Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing
There is a field. I will meet you there.
I first saw these commitment statements posted on the refrigerator door at the Gaia’a Sonic Temple of the Goddess on Kauai when we were there for the Mystic Island Gathering celebration in February. I looked for it online and found it HERE. I very slightly edited a few of them just to fit the context of our yoga teacher training. Just in case you’re concerned about not remembering all of this (as if you need to!), we’re going to have these printed out and put on our refrigerator at the retreat, too : )
I just wanted to also preface this with a little bit of yoga wisdom regarding working in close contact with a small group of people for an extended period, as we will be doing. We’ve all no doubt heard this one before: “Check your ego at the door.” In ancient living cultures, such as we find in India, this meant removing one’s shoes at the entrance to a home, temple, etc. This wasn’t merely for the sake of cleanliness, which as it is said, is next to Godliness. It also was a symbolic gesture meaning that I am removing my ego which is tied up with my material possessions. Removing one’s shoes was a step toward greater naked authenticity, and acknowledging that nothing in this life truly belongs to us, we can’t truly take credit for anything, it’s all a mysterious gift of grace.
On a more humorous note (hopefully : ), there is this great renaissance happening in walking and running barefoot, and also in the wisdom of simply “grounding” and connecting with the earth’s healing frequency more often (David Wolfe, for one, has been a big promoter of this lately). I love walking and running barefoot, and do it as much as I can (one thing I love about Hawai’i especially is that you can basically walk into any establishment in bare feet!) Not only is it good for connecting with the earth more, but it’s also good foot reflexology, that being the ancient wisdom of stimulating the various organs of the body via the feet (and hands).
And yet, not everyone has been converted to the cause! When I went out to visit my family in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago, there was a lot of concern expressed about my walking barefoot, to the point that I really felt I had to defend what seems to me to be something so natural, something which I feel really shouldn’t require a defense. The funny thing is that my family name is “Lowenschuss,” a German name which is often pronounced “Lowenshoose,” and which we sometimes say is really “Low In Shoes.” The irony is that we’re really not, we’ve got so many shoes there are not enough days in the week to wear all of them. But anyway, when being told to put shoes on, I was like, hey, I’m low in shoes!
So anyway: Checking the ego at the door. The thing is, you can check your ego at the door, but realistically speaking, the ego will walk right in with you and keeps needing to be checked up on; yes, for many of us it seems to need to be kept in constant check! So here are some commitment statements that will help us all to do this:
My intent is to be myself, to be authentic, and to be fully present.
I will do my best to recognize when I am off center and to bring myself back into the integrity of my own center – the place of neutral, witness consciousness, or pure awareness.
When I find myself going into ‘story’ or emotional reactivity, I agree to become present and awake with my experience, and to explore feeling inward instead of leaning out, unconsciously defending myself for projecting onto others.
Intention for the Highest Good
I acknowledge and honor my primary intention for the Highest Good – concerning the Earth, All My Relations, and myself. I recognize that I may never know for certain what the “answers” are, but my intention is to move in the direction of the highest and best good for the whole.
Communicate with Integrity
I agree to be honest and compassionate with my communications – to speak from my heart, maintain connection, and to be true to my word.
Act with Integrity and Humility
I agree to keep my agreements, to negotiate changes if I need to, and to ask for help when I need it.
I agree to listen respectfully to the communication of others and tune into their deepest meaning, noticing any inner reactions and taking responsibility for my feelings while staying present to truly listen.
Honor One Another
I agree to come from a sense of cooperation and caring in my interactions with others, respecting that our objectives are often the same, although our positions and means may differ. I recognize that everyone is a unique expression of the divine, and I honor the intelligence of body, mind, and emotions as uniquely expressed through each of us.
I agree to take responsibility for my creations, my reactions, my experience and my relationships. Therefore, I recognize there is no one to blame, nothing to defend, only wisdom and compassion to embody.
I agree to take the time to establish rapport and re-connect with anyone with whom I feel out of harmony.
Resolve Problems Constructively
I agree to take problems, complaints and upsets to the person(s) with whom I can resolve them, at the earliest opportunity. I agree not to criticize or complain to someone who cannot do something about my complaint, and I will redirect others to do the same.
Collaborate and Lead
I agree to foster an environment of genuine collaboration in which all people, including myself, feel empowered to express our individual and collective potential.
Keep My Commitment Fresh
I agree to choose and re-choose to participate in and co-create the field of consciousness that is this Yoga Teacher Training every day. I recognize my responsibility to contribute what is alive and true in my heart today.
Stay with Joy
I agree to allow joy in my relationships, my work, and my life, recognizing that joy is the natural by-product of living my authentic self.
Come From My Resources
I agree to take care of myself and to honor my own sense of balance with conscious choice in areas like sleep, nutrition, exercise, and thinking, so that I may live from a place of resource.
I agree to treat myself with compassion, patience, and forgiveness when I struggle with these intentions, as I also share compassion and encouragement with other people in this Field of Alliance.
I am committed to ‘seizing’ the day– To do my best to be complete with each day—to live as though today is my first and my last day alive. I agree to LIVE & BE YOGA TODAY to the best and fullest of my capacity.
And living this way is no different than living in Namaste’…and the challenge is always to stay in Namaste’, thank you in advance for your commitment to this!
Namaste’! / Mistah Low-In-Shoes