It's Sydney Rose here; thanks for opening up.
Today we’re together in another one of my favorite places. Savasana Station is a yoga studio in the East Village with a mission of helping students cultivate awareness and community through mindful movement.
I’m grateful to use the space, because we have a special guest… can you guess who? I’ll give you a hint. We’re talking about basic goodness and removing the obstacles to intimacy.
Another hint? He’s a God with an elephant head. The elephant represents wisdom and the ability to listen deeply and understand those who seek help.
Similarly, there’s an old Buddhist story that describes listening as a wise approach to our defenses.
While a great king is away, a demon comes and sits on his throne. At first, the guards ignore the problem. They refuse to acknowledge the demons presence, they decide that it can’t be real. The soldiers battle it with swords and fire. They yell and fight. With each hit, the demon grows.
Finally, it becomes so large and terrifying they need help.
The soldiers call in a wise woman.
First she greets the demon directly, and asks what she can get him, then she begins to speak kindly to the demon.
She offers him food. With each act of kindness he becomes smaller. In the light of her love, the demon disappears completely.
The story makes a good case for offering flowers and love notes to the parts of our selves we’ve walled off. After all, the magic is in embracing the present moment. But it starts with acknowledgment. We have to take an inventory of what’s holding us back and blocking out warmth.
Using Ganesha for inspiration, we’ll learn to identify and make peace with our inner and outer defenses. The question we pose is, what if instead of resisting, we loved and opened even to our own obstacles? Can we see the parts of ourselves that keep us walled off with gentleness?
See you on the cushion!
PS - If you live in NYC and want more of Ganesh and mindful movement practices, feel free to join us for Yoga. I teach on Saturday mornings and Monday nights. Check out our full schedule here.