Slow down, you move too fast…


Slow down. You move too fast...I had a really lovely practice this morning. It was very simple, and absolutely non-strenuous… just enough to lead me into a quiet seat for meditation. Just enough to enliven my body and mind but not so much as to exhaust them. Just enough to get the juices flowing in order to remember the Soul – that beautiful, spacious, limitlessly loving, infinitely wise and compassionate intelligence that feels like the real me.

It’s taken a long time to allow myself to practice like this… to give myself permission to do less, and see that actually it’s more than enough. That it might even be an excellent sign that I need not jump around for hours anymore twisting myself into extreme shapes in order to remember that my nature is divine.

There’s nothing wrong with a more dynamic practice, if that is what you’re authentically moved to do. There was a time when I loved, and felt very much guided to practice like that. It’s been a while though since. These days less is more, as I discover that the heart and Soul can be more easily and directly accessed.

Sometimes asking ourselves how or what we want to feel at the end, can save us a lot of time in the middle.

I know that what I want to feel at the end of my practice is love. I want to know, not intellectually but as a felt experience, that I am Love. I want to feel peace, and stillness, and space. I want to feel big enough that I can hold and embrace whatever is arising for Lucy today, without letting it upset or overwhelm me. Compassionate enough to witness her thoughts and emotions without needing to feel frightened or ashamed of them – at the same time knowing they’re simply a passing parade.

I want to feel relaxed and I want to feel free – willing to accept and forgive.

Basically, fundamentally, I want to relax. I want to be what I am and not what I’m not. To want what I have and not what I don’t. To be cool with the messy drama of life however it’s showing up.

Every great being, saint, or sage has this quality. They know who they are – love, emptiness, freedom, peace… and therefore have nothing to prove. They don’t need us to like them. Even while they appear to achieve so much – meeting with students, running huge humanitarian or environmental projects, chasing up wayward devotees, or overseeing ashrams of hundreds of people, they remain ever chilled. Always at peace and at ease.

For me as for most of us, there’s still some work required. Most of the time I still need to do something before I can truly be. But that doing can be as simple as trying to put myself in another person’s shoes, bringing my hands to prayer, dropping a negative train of thought, placing a flower on my altar or chanting a mantra that reminds me of my wholeness. It’s not that I’m ever adding anything or becoming something more, rather I’m removing the thoughts, habits, actions, and attitudes that stand in the way of me and peace. I’m doing in order to be – more of what I really am, and less of what I’m not.

But it need not take 4hrs/day and it need not be confined to a mat or cushion. It need not even look like a Yoga practice, and it definitely need not exhaust me.

I still really enjoy my physical practices – asana, pranayama, dancing, walking on the beach, and swimming in the ocean. Experience shows me again and again that this body is a beautiful gateway to the divine, and in fact that the bliss of the divine can only be experienced through it. But I need not exhaust it to remember my heart. We yogis can get so hung up on the physical that we forget the whole point of the exercise.

It doesn’t take much to remember your heart. Not more in fact than the breath you’re breathing now. Close your eyes. Feel it. Relax. Let go.
Breath in love… support… life.
Breath out worries… tension… hurt.
Repeat again… and again for as many times as you can for the rest of the days of your life!!

This is the essence of all spiritual practice. To keep letting go. And keep letting go. And then when you think that you’re almost done, then let go a little bit more.

You are loved. You are love. Relax and know that you are love.

“The seeds of purification are within you. Nurture those and you will awaken. The form helps, but it is the awareness that liberates” – Sayadaw U Pandita

Om Namo Narayani