Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration. (Niccolo Machiavelli)

Apprenticeship to Love: Meditations on this Path to Authentic Relationship, November 13, 2023

★ FREE for all Premium & Premium+ subscribers: Wednesday, November 15 I'll be hosting "Men & Dating," as the Apprenticeship to Love Virtual Workshop for November. My guest will be men's coach Leroy Gordon. Register here

• Today’s questions: What if the storms were the gift you don't know you're wanting? What if the calms are the places where you are to sink deeper into your appreciation of who you are, who your loved ones are? What if you already are the ocean of love you seek?
• Today's suggested practice: Day 5 of this month's practice, to notice & receive (see my "Short Practice,” below)
• My practice today: 3:30am: 90 minutes: yoga, mantra, and Meditation for the Lower Triangle, Moving Mudra Meditation
• My vulnerability practice: Yes, I am tested. Yes, I am uncomfortable. Yes, I have the depth and the knowing to hold myself through this test, and the endless succession of tests she will gift me in this life...


(continued from Part I... )
Feel her.
Breathe her.
Know Her.

She is the source of everything. She is the ocean of love. She is the woman I love.

She is the eternal and always-changing feminine.

She is testing me. As She tests you. Feel Her. Breathe Her. Know Her. She is the source of Everything.


How deep is this well of patience?
How much testing is there?
How much of me is there to be, to express, to experience, to know?
And, What am I afraid of?
Let me name Her, again: She is the ocean.

How She moves is always too much for me. Too calm. Too unruly.


Faced with the becalmed seas that stood in the way of his seige of Troy Agememnon sacrificed his daughter. As if he could bend Her will to his with another's sacrifice. And isn't this what we do, we who think that our masculine purpose is conquest and dominion over? This is what I've done, certainly. Not with Agmemnon's ugliness, perhaps. But in my more subtle and sensitive way I've sacrificed the feminine —my own and others— to my will, the subtle gifts of love and tenderness for notions of rightness, achievement, purpose.

Or, cowed by Her unruliness, Her waves crashing against the timbers of my ego, this little boat I've launched into the world, Her wind thrashing my sails, I hide. Afraid.

I am caught here between metaphors: She is the ocean I sail; She is the Shakti I dance —sometimes Kali, sometimes Saraswati. What I know is this: no technology and no pride protects me from the sacrifice that is required when I fully engage with her, the sacrifice of my own tendereness, my deepest vulnerability that I protect so powerfully, with all my arts and wiles.


Let me play with the metaphor of dance a moment: To dance with Her is to know that alignment outweighs agreement.

And now, to complicate with the metaphor of sailing: There is no agreement possible with the ocean.

In either case, only brief moments between too much and too little. And my only tools, whether She is the ocean or the dancer, my own depth and awareness of all as changing, always-changing.

There are no deals to be struck with Her. Agememnon's brief victory ends at the point of his daughter's mother's lover's sword. Mine, in the despair of losing all that was given, freely, beautifully, "recklessly," as she now says.

There are no deals with Her. No others whom I may offer as sacrifice. Only my own arrogance and hubris, my own folly, to imagine I know what I want and need and how and when it may come to pass. And yes, impatience and urgency here too on the altar. Thus she tests me: How ready am I to put all of these qualities of the lesser man on the altar for her to smash. This woman, my beloved, resists this image of the Siren. But this I know too: she is this wrecking force, and must be or else I am lost.


There is no deal to be brokered with the feminine force that flows through me and around me, through her, through all of this. Only this: To feel into her, and to learn to sail her ocean, to learn to dance her anger and her sorrow and her joy and her love, to learn to trust my own depth as she tests and tests and test again.

I know this too: I will dance this set of Siren songs she sings, this tanda; I will sail this ocean, unbearably silent, unbearably deep, constantly shifting and changing. I will. And, knowing this and being true to this I will emerge from the endless testing as myself. Diminished, as Stephen Jenkinson would say, as the juice of grapes is diminished in the alchemy of making wine. Diminished, but more than I've ever known myself to be.

I am he who will dance the never-ending tanda, he who will sail the endless tides of her ocean, he who will know this testing as her gift. She keeps my edge, until my final exhalation, alive.

.... continued in Part III


🌀Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration. (Niccolo Machiavelli)

🌀 …Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion is considered by many one of the most powerful ways towards Self-realization, leading you to the core of your True Self through direct experience.
…surrendering yourself into the repetition ...don’t be surprised you all of a sudden find yourself with a feeling of love almost exploding in your heart. (Kundalini Yoga School, Clear & Focused sadhana, Day 2)

🌀Strong relationships don’t need agreement.
They need alignment.
Agreement is having identical opinions.
Alignment is having shared values.
Agreement is taking the same path.
Alignment is heading in the same direction.
Closeness is a matter of commitment, not consensus. (Adam Grant)

🌀 “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety.”
... to remind you to stay true to that deep desire of your soul because it is meant to be. (Gabrielle Thil)

🌀The Conscious Warrior is committed to developing strength of the mind, physical body, and nervous system through dedicated physical, yogic, and meditative practice. (John Wineland, Precept 6)

🌀 Our “work” is to receive. The rest is preparation. (Leroy Gordon)

🌀I test you. (My beloved, my Oracle & Siren)


Day 5 of this month's practice, to move and to notice, and to receive:
Please read through first, then ...

  • Today, set two alarms, one for the early part of your day, one for mid-late afternoon when you may be feeling low energy.
  • When the alarm sounds, wherever and however you are, take five minutes to do this short practice:
  • First, ask yourself: What if the storms were the gift I don't know I'm wanting? What if the calms are the places where I am to sink deeper into my appreciation of who I am, who my loved ones are? What if I already am the ocean of love I seek?
  • Then, follow the short practice here:
  • When you’re done, sit or stand for another minute or two, breathing gently, slowly filling and emptying your belly. Here, as you breathe into your fullness, ask yourself, Am I ready to hold myself? And if not, am I ready to ask another to hold the space for me while I feel into my own depth?
  • Notice if your body-mind feels somehow changed. And whether you notice a change or not, be content with yourself, exactly as you are in this moment.
  • Continue with your day until the next alarm sounds, and repeat.
  • FOR ALL "EARLY READERS," if you are needing for space to be held, and there is no one you trust to do this for you in your circle of friends, your family, your spiritual community, please consider booking a short, 45-minute session at As an Apprenticeship to Love "early reader" please use the EARLYREADER code for a 25% discount. This may be all you need to find the clarity and direction you're wanting.