Be the Light

The truth is always deep beneath the surface level of the words.  It is the silent, peaceful knowing that is infectious. This feeling of peace is beyond measure, beyond reason and certainly beyond words.

Many years ago the communication scholar, Marshall McLuhan, famously coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” In other words, McLuhan understood “medium” in the broadest sense. He used the example of the light bulb to describe his theory. A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a profound effect on the environment. A light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence.

Similar to the light bulb, the life of every individual in their every thought, word and action influences the entire field of the cosmos. Therefore, someone with peace at heart naturally vibrates peace and harmony to influence the whole universe.

Molly Beauregard

On the Distinction Between Love and Desire


Feelings of love can sometimes seamlessly merge with feelings of desire. Culturally this connection is continuously reinforced by the media, by conversation, by our understanding of modes of expression. But, in truth, love and desire are distinct from one another. Certainly, expressing our love in a physical way can be meaningful and enjoyable. But it is not necessarily a required parallel action to be pursued every time we feel the stirrings of love deep in our heart. This is not a judgment. It is simply a reflection that is often overlooked in our hyper-sexualized culture.

Ceremony for Self

My “ceremony for self” is a daily practice that evolves and changes over time but, at its core, is exactly what I need in the morning to get grounded in my day.

I find that if I have a consistent ceremony for self, I have more capacity to give myself fully to what is “outside”, to other people, to the environment. My days are full and productive.

I’ll be sharing my morning ritual here but invite your own practice to present itself to you. You may want to spin around in your desk chair 3 times before you open your computer. Your morning ritual could be staring into your dogs eyes for 10 minutes. Whatever works for you! But whatever it may be, invite change. 

I like to meditate for 20-30 minutes right when I wake up. This is the single most important aspect of my morning ritual. Inviting thought, mantra, breath and my physical body to just be without reacting. This feeling spills into my day ahead and fills more of me up the more consistently I am with it. 

Next, I oil pull with sesame oil. I really love oil pulling for a few practical reasons like clearer skin and fresh breath but I also just love being soaked in sesame oil first thing in the morning. Which is why I rub it all over my body while I oil pull. Really, try it.

Also during oil pulling, I boil water for coffee and a cup of warm lemon water. Warm lemon water is nice to get your system going in the morning. Coffee is an addiction that I’m owning.

Now I rinse my mouth and brush my teeth. Mindfully finish my warm lemon water… coffee.

*Note: When it comes to adventure I can be totally spontaneous but when it comes to daily routine, I am a planner. I have reminders set in gmail for everything from conference calls to meditating to yoga classes and dinner parties that are sometimes months ahead of time. Being organized feeds my meditation practice just as much as my meditation practice feeds my being organized.

I spend about an hour total on my morning ritual. But sometimes I only do half of it and sometimes I don’t do it all. Sometimes I do it at the same time every morning for weeks (never fails, I love those weeks). Sometimes when I am out and about, I say a mantra twice in my head and feel a little more settled in my space. Sometimes I feel nothing for months. And all of this is fine. What is close to me in this practice is noticing what is happening, knowing it will change and seeing myself in everyone.


Chelsea Richer

p.s. If you ever feel compelled to share an aspect of your ceremony with the world use #ceremonyforself @tuningthestudentmind



Playing the Edge

Part of the art of yoga is knowing how far to push yourself and knowing when to stop. The point at which any more effort would be too much but any less would be too little, is called “the edge,” and mindfully sensing this point- advancing and retreating from it when appropriate- is often referred to as “playing the edge.”

Understanding the concept of the edge as well as how to successfully play it is, in my opinion, one of the most important things to remember in any yoga class. In fact, your ability in yoga has almost nothing to do with the number of poses you can do. It is not dependent on your degree of flexibility or on how well you can balance. Rather, your skill in yoga is a function of how mindfully you play your edge. (more…)

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