Dear Yogis,

FRIDAY:  11am Zoom Cafe. All welcome   5.30 RESTORATIVE YOGA with bands and weights
SUNDAY: 10am YOGA TALK. Topic – The Bhagavadgita and YOGA.

THE TAO OF WATERCOLOUR:  Next Tuesday 1.30pm

Yesterday was my day off and I did something I rarely do – I watched a movie -“MY OCTOPUS TEACHER”.  It is an amazing film about a man who finds his way back to life and his family through an emotional bond he forges with an octopus.  He visits HER every day for a year and the film documents the amazing bond that grows up between them.  If an Octopus can fall in love, this one does – and he with her.

I studied octopus for years and have always considered them to be extraterrestrial. This film demonstrates how different, and clever they are (we have four lobes in our brains, they have nine!) – they can even grow limbs back, and you can see it documented in this film (the first time I have actually seen this filmed), but more beautiful than that are the tender moments between these two unlikely beings.  Her habitat, the underwater kelp forest is breathtakingly beautiful.


When I am moving into a new pattern, a new place in my mind and experience, I paint in the zen way, Sumii, (“Brush painting” as it is called in the West although I don’t know what kind of painting is done without a brush?).  In order to let the paint flow, the mind has to step back.  On the way, when we do meet impatient thought, we  are able to step through the ego, step back. We learn to FLOW with the moment, become the ink, the brush, the paper. The painting becomes a mirror that reflects back to you what you are looking for.  It is a meditation.

However, when mind (the inner critic) gets involved, the ink globs on the page and the painting is ruined. Creativity needs love but it also needs freedom.  The thought that is about to be translated into an image may be too original, too creative,  too ugly, too mysteriously fragmented and the mind given control can deny it, and thus this new freedom never makes it to the page, and when it does “IT GLOBS”.

It is like walking the labyrinth.  I built one on the farm… I used the dimensions of the “Grace” Labyrinth and it was  transformational experience to walk it.  At night sometimes it was visited by Min-Min lights, and on that path I felt surrounded by the holy.  I could see and accept my struggles, although it was harder to accept that we are living on a planet in transition.  Once we can feel and accept change we can become wise leaders and agents of change.

That is what happened to the man who formed a relationship with the octopus.  He learned to stand back, to watch and accept what was happening in the underwater world around them both without expecting anything.   He learned to just “BE”, without needing to win, or be the best, or the be the protector. Just loving. In doing this he learned to love, to love himself, re-connect with his own family, and then form a community to protect the Kelp Forest inhabited not just by the octopus but by skilled predators.. a balanced,  if dangerous ecology.

He learned to differentiate between flow and force.  He just turned up, ready to release whatever came up and love unconditionally.