Apprenticeship to Love: Meditations on this Path to Authentic Relationship, December 4, 2023
• Today’s questions: When faced with the etiquette and rituals of your culture, are you ready to experiment, to breathe new and meaningful life into them?
• Today's suggested practice: Day 1 of this month's practice, to step into your polarity (see my "Short Practice,” below)
• My practice today: 4:30am: 60 minutes: yoga, mantra, Pranayama for the Five Elements, and Meditation for the Lower Triangle
• My vulnerability practice: I am invited to hold this space, in silence, and I am ready to run. But I stay. I breathe. I practice. I begin to know my depth...
★ I'm preparing a panel of "Why Marriage?" for an upcoming Apprenticeship to Love Virtual Workshop. Free for Premium and Premium+ subscribers. LMK if you're interested in being part of the panel or in being a part of the workshop. Send an email to email@example.com
Being told that I am tested, this helps. Knowing that she knows she is testing, and then shares this with me, it is another level of awareness in this relationship. It is something I trust. Part of a purification process. The crucible.
When I feel the intensity of this life I can too easily forget that there is a structure. It's not all chaos & overwhelm. There is something else: my awareness, and this awareness is the simplest way for me to acces the "unreasonable knowing" that allows me to experience not only the chaos, but the structure that holds this chaos.
There are moments, days even, when I —how to even say it? Words fail me here— when I feel so in alignment with myself that everything shines with its deep beauty.
I'm a what's known as a "fair-weather sailor." On the water, and in my life. In the beautiful moments of fair weather I find it so easy to appreciate Her. But this isn't the only weather or the only tides and currents I have to sail. Right now I'm feeling a storm. It's the storm of my own wanting, brought on by the tides of silence & distance & seeming disconnection.
What did I see as I taught the private couples' mini-retreat on Friday? The power of posture and breath to open bodies to each other. No words. Just the holding of their bodies, conscious awareness of themselves, and an allowing with themselves, each other.
She was the storm, but so subtle and soft that her inner beauty only began to reveal itself as his gentle, quiet, patient, and firm presence began to trust itself.
In the drama of entertainments that constitute most of our marriages we forget just how deep our ocean of love runs. These entertainments —the judgements, resentments, opinions, attacks, defenses, etc— they are the small comforts of the culture that tells us we are worth more than discomfort, all the while bringing our attention to these discomforts. The larger comfort, of feeling my own capacity to know beauty, love, presence not from avoiding discomfort but from becoming willing to sit with it and through it, this larger comfort is discounted. Perhaps even forgotten?
Two moments remind me of this larger comfort, the one I am sailing towards, perhaps even sailing within right now?
Two moments: One, the words that came to me from an "inner voice" meditation: "It's OK. Relax." Which I now interpret as, Relax into the man I am. Allow myself to be steered into this depth by her tests and these tides and these currents and these winds. Relax. Deepen into this moment.
Two, words that came from a "light work" session two years ago: She holds a "deep and silent ocean of love for me."
I relax into the safest harbour available to me: my own depth, my own capacity to breathe and feel it all and not be swept away, but only swept towards what is already mine. This is also her safest harbour. It is why she tests: is this the depth that can hold my storms, the depth that can know my beauty, the flow of my love for him, for life, for all of it?
I am here to feel deeper and to —as it were— sail the storms, without letting my habit of flight overcome my depth.
I am here to breathe, and to relax into my depth. To be, as John Wineland encouraged me, and all the men in the workshop who were struggling to stay present with the storms of feminine beauty our depth had allowed to flourish and rage, deeper than our small comforts. To breathe and allow her to feel fully held, fully seen, fully heard, fully and deeply known. To be "he who must be trusted," our depth an irresistable presence she yearns to flow into.
I am he. I am here. Not just a fair-weather sailor. So much more.
🌀…allow your faith to fill the gaps when your senses fail; that, when it feels like nonsense, you allow trust to take the lead; that you stop searching for the guarantees, and begin acting as a guarantor . . . take the chance of a lifetime in this lifetime. (Guru Singh and Guruperkarma Kaur)
🌀The Conscious Warrior takes 100% responsibility for the reality he has created — seeking what needs to be changed in him before blaming others. (John Wineland, Precept 5)
🌀 I test you. (My beloved, my Oracle and Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED SHORT PRACTICE
Day 1 of this month's practice, to step into your polarity:
Please read through first, then ...
- Today, in the early part of your day, take a eight minutes to review this short practice:
- Then, ask yourself: When faced with the etiquette and rituals of my culture, am I ready to experiment, to breathe new and meaningful life into them? To create the electricity of polarity out of something that may seem empty and useless to me?
- 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 right? In alignment with the man or woman I am? Do I even have an inkling what that might feel like? Do I even have an inkling of what it feels like to be out of alignment with 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 and begin to experiment, to create rituals that add depth to yourself and to those around you.
★ In 2024 I will be hosting a series of workshops and retreats with feminine colleagues, for couples. Please see the upcoming events site for more information. For some of these there will be discounts for Premium and Premium+ subscribers.