to do with our common humanity, and political because it is more than one way of understanding reality. It displaces the solution of one solution to anything—which is fascism. Translation completely cancels that out.” — Jhumpa Lahiri, whose forthcoming translation of Metamorphoses we eagerly await | LitHub
In light of the rampant—and until recently hushed—abuse in yoga and spiritual communities, Loyola Marymount University held a conference, “Abuse in Yoga and Beyond: Cultural Logics and Pathways for the Future.” The papers are now available online, and the presenting scholars directly address the histories and logics of these forms of abuse in both contemporary yoga as well as other religious, spiritual, and athletic communities. | Sacred Matters
Temperatures at Searles Lake reach 115 degrees during the summer with an average of just three inches of rainfall to cool the solar anvil. But beneath the parched, kaleidoscopic-looking playa is a veritable periodic table of minerals and salts. All told the Searles Lake formation contains samples of at least “half the natural elements known to man.” | Atlas Obscura
“Limits,” the latest edition of Nikita Petrov’s excellent collaborative series of “illustrated psychedelic meta-realism from Russia” features a comic strip on sensory deprivation, ketamine, John Lily and Putin. Beautiful, weird, sad, frightening and inspiring, it’s an interesting reflection upon our cultural moment.
Yogis hopefully realize that through practice we begin to notice that the psycho-spiritual front line of practice, and of liberation itself, shifts from seeing the way a throne looks as we approach it, and simply sitting there upon the throne, looking. From understanding embodiment as a gesture from the shapes and contours of our physical body, to the subtler aspects of the body as a seated place from which to look, noticing how this shapes the world itself.
The fabric of mind is fed by the sense organs. So studying this, and resting here upon this knotted jewel, is known to yogis as the practice of pratyāhāra. One simple, tried and true method to find our way here is to muffle our sense-organ stimulation, a.k.a., sensory deprivation. Of course once our sense-organs are sheilded, we see their phantoms. Mind reels with a cacophony of remixed projections, imprints; a moulded drone, and from one beautiful vantage, a joyful noise. It takes a long time to slow down and let mind unravel. It’s a process. And political. | Psychopolitica
(Pratyāhāra is the crossroads. A patch-bay of rooted sensory inputs leading to impressions upon the delicate fabric of mind. Here—where the cabling/nāḍī is shaped into memory and experience—appears, to we Lost Angels, to be the most direct-hyperobject upon which the practitioner may choose to gaze… tautly relaxing into a single-pointed interest, focus, and concentration. But this is another story for another time.)
What We’re Watching
Twyla Moves | Known for her disciplined approach to creativity, choreographer, director, dancer Twyla Tharp is the star of this new documentary. | PBS
Pebbles | A child seeks out small joys even as his rageful and alocholic father carts him all across a hot and remote mountainous region of India’s Tamil Nadu in search of the mother. This film is heart wrenching, relate-able, and in few words reveals a complex experience social life, material conditions, and the quest for contentment. | The New Yorker
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Lastly, some of our link sources of recognition, gratitude, and inspiration for this edition include Nina Turner, Laura Olin, Erik Davis, California Sun, The Browser, Geeta Dayal, Nikita Petrov and others. Thank you! Banner detail from GBSK.