Life is neither black nor white, and impossible to put into boxes, although there are many times that we try desperately to contain it. With that in mind, I find myself now a retired yoga/meditation teacher, yet I teach meditation and talk about Somayog. I am not actively involved in marketing products that have enhanced my health, yet you will find them advertised on this site. I am no longer in the business of consulting folks on breast care, yet I am an email away from answering any questions you may have on the topic. I have been a student of life all of my existence only to discover that I know very little, and hear an echo of this in Rumi:
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Insofar as credentials go, the main discipline for study in my life, beyond teaching, has been that of the science of yoga and meditation. I have earned a degree in meditation and advanced yoga sciences that include in-depth work with yogic philosophy in its original Sanskrit texts.
I find myself now resonating with the words of T.S.Elliot who wrote in Little Gidding:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
This place now for me, is home - the place of the above revelation and the physical place of St. John’s. The elemental nature of things so clearly on display and so alike to the place from where I budded in England. I am at home here.
In 2011, after the second time around of full cancer treatments, and feeling an enormous sense of transformation, I was asked to elaborate on what I meant by ‘morphing into a new manifestation’?
This is a very interesting inquiry into the process of transformation. I have always been intrigued by that moment of change – why in just that moment does the dyke open and waters run? Patanjali Yog Darshan (the handbook for yogis) tells us that it happens when everything needed to effect that change is supplied to the original state. The caterpillar will morph into the butterfly when all necessary conditions are met.
Prior to that emergence of new life, the caterpillar spends time inside its chrysalis - a period of transition.
As I undergo these allopathic healing treatments, I recognize I am in a time of transition; by nature it is one of uncertainty.
This uncertainty, scary at times as it may be, is actually a very important and essential part of our growth and evolution. It is a temporary stage – important to recognize that point and allow that these spaces of discomfort, confusion and fear are actually setting the stage for a new clarity and wisdom to emerge.
One characteristic of this uncertainty is that we have very little clue as to what kind of butterfly we will become – what if it is a moth? We are no longer in apparent control, we rest on very shaky ground desperately searching for something to hold on to. And this is where the discipline of practice enters the picture. In a recent earthquake, I instantly ran for the doorframe – that drill was in my head. Mind you, once there I realized I could actually go outside into the open. In the same way, our daily practices of awareness, whatever they be, from a morning sun-salutation to daily meditation, from chi-gung to moment to moment loving kindness, they give us that something to rest in until we see that we can leap off the cliff and we will fly.
At heart this expansion process is mysterious; this is a good thing. We rarely can believe the wonders that lie in store upon awakening.
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.”
Meditate with SuAn:
Four weekly sessions for the Fall Season on Mondays at 11am in the Fellowship Room of St. James United Church, 330 Elizabeth Avenue, St. John's; starting date of Monday, October 16. Overall topic will be Consciousness and Change.
Each session will explore the theme of Consciousness via the theory of meditation, effective techniques and practice time, offering knowledge, skills and support to enhance your personal development.
Studies of meditation have shown that its practice reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, reduces chronic pain and improves health, vitality and self-esteem. If you have never meditated, or have tried and found it dificult to continue your practice, yet you still have interest, please join us!
Cost is a donation to the Food Bank, part of the ongoing Life and Work of St. James.
If driving, please park for free in the first line nearest to Elizabeth Avenue. Anywhere else in the parking lot is liable for a ticket.