Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spirit Shed

Today's Washington Post has an article about a high school in Chantilly, VA with a marvelously inspired outbuilding called a Spirit Shed.  The reason the Post found it newsworthy was that it is being demolished to make room for road improvement.

I wondered, "What's a Spirit Shed"? and then, "How nice that a high school in Chantilly had a Spirit Shed."  And finally "Maybe I need one for myself." 

In the past, when I've thought about a dedicated space for prayer or meditation, the structure had the shape of a Japanese Tea House, eventually involving gardens of moss and stone with koi ponds, arching bridges and 40 year old wisteria vines.

Now I see that I need a more practical approach.  It will be a simple structure.  Neighbors will walk by and ask, "What's that in your backyard?" and I'll say, "Oh, that's the Spirit Shed."  I can even paint the alley side with large lettering that reads, "SPIRIT SHED".  I'll invite people in to take a look.  The newspaper will come and do an article on it.  Before long people up and down Veazey Street and 37th and from even further away will be constructing Spirit Sheds of their own.  They will become so popular that Home Depot and Sears will have them pre-made and available from their on-line catalogues. 

For the Spiritual Do-It-Yourselfer

Handsome 12 x 12 Spirit Shed.  Guaranteed for Many Lifetimes.  Fits perfectly into any backyard.  Customer reviews report that once spiritual lives are in order, everything is in order.  This must-have for your spiritual tool box is maintenance free, creating even more time for your spiritual needs.  Do yourself a favor and order your Spirit Shed today.  Assembly Required.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


At the beginning of yoga class, teachers often say "close your eyes and set an intention for your practice."  Again at the end of class they will ask the class to recall their intentions.

My intentions vary.  Originally they were along the lines of, "Intention?  What the hell's an Intention?".  After a few months of that I began setting the intention, "To Survive the Class". 

Now my most common intention has been "Healing for Myself."  Some days I practice at a higher level and intend, "Healing for Others" or "Being a Good and Holy Person All Day Long" or the simplified version of that, "Not Being a Snot to My Family". 

Today the intention that came to me was "Strength".  To be strong in class and after class.  I'm not the strongest practitioner.  I'm a back row weenie.  I do chaturangas on my knees and side plank with one knee down.  Headstands are science fiction.  

But today was my Strong day.  Even so, there came a point when I substituted a "Fuck That Asana" and just lay on my back while the rest of the class did ab work.  Still, it was a great practice - one of my best.  I like practicing next to Josh who also modifies all of his poses. 

I'm going to start keeping a list of my yoga intentions in the word processing document where I keep a daily weight log.  Today will read:

February 2, 2011 STRENGTH  142 pounds

(Which is not really my fault.  It must have been last night's salty Gruyere and Sausage Stratta that did it, or maybe it was the third serving.  So much for good intentions.)