I spent last weekend in San Francisco with John Friend and the Anusara yoga Kula. A beautiful community of truly amazing friends. The experience was sublime. I have much to say about it, but I think it shall trickle out over time. Meanwhile, this post is about my experience on the way there. It was perfect in setting the tone for the weekend.
It was a gorgeous sunny day as I left home early Saturday morning. I was headed to San Francisco to spend the weekend practicing yoga with 250 Anusara Yoga friends. NPR Music radio was on and there was an interview with Pierre Bensusan, known as the Jimi Hendrix of acoustic guitar. The interviewer asked Pierre to please explain what he meant when he said: “Most musicians don’t spend enough time listening.” Pierre responded: “that statement came to me because I have the great honor to teach music, sometimes to people who are touched by music. But sometimes they are so distracted by technique that they forget to listen… We all need technique in order to express what we want, what we try to express, but after a while, you also sometimes need to be first listening before being distracted by the technique. Because if you do listen carefully, your technique seems to hear, to see you listening, and be more at peace with yourself and then you start to, in fact, to get what you’re looking for because you listen…”
Oh wow, I was struck. Enough to go back and find the interview on the web so that I could write down exactly what Pierre said. How perfect to hear “listen!” on my way to this yoga workshop. The first principal of Anusara yoga is Open to Grace. And now I see, that this does not simply apply to yoga, but also to music, to parenting, and perhaps for all of life: pause and listen. To be receptive, to invite sensitivity and spaciousness, to feel and to cultivate awareness, this is the practice of opening to Grace. And this is my practice. Both on and off the mat. And while I do not always succeed, I absolutely keep trying.
A few miles down the road, the sunny day shifted and a storm started to brew. Dramatic lighting sharpened the bright green rolling hills into splotches of light and shadow. And then a gift from the heavens: a double rainbow! I’m breathless, and LISTENING. Wide open and paying full attention.
At some moments I can *feel* my being expand, on an energetic level. Have you had that experience?
And so, grinning ear to ear, I walked into the San Francisco JCC with my heart spilling over with love and gratitude.