Apprenticeship to Love: Daily Meditation, Inspirations, and Practices for Authentic Relationships, August 24, 2023
- Today’s question: How much silence can you bear? How much stillness can you hold?
- Today's suggested practice: Day 23 of this month's practice, to practice for yourself, your wants, the things you yearn for (see my "Short Practice to Relieve Anxiety,” below)
- My practice: 4am: 75 minutes: Yogic postures, mantra, and Pranayama for a Calm Heart
- My vulnerability practice: There is nothing I can depend on except this: my capacity to receive, and create with all that She gives me. I am the dancer and that is all I really know...
- For Part 1 of this chapter, please see: https://apprenticeship-to-love.ghost.io/sex-its-just-energy/
NOTE (repeated): First, Your readership is, always, appreciated.
Second, I've recently changed platforms for these chapters. That means some things have gotten lost, including your preferences. My apologies. I invite you to either upgrade your subscription to the Premium or Bronze benefits (see https://apprenticeship-to-love.ghost.io/#/portal/ for the benefits of being a paid subscriber), or downgrade your subscription, as you need.
Also, it's my "birthday month" and many things, including family & friends (part of the flow of my life), are a priority over writing. For the moment.
~Rev. Hans Peter Meyer
The early morning is a "holy" time for me. I wake before being ready to wake. I do physical yogic practice. Breath practice. Mantra practice. Meditation. All of it for one purpose: to become more aligned with myself.
Then, to return to bed and the most enjoyable sleep. Lulled into a deeper silence as a mantra plays just at the level of my awareness.
For almost five years now, cultivating this ritual of knowing a deeper silence and a deeper stillness than I imagined possible. I was restless. Now, often, resting. Receiving. Enjoying everything She brings to me.
Tip: One of the best things I've read about romantic relationship and marriage is the pair of books by Susan Page, Eight Things... and Why Talking is Not Enough.
This morning, talking with one of my mentors, describing that what I've learned and what I offer to the men, women, and couples I teach, I said: Talk therapy isn't what's needed. Physical practice. Energetic practice. This is what most of us need to open in our relationships.
A big part of this is learning how to sit still and silent in our own bodies. To listen. To feel. To begin to "hear" and "feel" what other bodies are saying, wanting, knowing, feeling. What one of my teachers, John Wineland, calls "feeling into" the other.
As I said in the first part of this chapter, When I am paying attention, energy moves. Between the poles of my still and silent awareness and Her constant expression.
My beloved is my practice. I have told her over the years, with words, and with my still and silent devotion, that her silence is a great —and necessary!— teacher.
What I learn (and am still, always, learning): That to be somehow connected (and so often feeling that a very tenuous connection, because my faith is weak), and yet with so much space/time between us... all of my habitual neediness and grasping is radically mitigated. Yes, I long to grasp. Yes, I feel my neediness. For pleasure. For assurance. For attention. Etcetera. None of it disappears. All of it moves, changes, becomes something else. Becomes devotion.
I learn this: to hold onto myself (as one of my favourite writers about "passionate marriage" puts it).
I learn the texture of this platitude and truism: The first person I need to love is myself.
Note: I've resented this slogan from the moment I first heard it, because, WTF does that mean? And HTF to make that happen?
How many years before I began to know this. Not as words, but as something my body understands?
Many years. Too many years it felt like, in those years of not-knowing. Then, in recent years, knowing. There are grave consequences to practice: I am revealed to myself. I know my regrets, and do not run. Do not push them away. I know my habits. And do not push them away. Allowing all of these things and all the feelings that they carry I come to know myself as beautiful. Worthy of my attention, worthy of my love.
Her silence is the teacher who waits until I begin to know myself worthy of my own attention. It's been an often hard silence to sit through.
What comes to me in her silence? The awareness of my habit of need, of desire not as a gift but as a denial of what I am failing to experience: abundance.
Habitually needy and in a panic of desire to be released from neediness I miss this knowledge of myself: that my sexual energy is not about the familiar grasping for her body, but instead it is about the awareness of Her abundant flow, and that, holding onto myself in this awareness, I become the necessary polarity of this moment. I become myself. I am beautiful. Worthy. More than enough. And, deliciously enjoying all that She gives me.
Sexual energy flows. Longs to flow. Needs to flow.
What this means was unimaginable to me. A secret locked in my body because this culture and the teachers of my youth did not or would not show me how to know myself, my secrets. Only in silence and stillness and through these years of devoted practice do I come to know myself. The deepest penetration of this world, the most profound sexual awakening. Capable of spanning the greatest of distances. Not only between me and she, but between myself and the man I am. Such strange secrets to begin to know.
🌀Now is the time to operate outside the linear thinking and emoting that got you here . . . become the awareness that will carry life out of here. (Guru Singh & Guruperkarma Kaur)
🌀 Sex becomes sacred when our desires are sacrificed on the altar of love.
We do not cling to our desires. But place them into the crucible to be consumed by the flames of passion.
Who we are is not what we desire.
Desires come and go. We do not.
Through sacred sex, desires are consumed like fuel in a flame. And we rise from the ashes, freer than we were before.
Desires, once dark, that appear as something less than love are alchemized and return to their original state—as love itself. (Justin Patrick Pierce)
🌀Breathe and she will return. (John Wineland, from The Art of Fierce Intimacy)
🌀The inhalation, the return movement of breath, Sustains life. The outgoing breath Purifies life. These are the two poles Between which respiration goes on unceasingly. Between them is every delight you could desire.
Even when the senses are turned outward, Your attention on the external world, Attend also to the inner throb, The pulsing of the creative impulse within you. (from Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, yukti verse 2)
🌀You are beautiful. (My beloved, my Oracle & Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED PRACTICE
Day 23 of this month's practice: Please read through first, then ... Today, set a time —at least three minutes, perhaps 11 (recommended)— 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 my guidance on this month's 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 much silence can you bear? How much stillness can you hold?
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.
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