“From the moment I walked into my first Yoga class I understood meditation, moving meditation. That deep engagement that starts with the body and then keeps moving inward until it’s all breath and experience, no lists and arguments and anxiety and, well, life.
I have discovered and am beginning to teach Yin Yoga now which allows me to go even deeper into both my body and my self, to feel those hints of the divine.
And now I can sit in meditation, something I thought I’d never do, never had an interest in. And it started with my body, this body I have disparaged for weight and for not being beautiful, for aging against my wishes, for weakness and vulnerability.”
That’s me quoting myself. Seriously! I wrote that as a comment to a blog post on the OnBeing blog (I SO highly recommend OnBeing blog and podcasts, really wonderful!). The post was about running and meditation and god and so much (January 17…I know some runners out there who would love it!). Anyway, that quote fits what I want to write about, it’s apt.
I really haven’t been gone from this blog, but I’ve been side-tracked. Life is busy and mostly wonderful. I have been making up yoga sequences , trying to figure out Spotify (is it just me?…don’t answer that!) and make yoga playlists, listening to endless podcast with fascinating people who have something to teach me about meditation or yoga or going deep or the divine, sacred whatever. I am, weirdly, falling in love with learning, with a spiritual quest that is beyond me, and I am just going with the flow. And that’s what it feels like, some sort of flow. I am working my Word Of The Year , TRUST, and it’s working me. I am trusting that things are going as they are supposed to and am allowing myself to step into that flow. I taught a class last night and quoted my first yoga teacher, who used to say, as we entered savasana ” fall back into the arms of a universe that loves you and wants the best for you”.
And I am actually starting to believe that.
Here’s a few things that I’ve gotten myself up to lately (god, resorting to a list? yikes)….
– I am (occasionally, hoping for more) teaching! And I love it, so, so much. And have gotten great feedback through the studio. I am more confident and am really ready to see where else I might be able to teach; I have a few things I am checking out.
– I am involved in a once-a-month Monday night meditation sangha and it is lovely. (And, just to tease you, I am meditating alongside someone who plays a major character on one of my favorite TV shows, ever….shhh!)
– I’ve started attending a Sunday night meditative service at the Church in my neighborhood where I also do weddings. The message is palatable, but the meditation space is wonderful…I like meditating with other people.
– Last month I hit what might be a bucket list item if I believed in bucket lists…I saw one of my idols live, Patti Smith. I have loved her for years, her music, her poetry, her books and actually seeing her play live was just priceless. And i gotta say, it was one of the best shows I have ever been to, and she just turned 69. So some of my personal age issues were given a pretty healthy perspective . Rock Goddess!
– Also, last month, I hit the ten year death-aversary and survived it. I was dreading it, feeling like it was big, that number! And it came. And went. No different from any other day. Got me thinking about a lot of things though. Dangerous…
– I’m in the midst of a 28 day meditation challenge via Sharon Salzberg which has been great. She’s my spiritual crush anyway. Seriously, I love her. The meditations are short but I set my insight timer for more time at the end and when her voice fades out I continue to sit. (I know some of you are doing it too, how’s it going?) There is also a yoga challenge going on at my studio, so working the body and the mind! Loving it.
– Two weekends ago I accompanied a friend to a workshop with spiritual channeler Paul Selig. Uh-huh. It was weird and cool and awesome and a lot of things. Some very un-explainable things happened. And no, not gonna write about them because. Because. Very glad I went though, I feel grounded in a new way. I’m still digesting the experience.
– Last week I was able to take a 3 day Grief Specialist training for free because of my affiliation with Our House and the groups there. It was fascinating. It was geared toward clinicians and one-to-one work, which I don’t do, but I learned so much. And, as my
secret desire, NO, my PLAN! is to find a way to move into grief work with mindfulness and yoga practice, it was an invaluable experience and I made some contacts that, down the line, could be very helpful.
– At the end of the month I am taking a yoga workshop weekend with a “superstar” teacher, though I understand that he is not one to say or be that (unlike way too many other “name” teachers). My yoga teacher friend in Minnesota travels to work with him, and MY teacher here loves him and urged me to go. He lives in Santa Fe but is coming to Pasadena (not too far) so I just went for it. I felt led. I got the last spot.
– At the beginning of the year I put out an intention that I wanted to sit with two specific teachers, both who I admire greatly and who I listen to online and read obsessively. One is Sharon Salzberg; I’m seriously a groupie for her, it’s weird. I feel like she’s meant to be my teacher. So I’ve been obsessively checking her schedule, looking for her to come to the West Coast (she’s based in Massachusettes and New York) and my plan is to travel to her. The other teacher is Joan Halifax, an amazing woman, head of a Zen monastery in Santa Fe, NM. I have been following her for a long time and was first drawn to her because of her work with the dying, which fits in with my work with the grieving. She’s very involved in social justice issues, which also calls to me, especially this year because….(uh, no, not going there! At least in this post) She is a rockstar.
ANYWAY, here’s how that intention played out: the first weekend of November I am going to Sante Fe for a retreat with Roshi Joan and (ta-da!) Sharon Salzberg. Together! In the same space! I heard about this from a random tweet and I signed up the same day. AND my dear friend Nancy lives in Albequerque so I will get a visit in as well.
So. Lots of stuff happening, mostly good, all a bit mind-boggling and growth-inducing as well as keeping me in radio silence here. HERE. I’m reading and commenting around (as evidenced by my quoting myself at the top), but putting together a cogent post for myself has felt out of reach. Tonite I just thought, do it, write something, anything and actually push publish. This checking in made sense to me, so there you have it. Maybe it will jump-start more writing (or publishing; I have been writing, just keeping it to myself ), but I’m not going to worry about it. I am in the flow, I can feel it. So I am trusting that, allowing it to carry me wherever it will, however it does.
But it feels good to poke my nose in and say Hi!