The Layers

So, this week, regarding the theme of The Journey that we are laying out at our retreat in Spain, is the notion that while on our pathway, we are making it up as we go. Don’t worry about traveling someone else’s path. If you’re traveling a path, that means it was trod by someone else. Make your own path. I like to joke in yoga that the only way to do a pose incorrectly is to do it the way your neighbor is doing it. Allow them their path. Make your own path.

Don’t even worry about the destination. The journey IS the destination. In our yoga practice, we may become stronger, more flexible, more able to do difficult poses, even be able to meditate longer and longer without going crazy due to the silence. However, those are all wonderful byproducts of simply being in the practice. There’s something to just practicing. No other place to be.

Just be here.

Check out this powerful poem by Stanly Kunitz

The Layers

I have walked through many lives, 

some of them my own,

and I am not who I was,

though some principle of being

abides, from which I struggle

not to stray.

When I look behind,

as I am compelled to look

before I can gather strength

to proceed on my journey,

I see the milestones dwindling

toward the horizon

and the slow fires trailing

from the abandoned camp-sites,

over which scavenger angels

wheel on heavy wings.

Oh, I have made myself a tribe

out of my true affections,

and my tribe is scattered!

How shall the heart be reconciled

to its feast of losses?

In a rising wind

the manic dust of my friends,

those who fell along the way,

bitterly stings my face.

Yet I turn, I turn,

exulting somewhat,

with my will intact to go

wherever I need to go,

and every stone on the road

precious to me.

In my darkest night,

when the moon was covered

and I roamed through wreckage,

a nimbus-clouded voice

directed me:

“Live in the layers,

not on the litter.”

Though I lack the art

to decipher it,

no doubt the next chapter

in my book of transformations

is already written.

I am not done with my changes.