CARING FOR OUR FEELINGS
It’s good to leave each day behind,
like flowing water, free of sadness.
Yesterday is gone and its tale told.
Today new seeds are growing.
This practice of poses and breath brings about an awareness of what we are feeling. For most of us when we start yoga we haven’t made time to even ask ourselves this simple question. We’re either too busy going faster and faster or really good at avoiding what we are feeling. Denial or argument with our feelings has become a way of life. But also a formula for suffering.
Tantric practice encourages us to embrace all of who we are. The sadness and the joy, the tiredness and the vigor, the fear and the love. This is a nondualistic approach to see that there is not a winner/loser or bad/good that we don’t have to battle our emotions, thoughts or feelings any longer. Running away from what we feel will only prolong it. And all of our feelings can be put into 3 buckets: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. So as hard as it might be to heal and remain in a state of being healed we are taught through yoga to embrace your feelings, care for them like you would look after a younger sibling.
A great meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh suggest we take a feeling, let’s say sadness, and talk to your feeling: say to your sadness “breathe – I am taking care of you now.” Acknowledge this feeling is you and as you breath out, let it go. Then allow for the next moment to unfold and the next feeling. Breath into that one. Take one at a time and stay with the flow.
Most importantly know that whatever you’re feeling is part of your humanness, love and hurt co-exist, one is the compliment to the other so to prevent staying in a state of suffering it helps to embrace all you feel and care for yourself. This practice of being human is put into poetry by the poet Kahlil Gibran who wrote, “all these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart.” We literally learn about ourselves as we experience emotion, feeling and thought. We also become expert through this in the human experience. We can by caring for our own feelings learn how to care and offer compassion towards how others feel.
“In that calmness we begin to understand that peace is not the opposite of challenge and hardship. We understand that the presence of light is not a result of darkness ending. Peace is found not in the absence of challenge but in our own capacity to be with hardship without judgment, prejudice, and resistance. We discover that we have the energy and the faith to heal ourselves, and the world, through openheartedness.” (From book All About Love) So may you all take away from your time on the mat the courage to “CARE FOR YOUR FEELINGS” as they arise, holding them gently and then surrendering them to the next moment. Love in all ways, Silvia
CHOOSE LIFE - CHOOSE LOVE! BE FREE!
So take to heart the words of Joseph Campbell who said, “Life is not about the meaning. It’s about the feeling.” The Feeling of life even the hard stuff is the beauty. Tantric views ask us to accept the full spectrum of who we are, denying none of our feelings. So on the mat we practice feeling the poses. And the poses are not easy. Yoga is challenging but as we embrace the feeling of life (even the anger, the fear, the worry) we come alive again and realize the key is in our hand to free ourselves from suffering. Pain is part of life but we don’t have to suffer endlessly.
Feelings really are more powerful than thoughts and it is through feeling we are one step closer to freeing our hearts. Those of you who are on the razors edge deciding whether to stay in the prison of your own making or come out the other side please know this, The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain.” Kahlil Gibran. You know then you have the capacity to be joyful and FREE!
Will we have sometimes sorrowful days, months, or years, maybe. But it’s been my experience that even that demonstrates to us that sometimes its necessary to love peace so much that you are willing to sacrifice for it.
So today have the courage to set yourself free! For Stress paralyzes life; love releases it. Worry confuses life; love harmonizes it. Anger darkens life; love illuminates it. As Augustus William Hare writes, “The feeling is often the deeper truth.” Embrace your truth, embrace what you feel and free your soul for love and peace! With humble gratitude for life, Silvia
LIFE IS BEAUTY! BEAUTY IS LOVE, LOVE IS EVERYWHERE
THEME JUNE 14TH, 2009: I wrote to a friend while in Italy (and thank you for letting me share this part with everyone) I wrote "Life here is all beauty!" This inspired me to meditate and bring this more to life in class today. I do want to say the most beautiful part of Italy was the 10 other pilgrims on the path of love that were with me. They started as strangers and we ended up as friends. 108 hugs and kisses to each of you!
What I learned from trip: life is beauty, beauty is love, love is everywhere. In what we eat, drink, do, say, feel. It is as Kahlil Gibran says, "When you reach the heart of life you shall find beauty in all things.”
Join me in offering this day or this hour or this month to the alchemy of love and beauty. Let this promise help you further ignite the fire element of summer, associated with the heart meridian promoting joy and celebration and light! Bow in to your own heart so you might be more present to the treasure chest of beauty found inside you. From this awareness we then see more clearly the beauty all around us. As Rumi writes, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
I know taking down the walls or reducing your guard is not easy. Believe me I get that. But we must acknowledge that we have a choice. We can choose to see the beauty in all things. This is especially healing when the fire element is weak and fear of connecting to others has set in. I promise you this, if you make even the most difficult person or circumstance part of your practice saying to them “I believe in the beauty and good in this troubling person or difficult situation and I know by doing so more beauty will be revealed to me.” You will shift into your best VIBRATION. This comes about as our minds quiet and our hearts open and we begin to better see our true most beautiful reflection mirrored back to us in the world!
May we all let beauty from inside be revealed for beauty is love, love is everywhere! With lovingkindness, Silvia