Apprenticeship to Love, April 15, 2024

  • Today’s questions: Consider: everything you are doing to do things right by another is also be being done by them, for you. What happens now? Are you BIG enough to hold that, too?
  • Today's suggested practice: Day 15 of this month's practice, to pause and feel the sacred space within (see my "Short Practice,” below)
  • My practice today: 4am: 45 minutes: yoga asanas (physical practice) with focus on Sarbhang dande kriya, then Ganesha mantra meditation.

★★ The next Apprenticeship to Love virtual workshop, is on April 16 with Sarah Anderson (Tantra) and me (Kundalini Yoga). Registration at . Free to all Premium, Premium+, and EXTRA subscribers


Let me continue with the foolishness of April's muddy, root-nourishing wisdom: If I am not ready to die, perhaps I am not yet ready to love…
I watched the Stephen Jenkinson film, Griefwalker, again last night.
This morning I had an inkling about the sacred and the re-enchantment of my life, our lives, this garden of love. And death.
Looking at love, life, the world through the lens of polarities is a yogic tool. A way to make sense of what often appears beyond sensible (and beyond the best efforts of psychology and other normative tools).

I'm a fan of science and science-based approaches.

I'm also a fan of mystery and the darkness beyond our capacities to measure and understand. A frightening place, most of the time, for me, in this life. But also the place where great beauty and wonder is born.

It's an axiom of this yogic tool that what we call the "masculine" relates to and reveals the "feminine" by creating and holding awareness. A safe space for Her to unfold. Show Her beauty. Her gifts. This, I'm learning, is how I experience myself as sacred, and those around me, and the world around me, as sacred. Enchanted.

This morning I was resisting the call to practice that which allows me to be in this "sacred masculine" holding of sacred, holy, enchanted space. It's not unusual for me to resist to the call. The bed is warm. I'm tired. But I was being pestered by the early morning thoughts and worries that tend to afflict me. I knew that sleep would not come peacefully. So I got up. Pulled on my clothes and began the process of moving my body, stretching my body, aligning my body. Within moments of beginning I feel myself opening.

I need these early morning moments when closing is most attractive. And, as is so often the case, by the time I am ready to sit and breathe and chant and meditate, something has stirred. Something has come up from the deep, dark, muddy roots of my being.
I make sense of the world and my experience in it when I look to myself to create and hold the safe places for Her to open. I open myself to the dark unknown and She emerges with gifts unimaginable. This is my sacred masculine calling. I consider this the path to my art as a husband, how I tend this garden. The art of my peculiar and singular husbandry.

Through my artistry the garden of my life does what gardens do. Seeds germinate. Roots push into the muck, draw sustenance and push that up and into the stalks and buds. Here my family blossoms. My love blossoms. My beloved blossoms. My life is shaped. And here, too, all of it withers, dies.

My garden survives me, in its own way. My gift and bequeathment, the space I hold for it while I breathe. To the extent that I've created and held the structure for the cycle of germinating, rooting, flowering, and dying, to that extent She continues to nourish. This is the magic of service. The enchantment that is my patrimony, to borrow from Stephen Jenkinson's more recent wonderings & wanderings in the architectonics of culture-building.

But —and this is what the darkness asked of me this morning— what if this vaunted masculine capacity to create and hold structure is itself held by an ocean of love that flows through and in and around all of us?
I had friends for dinner last night. My "wise friend," he who has been across the threshold of death's door a couple of times now, and his wife. I'd made one of their favourite meals. Afterwards we watched Griefwalker, a film about Stephen Jenkinson's time in the "death industry," as he likes to call it.

It was my third time listening to and watching his meditations on death & life.

As the film finished we sat for a few moments, letting things settle, sink, become part of the muck at our roots. That is how I see it now. From those roots my friend drew a story, something never before told, he said. It was, in my listening, about sustaining tenderness to the world, in a culture that has little regard for tenderness and its strange and peculiar and difficult gifts.

When he finished, more silence. More for the roots to draw on.

Later, when it was just he & me, his wife of the room, he referenced the one I love. Words to the effect of, She knows this strange and peculiar and difficult place from which gifts come. I nodded. It was what I'd been thinking as he told his story.
You told me, I said to her this morning, not so long ago, that there are many others, but you see me, you hear me, you know me. That was a beautiful thing to hear, I said. And especially so because I know it was not always so.
Two people have credit for any current knowing I may have, I continued. You, I said, with both your impatience with my insensitivity and your patience as I become more sensitive. The other is my wise friend, who has —since our beginning— told my insensitive ears that you are a rare gift. Because he has truck with the darkness and with mystery he knows in you a kindred tender-to-the-world spirit.
Watching Griefwalker I was reminded of how much I long for your companionship. It is a sweet thing, to feel how deeply I yearn to walk with you, sit with you, to hear your voice.

I am so grateful for this, for you, for what & who & how I live, because of you.
These words were offered not for replying to. They were offered as a belated acknowledgement. I know her as perhaps few others do. And, knowing her and loving her, this is a wonderful thing. Perhaps the most beautiful thing in this life.

It is for this that I practice, and that I develop my art of husbandry. For reverence for the muck and the dark and the mystery. For receiving the wonder and awe that, in Her time and in Her way, blesses my life.


🌀When we are not searching for safety, we are safe in every moment… (GS&GK)

🌀A woman's beauty shines brightest when only her man is aware of her appearance. (anonymous)

🌀Thank you. (My beloved, She who must be ravished by my powerful presence, my Oracle & Siren)


Day 15 of this month's practice, to let these thoughts and feelings move through you, with less resistance:
Please read through first, then ...

Set two alarms, for times of the day when you have a five-10 minutes to become conscious of who and how you are in this day.

  • When the alarm sounds, wherever and however you are, take a few moments and:
    • Ask yourself: If everything I am doing to do things right by another is also be being done by them, for me, what happens now? Am I BIG enough to hold that, too?
    • Then, follow the short practice here:
      • Stand, or sit, and bring your attention to your posture.
      • Feel the ground beneath your feet or sit bones, tilt your chin slightly to lift your chest open and straighten your neck.
      • Take a deep breath, through your nose, and hold it gently for the count of six. Relax the breath for the count of eight. Repeat three times.
  • 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, Do I feel right? Am I in alignment with the man or woman I am? Do I even have an inkling what that might feel like? Do I even have an inkling of what it feels like to be out of alignment with myself?
  • 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.


Griefwalker, Tim Wilson, provided by the National Film Board of Canada