Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Easing Into Collection

This year I've started in on a massive writing project--The Easing Into Collection.  The works take a thematic approach to religious topics of many stripes--from the writings of Christian mystics to the great epics of India; from the scriptures of Judaism to the enigmatic verses of Lao Tzu; from the earthy and poignant Black Elk Speaks to the highest flights of philosophy with Shankara.

In each, I take the ten great ideas of the text rather than creating yet another exhaustive (and somewhat boring) linear study.  Add a little original and responsive poetry and five questions designed for deep discussion or journal prompts and provide a list of references for each great idea and I end up with books useful for both communities and self-study.  Most of the titles run about 75 pages, and they'll be available soon in audio as well.  In this age of tight schedules, they don't overwhelm and yet provide plenty of comparative religion "meat".

Each book will eventually have a similar cover but a different color so they will create a lovely rainbow on your shelf.

Here is the praise for the first book in the series (Easing into the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras--I will be dividing these texts and placing them under their own covers in the future) as posted on

This book is both inspiring and practical. As spiritual seekers, there is a temptation to reach out for more and more teachings to perhaps find those magical words that will set us free. While this may be useful in the beginning, there comes a time for actually putting the teachings to work in our lives where the magic can make a difference in our understanding. The format for this lovely volume provides exercises and suggestions for applying these ancient teachings in our everyday lives and finding how fully alive and transformative they still are. Thank you Ms. Beyer-Nelson.

I read Easing into the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali Yoga Sutras last year when it was first published. Now I have the audio version narrated by Jack Nolan and I've listened to it as I followed along in the book. His voice has a good pace and expression as he narrated. It's like reading it again but at a slower more gentle pace. I especially liked his reading when he came to the poetry sections.

An easy read with a simple and approachable perspective on Yoga's two great masterful works.

As a beginning yoga student, I have been focused on positions and breathing. Beyer-Nelson provides a thought-provoking entry into the principles behind yoga. This is not a book for readers looking for instructions on poses. Instead, it moves the reader beyond to consider his/her mind state and how the body and mind work together to restore peace and health. The poetry is an added bonus. I'll come back to this book to deepen my awareness.

This is a wonderful, thought-provoking book. It's short, but I like a book that says what needs to be said without a lot of extra fluff. I run a Yoga Teacher Training program and I plan to add this to my required reading list. You definitely need to read the Gita and Sutras (and the author tells you this up front), but after you've read them, come back to this book. I can also see this as a good resource for Yoga workshops (not just teacher trainings) or for individuals looking to better their understanding of Yoga.

I  hope you enjoy the journey with me!

Titles Currently Available

Easing into the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras by [Beyer-Nelson, Kimberly]

Easing into the Dhammapada (The Easing Into Collection Book 2) by [Beyer, Kim]

Monday, March 6, 2017

Being in Community: a poem

It’s just this simple, it’s just this hard!
When you can love and honor your parents
but take a different path;
When you can hold your partner in the night
but choose a different Way;
When you can enjoy your friend’s new haircut
but love your own curls or pixie or emo-style;
When your society decides what is proper for a young man or woman,
but you act on what is proper in your heart;
When you don’t heal unless asked
but you respond when needed;
When you Know and choose not to speak,
but willingly share when approached;
When you are shamed or injured by another
and can still see the light with the dark in them;
When you honor your teachers
but integrate their paths into your own Way

Then you are learning to Stand Up into Community.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Larger Nest: a poem

I will never fully be family—
he and his children by another woman
draw lines in the sand,
and while I might toe the grains
give salt to salt,
they are not mine and
I am not theirs.
I see him in them--
this gesture,
that laugh.
50% of all marriages end in divorce—
100% of all lives end in death.
And so, I bear such little tragedies
nestle them with a light-hearted
in a much larger


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Breathform: a poem

Warrior Two,
built up from bare feet,
pelvis tucked,
long back
energy rising through the core and flowing
from the heart to middle fingers,
arms effortlessly straight,
right knee bent, left knee
holding just enough bounce
and then,
gazing over floating fingers,

let the breath form you.

Wonders: a poem

He could not sit still,
not even for ten minutes—
the hallway dim-lit and echoing,
the yoga students beyond the door
silent in relaxation mode
rows of closed-eyes-no-movement.
Out popped the cell phone
neat magic trick, all thumbs.
Who was he in the silence, anyway?

She did not enjoy the retreat-
no talking, little eye contact.
Just a day,
walk the labyrinth,
sway with qigong,
hike the forest path,
or form a little statue out of clay—
she took me outside and asked
almost in tears
“Who am I when I am not speaking?”

I have no answers for either of them.

But both are wonders. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bow: A Poem

There is a violence of mind—
a loneliness,
a coldness.
But not premeditated—
You cannot draw me a picture of it,
if you put your hand on your belly
the other on your throat
and whisper
I am right.
I have the truth.
I will prove it to you.
And then,
shut your eyes and murmur
I am not sure.
I don’t know.
Have a cup of tea.

We can open our eyes,
blink back tears
and bow.


Completely Sacramental: A Poem

When did I turn
and playfully kiss the air,
delight in chickadee-suet-dancing
and the unblinking snowy owl gaze?
When did I take your hand so easily,
no makeup, broken nails
and dog poo on my boots?
When did the voices in my head,
hush and kneel,
every day ending in “y”
completely sacramental?