Interestingly, I am not daunted by the magnitude of what we are trying to accomplish, but rather stuck on the breath that is needed to start this process. I am initially, reluctant to join. But after some coaxing I go back today for a second time and when I do I am thankful that I have. I look around at the others and immediately feel a kinship with them as I look into their eyes.
We start without too much pretense as Christian turns on the tape. We are instructed by the moderator to start the requisite throat breath and it is explained to us in minute detail how we are to do this. Such minute detail that I inwardly squirm and wonder how long we are going to have to stay with this instruction. I want to move forward. Later I tune in and listen to a tale of a dragon, a boy and the need to start with the basics (at the base) before the higher realms can be thoroughly explored. It is told to us as a tale and I immediately think of second grade and a book that I was given. It isn’t until later that I make an important connection of trying to stay with the fundamentals (first) before jumping ahead even if my mind is able to without the technique. It will be important for me to keep with the group pace through this process of learning as each rung in the ladder needs to be secure and sturdy to support the upward climb together.
Second grade was the year the schoolteachers were starting to figure out that maybe there was something amiss with my learning. I don't recall getting outside help but I must have because I have a memory of a nice older lady, Miss. Fisher (probably in her 40's or 50's) buying me lunch one day and giving me a book about dragons.
Miss Fisher with her curly hair, glasses and sensible shoes reassured me that I was smart and would get there but like a building that needed to start from the ground up, we needed to work on the foundation first before skipping ahead. I remember feeling frustration (and shame) but also happy--happy for the extra attention and the neat book on dragons that she gifted to me. It was one that I cherished long after that day. I also understood the visual she was trying to impart in the cafeteria line, the importance of building blocks needing to start from the ground floor to secure a strong edifice so the building doesn’t eventually collapse. This memory screen of that day back then still sticks with me. There isn't much else I remember from being seven, just that and saving my youngest brother from drowning and my grandfather dying that year.
I stay with the breath today as best as I can before flying forward through the portal to the many images and messages that pass me by. One of the first ones is of being back in Philly at a yoga class that I taught at a work site a number of years ago. The snippet of memory that I recall was chatting informally with a few of the women after class about a strange dream that I had had the night before in which I had just birthed a baby. One of the ladies reassured me that it didn’t mean a literal baby but more likely just that I was starting something new, a new auspicious beginning…