100 Days of Yoga, Day 33

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September 23, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam

The biggest impediment to happiness?  Life.  I am beginning to consider my goal to be not only unreachable, but untenable.  I think I may need to narrow my parameters or better define exactly what I’m looking for.  Because the truth of the matter is, who even has a right to be happy all the time?  If we are walking a spiritual path, being aware of everything around us, then one of the first things that pops up on our radar is suffering.  Who am I to be happy in the face of, not just a little, but a whole damn world of suffering.

The suffering is unending.  It is ubiquitous.  We absolutely can’t escape it.  Two days ago I saw a doe with an injured leg, hopping on three legs trying to care for her fawn, eating the soft, new grass in the warmth near the highway.  How will they survive the long winter of little food? The wolves who will run them down?  How can we hold such sorrow?

In resetting my parameters, I must consider we can’t not know the suffering.  The doe and fawn are perhaps small, compared to the horrible world-wide suffering, but how can one delineate suffering?  Suffering is suffering, and according to the teachings I’ve learned: it is all perfect, including the suffering.  That one is hard for me to grasp.  How can suffering be perfect?

From Naomi Shibib Nye we learned without sorrow there can be no kindness.  From Mary Oliver we learned we are here to simply love.  Yet surrounded by such suffering, how can we hold our hearts open in love.  Every bit of my self wants to close down, try to protect myself from sorrow, from sadness.  Isn’t it easier to cover our heads and not peek?

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

~ Mary Oliver ~

You see, we must peek.  We must bear witness to both the sorrow and the joy.  We must hold it all, and love it all, because without it we are no more than empty shells.  Not perfectly content, but not full of sorrow either.   We are these beings struggling through life, doing the very best we can at every turn.  We don’t know how it will all work out, or if it even will.  Somehow, on this journey, perhaps instead of looking for contentment, perhaps we could learn to relish simple acceptance.

Today I head to Madeline Island for a yoga retreat.  I am looking for answers, for heart opening, for inspiration … yes, a lot to ask.  But as I recall, all I ever have to do is ask for what I really want.

I will do a longer practice today, including working with Mike, so that he will have some poses to work on in my absence.  Joan Shumway demonstrated an on-the-wall downward facing dog that I think I can teach Mike in order to work around his broken wing.  So, some cat/cow warm ups, into downward facing dog, perhaps Warrior I and II, a fish pose and finally I will get Mike into a bridge pose in order to create an inversion:  Vipratri Karani, with a block under the sacrum for support.  Before Savasana, we’ll do a reclined twist.

M & I will then join our energy together in meditation.

Namaste, Chris


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