I don’t remember the exact circumstances around which Robyn and I first met, the way I also don’t remember the day of my birth. I do know however that there was a day I popped out of my mother’s womb and the full catastrophe of a lived life ensued. I also know that Robyn and I share a common Yoga mother, Helen Duquette, who still teaches at the Creating Space Yoga studio. When I first met Helen many years ago I discovered that her teaching was unlike anything I had ever encountered before. Although I was deeply steeped in the mindfulness tradition when I originally came to meet her, I had not yet experienced how mindful awareness can be so deeply honed through movement. Helen’s core teaching was to help me undo the idea that I was coming to ‘do’ Yoga. Instead, she taught me to be in Yoga and honour the wisdom of undoing. Coming from the same Yoga womb, no wonder Robyn and I can read each other’s mind on this score. I suppose this makes us rightful siblings – and kindred spirits we are as we unexpectedly find ourselves sharing a common journey in mindfulness.
To compare our collaboration to the full catastrophe of a lived life would be wildly overstated. Our journey together has felt more like a meandering evolution with twists and turns, doubts and bouts of confidence, dead ends and open freeways, always blessed with a healthy dose of questioning what we are doing. At the core of our Yoga family is mindfulness, and at the core of our mindfulness family is Yoga. ‘Yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit for ‘yoke’, ‘religion’ from the Latin ‘religio’, meaning ‘reconnecting’, and ‘tantra’ from the Sanskrit for ‘weaving’ – can you see the common thread in these three metaphors? In our work we strive to reconnect with the essence of human life and reality as a whole, to yoke the visible to the invisible and weave the tapestry of unfolding life into the mystery of awareness. Life is movement with stillness at its core; reality is stillness manifesting as movement. I see myself finding through Robyn the movement that keeps the stillness alive, and Robyn finding through me the stillness that inspires movement. This is the dance of form and formlessness we are all part of.
The public lectures are testimony of our synergy. Through our collaboration a community of like-minded students of wisdom has emerged. Robyn sends her students to me for mindfulness meditation training, and I am told that they come back to Robyn transformed, more deeply attuned to the faint whispers of their bodies and souls in the present moment. In turn, I can observe my students sneaking away to Robyn’s Yoga classes to deepen their awareness through movement. When they come back to sitting meditation they have a deeper appreciation of the embodied nature of mindfulness. After all, Yoga is meditation, and meditation is in Yoga. I feel privileged to be part of this unique community of like-minded students, who explore the cross-pollination between awareness through movement and awareness through stillness, and manifest a passion for this dance of love, this dance of life’s impermanent eternity.