As we make tracks into this holiday season, we are reminded to reflect on gratitude, generosity, and renewal. I have enormous gratitude for you, my students, my friends, my sangha for all you have taught me and all we have shared during this passing year. This year I followed my bliss, leaping out into a newness by embracing yoga as a full-time vocation. I could not have done it without your generosity of spirit, interest in what I offer, wisdom, and support. Woooeee! Show up, wring it out, throw it into the fire, cool it down, shine it up, see what remains, repeat -> what yoga practice asks of us each time we come to the mat (or the home, or the workplace, or the gathering place) and each time we step off of it. Renewal renewal renewal. It is an honor to walk this path with you.
The title of this blog post is the title of a Rainer Maria Rilke poem that I experience as astonishing and moving again and again. The full text of the poem is below. However you understand the word God, may you find the poem to be an inspiration to flare up like a flame and go to the limits of your longing as we enter this season of lights and prepare to offer ourselves as fully as we know how into this new year ahead. For a real treat and lesson in how shiny the human spirit can be, please click here for a radio interview from On Being with Krista Tippett entitled A Wild Love for the World with Joanna Macy, a philosopher of ecology, scholar of Buddhism, and translator of Rilke poetry. Click the "Play Episode" link on the top right of the page to listen to the interview.
Lastly, please find an amended weekly class schedule for the remainder of December below the text of the Rilke poem. Please note several class cancellations, an added class, an upcoming Special New Years Eve Event at 8am on Thursday December 31st, and an upcoming Special New Years Day Class at 10am on Friday January 1st. May this holiday season be warm and joyful for you and yours. Thank you for the light you share with me and the world.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours, I 59
Jai Ganesha! The elephant headed statue pictured above is revered as the Lord Ganesh, ruler of new beginnings, remover of obstacles and guardian of the threshold. Known to be quite fond of sweets himself and always sweet to us, he holds a particular sweetness for us this time of year.
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha.