I’ve been participating in a 10-day online event called Waking up in the World which features 30 inspiring social visionaries, contemplative scholars and teachers from around the world. The intent is to compel participants to tap into our individual and collective power to fuel a world that encourages kindness, courage and wise action. One of the presenters, Leon Logothetis, shared a remarkable story about leaving a highly successful career as a financial consultant in London to travel the world in search of meaning. He left all his possessions behind and decided not to accept any money along the way. That would be too easy. Rather, he would rely on random acts of kindness.
One of my revered teachers, Tara Brach recently shared an inspiring excerpt from a dharma talk. In it, she referenced an On Being interview where the host, Krista Tippett interviewed Ruby Sales, an African American social activist. Ruby described a "defining moment" for her when she was getting her locks washed. The simple question she asked her locker's daughter summed up over a decade of teachings I'd experienced...
"It can be a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up the space. In the pause, we begin to connect a fundamental restlessness as well as a fundamental spaciousness." -Pema Chödrön
So many of us get blocked from contacting our innate basic goodness. That inner light, wisdom, buddha nature, or whatever word resonates for you. It gets lost in life's frenzy.
Somehow, we tend to get over-identified with a "flawed self" (something's wrong with me), feel kicked out of the garden (I don't belong), and armor up to make it through. On a good day, if we make time to come up for air long enough, we wonder how it's possible to feel empty inside, given all our activity. Or feel like an imposter.
So how do we get un-blocked and learn to truly see...?
This past week, I had two uncles, one in New Jersey and one in Florida, both fortunate enough to live into their 90's land in hospice care. One passed away within 24 hours. The other miraculously did well enough to be discharged home for hospice care. Full lives, to be sure. Yet, these experiences always offer a sacred pause....
Spring is my favorite season because it feels so alive, colorful, and new. Appreciation for this treasured time is shared by many beings so I'm sharing a simple practice that encourages soaking in it's gifts...
"Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny..."-Gandhi
I often hear people say they don't do yoga because they're not flexible. I always wonder, how so? Are we talking about flexibility of the body or mind?