The most perfect description of the on-going-ness of spiritual practice and the practice of yoga — or any relationship, for that matter — comes from Mark Nepo, poet and teacher.
Mark’s most popular book, The Book of Awakening, was recommended by a friend many years ago and has since become my constant companion and my go-to gift to loved ones. It’s a daily reader that will have different meaning each year. You can read it every day, put it down and come back months later or pick it up randomly and it will offer exactly what you need that moment.
My copy as been through a lot (as you can tell from the photo). If I were stuck on an island with only one book, this would be it.
I was fortunate to spend a weekend this summer with Mark at the Omega Institute outside of Rhinebeck, New York. It was a weekend of poems, stories, sharing, nature, tears and laughter. He is just as warm and wise in person as in writing.
There he recited many poems, most of which I’d never heard, out of his poetry compilation, The Way Under The Way. I ordered it when I got home, and it is through this book the magical practice poem found me.
Long Way Home
I want to have a conversation
that we can return to without
conclusion, one that lasts for
years, that feels like a walk that
has no end. Until the walk
itself is home.
I want to converse this life with
you, the way the old horse and
the young bird trudge and circle
each other in snow.
I want to reach with you into
the heart of things, where the
stitching of the Universe
shows its golden knots.
And isn’t that what this practice offers us? A conversation that lasts for years…that we can come back to again and again without conclusion. Where we can reach into the heart of things and allow the mystery to reveal itself.
What does the poem evoke in you? Are there other ways you relate to or describe your life practice? This is a space where we can enter that conversation together.
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