Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Morning

I thinking this will be quick today. If I were in Arizona, I would be off to an early start- I woke up here at 8:30 which in Arizona time is 6:30. And after my pranayama and meditation and a cup of tea, I am now looking at the clock with half of the morning gone! Ahh...switching time zones. Anyhoo...

So- I woke up this morning feeling very happy. Not so much tied to anything or about anything just simply feeling a deep level of satisfaction and centeredness. I have been receiving some pretty incredible emails as of late- people sharing their stories and insights of sadhana with me in some very personal, revealing and inspiring ways. I guess that is one thing I love about teaching yoga and doing the work that I do- I get to live in an ongoing conversation about what really matters.

I told the Immersion group this down in Tucson- I have never really been that good at small talk. I couldn't care less about news, weather and sports. I am not politically-minded. I do not follow fashion. I do not know what movies are out and what films are necessary and what music is popular. I really don't. Nor do I care that much about any of it. I was always the person at the party in a corner with someone talking about "What was really going on" more than the person in the middle of the dance floor and so on. That's just me.

So what I love about teaching yoga is that it affords me the opportunity to be in a conversation about what matters most to me. Instead of talking about "What are Brad Pitt and Anjelina Jolie doing?" I get to ask, "What is the nature of Grace?" Instead of "What is the latest model of BMW that every wants? I get to consider, "What do I most truly want? What is my deepest longing and how can I align with that?" Instead of "What movie or concert am I going to see?" I get to ask, "How can every detail of alignment, and every yogic technique be a doorway into the greatest conversation there is?"

To me, that greatest-of-all-conversations begins with "Oh Great Spirit, I long for you, I want to know you, I want to serve you. Please help me. Please show me the way out of my self-centered suffering into something deeper and richer. Please show me how my own suffering can be touchstone of compassion, a reference point from which to serve, and a calling from my heart to touch the hearts of others."

So like that.

And the thing is we get answers for that kind of question that take us into some very interesting territory. It is not a grandiose thing. It does not require a twitter account, a web page, a blog or a Facebook entry. It need not be photographed or videoed to count. We can serve in small and large gestures in the immediacy of what is right in front of us. In what life gives us in every moment. We can smile encouragingly when someone is looking insecure, we can listen patiently when someone is having trouble making their point quickly, we can give ourselves our own loving attention when the more habitual thing would be to ignore ourselves, we can look beyond personality conflict into the heart of our seeming opposition, we can breathe deeply before speaking out in anger and so on. There are so many ways to enter into that great conversation of "I want to know You, please show me how."

To me Grace is not some etheric thing. How am I going to know Grace fully? How will I learn to serve its flow? Well, I am pretty sure a huge part of that knowledge is going to come to me through my relationships, through my circumstances and through my contemplative Self-study. One thing I am pretty certain of is that its not going to be some lightening bolt of compassion that suddenly grants me dominion over my bad habits, my uncooked seeds of resentment, jealousy, insecurity and self-doubt. Nope, Grace is going to help me by giving me so many ways to help myself and by providing me with so many people to help me and by presenting me with one opportunity after another to see myself clearly in all my glory and in all my madness and so on.

Really, we are the agency of Grace. Each one of us.

And that conversation is gonna take practice.


Katie Cain said...

I love your blog, Christina, and hope to have the opportunity to study with you some time. Blessings!

A Journey For Life said...

Powerful!! I have been following your blog for sometime as I find it helpful in my teaching and personal practice, but that last few postings have really expanded my heart even more, so deep. Namaste!

Anonymous said...

I've never been good at small talk either and it's been awful in the past because I'll be labeled as a snob because of it.

I'm looking forward to being a yoga teacher in part for this reason as well.