Sunday, November 30, 2014

The yoga of raw, tender burning

At times a lonely heart will appear as your teacher, and you will be asked to practice the most radical yoga of raw, tender burning.

At times you may see that the sadhana of a broken heart is the highest path for you and will ask that you set aside all others, placing your tenderness, your aloneness, and your ripening sensitivity upon the altar in front of you. 

Open the gates of your body and worship the wisdom field that is your emerging somatic brilliance. For there is no greater temple. 

Artist unknown

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The mandala of vulnerability

In intimate relationship there may always be ruptures which arise in the field of lovers.  For when we enter into the mandala of vulnerability with another, each and every unprocessed emotion, feeling, and sensation will be there greeting us at the gates, yearning to be met, awaiting our alive presence, and longing for metabolization in our ripe bodies and hearts. Once inside, the call of the beloved arrives in a thundering silence: come closer. Undress. And come closer.

Along the provocative path of intimacy yoga, it may appear as if our lover is doing something *to* us, but often all they're really doing is just being themselves. Yet somehow this is enough to unleash an avalanche of rage, fear, feelings of abandonment and dependency, a tidal wave of unresolved attachment, and an urgent, desperate longing to be seen as we are. In the dance with the beloved, the bad news is that there is absolutely nowhere to hide. Ironically, this is the good news as well.

Without warning, we find ourselves back in that very familiar place where it's... just... not... safe. We long for secure ground and reference point from which we can organize our lives, but the beloved loves us too much to offer this. And on top of it all, the superego remains nearby, reminding us: these sorts of feelings aren't very 'spiritual,' are they? Really, anger? Jealousy? Dependency? Terror? Attachment? I thought you had 'transcended' all this? What about your 'awakening?' You were enlightened, in bliss, in such peace and sooooo in love when you were on your own… weren’t you? You were so incredibly safe then. Perhaps this isn't for you after all.

In the wake of these inevitable ruptures – which are none other than the beloved's wild activity in disguise – love has appeared, yet again, as the ultimate curative and repair, bursting through the cracks in your heart, oozing out of your cellular tissue, and emerging in full force out of the strands of your DNA. You are being reminded of the actual role of the beloved in your life – creativity, destruction, and rewiring the entire known world. Each rupture that appears comes pleading with you to behold the portal it is opening inside you: Come closer. Undress. And come closer.

An invitation has arrived, but it has not come from any human source; it has fallen out of the stars and emerged up out of the gooey muddy earth. The beloved is at it again, using whatever form he must, to find you, to unclothe you, and to reveal the majesty and splendor that you are. She will never, ever stop looking for you, using whatever skillful means she must to reach you. Please don’t miss this opportunity. But if you do, don’t worry, love will come again, and again, and again, until your heart has turned to dust. 

Art by Ljubov Toscheva 

Friday, November 28, 2014

The unfolding of pure being

While he or she is a mad, crazy shape-shifter, the beloved will often appear as a wild tour guide to take you into the vast, pregnant reality of wholeness.

You thought it was safety you were looking for, for the resolution of your emotional world, and for a final resting place where the vulnerability, burning, and tenderness would end. But you are seeing that what you are is the luminous vastness in which the feeling of safety dances and in which the burning can find safe passage.

Surges of longing, waves of confusion, fragrances of aloneness – these are portals through which love is bridging you to the unseen. There are no mistakes here, nothing has gone wrong. These are your yogas now. Lay these ones on the altar in front of you and bow.

Though it is not easy, you are seeing that it is through your vulnerability, sensitivity, and broken openness that love is able to make use of your body, of your psyche, of your tenderness, to emerge out of the stars and bless this weary world. Honor the fire that is raging within, for it is the link to the unfolding of pure being. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The mystery of Thanksgiving

We are quite sure that tomorrow will come, that the most sacred breath will be there, that grace will take shape as the sun falling into the ocean, as the moon in the sky, and as the crystals in the newly fallen snow. That the particles of love will continue to configure as the precious deer that we run into on our morning walk. It is so easy to take for granted that we will be given one more opportunity to touch and hold another, and fill them with our love. 

But another part of us knows it is so fragile here, so precarious, so extraordinary – that something is happening that is so very precious, rare, and outrageous – and that it will not be here for much longer. Recognizing this, let us give thanks on this new day by doing whatever we can to help others, by being willing to burn for love, never apologizing for our uniqueness, sensitivity, and vulnerability.

At the end of this life – which is sure to come much, much sooner than we'd like – it is quite unlikely we'll be asking if we accomplished the tasks on our to-do lists, if we completed some mythical spiritual journey, perfected ourselves, played it safe, or achieved all of our goals. Inside these hearts there may be only one burning question: how well did I love? 

Did I pause each day to behold the movement of grace as it has unfolded in each and every radiant here and now moment? Did I look with awe into the miracle sunset and the glory of the stars and give my raw beating heart to this world? Did I risk everything to know the preciousness of what is truly happening here? Was I willing to feel more, care so deeply, let everyone matter, and be utterly devastated at even the possibility of one more sunrise? Was I willing to fall in love, to truly fall in love? 

Did I spend my time here in this star of love wisely, with my heart open and available, knowing it could be broken in any moment? Did I dance with the beloved around the moon, wander with her into the desert and into the darkness, play with her in the depths of the oceans, and give everything for just one glimpse of the mysteries of separation and union? 

I hope I make it all the way through this sweetest of ever thanksgiving days, but if for some reason I do not, this would have been enough. I have been given so much more than enough. 

Photographer unknown

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chaos is 'extremely good news'

In the tantric tradition it is said that chaos is 'extremely good news.' When you are willing to enter into your neurosis, your confusion, and your hopelessness, you approach the threshold of the sacred world. No matter where you look, all you see is path. Nothing is out of place and every state of mind is shown to be valid and workable. Even your most disturbing emotions are revealed to be of the nature of light, sent to magically evoke the infinite qualities of love buried within the darkness.

It is risky to let in the possibility that you are not broken, are not a mistake, and are not in need of fixing; that you could actually fully step into this world and participate right here and right now – that you need not wait until certain feelings are present or absent, for the right 'partner' or groovy spiritual career to show up, or for things to look quite the way you thought they were supposed to. If you will let her, the beloved will come in at once and remove all of this, leaving you naked before the truth of your illuminated presence.

Here, you will no longer be able to hide out from your unique natural perfection, pretending you are unworthy. You will no longer be able to assert your unlovability as you discover that what you are is love itself. You see so clearly that there is no 'you' here and 'love' over there; this old idea has been burned up in the fires of transmutation. When you are no longer able to conclude that a mistake has been made, you will see that even your neurotic spinning is weaved of particles of luminosity, brilliance, and intelligence.

Yes, it may seem like yet another ordinary Wednesday morning – and that you are in an ordinary situation – but things are rarely what they seem here. Please do not postpone your participation here until things look the way you thought they would. Love is here now. And is burning up in its longing to move through you to set this world on fire.