Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dear ones,

My second chemo is behind me and in me fighting. GO CHEMO!!!!

On this round, I have not had any debilitating side effects and so continue to feel better and better, more and more myself.

An independent soul as well as a highly social animal, I love being able to take care of myself. In addition to accepting and enjoying more pampering than usual, I have the opportunity to practice the joys of tidying up, organizing, giving things away, and the contentment that comes from having less and gives space the moments of living.

What a gift to take time to reflect on the joys of being in the state of yoga--of movement and stillness, breath and body and soul. Feeling the humidity or the lightness of air, the breeze or the heat of the sun is a revelation. The ego is less and wholeness is perceivable.

I am in the state of profound gratitude of the outpouring of love that is carrying me forward and upward. I am reading poetry and listening to music, keeping company with my favorite comics…and thinking of all my friends and my wonderful family.

I love all the messages of support, inspiration and the wonderful tales of what is going on in your lives and the experiences you share.

I have a new friend, a Buddhist elephant beast with beads named SAMBA SANSIBAR sent from all my students. He is on my bed and perfectly housetrained.

Thank you all.

With gratitude and love,


Bill said...

Dear Mary,
Thank you. Thank you Thank you.
For all your love and that you share it so joyfully.
For bringing that love into your teaching.
For your humor and for applying it to your teaching. There is no other teacher that has made me smile so much, sometimes at the expense of an asana after my laughter has undone all the doing.
For understanding that life's foibles are clues to help us penetrate further.
For your clarity, sometimes a bit obscured by complex metaphors or by my inability to follow the metaphors and maintain the pose.
For all those metaphors.
For keeping the Light in yoga.

You are a big Light in my life.

Bill M.

Barbara Nicol said...

Dear Mary,

When my teacher was here, the message I got this time was to set my mind on the profound, even unfathomable,love at the heart of the universe. Bring it back and rest it here again and again, until if someone is praising you on one side and another person is chopping off your arm on another, you would be centered in this love and dwell in equanimity.

I must say I feel I am also benefitting alot from the blog, because it's love that really matters. Nice to have all the other trappings peeled away for a time.

Much love,

Ronnie G. said...

Dear Mary,

What a treat to see your face peering through the door -- your spirit energized the room and Brook's class was a special one!

It's good to have you back -- you are so loved.

Ronnie G.

Ronnie G. said...

Dear Mary,

What a treat to see your face peering through the door -- your spirit energized the room and Brook's class was a special one!

It's good to have you back -- you are so loved.

Ronnie G.

Frances Rhodis said...

Dear Mary,

Sending you lots of light on your healing journey. I took some time off from years of teaching yoga to allow my own body to heal. It has been the best gift I have ever given myself and now you are giving yourself this same gift.
I started teaching classes again and it feels better than ever. But what is most profound is that all that my Iyengar teachers have taught me is finally coming through, and now I get to share it with my students.
Thank you for being a phenominal teacher and helping us to unite the Iyengar yoga community in Miami.

"I choose to fill my world with joy"

With much love,
laughter, and light
Frances Rhodis

bonnie said...

Dearest Mary,
I read your blog daily but have had trouble sending messages to you -- however, now it's working. Your positive, observant, warm spirit shines in every word.
So glad your 2nd chemo is behind you and that Elizabeth has been with you.
Recently, I spoke with Claudine (she doesn't do e-mail) and she sends her love and hugs and good wishes for a successful recovery.
You are constantly in my thoughts.
Much love,

Dale Simmerman said...

The tide of my love
Has risen so high let me flood over


Close your eyes for a moment
And maybe all your fears and fantasies

Will end.

If that happened
God would become an infant in your


And then you Would have to nurse all


--From Hafiz to me to you


Marc Z said...

Dear Mary,
It is a mystery and is also very much not a mystery that your words and those who've sent replies to yours give me the nicest smile. I am clearly not alone in responding so.

In cross bolster, or early-experiment (for me) shoulder stand, I hear your voice of encouragement and instruction/gentle correction along with my other teachers, or sometimes simply delightful and peaceful silence, and I'm continually astonished and gratified by human beings of love.

Your commitment to living and heart touching is as much something from which to learn as is your recognizing a sensible way to try an asana or preperatory movement. You show learning from us, and we show learning from you.

I don't think I can ever too much say thank you!
Marc (of now and then healing floppy foot)

eleoth said...

MARY my dearest!
i do not have words, specially in english to express the joy it is to read your blog! i thank God you have the spirit you have and i thank you for sharing it.
Feel the tightest hug i'm sending you...with love,

Robin Janis said...

Mary, so very glad you now have time and space and room(s) to soak and receive and absorb.
And oh, to hear the light of yoga shining through you, bright as ever: you sound well"savasanized."

This summer has a particular stillness and moisture to it, an feeling of summertime that I remember from childhood. Not heavy or weighing; more ripe and succulent. And to me this summer has a distinct rhythm that is slower and more tactile, sliding from day to day, snaking around the bend of each weekend in no hurry at all, though the each night turns like the pages of a book I cannot put down.

I am so glad you are enjoying this time.

Another poem, of course! Actually two poems that I have seamed together. Probably an unthinkable thing to do "literally," but here goes just the same-- as seems to be my way...

From Rumi:

When grapes turn to wine,
they long for our ability
to change.

When stars wheel
around the North Pole,
they are longing for our growing

Wine got drunk with us
not the other way.
The body developed out of us,
not we from it.

We are bees,
and our body is the honeycomb.
We made the body,
cell by cell, we made it.

Don't grieve. Anything you lose
comes round in another form. The
child weaned from mother's milk
now drinks wine mixed with honey.

God's joy moves from unmarked box
to unmarked box, from cell to cell.
As rainwater, down into flowerbed.
As roses, up from ground.
Now it looks like a plate of
rice and fish,
now a cliff covered with vines,
now a horse being saddled.
It hides within these,
till one day it cracks them Open.

Love to you from me, and from Jackson: "Dear Mary, I miss you. Just that." (Jax is sitting on the floor using his "computer" trying to email you himself, but his computer only has a picture of email on it. He has now decided that if he takes his computer onto my desk, and tries to call you at the same time as he types "next to mommy's computer," it may work. So he just "called" you on his "cell" and asked you for your number, and is typing at the same time. He says it is "really tricky.")

So if you felt a little something in the air around 8:25pm on Saturday the 28th, it may well have been Jackson broadcasting a hello to you over the ether-ways!


Judith said...

Dear Mary

I have not been to the center for over 2months, moving and going through final weeks of divorce. I heard of your news through various friends. You have meant so much to me in this transition period. I guess it is all a transition and that is life, in one way or another. Thank you for all you have given me, and everyone else. My love and thoughts are with you.

Judy Solomon, gentle class

Leslie said...

Oh, Dear Mary, Beloved Teacher and Friend!!!!!!
What richness, wealth, deep sources for contentment and contemplation coming out of these blog messages, both to and from you! I feel as though I have had the greatest priviledge of attending the most profoundly educational and enlightening course in the Yukta of literature and Potent Philosophy that ever appeared on any university menu.
...And does Sensible Sensibar do the Samba?
Thank you for your profoundly valuable teachings, no matter the format!
May the Chemo and all other forms radiate the healing necessary for your great well-being!
Love, Leslie (Charlotte's mom and Tony's wife and Sanskrit enthusiast,and of course another of your devoted students)

Leslie said...

Excues me: "Sensible Sansibar..."
Love and hugs,

maria c said...

Hello Dear Mary!

As life move on and you are going up and forward in whole and holly spirit, we can hear you, phenomenal teacher, extending your teaching all over the places with the loving words that caresses me every time I read you.
I am so glad second chemo went well and is history now and that you have time for yourself to reflect, take care and get lighter! It feels so good to create space in and out and move with grace and lightness, something that you have already but certainly is getting refined and refined and the walks take another meaning, another view.

I really enjoy reading your blog with the update, seeing that super beautiful picture every time, hearing your charismatic voice, noticing your wisdom in every breath and reading all the comments you receive which are so inspiring as well. You are love in a human form and therefore everything you touch convert into that direction. Can't go the other way! I know you are an inspiration for so many of us, even if one have seen you once in life, but the ones who have the luxury of seeing you more often or having you as a teacher more regularly are well bless as you are. I can see you have great friends, students and family and I can see a bit of them through their lines.
The chain of love continue getting stronger, wider and meaningful.
Adding to it from my very core

maria :)! from the bay area.

PD: Good you have a good and new companion Samba Sansibar representing so much love from your dear ones in a compact form. Cute!

Joanne Pearson said...

Hello Mary, Through the wonders of the internet and networking of George Purvis, it has been possible to be connected to you, even though you didn't know it. I know the warmth of your heart from your kindness to my mother when you stayed with me about 8 years ago. My heart is sending messages to yours on your exploration of variations of your yoga practice (also known as life). Warm wishes, Joanne Pearson

Ellen K said...

Dear Mary.

I was delighted to see you enjoying the writing workshop Sat.

Much love,

sandi said...

Dear Mary,

Thank you for continuing to share and inspire us with your writing. Last night Glenn and I watched the sunset at the beach house and thought of you doing Ardha Chandrasana on the wall and swimming in the ocean. It seems like yesterday you were here with us.

We travelled all summer and not one day went by without thinking of you. We are so grateful for our long friendship with you. You are our inspiration.

Sending you much love and aloha,

Sandi and Glenn

Ann McDermott-Kave said...

Mary ~
My 5 year old goddaughter gave me a picture of brightly colored flowers with a note "Ww is for wonderful wagons filled with wild flowers."
May your summer days be as vibrant as wild flowers.
Constantly thinking of you.

anne said...

Dear Mary, I don't know if you can see the beautiful full moon tonight over the towers in the city. It is rising over Blackberry Valley and is still in the golden-orange stage. I'm sending love to you from its light.
You mentioned having some time for reading and I want to recommend a book that was suggested to me as being funny and wise. So far I have found it both and try to grab a few minutes here and there to read it. It's EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's about a women recently divorced who goes to Italy to experience the language and the food, to as Ashram in India to learn to pray, and to Bali to find .... You've probably already received the book, but if not I'd love to send it to you.
Henry really appreciated his chat with you and called with a report. We are all pulling in unison for your wellbeing.

Yvonne said...

Dearest Mary
The Institute has been revamped by your surprise visit to the workshop on Saturday!! You've got us all talking and we can't wait to have you back!!!
Much love to you

Norma Colón said...

OH! What a Wonderful Surprise!! to see you a the writing workshop! What a gift! you look so good and are your cheerful self! It made me so happy to see you there, smiling broadly and partaking like the rest of us....

I'm so glad the chemo is going and working well and you are getting better.

I look forward to more chance encounters, surprise blessings.

I'm so glad you are getting so much more from this time, more lightening, more clearing, more cleansing, more room for taking in and giving more love.

Thanks so much for being in my life, for your example and for spreading joy in so many ways and directions.

Love and Namaste,

Maureen said...

Hi Mary, I swear that the pic of you on this blog beams brighter and brighter each day!
Your appreciation for this time you are experiencing is so very inspiring. Thank-you so much for continuing to stay connected to us all.
Lots of Love comin' at ya!! Maureen

arthur kilmurray said...

Dear Mary,

Sean, Kate and I were just out in California visiting Pam and David Field, heard about your blog and ongoing biomedical adventures, and wanted to send love and blessings to you in as many ways as possible....

So, speaking of sacred elephants, I just read last month an article on how elephants can communicate by sending sound wave messages through the earth using their toe bones. I find this fascinating and, and although neither of us has such big feet, I will try sending some toe (and tarsal/metatarsal tadasana healing energy your way. Guruji has always been into maximizing the intelligence of our feet so maybe he and Ganesha have some underground connections. Anyway, keep your feet tuned in!

with love and light,


cathy said...

Magic Kingdom Moment
This spring I have been watching a hawks nest in the tall pines on the lakeside. I have seen the parents roosting around the nest in guard of their brood. After the babies fledged they would return to their familiar roost and I watched various members of the family preen and sleep around their former nest. They tolerate the dog, myself and the screaming(in warning) cockatoo but when Larry joins us they fly off.

Sunday July 10th 3pm
Larry and I were puttering in the garden prior to heading off to our 4:30 concert at Caramoor. The cockatoo is strutting around the deck railing and is the first to see the hawk and screams to us about the intruder. I look to see a hawk dive to the ground in search of one of the moles or voles that mine the under yard for roots, tubers and insects. He misses the catch and as he flies off he bounces up against the plastic deer fence. He seems confused and is having a hard time figuring his way out. So I go over, catch him and pick him up. I know how to hold large birds from the back with their wings tucked in so they stay calm and don’t hurt themselves. This one was fine. He turned his head in a halfhearted attempt to bite me but instead kept his beak open as if asking for food. He was a baby with a lanky adolescent body that hadn’t had time to fill in it’s form. He was a good weight and finely feathered. I brought him to Larry to examine the markings for later identification..
After a few moments of appreciation we decided it was time to release him. I tossed him in the air and we watched him take flight to a near by high perch.
I suspect for some reflection.

Much Love Cathy

Jamie Naughright said...

Dear our Mary, We are all sitting here thinking of you and being inspired by you-knowing that the universe is here to support you. The gang UZ is sitting here laying out the program thinking that you are our guiding light. The yoga community is truly about to join as one and bows to you for your courage and bravery in this challenging hours. But nobody better than you has master the practice in going in what was a called an asana and has so many more meanings and teaching for all of us to learn. We are looking forward to your more pearls of wisdom. We are here to support you in any way that we can and also we continue to look for your leadership. Hoping you are well to come out to the Hamptons and join us and hoping you will speak at Crazy, Sexy, Cancer by Kris Carr on August 25. Much love, Donna, Rodney, Sonja, Colleen, Rachael, Jamie, Rachael, Evan, JoJo, and Adesha

Carolyn Christie said...

Dear Mary,

This is Carolyn and Lee, Lee typing...

Your positive energy is so uplifting; you’re constantly teaching those of us who are fortunate to be your students.

Carolyn and I are in Ladakh, India visiting local monasteries and trekking to listen to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Yesterday Abbey Hope, Susan Schwartz, Cheryl Malter, Carolyn Christie and I (Lee Irvine) visited the Likir monastery and made a formal offering and then request for a puja in your honor.
The request was for You to have a long life, good health, and beneficial continuation of your evolved consciousness. Carolyn just now said, pujas in these monestaries with so many monks are "THE BIG GUNS" on the spiritual plain.

It was a very auspicious day, it was the 15th day in the Tibetan calendar, it was a full moon and the monastery was doing a puja when we made the request. Tomorrow they will start a seven day puja and will include dedications for your well being in their meditations.

This monastery is very old, it is located in the Ladhak mountain range. The sky is wide, open and so blue. It is nestled in an oasis valley, a patch of green surrounded by desert mountains.

We will be trekking for the same seven days and we will also dedicate our days to your well being.

Lots of love
Lee and Carolyn

ItaliANAdiNewYork said...

Dear Mary,

What a joy to read that you feel better every day! Just got back from Paris. Since you mentioned the poodles, you should see the new poodle grooming fashion in the city of lights...very, very French!We thought of you fondly and sent you positive vibes from the places we like the most. One day, even while a majestic organ was playing Bach - we hope the vibrations carried our thoughts all the way to you. We are part of the big crowd that loves you and supports you.

With much love,


lisa rotell said...

an angel came into a room today and filled the hearts of all with her courage, presence, and light. the atmosphere gave promise to hope and gave glory to the present moment.

we all love and adore you mary

Ruthe said...

Dear Mary,

It is so pleasing to know you are doing well. Your delightful sense of humor and light hearted spirit are I'm sure assets to the healing process. Your comments are truly a gift to those of us wanting to keep tabs on you. Even though we offer our loving thoughts and support, it seems as though your blog does the same for us. Thanks for sharing your progress and insights and for returning the love. Continue to mend. With much love, Ruthe

Carol Cavanaugh said...

Hi Mary,

I haven't written for awhile, but continue to check the blog frequently and find it is such a wonderful and healing community. I agree with Maureen, whom I don't even know, that your smile in the blog picture becomes brighter all the time!

So, when you were in the hospital I was figuring you probably weren't doing too many of the active poses then, and was meditating on sending you any good effect I felt at the end of my practice...who knows, of course, if this could reach you at all...but wanting to do something and from such a distance it's difficult to give tangible help...Anyway, so this became sort of a habit, and there has been the interesting effect that I get a heads-up when I am ditzing out during my practice..."Hey, stop it, you're sending the effect of this to Mary, don't cheat her!" So, if nothing else, I thank you for your unknowing but effective kick in the pants.

I am so glad you are able to rest, and take in deeply the simplest and deepest things about being alive in this human body. I am also so glad that you are happily tolerating and welcoming the chemo. The chemo in tandem with everyone's love and your own strong spirit, I cannot but think you have an unbeatable healing combination here.

I'm sure you have tons to read, but if you're ever interested and haven't read it, I would with delight send you "A Path with Heart" by Jack Kornfield (have you met him...Buddhist vipassana teacher, founder of Spirit Rock in Marin County) is the single most influential book which I ever read. Deep reflection on what this life and spiritual practice are all about, a great companion to times of exploring mindfulness practice, in all its simplicity and its incredible depth.

You are so often in my thoughts. I send you oodles of love, Carol

maria c said...

Hello Dear Mary

I am bursting in happiness to hear all the latest news and comments about your progress!! Yeah!!! I never doubted it, but things are moving on with good ups in a speedy amazingly way. Excellent!

Today I was in Janet Mac class at the IYISF and heard that a student from NY was taking her class yesterday and she said you showed up to take a yoga class with James! That's veeery good! What a lovely surprise for everybody there.

I also read the beautiful comments you always get in your blog and it seems you also showed up to take a written class! GREAT! You are a wonderful writer already, as I can read your blog and hear your poetic voice. But, maybe soon you'll write your own book! Certainly you have lot on your account to share. And if you do so with your inspiring, loving language and life, I am sure you'll sell it to the whole world in seconds. We all want to have you somehow, and certainly we all have you in our hearts no matter where we are, but one can not have enough of GREAT MARY, MARY DUNN :).

Sending you good vibes, much love and a mountain of good wishes connecting the toes strongly with Mother earth and through them everywhere!
BTW- Janet also read in class the nice comment about the elephant toes you got from Arthur. Is really an amazing fact. Thank you Arthur for sharing it!

Warm big huge hug from maria ;)!

thomas said...

For my birthday ( July 28th ) I am wishing for happiness and peace
for you and for all of us
who are fortunate enough to be loved by you.

Tracy said...

I made the same wish on my birthday, July 29, feeling so much gratitude for you, and yoga, and our community which has made its presence felt so strongly here.

Tracy Y.

Tina L said...

Dear Mary,

Your words of positive healing are truly inspiring as is always your teaching of yoga. I have recently had some elective surgery, which has caused me to slow down and simplify my life. I too see this as a gift and opportunity. Restorative yoga has become an essential part of my healing. I too find the touch of a silky breeze, sound of a song bird, and smell of the flowers in my gardern the greatest gifts of each day.
I send to you love and continued prayers of healing.

cathy said...

A Chance Encounter 7/23/07

After Carrie’s Monday afternoon class at the institute I went to the 23rd St.. Subway Station. Waiting for the train to Times Sq., I sat on the old , heavy, squarely constructed wooden bench that bears evidence of prior cigarette burns.
A large black man, his neck and wrists covered with many gold chains sat beside me. I noticed his size and a subliminal swelling of fear percolated within me. Along with his formidable presence, I noticed his conservative, neat attire and felt soothed. I recieve an image of us sitting side by side on a church pew, which I presume he has done many times before. I relax.
My mind is alert and my body tired after backbending. I start to feel a soothing energy seeping into my tired muscles. I relax a little more. The relaxing radiance seems to be the man sitting to my left.
I continue to receive this rejuvenating presence. I further notice the man beside me. He is still, totally still. His large body fills his pant leg. No wrinkles remain in the fabric. His eyes are closed and his attention focused inward but he is not in a sleepy state. There is no movement anywhere in his body. He is silent.
The energy around him continues its radiance seemingly effortlessly. I inhale the essence of this presence and allow my body to open further, soften, enliven. I want to communicate and tell him that I notice and appreciate what he is doing. No words come.
The train arrives and I follow him onto the car. It’s rush hour and the train is packed but I manage to stand next to him. His eyes are open now and there is no particular expression on his face. The effects of his presence are muted on the train but still perceptible. I can no longer suppress the desire to communicate and I offer the biggest, brightest smile that I have.
He is looking at me. His expression is neutral. There is no sign that he is moved by my expression, no evidence of titillation or repulsion on his face. I am puzzled.
The train arrives at Times Sq., I utter a silent blessing and we both get off and go our separate ways.
The feeling of quiet elation lasts for several days.

Sandra Pleasants said...

Dear Mary- I'm so happy you have this blog that we can keep up with your progress. I sent you a card some time ago but the address from IYNAUS was wrong and so it came back. I want to join your thousands of grateful students in wishing you well. You are such an inspiration and have played a large part in my yogic journey through the years.
Love, Sandra/Sondra

kathy cahill said...

Dearest Mary,

I am so very grateful to have this space to tell you how much it meant to me that you cared that I get back into doing yoga. I have appreciated working with Matt.
Mary, I am holding you in my heart with loving kindness. I am sending you prayers of love, support, joy and peace.

With boundless love, and so much gratitude for your open heart, grace and strong body, mind and spirit,

aretha said...

Your blogs continue to make me smile. I can always picture in my mind so vividly your images, whether you're peering out the window or taking a stroll. Life seems best when it is distilled into its purist moments. It reminds me that I should be doing more of that :). We all look forward to getting to take classes with you once again. Best wishes for your continued healing.

Kate Marshall-Chase said...

Dear Mary...I had a dream about you last night. We were skiing with Dean and Rebecca.There was so much snow...very bright and sparkly. Surrounded by big, beautiful green pines. No one else around.At one point I looked back at you and you had that beautiful,joyful smile we all see in your photo on the blog. We stopped for a rest in a grove of trees and talked about oils from India...the various scents and how healing aromatherapy can be!! So whatever all that means...I awoke feeling refreshed from the heat we're experiencing here in PA and with such a sense of playfulness. Thank you for the great time in the mountains last night! Love, Kate

Leslie said...

Dear Mary,
Your blogs continue to be my favorite literature...
This past weekend, the hottest one of this summer so far, I accomplished something. I was hired by Vyaas Houston and his American Sanskrit Institute to teach a weekend Sanskrit Immersion Introductory course. Seven hours on Friday and seven hours on Saturday. (yesterday). Six students, participants of a Yoga Teacher-in training program, attended. They can now read the entire Devanagari alphabet as well as complete words! A Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher who is now officially on faculty with the ASI!! And everybody was smiling (although hot and extremely tired) at the end! Another thing I never dreamed was possible!
Could this be "another yoga miracle"?
Hopefully you have remained cool and comfortable in spite of this tremendous heat. And did you notice the fantastic thunder and lightning on Friday night?
I look forward to comparing notes with you on "The Year of Magical Thinking" after I see it with Yvonne.
May excellent health and abundance of vibrancy continue to be in you!
Lots of love, (Premnaa),

francesbaker said...

Dear Mary

Karan and I in Cleveland continue to think of you and rejoice in your pleasure moments and good days. You are the best.

warmly, Frances