Over the last 15 months, Soumya and I have been practicing music of the soul by working on bhakti music, blending traditions of the East and West. Our band Sat Song (truth song) has a first event Thursday night in Tempe. We’ll perform for the 10 year Anniversary Celebration of the Arizona Interfaith Power and Light organization. This is an organization demonstrating much needed cooperation and respect in our day of division along religious and cultural lines. I’m pleased to be part of this event. Wish us well!
Gregory Ormson writes, rides his Harley-Davidson, plays guitar, and teaches yoga for bikers at Superstition Harley Davidson. He lives in Arizona. In July, he was awarded the Eastern Iowa Review / Port Yonder Press Issue 3 long form lyric essay award for 2017.
What others say about Ormson’s nonfiction writing:
“These essays show us the soul of a father, a woodsman, and companionable philosopher shaped by beauty and grace . . . it is wise, lyrical, reverential, and above all wild.”
–Jonathon Johnson Ph.D., professor at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, the MFA program at Eastern Washington University. Author of Mastodon, 80% Complete, Hannah and the Mountain: Notes toward a Wilderness Fatherhood, and others.
As a fellow midwesterner who has, like the author, lived in many places outside the region, Gregory Ormson’s essay, Midwest Intimations, rang true. From the typical Midwestern reticence to our love/hate relationship with winter, I found myself, as I read, loving even more, the place I chose to return to, the place I’ll always call home, no matter where I live. As Ormson said so eloquently, “I hang my hat on these anchors: a deer in the woods, the dragonfly hatch in May, and the startling retort of hardwoods in frigid February.” Ormson reminds readers what it’s like to be a Midwesterner and how region helps shape us into who we are and who we will become. (Kelly Garriott Waite, contributor to Eastern Iowa Review, Issue 3, summer 2017, Honoring the Lyric Essay.
“He’s working his best vital swirls when he’s taking risks or defining spirit quests: we follow his voice as naturally as ‘lizard, spider, dragonfly and sun.”
–Russell Thorburn M.F.A. Wayne State University, author of Approximate Desire, Father Tell me I Have Not Aged, and more.
“Like the tangled roots of trees, his words reveal visible and invisible sensory connections: the accommodating heartbeats of a drum circle, the thirsty tap of weasel claws which reverberate up to the moon, the archetypical pleasure of a warm fire on a cold night.”
–Kathleen Heidmann, M.A. Northern Michigan University, President, Save the Wild U.P.
“The common earthly elements of seasons and land and water present almost secular liturgies and litanies of heartbreak and loss . . . and tamed hope amidst a jaded world . . . they reveal a ‘dimension of depth’ and ‘ecstatic reason.’
–Bob Ahern, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology and Social Work The Ohio State University.
Calling all motorcyclists’
November’s “Stretch Ride” at Superstition Harley Davidson will be the last Sunday of the month (Nov. 24). It will be a 12 minute ride from SHD to Prospector Park on Idaho Road,
Meet in the west side parking lot of Superstition Harley Davidson and leave at 10:30 to ride to this hidden gem (photo below) Prospector Park.
By this tree (below) we’ll spend 15 minutes in a couple breathing exercises and quiet time.
Then we’ll walk to our parked bikes where I’ll demonstrate – and you also practice – five simple ways to use your motorcycle as a prop for stretching. The ride and stretch will be less than an hour. Afterwards, everyone can go their own way.
This is way to adapt yoga movements to parking lot stretching with the help of the bike. It’s something you can do on your tours and rides. No special clothing or props required.
The stretch ride is about conscious breathe (with awareness) and easy stretch moves designed to keep us riding longer.
I’m pleased to have an invitation from OM Yoga and Lifestyle (magazine) Colchester, UK, to be a regular contributor, specifically, the OM Spirit section dealing with the spirituality inherent in yoga.
As a lifelong researcher of spiritual perspectives from around the world, I practice an ongoing evaluation of the esoteric. I’ve learned to be critical of every spiritual perspective yet remain open to the testaments of everyone’s perspective.
Theologians evaluate spiritual grounding by looking at the context of any spirituality. They call this discipline hermeneutics, which is a questioning and critical posture regarding: religious assumptions about humanity, spirituality’s inspirations, its leadership, and its goals.
But the most important aspect of critical thinking is that it can deliver us from the trap of believing that my culture – or my perspective – is the center of the world. This may open us to see both the wisdom and folly of our religious or spiritual background.
A hermeneutic evaluation means one is always suspicious of the texts and traditions from any school of thought. It leads one to dig in and find out what the text or tradition is really saying to the individual and the community, and then to ask if it squares with the entirety of what one knows deep down in their bones.
Hermeneutics questions every spiritual perspective and what it says about culture, religious leadership, and society. You have a question about yoga and spirituality? Send it to me, I’m looking for ideas to write about for OM Yoga and Lifestyle.