Offered this piece at Yoga Journal LIVE at Kripalu, November 2015.
If we wish to receive and hold and give and shape and mold the totality,
we need to be near others who help us see the patience and the love in the lining of our soul.
So we generate moments where several of us gather to experience the traction of the evolutionary force of Nature, together. We practice. We dance. We chant. We pray – as prayer is our attention and our first listening – our way of giving as well as receiving.
We’re seeing more such gatherings, which bring us into a higher conversation, and keep our highest quality of communication open.
That keeps us in alignment, and supportive of each others’ refinement,
which keeps us learning and educated, and keeps our connections hydrated and ventilated,
so the currents of learning and teaching can flow between us, unabated.
This way we can all remind each other to let the greater flow in,
and that there weren’t any accidents along the way. And nothing was ever broken.
All our teachers, studies, understandings, hardships
All our victories, phases, chapters, righteousness
None of it was wasted and nothing needs to be replaced.
But it is all evolving. No problems, just solving, and moving, and seeing.
And learning how to keep believing.
Some questions, then, to ask yourself, quietly.
How can I make each day a new listening?
How can I choose and choose again a quality of presence, and respect, and giving?
How can I orient myself toward a generosity that lets me give the very best of me
and helps me ask the relevant questions so we can all get free?
Even when I don’t feel like it.
How can I develop a personal refuge
that’s everywhere, and always,
and somehow never moves?
And since my mind’s movement as thought
is just a strategy to avoid relationship with the present,
how can I live in this reality, which is the only moment when
love can be released instantly?
The destination is now.
The invitation is to real love, and every moment can show us how.
And since every prolonged emotion affects the flow through our organs,
how can I locate real love?
Real love, non-judgmental love, doesn’t keep score. It unites. It embraces.
It welcomes. It relates. It nurtures.
It heals. It takes us further.
And the body knows it immediately.
So I fell in love recently, virtually.
Bozhana, a student from Bulgaria, lets me know about an article by a woman called Misha.
Misha is struggling to make ends meet, on public assistance to feed her four kids,
just to stand on her own two feet. She is writing about how costly it is to be spiritual,
and I get it. No amount of lyricism can change that.
So I email her, hundreds of miles away, and we start talking.
I send her my audio course, and she’s begun meditating.
She’s slowly pulling ideas together, and now she and her kids are creating.
Greeting cards for the holidays; a new beginning.
Now she’s got stamps with words like Faith, Hope, and Love, and we are both grateful and
connected and trusting in powers high above us, and in our virtual sisterhood.
This is where it all feels better than good.
Every day may we ask for an introduction to that which endures.
A new collaboration, a different attitude; just trust that there is more…
This is what practice has in store for each of us.
Ong Namo Gurudev Namo.
May we connect to our teachers, and honour their teachers;
May we feed and amplify the Source of all teachings, and
May we remember that what goes unfed weakens.
And what we feed grows stronger.
So what are the practices?
What can we DO?
Day to day, for all of us, some tiny, potent clues:
Be mellow. Be kind. Be generous.
Go ahead and practice being sad, and angry, and challenged,
and then return to equanimity, and practice seeing how your narrative
keeps blocking your fluidity.
Practice noticing how your behaviour keeps yielding this result,
and if you’re not happy with what’s happening,
drop all the resident tumult and change the story.
Write a vision that becomes your finest foray into the
which is only a kind of love
and set some specific parameters, within you, around you, and above,
because boundaries give you information, confirmation, transformation,
and a new sense of synergy with all your relations.
A good practice gets great when it brings you deep joy.
The privilege is to elevate the physical, which is really just a ploy
to locate awe.
And that awe inspires us to be more awake, and more kind,
which helps us to make sure our behaviour is pliant, and in alignment,
and to listen every day for our highest assignments.
We choose ways in which to get organized, so we can adhere to
the totality more of the time.
We strengthen our bodies and realize, that when things that are unhealthy
really stop feeling good, that’s a really good sign.
Keep supporting, keep lifting, keep asking, keep giving.
Keep praying, keep wishing, and hugging, and kissing.
Keep wondering, keep sitting, keep loving, keep committing.
Keep listening, keep guessing, keep empowering,
7 thoughts on “Gathering.”
In your thoughtful and inspiring message you wrote “write a vision that becomes your finest foray in to the highest realization”
parting with every thing, and not parting with
channeling attention away from my objects
and allowing the focus to be on my people.
You are Amazing! Keep Shining 🙂
I hope to see you again Soon
Oh Elena, you have stoked my heart. You are a truly wonderful teacher. Thank you, so sincerely, for all of the healing that you have done on yourself (and others) in order to get to this place of sharing. I’m honored to be in your presence, if even only a virtual presence. I am beginning to see you as my mentor; your teachings and accomplishments resonate with and inspire me at a level that I cannot ignore. I follow your Instagram and pour over your websites daily (teach.yoga is also such a joy). I do not have a means of purchasing any of your courses right now as I can’t purchase anything online from where I am in Buenos Aires, but you can bet when I am stateside again there will be a yogaglow subscription, etc. I am a 200 RYT but due almost entirely in part to my own limitations and inability to connect with others over the last few years (and being four months in to expat living) I feel at a loss for sangha and do not have any two way relationships with any teachers, although I very earnestly am longing to find the right teachers to connect with. I will be sure to be very deliberate about this in my prayers. I definitely have something BIG growing inside of me, almost like these ideas that I have are baking in the oven. But as much as my ego keeps telling me I need to wait until everything is cooked through – everything is perfect before I really BEGIN, my instinct is telling me that the time is NOW. That I don’t have to know exactly where I’m going or be a perfectly polished diamond yet, that I have to just put myself out there.
Well my initial intent in writing this was simply to tell you that I am grateful for you. So coming full circle, please keep shining your glorious light. The luminescent ripples that you are leaving in your wake are infinite. Namaste <3
How grateful I am to have received this poem live in Kripalu. Thank you for sharing it in script.
After letting the teaching land by the fine art of listening, I longed to study the words!
Blessings (a word I have learned to use freely because of your teachings)
Ahh..your ability to bring your practice into words and share that with us! Your teachings; asana, pranayama, joy, life lessons, lift us up into a clarity of being that is new and welcome. As someone in LA, I look forward to your visits and your many posts and writings. I am grateful to you, not just for how you have affected me and my practice, but for the thousands of lives you touch every day. Thank you Elena! I’m proud to know you as my teacher..
I absolutely love this. I want a poster of these words!