I have always been a collector of collections. My parents used to make fun of me as a child, from the age of six, for my many collections. I had a glass menagerie after obsessing on the Tennessee Williams movie and lame Laura’s unicorn. I had a shell collection, a horse collection, a stamp collection. My parents were mystified by the obsessive desire to look at patterns and codes and to know things from around the world.
In the last eight constant years of touring, and meeting people and cultures, my collecting obsession has turned to the ways that governments, religions, and cultures have operated to diminish and confuse our own innate freedom. I have become obsessed with reading Yuvol Hararri (Sapiens, Homo Deus), and recently The Shortest History of Europe John Hirst.
We feel confused because our intuition, our agency, and our deep felt sense of truth is clumped into boxes and paradigms that have no intrinsic connection to how we are built to exist. We are living at the convenience of oligarchs, despots, and other people who always, but always, used 90% of the workforce to fill their coffers and invented ever more effective ways to keep us in a hamster wheel.
You probably know this. I think most of us do. And yet – it is so reified in the minds of people that when you feel your full power and potential it sends terror into our very DNA. Perhaps in the past we would have been arrested, burned, or sent away for thinking as independently as we can, or endeavoring to move against the norms.
We are sitting in the tidal stream of old ways clamping down on our resilient beingness. It is an apparent contradiction that the tantrikas always knew and defied. As my teachers have always pointed to, it is our challenge now to live in and among society and yet to maintain the infinite freedom that is our nature.
The questions I hold as my anchor and mirror are as follows:
1. Am I really free? This is hard, hard, hard. I have moved like the wind from place to place, and yet the traps and pitfalls of my own mind conditioning constantly halt my freedom. I can close my eyes and meditate into the ocean of bliss, but when I open my eyes and my mouth, what comes out still is wrinkled with conditions.
Our integration of the meditative state into our waking state is a long slow movement from the brackish waters into the clarity of being. We developed our 300 hour program with this in the forefront of our minds.
2. Am I accessing my whole self? If I use the moments of flow, from yoga, meditation and free movement as a touchstone to my felt sense of my WHOLE SELF. I am working through the training of how to access that when at the immigration office, driving in traffic, cleaning the house. Sometimes I feel that sense of being a caged bird…and I am trying to discover the regulation mechanism that takes all of this and pours it into that.
3. What is the point? I love this question because there is not an answer that we can know, and yet every person ultimately comes to their own conclusion, whether overtly or covertly. Some decide it is to screw everyone, and make themselves rich. Or to become as famous as they can. Or to live a life of service. The only thing I know is that the answers, the real answers only come in the deepest sense of the meditative state, and how we come out and interpret that will vary wildly depending on our seeing. As part of the integration is also learning how to use agency and listening, to find the meaning for you.
My new collection: As a collector, my new obsession is collecting like minded souls who are curious adventurers in this Earth School. I’m actually little interested in any other conversation. If this is a path that compels you, drives you, inquires through you, then I invite you to come, with your whole self, to explore with me, in one of the containers for exploration.
My first Embodied Flow Masterclass in LA in five years will be at Wanderlust on October 21st.
Embodied Flow’s newest program, Movement Therapy, kicks off in Bali this December. This program qualifies practitioners to become an ISMETA therapist and will be lead by my partner in Embodied Flow, Dr. Scott Lyons.
The next 200 hour Embodied Flow Training is in Goa, India at the fabulous center of Samata. With a vision, a commitment, a desire to preserve ancient practices, and a willingness and dedication to share that with the world – I haven’t been so inspired by a mission that is truly on point with yoga as I have been here. All proceeds from this retreat center go to their sustainable farming and dedication to save precious healing herbs in the high himalayas.
In February 2018, Ally Bogard and I return for another Retreat at Samata. This week long journey will focus on internal referencing and mapping our ways into the felt sense of being. Through daily yoga, meditation, breath work and wisdom teachings we will move towards a clearer understanding of the infinite and renewable resources that live inside.
My latest Yogaglo class is Essential Self. Take a journey to your innermost self, using breath and movement to travel into a meditative state. Tune in with a centering pranayama, before moving on to a steady flowing sequence that includes side angle, trikonasana and standing balances like ardha chandra chapasana. Focus on the subtle influence of the koshas (layers of self), allowing this deeply personal practice to deliver you to the easeful ground of your own being.