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The Day of Introductions (the music) January 20, 2021

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Uncategorized.
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Please join me today (Wednesday, January 20th) at 4:30 PM or 7:15 PM for a yoga practice on Zoom. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. You will need to register for the 7:15 PM class if you have not already done so. Give yourself extra time to log in if you have not upgraded to Zoom 5.0. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below or by emailing myra (at) ajoyfulpractice.com.

Wednesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify.

NOTE: The playlists have different before/after class music. The forthcoming post will include some video links and I may update both playlists accordingly as recordings become available.

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

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Celebrating a “Teacher” Who Lives Well (the Tuesday post) January 20, 2021

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Art, Books, Dharma, Donate, Faith, Gratitude, Healing Stories, Health, Hope, Karma, Life, Love, Music, Mysticism, One Hoop, Pain, Philosophy, Poetry, Science, Suffering, Wisdom, Women, Writing, Yoga.
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[This is the post for Tuesday, January 19th. You can request an audio recording of Tuesday’s practices via a comment below or (for a slightly faster reply) you can email me at myra (at) ajoyfulpractice.com.

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.]

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”


– Dolly Parton


“When I’m inspired, I get excited because I can’t wait to see what I’ll come up with next.”


– Dolly Parton

There are certain puns, specifically homonym puns, that work really well in class but don’t work at all when read. For instance, when you read “the Dolly Lama,” you might think it’s a type-o and that I meant “Llama” – and that I somehow got confused when talking about the famous cloned sheep. However, when I explain that “Lama” is a term for “teacher” and an honorific specifically used in Tibetan Buddhism things become a little clearer. Hearing it, you might think I’m saying “Dalai Lama,” but, when you read it – and I refer to her as she – there’s no confusion about the identity of this famous teacher.

Born today in 1946, Dolly Parton is a seeker, a dreamer, a reader, a writer, a producer, an entrepreneur, a shopper, a philanthropist, a healer, and a teacher – although she has referred to herself as “A poor sinful creature.” Reading that list, you might think, “Oh, Myra, you left out that she’s a musician, a singer.” But, honestly, when I read about the life of Dolly Parton – the well lived life of the “Dolly Lama” – I feel like her being a singer and a musician is one of the list interesting things about her.

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”


– Dolly Parton


“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”


– Dolly Parton

Saying that her music is the least interesting thing about her does not, in any way, take away or dimension her accomplishments as a musician. Dolly Parton and her fans have assured that nothing can do that!

She has written over 3,000 songs and sold more than 100 million records worldwide. She has won ten Grammys (including a Lifetime Achievement Award) and received 50 Grammy nominations. She has also won ten Country Music Awards (CMA) and is one of only seven women to win the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year Award. Plus, she has five Academy of Country Music Awards, four People’s Choice Awards, three American Music Awards, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. While she is not an EGOT (a winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony), she has been nominated at least once for all four awards. She’s the focus of a podcast, Dolly Parton’s America, but for anyone thinking she’s just an American Country music star, keep in mind that her biggest audience (170,000 people) was in Scotland. Also, keep in mind that she’s not done yet! She’s still living and still writing.

She’s also still married, which might be a surprise for people who just know a song or two. Dolly Parton married Carl Thomas Dean on May 30, 1966. He’s not much for the spotlight and, last time I checked, had only seen her perform live once, but they’ve made it work for 55 years… and counting. She has said that he’s very romantic and that it’s their first marriage; then – with her customary twang – explained that it’s also their LAST marriage. And that right there, his romance combined with her humor (and twang), might be part of the reason their marriage works.

“I’m more successful now than I was then, but I still feel like the same girl. I’m just a working girl. I never think of myself as a star because, as somebody once said, ‘A star is nothing but a big ball of gas,’ – and I don’t want to be that.”


 – Dolly Parton’s response when asked how different she was from 1964 when she first arrived in Nashville, in an October 24,2014, billboard article entitled, “Dolly Parton Q & A: The Country Legend on 50 Years in Nashville and Why She Supports Her Gay Fans” by Deborah Evans Price


Another reason behind her successful marriage might be that Dolly Parton has never forgotten where she came from and has a heart that is, metaphysically speaking, bigger than her whole body. Through her Dollywood Foundation, she has raised money and awareness for disaster relief (close to her home in Tennessee and overseas); HIV/AIDS related charities; cancer treatment; the ethical treatment of animals; and bald eagle conservation. She has also donated her time, energy, and considerable talent to these causes. Not to mention the fact that she has used her considerable wealth and clout to create jobs in economically-depressed areas. In 2020, she donated $1 million towards COVID-19 research and encouraged others (if they could afford it) to do the same. A few months later, Vanderbilt University announced that her donation helped fund the research that produced the Moderna vaccine.

Dolly Parton reads about 50 books a year and promotes literacy through her foundation. In fact, one of the biggest ongoing Dollywood Foundation programs is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which gives each enrolled child a book a month, from birth until they reach kindergarten (age 5). As of today, 1,761,167 children in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland have received 150,606,052 books! Can you imagine the imagination that is driven by some much reading??

“It was [ahead of its time]; and it did a lot of good. But, it evidently didn’t do enough good because we’re going to always have the same problems in the workplace with women and men….and there’s still work to be done. I still believe that women should get paid equal and should be treated with respect. I’m all about that, you know, and I don’t get out and have to preach it or march in the streets, I write about it.”


– Dolly Parton talking about the importance of the movie 9 to 5, in a 2019 ABC News Special entitled “Dolly Parton: Here She Comes Again!” with Robin Roberts


It is Dolly Parton’s imagination and hard work that have driven her to create so much wonder, beauty, and fun in the world. In addition to everything else – including helping to raise several of her 11 siblings (she is the fourth of 12) – Dolly Parton has written seven books (including a cookbook); appeared in eight films; and created a theme park, a water park, multiple entertainment centers, and a production company.

“You’d be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap!”


– Dolly Parton


“People say, ‘How you stay looking so young?’ I say, ‘Well, good lighting, good doctors, and good makeup.’


– Dolly Parton in a February 2019 BBC “Newsnight” interview with Stephen Smith  


Given all of the above – not to mention the fact that I’ve left some things out – you may be thinking, “What hasn’t Dolly Parton done?” Well, glad you asked. She has never posed nude for Playboy (or anybody else) – despite being asked repeatedly. She did, however, appear on the October 1978 cover… completely covered by a Playboy bunny outfit. She has also, as I previously alluded, had a cloned sheep named in her honor (because it was created using the breast tissue of an adult sheep).

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”


– Dolly Parton


When the big things in your life get messy, you need to get up and get out. I make a point to appreciate all the little things in my life. I go out and smell the air after a good, hard rain. I re-read passages from my favorite books. I hold the little treasures that somebody special gave me. These small actions help remind me that there are so many great, glorious pieces of good in the world.


– quoted from Dream On: Celebrate the Dreamer in You by Dolly Parton


Tuesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify.


“If you see someone without a smile today, give ’em yours.”


– Dolly Parton