Monthly Archives: May 2010

23 May

The tradition of henna

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe colorful, festive, ornamental aspects of an Indian wedding have always intrigued me. Perhaps I feel a certain level of comfort from a sense of familiarity, as there are many similarities in tradition and culture with Judaism. Mostly though, it’s a warm and welcoming feeling. At these celebrations among family members and friends, everyone wants all to feel a part of the festivities. I love the genuine and kind nature of this, and love that I can feel a part of it while most certainly embracing the traditions!

Last night, while attending the Indian celebration for friends that were just recently married, the extension of their wedding celebration was for the friends and family directly from India who weren’t able to attend the traditional Western celebration. It was a lovely, lively and most colorful event, with all the dancing and spicy food. There was henna art to be enjoyed by all. Cheerfully, I was one of the first In line!

Henna is by far one of my most favorite traditions at an Indian wedding. I find the intricacy and difference in every design so special, and I can’t get enough! Although, traditionally, we do not have this as part of ceremony at the Jewish weddings in my family, (we are not of the Sephardic lineage), I still think that one day I will incorporate this into my own wedding ceremony. I love it.

For some additional henna tidbits:

Henna has been applied at weddings for luck, as well as joy and beauty. Brides typically have the most henna, and the most complex patterns, to support their greatest joy, and wishes for luck. Some bridal traditions are very complex, such as those in Yemen, where the Jewish bridal henna process took four or five days to complete, with multiple applications and resist work. (Wikipedia)

A dark henna stain is said to be a sign of strong love. (I love this!)
A bride with an elaborate henna design is said to have had more sexual insight passed down to her from the elder women in both families.
The stain on your body for the next few weeks is a constant reminder of the special events surrounding your wedding day. (I love this too!)
Everyone has to wait on you hand and foot while you wait for your henna to stain. New brides are traditionally excused from housework until their henna patterns fade away. (Now we’re talking!!!)

Much love and light.
Have an easy Sunday morning.

18 May

Life is full

blog_lifeisfullGreetings to all on this rainy day.

Sometimes it’s the best being lazy, if you have the luxury of time, on rainy days. I am not working until later on this evening, and I am enjoying being lazy, listening to the rain, and catching up on some emails, calls, life stuff.

Life has been extremely busy as of late. My sister, Shira, got married this past weekend. It was a beautiful wedding, filled with many emotions! Being a part of such a big day, for someone so close, was almost like I was going through it myself. It was truly an experience, being a part of my sister’s wedding. Watching the genuine love between her and her husband, Chad, is uplifting and extremely special. They are at ease with one another, and my heart is full for them.

On the other end of the spectrum, my dear grandmother, who is 91, is at the end of her life. I can’t help but feel the polar opposite of the joy at the wedding, during a time of almost death. Although, it will be the end to a long period of suffering, and she will be at peace, both physically and mentally, it is still sad. The woman who she was, who we grew up with, is no longer who she is today. Her body is here, but her mind and state of being is not the same. I mourn the death of her spirit, and hope that wherever she goes next, will be the right place for her. She is in all of our hearts, and will always be. Today, I am sending many blessings and thoughts her way. Thoughts of peace and love and end to suffering. We love you Omi.

In addition to the extreme high of the wedding, and the extreme low of my grandmother’s state, my parents just had their 25th wedding anniversary this past weekend as well. 25 years is a long time for two people to share love and continue to work with each other. I feel so happy for them and proud that they are my parents. The love they share is inspiring…. they are an amazing pair.

I am full of so much life, love and emotion right now. It seems that everything is heightened. Lucky for me, I get to share with you, here, on this rainy day.

Love, love, love.

13 May

Ganesh(a)

blog_ganesh1Along the path of yoga, there are many different Gods and Goddesses we chant to, relate to, feel drawn to. Each one of these Gods and Godesses symbolize something, a purpose.

Ganesha, commonly pronounced Ganesh, is most often known as the “Breaker of Obstacles”. To clarify, this doesn’t mean, any obstacle in your way will come crumbling down when you welcome a belief in around Ganesh, however – the idea is that Ganesh can work around obstacles. Example: If you are in a troubled relationship, he does not have the power to fix your relationship, but can help you find a new one. He brings knowledge… and with that knowledge, the strength and power to overcome obstacles that you might have been able to see through before. He is known to help find other ways of overcoming obstacles. The real obstacles He breaks are those which prevent you from recognizing alternative solutions.

Ganesha’s head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha’s left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse. (For more information click on link): About Hinduism

The chant for Ganesha is: Om gam ganapataye namaha

11 May

*

blog_colors1I was in a store the other day and read this quote:

“I think of you in colors that don’t exist.”

I love that people even come up with these sayings… That means someone actually felt that enough to put it into words. Amazing.

08 May

Yoga and Madonna

blog_madonnaMy two loves! :)

I grew up loving Madonna, and yoga has become my passion. As said by the Queen of New York in the 80’s, master of recreating herself and pop idol!

“Yoga is a metaphor for life. You have to take it really slowly. You can’t rush. You can’t skip to the next position. You find yourself in very humiliating situations, but you can’t judge yourself. You just have to breathe, and let go. It is a workout for your mind, your body and your soul.”

-Madonna.

08 May

Difference

What do you do when you have indigestion of the mind?

Well, for one, I can tell you that you try reallllly hard to think about WHY you have this indigestion, and how you can make it feel better? In fact, you over think what you are already over thinking… Sounds amazing, right?

I think that when I don’t have any time for myself, I start to get very cranky. Alone time is very important. And then, when differences among those around you are very clear, in your own actions and other people’s actions, that’s always a challenging one too. Difference can be a troubling thing. At first, there is a certain element of judgment, and after you can get past the judgment part, you have to wonder why you are so affected in the first place. If there is any firm reason as to why – it usually has something to do with yourself. Either something you are not getting or something you are needing that isn’t there, or something about yourself that you might not be that fond of.

In the end, it is all about acceptance. Shocker! Oh, the themes of our lessons. Acceptance. I am certain that is mine.