Monday, December 21, 2009

Here is a slide show that Kelly put together from our Holiday Practice. The music is by a friend of ours and unfortunately the program we used had some kinks so the music stumbles a bit. Sorry about that. But still, the pics are fun so enjoy!

And if you didn't catch it yesterday, here is the video of J-Man:

And one of me playing with John Friend:

Okay- well, we had a really great Immersion this weekend. We focused a lot of time and energy on studying Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and so that was interesting. That text has many riches and it was fun to just explore some very basic concepts that he outlines. Daunting, but fun. This Immersion Group is a lot of fun to be with for me. We are really into the process now and with so much of the groundwork laid out- both in context, content and personality and style- now we just get to keep going deeper. I really enjoyed teaching having come right from the curriculum meetings with everything so fresh in my mind.

On a personal note, what is full in my mind and heart as the year closes is a profound, awesome and humbling sense of gratitude. I find myself trying to speak to it a lot lately and welling up with tears. I feel as though some deep shift within me has happened in the last two years where some knot within me really loosened. (Truth be told it has been loosening all along but you know, the whole onion thing.) I feel like I have stepped into a deeper relationship with my practice, my work and the people with whom I am sharing my life and I feel like something within me has healed. The best way I can express it is to tell a story from my childhood (Some of you have already heard this, so I apologize for the repetition. But as we know, if it is worth hearing once, it is worth hearing more than once...)

When we lived in Rye, NY we were members of the Presbyterian Church and I remember very clearly being outside that church playing with the minister's children while our parents were doing something inside. We got to talking about God and whether or not we believed in God. I did. But I have a very distinct memory of feeling that God did not know who I was. I remember praying and praying with a feeling of loneliness in my heart that He couldn't hear me or my prayers. (I know, deep thoughts for a 7- year old kid, huh?)

So I tell that story because every time I sit in front a room to teach yoga, to lead a practice and I open myself to the fullness of it, I remember that feeling from when I was really little and a small voice inside me whispers, "You were heard. This is the answer." You see, Grace, to me, is not an etheric thing at all. Grace, to me, is present in the community of people who I teach, with whom I practice, learn, study, worship, play, eat, and explore. It's very real and immediate. Like my spiritual teacher says, "God does not live in the sky." God, it seems to me, lives in our hearts, and in this community of people who share the same heart.

And obviously, it isn't always easy to be in a community. I think we all know that. Like Paul Muller Ortega said, "Practice is about fire and nectar." True community, as an expression and agent of Grace will generally have both fire and nectar to offer us so that we grow. But the nectar of love is full in my heart these days. I would say it is a miracle but, well, it is the a kind of miracle that is right here.