Books on the Bedside Table

Reading has been a lifelong source of inspiration and growth for me since I was a child. Many a day of my childhood was spent in another world, reading the day away. Walter Farley’s book, The Runaway Stallion moved me so as a child that I decided to become a horse racing jockey (true story). I wrote my first book about horse racing when I was 6, cut it into small squares and bound it with yarn, proving my dedication to both horses and literature.

My time and interest for writing has come and gone through the years, but reading remains central to my growth personally and as a teacher of Yoga. One of the challenges to teaching yoga and running a studio is that my attention is divided into so many roles leaving little time for reading fiction, so yoga philosophy and spiritual texts are what fill my bedside table. When I find myself feeling stagnant and in need of inspiration in my practice or teaching, I reach for these books to distill down the central teachings of yoga or the spiritual traditions.

On My Reading Table:

Daily InspirationThe Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo is my daily companion. More often than not his writings apply deeply to some edge of exploration or growth that is taking place in my life. This is my current daily meditation and reflection read that I dive into each morning.
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I Have No Enemies

This week I have taught so much yoga to so many people of all ages, coming from different backgrounds, different generations, different mindsets. I watch their bodies but I see their souls as they sit peacefully, move slowly, and lie in stillness. I’ve watched the moon set as the sun, rising on the other side of the earth, casts a shadow that covered the full moon. I watched the moon rise again today, full and luminous. It is the same moon that is seen by people all over the word, of all colors, races, persuasions and religions. I’ve been an a place of deep peace, living, making my way in the world, just like all the students I have taught.

When I turn on the news and hear of great turmoil about memos releasing and opinion and words that spin around and around. Pause…I just imagine all of the people that I meet, making their way in the world regardless of all the categories we assign, regardless of all the places that they live and I don’t see any borders. And I don’t see any enemies. I just see souls and dreams and hope and struggle and people making their way on this earth just like I am, just like you are. Paraphrasing John Lennon,” I imagine all the people living life in peace.” Brene Brown’s research tells us “when you move in, it’s hard to hate.”

You may call me a dreamer but I’m not the only one. Peace out my friends. Love one another. Believe we are all one people living on the earth. We are all one.~Jai Bhagwan, Susan