Monday, November 20, 2023

Gratitude and Equipoise by Chaya Spencer

Thanksgiving is a reminder of our capacity to move into the wonder and awe of all that is around us and that we are part of.  A fellow yoga teacher shared inspiration from Dr. Roland Griffiths, the founder of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research and a pioneer in studying the therapeutic potential of psilocybin. He recently passed away at 77.  Oprah interviewed him four months before his death.  He expressed such joy, wonder and awe at life and the mystery of being here.  He said he has never felt more gratitude or equipoise than at this time in his life (after his terminal diagnosis).  Watch the interview here:

As I look out my window at the profusion of all fall colors, the incredible beauty around me, I want to share a poem written by my brother-in-law, Barry Klassel, and how we each have the opportunity, every day, in every moment, to be fully awake to the awe and gratitude of life.  Read the full poem below.

     I can’t wait

     ‘Til each day is as ordinary as a wedding

      As momentous as taking a breath

Photo courtesy Herb Benkel taken 11.3.23 at Shree

Certain holidays and life events awaken us to what is already here.  Why wait for these? Or, for a terminal diagnosis? Griffiths wishes to explore: “The benevolelnt mystery of what it is to exist.”  Let's practice marrying the day and awaken to each breath as momentous and precious, full of wonder, gratitude and awe.  Happy Thanksgiving every single day.

 I, Alone

    No one beside me

    No soothing touch

     Rootless and restless

     I’ve lost the way

     To consecrate this day


      Television, not my vision

       Breakfast, cold spoon in cold cereal

      Chair, table, mug, tepid tea

      I let the water run endlessly

      Dip my hand, splash my face

      I, alone, in the whole human race


What to propose?    

      I will marry this day before me

      So each step’s down the aisle toward my lover

       What is my lover’s name?

       The same. the same

       Each deed a ceremony, for better or worse, for sickness, health

      What music to march to

       Processional, Recessional

       Night covers my retreat

       Then repeat


      I can’t wait

     ‘Til each day is as ordinary as a wedding

      As momentous as taking a breath


      I take thee, my shy one

      I marry this day. For better or worse

     ‘Til Death do us part.


©Copyright 2023 Barry Klassel

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