I like to indulge philosophy like ice cream – up to my elbows and for as long as possible. There was a time in my undergraduate years that my day would be a continuous cycle of read, contemplate, repeat – alternating coffee shops and couches until I hit satiation point. Which, like with ice cream, wasn’t until I reached the bottom of a number of barrels of delicious flavours of contemplation. There’s a part of me that relates to the archetypal scene of an ancient philosopher pouring over texts and scrolls which, except for the glow of the firelight, is enshrouded by darkness, silence and solitude. My undergraduate years are long.
Tonight I drove just out of town to a familiar field to watch the lunar eclipse with my 6 year old. I told her we were going to see the BLOOD MOON, hoping to instil some excitement – she wondered if there would be rides there. I told her “no it’s just a field”, which she thought was good enough because apparently she’d never been to a “field” before. I talked to her a bit along the way about how the moon is always there to listen to her if she’s ever lonely, to which she replied “oh yeah? So is the moon alive or something?”. It’s so hard to.
Yesterday I stripped bare on a secluded beach on the West Coast of Canada and threw myself in the ice cold ocean. I had to shed it. My clothes, my better judgement, the ought to’s and shoulds of culture that weigh on me daily like an ascetics hairshirt. I had to strip it down. The cloak of expectations and duty to a social order that wants to break me of my wildness. I had to become naked and swallowed by sea so I could emerge a starfish, an anemone, a grain of sand and know myself as the natural thing I really am. As I flopped and swam like a clumsy fish amidst the gentle.
There are so many things on deck in my heart that I want to write about – but this NEEDS to be written. I saw this video today and it hit me so hard. I spend a lot of time in my yoga practice and teaching on getting grounded – it’s a typical practice in yoga in general that is often paid lip service and has no real connection to an experience. Yoga teachers encourage us all the time to “connect through our feet and get grounded” and this becomes a taken for granted instruction we all perform. But what does it really mean? Why is grounding important? What is the experience of.
This post is my contribution to the attempted dialogue about body positive yoga involving Melanie Klein of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and Kathryn Budig. For background, Melanie’s “Open Letter to Kathryn Budig” can be found here (An Open Letter to Kathryn Budig) Melanie, I feel impelled to reply to your Open Letter to Kathryn Budig as I believe there are few essential points that have not been touched on. You’ve presented one part of a very large issue on celebrity culture in yoga, body image and privilege. The first point I want to make is this: you state that Elen Bahr’s tweet “Say NO to Kathryn Budig as.
One of my Enneagram teachers once said that the natural state of the heart is that of gratitude. An open heart receives the impacts of life, moment by moment, like the ocean receives raindrops. No rejection and no coveting of any single drop – just the absorption of the part into the whole. Like this, our heart has the capacity to open to suffering and joy with equal tenderness. In fact, this is what it calls us to. The secret of the heart is that it wants to feel everything. It wants to be fully alive and learn all that it can from the trials and celebrations of life. Our.
My daughter’s in bed, earlier than normal and without the usual tantrum episode that accompanies bed time. The tightness in my chest has not yet release anxiety’s grip and my breath is thwarted by the anticipated stress of this time of night. I can feel a slight tension pervading my whole body as some level of me braces for a standoff with my mini-tyrant roommate. But she is sleeping, and as I start to believe that, I can feel certain liveliness tingling inside me from the rest of the day’s events. My legs ache a little from work in the yard, and my eyes are beginning to feel heavy. .
“We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one. ” – Aristotle Gurdjieff speaks of the crystallization of a force through spiritual effort that has the capacity to withstand the torrent of external assaults we experience regularly. This force is the place where human and Divine collide – an interface that we call soul. He sometimes describes this force as a “finer substance” which can be felt distinct from the denser vibration of our personality and physical reality. As you traverse the spiritual path of yoga (or otherwise), the question is: Can you sense the presence of this “finer.
My mat sees many people. Children, adults, saints, lunatics and tricksters – to name but a few. Indeed, every time I step on my I am suprised by who shows up and brings their unique flavor to my practice. I am talking, of course, about the vast assortment of “selves” within me that bring both brilliant variety and exasperating frustration to my life. This “mosaic mind”, as authors Goulding & Schwartzcall it, is an accepted reality in many psychotherapeutic models and serves to make sense of the seeming internal contradictions most of us experience.This notion essentially points out that we have an internal “family” of various, sometimes conflicting voices within that all must honoured and heard.