Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Message vs. The Method

This a calling for Peace.

I grew up with two sets of parents. One set of parents was deeply immersed in the spiritual-ritual world of Native American tribal wisdom. With them I danced Eagle Dances and Sundances. With them I participated in countless sweat lodge ceremonies and full moon pipe ceremonies. With them I studied what is known as “Medicine Wheel” teachings, teachings that assist our understanding of the inner and outer universe through 8 directional qualities. There was great wisdom there.

My other parents raised me, in part, in a service-based Presbyterian church with which I traveled yearly to Mexico, building houses in the slums of Tijuana. From the age of 14 to 22 I built seven houses for seven loving families. The act of service kept calling me back to the work. The love and inner transformation available to the Heart through service became apparent during those years. There was great wisdom there.

Today I find myself deeply integrated the in the practice of yoga. The practice helps me understand my body’s sacred geometry and how to align the body to experience visceral, mental and spiritual freedom. The practice enlightens me on my breath, assists my capacity to receive the gift of Life through the vehicle of the breath. The practice calms my busy-bee mind, assisting my capacity to sit in the Great Silence and Space within. The practice, like the Medicine Wheel teachings and the service projects, directs me into my Heart. The practice guides me home to that Great Love that's living through me. There is great wisdom here.

I share this because I practice a type of yoga called Anusara Yoga. And, like many other types of yoga today, the type of yoga (or the method of yoga) is getting more attention than the message of Yoga. When I hear folks saying “I practice ‘X’ yoga and it’s superior to ‘Y’ yoga”, I feel compelled to be a voice of remembrance for the MESSAGE versus the METHOD.

There are many, many, many methods...there are many, many different types of folks with whom different methods will resonate. Service, ceremony, Yoga, motherhood, fatherhood, Chi-Gong, Tai Chi, silence, prayer, mountaineering, gardening, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism...to name a few.

At the core the message is one: Life is a Divine gift. We are the creation of the Divine. Our lives are a gift for co-creating with the Divine. We are a miracle of Love. Our soul and the world are one. Love never leaves us. Love is always present. We can choose to stand IN Love and when we forget Love, Love is always there to Light the way again.

Be free of judgment and spiritual arrogance. Celebrate the rainbow of methods. Share the message of Love that lies at the Heart of each method. May every method assist people into their Hearts. May all methods return us to Love.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Woman, Finally

Time warp.
Highschool’s long over.
Crows feet now decorate your smiling face. You are dreaming of babies, babies, babies. You are ‘over’ having to be that all-powerful-famous-rich person and have moved on to being honest, living with integrity, devoted to love-based values and loyal to your family.
Loud music seems a lot louder than it used to.
Stilettos seem like an overall bad idea.
You don’t cancel plans with friends any more because you intentionally make half as many plans.
You’ve forgiven all the major criminals in your life.
You’ve forgiven yourself.
You’ve accepted yourself.
You respect yourself.
You still make mistakes, but they are no longer held up as evidence as to why you’re ‘not enough’.
You don’t pounce on your ringing cell phone anymore.
You canceled your ‘text’ plan.
You schedule email ‘hours’ a couple times a week and hike, play, make love, work, relax, teach, cook and enjoy life in the moments between.
You prefer reading to watching television.
You have a sharp discerning eye.
You’re not angry anymore.
You don’t speed when you drive.
You kindly let others into your lane. Why not? What’s the rush?
You make time for your friends.
You cook for your friends.
You listen to your friends.
You laugh a lot.
You are relaxed and you help others relax.
You stop eating long before you’re full.
You mostly choose colorful fruits and vegetables... and dark chocolate, the expensive kind.
You can afford a $5 chocolate bar - you’re all grown up now. And though you rarely drink, you can tell the difference between a Shiraz and a Cabernet.
Your husband loves you with a hug, not a cage.
He admires who you are and how you are.
He kisses you on the tip of your nose.
He kisses you everywhere.
Getting into bed with him is like landing softly in Love’s tender arms.
He’s your best friend.
Other women no longer scare you.
You cheer on the hot-bodied 19 year-old who bubbles over with gleeful enthusiasm for every subject under the sun. “You go girl,” you whisper to her. (And you send her a silent prayer of protection as you watch her sexuality spill unconsciously onto every passer by. She’ll learn.)
As for those women who glare with jealousy, who roll their eyes, who still gossip...your heart goes out to them.
You’ve learned to meet female cruelty with indifference. This was not easy.
You no longer strive to meet the demands of society or race to match society’s pace.
You take up yoga or move to another country to remember your natural cadence.
You discover space and quiet within you.
You discover a deep Peace - a Peace that words can not touch but that deeply touches those around you.
You embody Love.
People experience you as Love.
And this is enough.
You are Woman, finally.