Today I was re-reading “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, her reflections on shells during an island holiday, and how they spoke to her of solitude, love, marriage and life. In particular she expressed the need for stillness in one’s centre, like the stillness at the centre of a spinning wheel, about which the activities of mind and body can revolve. From this still centre the essence of self flows forth; a joyful stream of strength, creativity, and renewal.
Michael Leunig also writes of this centre in the Curly Pyjama Letters, of the difference between grasping and holding, and how wonderful it is to lose one’s grasp, and revert to the steadiness of holding. Grasping is essential for certain emergencies such as when the duck (the uncomplicated being who travels with Vasco in the story) has been frightened by a fierce animal, but holding is of the heart, and has a calmer committed nature.
We walked down to the beach on the late afternoon sunshine, and swam in a quiet sea, brilliant blue and white in the slanting golden light. So quiet, blissful, beautiful. I suddenly thought of writing a blog, perhaps to let my youngest son follow our Bingie life while he is living overseas … perhaps to share a little of what is flowing from my centre, or radiating out along the many spokes of my life.
Yoga classes began again this week, and I put aside my fears and sang a Sanskrit prayer for teachers and students at the beginning of class. I have heard my teacher Donna Farhi singing it for years, so now it was my turn and it was surprisingly easy! While my students relaxed in supported Supta Baddha Konasana (or Goddess pose) I read the translation by Richard Miller, asking that we may understand the truth that all is One, that there is no separation between us, that our hearts may be filled with love, and that “the human race be united in one fearless friendship”.
At the close of class we bring our hands to our heart centre, greeting each other with the Sanskrit word “namaste”, which means “I honour the place within you where the universe resides in love, in peace, in truth. When I am in that place in me, and you are in that place in you, then there is only one of us”. With our hands meeting at our heart, we bring our awareness into this still place, tapping the essence of Self where the universe dwells at the heart of our being. Yes, we are all One.