- Today's suggested practice: See below ...
- My playlist while writing today's meditation: Mirabai Ceiba, Mera Man Loche (Unconditional Love) https://music.apple.com/ca/album/mera-man-loche-unconditional-love/677313482?i=677313756
- My morning practice: 1.5 hours, a short warm-up with focus on lower triangle and legs, followed by Sudarshan Chakra kriya and Linking to the Infinite pranayama and mantra
- My vulnerability practice: Easily defeated by my fears I breathe into the courage of being the man I love...
-Hans Peter Meyer
Afraid, my impulse has always been to close. With stealth and much craft at convincing myself I am not being a coward. What have l learned, these past three years? Perhaps only this: There is only one way I desire, and that is the way of opening. Do I trust myself? You are not the way you were, she told me. I breathe, and yes, I trust her, my oracle. She who knows me better than myself.
In these past two years of pandemic I have watched myself slow down and become more of myself, the man I love, the man she choose so long ago, the man I was afraid to be. I've also watched as so many good people have chosen fear. Not, as some have said, the fear of taking precautions in the face of danger (naivete is no answer to either the danger to our health or our communities, or to the evil in others' fearful hearts). No, the fear that things are beyond control and so some have they've allowed themselves, in their fear, to become aligned with malevolent forces that for a few weeks were holding neighbourhoods hostage and are even now raining missiles onto Ukraine.
After two years of pandemic, there is a lot of fear and frustration and exhaustion in this world. How do I respond?
I had a long session with one of my teachers yesterday. This is a man who trained as a community organizer in the 1970s. He has worked as a negotiator for international agencies in conflict zones. He has helped non-profit organizations build capacity to meet growing and complex issues in our communities. This teacher asked me how I was responding to what was happening in Ukraine. He wanted my intellectual, emotional, and my spiritual responses.
After I'd said my words (I have a lot of thoughts, feelings, and spiritual responses on this topic) he gave his own responses. Then he suggested that my own journey, this apprenticeship to love, is connected to Ukraine, to the pandemic anxiety manifesting as "convoy anger," to the increasing anxiety over climate change. And that in the courage I am finding to love without limits and without expectations or neediness I will find my way to the courage to respond to issues beyond my intimate relationships.
But, I answered, silently, I am afraid. I do not want to reveal my own tender heart.
As my teacher made clear, this is the treasure of my practice with my beloved. Her own every gesture of fear, and every rejection of my desire brings me to the threshold of choice: Do I open? Do I close? And, consistently choosing to open, I learn to know myself as so much more than my fears. As the people of Ukraine, one of the most murdered regions of the past century (pogroms, civil war, forced famines, genocide and "Special Actions," now a "Special Operation"), are demonstrating, the heart is a powerful force.
And so I choose to open. It's getting easier. The temptation to protect myself, my own tender heart, is strong. As it should be. The world is not a gentle pace. Most of us —me particularly— aren't volunteering for front-line duty, even in a "righteous war." Only a few stood with their bicycles, righteously defending their neighbourhoods in the face of weaponized trucks.
How many of us choose to stand, open-hearted in all our fear of rejection and yearning for acceptance with the men and women we love. Here is where I learn my courage. Here and in my practice of deepening into my capacity to hold space for fear, anger, rage I learn to choose love and the courage to hold still more space, for myself, my beloved, my neighbours, those who are angry, those who would choose malevolence and evil.
I will be the polarity of these waves of fear, missiles, trucks, rage. And I will start with my immaculate practice of still, silent, patient listening.
🌀The Conscious Warrior cultivates impeccability in his presence, his environment, his way of being, and his way in the world. (John Wineland, Precept 2)
🌀The Buddha's teaching revolved around first of all acknowledging that we suffer and then committing ourselves to end it by changing the way we think, speak and behave. In that sense, it is very practical and every day, every encounter, every action is a possibility to dedicate ourselves to peace and compassion ...(Tim and Marieke, Kundalini Yoga School, Inner Peace sadhana, Day 6)
🌀Cultivate peace first in the garden of your heart by removing the weeds of selfishness and jealousy, greed and anger, pride and ego. Then all will benefit from your peace and harmony. (Buddha)
🌀You're not like that now. (My Oracle)
How are you knowing your courage? This is a deep subject, worthy of years of practice. But everything starts with one single step. I invite you to take this 3-minute practice as that one small step:
- Sit comfortably. Set a timer for 3 minutes. Now begin...
- As you close your eyes bring their focus on your brow between your eyes, feeling a slight tug or discomfort (this tells you you're doing it right, and that means your stimulating both your frontal lobe and your pituitary glands which are the "master glands" in your endocrine system).
- Bring attention to your spine, deepening into your sit bones and lengthening from your pelvis. Tilt your chin slightly, lifting your chest. Take a long deep breath into your belly and up into your heart, allowing the exhale to soften your belly, heart, and throat.
- As you inhale use your mind's eye to imagine your heart expanding.
- As you exhale, your heart stays expanded and your breath pushes the power of your heart out into the world —to that man, woman, child, that part of the world you feel anxious about, you feel needs your love, your action.
- As you continue, notice how your breath pushing out becomes a flow. There is no force in your offering any more, there is only flow, giving and receiving, giving and receiving. You don't know how this is happening, but your heart's breath is nourishing that person, that situation. Yes, it is only a small thing, but know that your small energy is powerful and inspiring and joined by so many other breaths, so many other imaginations desiring love, peace, well-being.
- As the timer draws these three powerful minutes to a close, bow to your powerful depth, your capacity to effect change simply through your breath and your attention. Open your eyes, and bring a little of this powerful self-confidence to every encounter in your day, and especially those encounters that take place in your mind and in your heart.