Hard to think of it as May Day with the snow falling here in Boulder, but that’s what the calendar says nonetheless! I’ve always found the image of the maypole dance intriguing, and have thought about it in many ways and different levels. Here’s my latest iteration.
The maypole dance seems to take different forms, but they all have one thing in common: the pole. Attached to the pole are ribbons, and through a dance around the pole these ribbons are interwoven, forming a tapestry around the maypole.
The image of the pole is not unlike the image of a Shiva linga, which represent the essential core root of Reality. It is still and unchanging, it is that which supports everything else. On the individual level, it is our ground of Being, Awareness itself, the stillpoint that watches the unfolding of our lives. And that unfolding, of course, is reflected in the dance and in the ribbons, in their varied movements, colors and textures. The ribbons are the different strands of our manifest reality, woven together to create the tapestry of our life.
Once the dance has proceeded, and the maypole is wrapped, the pole itself is obscured by the tapestry that surrounds it, and it can be easy to forget what it is that is supporting the whole thing. So it is with our life: we get caught up in the dance, in the colors, blown about by the wind, and we forget that each strand is tethered to the pole, without which the dance could not occur.
Yoga and meditation provide us with an opportunity to cultivate and appreciate both our ground of being, Awareness itself, and the dance that is our life. From tuning in regularly through our practice to this stable core, we tether ourselves to it, and it feeds the dance and allows for the creation of a tapestry that is artistic, aligned, and resilient. This May, let us remember this ever-present, all-pervading ground of Being that supports and feeds the dance and the fabric of our lives.