taking the path of the Teacher: movement meditation to build individual and community resilience
when we are ready to go beyond loss or our circumstances, the Teacher calls us to be open to the outcome. represented by the West, it is the place where people slow down to reflect in solitude, learn from past experiences, reassess and plan; they harvest ideas for creating a different future.
Angeles Arrien PhD, an anthropologist and educator, in her book “The Four-Fold Way,” taps the sacred wisdom of tribal peoples for insights into healing ourselves and our fragmented world. the first way of the peaceful Warrior is being present; the second is the Healer, who notices what has heart and meaning; the third is the Visionary, who speaks their truth without blame or judgment; and the fourth is the Teacher, who is open and not attached to outcome. let's explore the fourth way, the Teacher:
the Way of the Teacher or counselor is to be open to the outcome. openness and non-attachment is the grounding where we recover wisdom and objectivity. we express the Way of the Teacher through our constructive communication and informational skills. we share a few of the following exercises to help:
one: breathing chi (cleansing breath)
notice your breathing as you follow the exercise. begin by following the breath from when and where it enters and leaves, pause in stillness at the top and bottom of each. listen to the silence. repeat.
two: sitting (in silence)
sit for a few minutes with eyes closed and legs crossed or uncrossed. wait, listen, and observe what is revealed. let thoughts go. continue to release memories, judgements, and plans. breathe. repeat.
three: writing (silence made visible)
without prompts or selections of music, spend a few minutes in silence writing freehand. don't lift the pen off the page. listen to what comes up. write it down. share what you know or wisdom about anything that inspires. learn to trust and let go and without consideration, bring forth your creative ideas. keep noticing the breath. repeat.
the West brings the gift of curiosity and inquiry and objectivity. we can all achieve heightened discernment. mastering the power of silence can become the basis for spiritual growth, reinforce healthy detachment, and allow for positive and surprising results.
our four week class series Walking the Paths is launching in November! along with the exercises we've shared in the last four blogs, together we will practice the short form Yang style Tai chi movement meditation brought from China by Cheng Man Ching, as well as breathing and writing exercises that are easily integrated into your daily life. our month-long intensive (two one hour classes per week) will start soon. what works for you?