Enough! Now smile!

Some mornings you wake up and the sun is shining. Even if it doesn’t, it still bright inside of you and all is well.
Other mornings you rise to darkness. It’s all so dreary.
Sitting to meditate on such a morning I felt like my face was carved of stone. My heart heavy.
There are times you can trace the origins of these feelings to past events or future concerns. And there are times you simply can’t.
Someone unbeknownst to you turned the light switch off, you feel down and that is that.

On one such morning, trying hopelessly to meditate, or, better phrased, reach a meditative set of mind, it occurred to me that screw that. I don’t need a meditative state of mind. I just need to smile.
Easier said than done.
When your face is like a rock, milking a smile out of it seems close to impossible.
Enough! Cried a faint voice inside of me: now smile!
I forced it. I faked it. I smiled.
I opened my nostrils and I took in large quantities of fresh cold air, feeling it tingling along the tip of my nose.
I observed. I observed the effort to smile, the effort to breath, the effort to let go of whatever it is that was gripping me inside.
I observed.

This is no formula to success. It is no prescription to happiness. It’s simply a technique.
And in 9 out of 10 times it will work; to one degree or another, but if you truly invest yourself in it, it will work.
Just give it some time and don’t give up.
Hold to the smile. Expand your breathing. And observe.
Observe your face muscles, your throat and lungs.
Observe everything and anything without much expectation.
Don’t call it meditation, call it hard labor if you wish.
But against all hope and reason, now smile!



I really need to…

As a Yoga instructor, one of the most common lines I hear from people I meet at various functions, people who know me as a Yoga instructor, is “I really need to get back to Yoga.”
It’s like I am their yogic conscious, their yogic mirror.
They look at me and feel guilty.
Oh no! — the Yoga police is on their trail – they haven’t been to a class in 4 months.
“Forgive me Father Yoga for I have sinned…”
I am the scale on which they step before saying “I really need to lose some weight.”

I find this semi-offensive.
It’s like that person is speaking to the toilets, stating “I really need to pee…”
Really? What do we really need? But really? A little food to eat, some air to breathe, and a few hours of sleep.
Everything else we don’t NEED to do, we choose to do.
Everything else we do is done by our prioritization.
We have limited resources in terms of time, attention and funds.
If you chose to stay home and watch TV, catch up on work, go out and have a drink, or go to bed early — all legitimate reasons to skip yoga, it’s absolutely fine; it’s a choice YOU made.
I am not your conscious. Don’t expect sympathy from me. Don’t expect to hear me say – yes, you are missed dearly, classes are just not the same without you.
Even if classes are not the same without you, that is not the reason you need to go back to practice.
You do not need to go back to practice.
But when you decide it’s a high enough priority for you, like when your bladder can no longer hold it, come to class.
When you do, I will be there.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away (in time…)

…there lived a woman of brown skin complexion. Because of her color she was forced to serve a white man, branded his slave, raped numerous times, and had to quietly obey his every whim in order to survive.
In that same land, around that same time, lived a white woman. She was no one’s slave but she wasn’t allowed to vote.
A man born on that land, long before it was occupied by white people, a man now called a Native American, was not even considered a human.
Have you heard of that land? Maybe learned about it in history books?
That land may be quite foreign to people that occupy it today.

Looking at all this by today’s standards of social order, don’t our forefathers’ actions seem quite primitive?
Yet to the people of that time, things looked just right. Very few considered any of these atrocities unjust. It was the “order of nature.”

Let’s close that old book and take a look at another one – a book that would possibly be written fifty years from now. That story too will start with Once upon a time, in a land remote in time. In that land two people of the same gender were not legally allowed to share a martial union. In that remote land lived people who ate foods in which sugar was listed as the number one component. In that land smoking was still acceptable as was the right to purchase guns.

One cannot but wonder how our current day society will be looked by our great grandchildren.

“What do you do for a living?”

…I am sometimes asked.
That is an easy one to answer: “Mostly breath. And occasionally, when hungry, I have a little something to eat.”
“No really,” insists the persistent inquirer, “what is your line of work?”
“Oh,” I may reply, “that is a completely different question. Please do not confuse what I do for a living with my line of work.”

All too often this seems a common confusion: work and life. And while I carefully pick lines of work, mostly ones I enjoy doing, I do not live to work of work to live; I simply live.

When reading this you may smile, maybe sneer, and think it’s only a matter of semantics. Unfortunately you would be missing the point.
No, it’s not you for sure. Its many other people who work so they may live their lives day in, day out, all so that they may have a beer in the evening which will make it all worth it, or a weekend at some fancy resort.
Nope, it’s not you. But just in case you know someone like this and may ask what is one to do? Quit their day job and go climb a mountain?
Maybe. But it is so much simpler than that friend of yours may imagine. All it takes is a shift in perspective. A certain realization that to live you really REALLY need nothing but some fresh air and little food. Everything else is luxury.
The thing is that I won’t be able to make your friend see it. No one will.
It is something one needs to experience.
If they are lucky it will come as a great insight.
For the less fortunate, though still lucky, it will come after some devastating loss.
If you find a shortcut, take it. If not, just open your eyes. The message is out there everywhere you choose to look.
Good luck.
Now just breath…

In an otherwise perfectly clear autumn day

In an otherwise perfectly clear autumn day

a thick dark cloud is hovering

over what used to be

the World Trade Center


Shock replaces disbelieve

and in turn is being replaced by

anger and sadness


Another memorial date for America

another dark day for humanity


New York, September 2001


(c) 2012 Ronen Divon, All Rights Reserved.

Can you teach me to meditate?

Spirit of Meditation

(c) h.koppdelaney

“Can you teach me how to be happy?”

asked the woman, her shoulders weighting down.

“Happiness comes from harmony,”

answered the monk-like man.

“Then can you teach me harmony?” she questioned.

“Harmony comes from acceptance,” he replied.

“What is acceptance?” she pleaded.

“Realizing that all things are perfect in their imperfection,” came his respond.

“How can I learn to see that?” she inquired.

“Maybe through meditation,” he suggested.

“Can you teach me to meditate?” she asked.

“First you will need to learn how to breath and how to listen,” he told her.

“That I am already doing, ain’t I?” she wondered.

“Haaa…” he said, “maybe.”

“Please explain,” she requested.

“When you begin to listen, really listen,

you hear your breath. And when you breath fully,

you can really listen. Your thoughts pass by

and you can watch; like looking at a stream flow.

You no longer feel a need to comment.

You are only the observer.”

The woman sat down by the monk-like man.

He slightly corrected her posture.

Some moments later he suggested she adds a little smile.

Her face muscles relaxed.

Her breathing became deeper, slower and very soft.


(c) 2012 Ronen Divon, All Rights Reserved.

Why no person should be qualified to run for the US presidency

If you want to run, you will be exposed to attacks about every little dirty secret from your past, constantly followed by harm seekers, and your family will be relentlessly insulted.

white houseYou will be blamed for every crisis including the original sin, WWI & II as well as future wars.

End of the world come December 2012? That is your fault too.

You will be accused of being born on a spaceship hovering over Earth and being a foreign agent.


And if you still want to run for presidency despite all this, you should be disqualified on the basis of insanity.

Thus no person should be qualified to run for the White House.

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