Meditation Teaching: An Intimate Reflection

Keeping meditation teaching real, bringing vulnerability and truth to the moment is so vital to keep in alignment to be of service whilst teaching an important life skill. Perfectionism will go by the wayside if we can just relax and be our authentic selves giving permission for others to do the same.

I have been contemplating what meditation is and isn’t, to me. I have had extensive training in the more esoteric background and have now come into the actual learning of different meditation techniques and gaining the qualification to teach meditation to others. What I realise I do when I guide and teach meditation is merge the two teachings together. The pearls of wisdom from my previous esoteric teachers, gathered in chaotic circumstances to uncover truth in every moment and to live from this place, with that inner connection and embodiment is gorgeous and amazing. The stillness that came with some, or most of the techniques in meditation helped me to sink roots deeper and allow higher vibrations to more consciously flow through me in the delicious, deep and patient meditation methods. So that I could really steep in my own essence, witness myself with passionate intimacy and open my mind and body into a suppleness I haven’t experienced before in my life. From studying these seemingly opposite modalities, I can see how they both are a part of a continuum of ONEness. It is creating a beautiful merging of two opposite worlds and is simply enhancing my absolute respect for both modalities.

The more feminine approach is of letting go of restrictions, of embodiment, movement, to allow chaos, flow, rawness, beauty, power, grace, and love be a part of your life. Truly embody it and allow its expression to be present.  To experience the plethora of different feminine expressions within each one of us there is a need to be willing to journey into a space of letting go of control for a period of time whilst being guided by the facilitator (at the start). This is opposite of what many western cultures, and in fact many cultures teach- which is control, balance, restrict, silence, not make a scene, don’t express the full range of emotions- truth in the moment. This is often seen as ‘uncivilised’ and archaic, as if we have evolved from this type of behaviour…. but have we really evolved?The basis of these teachings I  previously spoke about revolve around the fact that it is energetic- the feminine. It is called shakti in the yogic tradition as the energy that moves form- the masculine. But, over thousands of years traditions have opted to serve only that which could be seen- the masculine physical world. So the feelings, emotions, energy within and around was ignored.

The teachings taught in the Occult traditions kept the flame of the relationship between the feminine and masculine energy alive. Focused on Oneness, in these teachings, both the energy (feminine) and the physical (masculine) were equally worked with. It was known that if energy is suppressed it doesn’t go anywhere, it is stored in the body. Furthermore, this can cause disease and illness in the body.  The feminine practices work to release stored energy which presents itself as pain, tension, or perhaps it hasn’t become represented in the physical form yet. So the energy clearing occurs by allowing the body to simply release what it needs to release, by moving the way it needs to move could prevent the physical expression of this, and act as a preventative or a stress release of pent up energy, kind of like pressing ‘re-boot’.

Ancient Egyptian Cults played a huge role in continuing the energetic thread of this ancient wisdom. It is in the balance of these two extreme energies that we can gain balance- not from stifling them, or restricting them with how we perceive ‘awakening’ should look. Relate this to today,  even meditation teachers fall under the pressure and culture of how they themselves should be. Now that I am adorned with this mysterious piece of paper giving me the authority to actually teach meditation to others, I have felt the energetics of the need to behave calm all of the time, or be perceived to be calm all of the time. That isn’t me. In this environment? During a pandemic? In lockdown with my two children? I have my personal practices which help me better parent and handle emergencies when called upon, but I do slip from time to time. I am human. I am perceiving in some circles some ‘acting’ other than what is true in the moment. My devotion is to stay real in the moment.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is no perfection in meditation. It’s a practice. Sometimes you go deep, sometimes you don’t. Honouring what arises wherever you are at in practice or in life is the perfection in it. Meditation teachers, or in fact even esoteric facilitators can get caught up on how they ‘should’ be perceived. What I feel is more important is truth. Is to show the humanness, as well as the amazing essence and divinity of someone. I can chat and even be telling a story before a meditation in my own authentic voice and expression that is relatable and HUMAN (sometimes I get excited and swear a little)- my point is, the sense of belonging can be shared. When it’s time for teaching and guiding meditation that ‘HUMAN ME’ slowly drains away and the depth of the practice comes in and service of the divinity or light, within a person and within the room is surrendered to in the moment, based on the energy of the room and who is present, we flow into a meditation aligned with this. Then after the meditation when everyone who wishes to share has shared, then I’ll chat and laugh and tell stories again. It’s a sacred union of humanness, ego and personality WITH connecting to something more than that…. just sublime….

Show me a meditation teacher who has done the work on themselves and I will see his or her authenticity. Being OK in their own methods, and styles, with life experience to have the maturity to hold space and willingness to learn from whatever is presented when it is presented is a must to gain the trust of those who are willing to enter the unknown with you. Humble to know it is the teachings, not themselves the people gather for. Devoted to getting their own ego out of the way to serve with sincerity, and devotion something higher than themselves within the room and within each person gathered. Leading by example only to reveal the truth that meditation is a tool to aid in the path of life- essentially entering the unknown and getting to know and connect to oneself in this amazing and often difficult process. It doesn’t matter which method you choose- masculine or feminine or bridging the gap between them, all can if taught in an intentional way, take you deep into connection and knowing thyself.

There are times when this is not always the case, for example some inherited diseases and illnesses, however doing a regular practice of what feels good for the body the soul has taken unique to each person, will help to reduce the ailments of the body in this instance. It is not simply a matter of moving the body and allowing it to subconsciously take care of things for you in the feminine. At least that hasn’t been the case for me, with two children to stay present for. I feel that we have evolved the masculine parts of us in this culture for a reason. Yes, there are distortions and the creation of patriarchy which has its faults, but we have the opportunity to bring consciousness or clarity to our lives. So, doing meditation under the more masculine method of witnessing, stillness, quietness is a perfect companion to the uncontrollable sometimes wild expression of the feminine.

For me, in my own practice, I cannot do one without the other, it feels like something is missing. The masculine helps us to live in this world, to be present to ourselves, to hold space for ourselves when things get difficult, to be witness with love, to act on plans and get things done out in the world. We need a healthy dose of this. But, in my teachings, there’s a gorgeous sacred union of diving equally into both, a cohesion. What one lacks, the other provides…. and vice versa. Oh, it’s such a beautiful path to walk on.

I hope you can join me in the future some time.

All my love,
Elise

The Courage to Enter Deep Spiritual Love (poem)

Oh, touch my heart, deeper, and deeper still….

Take me to the unknown, whisper truths in my ear

Take my hand, join me intimately, be ‘here’ completely

May I have courage to enter the unknown-

From formless to form and back again,

Immersed so deeply so that I may not be able to

Detect the delectable delights of the form

From the permeating energy of the formless.

Both, balanced, simultaneously-

Poised in the moment, and the moment proceeds

For hours and days- loving, processing and being….

Beyond the mind, yet including the mind

Excluding nothing… Accepting all of me

Rebirthed into myself over and over again

The joy, the grief, the knowing, the exploration,

The passion, the pain, the bliss, the love-

The ALL.

Oh, courage do not fail me.

I’ll be there…. in the unknown,

Basking, glowing, growing, breathing, rhythmically moving

To my own song…

 

Art by Kateryna Kovarzh

Written by Elise Heyward

The River and Her Divine Flow (poem)

The river has her banks filled to the brim
It skirts the rocks and land formations
She moves and turns….
Rises and flows…
As the banks attempt to contain her,
Holding firm as she caresses the sides,
Writhing, rising, gently massaging
Until the banks, firm and contained
Begin to crack and falter…
The foundations crumble
As the river claims her expanded form
Dancing, moving in her new found freedom
She tiptoes beyond her known contained river
And flows through the landscape…
Making love, being in sacred union
With the rocks and the deep caverns….
Life spills from her luscious flow
As the landscape surrenders to meet her…
Birthing lakes, creeks and ponds
Creating new life from this loving adventure.

Written by Elise Heyward

Art by Shelby Robbins

Saturate Me Again and Again

I am already soaked through to the bone from tending my garden,
Tending to my weeds and exploring my inner plants…
I implore you to saturate me to my core
That I may feel my pulsing energy from within
So that I may be immersed in the glorious
Connection and reunion with you…
Again and again and again
Of this I will never get tired
Saturate me so that my marrow purifies
And opens to the blinding radiance
Splaying untruths out of me…
Let me whisper only prayers from my lips
Poised in the timeless moment, surrendered
With the passion of an alive body, 
Opening, opening, opening to be saturated once more
Surround me, enter me, embrace me, love me-
For I am soaked through in the ever connecting light
Connection…. connection…. connection….. yes
Love…. deep, potent and infinite – It never left.

Featured Image by Leslie Ballweg

A Poem: From Here Let Me Live

I am awakened once more from my slumber with the Gods
It’s not the desire of the fleshly meeting, no…
Nor is it attempting to satiate the insatiable-
Which lingers as long as I shall have breath in my body,
Song in my throat, a beating heart and spirit in my eyes…
I surrender…..
I surrender…..
I surrender…..
Clean all parts of me that thinks it knows,
Replace it with the innocent curiosity of a child….
I surrender to that part of me that cannot be satiated-
That part that yearns more than anything for the most sacred union
Taking me beyond yet being within my own body more than ever
Allowing connection so deeply: Merging, infusing, creating…
Strong and true in my own being, whole within myself-
My practice, my creativity, my holding, my truth, my embodiment
Yet knowing this to be also in other-
For we are all connected, all part of the All.
I open to all that will come my way, all in the sacred unfolding
And so I continue the practice of union within Self-
Merging two opposites, surrendering, allowing and being in presence.
A deepening of love, of faith, of connection to the ALL
From here let me live….

Balancing and Merging with the Mystic Within

To be whisked away in the moment, to have a breath paused- hanging in the air-

merging with the air surrounding

Indecipherable:

Where does our breath end and the air around us begin?

All merged, all as one, connected beyond the mind

Energy flows like the breath…

One energetic hologram moves through, and over another

When there are soul contracts, one unique energetic thread

Can unlock and free another thread held back and kept dull….

All is working with the divine timing, individual spirals spinning

both individually and connected with The One huge spiral of life

Within The One spiral of life, All- everything is included.

Balancing all of the elements within Self finding the

opposite energies and seeing the absolute truth between- beyond mind.

Balancing spiritual mystical work with everyday chores and life- seeing ALL as sacred

Finding ways to practice- keeping that sacred fire burning for truth deeply within

well lit, feeling it with mindfulness, fuelling it with self wisdom, keeping us in the moment.

Practicing devotedly, with discipline to master the mind. Yet open with wild abandon to allow

the energy to flow through, like a lover, wildly ecstatic, receptive and gloriously open to the moment.

The true balance of yin and yang, masculine and feminine- both aware of their bodies.

Both longing to be merged into one, both holding the opposites and defying the brain

Both energies harboured within the body, both opposites like magnets.

Neither one more powerful than the other. One surrenders to the other over and over again.

Only in this surrender is there sacred union with the un- namable.

Each has its subtle and potent roles…. energy rules the natural physical result.

Letting go, accepting and flowing with the natural rhythm of energy

is the responsibility of ours on the sacred, sacred path of truth….

You are a science to study… a single spiral among many making up The All…

 

Elise Heyward

The Time of the Priestesses

The Time of the Priestesses

Searing hot truth spreading like lava through her body. She refuses to squeeze into that which She once did. She knows deeply within She restricted Herself, restricted truth….No more! No more…. She cannot satiate the desires that lay deep within, once dormant now thrashing, and rising and circulating- all while tying herself to how things were before. No more… NO MORE is this acceptable to her, or to those She loves. She is set free in the alignment of the energy She can live by, and with. In the great inhale and exhale of life, She feels this truth burning within and coming out- burning everything in her life to ashes..…

Here in this chaos, in these ashes She is her own lover, husband, wife, mother, father, child. She is beyond all of this- She is bloody well UNDEFINABLE. She is beyond. Just beyond… She is passion, grace, water, fire, earth, air…. She is beauty, power, kindness, body, spirit, divinity…. Beyond all ridiculous human constraints and constructs. No… no more… She is realising her ability to bring change, to bring connection, to bring power, to bring love, to bring vulnerability, in a world that lays parched of these things, a world slowly opening and desiring the lubrication of connection and love, of a new way..… This is not a war or a battle this is a new vow she lives by, this is a new love to unite with. This is a sacred dance of union. This is the sacred dance of merging above and below. This is the opening to be a conduit of the energy and to the daily life She leads. She will not stop loving. Her faith cannot be altered. Lubricating the driest, harshest of hearts in her sacred light, transmitting divinity that even She has no knowledge of. Aiding the transformation of the collective as She devotes her time in silent surrender, in muddied sweaty skin, in the radiating free sexuality of her body, in the grace of her truth, in the teaching of her children, in the home, city, state, country and world she lives in… She is here- the bloodied, muddied, sweaty, passionate, gritty, loving, light filled, connected divine Priestess. And She isn’t going to stop.

To all of the Priestesses out there- keep going. I feel you.

It is Time for a Re-Birth

When it has me on my knees, begging for mercy
When my life is completely ripped apart
When I have nothing left to cling to
There is nowhere left to look but within.
This is the beginning of the most beautiful love affair-
To meet myself in my yearning. To meet myself in my power-
My holding- my potent untamed virile sexual penetration
To meet myself in my grace, beauty, flow and softness….
In my surrendering, in my absolute opening to receive….
Where these two touch- that place between two opposites..
Oh, how this vibration within makes me surrender more,
Oh, how it ravages my body, dissolves my mind,
And connects me to the beautiful place beyond all of it.
Come… come with the desires of a thousand thoughts
And feel them dissolve away into nothing
Come…. come with a tightened body
And feel the union within relax all…
Come…. come with all of you
And feel more than one could ever imagine….
Come…. come step into the ancient fire
And become all of you.
It is time for a re-birth.