• Today’s questions: There are cracks in your armour, your protection: What light is wanting to be known?
• Today's suggested practice: Day 17 of this month's practice, to practice for yourself, your wants, the things you yearn for (see Kendra Cunov’s short “Notes Towards Self Practice” below)
• My practice: 4:30am; 100 minutes of yoga and meditation, Anchor the Light practice for the New Moon in Cancer
• My vulnerability practice: Allow the chaos to be the nourishment, the rough order I do not yet know but that I experience as opening me to this unknown moment…
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Hans Peter Meyer
The value of the wise men in my life is hard to overstate.
There have been few. Very few. And I consider myself one of the lucky ones: I actually havea wise man or two to help me as I struggle through this life.
You may have one of these wise men in your life right now, and you may not even know it. That is the nature of wisdom shared with youth or inexperience —or, too often in my case, with arrogance and hubris. I rarely know the full measure of the wisdom that is shared with me until I see it in the rearview mirror. Not too late, perhaps. (It is never too late for wisdom, because wisdom comes always in its own time and is its own reward.) But certainly dimmed.
To know this wisdom I need to slow down. Pull over. Break the momentum, as Stephen Jenkinson might say, and reflect on what I’ve not been paying sufficient attention to, before I continue. Sometimes these roadside rest stops have given me enough pause to change my direction. Even to follow another path or forest trail entirely.
These woods are dark. Sometimes even the rearview mirror isn’t any help. Still, I do know that slowing down, even stopping, is better than plunging ahead, recklessly. I know that now. A hard lesson has been learned. Perhaps.
One of John Wineland’s precepts for conscious men is true and half-true at the same time. Yes, we —men— need the company of other conscious men, and we need solitude. Absolutely. These have helped me through the dark woods more times then I can count. But we also need what a couple of men’s coaches have referred to as “experienced and seasoned” conscious men. We need wise men.
The ranks of men who would be wise is swelling. Instagram and TikTok, YouTube etc are legion with men who would be leaders. Some may be. But, as the two men I referred to have suggested, it’s one thing to be conscious (or: coming into consciousness); it’s another to have “seasoned experience,” wisdom.
I encourage you, dear reader, to consider who the wise ones are in your life. There are many peers who want to wear that mantle. Men with depth. Women with knowing. Choose well. And, once you’ve chosen, surrender yourself to your path. Your dharma, what the world offers you as your path. Note that choosing a teacher, a wise one, is not something you can do lightly. To benefit, you will be invited to go through hardship, doubt, self-hate, undoing, annihilation of a sort. You may come to hate the path. You may come to hate the teacher. So choose with care. As you would a wife, or a husband. You are trusting this person with your tenderness, and their capacity to shape you is both what you desire and what you fear. Sit with that.
Whatever wisdom I have allowed to penetrate me has not been comfortably received. I have suffered. Eventually, I have sacrificed. The wannabe wise ones on Tiktok or Instagram are not to be trusted with my soul —or yours. Take time. Let the wisdom be known.
One of the greatest wisdom teachers is marriage, and we give Her little regard in this consumer culture of ours.
Again, do not be too quick to enter into the service of a committed relationship. Be even less quick —ie. be so slow that you appear immobile— to leave a committed relationship. When you feel the discomfort of the “dead zone,” the annihilation of your self in its grip, then you are, perhaps, beginning to know its wisdom undoing your notions of love and joy and beauty.
Several days ago I asked a woman who teaches feminine devotion a question, about —in my words— how we, as masculine-identified men, can respond with love to one of the changes in relationship we most hate. That change? The inevitable diminishment of sexual activity (in terms of quantity) in a committed relationship as the “honeymoon phase” wanes. How can we respond, I asked, instead of collapsing into neediness and resentment? The short version of her answer: the beloved finds her lover’s sexual grasping and neediness profoundly unattractive. His persistence in demanding the superficial sexuality of the honeymoon and “first-attraction” makes him ever-more ugly and uninteresting in her eyes and loins. How to respond differently? To know that she wants noting more than to feel his desire, not as juvenile grasping but as mannish and deep and undemanding presence. This is powerfully attractive. For him to want her, but without demand or expectation.
We think we want to rekindle the flames of sexual desire in her. We discover —if and when we have what the Finns call the “sisu” —the special strength and determination to continue to adore and desire, and especially in the face of her apparent disinterest. We discover a beauty and depth in ourselves, but also the deep roots of trust, and the deeper glow of her radiance. This is a quality of “sex” we cannot know until we go through the fire that burns even stronger than our sexual desire for her. It is stronger because for so many of us it is the fire that burns through us and we run away, afraid to know this deep quality of ourselves, the deeper radiance of her love.
It is all “sex.” From the flash of her eyes to how I hold her breath, to the way the wind whispers my desire into her ears, a million miles away. Only a small part of it has to do with my penis. Even less, perhaps, with my ejaculation. For me —for most men I believe— this is hard learning. Herein lies wisdom that cannot be taught, only burned into one’s body and soul.
🌀Opening the mouth of time is like opening the mouth of an alligator -- once opened and staring you directly in the face, there are countless sensations all driven by the same option...the total desire to survive the ordeal. The mouth of time, like the alligator, will eventually get to you as you learn...it's all about the "journey" through the moments. (Guru Singh & Guruperkarma Kaur)
🌀The Conscious Warrior is continuously refining his deepest purpose through dedicated time in solitude and in the company of other conscious men. (John Wineland, Precept 10)
🌀…But they are no substitute for the depth that comes from years of committed spiritual practice and working with teachers and mentors with integrity, who perhaps are spending more time doing their practice than filming it. (Soma Miller)
🌀I’m beginning to trust “no expectations.” (My beloved, my Oracle & Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED PRACTICE
Day 17 of this month's practice:
Please read through first, then ...
Today, set a time —at least five minutes, perhaps 15— when you can be alone and in stillness.
• Stand or sit or lie, with a beautiful and straight spine, firm but relaxed, feeling your feet or your sit bones or hips heavy and connected to the earth;
• Close your eyes;
• Inhale deeply into your belly, letting it become soft and round;
• Exhale by gently and slowly, much more slowly than your inhale, pressing your navel to your spine,
• And listen to Kendra Cunov’s few minutes on practice:
When you’re done, stand or sit or lie for another minute and breathe gently, slowly filling and emptying your belly. Here, as you breathe into your fullness, ask yourself, Where are cracks in my armour, my protection? What light is wanting to be known?
Notice if your body-mind feels somehow changed. And whether you notice a change or not, be content with yourself, exactly as you are in this moment.
Continue with your day, open to the gifts it brings.
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