Getting back into my groove with writing again. Have spent some amazing and challenging time in the past few months in immersions with communities committed to doing the work internally to build capacity to withstand the enormous discomfort of our times.
We know what we know. We don’t know what we don’t know. Being curious in this time of heightened certainty is an anamoly. Committing to fierce tenderness towards ones own self and extending that to others is also the exception.
So thanks and blessing to these communities, I am blessed to be connected to as a lifelong student here on Earth School.
The work and the influence of the Radical Dharma community with rev angel kyodo williams with the Awakening of the Warrior with the 4 noble truths of Buddhism, the ethical practices of the yamas and niyamas and the discipline and dedication of a practice of accountability in supportive community.
The unpacking of cultural standards of external beauty norms and values especially as they can show up in toxic ways in yoga culture with the authentic trauma Sensitive, social justice framework of The Yoga and Body Image Coalition.
The work of Jardana Peacock and Kelly Germaine exploring the intersection of spiritual practice and social justice.
One being a book that has been part of my yoga classes Dharma talks all month that was referenced by Jardana, “The Way of Tenderness” by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. This is a book I will never put down!
Lastly, the community cultivated in spaces here with people willing to go deep, share vulnerabilities and be supportive. In the last week alone in the home studio, between the sacred Activism sangha, the Friday Morning Dance Party and Saturday’s yoga classes, one which continued in conversation well past class with a enormously rich, textured Informed conversation around gender with female students ages 75, 51 and early 20’s! Yesterday in my faith community as we learned, listened and leaned into the pain of hearing the stories of our brothers and sisters that are immigrants, undocumented and Dreamers. A story of belonging that we all have.
This is not the time to be silent. If we are privileged and comfortable enough to be free and safe in our environment, much is expected of us. Wake up! None of us are free until all of us are free. We all bear the responsibility to see that all have access to fully participating in society. We all need to break down whatever barriers lie within us that prevent us from seeing any human being as a human being with the fullness of their potential as already present within them.
So let’s dance in the streets covered in glitter! Show up with our magic and our kick ass cow boy/girl gender free boots! Let’s make cookies together and share them! Of course, brings goats and alpacas!
Let us welcome the stranger for when we do so we entertain Angels, Humanity and God Herself!
Here are some thoughts that have been woven into our yoga classes this past month. They are a synthesis from all of these inspiring influences.
In our practice of tenderness…invite transcendental patience
A lot of spiritual traditions speak of transcending the body. We mistake this teaching by bypassing our embodied experience of being in the body we are in.
Can we invite the awareness of being embodied in this life and being part of nature with its complex diversity of species?
What we can unpack however is how our identities are distorted by culture with some being valued more because of access to power structures, decision making capabilities and cultural norms and standards of appearance. It is not our bodies that need transcended. It is the distortion through which culture distorts and deems superior and inferior that causes suffering.
Look around you to see all the varied forms and expressions of life as it manifests in all beings. The hummingbird doesn’t need to detach to exist in a state of oneness.
The multiplicity of oneness. What if we dropped the distortion and saw ourselves in our own unique embodiment as an expression of nature?
When we look to the external we see the destructiveness of weapons, disparities between rich and poor, the emptiness , loneliness and violence of the modern world.
These human problems will not be solved in this continued direction. This is the teaching of Jesus, the Buddha, The Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr.
these resolutions will only come about when we discover within ourselves, that which all humankind is searching for. Radical Acceptance. Tranquility. Wisdom. Living from the inside out rather than continued consumption of mistaking our longing for this state as something else. Releasing and removing the distortions and ranking of identities that causes enormous suffering and embodying this life we have been given.
This is the path of tenderness. That we are all in our expressions part of the whole that is nature.
Enjoy finally, this quote. Let’s do the work of freeing our minds, our bodies and offer that to all beings!
When we ourselves are not truly in a place of peace and we go out and try to create peace in the world, it becomes a fragmented and sometimes even corrupt form of peace. This happens because only peace can create peace, and unless we are the embodiment of it, we are projecting our bias of what peace should look like onto other people’s lives. To be at peace means to accept reality as is. Embodying peace is, in fact, the very essence of what it means to be free, as well as offering this freedom to others.”
― Alaric Hutchinson, Living Peace