In all this world, there is nothing more important than appreciating the preciousness of our human embodiment and doing all we can to increase health and happiness for ourselves and others - Tarthang Tulku

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Your Yang Is Getting a Little Grey, eh?


A dear reader Robert Caldwell commented on my last post, " Your Yang is getting a little grey, eh?" after my announcement to move to a softer blog title called "Holly Holy Love". Perhaps he's right. I suppose I just started to feel like I don't want to be calling anyone a "bitch" anymore. Alas, maybe I have gone a bit too soft in this dog eat dog world. I just don't know. As Walt Whitman says, " I contradict myself, very well I contradict myself." Maybe this was yet another classic self-sabotage move, throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Maybe I'll just keep both blogs going, which is crazy, but we'll see what happens. I'm curious, readers, how do you feel about the word "bitches" and its place on the world's stage against the backdrop of our global healing crisis? Do tell.

Now, some very yang yogis sent me a new web site to share with you all called Yogastage.com. Now, I confess, I immediately took issue with the name, mostly because I tend to think that part of the trouble with the way yoga is taught in the West is that it has become a stage for personalities, but I suppose that's just the way it is, I should likely not take it so seriously. In any case, it is a beautiful site where teachers can advertise their workshops and post their bios.

I would make one recommendation to the folks at Yogastage.com to create a section on the site where we shine a light on Eastern deities to keep eye towards the art, dance, an poetry of the East while practicing the physical postures and booking yoga vacations. I would like to see The Vajra Yogini get first billing at the next yoga show on the yoga stage. She is, afterall, the Trauma Goddess and people are hurtin'. Vajra Yogini is often described as " the diamond maiden, the player of games". She describes herself here:

The Trauma Goddess is called for people in painful situations
Where anger and hatred block the path of the soul
I evaluate the benefits of revenge
And give better suggestions for spiritual growth.

I am not suited to polite society
To social striving, upward mobility, and making good impressions
I am radically honest, sensitive, brilliant, and blunt
I hold up a mirror to the best and worst facets of human life.


I find great comfort in these words. Especially the part about not being suited to polite society. That's my favorite of all.

It's true, Robert, I am in a decidedly Yin mode, mostly because I'm in transition, my mother is virtually homeless, penniless, can barely walk and is an angry, walking time bomb desperately in need of head to toe healing like much of the walking wounded world. Of course if you're a Trauma Goddess, you must move through the fire of other people's post traumatic stress in order to do your job well and I welcome the challenge and I do wish to some day to send her to one of those detox retreats where she can punch pillows and cry and do yoga with horses. Rome didn't crumble in a day. Naturally, the yin mode is a means of conserving energy, a survival instinct, really, and I do see it as a necessary rite of passage on the journey of a Christian mystic. There's a wonderful book called Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness by Evelyn Underhill in which she talks about this yin quality as part of the method to the mystic's madness:

It remains a paradox of the mystics that the passivity at which they appear to aim is really a state of the most intense activity: more, that where it is wholly absent no great creative action can take place. In it, the superficial self compels itself to be still, in order that it may liberate another more deep-seated power which is, in the ecstasy of the contemplative genius, raised to the highest pitch of efficiency.[36]

There is a beautiful Victorian illustration by Arthur Rackman that I love that to me exemplifies this yin feeling in the Fall --- it's called, "Feeling Very Undancy".

To trouble with all these healing modalities and all these posh yoga retreats and workshops is that they are expensive for folks who are sick, on disability, on welfare, just barely scraping by-- like my mother, for starters, who fell ill with fybromyalgia and chronic fatigue and has yet to bounce back. I hope to start a foundation where there are funds available for people to enjoy these healing retreats so they can go back into their communities and share their experience and renewed health. If my mother were kidnapped by a team of healers ( any takers?) and maybe spent a month at a retreat center somewhere, I know she would feel like a new person and would be inspired to help so many women who have been through what she has been through. This is where the disconnect in the Yoga.com world in the West exists. It seems there are more charitable outreach efforts directed overseas than right here in our own backyards.

Yogis need to Unite for humanity to bridge the cultural and economic divides that exisit between the people who shop and Whole Foods and read Yoga Journal, and the rest of the human race in this here U.S.A. in yer Chevrolet who cannot afford Kirpalu retreats or even yoga classes. If Seane Corn is serious about wanting to get together, I would happily take her on a field trip to West Philly where I teach 6th and 7th graders as part of the WORLD Y.O.G.A. project. There are pictures of Rhianna, Willow Smith, and Niki Manaj in the girl's room, Seane. I secretly wanted to post pictures of Mother Teresa and Sojurner Truth. What the world needs now is love, sweet, love. What we need to be doing is training a more diverse population of teachers to bring healing, leadership, love, and light to the inner cities.

On my way home to see my mother the other day, at the train station, a graphic on the back of this guy's sweatshirt caught my eye. It said, " Heavenly Sins", with an icon of glittery prayer hands. I couldn't help but ask him what he thought this meant, but as it turned out he didn't even know the writing was there. We ended up talking about how backwards things are in this world. He was reading a book called The One Thing Holding You Back and I asked him if he figured out what that was. " Emotions", he said. I second that emotion.

I asked him if I could take a picture of him, he was using the payphone, which I think is a good reminder to people, in case their cellular devices break, there are still payphones available and people still use them.


I'll sleep on this tussle I'm having with Namaste, Bitches. Robert's got me thinking that a voice of paradox that is both sweet and salty might cast a glare in the direction of some people who did not yet receieve the memo: we are One.

Meantime, beautiful yogis, I wish you love, peace, and perfect pumpkins of the Vata season.

Love and light,
Holly

5 comments:

  1. Giiiiirl ya gotta eat some root veggies :) i would make you and your mom a healing soup! I would skype with your mom anyday. And what if you kept the same blog and just rearranged it? Having 2 blogs is going to put you in a tailspin. . . I continuously change and modify everything as i change! I stop and start over whenever layers have melted off. . . Love.

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  2. I hope your mother gets better and makes a full recovery. The part about emotions holding people back is interesting. I start to do things which are good on the outside which are Intended to make me feel good on the inside. My sometimes negative emotions on the inside start holding me back. It can be a fight sometimes.

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  3. Holly, I never saw Namaste, Bitches as doing anything other than bring awareness to the shadow aspects that everyone has, and isn't that the way that the darkness is lessened...by bringing to it,the light of awareness? If our shadow stays in the dark, it will increase, and we effectively become vehicles of evil, all the time thinking how righteous we are. Shadow-work is not easy or pretty, but therein lies not only our creative impulse, but the seed of true compassion. If we acknowledge our "bitch" aspect, we can moderate it. If we deny its existence, well, look around you....are you satisfied with the status quo? To read your blog, you obviously have a lot of love in your heart. For whatever reason, you also are aware of the paradox, and your own shadow therein. It is your gift. Because you bring awareness to your dark side, it stays small. I have heard it said that the Devil wants us to believe that he does not exist. He stays safe that way. No awareness. For most of my new-Age years, it was un-cool to believe in evil. I still have no opinion as to whether or not there is actually a demonic agent active in our world, but for all PRACTICAL purposes, you don't have to look too far to see the effects of what for lack of a better term, could be called "evil". The reduction of suffering begins with us owning our own bitch. I see Namaste, Bitches as a lighthouse.

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  4. Amen to paradoxgarage. Namaste, bitches as a greeting encompasses two ends of a spectrum. So does being grounded in reality in all its glorious dirt and at the same time a mystic, which you seem to do rather well. At least you write well about it. So I hope you stick with this blog, whether or not you start a kinder, gentler one.

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  5. Hey Holly. It's your blog[s] and you gotta do with it what YOU want, not your readers. Still, you did ask for our opinions ... mine is that I never liked the word "bitches" very much. But it is a title guaranteed to get attention.

    And now here's an opinion that you didn't ask for [but I'll give it to you any way]. I wish you hadn't deleted almost all your archives. No doubt you had your reasons which I can perhaps guess at, but there was some good reading in there. I'd at least like to get a copy of your recipe for ... kichardi, was it? That sounded gooooood but when I went back to look for it, it was gone.

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