My morning practice was a desperate attempt to stretch my neck and upper back muscles out of spasm. An injury I suffered from a awkward nights sleep, and a lifting and turning of my head to the right as I rose from the couch. I was in so much pain and fearful that I wouldn’t last the day at White Tantric.
With every strain of my muscles, I could feel my panic rising. I wouldn’t forgive myself if I backed out, yet was afraid to cause additional injury to my body. Trying to balance both fears, I made a promise to try my best and see how I felt as the day progressed.
Arriving at the Church of the Holy Trinity was surreal. Nervous anticipation filled me as I gazed upon hundreds of faces dressed in white, coming together for a common purpose. Sitting shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee in four rows spanning the length of the room.
The first meditation lasted 31 minutes and was completed with some ease. I felt a sense of lightness entering into the second 31 minute meditation. As we began, I looked directly into my partners eyes, and could not suppress the rising laughter. I felt exposed and awkward, uncomfortable in my skin. The muscles in my face tightened as an ache rose in my throat. Tears streaming down my face, I struggling to catch my breath. I felt sadness, flowing out of me. Pure emotion, not tied to any one experience. As the tears fell, I was becoming lighter, centred and aware of my inner strength that would carry me through the rest of the meditation.
The following three meditations were an exercise in finding softness in the discomfort. My body was aching, my mind screaming as each minute passed by. I struggled to find even a glimpse of ease at the thought of the upcoming exercises.
The next meditation of 62 minutes required us to sit with fingers interlaced around the back of each others neck. The pain in my body was building, muscles in my back and neck tightening as I got into position. I felt tortured and defeated, ready to cry out in pain, when a thought entered my mind… I could be angry, I could scream and cry, but regardless of what emotion I allowed to take over, I would still be here and I would still be uncomfortable. My outburst would ultimately provide no benefit and leave me feeling even worse. I fought to quiet my mind and ignore the throbbing pain as the minutes inched towards the magical moment when we were able to release from the pose.
Difficult, challenging, freeing and beautiful - I am grateful for all of my experiences at White Tantric. I have been reminded that by finding ease in the discomfort,we are granted the strength and courage to let go, leaving us free to love and experience each moment fully.