Ciao and Sacred Sunday to you:
I must be honest, some days I don’t have the inspiration or energy to write. Yes, even my precious Sacred Sunday’s feel overwhelming.
Especially with egregious acts of inhumanity we’re seeing played out on the global stage.
🙏So, I do what I know is helpful when my heart feels like shard pieces of glass – I sit in meditation, I pray, and I ask my highest self, my legacy self, for guidance.
And a memory flooded in…
I’m sitting in the yoga room while on retreat. High up in the mountains of Brian Head Utah. The room is warm from the morning’s asana practice and my teacher is lecturing on the Hindu concept of the four Yuga’s.
My teacher, a masterful speaker, draws you in with his ability to distill and synthesize deep philosophical ideas, while making them relevant to modern life. To your life.
It was there, on a lovely summer day in the safety of the yoga room, with a view of pine trees surrounding the retreat center, that I first heard of Kali Yuga.
🕉In the ancient Indian mind, the Yuga’s represented four different ages of life: Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali Yuga.
I was still fairly new to yoga and the history and teachings of the great ancient sages. So, when my teacher told the room that we were in the age of Kali Yuga, I timidly raised my hand, “what does that mean?”
In my words, here’s what I remember from that long ago morning and what I’ve learned over time.
🖤Kali Yuga translates to “the dark age”. Kali translates to “black”. Kali Yoga is a time when it appears that evil has taken over the minds and hearts of humanity.
A time where the people of the world, generally speaking, have forgotten and forsaken the sacredness of life. They have turned away from goodness and love.
Kali Yuga is a time when the evolution of our brains has not caught up with industrial, scientific, and technological advances.
🖕It’s become then a time when we use our “power over” instead of “empowerment for all.”
In a way, the Kali Yuga is like “shock therapy” calling each of us to look within at the dark hidden places of the mind and heart that is not living in the highest.
The part of us that remains insensitive to the plight of human and planetary suffering.
💔Now you might be thinking, well, that’s not me! My heart is breaking for _______ fill in the blank as there is one major crisis after another to choose from.
Here’s the thing, until each of us gets so damn uncomfortable with our own 💩, do a little self-shock therapy; we’ll never live to see the return of Satya Yuga, the age of truth and virtue.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we wallow in the mosh pit of the underworld. That’s unskillful. And like my Buddhist teacher used to say, “don’t be a stupid Bodhicitta.”
💯I’m suggesting that you first get real with yourself. Get downright honest. No more hiding, no more buffering, no more pretending.
Admitting that within each of us seeds of darkness exist. That admission is a liberating force. We know longer need to strive for perfection.
We need only to embrace the paradox of who we are, and the paradox that is life itself.
Light and dark. Sun and moon. Male and female. Earth and sky.
🌱Seeds germinate in the dark soil of winter. Winter whispers spring into being. Spring bursts through into summer. Summer replenishes until the leaves turn gold and drop into the arms of Autumn.
I urge you to look at how you personally can turn towards the shadow and ask, how can you judgement, anger, superiority, drama queen, controller, victim, hyper-achiever, etc…help me learn to live in the seam of life?
After that, ask yourself, now what?
Then, in what ways can I contribute to the return of the sacred while proudly wearing my personal battle scars?
Maybe it’s simple:
🙏Join a prayer or meditation circle. The Buddhist practice of Tonglen, while not easy is super potent.
📙Begin a gratitude journal. Each truly felt gratitude generates more to be grateful for.
🤓Reread my blog on hope. Hope is a skill and discipline that can be learned and practiced.
💃🏻Do something joyful like dance, take your dog to the park, pick up your old trumpet and play your favorite tune.
📚Read a novel that takes you away from the pain in your heart and the ruminations of the mind, volunteer at a shelter, donate to the food bank.
It’s vital for our mental well-being to visit the still point that exists in the enigma that is life.
As I walked to the dining hall that sunny afternoon I randomly bumped into my teacher. “I’m having a real hard time with this Kali Yuga. It scares the hell out of me. I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do.”
The anecdote, he said, is to first learn to manage your doshas. (You all remember what those are right? Imbalance of our doshas can throw us into shadow. Go to the free legacy library on my site for more info.)
“Each of us needs to do our part to start calling in the Satya Yuga.”
“By living it as best we’re able every single day.”
💖With love and appreciation, xoxo Paulette