"Yoga is the stilling of the modifications of the mind."

-From the Yoga Sutras of Patanjani 1.2 and 1.3

Tranquility Yoga

235 Littleton Road, Unit 1
Westford, MA 01886


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My son, Andy Penfield, has joined the Peace Corps and will be in Liberia for 2 + years. He will be blogging periodically. Click this link to follow him: 

Safe Travels Andy!!!

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I just emptied my inbox. Completely. It is an AMAZING feeling. The amount of freedom that I feel right now is quite incredible. I cannot believe that it has been four years now since my inbox was last emptied! Over four years ago, I wrote a blog entitled “The Empty Inbox”, in which I talked about just this thing. At the time, I promised myself that I would do a better job of keeping it empty, but here I am four years later. Last week, I had over 200 emails in my inbox, and at least 50 of them were from three or even four years ago. For the past four years, I have been looking at these constantly, and been unconsciously dragged down by the weight of all these things that I should be taking care of but am not. I could beat myself up over this, but instead, I find it much more useful to simply re-commit to keeping my inbox empty again!

In my previous blog, I wrote about how are minds are just like our inboxes – always holding on to those old conversations, and looking at them over and over again. In fact, the majority of our thoughts at any given moment are just repetitive tapes of the same things. When we are trapped in our minds like this, it becomes harder and harder to be creative in life and to experience the full spectrum of what life has to offer.

Just imagine if you could actually live in the present moment, instead of being continually drawn into past conversations, to-do lists, and scores of unfinished projects. What would happen if you opened your email each day and didn’t have to look at all those old things? How much more effective would you be in your life? And what would happen if you could wake up each morning and start your day without immediately jumping into your list of incompletions? Just as a daily commitment to emptying your inbox will help you be more productive in life, a daily practice of Yoga and Meditation is a great way of clearing out the mental clutter. When your mind quiets, you get an amazing feeling of freedom and bliss as you connect to the essence of your own true nature.

I invite you to try this – both with your email inbox and in your daily life. You may be surprised at the astounding results!

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We live in a paranoid world. Hackers are everywhere, lurking around every corner. Everywhere we turn, we are forced to enter passwords. Yet in the name of security and privacy, we humans are losing our ability to work effectively. 
The other day, I looked something up on Google on my IPAD. Lo and behold, a pop-up screen appeared saying “make searching easier with the Google App ”. I thought I already had the Google App but this was the second time this had happened, and I figured I must be missing something. 
I clicked on the app and got a message to enter my ITUNES password. I put in what I thought was my ITUNES password, and then got another message “enter your apple ID".  At that point, I was starting to get a little frustrated. Was my apple ID the same as my ITUNES password? I can’t EVER remember that. Of course, all my passwords are locked up in a password-protected spreadsheet on my computer which is also password-protected and which was turned off at that time. Ugh. 
I went upstairs to turn on the computer, which took about 5 minutes to boot up. I entered my password, only to be told that it was incorrect. Dang! My husband just changed it recently. Now, what was that new one again?????
Deep breath. Okay. Computer was now on and warmed up, and I could enter the password for the spreadsheet that contains all of our 100s of passwords. And where was my Apple ID? Ah… there it is. And yes, it was the SAME as for ITUNES. Ridiculous. But okay… now I could download the app, but when I tried to do that, it said that the device wasn’t recognized and I needed to get a special code sent to me either through my phone (which was currently turned off) or through email. Email it was, then… and another 5 minute wait because the email server that we use for most of our “unnecessary” accounts is incredibly slow.
Okay – got the code, now I could download the App. But when I went to open the app, I had to enter my Google password, which uses a different email and wasn’t recognized by that device.
You gotta wonder… is it all worth it? At that point, I simply gave up on the app. Why bother? Do I really need another app on my IPAD? And of course, I couldn’t even remember what the original question was that I had when I logged into Google in the first place.
What’s the point? Why so much privacy and security? What are we gaining and what have we lost? One of the tenets of yoga philosophy is that we are all individualized forms of “Shiva” or “Consciousness”. Yogis maintain that Consciousness contracted to become all the individual things in the Universe and during that contraction, we all forgot where we came from. According to Yogic philosophy, we see ourselves as separate entities, when we are all actually connected. It is the defense of this individuality – the need to separate ourselves from others – that is the root of all suffering. 
Through Yoga and Meditation, we strive to re-connect with our deeper self, which is really Consciousness, and it is the same Consciousness as that of every other person on this planet – even the hackers that are trying to steal our identity! It’s kind of crazy when you think about it in those terms, yet maybe we all need to look at our lives from a fresh perspective. How can we function safely and protect our identity as individuals, and yet still maintain our connectivity to one another and to Consciousness? You might be surprised to find that a little bit of Yoga each day and a short Meditation will do wonders to help you maintain your sanity in this crazy world of ours! 
Do more Yoga – Knot less!
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It’s been a tough week for me. If you’ve read my previous two blogs, you know that our Golden Retriever, Comet, was diagnosed with cancer four months ago, and we were told at the time that we probably had about four to six months with him. Well, it’s been just over four months, and last week, we had to say our final good-byes to him. It was a clear decision to make – he was fine until the last day, and then he went downhill very quickly.

I miss him so much, and yet I know that life is impermanent. This morning I read this article in Yoga Journal by Judith Lasater in which she said that she once saw some Tibetan monks making a very intricately designed sand mandala (a geometric design representing the entire universe). The monks spent months working on this project, arranging the sand grain by grain, and then when it was complete, they destroyed it. In fact, they celebrated destroying it, as they were celebrating impermanence in life.

As I sat in Meditation this morning, I thought of Comet, and I realized that I am grateful to be alive, even without him. I miss him so much, yet I can still enjoy my life. He enhanced it with his presence and my enjoyment doesn’t have to stop without him.

During the last four months, when I would spend time with him, I kept wishing that I could bottle that feeling of joy so that I could keep it and have it long after he was gone. Now that he is gone, I realize that I didn’t need to bottle it, because that joy didn’t come from him. That joy was (is) within me – my Self – so I can still tap into it, even without Comet to trigger it. He opened a door to access it, and that door can remain open. I am forever grateful to him for that.

Yoga teaches us that joy doesn’t come from the outside. It is always there inside, waiting to be pulled out. When we attach our joy to another person or circumstance, we limit ourselves, and create a huge potential for suffering. When we recognize that the joy arises from inside, then the outside circumstances lose their power over us.

While I still miss Comet immensely, I know that he went peacefully to a place where he is not suffering in a sick body anymore. I am left here without him to cuddle with, and yet I can still bring forth that joy that he unlocked. Thank you, Comet, for being such a wonderful presence in our lives for the last nine years.

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