Apprenticeship to Love: Daily Meditation, Inspirations, and Practices for Authentic Relationship, September 13
• Today’s questions: How do I experience the chaos around me —as disturbing, as not of significance, as a source of nourishment?
• Today's suggested practice: Day 13 of this month's practice, to practice to receive (see my "Short Practice to Receive,” below)
• My practice today: 5am: 60 minutes: Yogic postures, mantra, Heart Hum meditation.
• My vulnerability practice: I am confronted, and feeling the impulse to react, I allow it all to flow through me, around me...
Your words, dear readers, so often a source of so much more than I can imagine. And yes, I've received so many more than I expected. Please bear with me as I linger with each of you and respond as it feels right.
Some of you may know Katrine K. She was a guest on the podcast some time ago, and in her voice you can hear the quality of the tender feminine (a feminine that revels in the chaos and clanging of metal!).
Katrine responded to some words I wrote about tenderness, underlining her profound need for nourishment. Something that comes to her, not through masculine energy, but so often is facilitated by the groundedness and the awareness of the masculine. Afterwards and later last night, I was thinking about and talking with my beloved about Katrine's words. Then about dance. And especially about how necessary —but how risky!— it is for independent and feminine-identified women to fully experience and receive the flow of nourishment in our dance communities. There too (and perhaps there most of all?) the vulnerability of the feminine is encouraged, and preyed upon.
I watch my very young granddaughters. I see how much they move. They cry. They feel. They flow. Even the one swaddled, her energy is always in movement, finding comfort in being held, her needs for security experienced in the loving ties of arms and of cloth.
To honour and to protect —and to respect!— the feminine, in myself and in others. Yes. An emphatic yes! When my upbringing and my culture fails to teach me this, this I have to learn and have to practice and have to share. With my daughters and granddaughters, yes. With my sons, yes. With the woman I love, yes. With my mother and sister. With the women who've loved me. With the women who come to me for guidance or coaching or to dance the tango. Yes. And, for myself, of course. Here is where it begins.
In his eighth Precept for the Conscious Warrior John Wineland enjoins to: protect and honour the feminine.
It’s a new way of being. The words, even they can feel awkward. Or, more likely, empty-sounding. From a distant and chivalric faux history: to honour and protect.
It was in a co-ed weekend intensive with John and his team, however, that the notion of nourishment came up: Look, he said, as we watched the feminine practitioners move and dance and sway. Look, he said. This is all here for you. This is all nourishment for you.
To honour, to protect. To respect the unquantifiable quality of Her gifts and the necessary nourishment I need. As Leroy Gordon says, this is our men's work, to receive Her.
It seems so easy. But we are so unpracticed, and so ready to become predators rather than servants to this flow of beauty.
"I want to be seen. To be accepted as I am," she said. "And to be loved for that."
She is the flourishing of this garden, this marriage that I am husband to. This garden is a never-ending delight. I am always wondering, What more? What else? How will She show me new treasures that I do not know I seek?
This morning a man stood in my front garden and commented, "It looks like you need help with your gardening."
At first I took offence. But then, I could see his discomfort. He fears the chaos that I have come to know as riotous beauty. He is afraid. And I am beginning to know the charms of chaos. I am reminded to be compassionate: we, masculine-identified men, are not taught to allow Her flow, but to tether and train and limit this flow, and not with a kind heart either.
Sitting here I see it as perhaps he sees it: the seeming chaos. The dark and forbidding underworld of Her fecundity. How terrifying it must be. And how it stirs the impulse to cut and weed and clear away all that I now feel beguiling.
We talked at lenght last night. Always circling around this theme: How can the unruly, the wild, the tender exist —let alone flourish!— in this culture that strives to reduce Her to a neutral and tamed, a domesticated version of Herself. A "safe" version of Herself. She is so much more. She gives me so much more. And she wants to be loved for all of this "more," so often felt as "too much."
I am learning to sit with the seeming chaos of this garden. Of this marriage. Of this life. I am learning to allow myself to enjoy Her dancing to a music I can only dimly know. It really is "too much" for me. And yet, it is all for me, this "too much." It is what I need. Only sitting, becoming more still than Her merest swaying, only now do I come to know this as nourishment.
Patience —to sit with the slow unfurling of my beloved, her protections, her awareness of how treacherous I and my brothers can be. To have this patience and the compassion for her sorrows —and for this man, his fear, a long life of fear of Her wilderness in this garden.
We are all just managing. Some more gracefully than others. Some with less fear than others. Some with more courage than others. But all of us just managing. We are all, as Ram Dass said, walking each other home. I walk best with the breath of patience and compassion animating my heart.
🌀 In the realm of emotions, every feeling arises as a messenger ready to serve and illuminate. Let’s embrace them and hold their wisdom and lessons as they guide us. (Guru Singh and Guruperkarma Kaur)
🌀The Conscious Warrior honours and protects the feminine, both in himself, in women and children, and in the world. (John Wineland, Precept 8)
🌀I want to be seen. I want to be accepted as I am. And loved for that. (My beloved, my Oracle & Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED PRACTICE
Day 13 of this month's practice, to receive:
Please read through first, then ...
- Today, set two alarms, one for the early part of your day, one for mid-late afternoon when you may be feeling low energy.
- When the alarm sounds, wherever and however you are, take three, five, 11, or 30 minutes to do this short practice:
- 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, What is the offer of tenderness in this moment? This day? How am I holding this offer in my own life? In the lives of those around me?
- 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.
- If you want to talk about your experience, or your resistance, or about anything, please set up a short (15-minute) chat for Zoom: sacredbodies.ca/chat.
- It may not be enough, but it'll be a start. And that's always a good thing.
IF YOU ARE READY TO BE PART OF THE SACRED SPACE
that I hold for Apprenticeship to Love Premium and Premium Plus subscribers, please see https://apprenticeship-to-love.ghost.io/#/portal for details... The next Apprenticeship to Love virtual workshop is on September 20. "Lessons from Barbie (for men)"