Happy New Year! A bit late, but, you know, better late than never.
2014 was an awesome year for me. I visited lots of new places; enjoyed a summer of camping, hiking & exploring; danced a lot; made new friends; enjoyed the single life; got a roommate who has become one of my very best friends; and, due to a shoulder injury, discovered a whole new way of being in my body. Yeah, I had my moments of frustration, anger, sadness, and falling apart, but if I had to label 2014 I'd call it my "Year of Wonder!"
As the new year begins I feel myself being drawn into a different way of practicing yoga. I'm drawn into the quieter places, the places of listening, awareness and mindfulness. I'm still practicing asana. I'm still breathing. But after 21 years of practice, I'm finding the journey into meditation more satisfying.
There are two books that I read last year that had a significant impact on the way I see, feel and experience yoga and the world around me:
The Secret Teachings of Plants;The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature by Stephen Harrod Buhner. "Buhner explores this heart-centered mode of perception in great detail. He includes leading-edge information on the physical mechanisms of heart-based cognition and explores the world of numerous remarkable people who perceived the world with their hearts..."
Seven Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo. "In this new exploration of the human journey, Nepo inquires into the endless ways life asks us to listen.... He affirms that listening is one of the most mysterious, luminous, and challenging art forms. Weaving together memoir and meditation exercises, Nepo offers many ways to listen to life and live more fully."
T. S. Eliot offers this: At the still point, there the dance is. He goes on to say,Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only dance. (read entire poem)
Meditation offers us the ability to find our own still point. Then, no matter where we go, what we do or how we evolve, we have the still point to allow the dance of life to unfold.
Here's to an amazing year filled with stillness, dance, connection and the diversity of experience that comes from living a whole-hearted life.