Apprenticeship to Love: Meditations on this Path to Authentic Relationship, Chapter 44, February 13, 2024
- Today's playlist: Spiegel Im Spiegel (Arvo Pärt) https://apple.co/42E6XM8
- Today’s questions: How are you resisting love? How are you not holding yourself close, tenderly, with deepest devotion?
- Today's suggested practice: Day 13 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: 5am: 60 minutes: yoga, Shakti mantra meditation sequence
- My vulnerability practice: She is always too much. Too much silence. Too much feeling. Too much about-to-break-apart. And I, shaking in the overwhelm, breathe into holding her, all of her, knowing myself to be enough...
★A Valentine's Day Instagram live conversation with Sarah Anderson about this season of discontent... See https://bit.ly/48fG81W
★FREE to the first 25 Apprenticeship to Love subscribers who sign up! My Apprenticeship to Love conversation with Katie Love on February 20. Our topic: the Sacred Womb, Marriage, Men & Women & Sex, & more... Please register at https://bit.ly/3uupVrW
We are made to hold each other. Somewhere, sometime along the way, we learn to hold ourselves.
I read Tim and Marieke's notes on "preparing" to receive Shakti this morning at 5am. So often the words I need come when I most need them.
Yesterday, as I deliberated about my disinclination to wed those who are in a hurry to throw themselves, too often unprepared, into the crucible of marriage, I was urged to wed a couple. At short notice. Something felt right. But until our conversation this morning, it was an act of faith to say yes.
So often what I need comes when I most need it.
I prepare myself. As best I can. I listen. I do the practices that break me open to feel more, to know deeper & better. I do the practices that allow me to hold myself when She feels too much, to hold myself when I am most wanting to be held, to collapse into another.
I prepare myself. As best I can. With patience, dedication, and commitment.
I do my practice, allowing myself no goal, feeling the pull of goals and striving-towards, and breathing into this habitual wanting I practice the not-wanting, the no-expectations, the without-goals-in-mind that opens me. This is an act of self love. There is nothing here except feeling into myself, becoming myself, loving myself.
I offer myself this moment of emptiness to become myself, to shift my consciousness. And, in some moments of this shifting, I allow myself to receive all She brings to me, fully, with my heart expanding —exploding!— into gratitude!
When she walks through the door, when she throws her arms around me, it will be —literally— too much.
Beautiful? Yes. Desired? Yes. But still, my nervous system will be tested beyond all the testing my beloved tests me with, all of her testing for this moment, asking me: Am I deep enough? Am I stable enough? Am I strong enough to hold onto myself even as I am feeling the overwhelm of holding her? And, finally, am I worthy of this too much she offers? Am I worthy?
And so I prepare. With practices of self-love. Learning to enjoy her tests as the darts of Cupid's bow, messages of love, inviting me to answer with my worthiness, my readiness, my preparedness.
I take this time to prepare. Loving myself. Learning to know the love of her tests. Taking this time and this breath to become the man I love. Only then, fully prepared with a heart full of love for myself, and I ready to receive her, and to know myself broken open, in so many pieces, ready to experience my magnificent presence, her overwhelming and nourishing radiance.
A season of doubt calls for a season of faith.
The moon turns slowly away. Then, as slowly, She turns towards me again.
I remember this of the moon. Am I willing to remember this of my beloved? Am I willing to remember that she takes all the time she needs, that my urgency must always be broken on the wheel of her slow turning towards, away, and towards again?
There are moments, in this season between seasons, when the promise of Spring yearned for is thick in the air. I see it, this yearning, in the buds of the trees. The bulbs breaking the frosted ground. As if Spring were already here. Impatiently demanding to know, Why? Why is this Spring not here? And, How much longer?
The New Moon was days ago. Today a sliver of light brightens an otherwise dark sky. But its the darkness that's speaking to me right now. What is it asking? For patience. Faith. For curiousity and willingness and fearlessness.
She said to me, when we last spoke, and I —breaking myself open to the vulnerability that the moment called from me— had told her who I am and how I love, now, and etctera. She said to me, That sounds hard.
Being born, fully, into who we are, maybe this is always hard?
I have become more sensitive and aware of what life asks those who are woman-born. From what I see and hear and what I can feel into, that sounds hard.
I am becoming aware of how hard it is for us, as masculine-identified men, to hold ourselves when She begins to flow within us. And how much harder yet when She begins to flow in the women and children we love. It is too much. And so I practice. I prepare. And so I teach other men, as best I can, to practice, to prepare. It is hard. But it is the most honest and most honourable work I know, to receive Her, in all Her forms and ways, in the most overwhelming ways She flows...
And, preparing, I am graced to love one who will not accept or surrender to anything less than my deepest most powerful presence. It is hard. And I am grateful that she sees this, hears this. But best of all is when I feel her relax, trusting me. Finding me worthy of her radiance and the fullness of her overwhelming flow.
Spring is in the air. The moon turns towards me. I keep my feet on the ground. I root myself in what remains of the dark and chill of Winter. There is so much practice needed to prepare for the coming Spring-flood...
🌀 All we can do is prepare ourselves the best we can, with patience, dedication, and commitment. …do your practice without trying to achieve a goal but rather as a beautiful act of self love in which you offer yourself the opportunity to grow and facilitate a shift in consciousness. (Kundalini Yoga School, Shakti sadhana, Day 36)
🌀The Conscious Warrior is committed to developing strength of the mind, physical body, and nervous system through dedicated physical, yogic, and meditative practice. (John Wineland, Precept 6)
🌀What would happen if we chose our romantic partnership less from a personal point of view and more from a family- or culture-building perspective? (paraphrasing Kimberly Ann Johnson)
🌀…it is typically the first three months of the year that experience the highest divorce
rates. (Jody Fisher)
🌀 Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were behind you, like the winter that has just gone by.
For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it will your heart survive. (Rilke)
🌀I test you. (My beloved, my Oracle & Siren, the Kali of this life)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED SHORT PRACTICE
Day 13 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 am I resisting love? How am I not holding myself close, tenderly, with deepest devotion?
- 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.
RECENT & UPCOMING EVENTS FOR SUBSCRIBERS
The February 27 Apprenticeship to Love virtual workshop with Sarah Anderson is free for Premium, Premium+, and Premium EXTRA subscribers. Interested? Upgrade here.
"Talking about Matrimony," the Apprenticeship to Love conversation of January 31, about matrimony and other things, with two of my heroes, Stephen Jenkinson & Kimberly Ann Johnson, has raised many questions. Please watch and ask! To watch, see:
ps. The comment on the video by Charlene Brash-Sorenson: The truest thing said is that men aren't too upset unless their hockey team is not winning. I am NOT saying that sarcastically in the least because it is a symptom of a failure of our North American culture to transition men AND women from adolescence into adulthood. I have a lot of "opinions" about why this is not working but they are not of importance here. This is an important discussion not just about "matrimony" but about celebrations of life milestones and how dead our culture is to them. Let us be honest that "the Big Day" for women has become a selfish experience focused on how the bride LOOKS - often seductive toward the audience - and how beautiful the setting is rather than the content. You know...the cake in the face, the silly planned dance, the drinking, etc. Sigh.