I've often offered that one of the primary differences that I see between the spiritual traditions of the East versus the West is that in the Western world, there is predominantly this idea of "original sin" - that we are born tainted and failed and that we must atone and repent. My take on the Eastern traditions is that they posit we are born in "original debt" and that for the privilege of being sentient and alive, we should give something of ourselves in betterment; you might say 'repay, not repent'.
So, like many folks are fond of saying, I also believe that to those whom much is given much is expected in return - another reminder to 'repay'. That's one of the reasons I've made my careers in Leadership and in the Service industries, and industries that favored right-livelihood and ethical behavior, as well as conscious capitalism.
I also believe in Seva - selfless service to the world. So, I' feel called to do this training, even though it will confront the darkest pieces of me, penetrate the shades and shadows and ask me to own all that I currently am. The work is intense, the process if intense, and the lovely leaders who will facilitate this process are not ones who will settle for less than engagement, or less than radical truth - I know, I've been blessed to call Seane Corn my teacher for some years now, and she is uncompromising in her pursuit of truth, of beauty, of connection and of ultimately, helping each of us find our dharma. That's big work, there'll be breakthroughs and breakdowns, there'll be dancing and crying, and there'll be killer, subtle, propitiating flows... thoughts will be provoked, assumptions challenged, barriers shattered and lives changed. I get that.
Just yesterday I was emailing a friend who is about to depart on a big move and new adventure... I was expressing how proud I was of her, and how I thought that was an excellent opportunity for growth.. She responded she was nervous, anxious and excited - to which I offer, when those feelings are self-inflicted by chosen change, that is one of the supreme states of being. That's change, that's the monkey mind who likes the way it is going saying 'hold on there, yogi - let me make this feel awkward!"
It's the same experience teachers have when auditioning to get public classes for us - the new ones are invariably nervous (we all were!) and I love that. Not to make them uncomfortable, but rather because it shows investment. It shows honor for the practice and the students that the person cares enough to feel it. And, if you want to be a teacher, you've got to do the uncomfortable, that which scares you! How else can you lead confidently into and back out of the shadows if you don't know the way?
I'll be blogging about my experience and endeavoring to be brutally honest as I do, about me and my shades. It is the next 5 days, and in the middle of it, I'll be officiating a wedding, so I've got a lot to process!
Buckle up, give thanks and praise!