I hope that this message finds you enjoying this amazing light, as we make our ascent towards the light of the year, Summer Solstice. This is one of my favourite times of year and it is one of the treasures of living in Northern Europe to savor these delectably long days. – sigh –
I have indeed been sighing with contentment of late, rather often. For weeks now I have been teaching about a state of being that has eluded me for many years of my life – but is becoming more and more a default setting for me.
My wonderful teacher Anthony Gorman said it years ago, in his delightful Irish lilting tones:
‘The natural state for a human is the state of contentment.’
And I remember, if I am honest, kind of rolling my eyes. All that was telling me was that I was in no natural state for a human. Everything, from my footwear choices to the music I grew up listening to, to the kind of fellas I was drawn to, to my default responses to the world – was pitched in what was apparently the opposite direction. What did The Pixies lyrics – or Prince’s – have to do with contentment? It’s more aching longing – primordial drives – sexual abandon – hedonism.
And the Tantric practices I have been enacting in the most recent phase of my spiritual practice are more pitched towards savoring EVERY experience – learning how to allow anything and everything lead you into ecstasy. It’s a ‘total taste the fullness of life’ invitation. I always feel like the Tantric ways of talking about practice make terms you hear a lot in the yoga world, like ‘mindfulness’ and ‘contentment’ seem a tad fuddy-duddy in comparison.
Contentment comes up a little un-sexy in the face of terms like ecstasy and exquisiteness…
And yet, the abiding sense that has arisen out of this last phase of pretty fiery delicious daily practice is exactly that. I feel – content – curious – and delighted in life. Even in the midst of an unwell parent episode, several significant friendships in transition, a house move, and all the rest of life’s ordinary unruly tumult.
Here’s something else that Anthony said:
‘We are giving ourselves over to the process of life.’ That’s what the practice is all about – giving ourselves over to what we are – to the process of life, because we ARE life. Giving ourselves over, so that we can taste more of what we truly are – that sweet baseline of contentment. Faithfully abiding in what is so… it’s a sweet place to be.
Happy Solstice to you. x