Trust in Gravity

Learning from life’s teachers is a great gift. This weekend, a friend suggested I attend a yoga workshop, of which I did. It was inspiring to say the least. I am still ingesting and digesting what was offered but something I wanted to share was a poem that the teacher, Djuna, read to us. For me, in its simplicity, the experience of being read this poem, was profound. So I have learned from the teacher of the workshop, from the author of this poem, from the subject matter of which it is composed of, and from my response to the words. But moving beyond linear, there’s more– I realize I’m still learning from other Sources, what I’ve learned before, and what I always knew,  shared now from different voices. I guess tonight I’m thinking about how amazing wisdom, knowledge, experiences shared…can be, if we are open to seeing beyond or between or within and from the teacher who stands before us at the moment, who speaks the words of others spoken before her.  From, of course,  the teacher who cradles everyone, equally the same, with the same gentle hold, undiscriminitory.  For those who will be joining me Monday night for yoga class, let’s share as we practice together. I’ll read you this poem…

 

 

How surely gravity’s law,

Strong as an ocean current,

Takes hold of even the strongest thing

And pulls it toward the heart of the world.

Each thing-

Each stone, blossom, child-

Is held in place.

Only we, in our arrogance,

Push out beyond what we belong to

For some empty freedom.

If we surrendered

To earth’s intelligence

We could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves

In knots of our own making

And struggle, lonely and confused.

So, like children, we begin again

To learn from the things,

Because they are in God’s heart;

they have never left him.

This is what the things can teach us:

To fall,

Patiently to trust our heaviness.

Even a bird has to do that

Before he can fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Spirals

I read something today about spirals which is the inspiration for this blog.  It reminded me of a discussion I had once with a teacher of mine. In considering this shape I wonder at all of the meaning of this common form. In yoga the other day I spoke of spirals in our bodies.

 

As we begin to develop in the womb, our life connection is the spiral umbilical cord. We have spiral waves of blood flow, and the cochlea in our ear is spiral shaped. The spiraling of energy bodies.
We live on a planet in a spiral galaxy. The spiral symbol can be found in the art of most cultures. Carl young said,  “the spiral is an archetypal symbol that represents the cosmic force.” Spirals are associated with cycles- of time. Of nature. Of life.

 

Some suggest spirals represent our spiritual journey, of growing, and learning, swirling but never in a straight line. Some comment that on this journey we pass the same point over and over again but experience it from a different perspective. Some say it represents,then, coming into Being.

 

In nature, spirals can be found in the patterns of seeds, in leaves on a stem, in shells. In the pinecone.  In hurricanes and tornadoes.

 

I learn great lessons from nature and I think about the spiraling of great storm forces and equally as powerful but expressed mildly, in patterns of seeds. The fern that unfolds from a spiral as it emerges from the ground and curls up in the same shape when it is drying and dying as its expression of being.  Continuous…spirals none-the-less, spin both ways.

 

Tonight I sat with my grandpa, as I had sat and held my grandma’s hand, 17 years ago as she was dying. Grandpa was propped in a chair, slumped over.  He was breathing, but unresponsive. And  then he’d stop breathing. He couldn’t open his eyes, he couldn’t squeeze my finger. This was just like it was with my grandma.  I remember how I felt back then, each time she’d cease breathing I’d panic and search the halls for a nurse, even though I knew she wasn’t to be revived. I left her side, each time, to do this.  Tonight, as I sat with Grandpa, and held his hand, my heart wasn’t racing.  I didn’t panic this time. I didn’t hold my breath.  Instead, I said in the same voice I use when guiding a yoga class, “Grandpa…breathe.” And he would inhale a giant breath and begin again.

 

The spiral climb through life.

 

I left grandpa and came home to write,  shortly after he became conscious and asked for dinner, thanking me for coming and graciously accepting an ice cream sandwich before being put back into bed.  Grandpas got a fire in him not easy to put out. He’ll be 100 years old before the close of this year.  I doubt that my yoga breath request had much of an impact tonight. But then again, maybe a calming energy was nice for him in whatever place he was when it didn’t seem he was with me. I know I experienced that moment more fully, more aware, as I kneeled by his side.  And breathed.

 

The spiral, our paths of life, or our paths of lifes.  Lately, I’ve had opportunities along my path to experience from a different perspective. I’m grateful, because it has helped me to know that the secret mysteries of life, if we are open to experiencing, help us on the swirling, continuous journey, of coming into Being.

Updating

The last time I wrote a blog on this site was in 2010. I guess I simply forgot about this site or about writing blogs.

Two years later hopefully I’ll have much more to share from bits and pieces of all of the  learning I’ve done. I’ll share about writing and about yoga and about the arts. I won’t claim to be an expert in any of the areas, just a student raising my hand to share some “answers” here and there, in the hope that it might help someone on a similar path as mine.

That’s about it for now.

Talking about Yoga

I find that the more I learn about yoga the harder it is to even talk about it with people. That seems strange, doesn’t it? Especially since I am now a teacher who also practices daily. A writer even, so language should be my specialty. And maybe that’s why….

Yoga is loosely defined in that there are so many definitions–different meanings to different people so that, on a subtle level I believe it really cannot be defined. Language can’t capture it.  After all, can you really describe the color blue to someone and KNOW he or she sees it the same way you do? Or is it the perception? The perception based on each person’s own experiences within the class which is affected by his or her other experiences and perspectives down to the moments preceding even the 90 minutes filled with asanas, breathing and meditation.

So therefore, all I can say to others who say to me, “I’ve always wanted to try yoga…” is…Try it.

I remember being her. The one who nodded to yoginis thinking to myself I use my time more wisely. I remember thinking there are a lot of things I could accomplish in 90 minutes that would be a better use of my time than a yoga class. 

“I’ve always wanted to try yoga…”

Try it. It can affect your life in that it becomes a part of your life. 90 minutes into 90 years. 90 Minutes Transformed into 90 years.  I’m not a mathematician but I think I’d earn a “she is a conscientious student” on my report card for that equation.

And perhaps if you do try it, it will, just maybe, it will become a shade of blue that you can’t describe in words or feelings but you can sink into and know it is nothing short of truthful.

Maybe yoga is life and you and that realization that it is both as one is truth. That union. And that your blue and my blue might not look the same but we’ll end up drinking the same sky.

Yoga Incorporated.

I can talk about it. I can write about it. But I can’t put into words the essence of blue. Try it.