As I was heading out the door to offer the monthly Yoga Nidra Meditation session at Blue Heron Wellness this past Friday, the news about the attacks in Paris began streaming in. You may recall from last week's email that the planned theme for the evening was peace--the kind of inner peace that is always present and an aspect of who we truly are. Perfect, right?!
But, what happens when you're scheduled to lead a meditation on peace and all you're feeling is tremendous pain and an abundance of sadness?
On my way over to the yoga studio and in line with "walking the walk", I resolved to make room for the feelings I was experiencing and share the meditation from this place of utter vulnerability.
No, it's not easy to feel yourself so completely exposed and raw. But, this is life, right? We don't get to choose how we feel or which experiences befall us, but we can choose to accept what is already happening (merely because it is already happening) and decide to compassionately embrace ourselves throughout the challenge(s).
As we traveled deeper and deeper into the meditation last Friday, noting and feeling a myriad of sensations, emotions, and thoughts, I felt the throb of pain. Just like when you stub your toe on a table's leg, I felt the quickening pulse within me. It was so profound, so full of sensation, so very much alive.
I thought of an EMT or nurse and how when checking for a pulse, s/he is looking for a sign of life-force within the body. So too this pulsation of pain within me was reminding me, moment by moment, how very much alive I am. Alive with pain. Alive with sadness. Alive with a great sense of loss.
The dictionary defines vulnerability as "the state of being open to injury" and "easily hurt or attacked". I'd like to suggest that as long as we are alive, as long as there is blood coursing through our veins and a pulse to indicate our aliveness, we are open to injury and can be easily hurt or attacked (regardless of what defense mechanisms are in place). As long as we are alive, we are vulnerable. Because we are alive. Because we are indeed very much alive.
When I listened to the throb of pain within me on Friday, I heard the echoes of suffering from across the globe and all the pain born out of being human. I stayed with it. Chose to bear witness. And, I whispered to myself in the midst of it all that I am here, that I care, that I am tending to myself with my presence.
It took a few minutes. A few long minutes, in fact. But without fail, it showed up. It washed over me and held me. A great sense of peace. My peace. Radiating within me and all around me. My whole being present and abiding as peace. Not because "everything is good" or "everything is bad", but because I am here. I am present. I am alive. Because I am. And so are you.
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
Join me via phone, web, private session or any class or workshop for an inquiry into our aliveness and the peace and mystery in which all of life unfolds. I would be honored to support you.
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Shira Oz-Sinai is a spiritual teacher trained in iRest® Yoga Nidra meditation and Soul Lightening Acupressure®, two modalities that share the common principle of noticing what arises in awareness as the foundation to living life with ease and in deep and loving friendship with yourself. These are her musings.