Dear fine folk,
I hope that summer’s twilight days finds you well-tended. Can anyone guess what is in the photo? I have just been holidaying on the Wild West Coast of Ireland and it was taken somewhere there. There was quite a bit of weather drama, and we needed to hold the tent down by using rocks. Some days the winds made 50 miles an hour! The Furies were very much at work. There is no doubt, some profound truth in the fact that you don’t choose your weather, internal or external. But we have options as to how we experience it. The great lesson of the tent in high wind and rain, is that it takes a lot of concentrated time, energy and purpose to perform even the most basic of tasks like boiling a kettle. Much to my surprise being a sun-loving creature, I really rather enjoyed the complex logistics of making a cup of tea without too much of a murmer! There are obvious parallels with the seemingly chaotic patterns of our time that seem to be reaching something of a crescendo, at least in this part of the world. Rather than treating them as ‘bad weather’, causing gloom and depression, maybe this is an opportunity for relating to what is going on in a more opportune way. For me this is not about transcending what is happening, but an opportunity to be more receptive to the deep and loving Being of this world. I also view this moment in history as about learning to be inclusive and collaborative as more and more people find that their compass bearings settle on deep waters, that far from receding, seem thankfully closer to the surface.
This collaboration in depth is so very full of promise. In light of this I am intending to host four sessions of contemplative conversations, on four weekly nights starting from the 16th October, at Jericho Community Centre. Each evening starts with a meditation so that our participation in the group is one that may arise from the abundance of our depths. Each evening asks a question posed in such a way that we can meet what comes to the surface with an an open and receptive heart, so that mutual learning turns the listening ear to the inner voice.
The first question is simply 'what is alive in you', which is such a profound inquiry. The other questions are common ones in many traditions, but they are usually put forward as moral imperatives, as ways we should behave. Here we take the 'should' out of the consideration and ask how it is when we orientate in these ways. We can inquire as if we had never heard the questions before. So the second question is 'what is it like not to cause harm', the third 'what is it like to be helpful to everybody' and the fourth is a curious question which is 'what is it like to be clean'.
This is the tine of year we start to think of returning to Yoga Classes. I have had my summer break too and will be restarting regular classes on Saturday the 7th September. For the schedule please press here. I would like to highlight in particular the Wednesday evening class at Jericho Community Centre where the class resonates with the clock chimes of St Barnabas's Church.
There is an exciting new project which is a new class I have developed called Three Elements Yoga which will be held at the Yoga Venue on Monday evenings. A brief description of it can be found here. The practitioner has the opportunity to explore a fluid connection with themselves through both repose and movement. The emphasis is less on a teacher’s guidance and more on how we build on our own sense of ourselves, particularly through the medium of the current of our own breath and how that inspires us to move and be still.
Also coming up is a Workshop on Yoga and Insomnia during the afternoon of the 28th of September at the Yoga Venue. The human body really does need sleep. There is no question about it. If one were to point to a single most compelling factor in our physical, mental and emotional health it is the ability to sleep deeply. We live in a time where there is an epidemic of fragmented sleep. I was inspired to take up this work as I was once a long term sufferer of insomnia. As a result of this I trained not only in the science of sleep but in utilizing some of the methods of encouraging repose that yoga is so good at. This workshop will cover some of the science that underlines the importance of sleep, some of the changes in lifestyle that help manage sleep and most important, some of the tools to help repose.
I am also giving advance notice of a workshop on Managing Anxiety with Breath coming up in October, which will explore some of the mechanisms involved in being anxious, and how we can work fruitfully to lessen its impact through our own breath.
I for one, find compelling reasons for being outside during the summer months. Winter months are are so much more tent like, giving shelter for expansion in a different way. More and more people seem to be drawn to meditation. I was extremely fortunate in having being introduced to it in my late teenage years, and I find these moments of quietude an integral need and resource in my everyday. I will be hosting a four week course called Deep Peace, Meditation for Modern Times at the Yoga Venue, starting on the 19th October onwards. The course is suitable for everyone, whether starting a meditation practice or deepening an existing one.
Lastly this phrase took my attention. Any feedback is very welcome. This one seems multi-layered. It is a quote from Pat McCabe.
'Your joy matters'
With much love
Dear fine folk,