Hip rotations in one direction and then the other
The sacrum suspended between two sides
What will promote healing and connection?
What will strain the sacroiliac ligaments
Gluteal muscles contracting in anger, fear, sadness
Delusion, disappointment, desperation?
Will forgiveness be enough
To bridge the gap of misunderstanding
Support spinal alignment
To walk away from the past
Give spacious birth to this moment
Trust in the blessings and benevolence
Of a bright future?
Questions unanswered, the poem unfinished
And I still practice
Through electric shocks and tears
Sounding the Lion’s Roar from within
This heart is wide open
This heart is ready for anything
Dori Langevin invites the Kairos House Sangha to engage in gentle hip rotations during Qigong practice. My hips sway from one side to the other, allowing the sacrum suspended between two iliac bones to trace concentric circles in the horizontal plane. After fourteen years, the sacroiliac ligaments and gluteal muscles release tightly held questions and emotions.
This moment is never enough. There’s always something wrong with others, myself, the time, the place, the weather. I’m even trouble shooting a future I cannot control. But maybe it’s better than here, now, this.
I sense that the lower left back and gluteal muscles send electric shocks through the body from time to time as a wake-up call. “This is your life, your family, your work. Will you keep focusing on what’s missing, or relax into who and what is here?”
Will forgiveness be enough to bridge the gap of misunderstanding with my family, myself? Will it support spinal alignment to walk away from past patterns? Will it give spacious birth to this moment, and stop comparing it with a contracted, unconscious birth fourteen years ago? Will it trust in the blessings and benevolence of a bright future?
I’m more comfortable with leaving this post untitled, the questions unanswered, the poem unfinished than I’ve ever been before. Even through the electric shocks and tears of discomfort, I know I will never stop practicing, sounding the Lion’s Roar from within. As long as this heart is open, it is ready for anything.
The Heart’s Radiance
Open a window, let the air in
The shadow side to the heart
Has been closed for too long
Bow to the cold weather
Invite the chill in
You can still bundle up
Removing one layer at a time
When you are warm enough
And can feel the sun
Practicing forgiveness and gratitude through a body scan in seated meditation posture, I notice tight sensations in the midback. It’s asking me to stay a while and listen.
I’m not fond of the cold weather here in Spokane. It’s mostly cloudy with a mix of rain and sun, not warm enough to open a window and let the air in. But the midback, the shadow side of the heart has been closed for too long.
What if I metaphorically bowed to the cold weather and invited the chill in? I always have the choice to bundle up, removing one layer at a time when I am warm enough to feel the sun.
It’s cold outside, but I bundle up and commit to each morning walking meditation period. I’m not going anywhere, getting anything done, which is frustrating. This isn’t even ‘real’ exercise! But I stay, noticing footsteps over soft pine needles and damp earth, the sounds of birdcall or the bell, subtle variations of cold sensations, and many thoughts with a common theme, “Why the hell am I out here when it’s so warm indoors?”.
One day while wearily pacing back and forth approximately ten to twelve feet between two ponderosa trunks like a caged animal, I pause to feel the sun peeking through the clouds and winking down at me. “I’m still here. You can’t always see or feel me, but I’m there.”
Later in the day during a brisk walk after lunch, the sun’s radiance is palpable. I remove my raincoat, gloves, and unzip a fleece. It’s easier to shed the outer layers of vulnerability when it’s warm outside, and much harder when it’s cold inside the heart.
May the heart’s furnace be fueled with helpful resources, not only for my own repletion, but for the repletion of others, all beings, this Earth.
Watching the sunset from the plane back to SFO:
a scoop of rainbow
sherbet ice cream
melting over the horizon
good night sweet sun!
now a red streak
between day and night
wakefulness and dreams
the taste of something solid
soaked up by a sponge moon
sentinel stars keeping watch
while the sun sleeps
till it rises as honeycomb
and the sweetness begins again