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Teaching from the Seat

The sitting practce of Self

Since my last entry, there have been at least two formidable events . First was Easter two weekends ago, and last weekend the visit of the Dali Lama to Vancouver. Intertwined In these auspicious events is my own daily unfolding and reflections thereof. Easter represents to me not just the Christian aspect of the resurrection of Christ; which in and of itself has great significance and symbology, and also the aspect of rebirth, renewal , and growth. Secondly the visit of the Dali Lama, which in its occurrence and impact has aspects that draw together thousands and thousands of people into the same space, physically, mentally and most profoundly in intention.. To share in a common a world view of a communal desire for peace , compassion ,understanding, and ultimately a sense that our suffering is not in vain.

Taking into consideration these two aspects overall I find myself weaving them into my own daily reflection and meditation. What comes up for me is the following; the ability to take myself into a total beginners mind where things I had previously taken for granted ( not in the sense of abuse but in a very delicate and subtle sense of awareness), has taken on a whole new dimension . This I correlate to the same concept of resurrection and rebirth, where now I must move forward in my being without any preconceptions . My nervous system has no pathway of movement below my injury until I engage it, visualize or imagine it. Growth because I must create new pathways through activation of motor stimulus, which in the moment of truth takes all my focus and intention ¨C there is no possibility to be anywhere else in my mind. What I am discovering is that the more I can be like an infant without any programmed agenda or judgements the more I am able to move into this physical state with grace, love and patience. Therefore the more responsive and successful are the results. This new mode is an intricate rebirth as I take away desire and replace it with intention and focus.

I am continually amazed and inspired by the examples of others who have endured this path, and have chosen not to follow the medical model of prognosis for people with quadriplegia or paralysis. Instead they have faith in their own intention and their bodies wisdom to guide them into sensation, expression and fullness. The tenacity and perseverance of people such as Christopher Reeve , Holly Hale, and our own Rick Hansen, is the same thread that weaves the tapestry of those that sat before the Dali Lama. He spoke of the need to continually offer ones service out of a place of compassion and unselfishness. In turn this will bring the individual beyond their own suffering and unhappiness into a state of peace and equanimity. I feel myself taking all of this experience into an offering, in the same way as I see countless others do. I also am experiencing the amazing outpouring of love support and compassion from all of you, which affirms and expands our hearts, and melts the illusion of separation and identity with the self. It is the balance of releasing the ego ¨C or identified self with keeping the true Self nurtured and aware that is the great mystery and practice. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, this state of equanimity and non-attachment is the key to peace and the ultimate release of our heart essence.

Why is there suffering? Perhaps it is like the bow, which when stretched to its maximum is able to shoot a clear and accurate arrow, that cuts through our ego defenses and masking into the pure, true Self. In my experience and observation lately of others¡¯ responses to their own pain or those close to them I see this quality arise. This does not mean you all must suffer or endure tragic events, but as you are doing, witnessing and allowing the direct experience to transform and liberate you. I gratefully continue to be your humble teacher, student, friend, and fellow traveler on this amazing journey.

Blessings, Mary-Jo

Published by Mary-Jo

I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, sustainability and community. Having raised my children in a small B.C. town as a single parent, I relied on the community, my resourcefulness and the land to sustain us. We developed a market farm,built a cafe and catering business that utilized the produce, local farmers and families to thrive. As a Waldorf school parent I became experienced in biodiversity, edible landscapes and community engagement. I gained substantial skills in leadership, facilitation, project management, communication through teaching yoga and running various business's. My role as a facilitator and trainer to individuals seeking to become a yoga teacher- whom never thought that they could stand in front of a room and speak in public, gave me insight into human nature and coaching. In addition to designing and building businesses - cafés, yoga studios and national training programs, I am a student of Social Development & Social Psychology and understand the complexity and importance of social engagement. I can handle with grace most any situation, having encountered a disability later in life. Consequent to becoming disabled and through advocacy and providing peer support I have trained and acquired extensive exposure and understanding of UN principles on disability, The Human Rights objectives, theories and principles of Universal Design and the various challenges and obstacles for those affected and the relationship to various stakeholders. After 30 years of teaching yoga, my spinal cord injury and subsequent sabbatical has allowed for the integration of my yoga and more in-depth study of the Healing Arts. I have had the fortune of working with some of the best in the field of rehabilitation, Somatic Experiencing and manual therapy including Emilie Conrad, Mark Finch, Judy Russel, Rod Stryker, Carolyn Myss, Ana Forest, & Tim Miller, Susan Harper, Mariah Moser, Herta Buller and Nature.