Shadow’s Heart

“I’ll take your heart. We’ll need it later,” and she reached her hand deep inside his chest, and she pulled it out with something ruby and pulsing held between her sharp fingernails. It was the color of pigeon’s blood, and it was made of pure light. Rhythmically it expanded and contracted.

-Neil Gaiman, “American Gods”

Shining the Light

“So often when we sit to meditate or find ourselves on the yoga mat, we get bombarded with the samskaras of the mind and the aches and pains of the body, and we can wind up feeling worse than when we started.  It’s not that things are really worse – it’s that the practice of yoga and seated meditation shine the light of awareness squarely on the blocks in the mind, and this can be quite uncomfortable”

– Darren Main, Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic

The “born again yogi” may sound all enthusiastic.  This (somewhat lengthy) passage from the assigned reading points to the other side: the practice includes the difficult choice to turn around and look directly at what is gripping us in life.  Difficult, because it’s immediately unpleasant, difficult because of the years of building the prison walls and growing into the shackles.  On the other hand, there  is only the trust in practice to hold on to, the trust that looking at the walls and the shackles would eventually loosen their grip, allow the slivers of freedom into the cracks.

Two Minutes

This past weekend in the alignment class at the yoga teacher training, we practiced seeing and being seen.

We got split into buddy pairs.   The first exercise was to stand in front of each other in tadasana (mountain pose) and look at each other.  Then we took turns to touch each other gently around the alignment points.  Then, in turns, one person, the “lookee”, stood still, another, the “looker”, was guided to observe the lookee, from all four sides, from feet up, mostly looking, with gentle feeling touch here and there. Continue reading “Two Minutes”