Last month, I had the opportunity to join the faculty of the Evergreen Yoga Retreat at the beautiful Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Marriottsville, MD.
Footbridge at Bon Secours
Many of the women attending had participated in this retreat for over 20 years. Some have traveled through India and studied with prominent gurus. Many of these women have been practicing yoga for as long as or longer than I have. I have to admit that when I was preparing my sessions that I was to lead, I asked myself, “Who am I to be leading them?”
But as we gathered in the Peace Garden for my first session, I saw nothing but supportive, welcoming faces. I heard my inner voice say “It’s OK to be where you are.”
After a sunrise meditation
And I taught from there. Where I am, where my heart is… where the yoga comes through.
I found this treasure someone made at the Peace Garden
At the end of the retreat, I was given wonderful feedback about my yoga nidra session, along with several requests to record and share it, and to write up and share my teachings on meditation and samskaras. (I’ll post the recording and write-up here next week in case you want to give the meditation a try.)
This experience, along with being a deeply nourishing retreat, was an affirmation for me that perfection, or even, feeling fully confident, is not where I need to be — but that acceptance, authenticity, and presence (being where I am), are surely gateways for my best self to emerge.
I sat here after a meditation in the Peace Garden to write the poem below
Peace Garden Meditation
Stones and pebbles,
some stacked into stupas,
Surrounded by trees,
offering their cooling shade
And the birds!
They are calling to each other,
weaving through the silence,
structuring the spaces,
sounds and rhythms
that settle into my ears,
and I translate:
“Now!” “Joy!” “Awake!”
And I sit in the center,
still and open.
by this symphony
of sweet belonging.