• Today’s questions: How can I receive what I need into my life, right now, for myself?
• Today's suggested practice: Day 6 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: 3:45AM: 90 minutes: Physical yoga practice, followed by Nadi Shadona pranayama/meditation
• My vulnerability practice: I sit and allow all the wanting and the discomfort of this wanting to move, trusting that my presence is all that is required…
Hans Peter Meyer
As a masculine-identified man I have had a lifetime to practice. Why only now, in these later years, am I recognizing the only true calling any man has in this life, to be the husbandman to Her blossoming?
Yesterday it was my granddaughters who practiced me & who showed me my treasure, their radiance…
I know how to sit. I know how to wait. It is my greatest art: to sit and allow Her —whether my granddaughter, my beloved, my mother, my sister, my friend— to bring me everything.
They teach me the art of presence, this small girl-children, my granddaughters. One is in the fullness of her defiant expression against anyone and anything that limits her. She is almost three. The other, hardly more than a bud at five weeks. But even as the barest bud of the feminine, making her needs felt, her comfort the calling that we are attending to.
I am grateful to these young flowers. And, grateful to their parents, whose own ways with these girls teaches me so much about allowing, supporting, listening, holding, and, again, allowing, within the bounds of a safe holding.
A beautiful moment: to watch the elder sister waking. It went like this, with a backstory to begin:
I arrived for my time with the family while this eldest one was still napping. I know that waking from naps is often hard. Even if we wake on our own we are tender, oh so tender to the demands of the world. This world, so wide awake after hours and hours of doing and making and struggling is rough and ready with the waking tenderness. (The late afternoon really is the killing field of our softness and subtlety.) I know this experience well. I napped, religiously, for mental health reasons, for years. Waking can be a struggle.
So I take this child’s tenderness to the day as a gift that shares with me —if I am soft and subtle, without need or demand, if I hold the space gently for her arrival.
Yesterday I entered her sleeping room, softly. I sat on the far edge of the bed, sensitive to her feeligns of invasion.
I said a few words. No demand. No response required, or expected. I picked up a book and read it, aloud, but to myself. Wondering aloud about whether the bear made this sound, the orca another.
I asked a few soft questions, needing no reply, but letting her know that I knew she was near the surface of waking, and I was present, ready to receive her, accompany her into the waking world.
Eventually, she stirred. I asked if I could lie beside her. She assented, made space for me.
Lying there I continued to offer words, without demand: reading, talking. Saying nothing much except the openings to conversations that may or may not be followed…
And so she woke, and waking she nestled closer, her head on my shoulder, as my beloved would often do. (What a sweet remembrance that is! How little I knew of how much she needed my silent presence, and only that…) Slowly at first, then in a hushed rush her words came.
Our conversation ranged far and wide, as it does with a young child whose magic is tended, as hers is. As, I believe, it does with any of us who is gently held, gently ushered into what I recently described as the “most susceptible and vulnerable state of mind” that comes with waking.
I know how to sit. I know how to wait. For what? For perhaps the most beautiful thing anyone can offer —and it is one of the most beautiful experiences I can know, to be fully present, to be the presence that holds the moment of awakening, holding the waking one safe. To allow my still and patient presence to be all that is required for the one who waking to linger in that “susceptible and vulnerable” moment, allowing me to witness their radiance. What a blessing!
The extent to which She —and now I refer to the divine feminine that flows in all of us, but is so often either shy to reveal Herself, or been pushed rudely into silence, denied— the extent to which She feels safely held in this most fragile of moments lingers as trust. Lingers, perhaps, into the rest of the afternoon, the evening, and into the night.
There is, I believe —and I’ve experienced this in my own body-mind, and heard it expressed by men so many, many times— the experience we, as masculine-identified men have, of tying sexual opening to these moments of Her radiance, the radiance of the woman we are sexually penetrating, or otherwise engaging. We desire this radiance, her radiance. Blinded by our impulsivity (what one teacher calls our “monkey body” and it’s millions upon millions of years of programming) we miss something true: that Her radiance is beyond our limited sexual understanding.
What if we were able to gently, subtly penetrate and hold Her tenderness, her tenderness? What if our powerful and beautiful presence were the key to unlocking so many doors of radiance? Not a presence that takes or conquers —though there is a place for this too, but too often it is our default (again: the monkey body, bent on ejaculating into as many female bodies as is physically possible —the dream of so many of us as young men, still so firmly tied to an ancient and limited need for our genes to survive). To become aware of this powerful presence as benevolent, capable of holding safe space, not as weakness but as this moment of my evolution as a man…
To train and discipline my body-mind to hold this safe space for her deepest susceptibility. Hours of practice. Yes. Then days up days of practice. Years of practice.
This is not for the faint of heart, those who are too weak to discipline themselves —and yes, I am calling out the men who are satisfied to stay in the unfreedom of their teenage fantasies, limited. So limited. And, of course, limiting others who would be the ones to lead the way to a deeper way of being a masculine-identified man. The envy and nastiness is intense. It makes it hard to trust the “brothers.”
Practice. Patiently learning to experience my own presence. Patiently drawing on this powerful and beautiful presence as I tend the gardens of family, spiritual marriage, of being a son, a brother. A friend.
I call on myself —and then you, reader— to become so deep in your own masculine, whether you identify as a man or not, that the habits of fear and neediness and grasping are no longer the government of your being. That you find this depth within yourself to hold your own radiance, allow it be experienced as another facet of your light and beauty. And, learning this, to begin to know how to hold this space, safely, gently for others.
There is no hurry. There is only practice, and trust. And, slowly, perhaps after days or months or years of practice, the experience of life coming to you. Of all that you need coming to rest in your lap.
To hold this safe space for life, and for the many buds of beauty and love that yearn for our deep presence… This is the art of husbandry. This is the art of the father. The art of the lover. The art —and yes, I begin to know it profoundly— of the grandfather.
And so these little children teach me to be the man I love. To be the man they trust. The man they can love.
🌀…the longer you allow the information that surrounds you to remain as pure light-sound, the more intuitive and effective your conclusions will be...the more presence you will present. This is the realm of what the masters and mystics called the "infinite stranger"...the version of your 'self' that has no agenda other than the benefit for all life.
…This presence of you -- this infinite version of you … is only available in your meditative mind...the one that has no preference other than your presence. (Guru Singh & Guruperkarma Kaur)
🌀The Conscious Warrior is committed to developing strength of the mind, physical body, and nervous system through dedicated physical, yogic, and meditative practice. (John Wineland, Precept 6)
🌀You are beautiful. (My beloved, my Oracle & Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED PRACTICE
Day 6 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, How can I bring what I need into my life, right now, for myself?
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.
★ My full conversation with Kendra Cunov about Men & Women & the “No-Man Diet” is now on the podcast at sacredbodies.ca/podcast