The Black Forest: goals and moving forward

In India, I was taught a meditation to specifically focus my energy on a goal to support me to live my life with purpose. The goal I chose to meditate on was teaching yoga. We were asked to very clearly identify the aspects of this goal in its fullest expression - what it looks like, where it happens, what it feels like... The image that continually materialized in my meditations was me teaching to students outdoors with the sun shining warmly onto our skin as we sat in a group. The setting alternated between the ocean and in a forest. Although the background subtly changed in the meditations, the sensations generated by these images did not. I could feel this tremendous bright light, perhaps the deep fulfillment of sharing my understanding of yoga with others... this light would begin in my center and spread throughout my entire body until I was completely consumed by this pure bliss. I even discovered a soft smile across my face as I sat in meditation. It felt very real.

I maintained my meditation practice when I returned home. Slipping from daily to a few times a week, but despite my inconsistency, the images and sensations were easily accessed and always left me basking in the contentment generated by this meditation.

Fast forward a few months to the beginning of Summer...

I headed into the Black Forest leading a group of 18 yogis on yoga and meditation retreat. My nervous anticipation of how the weekend would turn out fueled some uncertainty and rekindled my fear of disappointment... but I was truly more excited than anxious to spend a weekend doing exactly what I love - teaching and sharing yoga.

The group was so special - people from all over Germany from many walks of life that I had to pleasure of previous teaching, befriending, or meeting for the first time that weekend. They convened in the Black Forest with one thing in common - a desire to learn more about themselves through yoga and meditation.

On the first afternoon, we hiked into the forest into a cleared opening on top of a hill overlooking a great valley. The only break in the silence of the forest was a fresh spring trickling out of the mountain.

I instructed the group into their first meditation after speaking briefly on the intention of the particular meditation called Vipassana – literally, just sitting with themselves in stillness to observe the thoughts and sensations generated in their minds and bodies. They settled into their meditation postures - sitting in the grass and on roughly crafted tree trunk benches. As they sat in silence in meditation, I watched over them and melted into the experience of the present moment – with amazing people in the Black Forest on a retreat I created!

And then the incredible moment reminded me of my meditations in India - The images in my mind from the goal mediation. There I was - in nature, teaching a group of students, with the sun heating my face as I grinned uncontrollably as the joy of the present reality wrapped around me and swept me away from any previous self-doubt and all of my fears and anxieties. And in this pure bliss, I became short of breath and emotions flowed as I realized this was my goal manifesting, and I was moving forward on my path.

Meditation in the Black Forest.