you are covered with dust
aren’t you… but i visit you now
to see you, like an old friend
whom i’ve lost
you know that you’ve hidden from me all this time
but now, better not to quench your thirst
what i see … is … my wind
that will expose the ashes and bareness left behind
you breathe in the deepest part of the water
but it’s ok
the dust leaves a mountain, and a place
to see your golden shadow
“in giving you are throwing a bridge across the chasm of your solitude..”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry~ (from The Wisdom of the Sands)
© r.e.l. 9/29/10
inspired by a mountain of sand and the song Undertow by Warpaint
posted for Poetry Potluck 6/5-6/11/11 “Inspired by a Song” on Jingle Poetry
Continuing on from coming into wholeness… I want to talk about the unconscious. It is here that we are driven. The largest part of our psyche is the unconscious, in the same way that most of an iceberg is actually underwater. A lot of the unconscious is the “shadow,” according to Jung.
The art of “letting go” is the way we drop our worries and pinpointed desires from our minds so that they no longer control us. All that we try to let go, all the activity in our minds that over-thinks, all the agitation, and all that keeps us from reaching our dreams is sourced here in the unconscious.
It is normally not so simple to overcome. If we are not able to express ourselves from the core of who we are because we feel uncomfortable doing so, and we are not sure why, it’s because we are blocked.
Dreams are a wonderful way to access our unconscious. Dream interpretation is a way to talk to this “person” who is dreaming. To enter into any sort of dialog with the dream, regardless of the philosophy, is a step toward unleashing the material from your unconscious mind and allowing it to settle in the conscious mind.
Once this unconscious material is freed, regardless of your method, you will most likely feel a range of emotions from elation to discomfort. Don’t be alarmed by this, as it will pass quickly It is all part of the process of moving the energy…
The unconscious can be reached in deep meditation too, even as meditation-in-motion in a strong yoga asana practice which leads to mental and emotional stillness. The trick is to stay focused on the right meditative tools so that you can train your mind to observe unconsciously as the energy unfolds while you are awake. It can be confusing while awake to determine which is conscious and which is unconscious, so this requires pure stillness in your mind in order to access it.
Alternatively, some people are able to enter into a dialog with their child self.
You can be sure that whatever is most important to you will come up in a dream or deep meditation! Figuring this out is the key. It is sometimes not easy (or impossible) to remember dreams. Setting an intention before sleeping, as well as creating a special dream log book with a flashlight is a start to getting in the groove of remembering. As you give attention to your dreams, you will more easily remember them and all the details.
Interpreting the unconscious, whether in nighttime dreams or in meditation, can be fun as you learn your symbolism. It is fun to bounce the ideas off others too. However, all symbols are yours alone. Even though people have created symbolism dictionaries, the symbolism to each person is unique in its own way. [Although if you read one of these dictionaries, you will take on some of the symbolism!] Once you have determined your own, it is fun figure out!
Even if you have a conscious recognition of unconscious material that feels disturbing, this can change completely if you figure out the source behind it all. Once you do so, you will feel the shift on an emotional level!
All reaction is unconscious. If you are conscious, you never react; you act. Action is conscious; reaction is unconscious.
~ Osho ~
© r.e.l. 9/23/10
It is possible to find this peace from within yourself — not relying on another person or object. Allow yourself to let go of all the impediments that make your mind over-think, fear and worry. Without all of the excess, you are free!
You can access this freedom any time, in fact! The truest side of who you are, undisturbed, coexists with the emotional mind…
A metaphor… Imagine 3 buckets of water.
- one is muddy
- one is stirred up
- one is still and clear
The sun is shining in all 3, and they each enjoy the sun equally.
Reflection in the first bucket is dim and dull, in the second is agitated, and in the third is peaceful.
Where the sun is the Self, the water is the mind, and the reflection is the Ego (mis-identification), we can make some conclusions.
My true self is a constant that is independent of how my mind is acting. If I appear to reflect “muddy water” I see dullness and depression. If I appear to reflect agitation, I will feel like I’m breaking apart in pieces. If I appear to reflect stillness and clarity, however, I will feel a profound peacefulness with my Self and feel at one.
So, if I am seeing muddy water, or water that is stirred up, how do I calm it? The answer is to calm the rajas (activity, motion and irritation in the mind) and the tamas (inert and dullness in the mind), so that you can feel the sattva (the purity of the mind). Rajas and tamas create imbalance. Yoga, meditation or other physical activity / mental-calming activities will do the trick.
Independent of what is reflected by the mind, the sun is always shining and I am always whole. I just have to know it, feel it and identify with it.
© r.e.l. 9/22/10
Inspired by the teachings of Advaita Vedanta, Sankhya Yoga and the Upanishads…
What has the internet done to our communications when love or friendships are involved? When the internet is so easily accessible, it becomes the first mode of communication where words take on the greatest of meaning. Do we become lost and literally zapped by the electromagnetic waves of the computer, losing touch with all other sources of reality that generate powerful feelings and connections in the first place?
To step aside from the exchange of words opens the mind to an extraordinary place where the conduit between two beings is instead in the stars and the cosmos. This reality brings a completely new aspect to a relationship that would not exist were it to simply revolve around communication via words.
Taking comfort in this unknown…
Love especially requires trust, touch, belief and full presence. How easy is it, when the other is not by our side, to replace needs that love craves with intimacies only found in words? Isn’t this a trap that has the potential to create craziness as the most tender and vulnerable moments arise and require immediacy?
What happened to the days of waiting months for a hand-written letter to arrive by horseback, with love in your heart?
Think about how hungry you can become for every word from a loved one, and how you desire complete dedication from this person. You may want to see it all summarized, maybe on your computer screen, so that your heart is complete! But is this possible? Isn’t it the energy emanating from the warm body that you desire, not words emanating from tin? Yet, with this accessibility, maybe you will live as if it is completely possible to be fulfilled in this manner and pursue it!
However, there is much to be said without words… that which can be most easily transmitted with silence and/or eye contact. While sitting right next to another person, eye to eye, we can feel reactions, reasons for hesitance and see the beauty in taking the time to say what is true in the moment (or transmit it in silence).
We can confirm what is true with words, but if we learn to put them aside and focus more on the unspoken, we can read a more powerful sentence… the energy of the universe.
To imagine a world consisting of sand and stars and people being those stars and connecting on that level is true unity…
© r.e.l. 9/21/10
Yoga is a great place to work on this. Some yoga classes are all about moving fluidly with your watery nature, and like a dance you find your way to a place of balance. This feels great and can also help us flow better with life, learning to move with what we are dealt and become one with it.
Life, however, deals us chaos and challenge sometimes. A challenging yoga class can help you mimic this challenge and give you the chance to relax into it and come out ahead of the game with your head on your shoulders.
A serious Ashtanga yoga class can be a place to find stillness and calm. When the teacher instructs with their voice or their rhythm to be serious, can you allow yourself to find softness in the strength? This is important, especially in your neck and trapezius muscles that support your neck — a common place to hold tension. Can you find the perfect balance between expansion and contraction of your muscles so that the end result is soft and still? If you cannot, your yoga could be harming you.
Can you find this perfect balance in your mind? In your spirit? It takes a lot of patience to traverse your oceans of time…
Now, let’s talk about other activities such as surfing. Surfing requires a lot of focus on paddling and learning how to ride nature’s gem: the ocean. She is pure fluid. Can you find the strength in your muscles to protect you, fuel you, and help you get the most enjoyment possible, while still remaining soft and fluid, especially in the back of your neck?
What about sitting at your computer doing a simple physical act of typing, while heavily and emotionally involved in your topic. Are you able to sit in balance? What if you are in the physical presence of a person who makes you feel insane? Are you able to stay balanced, soft and supple?
Are you able to take a step back and feel your tension and then remember that the key lies in softening, not in tension that only feeds anger? It is easier said than done. But eventually it can be a natural response.
Life is a journey. Yoga and other mindful activities can be a container for this journey. Having said that, your yoga practice can be a spiritual/psyche container while you are on your mat, and it can be a phenomenal experience at that! But ultimately, you CAN take your yoga into your life and really live it and be real with it……
Be real. It is the answer. Learn to live your life in stillness, despite chaos.
silence is a source of great strength
~ Lao Tzu ~
© r.e.l. 9/15/10
I was once called “lady with the red pants” by a strict yoga teacher with whom I’d been practicing yoga for 6 years. She called out to me from across the room with this name to give me a simple instruction. I, an avid student to her class for all those years, surely felt that I deserved more respect than this.
True, it wasn’t exactly her nature to speak to her students and thereby get to know their names. And although I knew this, and never myself attempted to introduce myself or speak to her — ever, in fact — I still felt angry at this label she gave to me. I did know for sure that I was a dedicated yogini, attending regularly to her classes and considered myself a personally powerful person so, at the time I took this comment with a grain of salt. I laughed to myself.
Sometimes I tell this story to others. But just today, I decided that I have given this imagery (and emotion) of that situation in my past too much real estate in my brain! For, the pants themselves tell the story whenever I see them. I never wear them anymore, yet I still keep them. I tell myself that I definitely have to be in the mood to wear them.
It is not just a quick story that these pants tell in my mind. They speak of a sort of humiliation. I ask myself now: is it me who has chosen all this time to continue to let myself be humiliated by leaving the pants in my closet, stacked up with all the other yoga pants?
So, now that I have decided to do something about the pants, I wonder to myself what exactly? Should I drop them in the Goodwill van on my next trip out? Should I give them to my daughter who loves to wear loud colors? Should I have a ceremony and burn them in the fireplace?
Hmm…. First, I have decided to transform them, so to speak, and get some more juice out of them. They are red after all. They are the color of my life force, color of anger, color vitality, color of fire. And, how could I forget, they are the color of love. Maybe Venus (the planet of love) passing through Scorpio (the sign of intense emotions), according to my favorite astrologist, is making me come to terms with this now… I wonder if I should thank my astrologist for lifting this weight off my shoulders (whose name I will leave out of this article, as I’m sure he doesn’t want to be associated with my red pants).
I put the pants on. I am wearing them now to give them the chance to voice their last words to me, channeling through the keys on my computer. They say to me, “go to her class again soon and definitely wear the pants. Only then will you know what to do with them.” Ommmmm
© r.e.l. 9/12/10
I am now facing my fears… going off the edge to find myself in the depth of who I am. If I am bold enough and I don’t turn back, this action will set me free.
In the dark shadows, I might sail through my depths as if a dream and find the silence I need in order to find the keys I have searched for all my life. The best stuff is at the very bottom.
More conspicuous and offset against the darkness, the gems and secrets will be easier to see or feel. Sometimes they will shine with luminosity like a beacon, and they have my name on them!
Maybe the bottom is a bed of soft sand which I can dig my bare feet into and feel rooted in myself like never before. I can call it the ground of my soul. To touch this part of me is to release all that I previously imagined was hidden.
It will then transform itself, no longer in the dark, if I invite it to be a part of my waking, conscious being.
Freedom lies in moving into those places that scare us most. We hold those fears not only in our unconscious minds; they show up in one form or another in our bodies.
I intend to isolate the manifestation of my fears as they disguise themselves and ail me with tension. Like an instinctual animal would, I will shake it off to get it out of me.
I will not let the ailment which arises define who I am. My blood, or my chi (Chinese medicine), should move freely and uninhibited as it bathes me with its life force.
Yoga and meditation help me. Yoga nidra is a guided visualization that takes one into the state of “wakeful” deep sleep. It is a sleep-like state that includes relaxation as well as the psychology of dream, sleep and yoga. This was a helpful guide to me just today.
© r.e.l. 9/6/10
Inspired by freediver Guillaume Nery and an amazing yoga class I just took today.
and we gaze at the moon
it is the same moon
yet i hope my flower
reaches your heart
in this moment
i picked it for you
© r.e.l. 9/4/10
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