Journey Day 10, huddled fireside at, of all places, the Ritz Carlton, grateful for a bit of warmth and food prepared by someone other than me. Time out in the elements is challenging with persistent blustery cold. So we take a morning of privileged respite, knowing that we can, before we head out once again. The Pacific is mighty in its moods.
We spend days walking, resting, reading, making meals, listening to Pema Chodron and David Whyte, playing backgammon, watching sunsets, looking at stars, listening to waves. Everyday finds me yet quieter still, realizing what a hurdle the daily urban hustle is to surmount. A sense of hushed centered presence builds steam daily. The elements are peeling off what feels like deeply encrusted layers.
“Unfortunately, by the nineteenth century, art and artful skill (techne) yielded to technique, and, more recently, to technology. And skills that were once grounded in the insight that comes from the rhythm of awakening, pulsing through the total mind-body-being became the mechanical artifacts of a humanity increasingly fragmented and cut off from its own depths in psyche.” Jean Houston
This pulsing rhythm is self-evident in practice. Every day I relish picnic table yoga time. I spread my mat out and do my “down and dirty” loose, long, strong ritual. And here, under the sky and trees, in the presence of sun and wind and even this morning’s cold, I am sensing body cues I could not feel at home. I needed to get away from the habitual to access this quality of quiet.
I am astonished at the gifts I am reaping. One of the main themes is this: the more subtle the practice, the more powerful and accurate the changes manifest. Small moves, intense attention to breath, 100% sensory awareness. The possibilities for healing are incredible when we are in touch with our own depths. We need to master bilateral practice and then, when we are ripe with this, the internal knowing is strong enough and ready to sense the asymmetrical truth needed for unilateral practice. This may seem like a mouthful but guiding this journey is my devoted calling.
I am excited about sharing this in a new unfettered way when I return.Yoga Therapy begins Tuesday morning June 6 in a beautiful new setting at Alhambra & G. The tag line for this offering keeps echoing in me. Yoga Therapy: essential practice for the self care geek. Yeah, you do have to be a bit geeky to take yourself on at this level. But frankly, I don’t know another way to stay active in all the ways that satisfy my soul. From uninhibited dance to climbing into the loft in the Westphalia; from crawling around the floor with grandbabies to multiple sun salutations in the sand; from climbing trees to shoveling the garden. At 67, I am just not ready to surrender any of it quite yet.
So let’s geek out together when I get home. And in my absence, keep moving in ways that are “grounded in the insight that comes from the rhythm of awakening.”