Friday, July 25, 2014
My New Backyard Labyrinth
Sat Nam. There are still one or two dressings to be done, but we now have a beautiful labyrinth made of rose and red flagstone, with grass along the path, with birds flying low around it, with heart breaking beauty uncovered on each step. I'm loving it, of course. Today I finished reading The Secret History, by Donna Tartt. But is doesn't matter about the book, or whatever book I just read or movie I just saw. The labyrinth and the book and the movie are all reminders I have art to make, and mine is teaching yoga, I guess, though I'm hoping it's also writing something wonderful. I ask before I enter my winding path: How do I begin to write? Upon turning around from the center I have had the following answers come: Lose weight; then you will have the confidence to write. All we can do is be like the flower; for the short time we're here, give it everything we have. We can't solve today's crisis; we can learn about it and let it break our hearts open, and that will also teach us to be like the flower. What good are these things! That is not a question. It is only a question when I don't walk the labyrinth, read the book, see the movie, practice yoga, try to write something wonderful. Have the confidence to go outside and let life see me. "Drg darshana shaktyor ekatmatevasmita." Egoism is when the seer identifies with that which is seen. This is a klesha, or obstacle on the path of yoga. What about the birds singing and the flowers blooming, and that one wilting flower ready to release its cling to the stem? I am not any of those things. I am not the labyrinth. I am not even what the labyrinth traces. All these, and all the so-called answers I get turning from the center, are here to help me, as in the sutra which says something like for the enlightened one, none of this matters, but for those unenlightened does everything exist. I never even claimed enlightenment as my goal. I want awareness. I want to deal with my extreme sensitivity, not lose it. I am where I need to be then, in life. This is where my path has led me, right where I am. Is that enlightenment? It's not even enough for the day's crisis. Being where I am isn't doing anything for all those children of Central America being bussed here and threatened there. Here is where I shopped at the farmer's market today. Here is where I prayed. Here is where I watered the lawn in the middle of a major draught. One step up and two steps back. The labyrinth shows me this: all my steps lead somewhere. Carve a path and walk it. The labyrinth doesn't give me answers on its own. My subconscious supplies them. It just gives me time to listen. To watch my steps. I'm glad for the space in my day and my yard. I'm glad for my sensitivity, even though it often implodes in me seemingly out of the blue, leaving me = = dropped. The labyrinth reminds me I have time for that, and the flagstones lie waiting for me when I'm ready to come out. I already carved the path.