It’s early in the morning but it’s time to write. Yes I would like to close my eyes and also there is something willing to pour forth from my Heart so I sit here in attendance, like a child of school age waiting for her teacher to deliver the goods. And while there is part of me that would rather be outside playing with friends, there is an even bigger part of me that loves to abide in this sense of imminent opportunity as the bell rings and the door of knowledge is opened. Something gaping within me, a receptacle of promise, waits whole heartedly. The teacher begins…
“Good morning class. Today’s teaching is essentially about standing in the place where you live, like that REM song you might know, and standing there with intention, alignment and knowing” the Teacher began.
“But how do we do that?” We collectively gulp.
“I will get to that. Have patience. Today’s class is also about being able to listen and be receptive to the invitation. Okay class?”
“Okay Ms. Lionhart.”
“Good. First I am going to tell you a story about listening that leads to standing in this place of your alignment so settle in a listen up."
“Yes, Ms. Lionhart.”
“Remember class, how we talked about Vision Boards, and co-creating one’s reality through the power of this creative visualization process that allows you to see, feel and then step into what you would want from your life?”
The students nodded.
“Good then. Well this is the story of a lady named Ashley; yes she takes the form of a woman but in her heart, class, she is just about the same as you young ones - full of wonder, hopes, dreams and sometimes even a little fear.”
The class nodded.
“She had created a Vision for herself to study Yoga with a Dakini - a wise woman - on Earth who practices yoga at the Ocean and with the fire on the beach. She weaves her wondrous knowing and studies into each breath, word, movement, sip of water and mouthful of food: a wise woman who lives her truth, embodying it completely through her wild feminine wise ways.”
A stillness cast over the class as though spellbound.
“So Ashley’s dream came true and she suddenly received the call through the aurora borealis signs of the Universe, ushering her to go join this wild and elemental teacher on the beach, by the fire, breathing to the sounds of the Ocean waves rolling in and out, just like she had done on her own yoga mat for many years before even learning about this wild woman with a heart full of stars. And upon meeting her, Ashley was given a teaching about the Inner Danda.”
“The Inner what?” The students eyes like saucers turned into crescent moon squints.
“The Inner Danda. It means the inner staff, or stick, the inner line of alignment within oneself and therefor within all, because as you know class, when we create alignment inside we naturally align with the Universe at large. You see, inner and outer must coincide.”
“Ahhh.” The class let out a knowing exhale, which also happens to be the seed syllable of the crown chakra, the oneness centre.
“And Ashley had already learned about this - this inner union - through the teachings of the Dakini, which, class, you will remember from several weeks ago when…”
“When we were learning about the Dakini’s katvanga! How the staff that the Dakini holds - the one will the skull bone on top - represents the inner uniting of masculine and feminine” exuberantly expressed an engaged student.
“That’s right” Ms. Lionhart lovingly acknowledged. “The Dakini in her Wisdom has united the masculine and feminine forces within her - strength and softness, wisdom and compassion, gentleness and ferocity - and as she stands, dances or flies, she is integrated and is fully enlightened. It’s all contained within her.”
“And so…?” whispered a breathless student hanging onto the edge of his seat.
“And so class I would like to give you a little exercise, one that may sound little or simple yet if practiced and embodied properly, you will feel it from the earth, from the depths within you and it will radiate outwards and the universe will reflect it back to you. So let us all stand and each of you take one of those metre long measuring sticks that we have for our math lessons.”
Each student about 4 feet tall grasped a meter long measuring stick, and acting as a staff or Danda, rooted it into the earthen floor of the school house directly in front of them so that it rested comfortably between their feet and at about chin height. Their hands rested actively, holding the top of the stick. Immediately it created a sense of alignment as they stood tall yet remained grounded in the earth and an awareness manifested inside, an awareness of their own inner alignment.
“You see, inner and outer must coincide” Ms. Lionhart repeated this line from a spoken word poem written by a Rastaman named Kagiso.
The students were able to notice where they had been slouching physically and slouching on subtle levels as well. Upon sensing this, a power of their inner knowing began to trickle up from the roots of their feet through the crown of their head and …
“I can feel the wisdom of my own inner compass, like an arrow showing me exactly where I stand, where to go and reminding me of what I know and more!” One student exclaimed like a kid in a Cosmic candy shop.
“That’s wonderful, Eric.” The teacher affirmed.
“I can feel myself growing taller, like a growing awareness in my spirit and of my knowing while keeping my feet on the ground. Like a supra-knowing!” The class giggled with excitement and resonance with what Harriet with her thick, curly locks shared.
“Okay class, as you stand tall and rooted with your Danda, take a few breaths here and feel your own inner knowing and breathe that sweet awareness into your being.”
The class felt their inner knowing and union cultivated by the Danda.
“And when you’re ready, settle back into your seat and let’s continue.” Ms. Lionhart with a slight glow on her upper lip and forehead tucked a rogue lick of silver hair into the rest of it as though taming the Lion of Wisdom pouring forth from her. With a glint in her eye she returned her focus to the class and anchored into the next part of the story. “So when Ashley returned from her time at the beach by the fire and ocean with the Wild Wise Woman Dakini, she traveled home with teachings she intended to integrate into her life. She sourced supplies and made her own Danda the way her teacher had with and adorned it in a special way that felt good for her. And just as her teacher had shown her, she began her Danda practice by standing on the earth, barefoot and used the Danda just like your geometry compass, class, to draw an energetic circle around her which delineated the place where she stood, where she connected to the earth, a place where she acknowledged that she was standing in the centre of her own circle, of her own co-creative Universe, a place wherefrom she could anchor herself and also rise from. She honoured that she was a circle within a circle of the earth, surrounded by the circular, circulating solar system, the circular moon, planets, sun. At one with the rhythms of all within her and without."
You could hear a pin drop, the class was so engaged, jaws relaxed and open, taking it in.
"And so, wanting to anchor this in to her Vision and her life even more, class, Ashley created a new Vision for herself reflected in a new Vision board in which the image of a human goddess stood in the centre of her circle. She added some sparkles to engender the mystical component of this sacred act of standing with intention in the place and way that you are. She surrounded this now shimmering image with words and images of the way in which she imagined guiding and connecting herself to her inner Vision which included her well-spring of creativity streaming ceremoniously into the outside world. About six months later her attention was directed to the creative well within her and to her deep and steady impulse to bring this emergence into the world. Rick Rubin, the Buddha of Malibu, came into her realm barefoot, hair strikingly similar to Ms. Lionhart’s mane. Simply dressed in a white t-shirt, much like the white walls of his atelier surrounded by a gorgeous green garden he had salvaged from disrepair with love, he was proselytizing access to one’s own inner well of creativity and had written a new how-to book.
Ashley, recognizing a teacher had shown up - at the moment she was ready for him - as they do, ordered his book and it arrived the next day. Like a child full of excitement and promise as though opening a gift from a Mystical Santa, whom Rick did resemble in an off duty kind of way, Ashley opened the package to reveal the book boasting a simple cover of a circle outlined in black with a smaller dot on the inside - much like a record or a cd - and Ashley noticed right away how this was exactly like the lady standing in the centre of her circle that she had modelled after the teaching of the Wild Wise Woman on the beach who drew a circle in the sand with the Danda stick and standing in the centre, upright with the Danda creating that inner staff, inner alignment within. The image was the same. Ashley paused and took the image in. This was the moment full of promise where she would open the book and revel in the teachings of this Mystical gift giving Santa. As she thumbed the book open she saw the first page was a blank. And the next. And the next. Her mind raced - wow this is just like the essay on Zen she wrote in University where she left the last seven pages blank in an attempt to convey the ineffability of Zen, and here it is as though this barefoot and brilliant man is saying the same thing, proving a point, only to realize that I ordered a notebook with the exact same cover of the book and the entire thing was blank. Quickly her mind recalibrated to the teaching that came through: the way to your creativity is to just do it. Open up to it. Write it. Allow it. Put it down on paper. Stand where you are. Let it flow through you. That’s all for today class. Make sure you go outside and play.
The class looked around at each other knowingly.
Santa delivered a gift that day: the gift of teachings upon teachings, the gift of presence with the wit of the Universe. Today it comes in the form of my offering to you:
Stand in your centre. Feel yourself standing rooted, tall, centered, aligned. Feel your inner wisdom and knowing arising and reverberating through you, connecting with the same wisdom that is all around you. If you like, harnessing the power of your intention and with dedication to your practice, you can live this way, in harmony with yourself, with your life, with your power and with the innate power of the elements which are here to support you as you are them.