Meditations by the River

The river was beautiful this morning - calm, grey, and with hints of the coming season of spring all around.

White birds (geese? I am terrible identifying birds!) were gracefully gliding on the stillness of the river like ice skaters dancing in tandem. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

I should learn more about birds. They have been my constant companions for many months - down by the river and on my deck in the cold mornings as I do my meditation exercises before I go sit.

Earlier this week an excited bird watcher ran by me wanting to know if I had seen the huge hawk and the two bald eagles dancing together along the shoreline...

As I sat on the bench this morning after doing my lovingkindness meditation and prayers - I reflected on how differently I felt - and how far I had come these last few months. I observed the thoughts that ran through my mind without feeling and with detachment - glimpsing through the eyes of God....

I also reflected on my theme in my classes this week and how it had impacted various students...

I thought of my new students and the amazing progress they are making in their practice - and what a joy it is to teach to the group - responding to their readiness and capabilities - taking them much further and more quickly...

I began my classes with this verse from The Talmud:

"We do not see things are they are,
we see them as we are."

I noted that there are two basic ways we react to thing things - out of love, or out of fear.

We then tackled poses that elicit fear but they were made accessible - in a way that empowered the students and gave them positive experiences - especially to those who were new to the poses.

As someone who struggled for years with some poses - paralyzed by fear - I have endeavored to help others with similar feelings and experiences transcend their own.

Finally, at the end of class I noted - that to make a perceptual shift we must choose love instead of fear. All positive emotions come out of love - and all negative emotions come out of fear. Every feeling can be reduced to one or the other.

This is the most basic and fundamental lesson taught in the Course of Miracles which asserts that love is letting go of fear - the fear of the unknown - the fear that lurks in our negative feelings and actions.

Without exception, whatever is not love - is fear - and it is really an appeal for love and help.

Making a perceptual shift, a change in our way of viewing someone or some situation - is a most powerful way to regain our peace instantly.

Our practice - be it a sitting practice - or an asana practice - or both - enables us to confront our fears - it allows us to acknowledge them - and to cross over the threshold to profound love.

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