- Today's suggested practice: Day 14 of this month's practice... (see below)
- My playlist while writing today's meditation: Wind rustling in the leaves of the poplars behind me… Subtle sounds that appear when the “dinosaurs” have their moments of silence between breaking up the road…
- My morning practice: 4am for 90 minutes of physical, yogic, and meditative practice, including the Shankh Mudra meditation
- My vulnerability practice: I am noticing the little discomforts. I am stretching into them, feeling into them as the jewels that teach me about love…
Hans Peter Meyer
I answer men’s questions about the Fall/Winter Vancouver Island Menswork Retreats
Slow down. Seriously. Right now. Whatever you are doing —reading these words, checking your messages, drinking your coffee: slow down.
Time may be, as the physicists and yogis claim, an illusion. It is, nevertheless, an illusion with tremendous impact on my life. I’ve run myself into the ground at least twice chasing the notion that working harder, reading more, practicing more (writing more!), squeezing more “doing” into the moments I have will somehow give me peace. And what peace is that? An expanded sense of time? With which to do what? More “doing?”
My body and its experiences may be my teacher. But too often I need others —the pain of others— to get me to pay attention to what this teacher is telling me.
I was listening to my daughter the other day. She reminds me of a more successful version of myself. Hard working. Attracting and creating success. Because it seems so easy she is, as I did before her, adding more to her plate. Like me, a glutton for another illusion, this one called success? Like me, she is beginning to feel how the experience of “limited time” is chewing at the edges of how good it feels to succeed.
For the last two years I’ve watched, with joy, as she “lost time” in raising her daughter. It was surprising to me that she slipped into this mode so easily. That also reminded me of myself, when I had two young girls who helped me slow down. Enjoy life as it unfolded. In their time, not mine.
The notion of “losing time” comes from Rousseau, by way of the educator George Dennison. It was reading Dennison that helped me as a father to relax into the time that was being created. I was largely able to let go of the idea that, with young children, there was any way to “save time.” In the process, my time with them expanded. I was, as Guru Singh puts it, able to “compassionately experience the *presence* of time without *measuring* its passage” (emphasis mine).
One of the lessons, of which I need regular reminder, of my crashes and crises is that I need to “lose time” with myself. And, having lost time with myself, I am able to lose time with those I love. Perhaps its also important for me to lose time with everyone I encounter?
Guru Singh refers to the sense of time that comes from the beating of the heart. It’s a sense of time, he says, that we share with all creatures.
Often, in the midst of the madness of “saving time” that was and is measured by money I would catch myself noticing my cat in the garden. I would think: One day —one glorious day!— I will sit in the garden and enjoy its always-changing stillness. I will be so quiet and so still that I will hear the flowers and leaves, and yes, the birds and the bees, singing their songs. One day…
Yes. One day I will, perhaps, finally learn this lesson. To lose time, all of the time. To sit and listen to the song my beloved sings with her silence. I will understand more fully how blessed and blissed I am to love a feminine being who seems not capable of surrendering herself to the march and drumbeat of time as money. One day I will sit and listen and watch the dance of the feminine all around me as She nourishes me in all the ways I need nourishing.
🌀Our prayer is that you're able to compassionately experience the presence of time without measuring its passage; that you're one of the great lovers within the history of this moment; that you have far more empathy in time than your need to measure it, and that through this empathic process, you gain the most from your life while having and sharing the time of your life. (Guru Singh & Guruperkarma Kaur)
🌀"The most useful rule of education is this: do not save time, but lose it." (Rousseau, in George Dennison, Lives of Children)
And we launched out immediately on the business of losing time. That is to say, we got to know the children really well, held long conversations with them, not on school topics, but on whatever occupied their minds: details of family life, neighbourhood events, personal worries and personal interests. (George Dennison, Lives of Children)
🌀You’re not like that anymore. (My beloved, my Oracle)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED PRACTICE
Day 14 of this month's practice, take 8 minutes today to sit and listen to, or chant, the Ganesha Meditation... This meditation (Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha) brings our attention to our foundations, our roots, and invokes the Indian god Ganesha, a curious yet powerful character who removes all obstacles.
Please read through first, then ...
- Today, sit (or stand) in stillness with these questions…. How am I trying to “save time?” How am I “compassionately experiencing the passage rather the measuring of time?” What does time mean in my life right now? (Remember to breathe, to feel the ground beneath you.)
- Setup: your "setup" for this month's daily practice is how you "hold onto yourself" and receive...
- Begin by closing your eyes and aligning your body into its truest, most elegant posture, tucking your chin to lift your heart, tilting your pelvis to straighten your spine. Become still, more still than you've ever been. Your alignment is the physical training for trustworthiness. Bring your hands to your heart, right (masculine) over left (feminine).
- Focus on feeling the vibration. That is all.
- Set your timer for eight minutes or listen to the “Ganesha” mantra by Deva Primal here:
- As the timer signals or the mantra ends allow your eyes to slowly open. Take three, relaxed breath cycles, no pressing, no effort, and feel yourself full, without thoughts, open. Safe to receive. Then, step into your day, letting the mantra echo as a nourishing vibration whenever you become still. You don't need to DO anything. Let the world come to you with its demands, its complaints, and yes, its endless tide of gifts and blessings.✨✨✨
ps. Registering in the updated Basic Six program for men now includes participation in the Fall/Winter Vancouver Island Men’s Retreats. FMI on this program for men who are ready, please see sacredbodies.ca/lite/basicsix