Awaken To What Is Already Yours.
Spring is a time of awakening, a moving from the protective core of winter, where nature hugs to itself, releasing all that is not necessary, flowers, leaves, color, etc in order to maintain its life force, its prāna. Some signal arises, is heard and things begin to awaken; creatures stir; life moves. It is always moving but the pace quickens now. The sequence is set in motion. Where does the signal come from?
The Tantric tradition speaks of the cosmic sequence generating force. The supreme energy that speaks to nature and brings forth creation in all its beauty and diversity. Align with this highest force, say the teachings, and naturally your own energy will be pulled into a higher alignment. The long winter of our individual hibernation will awaken and naturally talents, gifts and offerings will come into bloom.
Of course there are layers and levels. There are various areas in a life just as in nature and the sequential act of creation, maintenance, dissolution does not occur as linearly as the mind would have us think. There is a simultaneity here, not only in these three but also in the pauses, the concealment and revelatory periods that partner them as book ends. What has been hidden during the metaphoric winter now begins to show itself. How can we recognize the tender buds? How do we nourish and cultivate them such that the most beautiful blossoming unfolds?
We set about to heighten our senses because a thing unknown may as well not exist. We must see, sense, recognize first. We are caught in our individual reality, our day to day functionality that we miss what is right in front of our eyes. Expand perspective. How can we sharpen the very means by which we take the world in? This tributary flows in both directions as the senses are also the means by which we express ourselves out into the world.
Align with the cosmic sequence generator and naturally senses are informed.
Sequence. We increase our skill, deepen that knowledge so that we may care and nourish and shepherd that tender creation into the realm of maintenance. Many traditions speak of the ‘shepherd of men’ as that guiding force. We speak here of something subtler and altogether more whole in its power, the very force that sets in motion that which guides and nurtures. Maintenance is not a static state. It is a constant pulse of creation, giving way to dissolution so that the next iteration may emerge. The cycle of growth gives way to natural decay as the bud gives way to the bloom, which gives way to the flower as it pushes forth relentlessly to its zenith. How we ache when it begins to fade! How can we learn to relinquish that beauty once its time has come? Dissolution must occur to make space for the next blossom.
Align with the cosmic sequence generator and naturally awareness opens, expands, embraces.
Sequence. There is order in the universe even when it appears that chaos has run rampant. There is sequence. If we apply the right thing in the right amount at the right time, magic ensues. We can learn, we can sensitize on the surface of life and we must do so. We must act. And there is a deeper application here. Water the root. The individual thirsts for knowledge and experience of its source, its light.
Sequence. Go in. Spend some time each day in the vast deep heart of consciousness, the source of all creative potentiality. When we emerge, we are changed. Subtly so at first, but truly impacted, transformed. In time, as we surrender, relinquish our individual bloom, our individual identity, in that cosmic source we reconfigure our sequence and emerge a higher iteration of self. Our senses are heightened and recognition blossoms. We begin to see more clearly, to know more deeply and to act more efficaciously. Like the sunflower, we naturally turn toward the light because we recognize it as our source and in that we blossom.
All from one simple act. Meditate. Awaken. Know the light, steep in the light, bring your light. Awaken to what is already yours.
How do I embody space?
Where does it live?
All around and through
empty and full.
Minuscule I cannot fit, massive there is no end.
Embrace and release its shape: platform, stage, canvas, vessel
malleable, finite to imagination alone.
Free, soaring, unbounded circling the rim of my prison.
Come, spread eagle!
There is more than wing
more than air
more than sky
How do I make space in a body tight and broken; a mind confused, unsettled, stuck?
Look to the heart infinite in its capacity to hold, give shape, nourish and release.
Release. Creative expression knows no bounds when given voice.
Sing in any key available.
Unlock potentiality curled tight, pulsing, waiting, waiting for space.
found in the core of the heart
hidden in plain site.
Make room for what is already mine, already yours, already ours.
Know the light. Bring the light!
The Tools By Which We Measure # 32
How do you measure your worth?
We all yearn to be of purpose, to feel that we are contributing in some manner to the world in all its concentric outwardly pulsating circles; in the sphere of our own lives, the ones we love and the world at large. Perhaps it is the intrinsic knowledge of the gift of life that moves us to prove the worth our existence.
How clearly, how deeply, how truly we see, sense, depends upon the tools we use to measure. Like a microscope that brings the smallest bacteria into view or a telescope that brings the stars millions of light years away close, we too have tools to measure life.
Our tool is the very vessel we call home, the body-mind in Sanskrit prakriti. It is animated, made alive by purusa, consciousness, spirit. Spiritus, defined as that which animates. Of course it’s not just the tools but their sensitivity, their calibration. We strive to tune, make strong and supple, to calibrate this vessel so that any knowledge placed in it will flourish, expand and blossom. How is this done?
Vikalpa-samskara Viklapa, construct and samskara. Samskara is the impression left from the sum total of every experience we have ever had or will have, positive, negative and neutral, in life and it has another meaning, refinement. In this sense vikalpa-samskara is the refinement of our conceptual thought. More than this, it is the purification of conceptual knowledge; sequential purification of understanding through deep contemplation.
The world moves so fast, each day a new joy and challenge arises that must be met. It also moves way too slow, holding me in place as though in quicksand. When will I break through? Such is the fluctuation on the surface of life. Like the surface of the ocean on any given day, it may be calm or tumultuous; we may feel we are in the doldrums or being tossed mercilessly on the waves of change. We must learn to navigate life, it is that simple.
By going deep in meditation we go below the surface roil and come to a place of dynamic stillness. The bottom of the ocean is a wondrous place full of life and miraculous forms of light moving in the depths of darkness. We rest our individual awareness in this source that seems dark and still, but is teaming with the light of all potentiality. We have only to refine our tools of measurement.
When we come back to the surface we see anew, more clearly, more deeply and more expansively. At first is it is subtle, but over time and with practice the calibration of our vessel increases in sensitivity and stabilization. It is from this place that the measurement of worth must come.
There will always be circumstances, people and things that are ready and more than willing to define our worth. And yes, we need feedback in life. We need to refine in order to get better. But what we do in the world, how others see us is not the true reflection of who we are and what we are worth.
Know your true self and from this place move freely in the world. A freedom born of high knowledge and experience found in the depths of our very own being. This is the steadiness that yoga speaks of. Steadiness is not lack of feeling, in fact mediation makes one more sensitive. Vyasa ,one of the commentators on the Yoga Sutra, says “the yogin becomes as sensitive as an eye ball”. But in the accompanying steadiness that feeling is put to good and proper use. Directed in the most efficacious manner.
Live life fully radically. The yogin prepares herself for this radical transmutation as best as she can. It is not subservient to her will and for this reason has frequently been interpreted in terms of an act of grace. And there is something for us to do. Very much like love.
We prepare ourselves, we heighten senses, calibrate our tool, the body and mind, the prakrittic field, by pulling it into alignment. This happens both physically, via asana, and on the subtler planes, via meditation.
A beautiful rendering of this is the metaphor of the archer. When we sit for meditation, we draw the arrow of the mind back, deeply within then release the activated, charged potency of the arrow outward to the target of our choosing the right thought, action, etc performed at the right time. This is the ‘just in time’ model as opposed to ‘just in case’.
In doing so we become the vehicle for the creative power of life. We will get tossed by the waves, we will get stuck in the doldrums, such is life but stabilized more and more in the heart we will know how best to move. Yoga is skill in action.
Know your worth. Bring the light.
Say Yes To Life. #31
Yes is a beautiful word full of possibility and whole in its meaning. We have a natural inclination toward unity, in truth, we yearn for it. And we live in the world of duality, of black and white, dark and light, yes and no. We cannot simply skip over this, open our arms and scream yes! To do so is shallow at best and painful, even pernicious at worst. Imagination is amazing and serves well in improvisational play of every kind, inviting us to dream bigger, but we are after more.
I don’t know much about the Improvisational technique save the first instruction, one must always say yes. I love this. No matter what is presented, the partner must say yes and respond in kind. Yes encompasses No. After all, to say yes to life one must say no to playing in traffic. How do we skillful use no to support a more expansive yes?
Yoga is Skill in Action, says the Bhagavad Gita. What is the method, what are the tools that will allow us to be skillful in living our life whatever the imagined outcome? Life doesn’t come with instructions, that’s why we have teachers. And at some point, in some manner, we are all teachers, to others and self. How then do we arm ourselves with the proper tools? How do we make ourselves ready for action; ready for yes?
Theory and Practice. Both are needed. We require an understanding of what is at stake, the why and possible outcomes. We also need some experiential piece that will give us the flavor of what we are after. In Sanskrit, rasa is the juice or essence of a thing, of all things. We want the capacity to take life in deeply, to drink its essence.
And always there are degrees. Enlightenment itself is not an on/off switch. As absorption in the expansive, eternal, unconditional light of yes deepens, so too does our ability to know and stretch our sense of freedom. Freedom to choose, to know more deeply all the many areas of life that serve to make a whole. One can see clearly, deeply, even of the highest and yet still not pay attention to a specific part of life that is necessary to keep this human vessel running well; neglecting, for instance proper exercise or nutrition. Make no mistake, we experience everything in this vessel. Therefore while yoga teaches us that deep meditation is the single best practice one can undertake, the power that enlivens all the other tools like the motor of a vacuum makes the ancillary tools effective, one still must pay attention and use that continually expansive light to shine keenly on the many facets that make up a life.
It is a feedback loop. In deep meditation light dawns, expands and we bring that light to bear on a particular subject which deepens our recognition in experience which then serves as the beacon for further study and contemplation.
Meditation is not just for the time we meditate, however sweet or fiery that might be. It is the power that increases our light of knowing. Knowing of our truest self first and in that, provides the light we must shine on all those other areas of life. This is the courageous enthusiastic yes that includes the skillful no we powerfully come to use in the creating of the life we want to live not merely imagine.
Bring the light to bear on your life in all its facets. Practice yoga, go deep, contemplate and skillfully act.