Horses have a lot to teach meditation practioners. Main take-away lesson is to live simply, you get further with less. All you need is the ground beneath you, clean air to breathe, the remembrance that each one of us is taken care of, and the will to practice consistently.
Now that’s what I call work. Whatever you do, do it with love. If you’re not doing it with love then ask yourself ‘what is the main energy that is being shared with what I do?’ I went to art school and then yoga teacher trainings because I had to do what I love to do so that resentment wasn’t the main energy infused in my work, which it had been when I tried barista and host positions. Finding the service to offer that opens your heart to wanting to give more is the recipe for a meaningful and contented life. If you live for the weekend, of for 5PM to roll around, what energy is going into the work you’re doing?
The world is an external manifestation of what is inside. What we see is a perception through the lens we created through thoughts, ideas, and values. We can choose to see the divine behind everything or not. The results of that decision is either to feel entirely supported or completely alone.
Why don’t we choose to live simply in the support of the Highest? The horse above, and your pets and all the wildlife, are not bound to the dramatic news everyday, and even if they are feeling the effects of climate chaos, they don’t choose to suffer over it, but rather embrace and respond to each present moment.
I challenge you to stand where your feet are. To exist just in awareness for a few minutes, or many, each day. Allow whatever is there to be there with an acceptance as if the experience, whether pleasant or not, is a gift to pull you closer to your Source. Yoga is this connection to the Source.
This is what I practice while working with horses. Each act is an attempt to pull the horse into a deeper and more trusting relationship with me, whether the act is rewarding good behavior or redirecting something a little less desirable. I aspire to learn from horses the humbleness of collaborating with what horses consider predators and the ability to not take offense at those less-desired behaviors, because horses, like all beings, only do what they think they have to do to survive.
You know how Genesis says God gave humanity dominion over the earth? I read in Igniting a Revolution that most of us misinterpreted that to mean we can use or abuse the land and animals however we deem most efficient, when in fact God used the word ‘dominion’ to actually mean ‘keep’ Earth as a gardener keeps their garden or has dominion of the garden. When we treat the myriad of miracles the divine gave us with respect, compassion, love, and protection, we act in gratitude and in accordance with how God intended for us to treat the Earth that he hired us as caretakers of. The way a gardener lovingly cares for each plant is the intention behind setting us up as caretakers. Through loving service to all of creation we serve the divine, our Source, the Source each meal, each breath, and we really begin to understand what yoga, or communion with the divine, is.
Here is an auspicious event to be a part of and help make happen! The deadline is quickly approaching-August 6! The link is is: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/215903094/midwest-yoga-and-kirtan-fest
“Suppose there is an evil: denouncing it will not remove it, but you must go to work at the root. First, find out the cause, then remove it, and the effect will be removed also. Mere outcry will not produce any result, unless indeed it produces misfortune.
There are others who have sympathy in their hearts and who understand the idea that we must go deep into the cause. These are the great saints. One fact you must remember: all the great teachers of the world have declared that they came not to destroy but to fulfil…
We must direct our energies towards the truth, and fulfil the truth that exists, not try to make new truths.
He who sees in this world of manifoldness that One running through all; in this world of death, he who finds that one infinite Life; and in this world of in sentience and ignorance, he who finds one Light and Knowledge – unto him belongs eternal peace, unto none else, unto none else.”
(Swami Vivekenanda: Jnana-Yoga).
Can we embrace the challenges? Can we observe emotions as internal events rather than being taken for roller coaster rides through the impulsive reactions and decisions that result from getting swept away by our emotions?
The yogasana practice is the practice-lab that gives ample opportunities to learn to breathe through challenges and observe internal drama without letting it hijack your mind.
Once we have this resilience, the challenges in life will propel us into spiritual growth spurts rather than tear us up inside and set us back.
Here’s my challenge to you to try right now: hold chaturunga dandasana (the asana in the photo above) for 4 slow smooth breaths.
Start in plank, learn to chill out here, with hands directly beneath shoulders, heels above toes, the whole body straight as an arrow, bend the elbows as close to 90 degrees that you can hold and keep your slow smooth breathing going! To modify if the low back is straining, release knees on the floor creating a straight line from crown of head to knees.
Enjoy the challenge and feel your emotional resilience grow!