Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday, July 24th, 07

Dear Friends,

Central Park has become my haven. Just two long blocks from home, and it spreads its arms.

Recent sightings:
-A Westsider butterfly showing the way.
-A family outing that includes two grey parrots, one on each shoulder of the mother. A chat at the park café revealed that one is named Dorian and the other Doreena.
-Many running styles in the finishing loop of the Triathalon and the winners coming in to the sounds of a band and the cheers of onlookers.
-Cheers as ardent and joyful for those finishing hours later, just as much winners.
-The pride of poodles in smallest, small, medium and large from blond to black looking ooh la la, oh so French.

And more:
-Grey Gardens, a real wonder that I had wanted to see but put off, proved that I could stay up until midnight!

-Tomorrow round 2 of chemo will keep me out of crowds for recovery time in rest mode.

I have wonderful reading for my spirit, intellect, and funny bones. I have wonderful listening on podcasts and discs.

Blankets, blocks, straps, and bolsters are here so I can practice.

Smiles and tears of joy in reading your messages and poetry and being able to keep up with your lives through what you are writing on the blog and in notes. Thank you all for giving me the quiet I have needed while at the same time we are staying in touch.

More friends than even I with large imagination could have envisioned.

I am content.


John said...

It was great to read your message this morning. The park truly is an amazing place. I once saw on owl on a tree over near the Met. Talk about a contemplative image--erect but sleeping, perched in perfect stillness within a sanctuary of green inside the busiest city in the world.
I also saw a hedgehog once. Not quite as sublime as the owl, but a lot of fun.
I went to 5:30 class last night and of course you were sorely missed. But Gina is doing a great job. She's really coming into her own as a teacher.
Good luck with the next round of chemo. We are all with you.

John D.

Ruth Ann Bradley said...

Stay content, be happy and know we all love you Mary. Just feel the healing vibrations coming your way from all over. Good luck tomorrow and in the days to come.

with love,
Ruth Ann

Maria C. said...

Dearest Mary!

It's so wonderful to hear you so fresh and enjoying the jewelries of nature around you. It's a bless to have such a juicy park two blocks away!Those simple things that we sometime forget to do or just postpone for so many other things needed to be done become so precious when we can really taste that and spend some time with not hurries and contentment. Santosha!, what a concept, what a state! Your contentment is our contentment too, and we feel it through the poetic virtuous words full of sensibility that reach every one out there.
I always feel touched by you, in person, in words, in action, in spirit, I simply love you! And I keep praying for you for things to move on on steady pace to a good, content and full recovery.
Wish all goes well and you take the time to rest after your chemo, and continue playing with the props around you to feel better and better!

Warm big hug to reach you from coast to coast!
maria :)! from CA

kate said...

Ah, how lovely! If there's anything I miss when I'm in New York, it's the gifts of nature; the Loisad is not, alas, so handy to the green lungs of Central Park. In a few weeks I will be back in Australia, where spring will be just beginning, but this afternoon I'm planning to walk through Central Park (auspiciously, to meet my US agent and sign the contract for the publication of my novel here next year). I'll be thinking of you, Mary, as so many people do at so many times, in so many places, wishing you strength and all life's bounty.

with love, Kate V

bonnie said...

Dearest Mary,

I love coming to the blog and seeing your smiling, joyous face. Your voice, your words of truth are with me in my practice. Do you know about Nettles? Deeply green and nourishing....I drank deep dark infusions of this throughout my treatment... you can also cook fresh ones with some olive oil and garlic....mildly spinach like...

Keep taking good care of yourself...

Bonnie in New Haven

Jaki Nett said...



enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to...


something perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...


a youth she's content to leave behind....


a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age..


a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...


one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...


a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in
her family...


eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored...


a feeling of control over her destiny


how to fall in love without losing herself.


how to quit a job,

break up with a lover,
and confront a friend;
without ruining the friendship...


when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...


that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..


that her childhood may not have been perfect...but its over...


what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...


how to live alone.. even if she doesn't like it...


whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...


where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
or a charming inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...


what she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year...


You will have good luck for an entire day.


you will have good luck for all of the year or if nothing else...
you know that you are truly loved and thought of by the friend,

who sent this to you and that she only wishes the best for you and
your life.

Jaki Nett

Barbara Nicol said...

Dearest Mary,

Yes, the wonders of nature are truly exhilarating...I am spending some time gardening at a friend's place...Yesterday after a very long wait, the first lupine emerged, a purple one...it's still a bit bare; evidently the flowers start from the bottom up...it is beside the blue asters, and red and yellow poppies...In the back are giant zinnias, three feet tall, in pink, orange and red..beside them are the nasturtions -- one of which is the color of fire, an extremely intense color ..there is also a beautiful purple flower I haven't yet identified. As long as the weather's nice I can just lose myself in the garden...

Thinking of you,

Maureen said...

Hi Mary, Been out of town visiting mom in FL...back in Oakland today but you make me want to be in Manhattan...have you considered a side job(yes, I know you don't need one!) in travel writing? Your C.P. outings sound awesome. Please take great great care on yourself. You are in my thoughts and prayers each and every day. Love, Maureen

Nagisa said...

Mary, So wonderful to hear your progress! As weak as this may sound, can I just say that I really miss the joy of simply being in your class? As one of your many students, I hope that you know how much I/we am/are waiting for the return to the regularity of seeing you in class on a Monday, or Thursday, just whenever, the pleasure of 90 minutes of yoga guidance from you. I know that soon enough things will be back to a regular routine of classes wiht you. But, Is this just a New York thing, this need for instant gratification? Funny though, just when I think I really feel the deafening silence of the absence of your instruction, I hear your voice through your many student, our instructors with whom you have shared your wisdom. So until we see you "on the mat" again, please know that beyond the blog, we are connected with you through the ones pass on your wisdom. Namaste, Nagisa.

Robin Janis said...

Mary, i am reminded of you by this poem:


You think it will never happen again.
Then, one night in April,
the tribes wake trilling.
You walk down to the shore.
Your coming stills them,
but little by little the silence lifts until song is everywhere
and your soul rises from your bones
and strides out over the water.
It is a crazy thing to do--
for no one can live like that,
floating around in the darkness
over the gauzy water.
Left on the shore your bones
keep shouting COME BACK!
But your soul won't listen;
in the distance it is unfolding
like a pair of wings, it is
sparking like hot wires. So
like a good friend,
you decide to follow.
You step off the shore
and plummet to your knees--
and slog forward to to your thighs
and sink to your cheekbones--
and now you are caught
by the cold chains of the water--
you are vanishing while around you
the frogs continue to sing, driving their music upward through
your own throat,
not even noticing
you are something else.
And that's when it happens--
you see everything
through their eyes,
their joy, their necessity;
you wear their webbed fingers;
your throat swells.
And that is when you know you will live whether you will or not,
one way or another,
because everything is everything
one long muscle.
It is not more mysterious than that.
So your relax, your don't fight it
anymore, the darkness coming down
called water
called spring
called the green leaf, called
a woman's body
as it turns into mud and leaves,
as it beats in its cage of water,
as it turns like a lonely spindle
in the moonlight, as it says

Mary O
Twelve Moons

Janna Peterson said...

Dearest Mary: You're in my healing prayers - especially today as you have more chemo.

If you're interested in visiting the Met Museum on one of your days out, my husband works there (Tuesdays through Saturdays) and he could roll out a "Red Carpet" tour for you... just let me know if you're interested!

Blessings, love, light, and peace,

Anonymous said...

Good Morning, Mary.
I can see your beautiful smile as I read your note each time! I am so glad you are enjoying the park. Best wishes for the next step.
Love and peace,

anna and art said...

the other day we had a thunderstrorm move into l.a., very unusual at this time of year. the dusk before the sky went pink and a huge rainbow cut it's way through it! our whole neighborhood came out into the intersection to view it. all together we said wow! awesome! incredible!

wishing you rainbows outside your window.

xo anna

Lucienne said...

Dearest Mary,
Your message makes me happy. I hear that you are spotting other creatures more so than unlifted kneecaps! I imagine that you find yourself sometimes balancing on that branch in the city park, overlooking life from a very different perspective. Indeed mother nature offers these remarkable ways of seeing if one is prepared to be with her rythm. So I am a fan of stalkers like you in the park:)
Once I had an unexpected encounter with a tree:
It happened during a yoga intensive at the AV Gurukulam. After the morning yoga lesson I walked out into the back yard with my head full of vrrtis, when something suddenly ordered me to stop. The forcefulness of this request was so strong that I stumbled backwards and looked up. A majestic big tree was looking down on me, saying: "What is all the fuss about? Do you really belief your thoughts are so important that they need analysis? Look at me, here I am, for years and years now, having absorbed all the forces of nature. Look again, how strong are my roots, how stable and balanced my trunk...and...don't my branches reach out in all directions of the world while my leaves are kindly greeting all beings around me? Look!"
After the tree 'spoke' to me I sat down in front of it and observed him for a long while. We remained silently there, the tree and I. My turbulent thoughts went straight through my trunk into the soil below me.
Sometimes I am asked at what level I study yoga , or, who is my teacher. I would like to add this tree to my list. He must be the most senior!
I send you all my love and will keep you in my thoughts tomorrow, lucienne.

Barbara Nicol said...

Dear Mary,

I am pleased to say that I just received an email from Tenzin Geyche, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's recently retired secretary.

He wrote, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama is presently in Hamburg, Germany and I have immediately made a request for His Holiness to remember Mary Dunn in His prayers. You may kindly inform her accordingly.

With best wishes,

Tenzin Geyche Tethong

Office of H. H. the Dalai Lama
Thekchen Choeling
McLeod Ganj - 176 219
Dharamsala, H.P.

I'm so happy His Holiness is praying for you.


Kate R said...

Dear Mary,

I am thinking of you often, dreaming about you, wishing you complete healing on your journey. THank you for all you do in representing what yoga truly is, the practice and evolution and sharing...somehow you become brighter and more present each time I see you. I remember all the times waking at 4:00 am to take the three hour journey to your class...and it always sustains me for a long time to come. Thank you for being you,, and may all the healing you continuously bring to others be returned to you a thousand fold. WIth endless love and appreciation, Kate Rabinowitz East Hampton

Anonymous said...

Dearest Mary,
It is so wonderful to still hear your voice through your blogging. You are still guiding and teaching all of us with your amazing spirit, curiosity and full embrace of all life (while taking good care of yourself)!
I am blessed to be part of your circle of life.
Keep up your powerful, positive thoughts and healing. My heart is with you every step of the way.
With Love,
Cynthia W.

Dana Olson said...

Hi Mary!
Yesterday morning I had just clicked onto your blog when my mother called...so I was sitting there kind of gazing at the computer screen when two words popped out at me: grey parrots!! Funny how the mind works...my grey parrot Lucy was upstairs immitating the sound of the phone ringing at that moment!!
Did you by any chance see "Pale Male" (the story of the red tailed hawks living in NYC) on PBS last night? I thought of you, seeing the beautiful shots of Central Park...and the connection those birds created among all different types of people! I'm so glad that you have that wonderful oasis to visit!
Thanks for keeping us connected to you and to each other!
Continuing to send healing energy your way!
Dana & Charlie

Traci said...

Dear Mary-- All of us here at Omega Institute have you in our thoughts and prayers. Your spirit is an inspiration!

Much love,

Yvonne said...

Dearest Mary
I trust that all went well with your second treatment this week and that Nature is with you to contain and heal in the appropriate space, rhythm and time.
With much love, respect and appreciation

lisa jo landsberg said...

dear mary,

today in boulder the sky is overcast and the air is moist and cool. there has been some rain. it is unusual for us this time of year. it is calming and refreshing.

here's a poem for you that i'm going to write right now:

better now
toe in
glimpse the quiet
perfect woods
before the animals
come home
to slumber
under moist
leaves left
scattered by rattling
wind old storms
beautiful storms
that sound
that perfect sound
of rain on
tin on thin
leaves on
anything when
the ground
has been so dry
this pool forms
toe in
dreams down there
dreams up here
asleep awake
all the great
assembled fibers
making it up
as it goes along

i love you,
lisa jo

Linda said...

Dear Mary, I took sketchy notes on your eloquent speech at the 2004 IYNAUS Convention in Minneapolis, Parampara. You corrected by notes and below is the revised text that appeared on a local Iyengar yoga website. I have shared your gems of wisdom with many and thought this was an opportunity to share with many more. Your words, teaching and actions continue to inspire me. In exchange, I am sending my love and healing thoughts back to you.

Linda Nishio, Altadena, CA

Stages of Integration; Stages of Learning by Mary Dunn, 2004

First we learn the shape of the asana, over and over and over and over. Then we learn the actions and interactions that make the shape and discover the finer details of technique. We begin with the outward look of the posture and then we move to the inward experience of the posture. Along the way we encounter obstacles. Freedom and understanding in the poses are not there in the beginning practice of the postures. As we attend to obstacles in our yoga practice, we begin to realize those obstacles in our practice remind us of obstacles in our everyday lives. Our yoga practice becomes a mirror of how we live our lives. Often our study leads to reading about yoga and this reading helps us become clearer in our own practice. We begin to relate our yoga practice into our principles of living in society, yamas, and within ourselves, niyamas. Mature and steady practice of the asanas then brings us to steady consideration of these yamas and niyamas. Yoga teaches us how to live fully in the moment and helps us deal with crises in our lives. It also teaches us how to be a good friend, a good neighbor, a positive member of the community. Self study involves coming to grips with our own ego and not seeing everything from same place. How we do things, not just what we do, is important in our yoga. We learn actions are what we live with. Clarity, a sense of direction, strength and the place we come from are not only yoga techniques, but are all-important life skills.

Ruthe said...

Dear Mary,

It is so pleasing to hear that you are improving. It is also great to hear of your travels and time spent with family and loving friends. Mazal tov on the occasion of your daughter and grandson's b'nai mitzvah. I think I understood you to say it was for each of them. In any event I'm sure it was a joyous occasion.

I continue to send you healing thoughts and prayers for your speedy and complete recovery.With much love.