The Practice of Social Action.

Be, don’t seek.

Sit warmly open,

lightness in your brow,

not questions.

Be ready for the quiet

when it comes,

and the creaking

of the house’s bones

and the wind’s music

playing the notes of the trees.

Be, don’t brood.

Don’t wait for life

to announce itself

in capitals

or high garb.

Be available to it’s whispers,

know how to listen

when it tells its true self

and not the lies

you’ve dreamt up.

Be able to breathe

and let go of your breath,

let go of life as you wish it to be

and take in the simplicity,

the facts-

The sky is.

The day is.

This sparrow is.

Be, don’t try.

Your weariness must have

shown you something by now.

Stay seated in your soul,

remember the sun is there,

truth and time are there.

Be, don’t seek.

You’ve already found.

You already have.

You already know.

You already are.

Elizabeth Page Roberts 2008

So much talk about social change and social action…often this leads to so much time and energy invested to solve problems, so busy, so much burnout, so much talking, not so much listening…

Is that not the process of living into the notion of progress, an ideology that frames present day society?

When thinking about ‘change’ there have been a number of moments in recent times that consistently return me to this one effort – that is…

…to be.

We hear it time and time again, in famous speeches, from spiritual leaders, from our community.  So I think about it, consider, contemplate, question – then life gets busy!

But what is it to truly be, to surrender to the essence of the moment?  Or maybe the better question for us in this day and age – how the heck can one ‘be’ when there’s so much to do?

…And what does this have to do with social action?

Consider the practice of social action is stillness.

Consider evolving stillness and quietness within supports engagement with the intimacy of life, attentiveness to the subtle gifts always present, an opening to the essence of non-harm – the practice of meeting each moment as it is.

Consider meditation is the practice supporting social action.

Be, don’t seek.

Invite the moments of creative suspension to honour each situation as it unravels.

Advertisements

Gratitude…

How deeply can we sink into the ocean of gratitude?

We strive for joy and happiness to complete our lives, the essence of feeling truly alive…and I wondered what was beneath that?  What supports happiness or joy?

I had an experience in life that felt quite profound at the time – I say at the time because I believe this experience is possible to relive within many moments.  With time, space, and on going reflection of this moment…the experience continues to open new doorways.

Are you curious about the moment?…it was actually several moments of living, breathing, being, feeling the swells of the deepest, most abundant and expansive tide of gratitude stir within.  It was as if the full moon evoked a spring tide, pulling the deepest currents to the surface of my consciousness to be embodied within the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes.  Everything made sense.  Life had accumulated and continues to accumulate – all the impossibilities, challenges, riches, burdens, loss, gifts…

…it left me curious and with questions.

…is it possible for the essence of gratitude to be found within the layers and hardships?

…what is required of us to explore this essence during times of crisis and hardship?

…consider what contribution gratitude may bring within the moments of abundance or moments of darkness?

How deep is the ocean of this essence?  How can one tap into this ocean at any point in life?  Is it possible?

How can gratitude shift consciousness?

How can gratitude support being myself?

Sooo many questions…any answers…any feelings or thoughts?

Yoga contributing to social change?

Yoga contributing to social change.

Yoga as a tool for social change.

A revolution beginning in the heart…

A revolution expanding into communities and beyond…

For many years I have been tumbling these thoughts around my mind, rounding out the edges of ideas, massaging the questions, and observing…

The west continues to tighten its grip on ‘yoga’ – stretching the imagination of classical Yogi’s in India.  The practice reaches across a broad spectrum of possibilities in present day culture.  Many people are drawn to yoga for a diverse spectrum of reasons…and westerners continue to flock to studios to catch the craze!  All generations are exploring the practice, from little people experimenting with their flexible young bodies, to the elderly aiming to soften the edges of aging.  The practice is not limited to any one ethnicity or cultural background.

The invitation is out for anyone who is curious to move, breath and observe…or embrace the stillness – all qualities of the natural order of life.  The dharma.

Prisoners are practicing.  Seniors.  Under-served youth. Veterans.  Survivors of life threatening illnesses.  Injured bodies.  Those with damaged minds.  Those with hurt hearts.  Those wanting to participate in life…and so many more…

All this being said – if we look to the beginning of the eight-limbed path of Patanjali’s yoga, we return to the restraints and observances…the ethics and morals possible to integrate into everyday life.

So what could be possible if those named above or those who went to simply stretch, get fit, exercise, socialize, move, breath…invited a curiosity investigate – why yoga?

What if their practice deepened into an inquiry of their expressions, postures, breath – into the layers of restraints and observances…compassion, truth, and integrity that reside within?

AND –

What if the looking inward at all the layers of gifts, manifested outward into community and daily life?

Could yoga contribute to social change?

Could yoga be a tool for social change?

Could yoga start a revolution beginning in the heart?

Could this revolution expand into communities and beyond…?

With the practice touching so many lives and integrating into western culture – anything is possible!  Right!?

Strive for the impossible, for what was once impossible is now possible!

November = shoulder season!

How did it get to be November!!?  A month considered the shoulder season in Canada – unpredictable weather, not quite enough snow to play in and a wide range of temperatures making it hard to plan outdoor adventures.

So if moving in synchronicity with the season, sticking close to the biorhythms of Canada’s shoulder season – then perhaps it’s a good month to explore shoulder stands and inversions?!!

All kidding aside – within western context, shoulder stands and inversions aim to improve circulation and promote metabolic balance within the body.  We spend our days standing and walking, allowing the predictable pull of gravity to do its work on our musco-skeletal structures, fluid, and energetic layers.  Taking time to turn the body upside down stimulates our nervous system and supports the increase of mental alertness and clarity.  In yogic philosophy, inverting the body supports the flow of energy through our central meridian.  In anatomical terms, the central channel connects to neurological pathways linking to our endocrine system – inversions support balance and irrigation of these pathways.

…And an inversion can be done at any time…you don’t have to warm up for a restorative moment!  At the end of a long day in my head or on my feet, I often return home to a few minutes with my feet up against a wall, my back resting on the ground, arms out stretched!

During a time of year than can be dreary with lots of cloud and rain, temperatures dropping, we begin to turn inward.  A simple posture to reawaken a foggy mind or tired feet can be a blessing as we transition into winter!