Coming Full Circle and Leaving it Behind

I survey the river in the silent grayness of this morning reflecting on so many things...I cannot sit by the rocks because they are all underwater, due to all the winter rains that have fallen. It is so cold and windy it cuts through me like a knife, and I will not be able to stay here as long as I would like. Winter has truly settled in...

I am mindful of the many people I know who have experienced profound loss and change, and think of my own experiences as I mark a personal anniversary of sorts - coming full circle - but not back to where I was - it is more of an experience of stepping out of the circle and leaving it finally behind... This week also witnessed another major decision and shift for me, and culminated in two sessions with two wonderful healers as well...

As I shared a significant decision with a gifted therapist yesterday, he noted that many of the experiences I have had in the course of the last year or so - while difficult and challenging at times - were not really negative - but were meant to create more space for God alone...

This morning, as I watched a student's practice and suggested some subtle fine-tuning, I marveled at how far she has come in the past year. We have worked diligently and assiduously on a weekly basis and her practice has flourished in ways that simply elude description.

We also acknowledged that the time was coming when she would no longer need to work with me so frequently. She was spreading her wings, and learning to fly on her own - as she devised several variations of a practice sequence that was appropriate for her. Furthermore, her understanding and application of the Anusara Universal Principles of Alignment was a marvel to behold! I was both gratified and honored to be part of her journey.

In this same week, taking in consideration the conditions that have changed the course of my own practice, I realized that it was time for me to change the level of class I was taking, and my teacher as well. As I wrote my teacher, I am a creature of habit that does not like change, but it was time to explore both practicing differently, and receiving and embodying the principles in a different way. I am forever in debt to my teacher and all the attentiveness and graciousness I received from her over the course of three years. But as every true teacher knows, we give our students roots and wings so they can eventually fly elsewhere and drink from another fountain of wisdom...

Change is not easy for me - and I know it is not easy for many. There is a lesson or two contained in every experience of loss that we might have. There is an opportunity for growth as well. For every door that is closed - another one opens. That has been the greatest discovery for me this year. And its corollary has been understanding more deeply that nothing is ever permanent in this life - except for the constancy of God's love and presence. Only on that can we truly depend...

I wish to share two pieces that spoke to me very deeply this week. The first are the lyrics to a song that Barbra Streisand performs on her Christmas Memories album, entitled "Closer." This piece is about an experience of loss at this time of year, and the fruits that it also discloses. The second is from Yogananda's writings, and was sent to me by a friend as a reminder of what is ultimately important as I come full circle - indeed, stepping out of it - and leaving it behind. I think there is a message for everyone in both...

Closer

"As close as the sea is to the seashore
The tide still rises twice a day
That's just the ocean's way of getting closer
Closer

As close as today is to tomorrow
At midnight they can finally touch
Because every minute brings them that much closer
Closer

So on this silent night
I call your name and suddenly
All time and space between us disappear

I see your face in firelight
I hold you close in memory
And even though I know you're gone, I know you're here

As close as the glow is to the ember
You've always been a part of me
Now living in my heart you're ever closer
Closer

As sure as there's snowfall in December
Your love lives on in everything
Summer, winter, fall or spring
Every thought of you will bring us closer
Closer

The distance may be large or small
Someday I pray that we may all be closer
Closer."

"Everything that the world gives you
and then takes away,
leaving you in pain or disillusionment,
you will find in God
in a much greater way,
and with no aftermath of sorrow."
- Yogananda

May you realize, during this sacred season, that all that happens is as it should be - whether we see it - or realize it or not. In every loss - there is a gift. And in every experience of change - there is a lesson. May you realize that ultimately we are all one - there is no separation - and every moment in your life of joy and bliss - and sadness and sorrow - will show you the path to God in a greater way.

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