Apprenticeship to Love: Daily Meditation, Inspirations, and Practices for Authentic Relationships, September 6
• Today’s questions: How do you remember your origin story? How do you redeem the value of the love that birthed you, made you, changed you? A
• Today's suggested practice: Day 6 of this month's practice, to practice to receive (see my "Short Practice to Receive,” below)
• My practice today: 3:30am: 90 minutes: Yogic postures, mantra, Pranayama for Intuition.
• My vulnerability practice: I am ready for this, though I feel unready and not quite willing. I am ready for all of this to use me...
From my father: more than survivor of a childhood in poverty and starvation and alcoholism, more than an indomitable will to master — or at least, to dance with— all that life brought him: the will to do all of this, and with laughter while doing so!
From my mother: so much more than living beyond a strict and sheltered religious upbringing, a deep curiosity about her own soul, a wonder at how to be right with herself in this world, and opening —slowly, allowing the decades and grief and devotion to work their slow magic— to what love can be in this life, through prayer and softness.
From the women who've loved me: lessons upon lessons, multiplying exponentially. Each one with gifts I did not know how to open or receive. Each one calling me deeper into the man I am.
And now, from my children, and now my grandchildren... A willingness, finally, to not take things so personally. To register that all of this is for me. That I am blessed beyond my comprehension. And if only I slow myself I will catch the breath that is a flower opening into Her splendour. (I catch a glimmer of this, sometimes, with these youngest emissaries of love...)
I am the child of this love story. It is bigger than all of us.
Deserving nothing I am given all I need to exercise my capacities for love.
Sometimes it is too much. So I breathe.
Another flood of this energy I am coming to know as the love that animates this life:
- A reader, sending me money as a token of thanks, "for the work you do," he says.
- My beloved, crying as she trembles, facing this life, and then —across the continent, a million miles away— telling me that she feels me, "but you seem to be here."
- A note from another reader, with more years than me walking this wheel, drawn to reflect on her passage, and that it is time to learn to dance tango...
- And this morning, a letter from one of the tenderest and bravest feminine spirits I know, telling me how she has remembered a beautiful part of herself and is letting this girl-part enjoy herself.
All of this, in these past few days. I feel my body weeping with gratitude. Weeping that I am, today, able and ready and willing to feel what these hearts offer.
Intimacy is the ground for much tenderness. And I believe even the hardest of us yearns to feel this tenderness in a moment where we don't have to guard ourselves, where we can simply be held. Held with attention, if not with arms.
Intimacy is is also, I know, where we confront ourselves most deeply. Not usually a pleasant encounter. I've rarely liked, let alone loved, the man I've met as I look into her eyes and see myself.
So, in this paradise found of intimacy, we find paradise, lost. We blame the other. We blame the marriage. We can come to hate the other (though few of us will own that!). Hate the marriage, certainly. And, we hate ourselves (though that too seems a bit "much" for you or I to acknowledge in the moment. Maybe later. But not now, not in the midst of the hating).
This is, perhaps, the first true gift of marriage, of long-term and committed intimacy: to be brought to the crucible where I know my capacity to hate as a fruit of intimacy.
I suggest that the second gift of marriage comes in surrendering to the crucible. Allowing it to be the occasion of my unmaking. More than any voluntary experience, this grinding and this fire effect the profound and transformative love-experience that I believe my soul longs to be born into.
I think very few of us are ready and willing to accept the first gift.
I think even fewer are ready and willing to suffer the crucible and know the second gift. Certainly, I have been too afraid. Until now (I write this knowing my habit of straddling the threshold and resisting the temptation to keep one foot on solid ground, willing myself —with laughter!— to tumble into the dark fire...)
As two teachers said so long ago in a book I read with only halfunderstanding: resistance to love that causes all the problems.
My unreadiness and my unwillingness to tumble is all that stands between me and the gifts of this life.
And so, I practice. Daily. Preparing myself for sacrifice on the altar of love.
How profoundly can I be undone? How profoundly changed? It is all beyond me. It is all right here, right now, in front of me, in this moment, this breath.
From my father, my mother…
From the women who’ve loved me…
From my children, and now my grandchildren…
So much love. And all of it here for me to use, to experience, to become the man I love, the man who surrenders to his unmaking…
Deserving nothing I am given all I need to exercise my capacity for love.
🌀I think that many of us want something more from sex than what we have been willing to acknowledge: pleasure, yes, but also closeness, mutuality, even a sense of the sacred. It’s also likely that we have been asking too much from it: self-definition, self-actualization, total fulfillment. (Christine Emba, Rethinking Sex)
🌀Sex becomes sacred when our desires are sacrificed on the altar of love. (Justin Patrick Pierce)
🌀 Our prayer is for your success in calibrating and syncing up the Kundalini through the chakras and in turn, ameliorate the glands and the organs with it and in turn, change the hormones and peptides to form the ‘behavioral~emotions’ for your benefit when used as tools. (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)
🌀The Conscious Warrior practices the cultivation of wonder and awe. (John Wineland, Precept 7)
🌀You deserve nothing. (Kendra Cunov)
🌀You always impress me. (My beloved, my Oracle & Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED PRACTICE
Day 6 of this month's practice, to receive:
Please read through first, then ...
- Today, set two alarms, one for the early part of your day, one for mid-late afternoon when you may be feeling low energy.
- When the alarm sounds, wherever and however you are, take three, five, 11, or 30 minutes to do this short practice:
- When you’re done, sit or stand for another minute or two, breathing gently, slowly filling and emptying your belly. Here, as you breathe into your fullness, ask yourself, Do I feel a seasonal shift? How do I feel it? Where in my body? Can I relax and receive all that it brings me?
- 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 until the next alarm sounds, and repeat.
- If you want to talk about your experience, or your resistance, or about anything, please set up a short (15-minute) chat for Zoom: sacredbodies.ca/chat.
- It may not be enough, but it'll be a start. And that's always a good thing.