stopping by the woods on a snowy evening..

It is a snowy evening as I write this..and I’m contemplating homecoming. Sue brought up the idea in my yoga class this evening-about yoga being a kind of homecoming-coming home to our spirit, our inner self. And it mirrors my feelings this past week. It has been a journey of inner reckoning..a coming home to my spirit.

A restlessness was gnawing in me the past few weeks, at moments-a need to do something, be somewhere, find something. and then, I fell sick last week with the flu. It was a god-send in many ways. I got to take complete rest. I slept for hrs. I took care of myself, as I would take care of a child. I ate my medicines and the hot food daalu cooked for me. I had plenty of vitamin C, I did salt-water gargles. I did restorative yoga poses when I felt like it. Above all, I did not force myself to do anything or be anywhere. Just here and rest. It was wonderful. It felt like coming home. To my body, to my self. and in giving myself all this compassion, I realized, I had so much compassion to give for others.

Compassion for others comes naturally when we learn to give ourselves. When we have a lot of something, we are more willing to give some of it away. Thats how it is with compassion. when we nurture ourselves, genuinely be kind to our body, our mind, our emotions, without judging or criticizing, kind as a mother would be to her child-we realize our own potential to give. and we want to give. and receive. It opens up this channel to healing and beginning anew.

I once read about this beautiful practice in meditation called the mother of all Buddhas. It is a visualization practice where you imagine you are carrying Buddha in your womb. You are the mother of the Buddha. How much care would you take of yourself knowing this!? How mindfully would you live, each step each breath knowing you are carrying the most divine treasure within yourself..and yet, isn’t this true? we do carry the Buddha within ourselves. we just forget. so every now and then its wonderful to practice being this mother. loving, mindful, compassionate. we realize how big our hearts truly are.

Being compassionate to ourselves means taking time to relax. to tune in without any pressures. After a busy day, on tuesday evening, I went to a relaxation/meditation class taught by my friend Sarah. and as I relaxed my body and learnt to give myself a simple massage, I came out with a sense of peace. and from that place of peace, it was so much easier to be kind to myself and others. I was less anxious, less prone to be reactive or feel anger. I just felt a sense of wonder at what unfolds. An openness to what comes. when I’m not in a hurry, when I’m relaxed and have given myself time, things flow naturally. I simply receive the gifts which are there in front of me. I no longer want to be anywhere but here. Everything I wanted to find is right here.

Here is a prayer for all of us to simply be. no pressures, no hassles. just be compassionate. to our body to our mind, to ourselves.

with gratitude, S.


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