A Hello in every Goodbye

Impermanence is the nature of this reality, goes the Buddhist teachings.

Indeed, Have you ever know anything to *not* change?  We live, we die, kids grow up, friends move away, jobs change, people get sick, get well, loved ones die, the seasons change, moment to moment everything is different.  There is no moment that is exactly the same as any other moment.

Pain, suffering, discomfort… they come from our attachment to wanting things to be a certain way.  Maybe we want things not to change (I like this, this is how it should be dammit!) , or we want things to hurry up and change (get me out of here! I don’t want to feel what i feel in this situation; this is not how it is suppose to be, dammit!)

But what if we can be truly in/with exactly what IS in any given moment?  If we can acknowledge our resistance, our attachments, our desires…. and still Let Go, and Be Here Now …  how does that change how we live?

Yesterday, I walked in to “my studio” (the business I just sold) and it was in flux. The colors had drastically changed, and I balked.  Unexpectedly, I wanted to cry.  Why couldn’t you have waited until I was gone?  I asked… but really it was simply that I was facing the physical evidence that this too had changed.  My time there is finished, and in that glaring evidence, all of my attachments rose to the surface.  (Wait, this is my studio! Those colors are too bright… tone it down a bit so it is relaxing! Don’t throw out that poster! if you ever get rid of those blankets, I want them!  make sure you keep the place welcoming! blah blah blah.)

I laugh at myself, grateful that I can see these attachments, and the silliness of them.  It is simply change, evolution.  The studio was never mine; it belongs to the community.  Anything other than appreciating that is just ego.  Humorous really.

Change happens every day.  Every moment.  There is a crystal glass, a thing of beauty.  At any moment it can fall to the floor and shatter. If you know the glass is already broken, you can appreciate it’s beauty all the more as you drink from it, admire it in the sunlight, love it.

I savor these moments here at home, knowing they are about to change.   Early morning meditation and prayer, coffee, the sunrise, baying hounds, noisy birds, my dog waiting patiently (yet ready in an instant) for his morning run. My husband sleeping peacefully in the next room, a cat curled up next to me.

Really, I am a homebody. I like my home, my critters, my peace. In spite of my love for travel and adventure, and the continual upheaval that moves me from place to place, I am at peace in the “unchanging” comfort of home.

And…. travel calls.  The universe shifts and points: This Way.

(What’s next? I asked, and a metaphorical finger pointed to France.)

Every moment, really, is a goodbye.  Life is transient.  We never know from moment to moment where we will be, who we will see again, where we might meet again, or not.

If we live with death on our shoulder, (ala Carlos Castaneda), maybe we can live more fully, more completely. Every moment becomes a good bye, every moment a moment to be savored, experienced, loved. In embracing the goodbye, we find also a hello…. a hello to this experience, what really is, even as we grapple with our very human  attachments and desires.

This is what I know:

When I am willing to fully embrace the depth of goodbye and simultaneously allow it to be a hello, I then can recognize the inter-relatedness of life, the ebb and flow, the thread that flows through all of us, the place where we are all connected.  To know impermanence is to also know joy, even when there is pain.

It’s a crazy thing.  But here is truth:  We are not, cannot ever be, separate. Not in Life, not in Death, not at home, not in travel. This single thread called life runs through all of us.  All of the time.  No matter if we see it, or not.

Separation is just an illusion.  and This moment Simply Is.

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 08:24  Comments (3)  
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Thank You, La Pine Yoginis

Live Large. That’s what I would leave you with. Live Big. Live beyond limitation and expectation, and continue to feel the expanding breath within you.

Together we have played with this thing called yoga.  We may have come to it thinking it is all about physical posture and fitness, yet we found it to be so much more.  Together, we played with the deepening breath, found new ways to feel asanas, encountered limitations, moved beyond them. We have explored the edge, and discovered the surrender that takes us deeper. We have met ourselves in difficult poses, noted the impatience, the anger or frustration, the tendency to want to quit, the places we say I can’t, or I won’t.  We have courageously held those poses, felt those feelings, watched as we found ways to transmute, to release, to relax and strengthen simultaneously.  We have learned that a smile makes a pose feel easier, while struggle and tension makes it more difficult. We have learned how to use our breath to release the effort, and to move through uncomfortable places.  We have learned an amazing thing about yoga…. that all of this is useful when we encounter difficult and uncomfortable places “out there.”

We have discovered, maybe, that “out there” is really all about “in here.”La Pine Yoginis

Notice my use of We. (Whee! or maybe Oui!) I have been your teacher, yes, but I have also been your student, and your class mate.  You taught me how to teach, guided me when I veered off course, kept me to what it was you needed, and maybe not surprisingly, what I needed.  It’s no accident, no coincidence that we came together when we did. This was a journey that was meant to be, and while it changes now, it does not end.

Once, many years ago, I was on an airplane,  intent on my destination.  In the row behind me, there was a little boy, maybe 3 or 4 years old.  The airplane began to move, picking up speed. I heard a squeal of delight from behind me, and then as the airplane angled up, lifting off the ground, the boy sang out:  WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I laughed out loud, delighted with the boy’s delight. Yes, I had a destination, but there, in that moment, it was all about the journey.

Years later, in an unlikely yoga class in an obscure little town, during a spinal roll, a spontaneous WHEEEE! rose up out of the class.  HA! Yes! Here it is again! You, yoginis of La Pine, know a secret of yoga… one that it takes many people years to understand.

It’s all about the journey, it’s all about being here, right now, and loving this moment of life.  Yes, we have things to do, places to be, plans to make…. but if we focus too  much on the destination, we miss the entire journey.

So Live Large, Yoginis of La Pine! Feel everything, fear nothing, use your breath, let your yoga shine in your every day life!  Through ups and downs, hard times and joyful times, you know the power of laughter. You know the power of this community you have created here. You know the power of your breath, your movement, your Love.

As I leave you now, I carry you with me, always in my heart. I don’t yet know my eventual destination, but I guarantee you this: Forever on my journey, I will hear your voices in my head singing…


With deep gratitude, Namaste, my friends.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
— A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

La Pine Yoginis

Published in: on July 18, 2010 at 23:41  Leave a Comment  
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