Lilac speak

May 22, 2024

Last weekend, I attended a Work That Reconnects retreat where we participated in a practice called The Council of All Beings.

In this ritual, people set aside their human identity and imagine what it’s like to be another life form. Speaking on behalf of that entity, they share what life is like for them, and the gifts they can offer us humans.

It was astounding how much wisdom and insight emerged from invoking our moral imagination and tapping into our capacity to empathize with the more-than-human world.

The power of the practice clearly impacted me, because upon returning home and seeing the lilacs blooming in my yard, I began to wonder: What would they say if they could speak? What lessons might they impart?

Not surprisingly, what arose were rather flowery insights into the fleeting nature of existence and offering beauty amidst the world’s ugliness - all of it way too highfalutin to share in a blog post.

But the astounding thing is that this shift in identity is even possible. How is that we can evoke the experience of a cow, a lake, or a strawberry, and feel a deep kinship with them?

The sages of Tantra describe how the creative power of consciousness, known as shakti, unfolds the universe out of herself, becoming everything that we see and experience in the material world.

Yoga, then, can be seen as the practice of reconnecting with and attuning to this source energy.  

Approached with this awareness, a whole new dimension of possibility opens up in asana practice.

We begin to see embodied practices as pathways to rekindle our fundamental belonging to the web of existence. Asana becomes a technology of reunion and alignment with the creative, self-organizing, intelligent power of life that moves through us, in us, as us.

We start to recognize that the currents of rivers, the steadiness of mountains, and the loveliness of lilacs are all intrinsically part of us, enlivened by the same sacred energy.

This shift in consciousness fosters our growth and evolution. More than that, it opens us to a source of strength, support, and beauty that is medicine for these times.  

Read more from the Beyond Asana blog