- Today’s questions: What seems “too difficult” for me today? This moment? What resists my efforts to “understand?”
- Today's suggested practice: Day 8 of this month's practice, to notice where I stand, and who stands with me.
- My practice: 5am: 80+ minutes of yogic practice, and Becoming Thyself & Being You meditation
- My vulnerability practice: I stand in this unknowing, knowing that I will only ever understand a little of what She gives to me...
Hans Peter Meyer
"She was an open book. He was illiterate."
I saw this today and thought: that kind of sums it up. She —the great and always-changing, always-creating, always-flowing— river of the feminine is just there, open to nourish, to give, to do all the things She does. And me, I’m just struggling to even feel that much generosity…
And then I thought, I've been so hard on the men I work with. Who am I to ask that they try to understand what the world —their woman, their children, friends, community, etc— brings to them? I've been seriously working on this shxt for years, and it's still too much for me. Still, I have to try, and if that means asking them to be more than I have been...
I saw this today, and I thought: Yes. And so I said to my beloved, I'm learning to read. Thank you for your patience.
It's not that I don't know how to read. Or that the men I work with, that they don't know how to read. But most of my life, and even today, I default to Grade One. Beginner's level. The “Dick and Jane” of life. And not in that interesting "beginner's mind" kind of of way. No, in the dull, and whiny, "It's too hard. I don't want to have to work so hard. Do I have to work to understand you/the world/etc? Maybe I'll just [insert distracting/comforting behaviour that I'd rather do than sit with the discomfort of having to be with something challenging]."
Yup. I'm a teacher. I'm a guy who's been around a couple of blocks of life. And I'm still wanting to settle for the dot-to-dot, orderly message of the primer. The how-to-manual. I just don't want to engage with the poetics that life gives me. A part of me wants to be a baby-man forever. Playing with my blocks. My primary readers. My manuals...
So, yes, I have the hubris to think that I can teach poetry. Not the poetry of letters. No, I am much more audacious & grandiose than that! I have the hubris to think that I can teach of the poetry of love, of our sacred bodies.
Perhaps you already know that this is both incredibly foolish —and, at the exact same time, incredibly necessary?
Perhaps that’s why you indulge me a few minutes of your morning or evening, reading these lines? Or, sitting in a yoga class? Or, standing and walking through a tango class? Or, enduring an evening workshop or a weekend retreat? (I was asked, recently, by a man, whether I my retreats involved a "level of bona-fide primal therapy." All I can say is that in my retreats I invite you to strip away what protects you from experiencing this life. I suppose I'm inviting participants to engage with these poetics that so confound me. But that may be too poetic a response... What I know is that resistance and denial are primal responses to beauty, and love. Because these are so far beyond what most of us are willing to allow into our lives. But that too is, perhaps, too poetic.)
Perhaps you too have this inkling that there is more, and that with patient & persistent practice you will know the keys to unlock this “more?”
That is why I am here. It’s why I have the hubris to do what I do.
Not because I’ve found “the keys.”
No. I am not (yet?) so naïve, so audacious. But I am bold enough to think I know a path to these keys. And I am grateful to you, that you are walking with me as I learn —and as I teach what I am learning.
And —and this is most important!— I am inviting you to, in your turn, have the hubris to teach what you are learning. Because we needn’t all of us sit quiet in the dark. A few of us have matches. Or a candle to be lit. Or a scent of the morning and it's dawning light. That's you: with a match or two, a candle to be lit, smelling the air. You are why I do this.
So, it's here. Now. This thing we yearn for. Let us, together, find the light, and with it, the keys to knowing —at least a little— this poetry we, all of us, whether we are man or woman or otherwise identified, resist.
ps. It's a good day (today being Easter Sunday as I write this) to think about what "resurrection" might mean your life. Yes, for some it relates to the mytho-poetics of Christianity. But for others, perhaps something deeper, and even, shallower. I've included a passage from a yogi to inspire you to explore the poetics of this powerful notion...
🌀What is the meaning of resurrection? To live again! To rise to renewed life! What rises again —and how? We must understand in what ways resurrection means to live again. Everything is undergoing a process of change.
These changes are either detrimental or beneficial to the object that changes. For example, if I take a dirty glass and strike it on the floor, it will be changed, will it not? But this change will not be beneficial; it will be harmful to the object. However, if I wash the glass and make it shine, that change is beneficial. Resurrection means any beneficial change to an object or human being... In this context, resurrection means any uplifting change. You cannot remain at a standstill. You must either go forward or backward. forward or backward. That is a great and inspiring truth, that in life you cannot remain stationary.Christ was resurrected not only on Easter morning, but He reanimates Himself in the dawn of each soul's awakening. Resurrect your soul in the ever-reigning Light of immortality. Let this be your Easter awakening. (Paramhansa Yogananda)
🌀Now, the practice of yoga begins. (Patanjali, Yoga Sutra 1.1)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED PRACTICE
Day 8 of this month's practice:
Please read through first, then ...
- Today, again, set three alarms randomly scattered through your day, but one before noon, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.
- When the alarm sounds, wherever and however you are, stand still. Take a deep breath, and slowly, oh so slowly exhale. Feel into your usual tension places (ie. Belly, shoulders, top of chest, etc) and notice: What is this poetry around me? What is resisting my efforts to "understand?" How else might I stand with this unknowing?
- Wherever you find yourself standing, let your breath be long and deep, longer and deeper (through your nostrils, deep into your belly, a little slower on each exhale) for three breaths. Just three breaths.
- Notice if your body-mind feels somehow changed.
- Continue with your day until the next alarm sounds, and repeat.
Ps. Thank you for reading. If this stirs you in some way, I’d love to know how. Drop a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org —or set up a short, no-charge Zoom chat at sacredbodies.ca/chat