“Bless the fingers,
for they are as darting as fire.
Bless the little hairs of the body,
for they are softer than grass.
Bless the hips
for they are cunning beyond all other machinery.
Bless the mouth
for it is the describer.
Bless the tongue
for it is the maker of words.
Bless the eyes
for they are the gifts of the angels,
for they tell the truth.
Bless the shoulders
for they are a strength and a shelter.
Bless the thumb
for when working it has godly grip.
Bless the feet
for their knuckles and their modesty.
Bless the spine
for it is the whole story.”—Mary Oliver
sleeping out under the stars, we are woken in the morning by the sound of the gong inviting us to meditation, and then the dark whisper of the bats across our faces as they follow the waves of sound into the bluish light of 6am
waves of love, carried on our voices, bring tears to our faces during candlelit kirtan
observing silence becomes difficult when there’s the matter of evacuating a praying mantis from yr sleeping quarters
at graduation, bhava tells me I am the wind in the trees and the rustling sound of the grasses and the air in the wings of the butterflies, and to never forget that about myself
tears, tears, and more tears
heart so wide open, and so full of light
SO MUCH LOVE
driving back down the mountain sunday afternoon, I felt an overwhelming sadness come over me. I was about to be back in the lowlands, back in ‘the real world,’ and I didn’t know if I would be able to keep my heart this open, to hold as clear a vision of my dharma. fear and doubt started to cast their familiar shadows— like ravana stealing sita from ram all over again.
and suddenly, tears again— not tears of love or healing or bliss, but serious tears of sorrow, despair, and (finally) surrender. crying for help. show me how to be me in this world.
around the next bend, that very moment, a sign: a literal sign, a billboard. ONLY YOU, it says, the second O replaced with the face of smokey the bear. the second half is missing but to me, in this moment, the message is complete.
as in, ONLY I can carry the fire through this particular darkness.
as in, ONLY I can follow the red path of my dharma which is to a) heal myself, b) help others heal, so that c) we can together heal the world.
as in, of course: ONLY YOU is both answer to my old cry of surrender and my new cry of gratitude & devotion— no fear, no doubt, no ego— only You, only You, only You. only ram & sita, united at the heart. only love.
I am so happy to be home! but my quads & calves are pretty tight from backpacking so I think I’ll be spending the rest of the evening in various yin yoga poses. and drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, because I can :)
thank you for asking, my sweet lotus. sending you LOVE <3
“For some souls it’s easy; they lie down on the sand
and are soon asleep.
For others, the mind shivers in its glacial palace,
and won’t come.
Yes, the mind takes a long time, is otherwise occupied
than by happiness, and deep breathing.
Now, in the distance, some bird is singing.
And now I have gathered six or seven deep red,
half-opened cups of petals between my hands,
and I have put my face against them
and now I am moving my face back and forth, slowly,
The body is not much more than two feet and a tongue.
Come to me, says the blue sky, and say the word.
And finally even the mind comes running, like a wild thing,
and lies down in the sand.
Eternity is not later, or in any unfindable place.
Roses, roses, roses, roses.”—Mary Oliver
“Sometimes the one who is running from the Life/Death/Life nature insists on thinking of love as a boon only. Yet love in its fullest form is a series of deaths and rebirths. We let go of one phase, one aspect of love, and enter another. Passion dies and is brought back. Pain is chased away and surfaces another time. To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many many beginnings- all in the same relationship.”—
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run with the Wolves)
all the sweetest wisest women tell me to read this book— IT’S TIME.
I’m heading to a much-needed retreat at the zen mountain center with my sweet yoga kula, at the end of which we will graduate from our teacher training program— a celebration six months in the making!
and afterward, it’s due north to the trinity alps near mount shasta for some real silence, and (I feel it) an answer from the heart of the cosmos to mine to carry forward (by your grace) into the coming conceivable everything—