After two months of teaching Yoga Philosophy on Relationships it was perfect timing for Roy and I to arrange a meeting. I wanted to see what could happen if I invited someone else to join me in my spiritual practice in the woods. Of course, Roy is not just any other person. Roy has provided me with a distant but steady counsel in my yoga business for years, and we’ve remained fond supporters of one another--kindred spirits for sure. With this kind of person, a single get-together feels like it awakens many lifetimes of learning.
We loosely created an intention for our walk, as you can read in my invitation to Roy below:
"I’d love to take a walk in the woods and have an “inspired conversation” with you, which would include a “third presence” of the Unseen, and we’d listen for this as we go. For some time, I’ve been noticing a shift in my mentor meetings with people. We have a beautiful conversation that is seemingly focused on them, but more and more I am able to see how “they are me” and “they/I are We”. That we are really on this journey, this puzzle of life, together. The focus on “inspired” or elevated consciousness is the theme, and also noticing the greater themes from the microcosm to the macrocosm. I think it's so heartwarming and inspiring to hear their real life triumphs and struggles, and even more so how the various wisdom seeps in for all to benefit from…compassion, forgiveness, wisdom, acceptance…"
With Roy, the inspired conversation began even before we stepped onto the path, as he expressed his willingness to have, what Buddhism calls, “the wisdom of no goal”. He said,
"Part of letting the Divine in is getting out of our own way, or getting out of the way. Although I find this very hard to do at times, it is important in my life. If we have a firm, full plan for what’s going to happen, there’s no room for Grace to actively participate."
In the first half of our walk, before we mutually agreed to allow shared quiet, I shared a new concept I was grappling with. I tried to frame my thoughts in a way that wouldn’t seem strange or weird, nor require Roy to agree with me. His response was beautiful:
"When I am learning something new, I like to think of it as just an invitation to put my attention on that. I really like that as an alternative to having to determine if something is true or not, or questioning how we know what is true. It’s a refraining of that, so it gives me a sense of lightness and openness to just consider putting my attention upon a new idea. I can allow and discover how this information might take shape over time."
As we walked, we stopped to observe and appreciate the energy of certain rock formations, tree barks, spiders, dragonflies, and other people. I showed him many of the places that had inspired my Yoga Nature videos including the Cicada, Lady slippers, and Birch tree. We began experiencing the paradox between noticing these elements of nature as separate from us, but also feeling our interconnectedness. He expressed his concern that when we start to label and identify, there is separation that occurs that can also be said, in its extremes, to lead to the capacity to objectify people and nature in limiting ways.
From beginning to end, the most common theme of our walk was “Openness”. Roy shared that one of his favorite things to do, when he sees his children, but extending out to all people, is to say, within his own mind, “I wonder who you are today? Because you are not who you were yesterday.” We agreed that we could even say this to ourselves each day.
As we neared the end of our walk, and I continued to attempt to “figure out” some certain spiritual concepts, Roy gently questioned whether or not I could just rest in the unknowing. He said that one of his favorite things to remind himself is to:
“Unconfuse oneself through not knowing.” (from Toni Packer, Buddist Nun)
Or said another way,
“Not knowing is our Friend.” ~Roy
Thank you, Friends.
With great Love,
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Pausing the mind expands consciousness - Video track - 2:15 minutes (click on the photo)