Apprenticeship to Love: Meditations on this Path to Authentic Relationship, January 31, 2024
- Today's playlist: the silence of the forest after this morning's deluge, before the next
- Today’s questions: How do I choose to stay present with what I've chosen, with what has been chosen for me?
- Today's suggested practice: Day 31 of this month's practice, a breath work for "balancing," to allow these thoughts and feelings to move through you, with less resistance (see my "Short Practice,” below)
- My practice today: 12:30am: 45 minutes: gentle yoga, mantra, yogic meditations for Muladhara and the calling of Shakti
- My vulnerability practice: I'm tender. So I slow down, breathe, and allow myself to receive more than I might want of this moment and its tests...
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A FEW WORDS TO BEGIN THIS YEAR
These past few days.... How to describe them? Yesterday I was told that we are now in the season where our bodies are beginning to feel the stirrings of spring. And, still in winter. So it's a confusing time.
A story of Stephen Jenkinson's comes to mind. Appropriate as I'm about to interview him with Kimberly Ann Johnson, two of the stars in this fertile darkness that I've been wandering for a few years now. His story is short. I won't tell it here. I'll just say that it has to do with the merits of "breaking momentum." This week has been a reminder of this. First, a fall, with bruised ribs that give their own lingering reminder every time I laugh or breathe or cough. Nothing serious. Yet, sharp. To the point. And that point is: slow down; take care.
Then, financial news that wasn't welcome. And, failed efforts to plan. And, more wanting. More dissatisfaction. All of it, as Coehlo says so poetically in The Alchemist, the universe conspiring to give me what I need.
What might that be? Even asking the question is to court another lesson in patience. And silence. (I'm asking rhetorically. I know the answer. Perhaps you do too, dear reader? That answer is: to slow down.)
The thread that runs through this labyrinth —to whom do I owe this favour? Is there an Ariadne in the shadows of this life?
I know the monster, my personal Minotaur. I know him well. Though, perhaps, not well enough, as I'm being reminded of his danger and his presence often in this week.
This monster is my ambition. My striving. My restless and often reckless and one-pointed and headlong rush towards some arbitrary end I've imaged as desireable. I am, it appears, too fond of this beast. I am too willing to to sacrifice myself and what is real and true and beautiful to me to slake its thirst for more.
This thread —of practice, specifically— is all that keeps me from ruin.
But, a bright note!
When the spectre of disaster (or my tendency to create the drama of disaster) visits, I'm getting better at taking a breath. I'm getting better at noticing my habit to catastrophize and collapse. Instead of following these comfortable and habitual ways I'm beginning to wonder: for what am I being slowed?
What beauty and richness am I failing to appreciate in this moment, that I choose to rush through it? What beauty and love, what nourishment am I missing?
🌀The Conscious Warrior practices the cultivation of wonder and awe. (John Wineland, Precept 7)
🌀 It’s the emptiness of Shiva that ‘holds’ space for the creation that happens through the power of Shakti. The word Shiva, besides meaning ‘The Auspicious One’ also translates into ‘that which is not’. (Kundalini Yoga School, Shakti sadhana, Day 23)
🌀We are manifested through the vehicle of the mother. The entire Universe is manifest or given birth through the vehicle of Mother. The Mother is the instrument for converting spirit into matter. To understand that all form is spirit made matter is to see that at the source within the world of matter lies the Mother. (Ram Dass)
🌀 How different are you from the dog when you doubt the universe will include you on the journey of your dreams? (Guru Singh & Guruperkarma Kaur)
🌀I test you. (My beloved, my Oracle & Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED SHORT PRACTICE
Day 31 of this month's practice, to let these thoughts and feelings move through you, with less resistance:
Please read through first, then ...
- Set an alarm, for a time of the day when you have a few minutes to become conscious of who and how you are in this day
- When the alarm sounds, wherever and however you are, take a few minutes and:
- Ask yourself: How do I choose to stay present with what I've chosen, with what has been chosen for me?
- Then, follow the short practice here:
- 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 until the next alarm sounds, and repeat.
★ WHEN YOU ARE READY FOR MORE
In 2024 I am hosting a series of short in-person and virtual workshops, as well as weekend and mini-retreats for couples. Please see the upcoming events site at sacredbodies.ca/events for more information.
NOTE: For some of these there will be discounts for Premium and Premium+ subscribers.