The Guest is Inside You

The guest is inside you, and also inside me;

you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.

We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.

Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.


The blue sky opens out farther and farther,

the daily sense of failure goes away,

the damage I have done to myself fades,

a million suns come forward with light,

when I sit firmly in that world.


I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken,

inside “love” there is more joy than we know of,

rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds,

there are whole rivers of light.

The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of love.

How hard it is to feel that joy in all our four bodies!


Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.

The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love.

With the word “reason” you already feel miles away.



The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

Embracing Joy

Meditating in Tulum

Although we often long for joy, we seldom make space for it. I would like to share with you 3 questions to reflect upon:

1) How long has it been since you did something that you really love?

2) Do you make space for joy or do you find yourself speeding through the day?

3) Do you often want life to be different? Do you want another person to be different?

Reflection is part of many spiritual paths, I invite you to ask yourself these 3 questions and breathe with them for 5 minutes. Start by creating a space that is quiet and sit comfortably with your back straight. If you wish to you can close your eyes. Just one thing, as you spend time reflecting on the questions, approach your responses with friendliness; judgment can stop us from seeing things with equanimity. Judgment, like a tincture can colour everything we see and it can be very sticky. See if you can suspend judgment for a moment. See if you can suspend beliefs for a moment. I like to think of this as the practice of “suspension of belief”.

We will deepen this inquiry during our workshop Embracing Joy and How to use the Sacral Chakra on Saturday 4 July. We will also practice fun stretches and Yoga postures, pranayama, mudra and meditation on Swadhistana Chakra. Reconnect with your body as a wonder, with your breath as a wonder, with your life as a wonder. Reconnect with joy. I hope you can join us; in the meantime I’d like to also share a poem by Mary Oliver, who I must say has become my favourite poet of the year:

Don’t Hesitate

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.–Mary Oliver