The Art of Waiting
I love spending the first moments of a workshop waiting.For people who haven't waited with me before: I really noticed how completely I could destroy my health while waiting. The winds that would come up, the dust devils, the incredible things that would happen to me while waiting, that were really really awful. I could get just so much worse, in every way, from waiting. That's when I decided to start practicing the spiritual and medical art of waiting. Because if things can get that bad while waiting, how good could they get?
I'm really feeling for it right now as we speak, and you can join me. Waiting, what an incredible opportunity. How is my whole ...
Songs of Awakening
Anybody know any waking up songs? I know a lot of lullabies to help people go to sleep. But what are the songs for waking up? "You can get it if you really want..." That's a good one. "Oh, what a beautiful morning." Exactly. There you go. That's so good. Because, you know, "They say that waking up is hard to do..."
And it is sometimes! You know, I’m from New England. It’s not like below the Mason Dixon Line, where the spring comes like Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony just exhaling out of the ground. It’s grouchy up here, up North. Right? Spring seems to growl, “I don’t want to wake up.” The ground is groaning, “Springtime, where’s my ...
Winter into Spring Seasonal Resources
The “energetic medicine” of late winter is not the same as early winter. While pre-solstice early winter is about greeting the darkness with a willingness to rest and relax into the mystery that surrounds us (rather than being afraid of the dark), post-solstice winter is about the slow steady return of the light. Between winter solstice and spring equinox, it’s still more dark than light! It’s a long haul forward, and so late winter practices focus on strengthening the pilot light in the lower dantian, to prepare us for eventual emergence into light and action in the spring.
In creating this Late Winter not-yet-Spring resource blog, I am aware that many of us live in different parts ...
Water Practices at 3%
You can't make wisdom happen. It's not like "Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go... onto the internet, to search 500 things..."
It doesn't go that way. It's a sitting in the dark that can't be hurried. But boy, we can sure slow it down. And so we're working with shifting the percentages inside of ourselves from being mostly actively slowing down our process of getting to the point where we know what to do.
I'm right here in this with you. There are many times when, as I inventory, "What am I doing? I am actively slowing down the process of getting to wisdom—by throwing fits, and doing this and that.
Start With Just 3%
Okay, at least we can ...
Not knowing is a skill. We can not-know in ways that destroy us. We can not-know in ways that just keep the balance. Or we can become spiritual athletes of not knowing. That's the Path of Endarkenment.
I'd love for you to take the time to notice, compassionately, from whatever your starting point is: How are your unknowing skills? How's your sitting in the dark? Where are you on the Path of Endarkenment?
If you are someone for whom certainty is very comfortable, and even admitting that the unknown is all around us is difficult, you may benefit from spending a little more time with "Okay, can I take a really deep breath and say 'I don't know' a few times, and see if I can sink ...
The Nature of Darkness
In response to my last blog about darkness and light, I was asked, “Is there a natural relationship between darkness and evil?"
I can see how it is confusing, in a culture that oversimplifies, to make it all seem easy by taking all the subtlety and nuance out of the picture, and just saying, "Oh light is good. Oh dark, it's not just bad; it's evil.
What I am putting forth here is from both the traditions of East Asian medicine—where Yin and Yang are both utterly necessary, and one is not more necessary or more beautiful than the other—and from Sufism, where there is both a holy darkness and a holy light.
When darkness is healthy, it ...
Healthy Darkness, Healthy Light
Healthy light does not seek to eradicate the darkness. Healthy light has its place: I'm reading a book. I need some light. I'm sewing this curtain. I need some light. But I'm not trying to eradicate darkness. I can see the darkness across the room. There are sweet and subtle shadows everywhere.
Healthy darkness does not seek to eradicate the light, either. I will note that in this culture, when people speak colloquially of light and darkness, they often speak of light as good and darkness as bad. What a shame. What a shame for internal, external, spiritual, medical, and political reasons.
Yin and Yang are both blessings. Light and dark are both blessings. Night and day are ...
Living the Elements: Wood
Spring Seasonal Resources
Last spring, after my Wood music, arts, and culture blog, people wrote in with some fabulous Wood suggestions. I discovered some new music that still carries me forward. I'm grateful, and I'm looking forward to what folks have to suggest this year. Meanwhile, I'm sharing the tunes, the art, and the poetry that have been on my mind so far this spring.
I’d love to hear from you: Are you listening to, looking at, or reading anything that moves and heals and awakens your Wood element this spring? Please share in the comments section below. I’m always up for more healthy Five Element nourishment through the arts. Meanwhile here are some of my favorites, just ...
Living the Elements: Water
Winter Seasonal Resources
Water is associated with Winter, the season of stillness, solitude, courage, fear, and deep wisdom in the face of the unknown. Water is life’s greatest resource and it takes many forms. Water is the element of rest and re-charge. Through deep listening, we engender a connection to our hidden resources. To do this, we must get enough sleep, cultivate peace and stillness in our busy lives, and learn to develop our inner quietude.
Winter’s darkness creates an acute awareness of all the mysteries that surround us. A person who has strong Water in their constitution often can’t help but be aware, all the time, of just how much we don’t know.
When Water people develop ease ...