Thursday, June 30, 2011

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night

So that's it.

My weekly contemplative writing classes ended last night - the end of an eight-week session, the end of the "school year." I'll begin again the last week in August. When I first started out my teacher suggested that I offer a "summer break" to students. People travel a lot, and then that also gives me some time off. I take off all the major holidays, plus a week or two between eight-week sessions, but there's nothing like a bit of summer to slow down, open up and find space and inspiration for the next season of teaching.

I am inspired by the synchronicity of my friend DulceDolce and her blog post today about the last day of her "job job." All week I had the students write about closure, and a things became clear in the collective wisdom of my 43 current students, as well as in DulceDolce's post:

1. There really is no such thing as endings, especially closure.
2. This is because closure doesn't look like it does in movies or most books - it's messy and often opens up wounds while healing some others, or opens up doors we weren't expecting, even if positive.
3. Endings need a lot of space in order to recognize that as everything ends something else is beginning.
4. When things return in our lives that we thought we were done with, wanted to be over with, we don't have to see that as a problem. Life is a spiral, yes, and everything will come back, so welcome it when it does and sit down to have a chat.
5. Awareness and practice are key in this process of accepting change and finding openness.

Others, of course, have noted this wisdom - here's one excellent summation from ElephantJournal of our intense interaction and reaction to change in regards to Buddhist teachings. 

One of my yoga teachers, Marianne Elliott, talks here about both the privileges she's had in her life that help her to open to change, and also the challenges.

So often we want to move on - or don't want to move on - with force. Like any interaction with aggression, aggression begets aggression. The only thing we can do is to open up and contact as much space as we can - directly experience it through sitting meditation, yoga, gardening - whatever practice brings us a connection to the world as it is, right now, this unrepeatable, irrefutable moment.

I'll keep blogging, tweeting, flickring and facebooking all summer. If you want in on the fall classes, check out the schedule page and ask for a spot now. The waiting lists have already begun.

PS Welcome to my new look for the blog. More changes are coming down the pipe, as well as a website makeover for the fall!


  1. Great post, wise words. I especially love "whatever practice brings us a connection to the world as it is, right now, this unrepeatable, irrefutable moment." So true, so good.
    (Nice blog style - clean and open!)