After being on a ten day meditation retreat, I returned home to find many changes, both gross and subtle. Walking out into my garden the evening I arrived, the roses and lilies (much to my delight and surprise) were still blooming, the tomato plants were almost as tall as me, and the squash were producing countless fruits. More subtly, I noticed that as we had moved further from the summer solstice in my 12 days gone, the light was slightly different, mellower and more golden.
Stepping into my studio practice space, I found that dust had settled on the floor and as I swept it, I felt renewed gratitude for the trajectory of my life and for the great good fortune to have found the path of yoga, to have the resources to pursue studies of its most profound esoteric teachings, and to have this beautiful home space in which to live, practice, and teach.
I sat down on my cushion curious to see what would unfold inside this first meditation after my intense period of sadhana and studies. Nataraja was still dancing on my altar, but as the day was slightly shorter now I had to light a candle. I chanted to Daksinamurti, the primordial guru teacher, in honor of my teacher, this space of teaching, my path of teaching I return to, and the teachings themselves.
I closed my eyes to begin my meditation. I heard the familiar sounds of my home: traffic and dogs barking outside, my partner moving about quietly below, my sweet cat Pearl singing….and the usual thoughts of all that faced me “to do.” I noticed some bodily discomfort from the many hours of sitting practice and my travels home.
And underneath that, a sweet pulsating throb drew me closer, deeper into a new place I had discovered by leaving to go on retreat. Much as I had just swept the floor of my studio, the retreat had allowed me to remove some of the dust that we all accumulate inside ourselves. As I settled into that new place, I truly felt home. By leaving my physical home to immerse myself in deep practice, I had uncovered a new home in my heart. It has always been there, awaiting my attention, and now it feels like home, a place to return to daily wherever my physical body is.
As I write this, an immense gratitude fills me once again. Any of us that have been touched by yoga know that we are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to penetrate beyond a superficial level in our lives. May we seize the opportunity daily to remind ourselves of, and refresh our connection to, that home in our heart.