Monday, August 4, 2008

Blog August 4, 2008

I did get home the hospital and settled back into my apartment. I will be here for a few more days and then take some time at my daughter’s at Westchester for family visiting. My former husband, Roger, and brother and his wife are both coming to see me there as well as a wonderful friend from Colorado. In the meantime, Dean and Rebecca Lerner have been here along with my daughter Louise and her husband nursing me back to better than I have felt in weeks.

This morning the lure of the light and crispness of the air pushed me out for an early walk to Hudson River, the first walk of consequence in quite some time. In the hospital, I had a fall while escorting a very tall lean pole. The fall and hospital goings on curtailed my walking. But walking is improving and I am more secure day by day.

I can report big improvement in the nausea--eating loop too. I am attributing it to Slippery Elm powder suggested by the Learners, which so far has proved, if not miraculous, at least close.

All this improvement is certainly good for my spirits and balances out the bells and whistles I have attached to me (the devices attached to my midsection for draining etc.)

I am continuing to live day by day and enjoy the good times.

With love,


ItaliANAdiNewYork said...

Dear Mary,

What better way to end my working day than hearing you are doing better! I am thrilled! We think of you and whenever you are ready 'latte di mandorla' it's on its way to you.


Anastasia, Philip, the boys, Stefania and Elvira

karynissa said...

Dear Mary,
So happy to hear your thoughts today, as always they put a smile on my face. I hope when you are able to travel to Greenwich you will come by for a hug and some lemonade. I am sending you light and love, Karyn Ginsberg

Mary Beth Early said...

Dear Mary,

You brightened all our hearts with this encouraging news! Your previous post caused me to consider more deeply all that you have meant to me and so many others. Here are some of the many qualities you have modeled and imprinted in our hearts:
May all these gifts be returning to you in the circle of love of your friends and family!

Sending love and healing thoughts,

Mary Beth

Barbara Nicol said...

Dear Mary,

So nice to have good news from you. I wanted to write to you at once, but was wondering what to say until I picked up a cherished letter of mine from a Tibetan lama.

He wrote, "The more devotion you have then all the Gurus, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all the other Gurus, as well as all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, they are all there with you all the time. Numberless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are with you always. Think that they are always cherishing you and that they are working especially for you. So you have to think this way, that always in your room, and wherever you are if you are seriously practicing dharma, you are always surrounded by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas."

I don't normally post my private letters on the Web!, but he conveyed to me the sentiment I most wanted to share with you.


Jenny said...

Yes! A blog from Mary. I have checked many times and feel such satisfaction at having found more of your wonderful words. Your never faltering communication of all who are holding you in such closeness of heart is amazing. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better. May it continue so you can enjoy all those who love you so much there with you. Love to you from me. Jenny

Bud Skiba said...

Dear Mary,

So nice to read that you are doing better and that Dean and Rebecca are now visiting you.

I am reminded often of your comments when performing certain poses that you have helped me with. Looking forward to your next blog message.

With much love and respect.

Bud Skiba

pIp said...

Dear Mary:
It's so good to hear from you here in Pune. I am having an amazing time. Nothing could have prepared me for the rigors of India--especially the railroad trip from Bombay to here. But your amazing teaching over these years has prepared me well for RIMYI. I'm so thankful I already know something about straightening my elbows and lifting my chest.
Love, Jack

cheryl said...

Dear Mary,
God Bless Slippery Elm and Dean for suggesting it to you......I am sending you healing energy....with love and gratitude your friend and student, cheryl

Jen said...


You are in my thoughts daily. I'm happy to read an update from you. I send my love. And I will continue to hold you in my prayers and thoughts.

Chris Buck said...

So so happy with this news.
Blessings are bestowed on us and I'm so thankful.
I send you Love,
Chris Buck

Nancy Lesko said...

Dear Mary,

Your ability to observe and delight in the ups and downs of your health and life continues to be an inspiration. I'm so encouraged to read your latest posting.

With enormous respect and gratitude,
Nancy Lesko

Maureen said...

Hi Mary,
So wonderful to see your posting and so happy to hear that Dean and Rebecca are with you.
Lots of healing prayers and love comin' your way!...Maureen

Suzanne Kanner said...

Dear Mary,
Just want you to know I am with you, and so happy to hear you are enjoying life day by day.
You are a source of inspiration!
With lots and lots of love and great admiration,
Suzanne Kanner

Tlaine G. McGillicuddy said...

(My name is Elaine, not Tlaine but I can't correct it.)

Dear Mary,

Bless you for including your blogspot address in the Fit Yoga article! I had heard you were ill, but your blogspot allows me to enter the inner sanctum of your community. I understand well why you are so loved by your students and friends because I've had a handful of precious substantial opportunities to be in your presence, to learn from you, and to catch your bright joy in yoga.

One of several was a life-changing 10 day yoga workshop/retreat you taught at Hampshire College in the mid-80's. Remember the participant who would arrive early to Pranayama class to sketch on the blackboard outlandish combinations of yoga poses to which he would give Sanskrit names like (my concoction here, not his:) Parvritta Virabhadrasana III, but he would string lots of parts to it including Ardha and Utthita! I'll never forget those early morning Pranayama classes. You had such a reverence for this practice, new to me, I was often moved to tears.

The best time of all, however, was in 1989, going to Pune with you and your New York group. I'll never forget your solicitous care of me when my neck "went out" during the flight to India. Once there you brought me to Guruji who gave me individual attention throughout my nine week stay in Pune.

Just to catch you up on our doings: My husband Francis remembers you well. Going on 81 next month he's been practicing yoga since his mid-50's. And I, 73 next month also, am still teaching 2 yoga classes a week at Portland Yoga Studio which 23 founded and ran for 16 years, until another teacher took over in 2005. We also bring yoga weekly to the local jail.

You have a big place in my heart Mary. I will be accompanying you now with your other loved ones.

Much love and gratitude,
Elaine McGillicuddy of Portland Maine

Elaine G. McGillicuddy said...

Ok! I corrected the spelling of my name.

But then I made a new typo ---- a literal slip of the finger: "...Studio which 23 founded" should read "...Studio which WE founded!"


Liz Owen said...

Dear Mary,

I am thinking of you often and following your brave and wonderful blogs with so much appreciation for you. I am so glad you are well taken care of and in your home. All good thoughts and prayers are with you.

Much love,
Liz Owen

ann said...

Dearest Mary,
I first experienced you in Hawaii and then introduced you to my sisters—in Idaho! We all remember how hard we laughed and how infectious your teaching and yoga was for our practice. You were so inspiring that I left Idaho for San Diego to study with you. Such good yoga memories.....wishing you peace.
Love and Light,

Annie Richards--Jools, Stella, and Gina

Marc Z said...

Dear Mary,

How glad I was (and continue to be) to find yet another episode of your blog stories. Welcome home I'm sure you feel, whether @ your apartment or your daughter's domicile.

I wholeheartedly echo Mary Beth Early's "qualities list" she sent! You've shown me those and others in the so short year plus I've known you. Remarkable what you've conveyed in each of those discreet and precious times.

Oh my, how I relate to the possible topsy-turvyness escorting those "lean poles!" They often seemed to me only partly driven by my efforts, with equal or greater exertion applied by its four wheels, each seemingly with their own, sometimes confusing agenda! I also remember on occasion absent-mindedly trying to take in the flood of blinking lights and unusual sounds that'd arrive while locomoting down hospital hall. Even on the floor, I felt to be somewhere inheritantly more than just safe. All the while, the absence of stability was compensated by the rich smiles of staff and other patients I'd greet. I've had that "surprise/kaboom-to-floor" feeling once at Institute too (w/out pole but much surprise!), and smiled there more broadly!

I'm dearly glad to know your nausea's lessened, but don't wish for you hunger noises to become loud enough to overpower those bells and whistles accompanying you. On other hand, will be glad when you no longer need the bells and whistles.

And I'm especially happy to know day by day you're seeing good times. You do have many dear friends, and I look forward to next hug.

Continue healing and marveling at what there is to acknowledge, the many shapes and sounds for which there are to smile,

Marc Zarowin (zipping along nicely via MBT!)

Sue Shapiro said...

So happy to find a new post from you and that you by now (August 6th) staying with your daughter, surrounded by some of the many many people who love you. Your blog is so inspiring as you continue to teach profound lessons about the fullness of the present moment--the joy at the relief of some symptoms and the return of some strength. So much that most of us take for granted every day.
I also love reading the posts by everyone in your huge sangha--some whose names I recognize, many I don't but feel a deep connection with. All of us with lives deeply touched and made better by you. I keep thinking of the Hebrew phrase "Tikun Olam" repairing the world. There is the idea that in making a difference in even one person's life you are repairing the world. You've made a difference in so many lives and are loved by so many. As you said several posts ago, you just wish there was more time. We all do and in the time we have together surround you with love and peace.


Oya H said...

All my love is coming to your way Mary...


Andrew Thorpe said...

Hi Mary,

You are in my thoughts and prayers. You have had such a positive impact on so many. I hope you bathe in all the love and it brings you much joy and contentment.
Andrew Thorpe

Trinh Bui-Kokkoris said...

Dear Mary,

It's wonderful to hear that you are enjoying every moment. I admire you for your courage and on-going optimism. I saw you teaching a few months ago and you were in great spirits. You inspire me whenever I'm feeling my unsusual self.

I truly believe that strength comes from within and the importance of maintaining a strong mind coupled with compassion. You unremarkedly possess all.

With love and admiration,

John Dreger said...

Dear Mary-
I was so glad to see an entry from you yesterday. I'm glad you are feeling better and in the company of people you love.
I wanted to share with you some words that make me think of you. They come from Plato's seventh letter, in which he explains to his friend Dion why, despite his voluminous writing, he never actually wrote down anything about the deepest and most important aspects of his philosophy: "It does not admit of exposition like other branches of knowledge; but after much converse about the matter itself and a life lived together, suddenly a light, as it were, is kindled in one soul by a flame that leaps to it from another, and thereafter sustains itself."
Please know that that flame continues to burn in me, as it does in many, many people, because of you.
Be well, and enjoy your time with your family and friends.

mahesh said...

Dear Mary,
Last week I came to know that you are my teacher's teacher and I felt connected with you. And today I got the mail for Iyengaryoga NYC about you.

I pray the oneness for your health and happiness.

I like to mention a quote which I received from one of my teacher:

Take care.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mary,
Sooo nice to hear from yau and that you are doing better... You have touched so many lives... we all think about you and love you dearly.

Gandharva said...

Dear Mary,
I let my skin to be transparent.
I send you all my love.


Gandharva said...

Dear Mary,
I let my skin to be transparent.
I send you all my love.


Gandharva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Norma Colón said...

Dearest Mary,

SO MUCH LOVE GOES OUT TO YOU DAILY. Mine is certainly flowing abundantly. What a blessing you have been to us, and continue to be.

Stay possitive and wonderful!


Kathy Jo said...

Dear Mary,
I hold you deeply in my heart, and carry your strength and devotion daily in my practice.
How good to know that Dean and Rebecca are there to nurture and support you on this journey.
Kathy Jo

Frank said...

Dear Mary,
Hope you are feeling well today!
I wanted to share a therapy my Mom and my neighbor did instead of conventional cancer treatment - it is called Gerson Therapy. It works by cleansing the body and giving it the best chance to heal.

Happy Healing,
Frank and Ada W.
(friend of Patricia F. and Tree M.)

gayle miranda said...

Dear Mary,
Glad to hear you are spending time with your family.
I feel privileged to read your inspiring words. As I read each blog, I can hear your unique voice and I wonder- Shouldn't I be in Tadasana or holding Adho Mukha Svanasana!
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
With love and gratitude,
gayle miranda

Yogarosa said...

Dear Mary,
We send you loving thoughts, prayers, and gratitude from South Florida. We are thankful to you as you continue to light our paths. Namste from Rosa and friends.

Bill said...

Dear Mary,
Thank you for so many things. I keep you in my thoughts often now.
Bill M.

Roberta said...

Dear Mary,
Sending you immense amounts of love and light for a continued healing.

Om shanti,

David Warren said...

Dear Mary:
I hope your body heals real soon. Keep on smiling! Sending you postive thoughts and blessings. Hope to see you soon.

Gloria said...

Dear Mary: I have not been able to comment to your blog as I didn't remember my password so I used my husbands. I have sent
ecards to your email address and hope that is okay. I miss you and think of you often. You really are the reason I began iyengar; as I have mentioned before, years ago Steven Friedman sent me to see you in New York and from you I started working with Karin O'Bannon .
I actually met Dean once on Montana and I was introduced to him by one of your avid feathered pipe fans ... Kathy Brisko??? Anyway, now that I can get in here, I will be writing alot. I'm working with Kevin...he is Manuso without the mood swings. Love you sooooo much and miss you. Love Gloria...James said you were beginnning to belive in Miracles. As do I, I even signed up for all your summer classes in hopes that that would produce a miracle. I have faith that you will regain your strenth and health. Love Gloria Bleezarde

Arnold said...

Dearest Mary,

I haven't seen you in a while but i have been thinking of you often and keep you in my prayers. Thanks for all of your kindness and teaching.

I know i will see you again soon.



Frank said...

Check out the DVD "Cancer Conquests" by Integrative medicine advocate, Burton Goldberg. There is a short preview of it on

I have two DVDs to lend out to my patients. All end stage cancers can be reversed 85 - 90% of all end stage cancers. Not by conventional treatment, by alternative with the best of conventional medicine. This DVD will change your consciousness regarding cancers and the financial, political bondgae USA physicians find themselves in in treating patients with cancer. You will see how many US doctors are getting reversals 90% of the time using cutting edge treatments being upgraded every year in Germany.

Alternative Health Consultant

Burton Goldberg - Alternative Cancer Therapy Advocate
Do No Harm Productions, LLC

Prof. Keith Scott-Mumby M.D.,M.B. Ch.B., Ph.D.

Alternative Medicine Patients may fly in for the initial one-day evaluation, then be treated locally.

James W. Forsythe, M.D., H.M.D. (Cancer)
Century Wellness Clinic
521 Hammill Lane, Reno, NV 89511

Mark A. Rosenberg, M.D. (Cancer)
The Institute for Healthy Aging
101 NW 1st Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444

Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D. (Cancer)
Linda L. Isaacs, M.D.
36A East 36th Street, Suite 204, New York, N.Y. 10016

Filiberto Muñoz, M.D. (Cancer, MS, Auto-immune, CFS, Candida)
San Diego Clinic
Paseo Tijuana 406, Suite 503, Edif. Lloyd
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico 22000

Frank Mariglia, SAc, LMT

kenya said...

Dear Mary:

Thinking of you and sending healing thoughts.

Kenya Brome

Sandi said...

Dear Mary,

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of you. Glenn and Penney and I send you our warmest thoughts and we hold you always in our hearts. I really enjoyed opening Fit Yoga and seeing the beautiful, precise Iyengar poses. As I read the lovely tribute to you and your mom, I realized again how deeply you have influenced all of us. We love you,

Sandi, Glenn and Penney

jwalker said...

Dearest Mary,
Jennifer and I are leaving Monday the 11th for two and a half months to do a play together in La Jolla, CA. Take care and know we are as always sending love, light and warm thoughts. Have great travels and visits of your own. I will send your regards to Jo Zukovich in San Diego. I arrive Monday night and take class with her on Thursday. Can't wait! xoxoxo Jonathan Walker

anne said...

Dear Mary,
Peter Yount's daughter Lindsay was married Sat. Aug. 9 in Augusta, GA. It was lovely and well-planned as one would expect from Avis and Peter. All send love to you. 11 Atlanta Shufords were there so you know things were spirited. Parmalee is planning her wedding for Jan. 3rd in Atlanta so she and Helena were taking notes. She is to be in a wedding next weekend 8/16 at a castle? on the Hudson. David and Helena are going and would like to stop by to say hello to you if you will be up for that. You know that Barbara and I were hoping to visit you this coming week but with Roger and Eliz. Wally there perhaps another time would be better? Know that we think of you and send our love constantly.
Rooney, Barbara and Annie

Jyoti Chrystal said...

Hello Dear Mary;
I am so happy you are doing better and out of the hospital. Happy that your wonderful attitude is an anchor and beacon for you. I also used Slippery Elm with Licorice root during the first four months of my diagnosis. Really did the trick for my colon and the vomiting.

I pray for you and salute you as a yogi of great integrity and a model of commitment and intention. Your life's work is a model for all of us.

Keep up the good work.
With love,
Jyoti Chrystal

Richard Jonas said...

Dear Mary, as you walk along the Hudson, there are others following in your footsteps, matching their pace to yours, and leaning in close to hear your unique words of wisdom, teachings about Iyengar Yoga or about life. In the questions students ask about about you, in the dedication of our classes and our practices to you, in the Saturday guided practice at the Institute, we are all with you, each step of the way. love, Richard

Richard Jonas said...

Dear Mary,

as you take your walk along the Hudson River, there are many footsteps following along, many paces matching themselves to yours, many ears leaning in to gather your words of wisdom, about Iyengar Yoga and about life. (No one wants to miss one!) In the questions about you from students, while dedicating our practices and our classes to you, at the Saturday night open practices, we are all with you, each step of the way. Love, Richard

Janna Peterson said...

Dearest Mary: Thoughts and prayers are with you as you spend healing time with family and friends. Called my mom with your latest news and information about the Saturday evening on-going supportive practice at the NY Institute. We're both joining this in our own time (she on west coast time and I before my husband gets home for dinner).
A small note that I've written a song for you... all those years of piano lessons and singing in a church choir lead me to composing not only songs for my Kids' Yoga classes, but now to a song dedicated to my very best teacher -and that would be you! Sorry I can't sing it on the blog. It's three part harmony, with melody, accompaniment, and descant (those really high notes). Here are the words:

Oh, my teacher, you are with me;
Your seeds planted deep in my heart;
Oh my teacher, light on my life, your words guide me right from the start;
We are truly one in spirit, joined together, ne'er to part.

Blessings, light, peace, and love,

Janna and Joann

Jen said...


I trust you are surrounded by the arms and love of your family. What could be more lifting and healing?

I'm going to take this opportunity to express my thoughts even if a public blog isn't my first choice. I join a large group of students who are lucky to call you their teacher. It is largely because of your unwavering commitment, your clear boundaries, gentle insistence and determination that I forge a path deeper in the folds of the Iyengar community. Your direct words at the beginning of my journey clearly stated the expectations. I knew what I had to do and it was up to me. Just a few potent words sunk deep and struck soundly. I hadn't had a positive teacher/student experience prior to joining the training program. I had my fears. It is solely due to your recipe of a cup of clear boundaries, a 1/4 cup of unspoken expectations, a tablesppon of encouragement and 4 cups of generosity that illuminated this path of yoga. I am deeply grateful. It goes beyond yoga and yet it is all yoga.

Keep eating that Slippery Elm.


aretha said...

Dear Mary,
It is always so easy to hear your voice come through in your blogs. It makes me smile. I miss hearing your voice in person, but your blogs are almost as good. I am glad to hear that you are doing better. I think of you often and I send you many prayers of warmth and light. And, I send much love to you as well. With great hopes of hearing continued updates of well being I send warm regards,

Leslie said...

Dear Dear Mary,
As always, your messages and words make me feel cared for and nurtured. And I wish to give something beneficial to you!! I am currently at a place called the Ananda Ashram, taking morning classes with a Dr. Ram Sharma, who is so well seated in his knowledge of Sanskrit and the texts. He recalls passages from the Bhag. Gita and the Yoga Sutras with the same ease that some of us recall the Cat in the Hat or Winnie the Pooh!! Today there was a most interesting talk on Satya, coming from Sat (that which is). Satya means absolutely not deviating from what truly is. This all in relation to the Mundaka Upanishad. (Mundaka means "shaved head", a renunciate).
As always, please know that I think of you every day, and Tony sends you his very best wishes, and Charlotte a divine Woof.

Karen said...

Dear Mary,

This is Nina and Karen coming to you from beautiful Pune, India. We are working hard, enjoying our classes and learning a lot. We are thinking of you daily and remembering many moments of learning from you. The many words of encouragement, the clear guidance to better practice and better teaching, your inspiring and dynamic presence and wonderful smile. You helped us believe that we could do more than we thought we could, and so we did.

We hope your days are filled with family and friends, laughter, and beauty. We send love and healing energy and many thanks.

With love and appreciation,
Nina and Karen