compassion

Temple of Athena Ruins – Priene, Turkey

“I forgive myself for being imperfect.

I forgive myself for making mistakes.

I forgive myself for having to learn about life by living it.”

~Rolf Gates

Since the onset of COVID-19 when Rolf Gates started offering free guided mindfulness meditations via facebook, I’ve been practicing with him and his community. (He is the author of two of my favorite books, Meditations from the Mat and Meditations on Intention and Being.) Above are the words that frame the compassion meditation that we do together on Wednesdays. Words that have been very soothing and healing for me.

So many times in my life, after some unskillful behavior that went against my values or that hurt someone, I hung on to feeling bad about myself, replaying the behavior and beating myself up, with time being the only real healer. My hope is that this practice will support me in being kinder and gentler with myself and enable a more graceful response to being human.

the earth beneath our feet

Banana tree leaf, Sierra Madre mountains between San Agustinillo and Oaxaca

Sauca asks, “What do we need with more?” It invites us to be just here, to look just here, to see the beauty all around us. It tells us to be the beauty we see all around, to choose the beauty and the love it reflects. To breath that beauty in, then breath that beauty out. To let your life be nothing but that. To stand strong and at peace with the earth beneath our feet, breathing life in, breathing life out, and letting go of everything else.”

This lovely perspective on sauca, one of The Five Observances on The Eight-Limb Path to Yoga, is from Rolf Gates’ Meditations on Intention and Being, Day 111, The Earth Beneath Our Feet. Several ideas touched me as I read the passage. I’ve been catching my ‘wanting mind’ in action so the idea of life as it is being enough is a gift. I’ve been cultivating an eye for beauty and goodness in the world so seeing and being the beauty resonates with me. And, finally, I’ve been building a short meditation into my evenings so the feeling of breathing in and breathing out and letting go of everything else feels like an invitation.

What speaks to you?

the light of the sun

Lake Koronis July2019 (2).JPG

From Meditations on Intention and Being: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, Mindfulness, and Compassion by Rolf Gates, Day 352

“The light of the sun is warm, gentle, and strong. A place for wounded hearts and withered spirits to find the strength they need to walk back into life. A place to remember picnics by the river and the way your heart leaps at the sight of flowers in bloom. The sun’s light is perfect for adventures with friends. In her presence we will take someone’s hand and they will take ours. In her warmth we will remember that we can begin now always. With her light on our face we will find our place among the grateful and our love will be true.”

 

Oh, the many abundantly delicious days of my life blessed with sunshine and all that goes with it! Indeed, there is something special about the sweetness of the sun’s light and how it touches and shapes our lives. I’m really tuning into her these days, as her hours upon us shrink into the seasons of fall and winter, and relishing each moment she graces me with her presence.

 

* I took this photo at Lake Koronis, Minnesota, USA.