Pause Before You Spring

There is another world, but it is in this one.
— W.B. Yeats

I am at our farm, River Song, this week. I begin each morning in the same quiet manner. Opening my eyes I look out the window and up the hill at our pastures. Throughout my life I have found this moment between wake and sleep to be a sacred pause; a moment between worlds where anything is possible.

Today, I rose from my bed, fed Bhakti, set the coffee to brew and went outside. This morning was quite cold. I pulled my wool wrap tighter around me and sat down on a chair facing our orchard.

I closed my eyes and deepened my breath. With each breath I invited my mind to come away from its rambunctious meanderings and to open up, with the help of my senses, to the energy of the land around me. I drew my breath deeper into my pelvic bowl and as I did this I visualized my root and second chakra connecting and sinking into the soil of our land. After a few more breaths I opened my eyes.

In yoga we do a form of meditation called Trāṭaka in which we gaze ceaselessly upon an object without blinking, often the flame of a candle or a yantra, in order to still the mind and activate the pineal gland which opens the doors to deeper states of consciousness. Today my still point was a tree in the forest above our orchard. I steadied my gaze and invited my breath to deepen further. Time passed, I don’t know how long, as I had slipped inside the “timeless now” that meditation provides. I felt total oneness with the forest: I breathed the forest, and the forest breathed me.

And then suddenly…my spot moved.

At first it was a very slight movement, so slight that I thought it was just a vibration of my eyes after staring for so long, but then it moved a little more and in the next moment my bindu, my spot, sprouted two big, beautiful ears.

It was a doe. I had seen her the morning before with her two babies, and without realizing it my gaze had fixed upon her as she stood motionless in the forest.

Now she stood before me in the elegant silhouette of the ancient Deer Goddess, a slender form with two perfect ears turned towards me and quietly listening. Our gazes were joined like this for a long time. I could feel her sweetness, her curiosity and her watchfulness over her young ones. Though I couldn’t see them, I knew they must be with her.

After a time, she turned and looked behind her and then took a few steps forward. When she moved her two invisible babies came into view as if they had been birthed from another dimension and into the forest. One did a little baby-deer-hop, and then three white tails flashed their good-byes to me and disappeared into the forest.

I am so grateful for that time with them. And I am grateful to myself for making the time in my day to be still and welcome the Mystery of All Things into my heart.

Today, we welcome Spring. But, before we spring forward into the fire element, into our blur of activity, we have the opportunity to pause, to sit quietly in the space between the worlds, to gaze into a still point and allow it to unfold the sacredness that lives in the places “in-between.”

I hope that you will go into nature today and find one precious, wild thing to gaze upon. Sit, breathe deeply, connect way down inside, and allow the Mystery to unfold.

If your wild heart is craving a deeper pause to connect with nature, yourself and your tribe, please join me in August for our Yoga and Earth Medicine Retreat.

Sending you a steady gaze and a blossoming heart,