Journeying Toward Wholeness

July 2017

Greetings Yoga and T'ai Chi Students and Lovers of Breema and The Painting Journal!

 The Yoga classes in Nashville and Brentwood have completed the exploration of the Yamas and Niyamas, the ethical aspects of Yoga in a little over over nine months.

Deborah Adele reminds us that:


Perfection of each Yama brings:

Nonviolence ~ An aura of peace that protects self and other

Truth ~ Spoken words will always come true

Nonstealing ~ Abundance

Nonexcess ~ Great vitality

Nonpossessiveness ~ Knowledge of experience


Perfection of each Niyama brings:

Purity ~ Clarity

Contentment ~ Joy

Self-Discipline ~ Refinement

Self-study ~ Freedom

Surrender ~Harmony


The yoga class at RMSI continues in good spirits. Two of the men are taking special classes as their time is about to expire, and so come to class late, but settle immediately into whatever is happening. We talked last week about the opportunity while in prison to develop habits that will serve well when back in homes and on the street again. Bo Lozoff made a strong case in his book “We're All Doing Time” to experience time in prison as if it were a monastery. Developing a meditation practice, and doing Yoga are immense supports when out in the world. I asked, “What is meditation?” The responses showed that some were beginning to experience the effects of sitting with the ability to observe thoughts and not be driven by them. Others were still a bit in a fog as to what it actually was, and why it might be vital to their lives. It is a question we will be looking at a lot more. The class has just started on the Niyama, Tapas, which is Self-discipline. Two of the men have just finished the fasting in the month of Ramadan. It shows!


Several classes in town missed the Restorative yoga, as July 4th happened on their class day. The next Restorative classes for yoga starts August 1st, with the full Sturgeon Moon on August 7th.


Yoga Classes

Tuesdays 9:30-10:55 am@ Friends Meeting House -Beginner

Tuesdays 11:00-12:30pm @ Friends Meeting House-Intermediate

Tuesdays 6-7:30pm@ Friends Meeting House -Blended

Thursdays 10:15-11:30am @ Martin Center - Beginner


The T'ai Chi classes:


Tuesdays 8-9am @ Dragon Park (Coffee/tea/conversation 7:15am@Provence)(This class will not meet on July 11th, and will continue the following week,July18th)

Wednesday 4:30-5:30pm @ Dragon Park by Harris Hillman School

Thursday 9-10am @ Martin Center: Brentwood


The Yin-Yang Polarity

At the very roots of Chinese thinking and feeling there lies the principle of polarity,

which is not to be confused with the ideas of opposition or conflict. In the metaphors of other cultures, light is at war with darkness, life with death, good with evil, and the positive with the negative, and thus an idealism to cultivate and be rid of the latter flourishes throughout much of the world. To the traditional way of Chinese thinking, this is as incomprehensible as an electric current without both the positive and negative poles, for polarity is the principle that + and - , north and south, are different aspects of one and the same system, and that the disappearance of either one of them would be the disappearance of the system.


People who have been brought up in the aura of Christian and Hebrew aspirations find this frustrating, because it seems to deny any possibility of progress, an ideal which flows from their linear (as distinct from cyclic) view of time and history.

Indeed, the whole enterprise of Western technology is “to make the world a better place”-- to have pleasure without pain, wealth without poverty, and health without sickness. But, as is now becoming obvious, our violent efforts to achieve this ideal with such weapons as DDT, penicillin, nuclear energy, automotive transportation, computers, industrial farming, damming, and compelling everyone, by law, to be superficially “good and healthy” are creating more problems than they solve.


We have been interfering with a complex system of relationships which we do not understand, and the more we study its details, the more it eludes us by revealing still more details to study.

As we try to comprehend and control the world it runs away from us.

Instead of chafing at this situation, a Taoist would ask what it means. What is that which always retreats when pursued? Answer: yourself.

Idealists regard the universe

as different and separate from themselves – that is, as a system of external objects which needs to be subjugated. Taoists view the universe as the same as, or inseparable from, themselves- so that Lao-Tzu could say, “Without leaving my house, I know the whole universe.” This implies that the art of life is more like navigation than warfare, for what is important is to understand the winds, the tides, the currants, the seasons, and the principles of growth and decay, so that one's actions may use them and not fight them.

The point is therefore that technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe. Our overspecialization in conscious attention and linear thinking has led to neglect, or ignorance of the basic principles and rhythms of this process, of which the foremost is polarity.

~TAO The Watercourse Way; Alan Watts with collaboration of Al Chung-liang Huang



Breema Treatments are available Mondays, Tuesday afternoons, and Fridays. I am also available to come to a home or apartment if one needs for that to happen. Please call to set your appointment time – 615-498-4090.


After you body and mind are balanced, it becomes possible for the feelings to function in their natural state. Instead of swinging between pleasant and unpleasant states, the feelings learn to be calm and balanced, lending a sense of supportive presence to the unifies activity of mind and body.”

~ Breema and the Nine Principles of Harmony – Jon Schreiber


Circle Dancing is happening this evening , Friday July 7th, 7-9pm at Friends Meeting House. Dancing will also take place the third Friday July 21st at the same place. Several folks meet at Calypso Cafe at 6:00 to get a bite and visit before the dancing begins. All welcome!


There is random, unaware movement and there

is centered conscious movement- and it

is the latter that brings us to

the state



body-awareness and present-centeredness

that is

the essence of meditation.”

~Louis Proto


Adyashanti offers his teachings through the large screen by DVD at the Green Hills Library Sunday July 9th 2:30-4:30. These monthly showings are free, and donations are welcome to supply the DVD's. All welcome!


Well Being Retreat Center in Tazewell TN, offers two retreat this month.


Attending to Awareness” Led by Don Oakley, author of “It's Time to Wake up Now; the Top Ten Myths that can hijack spiritual Awakening” July 14-16. Don and Patty are owners and directors of the retreat in Tazewell, and offer the retreat free with preparing one meal for 10-18 folks who attend. ( )

Transformation Through Everyday Hypnosis” with Laurie Berry Clifford, July 28-30.


In August, (4-6th) “The Art of Mindfulness” is offered with Chelsea Green.



Summertime and the livin' is easy.........”....hopefully each of us can find this easiness in the warmth that summer brings, the long days that allow time for friends, recreation, and porch-reading, and the determination to keep the inner light bright as we work and play together throughout whatever is to come!


Blessings to all!




Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.”

~Samuel Johnson



Copyright ©2017 Julie Russell