Esalen Yoga and Addiction Recovery Conference, 2011
The experiences of this year’s conference at Esalen are still will me. I have some healing to do; and that is good. I have learned a lot from being vulnerable. I also found security, serenity and the sensation of being sacred just as I am.
Could I have found that without feeling the tenderness of pain? I am not sure. The healing part came as I practiced all the tools I have in self care. I wrote, I meditated, I took time for myself away from activity, I read and I rested. I have found security in my ability to care for myself. I also had the grace and good fortune to have people around me who care a great deal for me and were content just to be there for me as I worked things through. They didn’t have to know the details – they were there in support. It really doesn’t matter if the negative sensations were from a current event or a memory; it was there, it hurt and it would pass.
Being in that unique situation; having nearly 70 people all on a similar path sharing meals, satsang, asana practice, free time and sleepy time accelerated healing. There was a serenity to be found in BEING, allowing the feelings to come and go. As it happens in a pose where at one moment the arms call your attention and then it is your hips or the muscles of your thighs; so too the pain of becoming moves around; nothing permanent, always changing.
Then there was the last day – a wonderful asana practice led in turn by Tommy Rosen, Rolf Gates and Nikki Myers. Words were said that I so needed to hear – that I was sacred. My poses were an expression of my sacred being. Never had I experienced such acceptance and joy in my poses. I am not the strongest, most flexible, or most expressive yoga practitioner. When my eyes and mind traveled off my own mat and looked around to others this time, however, I saw only other people. I did not “see a mountain as a comment on myself” – I saw other people. That is all. My yoga practice felt just right, I felt complete in my experience of the poses. I felt sacred and I felt whole. Luckily I cannot shake that memory. I come back to it and I feel just right. The right size, the right place on this earth, and right now. In actuality, the memory is just a memory, it passes.
Having the point of reference, though, I can identify this feeling of being sacred from time to time in any day. I am grateful.