During the coronavirus crisis, Rachel's regularly-scheduled classes are held virtually over Zoom. The logins for all classes are on this password-protected page -- email Rachel for the password.

Jesus. Mystics. Yoga.

Jesus. Mystics. Yoga.

Jesus. Mystics. Yoga.

image

Holding space today and inviting deep wisdom and compassion into my heart. The enormity and spaciousness of life!!   The joy present in witnessing my son marrying the girl of his dreams, a blessed union marking a milestone in all of our lives. Balancing the crass materialism and hectic pace of the holiday with sacred silence in the increased darkness as we hopefully await the return to Sun and the birth of the Son.

Today, also having awareness of the immense loss that still feels fresh and raw as we honor and remember those brutally gunned down in Sandy Hook, CT.

I am increasingly saddened and disheartened by what shows up in my newsfeed on social media. Being an entrepeneur in the healing arts, I have the necessity to use social media to share events, etc.. where I hope to have people show up. It is the nature of my work and how I need to make a living.  I also try with intention to engage at a deeper level and issue an invitation to go beyond the need to be right. This is challenging to me as well. There is a level of hatred and divisiveness in our world right now that at a soul level is downright horrifying. However, if I contribute at the level of discourse that is out there, I am contributing also, even with the best of intentions to the negativity.

So, how can we remain true to our beliefs and convictions about the state of the world all the while not entering the arena where everyone is shouting and NO ONE is listening? Going beyond dualistic thinking, to that field that Rumi tells us exists beyond our ideas of right and wrong where we can lie our souls down in the grass.

I am always led in deep inquiry to go beyond dualism to Jesus, The Mystics from various traditions and of course, Yoga. Jesus had interesting ways of responding to people trying to lock him into certainty and judgement. People were always baiting Jesus trying to push his buttons and find his triggers! It seems like he always took a long time to answer which probably drove folks a bit mad and  he did weird things also like drawing with sticks in the sand and telling stories with layers and layers of meaning as well as various ways of interpreting them from various viewpoints. Jesus refuses to engage at the level of discourse that he is invited into. This speaks to many things. If we mirror and answer back with hatred, we contribute to the growth of hatred. Can we show up without the need to be right? How can we shift and change the energy of discourse which is always what Jesus ended up doing.

The mystics!!! Ah, the mystics of all the Wisdom traditions who connected to their own experience of God, life and humanity and allowed growth to happen by living and leaning into questions.  We have been exploring in my yoga classes recently what it means to be fully alive in these times. What does it mean to be fully alive when one is struggling? How do we show up with a heart that is breaking and both nurture and tend to one’s inner light and reflect that light in a dark world?

Yoga. Blessed practice that it is allows us to access our tools of grounding and the breath. Allowing us to know in each and every moment in the present, the fragility and resilience of life. Life. The Gift. In this embodied practice, we can feel that the resonance of self righteousness is not a harmonic resonance but a dissonant, ugly tone. Connecting to Satya (truth) grounded in Ahimsa (Non harming) we speak with integrity and authenticity rather than loudly raising our voices in the arena where truth is naught to be found, much less heard. Reconciling our thoughts, words and actions harmonically. We can feel this in our bodies. For me, this cannot just remain on the mat as an escape from everyday life that yoga can offer. For me and many others, this is an opportunity to bring these practices off the mat and do the work. Do the work of building harmony in yourself. Do the work of building love, peace, safety and acceptance in your home. Do the work of building connections in your community. Do the work of building bridges, not walls between nations on our blessed planet. Pray. Listen. Inhale. Exhale. The world is not perfect. Neither are we. But we can do way better than this. Do it. Show up. Shine your light. Please.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.