I recently taught Touch of Grace: Mastering Hands-On Adjustments in Lenox, MA and it was a wonderful experience. The students were so attentive and receptive. I experienced such a sense of connection, a flow of concentration, a vibratory resonance within the group that opened my heart and a vortex of love and wisdom began to flow through me.
I didn’t expect to offer any in-depth philosophical teachings since the focus was about the physical practice of adjusting asanas. But I was just back from being on retreat with Paul Muller-Ortega, my meditation teacher, and some of the most potent teachings spontaneously exploded forth.
The gift of our embodiment, our life here on earth, is that we have the opportunity to intervene. We can intervene with life and change our destiny. Fate is what’s given to you. Destiny is what you do with it. You have the capacity to intervene with your patterns, your habitual thinking, your relationships, your environment in ways that can shift your destiny. You can heal yourself and your relationships. It’s all possible in the here and now earth plane.
Tantra teaches that we are co-participators with life. There’s no pre-determined script or plan that God has and all we need to do is fulfill it. No. We are co-creating life with grace in each moment. Life is determined by all of the forces that interact with it, including past, present, future, nature, grace, and you. Your thoughts, words, desires, and actions cut a groove in the fabric of time/space reality. Quantum physics confirms this. Same is true in the Kashmir Shaiva Tantra philosophy. Grace requires your effort to be experienced. The winds of grace are always blowing but you have to set the sails in order to catch the wind. If you don’t open yourself to receive grace, it will blow over you.
Yoga is about intervening in a way that changes your fate, that makes a positive difference in your life or in the lives of others. When you meditate, you are intervening with your thought patterns. Through observing your thoughts without acting on them and returning again and again to a mantra, you strengthen your capacity to focus. You also strengthen your capacity to let go. When you become aware that your mind has drifted, you consciously let go of the thought and return to the mantra.
Meditation takes you to the dynamic still point within your heart. The heart is a kind of threshold, a portal to the “other side”. Madhya means the place in the middle. It’s the interstitial space between the Absolute and Relative; between the universal and the individual, between the ocean and wave. It’s the place where the ocean touches the wave.
The heart represents the middle of the middle since it’s located basically in the middle of the torso and there are three chakras above it and three chakras below it. The heart has the daunting task of integrating both the unseen and the seen, spirit and matter, human nature with divine nature. The truth is we are both the Absolute and the Relative at the same time. We are both Shiva and Shakti in such a way that they are one and separate at the same time. It’s a paradox.
The purpose of meditation is to find the Madhya (place in the middle in between two things) and dwell there. It’s like intentionally going into the unknown and lingering there. Being in the unknown requires that you let go of your past identity. It requires that you let go of all expectations. You have to become “nobody” in order to enter the portal to the other side. Once you can relinquish your to-do list, the need to accomplish anything, the need to understand, and even the need to touch the Madhya space, then you effortlessly go into the place in the middle.
It’s like the space between your breaths. In the space at the top of your inhalation before you exhale, there’s no inhalation or exhalation. There is a third thing. This is the threshold, a portal to a greater reality. A window opens to the mystery, the unbounded, the limitless place of the Absolute. In this place “we are no longer linear beings having a linear experience. We are dimensional beings having a dimensional experience.” Dr. Joe Dispenza.
When you give an adjustment to a student in a pose and you give it from this place in the middle, you access a kind of “body-to-body listening”. You tune into the student’s experience and synchronize your vibration with theirs, including matching your breath with their breath. Once you’ve established this connection and adjust their body to enhance their alignment, their spirit will flow more fully through their body. The body at this level becomes a conduit of the heart, a channel of a higher vibration. As the giver, in this state, you’ll know exactly how to give the adjustment. It will come from another dimension and will be the perfect adjustment for the student receiving.
One of the experiences I guided at the Hands-On Training was to practice body-to-body listening and allow your intuition to guide you. In the room, I observed a profound flow of subtle communication between the givers and receivers that was beautiful to behold. A glowing radiance filled the room. When you are in your heart and you offer this level of an adjustment, you spontaneously and effortlessly bring your student into the madhya space along with you. You intervene with someone’s body, with someone’s karma in a loving intentional way. It’s the touch of grace which has the power to shift someone’s world and change their destiny forever.
I’ll never forget my first yoga teachers in Miami, FL. They gave me so many hands-on adjustments that I came to crave them each class. My body was fed and nourished on a deep level by their generous and instructive touch. I remember my body often magically changed under their hands. I confess that I became somewhat addicted to their adjustments because I remember feeling disappointed when I wasn’t touched in a class! I’m grateful to have received so many loving adjustments.
May you intervene with all aspects of your life in empowering and uplifting ways. May you have the strength and motivation to intervene with your negative patterns and through observation, with a focus on what you truly want, make a shift in your destiny. Know that when you make this shift you affect the quantum field all around you.
Come intervene with me in a workshop or training soon. Check out my schedule for upcoming programs. Be well.