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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Mar 14, 2011

Wildflower garden complexity of love

This is a complex week.  Leo - my son - has this quote at the top of his blog: "challenge yourself with complexity".    I am doing that. Leo would be proud.

Today I pack for my retreat. I'll be out in the dessert in Arizona in a yurt for 12 days and then at the ashram for 2 days.  (I don't leave until next Sunday but today is the only time I'll have to pack). I am taking Yoga mat, meditation cushion, hiking shoes, reading light, journals to write in. and a few books of Lee's teachings.  Other than that its mostly toothpaste, jammies and basic stretchy sturdy clothes. 

Woven in with packing is anxiety. Going on a retreat like this is certain to be intense. I have gone on a lot of meditation retreats of various sorts. They are always intense - they always  "kick my ass" in a helpful sort of way.  The difference with this retreat is that it's 12 days with only me disciplining myself into practice. No teacher. Not dharma talks. No fellow practitioners. No externally enforced schedule. The only external structure will be the retreat manager bringing food twice a day. No talk. No lights. Off the grid.  Lee always - in the past - recommended to his students what to bring to read and it was always very minimal. He also told people how much to meditate each day. I will stay respectful to the general pattern of his recommendations - but really I don't even know exactly what he told people. And he is gone so I am my own true teacher on this ass-kicking endeavor.  The anxiety I'm feeling is very familiar - it has preceded every retreat I've ever done. My psyche/mind is very smart to be anxious - it's going to get worked over and it knows it.  And the work always starts well ahead of my arrival at the retreat.  So today I am playing the part of "the anxious packer".

Tomorrow I will be "the calm and collected Yoga teacher".  Wednesday I will be "secretary to the business". Thursday I am back to being "the calm and collected Yoga teacher" - while Chris picks up the incoming teacher - Martin Kirk.  And then the Anatomy workshop goes into full swing through Sunday noon. Martin and I both fly to Arizona afterwards - but on different flights.....too bad - I could have gotten in some good talking with my old friend before it's time to shut up.

And all of this could change in a heartbeat.  My mom has been in a critical / precarious condition.  So - we'll see. Thank heaven for practice and the steadiness it can bring. Thank heaven for all the love in my life: husband, sons, sisters, brothers, friends, students, teachers -- I am held in a wildflower garden complexity of love.    


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