I help people attain enlightenment! I know, this can be an intimidating and baffling word, so what is enlightenment exactly? I like to explain it as “allowing ourselves to feel and express love to our greatest potential.” I combine yoga with ecstatic dance and zen meditation as a way to help myself and students access their infinite, loving selves.
Asana, the physical yoga postures, and pranayama, life-force breath-work, cultivate and harmonize powerful masculine and feminine energies that exist within the physical body. Once we have a handle on these energies, we use them to access our divine light through yogic meditation. By focusing on the third eye, we allow the masculine and feminine to unite at this point of consciousness located at the center of the forehead just above the brow. Once this union occurs, a state of bliss and love emerges. This is our true self. It is vital that we recognize and accept that love is our true and natural state.
The hard part is maintaining this newfound sense of love once we get off the cushion. It is frequently stated in yoga classes to “take your practice off the mat,” but there is very little guidance on how to do just that. This is where my system differs from other approaches to yoga. I incorporate meditation, life-coaching, and, for the brave and willing, dance as a way integrate the yogic state of bliss into our everyday lives.
Dance is a free form of expression that allows love, light, and the masculine and feminine to move through us without inhibition. Yogic postures are for the most part static and defined. Life, however is not. It’s is perpetually flowing and it’s possibilities and permutations are limitless just like dance. By freeing our love through dance, we are able to enter places of creativity and expression that would otherwise lie dormant. When the body becomes comfortable expressing itself through dance, we naturally begin to approach life as a dance. When we approach life as a dance, love never leaves us.
Sounds fantastic right? So why not just stop there. Well, let’s be real. The world and our own minds are not always the kindest of places. There is a natural yin and yang to life. With great love, there will always be great opposition. We will always be met with obstacles to test and strengthen our love. Zen provides the gateway to perceive reality and our own minds with complete clarity, so we know what is ours and what is not, providing the gift of living a life to our highest truth and understanding.
Zen meditation is eyes open, seeing reality and our mind with all its good and bad, just as it is with no judgement. If we develop the ability to see, smell, hear, taste and touch the world around us just as it is, then we cannot be deceived. We will always be able to maintain our truth and our light.
For some though, seeing our minds exactly as they are can be difficult and frustrating. And that’s understandable, because we are never able to see ourselves completely. At best, like looking in a mirror, we are only able to see our reflection. Only another person can actually see us. This is why I incorporate life-coaching.
Zen has a tradition of interviews where the student meets privately with the zen master and can ask questions about anything, receiving direct insight into their lives. As a Dharma Teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen, I utilize this interview form to help clients understand their suffering and use it to enter a state of bliss.
My approach to practice is different and aspects of it might be challenging, but I guarantee that in the end it is fun. If you are willing to take the plunge with me, you have the opportunity experience life with a renewed sense of joy, clarity, and love.