Trolls Don’t Wear White

I find myself continually inviting people into one thing or another.  It’s on purpose, and in alignment with my style of teaching, no mater the context or content.  

Lately, I’ve been inviting participants to bring intention and awareness to the task of developing inward discernment.  This is for many, is not the easiest of endeavors.  Inward discernment I define as an ability to perceive sensation, emotion, thoughts and their interplay without judgement, interpretation or attachment, so as to see, accept and better understand Truth, beyond the subjective vision.  

If I can be clever, poignant, or provocative enough with words to spark even the slightest bit of curiousity or willingness to go within and question, then I’m good.  However, I realize mental attachments are strong... and like ear plugs.  But who wears ear plugs to a yoga class?  The anti-yogi.  

To be in denial of the need for personal discernment and discretion puts one in the category of “the anti-yogi”.  The anti-yogi shows up on the mat puts ear plugs in and then chooses not to receive.  Already immersed in a narrow sense of practice or personal agenda,  those with a self-imposed hearing impairment don’t and perhaps won’t ever receive my invitation.  They might even think to themselves: “Oh, he’s not talking to me. I’m just gonna stay over here and stretch out my hamstrings a little more.”  

The pious, plagued by mental attachment to their issue(s), may often blind themselves to other possibility.  Mental attachment, I define loosely and simply as "having an issue".  It gives rise to internal discomfort, as well as a strong tendency to try and address this discomfort with words or actions to recreate internal equilibrium. 

Now partially blind AND partially deaf, the anti-yogi shows up, Ego at the wheel, ready to ground more deeply into what they already believe.  The act of showing up on the mat counts for very little here.  The self-righteous obliviously show their lack of commitment to virtue and their lack of mindful participation in what we’re actually doing here, sort of like wearing ivory to a white party.  

So what if me inviting you to class, or me inviting you to play, or me inviting you to question, or let go was like me inviting you to a white party?  With choosing white garments and accessories representing a commitment to intention, devotion, participation, openness, etc, and attachments only coming in a myriad of colors, how would you show up?  

Whether you've attended a white party or some other special occasion,  try to recall the feeling of excitement and anticipation leading up to and preparing yourself for it.  To what extent could you create a feel of “special occasion” in anticipation of your arrival into yoga practice? To what lengths would you go to show up impeccably, knowing that this is not the venue for bullshit? 

Could you get over your affinity for polka-dots for this occasion and show up for the party you were invited to? 

Would you be open to that last resort of an invitation— if you don't sincerely appreciate the invitation and show up for the offering  you could always throw your own party instead?

Star Gazer

There is a universe within.  Be willing to gaze at the stars.  

There is a space between anguish and excitement.  This space is both lit by the fiery drive of the heart and darkened by the overcast shadow of my dragon.  I exist in this space.  With heart open and pupils wide, I marvel.  From here, I see so many stars.

Stars are like mirrors and spotlights, and there are so many.  They reflect and reveal.  It is as though the stars, in their own sense of Divine organization, take turns showing me the things I need, but may not want to see.  With patience, they offer.  Like tough love from a dear friend, they reveal Truth and call me out.  

Stars are like memories and projections, and there are so many.  They reflect and reveal countless past experiences and a vision of the experiences of others, to which I can't help but compare.  Serving to create a feeling, a sense that I'm not really ok.

Anguish.

I exist in this space.

Stars are like jewels, and there are so many.  Attracted to the twinkle and the mystery, there is an unyielding draw of my attention.  It is as though, the stars are eager to offer Truth.  They glimmer a light of hope to the very idea that true peace and happiness are attainable for everyone, even for me.  They invite me home and remind me that I really am ok.  

Excitement.

I exist in this space.  

For now.

Unspoken

I see the remnants of your pain and so I do not take your smile for granted. Nor do I pretend not to see the mask of falsity at times.

I feel your energy sometimes muted by the grip of demon, sometimes amped by the flow of blessings.

I receive the things you say with voice and body simply as the top layer, quietly acknowledging to myself that there's always something more.

I take your positive words and deeds along with the negative, the love and misunderstandings and I offer you metta.

I am here, humbly interested in and seeking to honor as well, that which remains unspoken.

All is Coming

Practice, practice, practice.

Practice simply, earnestly.  

Practice with sincerity.  

Sincerity in practice can mean a lot of different things to different people.  After all, we are only as noble and able as our current state of awareness allows for.  This applies to our ability to bring honesty and a sense of purpose to our daily rituals, for sure.  I'm speaking of yoga and meditation specifically, but this can simply be a statement of how important it is to bring consciousness and intention to as many of our thoughts and deeds as possible.

I think I went years without actually putting conscious intention behind my so-called practice.  I went along, going through the motions, although that was never my intent.  I didn't really know what I was doing, and for a while too, no doubt.  I've experienced malaise and bliss on the mat.  I've experienced anxiety, stillness and so much in between.  I went along, calling it a practice, calling it my yoga practice because that's what everyone around me called it.  

How easy-peasy and commonplace it is to enter the practice looking to get fit, look cute, or be a part of the boom.  Even if there's a feel-good effect, how easy is it take that without questioning exactly what feels good, or why the practice has this effect?  Sincerity in practice leads each of us to take our rightful place amongst everyone else who likes to feel good and is, to some degree or another, averse to feeling anything else.

With little regard for the opposite side of the coin, I know what it's like to want the feel-good aspects of the practice while wanting to avoid the rest.  Is it possible to have a perpetual feel-good yoga and meditation practice without experiencing the shit side?  Short answer is no.  This is where sincerity comes in.  This is where the my comes in.  

Sincerity here, leads me to the most relevant, most poignant and often times, the most difficult realizations about myself.  It prompts me to investigate what feels not-so-awesome.  It is with sincerity that I try to recognize my strengths, gifts and accomplishments, for sure.  But at the same time, I remain willing to ask: What feels in need of love and compassion?  What aspects of my being need growth or healing?  

Make no mistake, the work of the practice and the practice itself are not separate.

Sincerity, like a whisper from the soul, says: "You are good.  You are divine, but you can't be whole without growth.". 

  So, do your practice.

 

New Year's Shout Out

This has been an amazing year! 

As I reflect on 2015, my first impulse is to take a moment to offer an expression of sincerest appreciation for all of you who have supported, participated, visited and/or subscribed to my yoga, meditation, or Reiki services.  I recognize so much in the way of growth and healing, not just for myself, but for so many around me every day.  We are absolutely in this together.  I feel humble and honored. 

My second thought is to remind the loyal and suggest to the unfamiliar exactly what we are doing here.  This is healing.  This is medicine.  This is the quest for Self-realization.  

I encourage you to come along for the journey, but you should know a couple of things.  This work is not easy. I will make you feel something, perhaps venturing into discomfort routinely.  I will ask you to practice with sincerity, to be introspective, and to remain willing and open to giving and receiving.  I will ask you to cut the shit, be real with yourself, and to be on purpose.  I will ask that you seek balance and make mindful choices about every aspect your practices.  

 In 2016, I will continue to make offerings with love and devotion, with pleasure and excitement.  I hope it serves you.  

 

Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy 2016.