June 6, 2017


In this time on our planet, in our country, our states, our cities, our very own communities, it's more vital than ever to bring attention toward the powerful practices of integration.

The causes and conditions of dukkha (suffering) are in our hands. When we turn everything into subject/object and point our fingers at others, we are dividing ourselves—separating from parts of ourselves—which are, for better or worse, mirrored in all beings.

We can look outside of ourselves and see endless expressions of divisiveness—from the international stage, to national culture, to our local neighborhoods, to our yoga studios, to the way one person speaks about another, to our own internal experience of casting out certain aspects of ourselves.

Where in our daily life can we find examples of this lessening of fracturing and duality? Certainly not on the news, social media, or places of commerce. What are we left with as a way of learning about inclusiveness and inviting in what we imagine we abhor, disdain?

I'm a part of this wondrous mess of humanity and witness within myself and the world around me a boxing up, parsing out, and placing into compartments. The teachings of yoga, for me, have been the ever-present reminder that wholeness has always existed and will continue to exist.

From the Upanishads:

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते |

पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ||

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः || [1]

Auṃ pūrṇamadaḥ pūrṇamidam pūrṇāt pūrṇamudacyate

pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāya pūrṇamevāvaśiṣyate

oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

”You are the fullness. There is fullness, here is fullness. From the fullness, the fullness is born. Remove the fullness from the fullness and the fullness alone remains.”

My habitual way of viewing the world is like pushing my eye against a pinhole: I most often believe that what I see/feel through this miniscule pinhole is all there is. The practices of yoga help me widen my view, clean up my own actions, and align my day to day life more closely with what I desire in the deepest parts of me. Integration means embracing the entire muck and beauty of the birth to death process we are fortunate to call “this life.”

Even in the yoga world, we overhear that one studio will not work with another, that one yoga teacher will not lift up another, that some practitioner is complaining about this teacher or that. This kind of talk only reflects our internal state of fracture and self-division.

Inclusivity is the name of the game when we look at the deeper teachings of yoga. These teachings call on us to embrace, walk forward, and open our arms, even to the things that repel us.

We are reminded to find a place within our own heart>mind to rest, to slow the narrative and to listen to a deeper knowing, beyond the veil of separation. For this we need quiet, we need spaces in between doings, in between rapid thought cycles, and this is why we return again and again to meditation.

As we sit with ourselves, our thoughts, our habit loops, and simply breathe, we witness our repeated patterns and pull back the aperture enough to see a little more than that pinhole allows. We sit with our own discomfort and watch the ways in which we cast out certain parts of ourselves, the same aspects we then reject in others or the world.

When we sit down like this, we are not pulling ourselves apart (although sometimes it feels that way). We are joining in the grand experiment of becoming whole. So, whether we sit together, in a collective, holding each other accountable for being still or we cultivate a consistent practice of sitting/meditation we give ourselves and all around us the gift of integration.

More posts
September 27, 2016
Sadhana: Daily Practice
November 1, 2016
Making Friends with Fear
February 9, 2017
This is not a drill.
March 9, 2017
Drama Chaser
June 6, 2017
September 7, 2017