Spring Equinox: Balance and Reciprocity
"As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the color and fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world." - Gautama Buddha
I hope you are enjoying a sense of renewal, not only as we transition into the light of spring, but also as we start to see light now at the end of the tunnel.
The Spring Equinox - a time of the year when the days and nights are almost equal – has had me reflect on balance, and what it means to be balanced.
I find that there is often a desire for balance to be constant - something achieved and then held. But of course, like everything else, balance is never static, it is always changing. To stay in balance, one must re-connect, re-assess, and re-adjust constantly. It is a dynamic process in which we are constantly asked to recognize and work with opposing, yet complementary forces: heaviness/lightness, hot/cold, sweet/sour, light/dark, joy/sorrow.
One of the main principles in Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda is “Like increases like and opposites balance”. For example, if we are experiencing an excess of a particular quality and associated discomfort, exposure to more of that quality will only aggravate the problem. By the same token, if something is dry, we add water; if something it’s cold, we add heat.
Over time, I came to look at these forces through the lens of reciprocity, recognizing that as long as we are on this earth, we are always held within the grace of reciprocity.
We have a direct, embodied experience of reciprocity every time we step on our yoga mat. Think: inhalation/exhalation, extension/flection, right side/left side, striving/surrendering, one muscle contracting/the opposite releasing. Bringing a mindful attention to these opposing, yet complementary forces in our practice, will shine a light on our conscious and unconscious relationship with reciprocity - both, on and off the mat...
... Are we striving, pushing, giving more than we are yielding, surrendering, receiving?
... Are we taking more than we need? Are you forgetting to share what we have excess of?
... Are we living from a place fear and scarcity? Or are we living from of place of generosity and compassion?
Reciprocity is part of our natural rhythms and perhaps that's why is easy to take it for granted. A reciprocity-centered life takes effort but without it our earthly life would cease.
May this first equinox of the year be an invitation to use our practice as a way to bring awareness to our unconscious biases that are getting in the way of the grace of reciprocity.
Love, blessings and may there be spring inside your heart.
Now and Zen: Hiking Meditation
Saturday March 27, 9-11am Join me on Mount Tamalpais for some easy time in nature.
(please sign up by Friday)
This offering is for those who enjoy hiking as a way to connect with the present moment. The hike will be moderate, allowing sufficient time to enjoy the company of the redwoods, as well as to take in the views of the mountain and the bay.
We will start hiking from Mill Valley and spend some time sitting together in guided meditation before heading back. We will observe silence for a portion of the hike.
Virtual Ayurvedic Spring Couples Cleanse
April 25 - May 2 (virtual)
Join me with a partner, a friend, a family member, or just yourself (the group will be there to support you!).
Cleansing is considered an essential element of seasonal routines in Ayurveda. It is at the season changes that our constitutions are the most challenged as our environments change.
Right now, we have one foot in the winter, and one foot in the spring and it is likely that our habits are not yet taking into account the need to shift our food intake or our lifestyle habits to be more seasonally appropriate. This is potentially leaving us with a feeling of sluggishness from the winter diet and lifestyle, which can set us up for poor digestion, toxicity, congestion, aches and pains, etc.
Cleansing is a great way to ‘lighten’ our bodies as seasons change and to pause and listen in a little closer.