At the root of any desire
is the belief
that if we get the thing we want
it will make us happy.
But we fool ourselves with this belief.
As soon as we get what we want,
another desire jumps in to take the place
of the desire fulfilled,
in a never-ending stream
of wanting, wanting, wanting.
And we live like this,
from craving to craving,
trying desperately to find fulfillment.
This is the prison we are in,
Where we are the warden,
We are the prisoner.
And we are the key.
If we are ever to escape from our dark prison
into the fresh clear daylight of this beautiful world,
it is essential
that we identify our specific desires
and question them, each and every one.
Do they stem from the drive
to prove our self worth to ourselves or the world?
If so, time to calmly and firmly let those desires go.
But if we discover a desire
to express our truest self,
and in that expression
feel so ecstatically, blissfully happy
that we light the way for others to do the same,
by all means, do what needs to be done
to manifest this desire
with all your powers of creation!
We might eventually discover
that the experience of the specific joys
we’re dreaming about
is simply a reflection
of the universal, inexhaustible joy
that flows from our truest selves.
Happiness come from within.
Anyone telling you anything different
is trying to sell you something.
It can’t be called a real yoga practice
if after an hour and a half of blissful asana
you go around flipping the bird to
unconscious drivers who get in your way.
The real work of yoga begins
when you step off of your mat
and back into your real human life.
When the babysitter doesn’t show up
and you’re scrambling to find a way to get to work
When you’re caught in rush hour traffic
and each intersection is blocked
When you’re sick and dragging yourself around
When you burn the dinner
Or sleep in late
Or don’t get any sleep at all
When you see a person
you don’t get along with too well
When you’re faced with an old fear–
It is in that place of discomfort,
in that place of old stories and reactivity
that you have the chance to awaken
in this moment
Greet whatever arrives in this moment as a friend
It is all here to help you remember who you are
Step off of the peaceful sanctuary of your mat
and stretch the limits of your personal identity
strengthen your ability to feel compassion for others
balance the events of your outer life
with awareness of your inner world
open to your fullest potential as a human being
Welcome the challenges life presents,
take a deep breath,
and let the real work begin.
Oh Muses come
it has been too long
and I was caught up
in the workaday world
It told me I couldn’t
It told me it was impossible
and for a time I believed it
But a teacher showed me how to breathe
and I saw a flower bloom
and a sunrise flashed gold on the wall
and a beautiful dancer leapt
and a mountain climber was courageous…
I saw stars glistening at night
and I heard the crickets singing.
I felt the evening breeze float in my window
and my room was perfumed with the essence of juniper.
And I remembered…
beyond what my mind can comprehend,
everywhere there is energy
and I am never separate from it.
This energy that created me,
that sustains me,
that gives me eyes that can see–
this energy wants me to be happy.
So Muses come,
and pour your divine inspiration through me
that I may remember who I am
and allow my creative essence to flow
from my spirit heart,
from my body of light–
into this world of form.
Come that I may surrender
into my boundless true nature,
and merge with the one self that pervades
all that is,
floating in the infinite ocean of consciousness,
floating in bliss.
Mastery takes time,
so does a masterpiece,
so don’t fix your eyes on the fantasy of completion–
instead enjoy every small step you take
in the direction back home to your true nature.
Your creative self beckons,
says, “It has been far too long.”
When you hear its voice,
for God’s sake don’t make it wait!
This inspiration is a divine gift.
Accept it graciously,
and remember who you are.
The tools are in your hands.
If they are not in your hands,
then they are right over there on that shelf.
If they aren’t on the shelf,
they are somewhere close by,
with a neighbor, a friend, a fellow traveler–
so never use the excuse
that you lack the tools to accomplish something;
the tools are all around you,
begging, longing for your touch.
Now, what are you going to make
of this one precious human life that is yours?
One path leads to bliss,
and the other to bliss.
Now, what do you choose?
I choose bliss!
We had our meditation retreat today…for multiple hours, we alternated between chunks of time spent in seated meditation and chunks of time spent in walking meditation. Sitting with a group and going inwards is so different from my solitary twice daily meditation practice; today I was hyper aware of the noises people were making, aware of how difficult sitting for prolonged periods of time must be for those who don’t have a regular practice. I remembered the first months of my meditation practice, how pretty much every time I sat my brain was screaming to me to stop, letting me know how futile my efforts were. I can only imagine that some of my fellow trainees were thinking similar thoughts. But here’s to making it through the retreat and coming out the other side with at least a little more awareness than before.
Wherever we go
our thoughts follow.
Take some time to become familiar with them,
so that you can greet them as you would an old friend.
Ah there you are again! you say to some old regret,
Let me hold you until you no longer need to be held.
There is space for you here.
Sitting or walking, let your mind slow down
and find solace in the sound of your breathing.
Meditation isn’t about finding unending bliss–
it’s about finding you, the REAL you,
who you are in this moment,
and loving the being that you are.
Once that love bubbles up and pours out of you,
you will have no choice but to feel bliss.
You will have remembered who you really are.