It is possible for us to discover our own innocence and childlike beauty. Discovering the innocent childlike quality in us does not mean being reduced to a child. Rather, we become fresh, inquisitive, sparkling. We want to know more about the world, more about life. When our preconceptions are stripped away, we begin to realize ourselves—it is like a second birth. We discover our innocence, our primordial quality, our eternal youth.
The dewdrop world
is the dewdrop world
and yet – and yet.
18th Century Japanese Haiku Master
On the loss of his daughter
Stretch your arms and take hold the cloth of your clothes
with both hands. The cure for pain is in the pain.
Good and bad are mixed. If you don’t have both,
you don’t belong with us.
When one of us gets lost, is not here, he must be inside us.
There’s no place like that anywhere in the world.
From “There’s Nothing Ahead”
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”~Washington Irving
Groundlessness is a concept that Pema Chodron discusses a lot in her wonderful writing and talks. It refers to shunyata, or the buddhist concept of emptiness. This is not emptiness in the sense that nothing is there. It is emptiness in a sense that nothing, including ourselves, is solid and predictable. This is not some myth or made up story to get through hard times, it is actual reality. We can test it and see that our results are always the same. Nothing on this earth, in this universe, stays the same.
For me the vinyasa practice embodies the sadhana of opening to groundlessness. We traverse from pose to pose with skill because we have studied the postures themselves. We prepare ourselves well for that journey by understanding alignment and actions in each pose. But what about the spaces between the postures? In the process of transforming our body from form to form can we be as present with the spaces between, those inevitable areas of groundlessness?
As I prepare for my workshop today, I am reminded of this beauty and elegance of attention. Between each shape is a multitude of possibilities and that wide openness is the very same thing as shunyata. Emptiness actually means that anything is possible.
I look forward to sharing this work with you today and my hope is that it inspires ever more practitioners to take “vinyasa” beyond the athleticism of achieving great stunts and many chaturangas and into the space of shunyata. Skill in action. Opening to possibility. Letting go of where we fixate and seeing that it is wide open.
See you there.
this is what happened when i played on the ropes today! i found an amazing psoas stretch that got me where nothing else seems to get. so good. make sure to use your arms as leverage on the wall to turn the torso away from the leg in extension.
gahh. so good.
Dedicated to my Teacher Trainees…
At night make me one with the darkness.
In the morning make me one with the light.
Don’t pray for the rain to stop.
Pray for good luck fishing
when the river floods.
Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieve to see your house catch fire.
Put your hands into the mire.
They will learn the kinship
of the shaped and the unshapen,
the living and the dead.
When I rise up
let me rise up joyful
like a bird.
When I fall
let me fall without regret
like a leaf.
Let me wake in the night
and hear it raining
and go back to sleep
Make the human race a better head.
Make the world a better crop of ground.
Invisible/Visible (feat. Bobby Mcferrin & Cesar Camargo Marino)
The gentle spring rain permeates the soil of my soul.
A seed that has lain deeply in the earth for many years just smiles.
Thich Nhat Hanh