Teachers can only teach what they know, what they’re learning, from their own practice. Otherwise the teaching is flat and inauthentic. Five principles that bubbled up this past week when I wrote down this morning what my own practice has revealed lately:
When you’re wobbly or lost or full of fret – do the practice. Steadiness and grace devour your fears.
When what's untrue seems to be a deafening shout, and that which is true seems only a whisper – do the practice. The truest and only thing really going on, all the time, is Truth going on . . . ongoingly, all the time. You have to listen closely for whispers. So listen closely. The truth’s harmonies and rhythms vibrate in flawless synchronicity with all that’s good, all that’s light, all that’s lovely. It sounds a lot like your own heart beating. It sounds a lot like “Om.”
When you’re certain you’re going to be swallowed by darkness – do the practice. The apparent power of darkness is no match for actual power of light.It’s no contest.
When discouragement or hopelessness seem to be setting up housekeeping in your heart – do the practice. How implausible is the false idol of hopelessness and how deep is the well of your easy courage!
When you catch yourself sliding down the slippery slope of you versus anyone, or you versus anything – do the practice. We remain, always, every last of us, children of the Divine Universal Spirit – with some just a whole lot more confused about who they are. See the truth of them, even if it means looking anew a dozen times, a hundred times, a thousand times, a million times. Your work, your required service, is to stay unconfused and to stop fortifying the illusion that there is anything going on, ever, that isn’t Love.
So the practice of yoga is a way – not the only way – but a way of moving from seeing through a glass darkly to seeing through it clearly. It’s not always an easy step to move across the chasm from fear to grace, but there is a bridge between them. It takes only one breath, a teensy leap of faith, and one wobbly rise of a foot off the ground to move it forward a single step across from the side that sees through the “glass darkly” to the side that sees through the glass lightly and clearly.
The bridge-walker may be cautious, clumsy, tentative - but justifications for not walking it fade every time one more yogi’s foot touches the ground on that bridge.
It's not nerves of steel that carry us through over to the other side of the bridge. It's willingness to yield to the face of grace that's smiling, egging us on, and inviting us to “take another step, please, and be light of heart.”