Autumn Harvest

Wow the first half of October just flew by! I returned home from Montreal on October 5th after ten fabulous days visiting my family and studying Neelakantha Meditation with Paul Muller Ortega. It was a real treat to see my family and visit my aunt’s farm in rural Quebec after four long years of not making it back there. When I arrived in late September it was 28 degrees out and sunny. I spent the first few days of my visit in my sandals and a tshirt sitting on the porch with my Nana, soaking up the autumn sunshine while watching the horses in the paddocks. It was a blissfully sweet and deeply nourishing time.  After a few bright and beautiful days at the farm I headed downtown to Sri Yoga Studio in the Westmount area of Montreal to study with Paul. Paul Muller Ortega is a lifelong practitioner of meditation and has been teaching Tantric philosophy at the University level for most of his life. He has recently given up his post at the University to focus on teaching the practices of Tantric meditation, specifically Neelakantha Meditation, which is the style, he both teaches and practices. Paul is an unbelievably eloquent and inspiring teacher and I couldn’t possibly put into words all that I learned and experienced in my four days with him. It was mind blowing in the most positive sense and the practices he shared with us have become part of the rhythm of my daily routine adding a new level of sweetness and inspiration.
When I got home I dove straight into teaching with the second half of my Teacher’s Development Workshop with our local teachers here in Tofino. I am really enjoying engaging with yoga teachers in this format and look forward to all the great conversations and growth that are going to come out of it. I will be teaching this workshop in Sooke later in November and hope to get a wide mix of teachers from different styles so that we can have some lively discussion.
I also began my yearlyIllumination Series the in the first week of October which is probably my favourite teaching engagement I do all year as it is a process that I both lead and participate in. We use daily routine, journal work, meditation, yoga, group work and inquiry to initiate a process of illumination that allows us to both visualize the life we want to be leading with more clarity and to see the obstacles we have in our path. Learning how to observe and release self limiting patterns and beliefs is a big part of the process so it goes well with a practice of nutritional cleansing which is why I timed it with Cate Stillman’s Yogi Detox this year. There are fifteen people doing the Illumination Series this year and most of them are doing some version of their own nutritional cleanse while six of us are also doing the Yogi Detox. I think there are nine of us in town (Tofino) overall who are doing Cate’s cleanse which is really fun.
Along with Cate’s Yogi Detox I am also taking her one year Living Ayurveda Course which also started at the end of September and her Mentor’s Course which is a course for heart centered entrepreneurs working in the healing arts. Both courses are amazing and full of incredible content that will no doubt inspire me endlessly on many levels. I am so looking forward to a quiet winter home in Tofino to focus on being a student and nourishing my family.
This past year has been very full and abundant with many opportunities to travel and to learn from amazing teachers and to gather shri filled memories…but now I am feeling ready to stick closer to home and digest all that I have experienced and focus on where I want to put my energy next. My new year has always been around my birthday which is next week and puts me in alignment with Samhain (Halloween/Nov 1st) which is known in the pagan or earth centered religions as the Celtic New Year. This is the time I like to really look back at what I’ve accomplished and learned in the previous year and set my intentions for the year to come. This is also a time I focus on releasing anything that I feel will hold me back or that I really no longer need to be holding on to. So for the next few weeks I will be going further inwards with my practices and my work in order to get clarity and inspiration from a deeper source. Even my husband has joined me this year on my cleanse and is working on accessing his own clarity and vision which is deeply inspiring to me and will no doubt make it alot more fun for both of us.
It is a precious and sacred time of year and hope that each of you are able to find some space and time to enjoy it amidst the busyness of the back to school routine or any other seasonal shifts that occur in your communities. I wish you all the best as you make your own transitions from the fullness of spring and summer into the stillness and sweetness of autumn and winter.