Brown Bag online literary is out today including two of my contributions and many more. This issue, which they’ve titled Jackson, takes readers on a journey through the solar and lunar system in words and sounds; it highlights the individual story – and music in that story – with the complicated tangle in the biggest of big pictures. It is dedicated to Jackson Rose, described as an artist and open soul. Links to click in and listen to “Voices from The Woodland,” which Brown Bag has linked to Mercury, and “Whale Song from the Corners of Eternity,” linked to Neptune.
“We still stand.” An Agnostis/Ormson collaboration dedicated to ongoing and growing movement for change driven, in part, by the activism of #MMIWRiders and #mmiwg #rideformmiw #NoMoreStolenSisters keyboard, composition, photos and video randy anagnostis. lyric, background sounds, and vocal gregory ormson Original song, “Indigenous Souls.”… read more...
Truer than ever before, much of the world was asleep in their screens during 2020. Television, cell phones, and computers offered connections during the worst of the world-wide pandemic, but connections sans touch.
Such connections seem void of what I’d call true encounter. An incarnated connection is more real for it’s in the flesh and is sustained over time by meeting, greeting, touching or holding intimate space for one another.
Emerging from the last year of sleep and screens, 2021 is sparking a new consciousness. We are realizing something critical to the survival of Earth and the human species. We need to talk with one another.
I’m discovering that as we sit down together and engage we learn how to listen again. Listening teaches how build and sustain by giving, taking, and willingly offering disclosure and feedback. This happens when we “talk story,” a phrase and practice I learned from the Hawaiians. Talking story is no small thing. It’s the way movements start, and the way the medicine wheel ride started.
Talking story, the indigenous women spoke about the missing and murdered sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, daughters, and grandmothers they knew – from all nations – they realized the tragedy was three-fold. First, that it happens at all. Second that it happens at an alarming rate among indigenous peoples than anywhere else; and third, that nobody was talking about it.
These crimes continue to break and destroy the bonds of family and community everywhere but especially on indigenous lands.
The Medicine Wheel Ride was formed for awareness, disclosure, feedback, justice, and change.… read more...
Music spoken word by Gregory Ormson, Russell Thorburn, Darrell Syria.
Inspired by the breath training and yoga practice of Magnus Carlsen, eight time world Grand Chessmaster (a story from The Best American Sports writing of 2020), I found connections between Carlsen’s practices training for chess matches – that can take up to a week – and my experiences with freediving, motorcycling, and yoga.
While teaching motorcycle riding, I saw how people tightened up and held their breath when the riding range was wet, when they were evaluated, and when they were asked to do ‘figure eight’ moves in a tight space. If yoga classes could help people with stress and challenges during yoga, I thought asana poses targeted specifically to bikers’ needs could help bikers in many ways.
Yoga for bikers targets poses for: hips, back, neck, shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. Preparing to teach an unusual yoga group, I searched and discovered many stories of yoga’s effects on performance in unusual places; the most unexpected were the worlds of freediving and competitive chess.
Freediving and yoga
In Hawaii, one of the first things my freediving instructor asked me was: “Do you practice yoga?” He said yoga people do better in freediving because they’ve learned how to breathe and relax when in stress.… read more...
“Your Dirty Little Lies,” is dedicated to us for putting up with the dirty little of the politicians; this protest music and word piece emotes that story. An Anagnostis/ Ormson piece recorded in Mesa, AZ.
A stellar original composition and keyboard piece by this man, Randy Anagnostis, he calls “Queen Creek.” Lyric and vocal interpretation from portions of an essay I’ve been writing exploring the inner dimensions of free diving.
Anagnostis at the keyboard.
I’m pleased with this music, video, and word piece edited and created by Randy Anagnostis; with collaboration from Gabriel Thorburn’s photo of mountain sheep and lyrics from the poem, “Many Names Have Never Been Spoken Here,” written by Russell Thorburn during their father-son Mohave Preserve National Parks Residency in 2013. Vocal interpretation of Thorburn’s poem by Gregory Ormson. It’s always fun to work with creative artists. Thanks Randy, Russell, and Gabe. #randyanagnostis #artistscollaboration #russellthorburn #gabethorburn #GRSound #spokenword #musicvideo #mojavenationalpreserve
… read more...
It’s one of the songs you’ll hear on St Paddy’s Day (Wednesday, March 17), at Starbucks in Apache Junction. Details below:
Irish music takes you into its culture hook, line, and sinker. It’s more than just music, known for telling powerful stories of resistance and sacrifice, land and liberty, love and loss; it cants of a thirst for the grog and flare for the poetic. Irish music is memorable for its strong rhythm and structure linked to true stories.
WHERE? Apache Junction Starbucks
Delaware and Apache Tr.
WHEN? St. Patrick’s Day
March 17 4:00 pm
*Bring a can food donation for our local shelter
*** WIN THE LIMERICK CONTEST & GET A STARBUCKS GIFT CARD ***
Four days till St. Patrick’s
IRISH MUSIC — is there really such a thing?
Yes, and Irish music takes you into its culture hook, line, and sinker. It’s more than just music, known for telling powerful stories of resistance and sacrifice, land and liberty, love and loss; it cants of a thirst for the grog and flare for the poetic. Irish music is memorable for its strong rhythm and structure linked to true stories.
Here for St. Patrick’s Day, Gregory Ormson, formerly of The MAGEES and FROM BIG IRISH
WHERE? Apache Junction Starbucks
Delaware and Apache Tr.
WHEN? St. Patrick’s Day March 17 4:00 pm
*Bring a can food donation for our local shelter WIN THE LIMERICK CONTEST & GET A STARBUCKS GIFT CARD. “Cead mile failte” a hundred thousand welcomes.
In describing Welsh poet and prose writer Dylan Thomas’ 1947 poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” Denise Levertov wrote, “it is a rapturous ode to the unassailable tenacity of the human spirit.” Here, Randy Anagnostis and I create an interpretation for today with a few lines from Thomas’ poem.
1 Few things are uncorrupted by money.
2 Naive optimism, hopeioid addiction, is killing us.
3 Education falls far below its potential if if it’s solely about job preparation: good education is more than job prep, it’s critical thinking and enlightenment regarding: science, politics, medicine, religion, history, culture and art (humanities)
4. The environment is dying because of 1 and 2 above. Our great grandchildren will curse us for our selfishnes.
5. Americans appear to most of the world as the most gullible and spoiled people on the planet.
6. Rugged individualism is neither and propagating such a myth is a lie.
7. Technology turned into a sacred savior does not mitigate the need for us to hit the “off” switch.
8. Capitalism is first an alienating force; second it is an unsustainable pursuit bound to set off revolution.
9. The food sold in stores is poisoning us, especially meat and its bloated source.
10. Guns are a visible symptom of our sickness.
11. Big agriculture, big pharmacy, big technology, big industry dominate and destroy the alternatives and in the process, trash both planet and people.
12. The Gospel of Sustained growth supports the lie and myth of Capitalism: profit for the few.
13. Withouth an incorruptible center, politicians will cave to Machivellian self-interest to the detriment of their constituents.
14. International relationships are necessary to the survival of this planet.… read more...
The 2020 Pandemic has morphed into ‘the sickness’ of 2021. Hear my story of shapeshifters in India and Dine’ country with ominous keyboard by Mr. Randy Anagnostis in my take on the shape shifting pandemic.
In 2014 I wrote Guns ‘R US, part one which was published by The Good Men Project. They just featured part two, “Life in the Shooting Empire.” Thank you GMP. Link to full story below via The Good Men Project.
For Guns ‘R US part two, click this https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/guns-r-u-s-parf-ii-lbkr/
Steer Your Way – From You Want it Darker, Leonard Cohen
Diversity, nature’s fail-safe, is rejected by the fearful. The mob thinks they are losing something, but they can’t describe what it is. And how will the rise and fall of a once-great country work?
It will work like humanity and the planet, all three evolving on the same arc where the end is written in the means. And the means of our present say something sinister and deadly about the ends of our personal, corporate, and planetary journey.… read more...
Artists’ respond, aiming to align wonder, word, and music. They lean into imagining what the tree sees in relationships, in children, and in backyard dreams. Thorburn’s tree is a witness to life in the yard, the house, in the sky above, and the buckling sidewalk below; the whole tree-is-us in our tangled roots and bent branches, our rancors and revelries, and our brittle bark tattooed by the scars of our days.
We are like every tree and its intangible roots beneath the sidewalk, reaching from yard and house to neighborhood and back again. Enmeshed below ground, trees know things and their hidden network chronicles the backyard’s rich saga: kids climbing and laughing in the branches, people in houses looking back at the tree from behind windows, and the green sky of aurora borealis above.
In our winter of pandemic and discontent, the tree is abandoned by yellowing leaves born away by freezing winds, shivering branches, and dropped to their winter-burial grounds “Everything I know I’ve learned from trees,” a friend from Michigan wrote to me the week before Christmas. I love trees too, but not everyone does; and his note reminded me of the politician who said, “When you’ve seen one redwood you’ve seen ’em all.”
I pity those who see every tree the same. It’s a different kind of poverty from the ‘poverty of spirit,’ which the Gospels praise. Bereft of wonder, one is left with a forlorn poverty of being. Such a fool, unable to appreciate music, art, poetry, or trees, may have a heart pumping lifeblood through his/her veins and arteries, but they are dull in their feeling function, incapable of beholding a Christmas tree or any tree in wonder and awe.… read more...
Words and music below for my spoken word piece accompanied by sitar.
My sitar flows in 19 bands of light: baaj, chikari, and tarab. Its journey to my hand is a mystery, but its music-medicine came to my doorstep from an old land, gripped me from the eons, and pulled my soul into its orbit. It’s a path unlike any other, bending more than notes.
A musician said, “Its all angles.”
Sitar bends the note, Saraswati dances with a swan, and because I’ve felt this resonance I participate in its step toward the depths from which rises a watery siren-song of the fathoms.
Sitar bends the note, Saraswati dances with a swan, and because I’ve felt this resonance I participate in its step toward the depths from which rises a watery siren-song of the fathoms.… read more...
My daughter returned from a study trip to Nicaragua several years ago and gave me this small painting from a local artist. Today, sunlight fell on it from behind so it appeared as if lights were on inside.
In the moment, it reminded me of Lighten our Darkness: Toward an Indigenous Theology of the Cross, by Douglas John Hall (January, 1980), a book I read in systematic theology that expanded my apprehension of the human condition and informed my interpretations for many years.
In these years, when my developmental task is to steer a way between generativity and despair, the reminder from Hall from many years ago is to lighten the darkness in the midst of darkness.
A breakthrough by the light – no matter how insignificant it seems – moves my hands to caress the wheel of generativity and hold to hope. A simple painting and sunlight; reminders to lighten our darkness within and without.… read more...
Yoga’s blueprint, passed originally by word of mouth, then written on banana leaves and now shared by books and digital media, is steeped in an elegant heritage which admonishes the yogi from seeds of an encounter with self.
This deepening with self is born in stillness and realized in the mind, body, and spirit. It’s a yogatecture, and with the application of yoga tools: meditation, deliberate movement, breath, and ease in stress, the yogi constructs a flexible yet strong building in their body.
The process is simple, and the blueprint is clear; take a seat and start with one conscious breath followed by another. Link this to meditation and deliberate movement for the start of a makeover that each yogi embodies in their own way. Yogis build a sacred and sound structure by following this practice. It’s the physical, non-physical, and metaphysical work of yoga; it is also yoga’s therapeutic.
Builders say the most important structural aspect of a building is its foundation. When building, it’s necessary to create a strong foundation. In the north, if the foundation is not set below the frost line, the freeze and thaw cycles of Earth will crack the base which starts the slow process of destruction.
B.K.S. Iyengar spoke directly on foundational work in, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom. “In each asana, if the contact between body and the floor – the foundation – is good, the asana will be performed well. Always watch your base: Be attentive to the portion nearest the ground. Correct first from the root.… read more...
Acoustic guitar and vocal response to radio talk of the northwoods.
WOJB: Radio Talk, Radio Chant
I turn the radio on and a smoky voice greets me, “Good evening everyone. You’re listening to WOJB, 88.9 FM, Woodland Community Radio from the Lac Court Oreilles in Reserve, Wisconsin, broadcasting on the Web at WOJB.ORG.
“It’s Tuesday, and I hope you’re having a good night.” The radio that’s been sitting in the same place for 40 years, goes silent . . . then a jock speaks again to his invisible community. “It’s Tuesday, isn’t it? Wait a minute, let me check . . . oh, it’s Thursday. Ok then, well I hope you’re having a good Thursday.”
Ok then, becomes my north-land talk, courtesy of WOJB, where words break through from another world. His musical voice landing quiet on the microphone, nearly a chant, and the jocks’ idiom camouflages a humor that’s easy to miss. Dead air . . . lots of it . . . and then again he’s on, “You’re listening to WOJB, Community Radio of the Northwoods.”
I sat by the wood burning stove and noted the program change. “Good evening from the mountain state of West Virginia,” someone said. And in seconds, soft notes from a wooden guitar, played on a stage in West Virginia, melted in my ear and met me in my place of dark pines and starry skies. Warmed by fire on a cold Wisconsin spring night, I sipped my drink and wondered what the air waves would bring next.
Opening the stove door to add wood, the restless child of Prometheus took oxygen and rose with the flame.… read more...
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A simple Earth anthem. Randy Anagnostis keyboard, Gregory Ormson and Russell Thorburn words.
*MENTAL HEALTH* *SUICIDE PREVENTION*
*PROSTATE CANCER* *TESTICULAR CANCER*
Help me fill out this page by going to the URL listed below my name. #ridingforacause #dgr
I’m riding solo for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on Sept. 27, and I’m inviting anyone to donate under my page. You are not donating to me, but to
*MENTAL HEALTH* *SUICIDE PREVENTION*
*PROSTATE CANCER* *TESTICULAR CANCER*
I put the goal at $500 and right now it’s $94. Every few days I’ll recycle this just to put it in front of you, if you feel moved, follow this link to the donation page.
I’ll be sharing it, along with our video entry on social media in the next week or two.
DGR Purpose, “The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride unites classic and vintage style motorcycle riders all over the world to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health.”… read more...
Three minute video Phoenix area 2020
#dgrdapperchallenge… read more...
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) is a worldwide classic and vintage motorcycle riding event with a focus on fundraising for men’s health; the vehicles used to put the fun in fundraising are motorcycles. Since 2012 in the US alone, DGR has raised 24.5 million dollars with 316,000 riders participating. Its been held on the same day around the world in over 104 countries.
One of DGR’s primary concerns this year, due to COVID-19, is the effect of social isolation on mental health. Studies show those who are socially connected in a positive way share a better outlook for well-being and mental health.
DGR, and its partner the MOVEMBER Foundation are committed to raising awareness of these issues:
*MENTAL HEALTH* *SUICIDE PREVENTION*
*PROSTATE CANCER* *TESTICULAR CANCER*
The 2020 DGR will happen this year, but is a solo riding event on September 27. Before then, DGR has invited riders from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and the US to put together a video highlighting the 2020 theme, “Ride Solo Together.” Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHi6-npVfiw
Tomorrow (Aug. 23), 10 of us will meet at the Eleven 10 moto garage on Grand Ave. in Phoenix. Randy Anagnostis and I have have formed a beautiful story board and we’re prepared to film video and still shots in creating our “DPR Dapper Challenge” submission. By September 1, we are required to send the video of 10 Phoenix area riders to the DGR review board for prizes.
Once the video is shot, edited, produced, and submitted, we will share it widely on social media under this specific hashtag: #dgrdapperchallenge
If you see this on any social media in the next week or two please share it widely and often on yours.… read more...
When I was 12, my parents bought me a stingray style bicycle. I bought a can of cheap green spray paint; a leopard patterned banana seat, high handlebars, and went to work modifying the bicycle. The finishing touches were handlebar streamers, and playing cards attached with clothe-pins to the frame so they blade slapped the spokes. It sounded a little bit – if I used my imagination – like a motor.
When I was 22, after graduation at UW La Crosse, I toured through India with a music group. Before going to India, my mentor had given me the name of a good friend of his from the time he lived in Long Island, NY; he asked me to stop by and say hello to her if I had a chance and he gave me her address in New Delhi.
One night on that trip, I borrowed a Royal Enfield Motorcycle and drove to where she lived. I didn’t have a motorcycle license and hadn’t ridden a motorcycle before. Of course, its crazy to ride a motorcycle in India, but at 22 I felt invincible, and one night I took the chance. I found where she lived, knocked on the door and told her why I was there. She invited me in for tea and we talked quite a while.
The Royal Enfield motorcycle factory did not start with motorcycles. They first manufactured bicycles, and at one time made bullets for the British Army. But near the turn of the Century, in about 1901, the company began making motorcycles. Its motto is “Built like a gun, goes like a Bullet.”… read more...
מאת Gregory A. Ormson. A writer and yogi from Israel asked to translate my yin yoga article for publication there. The copy below is it for my Hebrew reading friends. Yoga writing now published in five languages.
כתבה שהוא פרסם בפייסבוק ב- 27 ביולי 2020
למתבונן מבחוץ yin yoga נראית תירגול קל ופשוט אך זה ממש הכל חוץ מתירגול קל. מבחוץ נראה שהמתרגלים ישנים, או נחים בכדי להכין את הנשימה שלהם לתרגול ממריץ שעלול לבוא אחר כך. במצב “מנוחה” זה משהו אכן קורה. אבל זה לא שינה; גם זה לא תרגיל חימום לסדרה נמרצת הבאה.
תירגול של yin yoga מוביל לפתיחה פנימית מלאה שלוקח זמן להתנסות ולהבין אותה באופן מלא.
אחרי ש Gregory Ormson התחיל לתרגל yin yoga הוא הבין שהאתגר ב yinהוא נפשי ופסיכולוגי. הוא למד שהעקרונות היסודיים של yin שהם ויתור וכניעה – הם המפתח להשפעה הפסיכולוגית, הפיזית והיעילות של התרגול על ידי: כניעה, שחרור, וויתור. מבחינה פסיכולוגית, הכניעה ביוגה היא המפתח לכל דבר.
מזמין אתכם להתבונן פנימה, ותמתינו לכך שהקול הפנימי שלכם יומר לכם מה צריכים לרפא. לשחרר את ההתכווצויות בצוואר, בלסת, בכתפיים, את האי הנוחות בגב, ובקדמת הגוף. קחו נשימה ארוכה ושחררו אותה לאט. תרגישו איך בגוף משוחרר ומקורקע. למתרגל yin yoga, ככה זה מרגיש על בסיס קבוע.
השיעור yin yoga מביא אותנו לתחום של healing בו אנחנו משחררים משהו שאנו מגנים עליו או במשהו שאנו מתגוננים ממנו . זה מוחזק בגופנו, בפאסיה שלנו ובמוחנו. ב yin אנו מוזמנים לשחרר מתח, להפנות את המודעות שלנו פנימה ולהיפתח בכניעה ובאמונה ללב yin yoga המרפאת הזו. “… read more...
Embodying asana, I rejoice in the glimpse of periphery turned central, and inhabit an identity formed of particularity and universality. I pause to center myself in each moment and from this still point, know we are all a beautiful grey, a crush of salt and pepper.
Surrendering to moments that bend and shape me, no matter how I fail, I open as a flower to spring and seek to correct the direction of my inward compass. When I insert my ego and rough-hew the curriculum’s established gravity, I dim its shining divinity waiting to guide me.
Steadily I release into yoga’s entry point, listen to its song, and follow an inner melody to the beautiful transformation becoming me. Near the end, I sink into a container of heat and transformation, a liminal space where a guru points the way.
Yoga class ends. I hear my teacher, dedicated and honorable, give her blessing. Her voice, like the chant of angels, sounds a comfort upon the gathered yogis, one I accept.
“May this practice give strength to your body, kindness and compassion to your heart, calm and clarity to your mind. Namaste.”
I let this hold me as close as breath holds my life underwater. I walk away telling myself to take it all in deeply, to embrace yoga’s alchemy that connects me to all, and to not dig up in doubt what I’ve planted in faith.
Photo by Randy Anagnostis at the Salt River, Mesa, AZ., 7/22/2020… read more...
It appears as if nothing is going on and therefore not as impressive to the outside world as inversions like a hand stand; but the move from without to within is a highway to the heart, the compass for every decision, and the sacred center of every temple.
We’ve been on Earth for a while, both corporately and individually, and we know falling and rising. Aware of failure and success in life, in teaching, and in yoga, we listen when a guide addresses us with the courage to be.
Following my guide, I give myself to the moment and find my lifting gaze opens a new potential both fierce and divine. I lift my spine from behind my head and imagine never moving.
The crown of my head rises up and into an unseen sacred net of prana. I stand rooted as if I am a monument. I follow for several near-transcendent seconds where I become a living, breathing stone. Then I exhale to feel my shoulders slump setting myself at ease.
I go back with heightened awareness to calm breath. I stop traveling and arrive where my teacher’s soft words land in my ear. Her question is not judgment. It teaches awareness, “Where is your breath?” She says, “Let it go, it’s in the past.” In that yoga moment, I’m a thirsty man who’s been given water. It was all I asked of the day.
“And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.”
Here, original music score, videography, and editing by Mr. Randy Anagnostis (photographer, videographer, musician). I read a short piece on the inner workings of sitar. Enjoy the wild Mustangs cooling in the Tonto National Forest’s Salt River in east Phoenix.
Thank you to Om Yoga Magazine for covering Yoga & Leather (May 2020 issue) on how bikers and yogis can get their zen (and their maintenance) in yoga and on the bike. Teaching yoga in a Harley Davidson Motorcycle dealership in the American South is not common but OM published this story of an uncommon yoga outreach. Read all about it here, or see the video link at the end of this post.
See the May issue by going to pocketmags.com., where a free digital issue can be yours, or by ordering a subscription for the hard copy magazine. Yogainspirationals number 97 by Gregory Ormson,… read more...
“I embrace the certain hurt of this path. At a cabin in the Midwest, I do not feel assaulted by noise; I seek justice for myself and creation. I enter the stillness, listen, and index the anchors of constancy.” Gregory Ormson
Russell Thorburn, piano; Gregory Ormson, words and voice. “Radio On,” composed by Thorburn, and a memoir by Ormson; mixed @ Gummersound, Marquette, Michigan.
Russell Thorburn and Gregory Ormson have worked together for over a decade writing original poems, prose, and music. Much of it happens in spite of distance and isolation. The seven songs/poems, posted for NATIONAL POETRY MONTH during April, are Ormson/Thorburn’s word/song series for the pandemic.
Isolated in an Upper Midwest studio, musicians record their work for “Mescalero Territory.” A sitar introduces the fever of an injured and isolated outlaw, holed up in a barn where Billy the Kid fights off rats and nightmares. The poet reads this story of “Mescalero Territory” to original sitar accompaniment.
Poem/song notes for number 2, “Mescalero Territory. ” Writer and reader, Russell Thorburn. Sitar, Gregory Ormson, Mixed Peter Gummerson @ Gummersound, Marquette, Michigan.… read more...
Bikers: Covid-19 has paused everything.
It’s a gift given to us, a rare break in normally busy lives to think about things and even make plans to do something new. “Yoga and Leather: Yoga for Bikers,” is for you. This is not gymnastic yoga where your goal will be to nail a handstand or accomplish the splits. Yoga for bikers is for motorcycle riders showing up to a space apart for breathing with simple movement; and it’s a settling down in one place for a few minutes.
Doing a yoga class doesn’t mean you give up your identity, or that yoga makes you stop doing what you do. But yoga will lead you to experience yourself in a different way from what you ever have before. That’s it. Anything and everything else is your choice.
The story of yoga for bikers – in the OM Yoga Magazine May issue is for you. It’s now free to read because OM Yoga Magazine will not be printed for the month of May.
Take a moment to read how yoga benefits bikers. It’s all right here, the story of Yoga and Leather at Superstition Harley Davidson.
Here is your link for a FREE issue of OM Yoga Magazine: www.primeimpactmags.com
And if you want to see what Yoga and Leather looks like, follow this link to a YouTube video of our class from February, 2020.
Thank you @omyogamagazine for sharing (May 2020 issue) how bikers and yogis can get their zen (and their maintenance) in yoga and on the bike. Teaching yoga in a Harley Davidson Motorcycle dealership in the American South is not common. What is common is your willingness (Om Yoga Magazine) to publish a good story when you see it.
Your sharing of this three year outreach to bikers was wonderfully done, and I’m grateful to Martin ed., and the entire staff of Om Yoga Magazine. See the May issue by going to pocketmags.com., – or by ordering a subscription for the hard copy magazine – where a free digital issue can be yours. #yogainspirationals number 97 by Gregory Ormson, #motorcyclingyogiG. Writing on yoga, motorcycling, music, and landscapes at https://gregoryormson.com
An entry point to yoga often begins with quiet meditation or breathing exercises. We set our intentions and enter into our dedications with mindfulness. Through active imagination, we create positive mental space enabling us to move in every direction.
We may practice with others, but each yogi sets the table for their yoga banquet according to their capabilities. Setting the table well serves to elevate our mind/body readiness and prepares us to carry it through the session.
At the end of a one-hour session, I was moved when the teacher said, “Release into savasana.” This was a new phrase and a fresh way to enter the savasana moment.
In Living Your Yoga, Judith Hanson Lasater wrote that savasana taught her to dis-identify from mental storms and go within. “I learned to recognize more quickly when I had abandoned the present moment once again, and I learned not to judge myself when I had done it for the millionth time, and not to dance away so quickly with my thoughts.”
In a larger sense, releasing into savasana means to loosen my grip and to take a break from managing the persona, known as the outer image we construct, identify with, and project to the world. It’s important to get a grip on our lives, but it doesn’t have to be a stranglehold.
Perhaps this is why participation in yoga is growing. Many of us long for a place to release our grip – and we desperately need moments when the noise dissolves. We thirst for moments of freedom from the grasp of our ego, and are satiated by savasana as it leads us to soften investments in this life shaped by old fashioned hierarchical structures and obsessions with upward mobility.… read more...
We’re all flat on our backs in a liminal place, fired by tapas and its heat of transformation. I’m listening as a guru points the way, and slowly my doubt is burned by fire and sent to the trash bin of insecurity.Heat and gravity are my honest teachers, and they’re worthy companions delivering an exacting curriculum of change. When I insert my ego into the moment and rough-hew its curriculum, I mute the shining fire of tapas branding me in this container.
The tapas of yoga is not of my making. It doesn’t heed my objections, or accept my charges to change or comfort me in the twinkling of an eye. In fire, I am only left to breathe and positioned to trust; by my simple presence and trust I participate in the yoga economy of rebirth out of the flame.
This economy doesn’t just subtract or burn away, it also adds, multiplies, and divides certainty into millions of shades. Yoga’s economy is Gandhian in its disciplined core, negative in its spiritual logic, countercultural in its teleology, and hotly shamanistic in its strategy.
In this season of our discontent, our wiser revelry may be composed of welcoming close the sublime inside a spoonful of shaman, holding forth with a pinch of subtraction for division and discontent, riding with attention on the coattails of science, and supping together with a cup of cheer for our endings not yet defined.
#Kilauea, #breathnotes, #satsong, #gregoryormson, #amwrititing, #yogainspirationals
Writing on yoga, music, and motorcycling @ https://gregoryormson.com Tweet@ GAOrmson… read more...
The land was drunk on money and the illusion of freedom fired the Westlanders’ imaginations. Yoga’s eight limbs twisted in the creative chaos of post-modernism and strange ideas whispered in the wind. Gurus saw it all and wondered where the surf boards came from.
They didn’t understand what had happened to their movement and some of them lamented the loss of yoga’s mystical heart. They questioned the roots of atman and were agitated by vibrations from superhighways.
In time, yoga prospered, and people realized the teachers had brought good medicine. It seemed to help prisoners, alcoholics, those suffering pain, and even angry youth – but many feared it – especially the counsel to sit alone in silence.
Power brokers were terrorized by the nightmare of employees chanting Namaste and yoga threatened stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry.
Westlanders didn’t want gurus, they didn’t read books, they didn’t meditate, but they did compete. Soon the gurus were silent, confused by what happened and haunted by memories of peace and stillness. Some gurus returned to the source, giving up their mission.
One day, all the gurus were called to an ashram. They lamented the hubris of culture and false prophesies of comfort through technology, money, and convenience.
One reminded them of the illusions in misdirected ambition and they became silent. At the ashram, a yogi read a passage from Shelly.
“Life, like a dome of many-colored glass
Stains the white radiance of eternity.”
The gurus wept, and a world opened like the many petals of the lotus in a soft rain. A light from the crown of their heads went out to the dark and returned as eternal light in a deep, dark night.… read more...
In shadow and in light, we yoga, and our teachers observe. Together we’re co-creators in a new architecture – a yogatecture – and celebrate moments when a yogi gives shape to an old blueprint written on a banana leaf.
Everything is prepared as I enter yoga class where the nexus of a new identity is continually reforming me. I step into the room and hear the soothing melodies of dahina, tabla, and harmonium. Their compelling sounds pour over me like waves from the ocean. A pause . . . then class begins.
I’m present and following directions, but then mentally, I become unhinged for a moment. I try to concentrate on my pose, but my mind tracks the music, so I follow the sound like a rising cobra hypnotized by its flier. My reach aims for the sky, but my imagination takes me to a Hawaiian beach where I’m preparing for a dive.
My training reminds me of a breathing routine: a deep breath in, calm hold, and a slow release. Breath is my vinyasa, and for a moment, my yoga-pose rides side-saddle. My heartbeat slows, awareness creeps closer, and I focus on every sound.
I’m still in class, but I’m also down in the deep blue of the Pacific. I pine to hear the whale, and imagine the sound from its massive heart. I leave my imagining, rise to the surface, and open my eyes where I’m back in the yoga room and yoked once more into my corner of eternity.
Yoga moves me to imagine a long line of yogis fed by the garden and connected to source for nourishment.… read more...
Restaurants and bars – common biker stops – are closed. Large scale events, including bike events, are cancelled.
If you want to ride, Yoga & Leather Stretch Ride is on for March 29. But . . . only show up at the Superstition Harley Davidson west side parking lot at 10:30 am if you can observe six (6) feet of distance between you and all others.
On the bike, keeping safe distance it’s easy, but I’m saying, when we meet in the west side parking lot, greet one another with voice but no physical contact. It’s always a good idea, but especially now, do not touch another person’s bike.
The recipe for shifting from discontent to contentment is simple:
- Ride to Prospector Park in A.J., a 12 minute ride from Superstition HD.
- Walk to a corner of the park and pause in quiet space.
- Breathe deliberately for 10 minutes.
- Walk back to bikes and stretch.
- Go home.
Link to info on the ride: https://www.facebook.com/SuperstitionHD/videos/1034031243636948/… read more...
OM Yoga Magazine has just released their March issue including the 85th of my #yogainspirationals. Thank you OM Yoga Mag.In the Phoenix east valley, this magazine arrives two weeks after publication in the UK. In each issue you'll find yoga insights in these areas: OM Body, OM For Men, OM Fashion, OM Mind, OM Spirit, OM Living, OM Family, OM Actions, OM Teacher Zone, OM Travel. Check it out.… read more...
In the yoga tradition of reverence for life, SAT SONG provides music for participation in a magnetic blending of East and West grounded in the language of soul. Through song chant and breath focus, repetitive words and musical phrases are well-suited to accompany yin yoga classes along with yoga workshops, events, retreats, music events, and festivals. SAT SONG is Gregory Ormson (G) and Soumya (Somi) Parthasarathy.
Somi comes from a long line of yoga and classical Indian music; Somi studies Indian classical music in Chandler, Arizona and practices Astanga style yoga. She enjoys blending traditions in music, lending her voice to raise songs of the soul. G teaches yoga and has practiced music instruments and vocal from the time he joined a choir at 10. He studies sitar at the SPK Classical Indian Music Academy in Chandler, Arizona.
The words SAT and SONG, in Sanskrit and English respectively, suggests the nature of hybrid music provided by Somi and G ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-Contact information for SAT SONG: firstname.lastname@example.org; 808-640-4624; #motorcyclingyogiG; @GAOrmson.
Video and photography at the Salt River by Randy Anagnostis; recording by Raven Studios, Mesa, Arizona.… read more...
Piano, photography, and videography by the talented Randy Anagnosis. He’s been an east coast marketer, recording artist, and now photographer for Superstition Harley Davidson. Anagnosis’ first CD was “Dreams,” c 1996, sold in hundreds of yoga studios. A second piano-driven album was “Full Moon Rising.” He also did a jazz album, “Thunder and Light.”
Video courtesy of Anagnosis, and Superstition Harley Davidson. Thanks to all the bike and yoga folks that showed up too. #motorcyclingyogiG
“There was something about the way he played his Stratocaster that made it seem otherwordly.” –Eric Clapton on Jimi Hendrix
My sitar flows in 19 bands of light: their names are baaj, chikari, and tarab. Its journey to my hand is a mystery, but its music-medicine came to my doorstep from an old land, gripped me from the eons, and pulled my soul into its orbit. It’s a path unlike any other, bending more than notes. A musician friend and professor said, “Its all angles.”
Saraswati dances, sitar bends, and because I’ve heard its music and felt it in my chest I participate in its step. This step is toward the depths and from them rises a watery siren-song of the fathoms.
Sitar music is a never-ending river, shepherding me to a place close and yet far away. My teacher speaks in common tones and offers up clusters of daring: “Consistency, consistency, consistency,” she says. Her words; the kernel of all learning, teaching, and the core of every guru’s curriculum.
I’ve seen the rivers of India, but I can’t put myself and my sitar on their banks; but once at dusk, on a hot July night, I made my way with this rosewood, gourd, string & steel riddle to the banks of the Salt River in east Phoenix to listen. There, I realized sitar will not accompany me without shepherding along a river of souls.
Looking to the Salt, I could almost see a funeral pyre float past; a desert inspired mirage bobbing with the current, like a lazy raft ablaze in flames, scented smoke and grief trailing behind.… read more...
See you at Superstition Harley Davidson Jan. 8 and Jan. 22.
Stretch Ride on Jan. 26.
Check Superstition Harley Davidson events page on Facebook or their Website for current information on all events.… read more...