Saturday, April 3, 2010

On the way home

I am in the Phoenix airport after a lovely sojourn to Prescott. We had a fun time- mostly oriented around a stay at Lee Lozowick's ashram- which also coincided with my friend Aaron Funk's visit to the ashram to do some tattoo work. Aaron is a world class tattoo artist with a shop in Redlands, California. And so Kelly and I are coming home with some new ink which is fun.

Also news is that I met with the team at Hohm Press while I was there. They have accepted my book for publication and it will come out in Spring 2011. So that is a thrill, to say the least. Working title: My Body is a Temple, My Heart is a Shrine: Using Yogic Principles to Build a Life of Practice and Personal Connection with the Divine. So I am really pleased about that. We have some small things to work out and to correct but it is a go and it is a huge relief to have that in motion finally.

Let's see- I had one of those amazing- synchronisitc- universe- teaching -me -moments on the way to the airport today. I am not sure I can capture the profundity of it quickly but I can perhaps outline the gist of it.

Threads of the back story:
  • I have been in a deep consideration this year about dharma- about my purpose and mission and my heart's intention.
  • I have spent three lovely, deep, rewarding and intense weeks teaching with a lot of focus and delight with so much insight and inspiration to process that I am full to the brim, completely tired and totally on fire.
  • I ended the three week stint with a visit to the ashram which was in high gear while I was there with a celebration, with people getting tattoos, with my teacher's current health challeneges and an impending move to a new property and so on. Plus, it is just a heightened energetic field in general and it always stirs things up in wonderful and sometime challenging ways.
  • in the midst of all of this I have also been pondering and reflecting on how nothing can really change in the inner life without love. without radical acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion because our worst behavior is almost always coming from some abandoned aspect of self, just clamoring for love, attention and recognition. To manhandle ourselves into being better, to turn yoga into yet another lifetime self-improvement project based on the assumption we are flawed is just not going to shift us in the deepest way. To me, the thing is love. we seriously need our own understanding. We may have great flashes of warrior-like clarity where we think we can really "do it" this time but if that recognition is coming out of self-hatred or condemnation, be sure it won't last. (My opinion. Lasting change comes from love.)
  • I had just finished reading a great quote from The Daily D which really summed up a lot of what I had been thinking about.-In a paradox, opposites do not negate each--they cohere in mysterious unity at the heart of reality. Deeper still, they need each other for health, as my body needs to breath in as well as breath out. But in a culture that prefers the ease of either-or thinking to the complexities of paradox, we have a hard time holding opposites together...when I yield to the endless interplay of living and dying, dying and living, the life I am given will be real and colorful, fruitful and whole." Parker J Palmer - Let Your Life Speak
  • Meanwhile, Gia and I were in a text discussion about creating sacred space as yoga teachers and taking a stand for yoga being a refuge in the madness of modern culture and how important it is that the sanctity of studios, practice halls and community be created, tended, nurtured and how there seems to be a trend in the popular yoga world to bring elements of the sleeping world into these sacred gatherings. Now this is not wrong in and of itself and I am not some kind of yogic purist nor do I want to be a yoga police but I wonder sometimes if we are running the risk of becoming too casual in a way. And I worry about the cost for some of those choices. For instance, how many people came to yoga as an alternative to drugs and alcohol and what I often refer to as The Sleeping World and now find it as part of the "after party?
  • And then I get this letter form a student in the Immersion and the deep opening she experienced as a result of the training. It cracked me wide open and as I read her email in the car rental return parking lot I began to weep. She shared some of her story with me in the most moving way and I realized the depth of my gratitude for this work and this path. And how necessary it is that we provide places of sanctity and safety for each other to look at ourselves, to face what we have ignored, to cultivate love for ourselves and one another.
  • It is a bit hard to capture the immensity of what I am feeling with this but it just tied all the pieces of a conversation up in a lovely way. So anyway, I could write for an hour on any one of these bullet points and now the plane is about to board. I guess the whole thing is just that the way we serve best is often just in being who we are. And when I get a hit of that it is the most satisfying, enlightening and humbling experience I know.
And so more on that tomorrow. Time to get on the plane.

as always, more later.


Anne-Marie Schultz said...

Parker Palmer is great. I love Courage to teach, Let your life speak is really good. To know as we are known, so moving. great books one and all.

mandy eubanks said...

Just LOVEly. Look forward to seeing you this week.

Dale said...

Represent !!!